Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sex and Intimacy

There's an interesting discussion going on over at The Simple Marriage Project. Corey Allan put up a blog post yesterday and posed this question to his readers : What's the difference between intimacy and sex? He's gotten a lot of interesting responses. Below is my comment to his post.

I don't think you can say sex isn't intimate. Even if it's "meaningless" purely physical sex. BUT...by itself it is just physical intimacy. And that is a small piece of the total package. And you can most certainly have intimacy WITHOUT sex.

As humans we are not purely physical beings. We are a combination of physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual. Personally, I think one can, to varying degrees, be intimate in each of those areas. To have a truly, completely intimate relationship with someone I think you have to be intimate in ALL of those areas. It has to be a blending, a balancing of all of those areas and I believe the balance is somewhat fluid and changes (or should change) depending on the needs of the relationship (and the partners in it) at the time.

I think this is where we run into trouble sometimes. Men AND women fall into stereotypical roles, because that's what we're taught or for some other personal reasons, and those roles cause us to focus on one of those areas and neglect the others which leads to the person and the relationship being out of balance. Then you're put into the cycle of needs not being met, lack of communication, and resentment.

Real intimacy is opening yourself up on all levels to the other person and showing that you trust them to know you and love you for who you really are. The warts, scars, fears, insecurities, emotions, passions, beliefs, and on and on. The true intimacy and trust, the true union, happens when the other party returns it in kind. They open themselves to you just as thoroughly.

Like so many other things, finding balance is key. And what is the right balance for me may not be right for you. For that matter what's right for me today may not be right tomorrow. It takes work and attention to figure it out. There's no easy fix. And even if things are running great it still takes work to keep it that way.

Corey has a great blog on marriage and relationships going over there. You should check him out.


Malach the Merciless said...

What is this sex thing you speak of?

Kitty said...

I couldn't agree more with the points you make. Spot on (as we say over here). x

Hungry Mother said...

Good stuff! There's a limit to how much sex a man can have in a day, but no limit on how much intimacy he can have.

Bruce, a work in progress said...

Darn it Mal, I keep forgetting that you're from another planet and thay you reproduce by...well, never mind.

Thank you Kitty. Happy to have hit the spot.

HM, a limit? Really? No, I'm kidding. I couldn't agree with you more.

Malicious Intent said...

Now that I need a cold shower at it's 30 some degee's outside, not sue if I can function well at all today until hubby comes home and gets shreads to bits. Poor bastard.

Anyway, two new blogs up. Give shout outs to you, Phoebe Fay and Angels Mind.

Happy Houladays!

Bruce, a work in progress said...

Aww, always happy to inspire a girl to need a cold shower and jump her husband. My work here is done. And tell your hubby, you're welcome.

Malicious Intent said...

I would tell him, but he didn't survive. The poor bastard.

Corey said...

Thanks for your plug. I've thoroughly enjoyed your comments.

Bruce, a work in progress said...

Corey, thanks for stopping by. I enjoy your blog and you have a great group of very thoughtful commenters.