What is a sexual relationship? Well, when diving into the realms of relationships, it is important to know all of the different kinds of relationships first.
Types of relationships:
- Sexual or physically intimate relationships: These are relationships where you have physical intimacy, sexual intercourse, hold hands, kiss, and other sexual activities. They are not exclusive to monogamous relationships, and some people may have multiple sexual relationships at once. Additionally, intimate relationships and sexual relationships do not always go hand in hand.
- Emotionally intimate relationships: Relationships that involve emotional intimacy do not have to be sexual relationships. These are usually developed after trust and personal bonds have been built and established between one another. However, studies have shown that sexual relationships that also have intimate relationships are more fulfilling. Intimate relationships often involve feelings of love. Love is a very important factor in an emotionally intimate relationship, as loving someone and liking someone are far different. There are also multiple forms of love.
- Intellectually intimate relationships: Intellectually intimate relationships involve sharing thoughts, opinions, ideas, and debating all of those things together. This kind of relationship can be with anyone, from your partner in a sexual relationship, or a close friend.
- Spiritually intimate relationships are relationships that involve bonding over spirituality. This could be religiously or otherwise. These relationships could also be sexual relationships or intellectual relationships.
So now that we know some of the types of relationships, how do we know what a healthy sexual relationship feels like? A healthy sexual relationship can provide fulfillment in many ways.
Healthy sexual relationships provide many benefits. Some of these include:
A sense of well-being
When you have a sexual relationship that is healthy, you may experience feelings of safety and connection with your partner. This can allow you to feel closer to your partner. This can also allow you to feel better physically and emotionally and boost endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, which creates a wholesome feeling of well-being.
Emotional and physical satisfaction
Healthy sexual relationships mean that you are emotionally satisfied because you are emotionally vulnerable together. This also means physical sensations are more satisfying, as you are closer to each other and trust each other. You also desire that satisfaction together, making achieving it that much more exciting and fulfilling.
Your sexuality is balanced
A healthy sexual relationship includes a balanced sexual relationship. This means that sexual tension and desire are managed, and you are not constantly looking for a new partner to do things with. You are able to have an appropriate amount of sexual energy that is relieved by your partner.
It’s imperative to not confuse love, sex, and monogamy in a sexual relationship. Sexual relationships do not have to involve love or monogamy, but they can! The three are not always going to be hand in hand, but if they are, that is totally ok. Loving someone does not mean you have a sexual relationship with them, and having a sexual relationship does not mean you love that person. Be clear about what kind of relationship you are looking for, so that you are not leading your partner on. For example, if you are just looking for something casual. It is important to convey that, as your partner may be looking for a serious committed relationship. Regardless of what you want in this relationship, sexual or otherwise, you have to have care and trust in each other for it to be successful.
A successful romantic relationship does not necessarily have to equal a sexual relationship as well. This can be hard for very sexually driven people to understand. Every person is so unique and different, so sex is not always at the forefront. If you and your partner have less drive and physical desire for a sexual relationship, you may not have sex often at all. Since sex isn’t necessary for everyone, these people can still have very happy, fulfilled relationships without having sex with their partners, or while only having sex occasionally. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Some people don’t want to have sex because they have low libido or sex drive. Others may have chronic pain and find that sex is more uncomfortable than it is pleasurable. Still, others may be waiting for marriage before having sex. There is a multitude of reasons for not having a sexual relationship! This does not mean you can’t have a healthy intimate relationship, as intimacy and sexuality are different things.
However, some people find that sexual relationships are necessary and important in romantic relationships. Many people want and desire that sexual connection. This is why there is a spectrum of sexuality throughout the population.
Asexual people do not experience as much (or any) sexual attraction. They may choose to abstain from sex as a whole. Allosexual people do experience attractions sexually and will most likely indulge in those desires. Neither person is wrong. Every person will approach sex in the manner best suited to them and their lifestyle.
However, sexual relationships do give you the opportunity to bond with your partner. You may feel more secure with a sexual relationship as well since sex can be a form of showing someone love or affection. Plus, sex is typically a necessity if you are trying to become pregnant, though there are options that avoid sex if you are looking for them. However, sexual relationships offer pleasure and stress relief as well that many crave and adore. Sexual relationships can even boost your self-confidence and help you with body image issues!
Communication is the key to any healthy relationship.
This is true of all relationships – sexual relationships, intimate relationships, spiritual relationships, and more. Communication allows you to bond with your partner and be on the same page. You receive attention and emotional support when you communicate openly and clearly in a happy, healthy relationship.
Sexual relationships change over time – as do all relationships.
Bodily changes such as pregnancy, weight loss or weight gain, lowered libido, aging, stress, and medical conditions can all contribute to changes in sexual relationships. Again, with healthy communication, you can still have and maintain a healthy sexual relationship. Talking to the appropriate medical professional can also help with most of these. There are even sex counselors available ready to assist if needed.