Respect Matters. How do you relate?

Intimacy is about being close to others. Intimacy is important in all kinds of relationships, not just romantic or sexual ones. Intimacy is not something that you just have or don’t have; it’s a process that takes place over time and is constantly evolving.

Intimacy can be thought of in three main categories: emotional, physical, and sexual.

Emotional Intimacy:

A general feeling of emotional closeness

  • Expressed through active listening, open communication and nonjudgmental support
  • Can vary in intensity and change over time
  • Can occur with friends, family members and significant others

Physical Intimacy:

Close proximity and non-sexual touching

  • Can be expressed in many ways, for example hugs, hand­holding, touching someone on the shoulder, high fives
  • Communicates affection, support, and caring
  • May or may not be a precursor to sexual intimacy
  • Can occur with friends, family members and significant others 

Sexual Intimacy:

A broad range of sexual activity, which may or may not include sexual intercourse

  • Requires asking for and giving consent
  • Can include kissing, cuddling, touching and penetration of intimate body parts (e.g., genitalia, breasts, buttocks, upper inner thigh)
  • Often accompanied by  emotional or physical intimacy
  • Can occur with short-term and long-term sexual partners

Intimacy is an important component of healthy relationships. Healthy intimacy, in all its forms, relies on setting clear boundaries and open communication.

Program Request