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Lovely couple together in bed trying intimacy exercises

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Not finding the time to have sex is a common problem among long-term couples. In fact, a survey published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy (JSMT) found that over half of men and nearly as many women in serious relationships are dissatisfied with the amount of sex they are having. But, finding time to have sex isn’t as simple as finding the 5.4 minutes to have intercourse (that’s the average for most couples says JSMT). It’s also about finding the time to connect before. Getting in the mood is just as important as getting it in. Emotional connection is so important that Frontiers in Psychology says a lack of emotional connection is a top reason women leave men. So, what’s a couple to do when they don’t have time for the full wining and dining that would usually lead to sex?

The answer is intimacy—intimacy that can boost erotic connection, even without sex.

 

Hold Eye Contact

Attractive young black couple talking outside in city center

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Several studies explore the link between eye contact and intimacy. If you do want to use it as a sexual tool to get in the mood, eye contact can induce arousal. But even if you just want to feel emotionally close, other studies have found that making eye contact makes you appear more loving, warm and friendly. Even when strangers make eye contact for two minutes, they experience feelings of mutual connection.

 

Cuddle Longer

Loving young couple talking and laughing in bed in the morning

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In a long-term relationship, cuddling can fall to the wayside, but its value should not be overlooked. Oxytocin is the hormone we release during sex that makes us feel more bonded to a partner. But, there’s good news for those too busy to bang: you release that same hormone during cuddling. Medical experts often even refer to it as “the cuddle hormone.” You might not be in the mood to get it on tonight, but get in bed ten minutes early and just hold each other before dozing off.

 

Send Sweet And Flirty Texts

African American young woman using smartphone on the street

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If you don’t get much face-to-face time, you can still maintain that connection while you’re apart. In long-term relationships, correspondence can quickly become all about housekeeping and chores. It’s those “please pick up the groceries” and “don’t forget to do this-or-that” texts. Yet, when you started dating, you probably sent sweet texts for no reason at all. Bring that back. Send loving texts every day, just reminding one another that you appreciate each other, that you miss each other when you’re away and that you bring one another joy. This is one of the easiest intimacy exercises for busy couples to do.

 

A Relationship Check-Up

Couple relaxing at home drinking a cup of coffee on the couch

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Simply talking about how you feel about each other and the relationship can increase your feelings of connection. You dedicate time to talk about so many other things in a relationship from finances to errands – schedule a meeting to discuss your love. It can be just a 20-minute block you set aside each week to touch base and talk about how you’re feeling about your connection, what the person did that week that you appreciated, how your bond is feeling on a scale of one to 10 and how can you fix that.

 

Sleep In Butt Naked

Our bed is short

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Sleeping in the buff could do two great things for your relationship. First, simply being nude might encourage you to get it popping after all. So this is one of the intimacy exercises that may lead to sex. But even if you don’t have sex, simply having skin-to-skin contact is good for you. One DePauw University experimental psychologist explained to NPR that that skin on skin contact decreases the release of stress hormones in the body.

 

Give Each Other Massages

Touch can do so much

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Who doesn’t love a massage? And giving one to your partner – as well as receiving one – offers a couple of benefits. First off, it’s instant quality time. You can catch up, vent about your days and reconnect during the massage. Furthermore, the journal Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine found that couples who massage each other regularly express a better sense of well-being and even report having improved coping mechanisms for stressful situations.

RELATED CONTENT: With Help From Intimacy Experts And Sex Therapists, The Blex App Is Strengthening Relationships And Celebrating Black Love

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