Julianne Hough visits Brooks Laich in the latest episode of his iHeartRadio podcast to open up about intimacy within their relationship

By Melody Chiu
July 08, 2019 01:05 AM
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In the latest episode of the athlete’s new iHeartRadio podcast How Men Think (airing Monday), the America’s Got Talent judge, 30, joins her husband to shed light on sex and intimacy within their marriage.

“I can have chemistry and connection, but my intimacy with Brooks is because he challenges me, and he sees me for exactly who I am and accepts me for the fact that I can have chemistry and connection with a lot of people, but I choose him every day,” says Hough in the episode, previewed exclusively with PEOPLE. “I think that is also really sacred, and that’s why we have an intimate relationship. I don’t have that kind of intimacy with a lot of connections that I make throughout my life.”

While Hough acknowledges sex is certainly a big part of intimacy, the star says the word has come to mean so much more to her since she met Laich, 36.

“Honestly, when I think of the word intimacy … I think it’s one of the most sacred things you can have between a partnership. I think it’s what separates friendship and lovers, and I think that most people do think about sex when they think of intimacy, but when I think about intimacy, I think of presence,” she says. “I think of absolute, complete and utter connection, when we are two people connecting and then we actually become one person.”

Brooks Laich and Julianne Hough
Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for harper by Harper's BAZAAR

Hough and Laich — who wed two years ago — are certainly happier than ever together, but the dancer admits even she has days when she’s just not in the mood to get frisky.

“Sometimes finishing dinner and going and sitting on the couch and putting on the laptop on the lap and putting a show on … multiple distractions I think is good. We need balance obviously, but that definitely stifles feeling intimate and connected,” she says. “Definitely doesn’t make me wanna be like, ‘Hey, let me go put something sexy on!’ I’m like, wearing my sweatpants, let me get cozy.”

The Dancing with the Stars alum explains, however, that her lack of interest in sex on a particular night isn’t because of her husband.

Rather, “it’s more how [what you’re doing] is making me react. Whatever you’re doing makes me then be like, ‘Okay, well, I don’t feel sexy,’ or I’m now wanting to get cozy or I’m now feeling unseen so I don’t wanna look at you. Does that make sense?” she asked Laich on the podcast.

Last month, the Open Gym app co-founder told PEOPLE he was “blown away” by Hough when he brought her onto his podcast to discuss intimacy.

“It’s the most open and raw we’ve ever been, and I just hope people take stuff from that interview and apply it to their relationship,” he said.

“We have never been so specific, detailed and open about exactly what goes on in our relationship and our respective thoughts and approaches to intimacy and sex,” he added. “We give people our exact specifics, how we create intimacy, why it’s important to us and open up about our sex life.”

Following the conversation on his podcast, Laich realized he had also gained a deeper understanding of his wife, who has been vocal about her struggle with endometriosis. “We have amazing discussions at home, but this was another discussion of learning, growth and understanding of each other. This is an area in my life that I want to learn more, and my wife is vastly more evolved in this area. For her to come on and share … it was just so powerful.”