Is Sex Intimacy?

intimacy marriage sex Apr 28, 2023


“We were intimate last night.”


Have you heard someone use that phrase as an implication for sexual intercourse?

Is this a fair substitution?

Is sex really the same thing as intimacy?


Most couples working to overcome betrayal by pornography or affairs have never questioned the use of "intimacy" to mean "sex."  Unfortunately, this linguistic substitution creates a warped view of genuine intimacy and how it really functions.

Before experiencing genuine, comprehensive intimacy, my clients often have to deconstruct their unquestioned beliefs and sex, intimacy and theology.  As a result, they experience the beauty of sex as God intended it... an outflow of already present intimacy.

To combat the misuse of "Sex-AS-Intimacy," I want to share with you a model first presented by Kevin Skinner, called "Levels of True Intimacy."  Here is his diagram:


Notice how the foundation of his diagram is Psychological Safety, comprised of Honesty, Trust, Loyalty & Commitment. 

Notice how the middle section addresses Complex Systems Interactions, comprised Verbal, Emotional, Spiritual and Cognitive skills.

Notice just how small the top section is that represents Sexuality.  Very little of “true intimacy,” according to Skinner, has anything to do with sex at all!  It’s simply the capstone of a much larger triangle. 


Couples MUST make the shift away from using sex as a tool if they are to ever experience genuine intimacy.  Oftentimes, it takes a Celibacy Period to reveal both of their maladaptive views of sex and learn non-sexual methods of soothing, connecting and bonding.

Once couples purge the lie of Sex-AS-Intimacy and experience the rich joy of non-sexual intimacy, they can finally engage sexuality with a sense of health, security and safety that was missing before.  The very skills they learned to navigate true intimacy in the base and middle of the triangle become the very skills to navigate sexuality in SAFE and HEALTHY ways.


No longer misused as a MEANS to feel connected or "intimate," sex becomes a relatively MINOR issue, rather than the MAJOR issue it was before D-Day.  As an added bonus, couples often have...

 "the best sex ever" they, first time ever, experience comprehensive intimacy where sex is an OUTFLOW of the relational intimacy already present.


I hope you someday experience intimacy and sex this way.  It is truly a beautiful thing to witness men and women unlearn distorted views of sex and intimacy as they adopt a new view is "better than anything they could ever have dreamed."


To learn more about creating true intimacy, watch the "Sex ≠ Intimacy" webinar replay here:

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BTW, if you hear someone substitute “intimacy” for "sex," please share this post with them.  ;)






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