What is sensuality? What is intimacy? Are they the same thing or different? More importantly, how do they affect our views on sex, love, and relationships?
To be honest, it depends on who you’re talking to. But as The Nightingale shares his perspective, not only are sensuality and intimacy different, they also have proved vital in helping him understand just what it means to love and what he would consider to be his ideal relationship.
Being sensual is subtle like a soft kiss, a touch, or gentle caress. It’s holding you in a certain way, staring into your eyes. Whispering into your ear. It involves the senses, taking the time to put the little touches on showing and expressing affection. Whereas, being sexual is about sensation and getting to a certain point, climaxing.
Sensuality is connecting at a deep level. And even if it doesn’t go beyond that moment, we are present and sharing that moment with each other. You both are sharing everything that you are with each other. You aren’t thinking about where you are going and when you’re going to get there. It doesn’t feel rushed. Sensuality doesn’t always involve sex, but can be enhanced with it. But sex without sensuality is empty and not what I’m interested in.
Even when I’m sensual with someone, they don’t get full access to me. It’s partially out of fear that I close myself off to them, even in those really intimate and sensual moments. I feel like I’m either not good enough or they will judge me. I see myself and know that I have so many flaws, which is why I work so hard to feel accepted.
For me, intimacy is taking a risk knowing that heartbreak is guaranteed. And I’m not sure if I can risk that. It’s not just giving a person the power to hurt you and expecting them not to, but finding someone that is worth the risk, so that the pain is worth all of the things that come with it. That’s what I’m trying to find. And because I’ve never seen a successful, long term relationship with my parents, I don’t know what that looks like; my dad has been in a relationships for 15 years, but they seem miserable.
The love I receive from my cousins and siblings has helped me accept myself and has taught me that love is real. That’s the only kind of love I’ve been able to trust, even though I’ve been hurt in certain instances. But I know that love eventually heals. The pain is temporary and you get past it. It gives me hope because I want to be able to find that in someone else. But it also helps me to redefine my ideals of what a real partnership is.
Even when I’m sensual with someone, they don’t get full access to me. It’s partially out of fear that I close myself off to them, even in those really intimate and sensual moments.
The picture we have is that people get married, have kids, and they stay together for the rest of their lives. But I’ve learned that it’s not a one-size-fits-all scenario. There are different ways to love and have relationships with someone. And what I might define as an ideal relationship for me may not be the ideal relationship for someone else. It doesn’t make my definition wrong or right, just my definition.
For example, the longest relationship I’ve had was one that lasted for three years. It was long distance and it was one of those “I’ll see you when I see you” type of relationships. We weren’t always together. When they were away or out of town, it was what it was. And when we were together, it was really deep. We shared so much about ourselves.
[Intimacy] is not just giving a person the power to hurt you and expecting them not to, but finding someone that is worth the risk, so that the pain is worth all of the things that come with it. That’s what I’m trying to find.
We were open about our future and dreams. I enjoyed the time they were away because I don’t like for someone I’m interested in to be around all of the time. For a while, I felt like it was sad that it worked the best for me than any other relationship. But now I ask, “What’s wrong with that?”
Being sensual is subtle like a soft kiss, a touch, or gentle caress. It’s holding you in a certain way, staring into your eyes. Whispering into your ear. It involves the senses, taking the time to put the little touches on showing and expressing affection.
I realize that type of relationship worked for me because the one thing I’m used to is change. Since growing up, I’ve always had to make new friends, change schools almost every year, and to get used to living with different family members. No matter what’s going on, I know that the current way of things won’t always be. And I honestly believe that’s something I want and need.
I used to wondered if I was broken, or if there was something wrong with me wanting to be in a relationship where the person isn’t always there. When you look on TV, that’s not something that is represented as a healthy relationship, it’s actually labeled as unhealthy and on the verge of ending. But that wasn’t the case for me.
I’m still trying to figure it out. Sensuality. Intimacy. Love. Relationships. I don’t have all of the answers. But I know it exists for me. I just keep looking. Eventually, I’ll find it.