We’re all searching. For someone we can reveal our true selves to. For someone we can lower our walls and invite to come in. For someone that will be brave enough to do the same.

And whether that person is meant to be in our lives forever or just for one night, Tyler shows us that the best thing we can do is be brave enough to be present and take everything in. Because even when the sexual experience stops, the intimacy keeps going, allowing us to learn, love, and grow as a person, together.

Intimacy is a real connection with another person, not just in terms of a hookup or a one night stand.  It’s there when you make eye contact, hidden in the nervous conversation beforehand, and sensitive. It’s a silent conversation between us before the sexual experience.

With so many distractions nowadays, it’s more important than ever to have meaningful, one-on-one, intimacy connections with people because everyone is so focused on moving on to the next best thing. But in that moment, you don’t have to worry about that kind of stuff. There’s no need to front or put up your walls. In fact, the opposite happens: your walls come down and you feel free to be yourself and share who you are with that  person.

This can look different for every person, but there was a moment that stands out for me where I experienced this unique connection. She and I went out to a few rooftop bars, shared our real thoughts and emotions on things, and really talked and showed we cared for each other. Because all of that happened, I knew that special connection was there–we both could feel it. After we went back to my hotel and made out, I remember her saying she had to go to the restroom. And when she came out, she was in a bathrobe and started dancing all around the room in a silly way.

Intimacy is a real connection with another person. It’s there when you make eye contact, hidden in the nervous conversation beforehand, and sensitive. It’s a silent conversation between us before the sexual experience. And even when that’s over, intimacy keeps going.

Some guys would have used that as an opportunity to pull her back into the bed immediately, but I just sat there enjoying her and taking the entire scene in. I didn’t want to interrupt the moment by doing something brash. When I think back to that experience, it was nice having this real, silly, and honest fun where we didn’t have to go through motions of pretending to be something we weren’t. We felt free to be our true selves, whatever that meant to both of us in that moment.

I’ve experienced brief moments like these before,  but I often was only able to appreciate it after either the relationship ended or the hookup was over. But being able to finally be present in that moment taught me that I enjoyed everything that led up to sexual intimacy instead of just what happened in the end. And I’ve also realized that because I always try to be vulnerable whenever I’m with a girl in moments like that, when that connection isn’t there, it kills it for me.

And when the sexual experience ends, the intimacy keeps going. It becomes the sensitive and vulnerable conversations that happen after sex, while you’re just lying in bed, talking about that you’d never talk about in public. It’s a powerful, real energy between the two of you where there’s no filter because you’ve reached this point of no return where you’ve given yourself to one another. There’s no longer anything to hide; you’ve seen whatever could be seen and felt whatever could be felt. And even if it isn’t meant to be a long-lasting relationship, that very moment is necessary for both of you to build, love, learn, and grow as a person, together.