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#446045 - 08/31/13 02:43 PM What is intimacy?
sugarbaby Offline

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 382
This was asked in another thread in the guys forum. It is a great question! I didn't want to hijack the intimacy anorexia thread with it so I started a new one.

What is intimacy? I bet if we ask 50 people we will get 50 answers. Maybe this will be helpful to discuss. Here is my answer:

To me, intimacy is based on trust. I want to trust that he will: be truthful, be sensitive to my feelings, be supportive when I struggle, and allow me to be vulnerable emotionally or physically without fear of being hurt.

Surprisingly - to me - as I thought about this it had very little to do with sex.

#446048 - 08/31/13 03:40 PM Re: What is intimacy? [Re: sugarbaby]
CruxFidelis Offline

Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
There are different kinds of intimacy. I think what you describe is how I would describe emotional intimacy, but there is also physical intimacy, sexual intimacy, spiritual intimacy, etc. My wife and I have made progress in the realm of emotional intimacy, I think, especially in the past year or so. Sexual intimacy is still non existent... physical intimacy is difficult but I am trying.. Spiritual intimacy is starting to come back, we are building a shared prayer life again.
If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.

- Saint John of the Cross

#446121 - 09/01/13 12:54 PM Re: What is intimacy? [Re: sugarbaby]
lucylives Offline

Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
Intimacy=INTO ME SEE

That covers it all in my book. No more walls, no more hiding. It is all out there to see. Vulnerability.

#446289 - 09/03/13 12:04 PM Re: What is intimacy? [Re: sugarbaby]
HopeDiesLast Offline

Registered: 01/15/13
Posts: 62
Intimacy to me is when you can be very close to someone else and still stay yourself. Let me quote Dr Schnarch who probably says it better: "Intimacy is the process of being in touch with or knowing oneself in the presence of a partner."

It rings true to me because as far as I can see it what happens with survivors is that they lose themselves when they get too close to someone else.

#446349 - 09/03/13 09:16 PM Re: What is intimacy? [Re: sugarbaby]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2712
Loc: durham, north england
I'm not sure there is a single answer, as Crux said there are I think various sorts.

The "being yourself in the presence of others" I could equally use to describe the reason why I get on a stage and sing. There, I am absolutely and totally emotionally in touch with what I am doing, and I am giving those emtoions, my love of music, my pleasure, to the audience, indeed a great tenor once said to me "a person who just performs entirely for themselves or to be admired by others isn't a singer, they're a karioki artist. A "singer" is a person who loves what they are doing, and gives that to the audience" Which pretty much describes why for me, my voice is so important.

I have been "emotionally" intimate with friends, indeed I have some friends I think of as brothers and sisters, and with my parents, but both of these are different to the types of intimacy I have seen between people who are together, since that involves more than emotional awareness. There is another element.

It's hard to say what this is, it's very much two way, and I'd be stupid if if I denied that part of it (though only part), is physical, but it is something I have actually perceieved, in casual gestures of affection by couples on trains, sometimes in a person's voice, sometimes in simple quietness.

Up until i was 18 I basically believed all couples who were together were essentially just friends who had some pleasant physical experiences. It took the first time I ever fell in love to change this perception, and this realization, albeit I do now view the point before this as blissful ignorance, as it was far nicer believing that I didn't need relationships than being able to perceive with my emotional sense what I could not have.

btw, I appologise if this sounds a little too mystical or cliched. It is neither. "emotional sense" is my chief method of interacting with people and perceiving what they feel (necessary when you can't see facial expressions).

#446416 - 09/04/13 08:59 PM Re: What is intimacy? [Re: sugarbaby]
HD001 Offline

Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 276
Loc: us
I agree that there are lots of different types of intimacy. However to describe or define intimacy I would call it a calm openess. Being able to share your genuine self with another person and feeling at ease while doing so. For me sexual intimacy is by far the most difficult. Maybe its because there is such a literal nakedness about it. Intimacy can be scary no matter what type it is though and perhaps this is because it carries a risk of rejection. Its not nearly as painful if someone rejects me if I'm not being my authentic self. I would agree that I have intimacy with my art and music. Often when I'm painting hours will go by and it only feels like 30 min has passed. The freedom of expression and openess feels so divine. And the canvas can't reject what I create on its surface.
Everything comes from within

#446431 - 09/05/13 01:47 AM Re: What is intimacy? [Re: sugarbaby]
Mountainous Buck Offline

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1631
Loc: Minnesota
The definition of "intimate" is to "know", to make known, to be familiar with.

I need to know myself before I can practice healthy intimacy on any level with others - emotionally, spiritually, sexually. There are lots of unhealthy ways I can relate to others and most of those involve hiding a part of who I am - even hiding parts of myself from myself.

This is difficult as an abuse survivor as the abuse separated parts of me and it is taking a lot of work to integrate, be honest and accept many parts of me and to walk through the fear of knowing who I really am.
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

�It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

#446463 - 09/05/13 09:20 AM Re: What is intimacy? [Re: sugarbaby]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2712
Loc: durham, north england
I'm not sure on that one buck, since self knolidge has never been something difficult to me. What I do! with that knolidge, that is the question.

I also tend to think there must be more than just "knowing" another person.

People have a tendency to tell me their problems, even things they wouldn't normally tell to others, I used to believe this meant I could make friends easily, however I'm coming to realize it doesn't, since intimacy would need to go both ways.


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