Except for those brave enough to figure it out for themselves, intimacy is scary. With so many labels and categories placed on all of us, the last thing we want to do is be in a space where we are asked to just be ourselves. That’s the bravery intimacy requires. For some, it comes natural. For others, not so much. But as Anttoni reveals, we all need it.
My biggest fear when it came to intimacy was not being able to communicate, be expressive, or enjoy the moment and live in it. And when it came to love, I was afraid of falling in love with someone who could easily walk away from our relationship with no hurt feelings.
So, to guard against both fears, my relationships were more about physicality, which I didn’t realize at the time actually made it easier for the person I was with to walk away, as if what we had was nothing.
Before, I didn’t want to talk or be intimate with anyone because I felt that if I did, people would think I was feminine, vulnerable, or less than pretty. I didn’t want anyone to know me or let anyone in because I was afraid of the real me.
I felt that special part of me–the real me–was taken when I was sexually abused at the age of ten, and then again by the same person when I was 16. So, I went a long time thinking I didn’t have anything else to offer anyone besides my body and what I looked like. That changed when I committed to falling in love with myself after my divorce.
For four years, I was able to actually get to know myself. I was able to fall in love with myself, go to the clubs, movies, and even sleep alone–things I would never have been able to do before. During that time, I brought my internal beauty outside.
That allowed me to have the confidence I needed to show people the part of me I thought was taken away from me so man years ago. It made me brave enough to show people who I truly was, without fear of judgement. That’s also when I ran into my current partner, who really helped me build on what I’d already learned about myself, understanding the beauty on the inside instead of just the outside.
I went a long time thinking I didn’t have anything else to offer anyone besides my body and what I looked like. That changed when I committed to falling in love with myself after my divorce.
Yes, our initial point of contact was based on his appearance because I was attracted to him. I remember thinking, “Oh my god, he’s hot!” However, I wanted to know what was going on beneath his skin, what was behind his eyes. I wanted to know what was inside his heart. That’s what allowed me to get over my biggest fears when it came to love and intimacy.
To me, intimacy is a spiritual connection. I think that it goes beyond what our brains are taught. It is that moment where you allow yourself to be vulnerable. You lower your walls and you discuss the things most important to you. You allow yourself to just be you.
Some relationships lack intimacy and communication, but when it is there it gives you more stability and takes you both to a place where even your orgasms are better. If it is a conversation, there’s still an intensity. Like after you have an orgasm and you’re relaxed. The same applies with intimacy. You’re able to relax and feel good. It’s the nut you never had (laughs).
Intimacy is a spiritual connection…it goes beyond what our brains are taught. It is that moment when you allow yourself to be vulnerable–and to just be you.
The same goes for pillow talk. You can pillow talk at work, with family and friends, and with your partner. It’s a necessary part of connecting. We pull back, hold back, and don’t want to lower our walls and connect because everything seems perfect, and we don’t want to ruin it–until it’s not. But when that happens in relationships, people end up emotionally cheating because they don’t have that connection with their partner. That lack of communication also messes up friendships because you’re not able to be honest.
It is very important that we get back to a place where we are able to be honest with how we feel and communicate that to any and everyone in our lives because it will only make the relationships stronger. We need it now more than ever–open-ended conversations with no judgement. None of it is easy, but it all starts with knowing who you are first.
If we had a better understanding of who we are as people, it would be easier to just be; it would take away the need to be masculine, feminine, or define who we are. But in order to do that, you have to discover yourself, and that’s the bottom line. If you don’t know or love yourself, how can you expect to love or learn someone else? If you’re not open or honest enough with yourself, how can you give yourself to anyone or learn to trust them?
We live in a world so focused on being that “it” thing to make everyone else happy that we forget our worth, and what we have to offer the world and those around us. But if more people put their phones down and actually talk, more people would be happy, and our relationships would be more meaningful.
When we do that, we can live the life we want, freely, no matter how you identify–gay, straight, man, woman, black, white. No matter what you choose in life, it all falls under the same requirement: choosing yourself. And it’s about time we all figure that out.
If you don’t know or love yourself, how can you expect to love or learn someone else? If you’re not open or honest enough with yourself, how can you give yourself to anyone or learn to trust them?