We talk a lot about the power of intimacy and why it’s important. But what’s often left unsaid is how it makes us feel.

For someone like DeAndre, who struggles to win the fight against his own insecurities, intimacy with one special person allows every worry and fear to disappear altogether. It reminded him that he was not only special, but beautiful. Perhaps that’s what we’re all hoping for.

For a long time I’ve battled with insecurities–the voice in my head that says I’m too skinny, among other things. But intimacy, for me, is that chemistry you feel with another person you care deeply about where all of your worries and fears disappear.

I experienced that with an ex-boyfriend and I’ve never forgotten what it felt like: He was so passionate and physical. And when I was with him, I knew for a fact that he loved me for me, and he didn’t even have to say it. That intimacy made everything more meaningful, including sex.

When we were together physically, it was out of this world. We didn’t have to do anything crazy sexually either. The power was in the meaning, the intimacy. Honestly, I haven’t felt that way with anyone else. With other men I’ve been with, my insecurities get in the way before I’m even able to get to a physical level. But I know how powerful it is and I remember it. That touch. That caress. That security. He could touch me in the way no one else could, and it made me feel special.

Intimacy proved that someone could love me for who I am and see me as the beautiful person I always wanted to be.  

For other men I’ve been with, even during intimate moments, my insecurities would come out, making me feel helpless. For example, I could be kissing someone and the intimacy would get going, and I would look at my arm and suddenly start thinking about how skinny I was. And when that would happen, I’d be immediately taken out of the moment. That what even an issues my most recent partner.

Despite him being incredibly beautiful in my eyes, and knowing that he wanted to be with me so much that we got married, I would still get caught up in my insecurities when we would be intimate.  And it became a big issue. He would always internalize those moments, thinking it meant something was wrong with him. He assumed I didn’t find him attractive or didn’t love him. But it was because of how I saw myself, not him.

At the end of the day, intimacy is important because everyone wants to know all want to know they have someone, no matter where you or they are in the world, who cares deeply about them–who accepts and loves you for who you are. To know that someone else is always there and that person has your back.

And for me, experiencing true intimacy with someone I deeply cared for was enough to remind me that I wasn’t alone and that the voice inside my head that only saw my flaws wasn’t right. Intimacy proved that someone could love me for who I am and see me as the beautiful person I always wanted to be.