Physical intimacy strengthens the bond between two people and fosters closeness, love and affection between couples. It is a major binder that helps couples iron out the differences between them.Physical intimacy builds a stronger connection between two people by mitigating any existing negativity. Oxytocin, a hormone and a neurotransmitter, that is released during the intimate moments between the couples, enhances trust and a stronger sense of companionship between couples.
How important is physical intimacy in a relationship and what does it really mean? Being physically intimate means more than simply heading to the bedroom with your spouse. Physical intimacy can range from eye-contact, holding hands, cuddling, and of course, sex.
Physical intimacy involves a deep emotional connection that is strengthened when you are in close sensual proximity to your spouse. Touching, both romantically and otherwise, can help strengthen this bond.
Is physical touch important in a relationship? What are the benefits of sex? Having this deep bond can have a positive effect on nearly every other aspect of your relationship.
These are 10 benefits of sex in a relationship
1. It’s an expression of love
One of the biggest reasonswhy physical intimacy is important in a relationship is because this is one of the foremost ways in which partners express their love for one another. When a relationship lacks sexual chemistry and physical affection, it is likely to fail.
This intimate time you spend together is romantic, thrilling, and releases oxytocin and dopamine. This hormone and neurotransmitter are responsible for feeling closer to your partner, trust, happiness, and even addiction. It’s no wonder why physical intimacy is so important in a relationship.
2. Physical intimacy reduces stress
One of the benefits of sex is that it helps minimize psychological stress and anxiety. Being physically intimate in a relationship helps lower blood pressure and reduce stress responses in the brain. And it isn’t just sex. Other forms of physical intimacy, such as hugging or hand-holding, can trigger the release of oxytocin.
This hormone will then trigger the brain’s reward and pleasure centers, which lowers the feelings of anxiety.
One study had participants regularly engaging in intercourse for two weeks to see the effect it would have on stress and anxiety. The results revealed cell growth in the hippocampus, which is the same area of the brain that helps regulate stress.
3. Intimacy with spouse builds trust
Logically, trust is built over time when a couple gets to know one another’s true loyalty, patterns, and behavior. But in the heart, or should we say brain, trust is often triggered by the release of oxytocin.
Trust is a huge part of relationships. When two people trust one another they feel freer to be themselves, aren’t suspicious of a third-party entering the relationship, and can be more open, honest, and vulnerable with their spouse.
This is one of the benefits of sex too. While having sex or cuddling close on the couch, the brain releases oxytocin, a hormone that makes people more trusting and open to social interactions.
4. Improved intimacy outside the bedroom
The closer you are in the bedroom, the more connected you will feel outside of it. There is a great importance of touch in relationships and it holds true even for nonsexual intimacy. Being physically intimate with your spouse is one of the biggest ways you, quite literally, connect. Nonsexual acts of intimacy like holding hands, cuddling, walking arm and arm, and being more physically playful are some loving expressions that come after sex.
Since intimacy raises levels of love-boosting oxytocin and vasopressin, it’s no surprise thatcouples who have sex regularly become more affectionate with one another in other aspects of life.
5. Physical intimacy boosts your immune system
There are benefits of sex both mentally and physically. Being intimate with your spouse can actually have a direct effect on your immune system.
The immune system receives a boost during sexual arousal and orgasm. When you are regularly sexually active with your partner, you will raise the antibodies in your system that are responsible for fighting against viruses and germs that make you sick.
6. Physical intimacy raises morale
Another importance of physical relationship is that sex can boost morale. One study even puts a monetary value on it, suggesting that couples who have sex once a week gain a bigger morale boost than they would if they earned an additional $50,000 a year.
Because physical intimacy in a relationship boosts dopamine, it makes you feel happier. Orgasm aside, one Swedish study suggests that it is actually the affection that comes before and after sex that offers a boost in morale.
7. It promotes chemistry
Being physically intimate means not only having intercourse with one another but also sharing personal moments of closeness. These can range from a sweet caress, a lingering kiss on the lips, or suggestive proximity. This behavior promotes chemistry and sexual anticipation. This expectationbrings excitement to the relationship and makes couples feel more connected.
8. Health benefits
There are many health benefits that come from being physically intimate with your partner. For example, having sex regularly can lower a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer.
Being physically intimate without sex also has its benefits. Couples sleep better and feel closer to one another when they cuddle their way to sleep. Oxytocin released by physical touching and sex can also relieve pain and headaches, help you decompress, and reduce many forms of physical illness.
9. Makes you look and feel younger
There may be a correlation between a physically intimate relationship and how young you look. The estrogen and testosterone released during sex may be giving your body a young, healthy glow.
10. Increases relationship satisfaction
Touch is a strong sensation both physically and emotionally. It brings up feelings of safety, comfort, love, playfulness, titillation, and more. Couples who are physically intimate report a higher rate of relationship satisfaction. When partners engage one another with physical touching, sexual or otherwise, it makes them feel cared about.
In the video below, Dr. Laurie Betito talks about how desire works. It is important to not take sex as a chore or something just to give. It is a thing to share. Hear her more below:
How important is physical intimacy in a relationship? Very. Physical intimacy in a relationship means more than being sexually active. It means being emotionally connected. Having a deep connection to your spouse on this level helps build trust, boosts morale, and has many health benefits.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.