Intimacy is a special quality of emotional closeness that binds two people to one another. It may be described as an affectionate tie composed of trust, mutual respect and caring, an open sharing of feelings, experiences, love, and a sexual expression of that relatedness. For many people, intimacy is a far more important goal than love in a relationship in that it is, in fact, fundamental to the existence of love. However, in a review of numerous textbooks and articles in the field of human sexuality and sex therapy written for nonprofessional students and/or professionals, there were scant references to intimacy or to its commonly accepted components of love, bonding, tenderness, commitment, or affection. Not too surprisingly, college texts paid far more attention to the roles of love and intimacy than professional materials, probably because the former have an educative bias to convey to their readers. Sexual functioning is often presented as if it were a separate entity without connection to feelings. Sex therapy, too, frequently ignores the role of emotional closeness in fulfilling sexual experience.
KeywordsSexual Dysfunction Sexual Desire Sexual Functioning Sexual Experience Sexual Response
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