Intimacy is the capacity to be rather weird with someone – and finding that that’s ok with them.― Alain de Botton
Well, we have often wondered whether intimacy is important or sex is important!
But the thing is that most of us wonder this without understanding the difference between intimacy and sex.
I have so many friends who keep using these terms almost synonymously and it hurts me every single time they do that. But the terms aren’t synonymous. Almost all of my friends have enjoyed sex but somehow most of them don’t know what intimacy even means. I think I am lucky enough that I have an intimate relationship as well as a physical relationship with my partner. It is heaven, pure heaven.
This is what I have learned about Intimacy and about sexuality from my special relationship.
1. Intimacy isn’t physical:
Sex is the physical manifestation of love. But intimacy, oh! That is way too different. Intimacy is premised on the emotions and it is also a powerful mental process. It isn’t as easy as just striping your partner of clothes and having sex.
It is complex and intricate and very, very difficult to learn. Intimacy isn’t in the “positions”, but intimacy is surely a mental and an emotional position that only some relationships are able to advance to.
Moreover, you can describe and define sex but it is impossible to do so for intimacy. There is just no fixed definition because the process is so subjective for different people. Isn’t that amazing?
2. Intimacy isn’t desperate:
“They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise
sex is often, oh too often, described as a need or an urge. This kind of makes sex looks like an activity that people are just desperate to do. But intimacy isn’t desperate. It is calm and silent and it doesn’t even require actions. Intimacy isn’t hasty or quick or need-based. When you are intimate with someone, you will take your time.
This means that real intimacy isn’t in a rush to reach some “place”. Real intimacy is enough in itself. There is no achieving to be done; when people are intimate there is no orgasm that awaits. Real intimacy is complete and fulfilling in itself.
3. Intimacy requires understanding:
Sex needs a lot of things. It needs flexibility, agility, better control of body movements and numerous other things. Now all the things that are required for good sex are based on the physical relationship or the bodily relationship between two people. But intimacy isn’t bodily and thus all that it requires is a deep understanding between two people.
This is exactly why even a mere conversation can be termed as intimate. There has to be no “action” for intimacy; all that there has to be is deep understanding. And that’s, well, not that easy to achieve.
4. Intimacy ensures balance and harmony:
Sex might make you lose balance; this balance might be emotional or spiritual. The thing is that sex will upset the balance for a while and then maybe restore it. But intimacy is all about balance. It is all about maintaining harmony and peace. It is all about feeling calm and secure. Also, intimacy has got nothing to do with judgment and thus it is a beautiful feeling.
5. Intimacy is not so common:
Now, there shall be many people who enjoy sex on a regular basis but there are few amongst us who understand or have felt intimacy. Thus, intimacy isn’t too common. Well, the reason can be that intimacy is too complex to be common. It’s clearly not everyone’s cup of tea while sex is technically easy. What couples don’t realize is the fact that sex shall not offer as much satisfaction as intimacy does and thus they do not even care to learn about intimacy.