Can You Have Intimacy With A Man Without Having Sex?




Hello, I recently got out of a pretty long term relationship, 13 years together, 5 of which were married. We separated due to a complicated reason too long to discuss here, but I was the one that initiated it. It’s only been a couple months but I’m craving intimacy but everyone I talk to of the male gender just wants sex. I realize it may be too soon for another relationship but is it possible to get someone to give you intimacy without sex?


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The question I have is what, exactly, you’re looking for at this point in your life. You say you crave intimacy. What does that mean? Intimacy can come in different forms. Emotional. Physical. Sexual. What kind of intimacy are you looking for?



The question I have is what, exactly, you’re looking for at this point in your life. You say you crave intimacy. What does that mean? Intimacy can come in different forms. Emotional. Physical. Sexual. What kind of intimacy are you looking for?


That’s the first thing you need to establish. Once that’s done, ask yourself if that need can only be filled by a man and why. Obviously, if it’s sexual satisfaction you seek and you’re exclusively sexually attracted to men, then it makes sense you’d want to find a man to meet that need. However, if it’s a desire for emotional support and affection, why not look to other women for that? Why a man? Ask yourself what you’re truly missing. Is it companionship or is it the validation of being in a relationship with a man and the subsequent comfort that validation provides?


Don’t let all of my He-Man Man Hater stuff fool you. I fully support a woman’s pursuit of a romantic relationship if that’s what she wants. What I wish to achieve is to encourage women to ask themselves why they have that particular intention.


You were in a relationship for a really long time. You had Your Person by your side. Even if it wasn’t a great relationship, there were benefits to being in it. Namely that it provided you with a feeling of safety and purpose. To be clear: There is NOTHING wrong with that. It makes total sense you’d feel untethered. Free but not necessarily steady. Maybe you’re seeking out the company of men because you don’t know how to be single?


Now let’s address your experience of men only being interested in sex. Since you’re re-entering the dating space, it’s critical to understand the difference between a man expressing interest in sex and companionship and a man who only wants sex. The two can be mutually exclusive.


Just because a man might attempt to sleep with you doesn’t mean that’s all he wants. Of course, he’s going to try to sleep with you. That’s part of dating. What matters is how he responds to the boundaries you set around the subject.

If he starts infusing conversation with innuendo or dropping hints about wanting sex and it makes you uneasy (and you feel safe), tell him. Verbally communicating this is a must. Men are not adept at social cognition (reading cues) the way women are. That has largely to do with how often we have to utilize those skills in day-to-day life to detect threats in case we have to de-escalate the potential conflict.


Volunteers taking part in the University study underwent scans to show which areas of their brains were activated in two social tasks. One involved deciding whether or not faces they were shown looked approachable, while the other task asked people to decide if individuals were intelligent or not. MRI scans tracked blood flow through the brain, to reveal which areas were being used in the volunteer’s decision-making process. The results showed that both groups of men experienced increased blood flow to frontal areas of the brain responsible for social function compared with the group of women. The team says its findings suggest that men’s brains have to work harder when making social decisions to make up for the fact that their brains are naturally less efficient at the tasks.


A lot of men use a woman’s response to sexual comments as a way to gauge her attraction to him. When a woman does not engage in sexual banter, men like this assume she’s rejecting their advances. They disregard stated boundaries out of selfishness and insecurity.

If it’s emotional intimacy without sex you want, I’d think a woman would be the best option. If the longing you have can’t be quelled by a woman and you wish to return to the dating pool full-time, you need to come up with a clear picture and concise explanation of what your ideal relationship looks like. The more succinct you are and the more confident your execution, the less likely you’ll attract people looking to exploit your vulnerability.

Good luck!

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