All this talk of intimacy and connection, it can sound a little OTT or soft. I get it. It is a matter of definition, of interpretation. But let me be clear about this: humans cannot survive without each other. Children who are not touched actually die, research has shown this to be true. And I believe this to be true for the entire lifespan of a human being, even though it may not be a physical death, we do not thrive without being touched.
‘I see, so the Intimacy Revolution is about touch?’ Not quite. It is about your human need to be seen, acknowledged, valued. And it takes a certain amount of intimacy to give and receive that acknowledgement. Either in small or big moments, in physical touch, in kindness, ritual, through sexual acts, through intent and communication. So no, let me put your mind at rest, I am not spurring you on to join a cuddle orgy or even to start exclaiming your love for everyone. I am appealing to our humanity and kindness.
A revolution begins with one, with you. Leading by example can inspire others to start experimenting and opening up to more intimacy in life. Make it your own, express your desires, follow your gut, start talking about it, question it (or me). We are ready for a world that is deeply and intimately connected, of this I am sure.
A revolution that cries out for more personal and interpersonal intimacy also requires clarification if the term ‘intimacy’ as it is a polluted word.
I hear people associating intimacy with sexuality very easily. In my experience this limits our experience of it and narrows the playing field. So let us look at a breakdown of 9 different types of intimacy just to shake things up and spark some inspiration.
- Emotional intimacy: the sharing of feelings. Like happiness, joy, sadness, fear, anger, guilt or loneliness
- Psychological intimacy: the sharing of very personal matters. For instance hope, desires, dreams, fantasies, ambitions, future plans, worries and insecurities
- Intellectual intimacy: sharing your ideas, ideals, thoughts and views
- Sexual intimacy: physical contact that arouses sexually, sharing your sexual thoughts and feelings
- Physical intimacy: non-sexual physical contact like holding hands, cuddling, dancing, sleeping together
- Spiritual intimacy: sharing your believes, calling, sense of faith, morals, meaning of life, views on life after death, religion
- Esthetic intimacy: sharing your feeling or experience of beauty, what inspires you, moves you like nature, music, art, books, architecture, etc
- Social intimacy: sharing experiences and activities. Eating together, sports, hobbies, dancing, travel, your stories, etc
- Temporal intimacy: spending time together