This time it's all about mushy body language –
Physical intimacy is probably the most direct expression of affection we have. And with no surprise, it revolves mainly around tactile sensations and gestures.
In this post we will go through some points to consider:
But first of all
It's a fair question – and therefore I'll give not one, but 2 explanations:
1. We express intimacy through our body language. Our desire to being close to the ones we love is a major factor we cannot ignore, both when reading body language of others, and understanding our own.
Did you ever wonder who just wants plain sex and who wants something more? Maybe the answer is in the subtle signals.
2. It's a sensual communication. I believe one of the reasons we study body language is because we want to have a better romantic relationships. A key to an awesome relationship is a good communication, right? And is there a better way to communicate we love someone if not being physically close to him\her?
Love is in the air
It's truly a hard question, because it's quite similar to asking "what is love?" I can try to explain this by words, but to truly understand it – you need to experience it.
First of all, physical intimacy is both the end result AND the mean to express our warm emotions. It's like a bubble of love – feeding on its own energy. The more you have – the more it grows.
On the paper it looks simple – it's our basic sexual desire to being close, and probably touch, someone we like. The meaning behind such gestures, however, can vary: from a pure sexual craving to a deep expression of affection reflected in a physical form.
Physical intimacy gestures include:
As you can, physical affection doesn't need to include touching, sometimes it's just enough to stand close and "dive" into our loved one's eyes. But touch is a more "advanced" and sensual form of intimacy; A healthy relationship should include some tactile gestures to show affection and strengthen the bond.
There's an actual process, a "ladder" of steps involving escalating gestures of intimacy that ultimately leads to intercourse. You may call it the human mating dance, and the specific steps were described by Desmond Morris – an English author and researcher. I will discuss it in the final part of the series, or if you really can't wait – you can jump right to it.
As we know, sex isn't always an indicator to feelings of affection. Sometimes it's just the end result, the final step in our "ladder". In other words, physical intimacy doesn't always mean that there is an emotional intimacy.
So how can we distinguish between a pure sexual desire and "true" feelings of affection?
The steps in both cases are pretty much the same, but when it's only a sexual desire, the end result – the sex, is the peak. The gestures will escalate fast from a simple eye contact and "innocent" touching to more intimate gestures, kissing, and finally you can find yourself lying in bed with a complete stranger.
When there is affection, then the couple will enjoy the physical intimacy for the sake of it - being close together is enough. There is no rush, and even after the sex they will enjoy being together.
Just for fun...
That's why there's so much misunderstanding in couples with different desires, the guy may want to skip to the "important part" as he feels stuck and not getting anywhere; while the girl might enjoy the intimacy, so she slows down the process.
I'm not implying here that it's better to have affection before sex, and that "meaningless" sex is bad. Not at all, we have physical desires, and sometimes we prefer to release them without the emotional package.