Physical intimacy in increasing degree is: Sexual behavior involves physical intimacy. A personal relationship that does not involve sexual behavior, e.g. friendship, may involve physical intimacy. This varies greatly. In western culture it is often more among female than among male friends; the latter may want to avoid associations with homosexuality. In other cultures, such as Arab culture, men may hold hands with no implication of homosexuality.

A man and a woman who are friends may avoid physical intimacy to avoid associations with sexuality (for example if one or both have a relationship with someone else).

Physical closeness may also be unvoluntary, as in a crowded train or elevator.

An intermediate form of voluntariness is when one goes to a crowded place for entertainment: a bar, disco, pop concert, street festival, etc.

International Hug Day is on 4 December.

See also: Kruibeke, Jealousy

Physical intimacy between a human and an animal may involve petting (caressing), hugging and playing.

Also a person, especially a child, may caress and hug a teddy bear or doll. There are also sex dolls, as a surrogate for a person.

Other kinds of intimacy are:

  • emotional intimacy: telling about emotions, knowing and feeling what the other feels
  • financial unity, sharing property, community-property