Let’s get jiggy with it.
If you run a quick Google search for the word “intimacy,” it is nearly impossible not to get sucked into a vortex of fashion and entertainment magazines that have been reborn in digital form. Some popular cover blurbs include, “How to know if he enjoys making love to you,” or “10 things you can do to spice things up in the bedroom.”
A Cosmopolitan cover blurb from the 90’s reads, “(How to) Change Your Looks, Change Your Life.” It has been thirty years, but the mantra hasn’t changed. If you look sexy, you will feel sexy and if you feel sexy, you can be sexy… but this is just clever marketing.
Sexiness is about sex. Intimacy is about more.
There are different kinds of intimacy and we can experience it with various people in our lives. Places can be intimate because they set the stage for quiet truths to be whispered; however, sexual intimacy is the most fascinating form of them all.
The mere fact that nudity is a pre-requisite by default makes things more interesting, however nudity is not the sole criteria. We can be naked on a nude beach with strangers but that doesn’t mean that we are being intimate with them.
Intimacy requires emotional and physical vulnerability.
Physically, the very act of being naked puts us in a vulnerable position from a security perspective. I am sure if a burglar broke into our house, we would all prefer to fend them off with a pair of pants on rather than in the nude.
The act of engaging in any activity with another person while being naked requires trust. Trust like nudity, is also a pre-requisite for intimacy.
Emotionally, when we share an intimate experience with someone, we open ourselves to the possibility of being accepted, rejected, objectified, or adored. And we do all of this in our birthday suits, which makes us even more vulnerable because that is how we entered the world in all our glory.
Sex is a performative function that we carry out to satisfy our physical needs. Intimacy is a slow-burning exposé of who we are.
The amount of ourselves that we are willing to show is equal to the depth of intimacy we experience with a partner at a particular time.
Intimacy is not static. It is in constant flux, but not due to randomness. It is developed as much outside of the bedroom as it is inside.
The physical and emotional parts of ourselves that we reveal during an intimate experience are not on display for general consumption. It is reserved only for those we select to share this experience with, and who willingly accept our invitation.
When we are intimate with someone, we grant one another permission to express ourselves freely. Intimate partners reflect parts of us that we never even knew existed. We may have many sexual partners but few intimate ones.
During an experience of deep sexual intimacy, we shed layers of our identity. We are not rich or poor, famous, or obscure. We are not bankers or electricians. We just are as we are: present, connected, and entangled in an experience of learning more about someone while simultaneously discovering more about ourselves.
We all need intimacy. If we do not experience it, a part of us lays dormant and inaccessible.
Intimacy creates the space for us to explore who we are. When we experience it, what we have, what we own, and who we are all becomes irrelevant.
All that matters is who we are with… Nothing else.