The Goddess of Comfort visited me again last night. This time in the from of waifish prostitute. I was shocked of course, yet...comforted still. She played her part well, being surprised I was not paying her for sex - rather for...comfort. I only caressed her, albeit quite affectionately. As usual, she was wearing a green thong. Same personification, different incarnation. I was only aware of who she was after I awoke.
As I was considering whether or not intimacy was something which changed over time, and if so - why? I was remembering the times I would get erections in 7th grade because the girls had discovered they could invoke it from us boys simply by the closeness of their faces to ours coupled with whispers of forbidden things. 100% effective. It wasn't all me, I swear! It was simply a physiological response. And yet I let them do it. I let them do it every single time. To me, at that time, it was the height of intimacy.
But I'm 40 now, and I've been 'round the bases a few times. So while physiologically I'm still a sucker for some really good first and second base action, no longer is it all I live for, and that concerns me. Because if not that, what?
It dawned on me that perhaps intimacy can be built upon the same tetrahedron as Maslow's hierarchy of needs; as we round each base, the next forward - not back - then becomes our new goal. But in my game, penetrative intercourse is only the beginning of a much more expansive existence, and lays the foundation for a pyramid all my own.
I've always felt that holding hands - whether in public or private - was always a very tender gesture. As is passionate kissing. You can transfer so much in just a kiss, lay out expectations and reveal much about who you are and what you believe. Why with the right person entire conversations can be held with the lips and tongue and not a single spoken syllable. This - what the common man refers to as the early bases - I place a higher value upon than sex alone, and always have. Anyone can have sex, but it takes a master orator to create language without words. I have built an empire upon this belief.
In turning to wikipedia to ensure a working definition, I was struck by how foreign many of the modifiers are in this statement:
Intimacy generally refers to the feeling of being in a close personal association and belonging together. It is a familiar and very close affective connection with another as a result of a bond that is formed through knowledge and experience of the other. Genuine intimacy in human relationships requires dialogue, transparency, vulnerability and reciprocity.
Dialog. Transparency. Vulnerability. Reciprocity. In a dog-eat-dog world of stepping over others to claw your way to the top, how are we to survive if we reveal our true motivations and fears? Its antithetical to both success and domination. We instead hide who we are and how we feel and publicly show only our strengths while selfishly pursuing our own agendas under the cover of darkness. There's no pride in that. Yet these same people claim to comprehend intimacy?
How can we, as a nation, have a divorce rate as high as we do if couples in stable, full time marriages/relationships are engaging in [meaningful] dialog, being transparent with one another (not hiding motivations nor actions), sharing [fears, hopes, dreams] vulnerabilities, and fully reciprocating (selflessness) with each other? I have no idea. A quick look-see at some divorce rate web pages indicate in the comment sections that lack of commitment to Christ is to blame. I would honestly accept that answer if there were any semblance of standardization on it whatsoever, as there's not, how can one person even attempt to suggest it to another?
So if my presumption concerning intimacy as Maslow's narrowing ascension is inaccurate, can it then be applied to the four underpinnings of intimacy? Surely the depth of dialog exponentially increases between physiological needs and self-actualization. As would transparency, vulnerability and reciprocity. Transparency in a relationship which has reached the fifth level would reveal greatly different motivations than the relationship which had only reached the third. Perhaps that's how the two are connected - individual growth and application?
There are two types of love in a relationship; passionate love and companionate love. Companionate love involves diminished potent feelings of attachment, an authentic and enduring bond, a sense of mutual commitment, the profound feeling of mutual caring, feeling proud of a mate's accomplishment, and the satisfaction that comes from sharing goals and perspective. In contrast, passionate love is marked by infatuation, intense preoccupation with the partner, strong sexual longing, throes of ecstasy, and feelings of exhilaration that come from being reunited with the partner
I feel these things everyday, for a myriad of reasons across the board. Logically, its not required, yet I am but the 2.1% of the entire population, so its entirely possible. Will this propel me, or destroy me? I think that has yet to be determined, but it certainly answers more questions than I expected. I can share my innermost thoughts without repercussion or judgment. Someday, that may not be enough and I'll desire more. Perhaps a more spiritual intimacy. Right now, where I am, its more than enough - more than I could've hoped for.
Where are you?