The word “intimacy” is often tossed around as a lighter way of expressing sexuality, when really intimacy is simply connecting with one another. We express intimacy with ourselves, our kids, pets, and even with the strangers around us. Having a vulnerable conversation or holding someone you love close, we are truly blessed to experience intimacy in all its forms.
In sex, we may think that penetration is the only way to derive intimacy & pleasure: its most certainly a form, but not the only one. Penetration for pleasure is not the end all, and is actually a bit misleading. For women, penetration alone rarely results in having an orgasm, and can sometimes be painful (3/4 women will experience painful sex at some point in their life!). So, can you be sexually satisfied without penetration? Absolutely! We invite you to explore our 4 favorite ways to explore sexual intimacy without ever needing penetration.
Non sexual physical affection contributes to intimacy
The healthiest of partnerships are ones where couples are connected sexually. We underestimate the power of giving our partner a hug, sharing an intimate kiss, or putting the extra effort to show them we care. Forms of intimacy like cuddling, giving your partner a massage, or even doing a nice gesture like cooking a meal can make you feel closer. If you have intimate needs, make sure to communicate those with your partner: it’s totally normal to go through seasons where you need more, or less. At the end of the day, we just want to feel cared for.
Hands are pleasure tools
Now, to the fun stuff! Learning how our partner’s like to be touched is essential for intimacy. Couples lacking sexual intimacy are usually ones that have fallen into routine, or haven’t explored the full potential of each other's pleasure. Again, this may not be anyone's fault: we are usually taught that pleasure is only derived from penetration, leaving the good stuff in the dark. One of the most powerful tools of intimacy is with you at all times, and you use them for everything: your hands.
Before getting down with penetration, consider using your hands as a tool for yourself and your partner. Think the gentle caress and kiss of the neck, or slowly massaging the inner thighs. This is a great opportunity to sexually stimulate your partner with your hands, asking them how they enjoy being touched. Need ideas? Try reading our Co-Founder Dr. Sadie Allison’s books “Tickle His Pickle” or “The Mystery of the Undercover Clitoris” to get familiar with new techniques.
We can learn so much from watching our partner touch themselves, or having them instruct us on their ideal touch. If you or your partner experience dryness or pain during genital stimulation, consider helping each other apply GoLove CBD Lube to ease these symptoms.
Oral sex is a complete form of sex
Without proper arousal or preparation, penetration can actually be painful for the female body. The female body needs proper stimulation to get aroused, lubricate, and relax for penetration. If penetration is painful, oral sex is truly a fulfilling and whole experience without ever having to experience pain. Besides, all orgasms come from the clitoris, which can easily be accessed from outside the vagina. In fact, it’s the form of sexual stimulation that yields the highest chance of women reaching orgasm!
Talk with your partner about using oral sex as a form to be sexually intimate. The key to great female oral sex is relaxation, so get comfy! Communicate with your partner what you need to fully relax, and be able to receive. Think laying down somewhere comfortable, perhaps with a pillow under your hips for easier access. Ask your partner to start with gentle, wide tongue strokes on the clitoris, and start to explore different techniques like circles or sucking. Have them move around all parts of your vulva, and be sure to give feedback on what feels good for you.
External stimulation is equally as satisfying with sex toys
An overlooked tool of sexual intimacy in between partners is the use of sex toys. A common argument against sex toys is that they may be replacements for partners, which is untrue. We believe that sex toys are tools of intimacy, simply adding to the experiences. Besides, why wouldn’t you want to augment you or your partner’s pleasure together? They are also an excellent tool for those seeking pleasure, without having to attempt penetration.
Vibrators in particular are our most recommended tool for external clitoral stimulation, used in solo and couples play. When used together, you can have your partner hold the vibrator against your clitoris and instruct them on the motions you may like. They can be used in addition to oral sex, traced around other parts of the body, and even circled around the head of a partner’s penis for arousal. We highly recommend the Le Wand Massager, or the Womanizer Premium for their diversity and range of sensation. They make for both beginners and experienced toys, and ones that are easily incorporated into partnered sex. Make sure to combine them with a water-based lube like GoLove CBD to ensure the vulva’s tissues are protected from friction.
Penetration is an option, not a necessity
Penetration is not the definition of sexual intimacy, it’s an optional portion! An amazing sexual experience can consist of a calm night with your partner, starting off with a intimate & erotic touch, giving feedback on the strokes and rhythms that feel good to you. Oral sex can be the star of the show, while even incorporating a vibrator, giving endless ways of exploring your pleasure together. The best part? As a couple, you get to define what sexual intimacy means to you. Be open, communicate, and get creative!