Sex and intimacy can absolutely exist without each other. In fact, you can have sex with someone and not even feel a single ounce of intimacy. But, while this is true, it doesn’t mean there is no intimacy to be had. The pillow talk that happens after sex is where the real intimacy lies. Here’s why.
One word: Oxytocin. When we have sex, our bodies release three major hormones: oxytocin, vasopressin, and dopamine. Oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle hormone” or “love hormone,” makes people feel far more attached post-coitus, as does vasopressin. Dopamine, of course, just makes us feel awesome.
We’re more honest. Post-sex is when people feel more compelled to be more honest about everything. With those hormones pumping through our veins, making us feel like we can completely come clean about anything and everything under the sun, it’s hard not to feel intimate when we’re spilling our guts to the person who’s just inches away from our face.
We’re extra vulnerable. After sex, people tend to let their guard down. This explains all the times we’ve probably wanted to tell someone we just had sex with that we love them, even though we don’t actually love them. With vulnerability and verbally expressing that vulnerability comes intimacy. We’re not vulnerable with just anyone.
We have a strong desire to cuddle. Thanks to that whole oxytocin thing, the urge to cuddle after sex is really strong. When we’re wrapped up in each other arms or spooning (best cuddle position ever, FYI), it’s not just an intimate moment, but we feel free to be ourselves – either with or without words.
We can talk about sex more openly. Post-sex pillow talk is the best time to have a legit, intimate, completely candid conversation about sex. We can recap what we just did, what we liked, what we really liked, what we wanted to do, and what we’d like to try during our next romp. All the things that we might have felt intimidated to discuss before sex are now all up for discussion.
We feel complete. After sex, our bodies and minds feel fulfilled. Once we toss in the intimate conversations that are had during pillow talk, we can’t help but feel truly at ease and complete. To feel complete is not something we feel every day, so when we DO feel it, especially after sex, it feels extra intimate and binding.
We experience more feelings. Like, so many more feelings thanks to that oxytocin and vasopressin! And these feelings are ones of ultimate intimacy that, honestly, can be a bit confusing, as we all but expose a vein to our partner and bleed complete and utter truths because of all those damn feelings.
We feel high. After sex, the dopamine brings on a high that both we and our partner experience, and experience together. Because we’re both experiencing it at the same time, there’s a sense of connection and, of course, intimacy. It’s easy to feel intimate with someone when they’re on the same page as us – like how the two drunk girls in a room will bond far better with each other than with the sober folks in the room.
We feel adored. When we feel desired, wanted, adored, and are cuddled up next to that person post-sex who makes us feel this way, it can make you feel like you’re on another plane altogether. A plane of intimate connections.
We can get pretty damn deep. Not only is pillow talk more intimate than sex because we’re opening our vault of secrets, being far more vulnerable than we’d usually be, or we feel like we both took the most amazing drug together, but because we feel so comfortable, we’re not afraid to let ourselves get really deep. Before we know it, we’re not just talking about sex or the embarrassing moments of our past, but we’re both getting really philosophical and, similar to being high, we actually might even convince ourselves we’ve solved the Universe’s greatest mysteries.
We feel emotionally closer. Even if the sex, which is physically the closest two people can get, was void of intimacy, pillow talk can us make you feel like we’re one with our partner. We feel an intimate, emotional bond with them, as if we’ve been cut from the same cloth.
We feel like the center of their world. Unless we’ve just had a threesome or an orgy, after sex, when the heavy breathing has ceased, the orgasms have been achieved, and we’re both on our sides facing each other, pillow talk can make us feel like we’re the center of each other’s worlds. It’s in those moments post-sex, where it’s just the two of us, staring into each other’s eyes that you feel a profound sense of intimacy, as if we’re the only two people left in the world. That’s definitely not a feeling we experience during sex very often.
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