This blog is an invitation to both singles and couples to unlock deeper Intimacy and Connection in your life and relationships. Intimacy cannot be forced; it requires letting go of fear and resistance and becoming more open and receptive. Every step in that direction is a good one and like interest in the bank it compounds! As you read these Intimacy Keys choose one or two that you want to explore first.
Intimacy and closeness require vulnerability, which means inviting people we trust to see into us, and wanting to see into them. Being willing to be seen for who we truly are, including our private self, our secrets, and weaknesses, allows for real connection, love and intimacy.
This might seem too scary or exposing. Many people have painful past experiences or traumas that lead them to avoid being vulnerable at all costs, or avoid being vulnerable in some areas. E.g. “It’s ok to share about my anxiety, but not about my past”. This control is to create a sense of psychological safety. We can all fear rejection, or feeling not good enough or too much. Social norms, especially for the masculine, often reinforces the idea that vulnerability is weakness. And it should be avoided or he’ll be labelled as “sissy” or “unreliable.” For the feminine she can be labelled” too emotional”, “too sensitive”. However, in intimate relationships, vulnerability is a sign of strength. It takes courage to open ourselves up to another, especially if we have been hurt in the past or criticised.
While our fears may not disappear overnight, it is our protections that stop the flow of love and passion. We don’t need to be perfect, but rather just willing to share ourselves more authentically with others. And to not be judgemental when they are vulnerable with you. Once you have a space for this vulnerability in yourself and in your relationships , it’s so delightful to be seen and to see each other, that it is hard to go back to anything less.
This key applies to all of our close relationships.
To do: Reflect on your areas of vulnerability. What are you fearful to show to others? Who could you reveal that too? Do that as soon as possible. Start small, be aware, and make it a habit to reveal rather than hold back.
Creativity is another important key to intimacy. Creativity in relationships involves going beyond problem-solving and the day-to-day routines to include adventure, celebration, playfulness, spark and joy. Imagine finding new and exciting ways to spend time together, such as trying out new hobbies, exploring unknown places, or creating art or music together.
For lovers, infusing creativity into sexual experiences is exciting and necessary, whether that is with new ways of expressing love, sharing fantasies, bringing toys into your sexual play or exploring sacred sexuality.
This requires you both to be open-minded and willing to learn new ways of experiencing pleasure and intimacy together. It involves letting go of preconceived ideas of what sex should be. In sacred sexuality, partners focus on the present moment and tune into their bodies and their senses. They use breathing techniques, heartfulness, and presence to deepen their sacred connection, pleasure and love.
Creativity in relationships can also happen in your communication. For example, instead of having routine conversations about work or daily tasks, break it up with more meaningful conversations that involve sharing your dreams, fears, and desires.
To Do: Have a conversation with your beloved, or a friend, where you focus on playful creativity rather than issues or problems. Read love poems to each other at night, share a sexy fantasy, create a sensual boudoir to encourage love-making. Put the phones away! Or if it’s a friend take them somewhere new that will spark both your creativity. Expand and explore.
Respect and Trust
When it comes to the Intimacy Keys, we also need respect and trust. Establishing clear boundaries and respecting them is crucial for building trust in a relationship. It helps us feel safe and secure and allows us to then explore our desires and deeper openings in a healthy and consensual way. Respect leads to trust and trust leads to letting the other person in. Not much can happen if the trust isn’t there.
Respect means being attuned to our own vulnerabilities and limitations and communicating them clearly to others. If we don’t do this we can end up with heaps of resentment. It also means being open to listening to our partner’s needs and boundaries and being willing to adjust our approach if necessary. This applies to all our relationships, and when dating and starting new relationships.
Breaking trust with a partner damages intimacy and it can take a lot of time to rebuild the trust. It can be done though, and with right actions that match the words. Coming into deeper integrity creates more intimacy, as we can relax into trusting the other. We can play more, be more adventurous, take more risks. For example, using and respecting safe words and nonverbal cues during sexual play can help partners communicate their comfort levels and open at their own pace. Finding the balance between risk and safety can be a fun and rewarding experience. It requires us to be open-minded, flexible, and willing to step outside of our comfort zones.
Ultimately, the safety risk ratio will be different for each individual and each situation. The aim is to create a safe and supportive environment of respect and trust so we can explore new and exciting experiences in our relationships.
To do: Do you need stronger boundaries to create more respect and trust, or do you need to let go more? What is the balance of safety and risk in your relationships? Talk about it with someone close to you.
If you really want to get close to someone, you need be in tune with your own body. This means being aware of your breath sometimes, how you’re feeling physically, and how grounded and open your body is. When we are living more in our bodies, we can sensitively respond to another. If we can’t feel ourselves in our own bodies, how can we feel another? This is why embodiment is an essential part of the Intimacy Keys.
For some people, embodiment can be challenging, especially if they are used to relying heavily on their mental or intellectual abilities. Without embodiment, we can become disconnected from our own bodies, living in a mental construct and our interactions with other people may become more superficial and unfulfilling.
Practices such as breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, tai chi, etc really support us to get grounded. Physical fitness too. Being in nature, anything where your attention is in your body. If you get can get massage from someone whoo is themselves ground dint heir body that can also help you to do the same. Many people go to sleep during massages or lie there thinking. Imagine instead following the touch with your awareness, receiving it directly into your skin and your body. If feelings arise let them be experienced and flow.
Love making and sexual intimacy is much more fulfilling when we are embodied, when we don’t reach for a quick release type of sexual encounter, rather we can enjoy being present and in contact with another person’s body. Much natural bodily wisdom emerges that can’t be known until it comes out.
To do: In this moment become aware of your body, how you are sitting or standing, what posture are you in, how relaxed is your body. Take a full breath and relax down into your lower body, your hips, thighs, legs, feet. Take a few breaths letting your energy drop down….enjoy being in you. Repeat often.
Self-care is a simple key to intimacy, yet often neglected. To connect with others fully, we must first care for ourselves. This means basic hygiene practices, like showering and grooming, to feel confident in our own skin, and appealing to your partner. But it also means prioritizing exercise, nutrition, and sleep to maintain our physical well-being and have the energy to invest in our relationships.
Beyond basic hygiene, self-care also means taking care of our bodies through exercise, nutrition, and adequate sleep. Then we naturally have more energy and vitality to bring to our intimate relationships.
Emotional self-care is just as important. It involves taking the time to understand our own emotions, needs, and desires. It also means having our own values, interests, and passions that we pursue independently.
For example, if you enjoy dancing, you may make time for regular dance classes as a way of practicing self-care. Or if you value spirituality, you may set aside time for meditation, or nature hikes. When we take care of our emotional needs in this way, we are more likely to feel fulfilled and content in our intimate relationships. More self-care = less blame of others.
Feminine essence people often sacrifice self care for the needs of others and end up getting burnt out and losing their self identity. Masculine essence people often think self- care takes too much time, just do the minimum to get back on the mission. Both are short-term strategies that don’t go the distance.
To do: Decide where you can improve on your self-care and start. One hour a week on a new hobby or passion puts you in the zone immediately. Or book a therapist to explore yourself. what have you been putting off and why?
We and Me
When two people come together in a relationship, there’s a natural process of merging that happens. This union into “We” can be a beautiful ecstatic thing, but it can also lead to losing sight of our “Me”.
In every relationship it’s about continually finding a balance between merging with the other and maintaining our own sense of self. It’s important to hold onto our own interests, values, and boundaries, even as we merge into the togetherness of a relationship. It also means respecting our partners’ individuality and allowing them the space to pursue their own interests and passions.
Over time, too much We in a relationship can get dull and the passion can die which may lead to resentment and frustration. If you have more Me time then you look outwards and have some treasures of yourself to keep bringing back to the relationship, which renews it. You are then a merging of two individuals who choose to share and be close and have a spark between you.
And too much Me time is acting as if you are single while being in a relationship. Commitment to the We is essential for intimacy. If you are in a relationship you need to devote time and energy for it to flourish. You may have different ideas about the balance of We and Me and this can take some navigating to find the optimal balance. Often the feminine defaults to wanting more We time and the masculine is the opposite. Inner fears and unresolved past issues can put it out of balance too.
To do: Overall do you tend to be more We or Me in your relationships? Do you give up your sense of self too easily or do you resist merging? What can you do today to shift the balance? Take some time alone to do something just you enjoy or drop one of your solo activities and do something together?
Masculine and Feminine Polarity
The Art of Intimacy involves understanding the essence of masculine and feminine energies and the powerful polarity that can arise between them. By recognizing and appreciating our differences, we can open the door to a sacred intimacy with our partners.
The masculine essence is characterized by qualities such as strength, direction, structure, assertiveness, and a focus on achieving goals, attaining spiritual depth. The feminine essence, on the other hand, is characterized by qualities such as love, nurturing, flow, feeling, and a focus on connection.
When these two essences come together in an intimate relationship, they can create a powerful energy and dynamic that fuels the relationship. By embracing and valuing each other’s unique essence, we can ignite the polarity that exists between us and deepen our connection.
Whatever your gender as a couple, we need polarity between masculine and feminine energies to create that spark and magnetic attraction. Some people choose to activate this in lovemaking and have a different balance in other areas of their life. Others prefer to infuse their life with this polarity. It does take some skill to change and dance this interplay, and it’s very rewarding to do so.
To do: If you are wanting your partner or people in your life to show more masculine or feminine energy, then vacate some of it yourself to give them the space to do so. In the gap, the other person naturally moves to fill it.
These Intimacy Keys are a beginning to a deeper, more fulfilled and intimate life. Whether you are single of partnered they will help you be more connected to yourself and to others. It really is a life-long journey – new possibilities and challenges show up as we mature and our life circumstances change.