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A selection from
cover of book

photo of Keith and Virginia Laken
with permission of
Ant Hill Press
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Looking Back
A New Definition of Intimacy

Gin, on intimacy . . .

[CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE]

special time to totally concentrate on physically pleasing each other, and that whatever we do satisfies each of our needs.

These days, the definition of intimacy, for us, is no longer as connected with what we do as much as with our intentions - to always keep some kind of sexual activity as a part of our lives.


Keith, on intimacy...

When I think of what the term "intimacy" means, I'm immediately reminded of the things I share with Gin that I wouldn't think of sharing with anyone else: my inner feelings, my insecurities, and, of course, my body. I suspect these are facets of a marital relationship that many people would consider the "intimate" ones. It sounds simple, sharing these things with your partner, but it can get really complex. So many things can affect one's willingness to be intimate, and can cause a person to pull back.

When I look at the most difficult part of our recovery, I think one of the primary reasons we couldn't be intimate was because each of us was feeling a lack of safety. I was hesitant to even try to make love with Gin because I was afraid I couldn't live up to her expectations. Gin says she was afraid to come on to me because she thought I was going to reject her (or that she would be put in a position of seeming to have to "beg for it"). Basically, neither of us wanted to feel foolish.

Realizing this now, I understand that a major component of being intimate is feeling safe.

When Gin and I finally made our "contracts" with each other - the agreement to have consistent sex dates and the promise of not turning each other down - we had, without realizing it, created safe places. Only then were we able to begin the process of reestablishing our intimacy.

Recently, Gin asked me what advice I would give to people who have not had sexual relations in a long time. "It seems like it would be so difficult to even know how to begin being intimate again, if you haven't done anything in years," she pondered.

I agreed with her.



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