What Happened When I Got Naked With My Partner But Didn't Have Sex

Just before my wedding, I had a huge emotional freakout. So I did a totally rational, normal thing and got naked with my partner for an afternoon of fun. But the "afternoon of fun" wasn't just about sex.

See, despite what all my friends and family told me, I didn't want to keep my emotional freakout a secret from my partner. People had said if I told him, I might hurt his feelings, or I might make him think I didn't want to get married. But he and I didn't have that kind of "partial honesty" type of relationship, so I decided to tell him everything I was feeling. I called him and told him I needed him.

When he got to my apartment, my living room was scattered with tools for tie dying clothes. I was in the process of tie dying my wedding dress and couldn't bother myself enough to put everything away. Luckily, my amazing husband (then fiancé) decided we could have some fun with the leftover tie dye. He had wanted to dye his shoes before the wedding anyway and decided to add his boxers to the list.

He didn't have ratty clothes around my apartment to protect himself from the tie dye, so he just stripped naked and got to it. Since I thought that looked fun, and I did want to spend time tie dying with him, too, I did the same.

What resulted was an afternoon full of deep, meaningful, emotional conversation, while we were totally naked. Of course, lots of sex came after that, but that wasn't the point of our naked afternoon. In fact, we learned there are a lot of really awesome benefits to getting naked with your partner that have nothing at all to do with sex.

Here's what I discovered when I got naked with my partner for an afternoon of tie dying:

1. You'll End Up Talking... A Lot

My husband and I are already pretty big talkers in our relationship, but our afternoon of naked tie dye made us open up even more. There's just something about being totally naked and not preparing for sex (or not having just had sex) that makes you more inclined to opening up.

We talked about my freakout, whether he was freaking out, and how we'd handle my weird commitment-phobia going forward. He also opened up about how excited he was about the wedding, but nervous that I wasn't dealing with it well.

Even for the most open, honest couples, getting naked with no plan for sex will make you feel even more desirous of talking to each other than you normally are. There's just something about the nudity that makes you feel like you don't want to, or can't, hold anything back.

2. You'll Want To Touch Them In Totally Nonsexual Ways

My husband and I were a rare case in that we got married pretty much as soon as we met. (We decided to get married just over a month after our first date and were married three weeks later.) Because of that, our afternoon spent naked tie dying was also an afternoon of discovery for me.

I knew my husband was hot, but that was because I normally had the pleasure stripping him down just before sex. On our naked afternoon, though, I got to watch his muscles ripple as he moved stuff around the apartment. I watched how his arm twisted when he squeezed the tie die. And I got to notice a couple of scars from prior surgeries I had never seen before.

And I realized that I wanted to do more than just have sex with him. I wanted to get to know his body in a way I had never wanted to get to know anyone else's.

3. You'll Feel More Comfortable In Your Own Skin

The unfortunate truth is that most of us have some body parts we aren't wild about. I work pretty hard to stay in shape, but even I am not a huge fan of my thighs. (I call them thunder thighs.)

Spending an afternoon naked with my husband (even before he was husband) helped me see myself through his eyes. And through his eyes, I was perfect.

We should all strive to love all parts of ourselves, but it's not that simple when you have a lifetime of insecurity working against you. Being with someone who loves you unconditionally, though, and letting them see all of your flaws can help make those flaws diminish in your own eyes, as well.

4. You'll Feel Like The Only Two People In The World

Being naked for several hours with my husband made me feel a sense of ownership over our love that I had never experienced before. I'm not a huge fan of the idea of ownership in relationships in general, so I would never say I felt like he was more "mine," but I did feel a bit like we were the only two people in the world for those few hours. Our particular naked afternoon happened during the work week, so it felt even more like we were in a bubble of just us.

Oddly, you'll realize once you get non-sexually naked with your partner that no one else on the planet gets to experience them like you do. You'll remember, in case you were getting lost in the day-to-day, that it's really a privilege to know your partner the way you do, and you'll start to appreciate all the little things about them.

5. You'll Realize Nudity Is About So Much More Than Just Sex

At the end of the day, you might find that your non-sexual naked time leads to more non-sexual naked time. My husband and I loved our afternoon of nudity so much that now, post-wedding, we do it pretty frequently. It could be as simple as getting naked to watch a movie on our couch, but we realized that the vulnerability that comes with random nudity is really, really nice.

You may just discover that being naked with your partner makes you feel happier and more connected. And you'll realize that you don't need to be planning sex to strip down together.

My clothes-less afternoon with my husband was one of the best days we spent together right before our wedding. Of course, we had a lot to do in terms of the actual event, but that day, we just got to be ourselves... totally naked.

You don't have to be getting married or interested in tie dying to spend this kind of time with your partner. You can have a great afternoon, day, or even entire weekend just lounging around with your love, letting it all hang out, and making your relationship even stronger.

Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!