Physical intimacy is an important factor in any relationship – especially a marriage. It’s how couples connect on an emotional, physical, and spiritual level.
Having an intimate connection with your spouse is about more than just having sex. It’s about creating an emotional bond and building trust together. You can do this through other forms of physical touch, such as hugging, kissing, holding hands, and cuddling.
Want to know more about what physical intimacy can do for your relationship? These are five important facts about physical intimacy in marriage that will delight you to your very soul.
1. Physical Intimacy in Marriage Increases Emotional Connections: When you are physically intimate with your partner you are giving a piece of yourself to them. This, along with some help from that cuddle hormone oxytocin, helps build an emotional connection that can do wonders for your marriage.
In fact, in a series of four studies of couples from Switzerland and the United States, results revealed that couples felt closer and expressed more affection toward one another after sex. The results go on to say that this affection was still evident 6-months later.
A physical and emotional connection create a merry-go-round effect on your relationship. The more physically intimate you are, the deeper your emotional connect is. The deeper your emotional connection, the stronger sexual chemistry you will have.
2. Physical Intimacy Builds Oxytocin: Let’s do a little background check on oxytocin.
Sometimes called the ‘love’ or ‘cuddle drug’, oxytocin is a hormone produced in the hypothalamus. This hormone is released during childbirth and also during sex – in both situations oxytocin is released to promote bonding.
Unsurprisingly, oxytocin also plays a large role in sexuality, including orgasm, orgasm intensity, and erection.
One 2012 study shows that levels of oxytocin were higher during the initial stages of romantic attachment, which is why is it often associated with ‘puppy love’.
There are physical and psychological effects of oxytocin that can be beneficial to your health and for your marriage. For example, one study reveals that oxytocin is largely responsible for altruism, openness, trust, and warmth between partners.
Studies have also been done researching the connection between oxytocin and staying faithful in marriage. The study revealed that oxytocin triggered an enhanced reward system response in men while they were viewing the face of their female partners.
3. Sex is Good for your Health
1. Did you know that sex can improve cognition? Both men and women improve their brain-health by engaging in sexual activity at least once a week.
2. Want to lower your stress? Try hugging! One form of physical intimacy hugging. This gentle gesture is scientifically proven to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol and improve bonding.
3. Hugging also boosts oxytocin and decreases blood pressure!
4. Physical Intimacy improves heart health. Both men and women who had sex regularly were less likely to develop hypertension and heart disease.
5. Sex may help protect against the common cold and flu. In a research study of 112 sexually active college students, results show that students who had sex more than twice a week showed higher levels of immunoglobulin A, the same antibody responsible for fighting against cold and flu.
6. Sex is also fantastic for reducing pain from headaches and menstrual cramps in women. This is largely because a woman’s pain threshold can increase to 107% during orgasm.
7. Physical intimacy makes you happier – but only when you’re in a loving relationship! Research suggests that men and women who had sex in serious relationships reported higher levels of happiness and greater satisfaction with their mental and emotional health.
8. These “happy” findings didn’t work on solo-pleasures or casual encounters. Interestingly, it did just the opposite!
9. In a study of almost 7,500 college students from 14 different universities, results revealed that those who regularly had casual sex reported higher levels of anxiety, depression, and had lower self-esteem and overall happiness than those in loving relationships.
10. Physical intimacy reduces the risk of prostate cancer: One study published in 2016 found that men who had an orgasm more than 20 times a month were less likely to develop prostate cancer.
4. Physical Intimacy Improves your Sleep: This is largely due to prolactin, a hormone that is released post-orgasm. This, combined with the feel-good reward sensations from the oxytocin and dopamine produced during sex, often contribute to a better night’s sleep.
Physical intimacy that does not involve sex is also a great predictor in a good night’s rest. Research from the journal- ‘Social Psychological and Personality Science’ show that sleeping next to (or cuddling with!) a responsible partner can reduce stress and improve sleep.
5. Love Makes Physical Intimacy Better: Want to get really freaky between the sheets? A study done by Penn State University found that women who were in a loving relationship were less inhibited and more open to experimentation in the bedroom.
The study consisted of in-depth interviews with 95 women from ages 20-68. The results revealed that the majority felt love was essential for the highest level of sexual satisfaction. The research went on to say that by associating love with sex and vice versa, women felt more confident and comfortable in bed.
Couples who feel loved by their partner feel more comfortable trying new things such as using toys, role-playing, and experimenting with new positions because they know their partner will embrace their adventurous spirit – not judge it.
Another reason why physical intimacy is so much better when you’re in love is because your partner knows you inside and out. Not only does this mean they know how to touch you sexually, but also in non-sexual touch.
For example, a partner who loves and cares for you knows how to kiss you, hug you, tickle your arm, and read your body language. This allows them to comfort and reassure you through physical touch alone.
Physical intimacy in marriage is about more than just having sex. It’s about connecting on an emotional level. Remember that emotional and physical intimacy in marriage about important, since they boost trust and deepen your connection. The more you learn about physical intimacy and implement it in your marriage, the more satisfying your relationship will be.
Author Bio: Rachael Pace is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.