When was the last time you made a romantic date with yourself? We set routines for activity, nutrition, and work-life balance, but leave our intimate lives under the dirty laundry pile. This approach isn’t doing us any favors. Establishing a personal intimacy routine can help you feel loved and confident in and out of the bedroom.
For many women, the phrase “intimacy” is complex and sensitive. For others, it’s exciting and beautiful. All those feelings are valid, and we want to help you embrace it. Friendly reminder: you don’t need permission from anyone to love yourself.
What is intimacy, and what makes it personal?
Intimacy is equal parts honesty and vulnerability. Sounds uncomfortable, right? As Brené Brown says, “Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.” It’s hard, it’s intense, and it takes courage. But it’s worth pursuing.
Types of intimacy
Intimacy comes in many forms including with a partner, with friends, and with yourself. Personal intimacy, or self-intimacy, is a crucial but overlooked part of our wellbeing.
There are four types of intimacy: emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical intimacy. All apply to your relationship with yourself or another person:
- Emotional intimacy is honesty with your feelings (e.g. wants, angst) without fear of judgment.
- Mental intimacy is intellectual. For instance, you can connect on shared opinions about social issues or geeking out over a hobby.
- Spiritual intimacy is acceptance of someone's values and beliefs. This may include religion and views on the meaning of life.
- Physical intimacy is closeness and vulnerability with your body and presence. Sex is part of physical intimacy, but not synonymous.
Whole self-intimacy has the power to impact our confidence, intention, and connections with others.
Start with accepting yourself
Easier said than done. As women, society is harsh on us in all the ways. The best way to overcome negative messages is to lean into who you are and accept it — mind, body, and soul.
Love your mind for the work you do and the material you’ve learned. Love your body for what it can do (e.g. run a mile or give birth) vs. what it looks like compared to Instagram fitness models. Love your soul for the growth and obstacles you have endured, and survived. This part takes work, and it doesn’t end. But it will get easier.
Side note: Counseling can help if you struggle with intimacy with yourself or others. Asking for help is a form of self-love, and you should never feel shame in doing so.
Learn your love language
We all “speak” different languages in how we give and receive love. There are five love languages: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, physical touch. Each of us have fluency in one or two, which is our preferred way to feel loved.
Think about when you feel most loved. Maybe it's when your friend picks up a surprise snack on their way over for movie night (receiving gifts). It could be when holding hands in public with your partner (physical touch). But what about speaking your love language to yourself?
Here are some routine ideas for expanding your love-vocabulary:
- Words of affirmation: Speak daily affirmations in the mirror every morning, like “I am confident in who I am becoming. I am worthy of love, from myself and from others. I deserve to ask for what I want.”
- Acts of service: It’s a little hard to do things for yourself that you’d like done for you, but it’s not impossible. Acts of service in personal intimacy can look like hiring a house cleaner, using a babysitter for a monthly mom’s night out, or splurging on a deluxe mani-pedi.
- Receiving gifts: Gifts for yourself? Sign us up. You probably buy yourself things all the time, but gifts are more intentional. To show personal love and generosity, go for something you want but wouldn’t buy out of necessity (e.g. a designer bag or a bouquet of flowers).
- Quality time: Go for a hike. Sit at an outdoor cafe and journal. Make cookies while listening to a podcast. Try a new Peloton workout. There are so many ways to hang out with yourself that aren’t lonely. Extroverts, we can learn to love this time, too.
- Physical touch: Do a self-massage that will not only help you release tension but put you in tune with your body. Of course, baths and vibes are always a House favorite touch combo with some SEX gummies.
Create a sexual sanctuary
A sexual sanctuary is the 2021 She Shed. Think: a comfortable, sultry space in (or out) of your home that you can go to get away and embrace your sexuality. This could be a corner of your bedroom with your favorite chaise lounge or an entire room for yourself.
Slip into something comfortable
And it doesn’t have to be fishnets and a chemise. Physical vulnerability could mean relaxing in nothing but a robe. Challenge yourself: what makes you feel sexy? What would you normally shy away from, but want to try? Admire all that in a mirror — it’ll get easier and more satisfying every time.
Invest in a few key luxury products
You don’t need a gold throne to feel like a queen. To add extravagance to your sexual sanctuary, splurge on a few statement items for your sexual sanctuary. Here are some of our favorite suggestions:
- Luxe sheets, or even just a silk pillowcase
- House of Wise SEX gummies, of course
- A statement lamp or neon sign
- Soft or silky robe
- Beautiful lingerie
- Picks from our Valentine’s Gift Guide (from women-owned businesses)
Relish your intimacy routine
Anyone who sets an alarm to do an early workout knows routine is all about intention. Don’t make your personal intimacy routine an afterthought. To get in the right headspace, try:
- Set the tempo with music, like this “Feeling Sexy” Spotify playlist
- Use your statement lamp or candles for mood lighting
- Turn off your phone — don’t let an email notification from your boss mess with You Time
Make it part of your schedule. Add it to your calendar or set a reminder on your phone. Don’t neglect yourself anymore. Giving the gift of self-love is only going to help you flourish in your relationships and life goals.
Set a goal. Life is all about desired outcomes (pun intended). Making a goal of “two orgasms a week” may sound hilarious at first but try it. See what happens if you achieve it. Chances are it won’t feel so weird come week two. Pretty soon you may find that sexual health and wellness is just as important in your life as going to the gym!
All intimacy begins within ourselves
We cannot be intimate with others until we fill our own emotional tanks. Sex educator and author Emily Nagoski Ph.D. says to connect your sexuality to your identity: “Don’t just run, be a runner. Don’t just have sex, be a deliciously erotic woman who is curious and playful about sex.” So let’s go out there (or stay inside of our sanctuaries) and be women who love sex.