We've seen that Non-sexual Physical Intimacy involves all of the senses. So, why is it important?
It is important in that it helps to Build Trust. Think about what it takes to trust someone to feed you or to touch you in a safe way. We are vulnerable when we put ourselves in that position.
Building trust is especially important if there has been abuse (sexually and/or physically) in either partners past. A person who was abused growing up learns that touch isn't safe. At the same time the abuse can teach that sex is the currency that pays the way in life. What a terrible bind. Touch isn't safe, but it is what I can use to get what I want. No wonder abuse victims often hate their longings for intimacy.
If ones partner has been an abuse victim safe, non-sexual touch and connection can be a significant source of healing.
This has been an area of redemption for us. Like so many couples, after a while touch that didn’t lead to sex became rare. In restoring our marriage, we spent longer periods of time tenderly touching one another without it leading to sex. Through this, we learned that we could trust one another with our bodies.