Men, Women, & Intimacy: Different Genders Achieve It In Different Ways

By Team BLAM

Many people have concluded that men are less interested in intimacy and seek to avoid it. But maybe intimacy is in the eye of the beholder. There is little doubt that men and women naturally seek out different kinds of intimacy, but that’s different from saying that men are not interested in it.

Whereas women tend to define intimacy more in terms of verbal communication, there is some evidence that men define intimacy more in terms of shared activities. This is a critical point to keep in mind. When a female asks her husband to spend some time talking about feelings, she may be showing her preference for intimacy; but so is a male who asks his wife to watch a game with him or make love.

Oftentimes, these preferences reflect our upbringing. Little girls work on verbal intimacy and little boys “hang out” with others while doing activities—especially activities with rules, such as sports. If you watch little girls and compare them to little boys, you’ll see that relationship patterns go way back. Whether it’s because of physical differences or the ways we’re raised, girls tend to talk more about relationships than boys, and boys don’t put as much “obvious” time and energy into maintaining them. Many folks agree that this is true for adults as well.

With all that said—-here’s some simple, powerful advice: You should spend more time figuring out what is intimate for your partner rather than assuming too much about what your partner likes and wants based on his or her gender. The happiest couples have usually developed the ability to connect on several levels of intimacy, including verbal communication, shared activities & interests, and sensual partnership just to name a few.

BLAM Fam, what do you think? Are men and women wired differently when it comes to intimacy?

Adapted from Fighting For Your Marriage by Howard J. Markman, Scott M. Stanley, & Susan L. Blumberg

3 replies
  1. Elle
    Elle says:

    To answer your question to the Blam Fam, no. My logic is that when you find that love interest you pursue it. I agree to not pursue intimacy based on gender. Nothing about intimacy is so cut and dry. You got personaility to deal with. You got energy to deal with. There is so much to overcome in intimacy that is mutually exclusive to each person. No we are not wired differently because we both pursue it. That’s good to know and should make it easier knowing that the other person wants it just as much as you.

  2. ayvaunnpenn
    ayvaunnpenn says:

    As a philosophy minor being fresh out a collegiate feminism philosophy class, I can give the educated response that studies show strong inclinations that women and men are indeed wired differently. Women are more oriented towards connection and dependency while men are more geared towards leading their lives independently. That does not mean, however, that men do not value interpersonal interactions as stated in this article. With this knowledge in mind, it would only make sense that men and women have different ways of exhibiting intimacy.

  3. Nicole
    Nicole says:

    Men and women are definitely different when it comes to intimacy. For example-my husband's only thought of intimacy is sex, sex, and more sex. My thought of intimacy is simply just spending time together, whether it is watching a game together, walking at the park, exercising, or just sitiing together and having a dialog about anything. I do not necessarily care to talk about relationships because I seem to have completely different ideas about relationships but he has no problem talking about relationships. All in all good article.

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