Physical Intimacy in Communication
Part 2

We continue with the second part of the series with:

Is it the same for everyone?

As you might already guess – it's not.

While the steps that lead to physical intimacy are pretty much the same for everyone (it's not ok to French kiss someone you just met, not even if you're in France) our sexual preferences may vary entirely.

When it comes to love and sex, it's really hard to put the finger on what's right and what's wrong for each relationship. If your boyfriend doesn't like to hold hands it doesn't necessarily mean that he doesn't like you – he might just prefer more space.

There is also the cultural factor in play, especially when it comes to public display of affection. What is appropriate to do, and what not. These things often have deep psychological roots – because we learn about love and sex mostly from our culture. For example, in Japan, kissing is considered to be a very erotic act and therefore you will rarely see in public.

So when you want to determine "how much does s\he loves me?" try to get the big picture; is it something about your specific relationship, or is it something that comes from personal preferences or culture.

For those who wonder - this is a Malay wedding costumes

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Benefits of Physical Intimacy

In other words - what's in it for me?

Even if you're a purely a cold hearted utilitarian, there are some benefits that might be worth your while to get a little "attached":

Do you think what I think?

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1. It allows us to communicate on entirely different level. It's even beyond body language, when we know someone so intimately we can almost read their thoughts only through a look in their eyes.

What happens actually is that we become experts in reading body language of that specific person, because we watched him\her so many times. We know the little quirks and expressions that will mean almost nothing to strangers.

2. It has health benefits, a lot of them. Being touched by our loved ones can result in the release of 3 very cool hormones:

Oxytocin – AKA the love hormone. This hormone is what makes the love last. It increases our feelings of sympathy and keeps the relationship strong.

Dopamine – this one has many roles, involving our attention and learning functions. It's also reward related hormone that released when we have a great time, or consume drugs.

Serotonin – this is the "feel-good" hormone". It's a hormone that helps relay signals between our brain cells and increase the function of our body. It's also believed to help prevent depression and therefore included in many anti-depressant drugs – like Prozac. So one of the natural ways to increase your serotonin levels without swallowing pills is to be in a good company.  I recommend reading more on serotonin here.

Add some of this.. and some of that.. and we got a love potion

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A side note: don't you like the fact that science can explain the things we intuitively know to be true? I mean, who thought that being surrounded by your loved ones helps prevent depression?

To Sum Things Up

Physical intimacy is great, we all want it and we always strive to get closer to the people we love. How close and how "sticky" the relationship is determined by the parties involved, there's no right or wrong here. I had a relationship where I was "forced" to be attached and I hated it, and another where I had so much "freedom" that I wasn't sure we were actually a couple. So finding the right amount of intimacy is a balancing act and it should be comfortable for both sides.

The next part is about "Kino Escalation" – The steps to physical intimacy

Or return to Part 1 here

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