Amanda Palmer has said the most beautiful thing about sex and intimacy. She says, there is a difference between when you want others to see you than to look at you.
“There’s a difference between wanting to be looked at and wanting to be seen. One is exhibitionism, the other is connection. Not everybody wants to be looked at. Everybody wants to be seen.” -Amanda Palmer
The same goes for sex and intimacy. Most of the world is deprived of both of these things these days, but it is sad to say that they cannot find the difference between these two things.
Intimacy is more than just a physical relationship, unlike like sex when you are physically in contact with someone else. Intimacy includes the vulnerability of each other in which they are prone to any pretentiousness and are in their natural habitat. It is about opening yourself to others and sharing your darkest secrets or incidents of your life.
In plain English, it is a non-physical existing link or connection between two human beings who are in search of a long-lasting relationship. It could be between any two persons, whether it be a couple of opposite or same gender or two friends. In sex, it is also possible that the connection in sex could be from only one side, but this is not the case with intimacy. Intimacy begins when the feeling is mutual and both people feel the same about each other. You can also be intimate with someone non-sexually (like with family or friends).
What is sex without intimacy?
Sex is a symbol or a representation within intimacy. Sex can be included in intimacy, but it is not the same vice versa. You cannot call it intimacy and the only in the form of or symbol of intimacy that you and your partner(s) have is sex. It could be expressed in many other ways.
However, if you want to ask what sex is if there is no intimacy, it is just for fun. The one-night stand concept (getting in bed with a stranger for one “night” to enjoy sexual intimacy with them) is common in our society (especially millennial relationships). Some people view sex without intimacy just as a fun act and not harmful for people (safe sex please). Sex is also a sign of a healthy relationship between two people (or more) that are madly in love with each other.
Sex and love are two different things. For married couples, or people who have commitments with their partners, sex without intimacy becomes less complicated over time. In sex, there are no rules or any restrictions of showing deep feelings of love to your partner. You can also enjoy it in a way in which you fool around and have casual sex without showing romance to your partner.
In this regard, the “friends with benefit” concept has grown much more popular among the youth these days. People do have sex with their friends without falling in love with them. With friends, it becomes easier because they have a good bond with each other, which makes it less awkward. There is no doubt that sex and intimacy are two separate things, but sex can change the perspective of your thinking. It can make things wonderful or complicated simultaneously.
Sex vs Intimacy
In simple words, the major difference between sex and intimacy is that you can say sex is a type of intimacy. Sex or any sexual activity is the physical (sexual) intimacy that you create with your partner. Whereas intimacy has a wider spectrum in its meaning. Sex has nothing to do with emotions or feelings, but intimacy includes how you feel about your partner, whether sex is included or not.
Usually, the people who are unable to get over their previous relationships are the ones that had intimacy in their relationship or they developed deep feelings for their partner. Sexual relationships that have intimacy can be challenging to close. It leaves a hole or a shallow place in their life that they are unable to fill again. Mostly, people move on with their first love, start their new life, have a new partner, family, but they can never forget that intimacy that they had with their previous lovers.
Types of Intimacies:
There are many kinds, but mainly four usually comes forward, which are described as follows:
Emotions are a part of our life. When we come to a point at which we feel completely comfortable sharing our deepest desires or dark secrets with our lovers or friends, this is when you achieve emotional intimacy. We feel comfortable sharing our issues with our siblings before anyone else because we know they will understand instead of mocking us.
It relates to sharing your opinions or ideas about certain things. It does not mean that you share because others will agree with you. It could start a debate, but at least you will be able to put forward what you think about a certain topic, and it is healthy when someone has one or more persons with whom they can share their opinions.
This is the basic level of intimacy that you achieve with anyone. It is like when you start bonding with someone in your leisure time. It means you have mutual interests and share hobbies and like to spend your free time. It is an example of syncing up in teamwork or acting in unison in some activities.
Last but not least, sexual intimacy. People often confuse and include their sexual intimacy as intimacy in general, but there is a vast difference. It involves sexual activities, which are mainly about feeling physical about your partner.
Conclusion of Sex vs Intimacy and The Difference Between the Two :
Sex and intimacy are two different topics. Although these can be interlinked, one must understand the concept of intimacy. Sex might not sustain the relationship; although it is integral, intimacy is something that will retain your relationship and make it last longer. Couples might lose interest in sex after 10 to 15 years of marriage, but intimacy maintains the relationship. Remember to understand intimacy and sex are different concepts but constitute an important part of any relationship. Make sure you are exploring this vast topic, there is a lot of depth that you must know of. Learn how you can better your relationship with better intimacy with your partner.