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#3764 - 04/10/03 04:45 PM Re: Intimacy...
Ron_dup1 Offline

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 87
Loc: Arkansas
So what exactly is intimacy?
I guess I have been thinking about it and I can't figure out the difference between trust and intimacy. Can someone help us figure this out?
What does intimacy feel like, look like, etc.

#3765 - 04/10/03 05:39 PM Re: Intimacy...
michaelb Offline

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 211
Loc: cincinnati, ohio
it will never exist in my life..........

#3766 - 04/10/03 11:43 PM Re: Intimacy...
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
This is a remarkably sad thread, so many of us are having this nightmare problem with intimacy.
Some are even struggling with the concept of being intimate.

I don't have any answers here either, I wish I had. But we owe it to ourselves and our partners to keep looking - dont we ?

I feel as though sex and intimate touching are two seperate things to me, but I know they shouldn't be.
If I have sex it's purely sex, I use a position that means I have the least body contact and once over I roll away. I hate it.
I hate watching people touch with tenderness, it's the hate of envy and rage.

I want to be intimate, but I don't know where to start. My group therapist is also a sex therapist and has suggested we go and see her, has anyone tried sex therapy ?

It's the macho thing again I suppose, admiting I need help ?

Dave \:\(

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#3767 - 04/10/03 11:47 PM Re: Intimacy...
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Ron: Intimacy is part trust and part giving without expectation. You have to trust the other completely and you have to give of yourself without expecting back in return. I does not have to involve sex. It can be a good friend. You have both feel comfortable in each others company and share lifes experiences openly and willingly. It is a great thing. It it also involves willingly letting down your guard.

MichaelB. Never say never MIke. It is too long a time. Try just not now. You will be surprised how intimacy comes up and grabs you all of a sudden. In a way you are imtimate with us because you let your guard down and let us in to your space. And we honour that trust as you do with us. So Maybe Just not now except here Mike.



#3768 - 04/11/03 05:00 AM Re: Intimacy...
Sleepy Offline

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
It's unfortunate because sex has become separated from the emotions that should go along with it. It becomes something that is just mechanical, whether real or imagined. But, yes, we owe it to ourselves and our partners (if we have one) to combine them again.
I hate watching people touch with tenderness, it's the hate of envy and rage.
I can understand this. You want the nurturing so bad but for some reason you get repulsed when someone gets near. You can't let you guard down long enough to allow it to happen. When I see my parents kiss it really makes my skin crawl.

It seems like you have a good understanding of this. I can see how everything you said here has affected my life. I notice this the most with platonic friendships. I mentioned this in my opening post but I have always high tailed it out of there when someone tries to initiate a friendship. I guard myself just too much that I cannot allow this to happen. I usually can only be friends with someone if I initiate it. Romantic relationships follow this as well, though there's not really much to speak of.

"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

#3769 - 04/11/03 02:28 PM Re: Intimacy...
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
To all of you who have posted here:

Every one of you, myself included, have difficulty with intimacy in any form.

Think for a minute. We all came to this Lair of the Wolves (I really like thinking of ourselves as a Strong Group because we SURVIVE) as strangers to each other. We are openly welcomed by those who have been here before us.

At first we are reserved, shy,in pain,and scaredBut we watch, we read, we hesitate and finally we open up ourselves to everyone here.

Now intimacy involves letting down your guard and sharing. As I said above sharing lifes experiences. I suspect that if we search within ourselves we have to admit we have been intimate here. We have been drawn by a common purpose, granted. And yet isn't that the same for any of life's situations, whether it be seeking a partner for life or a good friend. Now the ultimate form of intimacy between partners and friends is the desire to share with each other the love that we feel. It may be the love of cameraderie as with a friend or the love of a partner.

With a friend You share a part of the only thing you own; your body. And that part is your brain. It is what makes you unique. It contains your emotions, beliefs(real or imagined) and your humanity. Sharing that part of you with someone is huge. AND WE HAVE ALL DONE IT HERE \:D

With a partner you share the part of what you own that is talked about above and in addition the rest of your body. It becomes a co-mingling of our very essences. And it is based upon trust, mutual respect, and a willingness on our and their part to do this. I am not a very religious person despite the religious connotation of my last name but I feel it is the merging of two souls for the better of both. \:\)

Now all you brother wolves dig deep and you will find that you have shared your brain here willingly and for the benefit of yourself and everyone here. SEE THAT IS CAMERADERIE.

I suspect that the reason we have difficulty elsewhere is to in a large part to body language and our self image. As someone posted we are terrified to let someone view our soul through our eyes. Or we are repulsed by a friendly gesture like an arm around the shoulder or a hug or a slap on the back for that matter. These are all natural events but we have a different slant on it because of our past. \:\(
I am sorry if this is so long but I need to say it all.

It is so important here that we continue to share and care and hug spiritually and slap on the back figuratively the sucesses and hold and weep together on the bumps of the road we are travelling.

We have found something here that cannot but help us in our struggle to discover intimacy in our daily lives.

Now some of us are lucky and have caring and loving partners and we should be thankful for that because we are not created to be alone. Some of us also have good friends for the same reason.

Now I ask you. Are they not willing to share care hold slap on the back and use every other form of intimate behaviour depending on their relationship with you.

We are learning it here on an emotional level and they can guide us on a practical level. ALL WE HAVE TO DO IS LET THEM. ;\) ;\) ;\)

Yes we have our family here but we also need the other so lets just do it. It is scary I know but dammit we owe it to ourselves and those who love us in their own way to give work our asses off on this.

This post has been very dificult to write and was prompted by all of you who have posted here and those of you who are part of this lair.

There is one of us here, though, who has actually displayed a real willingness and desire to share lifes intimate experiences with me and has caused me to do the same with him. It has helped me more than he can know and for that I thank him and am forever grateful fot the experience. He knows who he is and that is sufficient for me.





#3770 - 04/11/03 02:49 PM Re: Intimacy...
zadok1 Offline

Registered: 11/05/02
Posts: 188
Loc: Ohio
I have been pretty quiet. When things are going good, I guess there seems like less to say. On the issue of intimacy though, I felt I wanted to post something. So many here have posted great things, and deep feelings, but I wanted to say my piece I guess.

Sex and intimacy are two totally separate things, but so very much the same thing too. When I first achieved intimacy just last year, I was almost shocked. It was such a strange feeling to be united with someone, and sharing my very soul with her. I donít know that it is possible to put it into words, but I do know what has to happen to achieve it.

You have to totally let go of all your reservations, doubts and fear. It is sharing with someone at every level of your being. To achieve it, a person must place their trust totally in another, and that was very hard for me. I had to trust my wife with all the ugliness I had always hid, with all the embarrassing sexual fantasies and past I had. I had to trust her not to judge me, and to support me and love me despite those things. Not everyone would be lucky enough to find a person that would do that, but I was.

The difference between holding someone in your arms for sex, and holding someone like you want to get inside their body with them are two totally different things. The level comes and goes, but when it is strongest, sex is unimportant, an after thought. You are engulfed with her, with being with her, with her taste, with her sent, with how she looks and feels. Man just thinking of the first time I felt it gives me goosebumps. It has cooled to a degree from when it was at its best, but I suppose most things are that we. We are still very intimate. I have finally found someone that I can totally share with. I brood over things sometimes, but I always return to her, and we end up talking and sharing everything. She accepts me despite issues with my sexuality, despite my perverse tastes and insecure nature. We have shared things that I thought I would never share with anyone. I am indeed lucky, for after a lifetime lacking it, I now know what true intimacy is like. I donít always take care of it, and sometimes I loose it, but I always find my way back to it

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that are evil, but because of those who do nothing about them- Albert Einstein

#3771 - 04/11/03 05:03 PM Re: Intimacy...
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Hi Men!

I am different in some ways from most of you who have posted. I have a tendency to over-disclose to a person who might be a near stranger. It took a class in counseling to let me realise how that can be frightening for the person I am talking to.

It is not at all difficult for me to blurt things out to a person who I am not much atached to and do not have a continuing relationship with. But friends I see regularly, and who know me fairly well--no way. I don't like to open my feelings to such a person. I feel I have been hurt too often by people I got too close to.

What I have learned about intimacy is:

Intimacy is a process
Intimacy requires mutuality--I can't pour out my innermost being to someone who tells me little, if anything, about themselves.
Eventually, with some one I like and who has revealed themsel;ves to me, I can open a little, then a little more. But only if the other person is opening to me to.
Intimacy requires trust and that does not come quickly for a survivor.
Emotional intimacy often leads to physical intimacy, but for me that stops at hugs and holding a person for a little time. Kissing and sex are two things I have not been able to move towards--but I have desired them.
Intimacy does not have to lead to sexuality. I have people I am fairly intimate with, but would not move into physical or sexual intimacy and still I feel really fulfilled by the freindship.

Unfortunately, I am pretty guarded in my relationships. I open up here because it is still kind of safe and anonymous.

Peace to us all.


If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

#3772 - 04/11/03 05:52 PM Re: Intimacy...
jimrh Offline

Registered: 03/22/03
Posts: 273
Loc: Roswell, GA
For me, intimacy only exists in my fantasies. It is the world that I retreat to where I can feel comfortable with myself: by being someone else. I create an image that is not me and through that I feel comfort, happiness , needed and gratification. Everything posted in the positive here on the side of intimacy "sounds" great in the group-therapy kind of way. But what does it all really mean.

#3773 - 04/11/03 10:30 PM Re: Intimacy...
Ivanhoe Offline

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907
Intimacy. most private or personal is what the dictionary says. So to be intimate with someone else would be what, a willingness to share what is most private or personal with someone else? Sounds like a friend. Sounds like a lover. Sounds like someone you could share your heart with. Maybe that's why it hurts so much when someone abuses the priviledge of sharing what is most private and personal to us--it's a stab in the heart.
I think of my daughters when after they've been bathed and had climbed up into my lap for their story, that I understand intimacy on a very personal level. So trusting and vulerable and delicate and they come with their book and want to be read to. I'll never forget their fresh baby powder smell and semi damp hair as they snuggled in for their story; never suspecting that they were writing their story, on my heart.
Knowing my wife intimately has been the other gift in my life. The teacher who seduced and abused me and made me feel like shit, and the woman who accepted me and loved me and allowed
me to experience intimacy in the way that it was designed; it has been almost too much to comprehend.
I have hated life for the abuse I've suffered and I've dropped to my knees in thanksgiving for the love I've received. I can even love back now.
Intimacy, being able to welcome someone else into your arms without reservation.

"No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence."
George Eliot

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