However, there is a strong argument to be made that intimacy is much
less physical and has more to do with the mind, heart, and soul of those
who enjoy sharing it together. In fact, I am personally convinced
that the beautiful experience of physical connection between two people
is really the culmination of all that is intimate between them. It
includes how they relate outside of
the bedroom as much as what they do inside of it
Are We Really Talking About Here?
Most people seem to define intimacy as two people engaged
in hot and passionate sex (or a reasonable facimile). Having discussed
the subject with numerous men and women, this seems to be the first image
that comes to their minds.
|Why is Intimacy
One would assume that this simple concept is understood
by the vast majority of those who have ever experienced a truly loving
relationship. No doubt, this is true. However, it would
seem that there are just as many, if not more, who remain totally oblivious
to intimacy being anything other than satisfying one's own sexual
needs. Perhaps this seemingly widespread misconception provides a
partial answer as to why there are so many failed relationships, unhappy
couples, and such a high rate of divorce
in our generation.
Getting the Proper
My father was an amazing romantic.
When explaining the "birds and the bees" to me, physical descriptions of
sex weren't even included in the several discussions we had on the subject.
Of course, I was only twelve or thirteen years old at the time so I had
no real idea how he should have addressed it, anyhow. Now that I
look back on how he did explain it to me, I find myself delighted that
his definition of intimacy had more to do with the quality of a caring,
loving relationship between a man and a woman than anything having to do
with what happens between the bed sheets. What he did tell me was
that sex is the way two people treat each other; how they cherish
each other from day to day; how they communicate their love in all the
things they shared together.
He seemed to view physical intimacy
as the total experience of how a couple relates to each other outside the
bedroom as well.
Dad was killed in an auto accident when I was fourteen
years old. That was 39 years ago. Mother never remarried.
It was only recently that I asked her why. She simply responded,
"There is no man in the world that could ever have loved me as did your
How Would I Define
Intimacy is him cherishing her and her needing him.
It's all those little kisses in between.
It's going out with other couples and still sitting next to each other.
It's getting home from work and finding each other first. It's cuddling
up on the sofa together to watch a movie or just chat about anything.
It's always treating each other well and never allowing the sun to go down
on an argument or a disagreement. It's holding
hands in public every chance you get.
It's lots of hugs, kisses, and whispering sweet "somethings"
into each other's ears. It's mutual respect and trust. It's
him learning how to dance if that's
what she wants to do on the weekends and it's her learning how to find
a 9/16ths socket wrench if that's what he likes to do on Saturday afternoons.
It's leaning up against a fence together on a clear starry
night, gazing up at the sky together, not saying anything, and just
holding each other tightly knowing that each is thinking, "In this whole
great big universe, we were so blessed to have found each other."
|Intimacy is an
When two people relate to each other on this level,
what happens in the bedroom becomes all the more beautiful. He
would never think to use her for fifteen minutes to satisfy his own self-centered
need for sex and she will never imagine what it would be like to
have a remote controlled television installed in the ceiling over the bed.
On the contrary, two people who truly have a romantic,
intimate relationship will find themselves measuring love making, not in
minutes, but in hours. Not only that, but it will be an often shared
experience as well for it is impossible to love someone so much and not
enjoy anything less than an intense mutual desire for physical connection.
Intimacy is not an experience. It is an attitude--one
that defines the quality of how two people relate to each other during
the "in between" times as well as those magical hours of lovemaking.
It's caressing each other's heart and touching one another's soul
long before their bodies ever come together.
It's All Those
Little Things In Between...
My definition may not be totally acceptable to everyone.
It might even cause some to wonder if I even know what I am talking about
here. Nevertheless, I cannot help but believe that it everyone thought
in these terms, the vast majority of humankind would still be involved
in ever deepening and growing relationships. Divorce
would be almost nonexistent. Those who value each other in such a
way would never be able to find any reason to separate or end what they
have found together.
Perhaps I am oversimplifying the subject.
Yet, I cannot help but believe that my Dad was right.
Intimacy is not just what happens when two people
It's all those little things in between.
rights reserved - 10/22/2001--
The mission of this not-for-profit website is to promote clear insights
and toleration regarding the many variations of primary relationships that
exist in our world. We ask for neither acceptance or approval but
hope that each visitor who reviews the pages of this site will leave them
with a better understanding of the numerous cultural, historical, preferential,
religious, sexual, and sociological approaches to coupling that have always
existed and will continue to exist as long as there are at least two human
beings living on this planet. If the effort put into creating and
maintaining this site results in others coming to the realization that
the basic human need to love and be loved takes on many forms which are
accepted by those who practice them, whether right or wrong as determined
by the personal belief system of others, then it will have served it's