What is sexual intimacy?

Q. I want to know what defines good sexual intimacy. I’ve been with many partners and most of my experiences have been good, but I want to know what it was (or what I did) with the best ones that made them so much better than all the others.

A. There are many reasons that account for why your experience with some lovers is so much more impactful than with others. The adrenaline from sleeping with someone for the first few times generally plays a major part; so does the excitement that you feel for your partner during the honeymoon phase of a budding new relationship. Other times it can be due to an intense experience that you share with a person, whether it’s a traumatic event, an affair or a clandestine relationship between co-workers. Sexual chemistry can also bloom when you mutually take part in a new sexual activity, or come across one another’s path while travelling.

All of the things we’ve described have one thing in common - they rely on the element of being in the moment, of experiencing life spontaneously in the here and now. Different points in our lives will dictate our capacity to exist in such a way, which is why we may find ourselves more receptive to lovers at certain times over others. This is further enhanced by the people we surround ourselves with and the stage they’re in. It’s quite a synchronistic process!

Whether your romance lasts a day or goes on for years, you know you have good sexual chemistry when:

  • You have the security of knowing that you can make any sexual move with your partner and they will understand and accept it.
  • You feel a level of trust and intimacy with that person. Sometimes your energies kindle so well that you feel it instantly, while in other circumstances it is gradual, taking time and open communication to develop such a bond.
  • You feel free to communicate your thoughts, feelings and innermost desires. You feel little or no fear of being judged or criticized for being yourself.
  • You share a common passion and, consequently, your sex life is inspired by your mutual interest.
  • You enjoy the time you spend together and find yourself engaged and truly present when you’re with them.
  • You treat each other with respect and value each other for who you really are.

Although chemistry plays an important role in your sexual relationship, there will be times when you feel closer to your lover than others. The way you experience sexual intimacy can wax and wane; in other words, it fluctuates, depending on the state of your life at that moment. This is perfectly normal and can often serve as a good reflection of how you feel about yourself.