12 Ways To Be Intimate With Your Partner Without Having Sex

Sex in a relationship is like an added bonus, not what the whole relationship should revolve around. It’s a great way to feel connected and it certainly feels good (or at least it should), but there are plenty of ways to be emotionally, mentally, and physically intimate with your significant other that doesn’t involve going all the way.

  1. Cook a meal together. I’m not exactly sure why cooking with your partner is so sensual and intimate but it really is. Feeding each other, holding each other from behind and then sharing the meal and a bottle of wine together sounds super romantic, right? This is a great way to spend quality time together and keep things steamy at the same time. Plus, if you do a good job, you’ll get a yummy meal out of it.
  2. Travel together. Exploring new places together is exciting, challenging, and also intimate. It’s a great way to get to know your partner on a deeper level because you can see each other experiencing new things for the first time. Traveling together can also be very revealing to whether or not you’re meant to last as a couple long term.
  3. Go dancing. Change up your typical dinner and a movie date night and go out dancing instead. Find a local salsa dancing joint with live music, hit the club, or just turn on some music at home. Dancing is a sensual act and what better way to be intimate with your partner that shaking and rubbing your bodies up against each other to the beat of your favorite music. You might feel stupid doing it at first but if you let go of your inhibitions, it can bring you so much closer together.
  4. Laugh uncontrollably. Watch a funny movie, go see a comedian, play a funny board game—whatever makes you smile. Laughing with someone else is a way to truly connect. It’s like saying you agree with them, you understand them, and you like them, only without using words. It’s real, it’s pure, and not only does it create an intimate connection, it also creates happiness and lasting memories.
  5. Make out like high schoolers. Forget the goodbye pecks and forehead smooches and get back to the good old days—the sloppy, uncontrollable, wet, lustful make out sessions you had when you first hit puberty and started being attracted to other people. When you’re in a relationship with someone, after a while the kissing gets swept under the rug and you start going straight to sex. Kissing someone deeply and passionately like this is so personal (and super fun) and it’s a great way to keep things in your relationship spicy.
  6. Discover your love language together. If you haven’t heard of the five love languages, definitely look into it. These love languages tell you how both people give and receive love differently. Understanding your partners love language, and your own, will help you have a healthy relationship. Discover your love languages together and learn more about how your partner is wired and how you can cater to their needs.
  7. Shower or bathe together. This is a great way to fill the need for physical touch without going all the way. Showering together will allow you to really get to know each others bodies and allow you to appreciate your partner as whole. This experience also lets the couple be vulnerable with each other and really trust each other. It’s also a fun experience making bubbly shampoo crowns and getting sudsy together.
  8. Hold hands. This always makes me feel giddy and happy. Holding hands is the perfect way to let your partner know that you are there for them, you have their back and that they can trust you. Hand holding isn’t only a romantic gesture but also a way to affirm your love for one another—it’s like saying, “We’re together, we’re proud, and we want the world to know it!”
  9. Ask each other deeply personal questions. Even after being with someone for a long time, there are still some deeply personal things you don’t know about each other. Instead of going out for a date night, have a night in and write down some questions to ask each other. Ask questions like, “Whose death in your family would be the hardest?” and, “When was the last time you cried, both alone and in front of someone else?”
  10. Cuddle up nice and close. Walk the streets with your arms around each other, rest your legs on one another while out at a movie, whatever. Whether this is while you’re at home having a relaxing night in or spooning while you sleep, cuddling up together is a great way to feel each other physically without the pressure or expectation of sex.
  11. Give each other a massage. Giving your partner a massage, whether it’s a back, neck, foot, head, whatever, is the perfect way to give them pleasure while not having sex. You can take turns or face each other and rub each other’s necks and shoulders simultaneously. This act is passionate and it can satisfy you without having sex.
  12. Stare deep into your partner’s eyes. Your eyes are the window to your soul, as they say. Take a few minutes to really look at your partner. Stare into their eyes and look beyond the surface, get to know what’s on the inside, be vulnerable, appreciate their vibe and their presence. This will give you a whole new outlook on your significant other. Plus, you might feel that spark again that started your relationship in the first place.
Writer, athlete, explorer, animal lover.