“Intimacy is a four syllable word for ‘Here’s my heart and soul, please grind them into hamburger, and enjoy’” proclaimed Grey’s Anatomy’s Meredith.
Romance novel writer, Barbara Cartland said, “Among men, sex sometimes results in intimacy; among women, intimacy sometimes results in sex”.
The movie Closer professed, “Intimacy is a lie we tell ourselves”.
Intimacy has been given ruthlessly bad press, maybe because it’s been treated as something so intrinsically female, conspiring to turn sex into love.
Intimacy, with all due respects to the cynics and the sexists, is not the domain of females, just as sex is not the domain of males.
We stand a greater chance of achieving that sought after state if we begin to understand when and where we are likely to cultivate it. If intimacy is a transitory state of feeling between two separate people, where the distance between them seems suspended, then trying to find that moment during a cardiovascular sexual workout may not be your best bet. Nor will it be found when it is actively sought. Intimacy is the realization of togetherness that appears, however fleetingly, when doing, judging and seeking are absent.
You may confuse intimacy with the moments when sex is looming, especially if you are looking for moral justification. But a typical pre-sex mindset is more of a physical hijack of your senses by desire, arousal or aspiration. It is this confusion that triggers a sharp anti-climax as soon as the action dissipates, when there is no intimacy left behind.
For some people, on some occasions, intimacy is possible during sexual acts. These are moments of gentle activity, which are more meditative than driven, moments which can allow you to transcend your self-consciousness, worries or plans.
The best place to find intimacy is in the aftermath of rewarding sex. The conditions for this are when sex and the relationship are consensual and the sex is not a means but an end in itself. As the bodies cool down and the muscles relax, there is a perfect release into a well deserved tiredness. When this moment is cut short by one (usually male) partner falling asleep, the other tends to experience a sort of betrayal of their intimacy, a walk out before the end of the show, as it were.
This isn’t to say that women treat sex merely as a pretext to intimacy, but when properly done, it certainly is the dessert at the end of the meal. For goodness sake, guys, let her have her crème brûlée. Once you get used to it, you’ll be lapping it up too.