A selection from
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A New Definition of Intimacy
Gin, on intimacy . . .
Since dealing with the effects of impotence, I've changed
my mind about the term "intimacy."
I used to think that the real core of marital intimacy was the
ability to confide in each other, which would in turn lead to a trusting relationship. I also thought that if one lost the ability to be sexual, it was all right - the marriage could still grow and thrive.
But I feel differently now.
Today, the definition of marital intimacy, for me, must
include physical sharing. I believe that Keith and I have to stay
physically intimate with each other for our marital intimacy to survive - because when we don't, other facets of our marriage suffer.
It must be understood, however, that I'm using the term
"physical intimacy" in a broad sense. I can no longer think of physical intimacy as meaning only the "traditional" sexual experience. I
also, however, cannot limit it to "just hugging" - not yet, anyway
Keith and I have talked about this a great deal, and we've decided
that we define physical intimacy as "the intentional sharing of one's
body for giving and receiving pleasure."
By "intentional" we mean that one is specific about engaging in the activity. By "pleasure" we mean "any physical act a couple agrees upon as being mutually satisfying."
While physical pleasure, for us, currently incorporates
arousal, intercourse and orgasm (usually), I do understand that there
could come a time when circumstances dictate that we have to
change our way of achieving physical pleasure. Perhaps only one of
us might desire arousal. Perhaps we might have to go back to exclusively oral sex. Perhaps we'll someday arrive at a point where hugging is all we want to do.
But if and when such a time comes, I will try my best to live
by my definition - making sure that, whatever we do, we'll create a
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