Family and work priorities shift as we grow older. Before, our attention flowed to jobs, child-rearing, or our spouse. Now, our pleasures can take center stage, including body care, intimacy, and sex.
Intimacy is the feeling of closeness and belonging between people. It can be as simple as a warm, fuzzy moment with the Starbucks barista. Still, far more rewarding is an ongoing closeness and vulnerability in your relationships with your special someone, including family or friends.
People grow apart, blaming financial woes, infidelity, or conflict. Yet, underlying any emotional distancing is a lack of intimacy.
Why do we need intimacy, and how do we get it?
Human needs include being seen, heard, and felt by others through relationships. Many say the quality of their relationships determines their quality of life. Sharing laughter and tears make life fulfilling.
Did you ever hide from another essential detail of your life? Distance comes between us until we feel we don’t “know” the people we live with daily. When this happens, it can signal the beginning of the end, even if the relationship persists for many years.
How do you get feelings of closeness and belonging?
First, you must admit you honestly need and want these feelings. This honesty allows your defenses to fall away and allows an opening for change.
Next, ask for and set time with the person with whom you want intimacy. Turn off the TV. Put down phones. Communicate your interest in what’s happening in their life and share your life with them.
Assure them you won’t judge them on their answers. Be prepared to accept this person as they are. Ask about a specific area in which you’re genuinely interested: Their work, health, or spirituality. They’ll respond to your sincere interest. Be sure to share with them something about yourself, too.
Repeating this exercise several times a week fosters life-enhancing intimacy. And may even lead to sex.
What do I mean by sex?
My boyfriend says sex is any activity that involves erectile tissue. I call sex anything involving my body that makes me feel sexy, sexual, or turned-on.
Human beings need sex.
Sex is stimulating, nurturing, and moves stuck energy. It creates feelings of love and connection, increases compassion and happiness, releases tension, and promotes healing while repressing pain. It also creates an emotional bond between people and increases vitality.
Has your sexual activity slowed down or stopped?
If so, here’s how to awaken it. As with intimacy, it is vital to express your desire for sex. Sex draws you one step closer to fulfillment.
What gives you the feelings you want?
Explore your desires. Confide with a friend about them or write about them in a journal.
What makes you feel sexy, sexual, or turned-on?
Are you a partnered person? A guided process like the “Three-Minute Exercise” will mutually stimulate your senses, arousing connection by close contact
Living solo? Begin stroking your own hands slowly for three minutes. Hands are a powerful organ of sensation, with more than 1,700 nerve endings per hand.
After waking up your hands, escalate your sensation by moving to any body parts craving touch.
After periods of less stimulation, touching skin can be so nurturing, with sex or without. Awaken desire by relating to yourself sensually. Your attractive power will awaken as you stimulate your senses.
This process can and does lead to sexual expression.
If you try only one new thing, practice the experience of enjoying your body daily. Your body houses your senses. It’s your connection to the physical and energetic worlds and the vehicle through which you experience life. Treating your body kindly, gently, and lovingly can supercharge your quality of life.
When we ignore body sensations and instead live through our thoughts, we may become too emotional or high-strung. We avoid intimacy and move away emotionally from others, feeling disconnected. When we can’t find the closeness we crave, overeating, drinking, or other unfulfilling behaviors may take the place of genuine satisfaction.
Consider what pleases you. What makes you feel light and happy? Give yourself full permission to imagine what you’d love to see, feel, and smell. Is it walking in a flowering garden, breathing slowly and deeply, eating fresh food, stroking your pet, climbing a mountain, or bathing with bubbles?
Any moment you pamper your body can increase feelings of connection and well-being. Your enjoyment of life makes you more pleasant and attractive to others. Loving your body and enjoying touch, intimacy, and sex lead to love and happiness — a beautiful state of human awareness.