Bonding is the heart of intimacy. More encompassing and enduring than passion or lust (though at times it may include them), bonding is a source of total body pleasure that remains, even when sexual capacity is diminished because of illness or age. It’s a closeness that fills both skin hunger and the need to feel safe in the world, to feel that you can trust another person with your whole being, your laughter, your tears, your rage, your joy. It’s the deep satisfaction of all three parts of your brain. At its most heightened level, it’s as close as most of us get to the exquisite experience, however temporary, of fusion with another being.
…While bonding may be shown by such simple gesture of warmth and affection as hugs and kisses, true bonding is much more than that. Its essence lies in total certainty that your partner is emotionally fully there with you and for you – open to you in body, heart and mind – and knowing that you can offer the same to your partner. It’s the ability to lower your defenses and share yourself fully with another human being, knowing that you are accepted and loved for what you really are, and knowing that you don’t have to pretend.
Gordon, H. Lori: Passage to Intimacy. (New York & Others: Simon & Schuster: 1993)