There may be no other experience that eclipses intimacy for promoting well-being and finding meaning and purpose in human existence. Intimacy is a heightened state of emotional closeness brought about by sharing the most private and inner aspects of one’s self. It is the basis of a healthy, thriving couple relationship that facilitates the emotional and physical well-being of both partners. This entry reviews motivations for sexual intimacy, the roles of gender, attachment style, and the experience of sexual flow, and controversial views on the relationship between sexual desire and emotional intimacy. This entry begins by narrowing the definition of sexual intimacy, which is separate from emotional, spiritual, and physical intimacy.

Defining Sexual Intimacy

Intimacy may be verbal, such as sharing one’s innermost thoughts, feelings, values, and ...

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