Sex is Not Intimacy
Sex is not intimacy. It can be a part of intimacy, but sex doesn’t equal intimacy, and it doesn’t guarantee intimacy. And yet, almost every reference to intimacy in popular culture is a reference to sex.
So, what is intimacy? Intimacy is mutual self-revelation. It’s me revealing myself to you, and you revealing yourself to me.
Every day we reveal ourselves in a thousand ways to the people around us. Everything we say and do reveals something about who we are, what we value, and what we desire. Even the things we don’t say and the things we don’t do tell others something about us.
But in our most intimate relationships we also tend to hide and pretend. We hide aspects of ourselves that we think the other person will not be attracted to, and we pretend to be the person we think the other person wants to be with. These efforts fail every time because we are most lovable as ourselves, and because we cannot read each other’s minds.
What is it that you yearn for, ache for, hunger for? To be known. Even when what we think we need more than anything else in the world is physical intimacy, what we are really aching for is to be known. We have a profound need to be seen, heard, and known.
Imagine passing through this world and never being truly known by another person. Lots of people do, because we are afraid to reveal ourselves. Why? Because we fear that if people really knew us, they wouldn’t love us. That might be true in some cases, but it will not be true in the case of a person you are truly compatible with.
To love and be loved, you must know and be known.
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