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Posted on 2011.11.06 at 17:10
Current Location: 67114
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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?


codekitten at 2011-11-07 15:43 (UTC) (Link)
"It dawned on me that perhaps intimacy can be built upon the same tetrahedron as Maslow's hierarchy of needs"

jesus this is brilliant. this whole post is brilliant. i need to mull it over for awhile before i respond...
ehowton at 2011-11-07 21:15 (UTC) (Link)
Wow. Thanks! I'm thinking of binding all my philosophical treatises into a tome for dissemination as a sort of egotistical manifesto :D

Edited at 2011-11-07 09:16 pm (UTC)
codekitten at 2011-11-07 23:49 (UTC) (Link)
?while i'm thinking....

what 2.1% are you in?
codekitten at 2011-11-11 00:09 (UTC) (Link)
i would read it!
michelle1963 at 2011-11-07 18:46 (UTC) (Link)
This could conceivably one of your most inspired posts of all time. I love, love, love, the way you described how expression of intimacy broadens as one matures, from the basic physical reaction of an adolescent to include communication, reciprocity, vulnerability, and transparency of a well-adjusted adult relationship. Utilizing Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs as a springboard ~ pure genius.

My admiration is boundless.
ehowton at 2011-11-07 21:16 (UTC) (Link)
Heh - thanks! I think I need to print them up and carry them with me at all times just in case. Sadly, I don't know if that would make me more weird, or less...
michelle1963 at 2011-11-07 21:24 (UTC) (Link)
Dude ~ INTJs, 2.1% of the population. It's a lost cause. Everyone already thinks we're weird. ;-)
michelle1963 at 2011-11-07 20:40 (UTC) (Link)
Communication. A give and take in the expression of ideas, concepts, emotions, wonderment. I have often said that sex itself is all about communication (at least for me). Within the definition of intimacy, this makes perfect sense, given that 4 characteristics of intimacy are all functions of communication.

ehowton at 2011-11-07 21:18 (UTC) (Link)
Interesting. I may know more after my next subject - Charles Darwin's sexual selection concept - something which came up during my reading on this subject but which I don't know much about.
michelle1963 at 2011-11-07 21:23 (UTC) (Link)
Intriguing. :-)
codekitten at 2011-11-11 00:08 (UTC) (Link)
"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"

i wonder what "more" would look like to you. can you imagine what that would be or is it, "you'll know it when you see it"?

i've been thinking about this whole post for days...i'm not sure i can imagine what it will look like for me.
ehowton at 2011-11-11 02:48 (UTC) (Link)
If I had to guess (and I do) because I have NO IDEA WHATSOEVER - I would say that because my innermost thoughts/desires are entirely id driven, that were I to be able to *actually* sate them rather than talk about them...at the point it becomes rote, something else would crop up to fill the void - some new base id desire which can only be discovered by first sating the current level.

Thanks for the mental exercise!
(Deleted comment)
ehowton at 2014-06-24 04:26 (UTC) (Link)
I have willingly made sacrifices that I question. I think that sums up my experiences with sacrificial love.
My view of the world is infinitely flexible - we sacrifice and question and learn from it. We elevate ourselves and others with our experiences and eventually share all that we have learned with as many people as possible in as many ways as possible - learning even more with each contact - endlessly. Can you imagine a more fulfilling destiny?

This is so very true. This is also what I am referring to when I talk about passionate love. This is how I define passion. Thank you for understanding it.
I appreciate you recognizing it :)

By these descriptions, companionate and passionate sound like mature love vs infatuation...Companionate love sounds better on paper, but passionate love is important. I don't think either can stand alone, in the long run.
Absolutely. Now imagine a passionate love which isn't selfish - doesn't that sound otherworldly? You are absolutely right to demand both, no matter the configuration in which it occurs. Some people seek it though serial monogamy, others through multiple simultaneous lifelong relationships; there is no right way and wrong way to experience love.

After reading this, I am questioning if I do, in fact, comprehend intimacy.
I myself wasn't aware of its encompassing entirety until I experienced it - I wasn't aware until then it is what I had been seeking.

This is fantastic, and you are a wonderful writer.
Thank you for saying so.
michelle1963 at 2014-06-24 12:13 (UTC) (Link)
I have been mulling the idea of sacrificial love (in the non-religious sense). Isn't the idea behind any type of sacrifice to give up something in the short term in hopes of something greater in the long term? Unfortunately there are times when this does not materialize.

The danger in sacrifice is in losing too much of yourself. Me? I am all for giving up who I am for who I may become. But I have willingly sacrificed, striving for that greater reward - reward that never materialized - to the point that I lost parts of me. It tales a long time to come back from that. Heh, but I will say that I came back wiser and stronger.

The next point of sacrificial love is making certain that the person (or persons) you are sacrificing for shares your vision. If this is not the case, the sacrifice may be for naught.

Edited at 2014-06-24 12:15 pm (UTC)
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