It is what we all search for. In the palm of that special someone’s hand as we hold it. In the supple cheek as we caress it. In the eyes of another as we stare a second too long. In the lips of a friend that softly part, a grin showing just slightly–proof that they get us.
But just when I think I’ve touched the surface of what intimacy is, I’m left grasping straws, clueless. And perhaps there’s a lesson in that as well: None of us really know what intimacy is because it shape shifts necessarily to our own desires and needs. It changes with us. It changes for us. It changes despite us.
Intimacy is everything we are afraid of, awakened by, crave, and run from. It is you, me, us, them and then some. It is a necessary reminder that the key to our happiness isn’t found on the outside, but within…
The more I search for intimacy and try to understand it, the more I realize it is hidden in plain sight, within each and every one of us. And if we’re really trying to go there, I’d posit intimacy is the inseparable twin sister of love. You can’t have one without the other. For love without intimacy is uninteresting and not worth fighting for.
But don’t just take my word for it. Experience the words of six men who are helping us all redefine what intimacy is and the endless possibilities of how it can (and does) shape our lives:
Cameron Intimacy is more than just the physical idea of sex, the penetration, anything oral; it is the metaphysical, emotional, and even spiritual connection with another person, down to his heart. [It is] a single touch, caress, or a kiss.
Kurush Intimacy is [everything] you would never talk about with another person that becomes easier to say, do, and hear…the freedom to show yourself in your most naked form (literally and emotionally).
Brian Intimacy can be…a deep conversation where you have that, “I see you, baby,” “Oh word?” type of connection. It’s bouncing ideas off of each other…feeling safe in each other’s arms–like you belong.
Jarren Intimacy is knowing that there is someone somewhere to accept me for me because of who I am.
The Storyteller Intimacy: an attraction between two people where guards are down. [It’s] being vulnerable, open. Sharing your heart, mind, and body…A close hug…where both parties are trying to grab something from the other.
Anttoni 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.
So, what is intimacy?
I’m still trying to figure it out. But I’d like to think I’m getting closer and closer to understanding what it means to me because…
Intimacy is what we listen for. In the silence between us, when we forget to think about what to say next. In the moan produced from a gentle touch. In the sigh of relief at the end of a long, hard day, promising respite and comfort. In the nervous chatter afraid to embrace stillness, but that we see through.
Intimacy is what we all search for. In the palm of that special someone’s hand as we hold it. In the supple cheek as we caress it. In the eyes of another as we stare a second too long. In the lips of a friend that softly part, a grin showing just slightly–proof that they get us.
It is everything we are afraid of, awakened by, crave, and run from. It is you, me, us, them and then some. It is a necessary reminder that the key to our happiness isn’t found on the outside, but within–proof that we all have a reason to keep living, learning, loving, thinking, and being.
Intimacy changes with us. For us. Despite us.
Intimacy is the promise we all want to make, but can never fulfill…