Just 14 Ways to Have Incredibly Intimate Sex

Turn on any romantic comedy, steamy Netflix series, or teen vampire show, and you’ll likely see a lot of different types of sex. From rough and dirty to soft and sensual, how people hook up isn’t a one-size-fits-all sort of thing. But if the love-filled, passionate scenes are the ones that really pique your interest, you’re probably wondering how to recreate that steamy, intimate sex IRL. Because if you’ve ever tried, you might have realized it’s not always as easy as the movies make it seem.

This is mostly because intimacy means different things to different people. “There’s not a universal definition everyone’s going to agree on because we all have different experiences,” explains marriage and family therapist Rachel Wright, sex expert for Zumio. So for one person, intimate sex might be a night of missionary and cuddling while for another, it could mean playing with BDSM toys and engaging in impact play.

Regardless of whether you lean traditional or spicy, most people think of intimate sex as a connection-heavy, emotionally-charged sexual experience. As for what makes sex “sexually intimate,” Wright says it’s a combination of emotional intimacy (feelings of closeness and trust) and physical intimacy (touching in a way that enhances closeness and desire).

While it might seem like this is just something that happens between committed couples, that’s not necessarily the case. “Intimate sex can be performed with anyone—it’s not reserved for a certain type of relationship or person,” explains sexologist and tantra practitioner Tyomi Morgan. “However, the average person having sex causally often attempts to remove emotions or intimacy to prevent ‘feelings’ from developing.”

The good news is that learning how to have intimate sex is merely a matter of trust, vulnerability, and a few *chef’s kiss* tips from yours truly. So whether you’re coupled up, just want to learn, or are looking to up the eroticism of a fling, here’s exactly how to get all intimate with your lovin’, according to the pros who understand it best.

1. Define intimacy for yourself.

First thing’s first: Figure out what intimate sex looks like for you and for the person/people you’re having sex with, suggests Wright. Without doing that, it may be much harder to connect in the moment. Have an intimacy brainstorming session and jot down a few words/ideas to get a better understanding of your own desires.

2. Pick someone(s) you trust.

Intimate sex can happen with anyone, regardless of relationship status, but it’s best when you already have some sort of emotional connection. “Generally speaking, intimate sex is great with someone you feel safe with and close to,” says Wright. “For some people that may mean in a committed relationship and for others, that could simply be someone trusted.” Regardless of whether or not you’ve defined the relationship, you want to make sure there’s a mutual level of respect before getting all intimate intimate together.

3. Communicate, communicate, communicate.

We’ll be the first to tell you pillow talk is 100 percent *not* overrated. “Communication is one of the pillars of connection,” Morgan explains. “Knowing what a person needs to feel safe enough to show up to a sexual experience, turn-ons/offs, and desires are paramount to feeling closeness.” Talk before, during, and after sex to help create that ooey-gooey connection.

4. Go sloooow.

Why not build the intimacy of the moment with a lil (or better yet, a lot) of foreplay? Morgan says “slow and conscious movement” that emphasizes “mutual pleasure and satisfaction” are major characteristics of intimate sex, so use this as an opportunity to whip out those massage oils, engage in some sensual outercourse, and pay attention to every stroke.

5. Incorporate tantric elements.

Tantric sex is an ancient form of intimate sex that’s all about connecting deeply with your partner and yourself, Morgan explains. When done correctly, it can help you reach a totally blissed-out sexual state that deepens connection and heightens sensations. You can take a legit tantra class to learn more, or get in the lotus sex position and work on your breathwork and mindfulness to stay present and engaged.

6. Try eye gazing.

The eyes are the windows to the soul, after all, and looking into each other’s peepers during sex is an easy (but effective!) way to connect. For the best gazing, Wright suggests standard missionary sex since you’re literally face-to-face, while Morgan adds that the cowgirl position is fantastic for adding in synchronized breathing. Just don’t forget that blinking is encouraged. You’re having sex, not trying to win a staring competition.

7. Set the stage.

While casual quickies can happen almost anywhere, intimate sex sometimes takes a little more pre-work. Your surroundings can really influence how you feel, so take the time to clean up your space, light a few candles, and eliminate distractions. It’s hard to bond when you’re staring at a pile of laundry or trying to tune out a buzzing phone.

8. Let yourself feel your emotions.

Now’s not the time to hold back your feelings. “Intimacy requires honesty, openness, and willingness to trust self,” explains Morgan. “Choosing to engage in intimate sex will bring up a lot of emotions, so be prepared to face them when the chemical cocktail has settled after orgasms.” Instead of trying to hide or mask how you feel, work on being vulnerable together and surrender fully to the moment.

9. Be intentional.

This is one of those situations where you shouldn’t squeeze a boob or suck a finger just to do it. Instead, you want to be intentional about how, where, and why you touch. Remember to honor your partner’s desires (the ones you already talked about!), and check in often. Morgan adds that a spooning sex position where there’s lots of skin-to-skin contact is ideal for synching your movements and igniting the senses without having to get too grabby.

10. Masturbate.

Intimate sex doesn’t necessarily have to include a partner(s)—you can also experience it by having solo sex. Instead of just rushing to orgasm as per usual, take your time stroking your body, practicing edging, or even watching yourself as you masturbate. If you do want to incorporate a partner, Wright says mutual masturbation can be an extremely intimate trust activity, plus it’s a good way to learn first-hand about how someone likes to be touched.

11. Find a lil inspo.

If you’re feeling stuck and can’t figure out what intimate sex looks like for you, don’t be afraid to bring in some visual aids. Channel sex scenes you’ve seen in shows or pull inspiration from an erotic novel. A good place to start is with the coital alignment technique (CAT) from Netflix’s Sex/Life which is said to form the “ultimate connection.”

12. Use toys.

You don’t have to have an orgasm to have good sex, but if you envision your intimate session involving a round of happy endings, a sex toy might be what’s missing. Something like the Zumio Xena is a great option for people with clitorises since it provides targeted stimulation and is easy to fit between sweaty, grinding bodies.

13. Explore anal.

Since anal sex generally requires plenty of preparation, communication, and trust, Wright says it’s a wonderful way to increase the intimacy of your sexual experience. In fact, just like with intimate sex, in order to have good (and safe) anal, you need to go slow, discuss boundaries, and stay tuned into each other. Oh, and lube. You’ll also need lots and lots of lube.

14. Practice makes perfect.

As with any skill, having powerful, emotional, intimate sex might take a little time to master. That’s why Morgan suggests making it part of your regular sexual practice. Not only will you improve at it—which means more connection and better bonding—but she says you’ll also open the heart chakra leading to a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling existence in general. Love that for you!

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