There's a ton of advice out there on how to get more physical pleasure out of sex, but a lot of people are looking for more than that. If you want to know how to make sex more intimate or emotionally intense, the methods are less straightforward — but more rewarding. Deepening your emotional connection during sex can also deepen it during other parts of your relationship, and it can make sex more physically pleasurable as well.
The reasons people have sex range from the purely physical to the deeply emotional. One University of Texas at Austin study categorized these motives into four factors and 13 subfactors based on 1,549 people's survey responses. The most common emotional factors were love/commitment and expression, which means lots of people use sex as a means to express their love or devotion for their partners.
There's nothing wrong with purely physical sex, and if we feel pressure to make it emotional, that may in part reflect outdated ideas about sex being inappropriate outside a loving or committed relationship. But the truth is that we can have emotional intimacy with any partner, even a casual one. Here are some ways you can make sex more emotionally fulfilling.