Boundaries are sexy AF: What is intimate to you? Sexual, Emotional, Romantic

Boundaries are sexy AF: What is intimate to you? Sexual, Emotional, Romantic

What acts FEEL intimate to you?

Have you ever really thought about it?

I think many people do not, until they are confronted with them in situations they don’t love. Like when jealousy rears its ugly head.

In response to a writing last week, some of the discussion turned to what is considered courtship behaviors (or girlfriend activities). And it got me thinking.

Because a lot of people probably think of intimacy as:

  • Kissing
  • Holding Hands
  • Sex

But there are so many other ways to experience intimacy.

  • Cuddling
  • Watching a Netflix series together (mononetflixus)
  • Pillow talk
  • Sharing hobbies/passions
  • Talking about goals and dreams
  • Traveling
  • Cooking together
  • Exercising together
  • Going to a movie
  • Sharing vulnerabilities (joy, fear, shame)
  • Plan a party or event together
  • Cohabitation
  • Running errands together
  • Affirmative talk
  • Sleeping together
  • Massage
  • Dancing
  • Giving/accepting service
  • Working through conflict
  • Rituals
  • Sharing gratitude
  • Escaping daily life together
  • Share life stories/family history
  • Caretaking behaviors
  • Gift giving
  • Sharing pets
  • Spend time with each other’s families

Some of these are obvious, perhaps.

Some, though, may not be. A few are things I’ve had people ask me about over the years, in their own relationship struggles.

And for many of these, I’d say they straddle the line. For some, any of these might seem too intimate when their partner engages in them with a gender of their usual sexual and romantic orientation. But when engaged with their best buddy from high school, not so much.

Or when these things are done openly, it’s not an issue, but when it seems they are being hidden, or someone is ashamed or sneaking around, they take on greater meaning.

And sometimes, none of that seems like it’s an issue UNTIL IT HAPPENS.

Like the person who suggested to their partner that they watch a show together, and their partner told them that they were watching that with someone else, and so had seen the first episodes and didn’t want to get ahead, either…

What makes all of this more confusing is that different humans are going to react differently.

For me, none of those things are by necessity romantic. Even the sexual stuff.

For another, they might ALL seem romantic with he right gender, because the only relationships they have experienced those things in (with their gender attractions) are romantic ones.

The list above is a great place to explore yourself or with a partner. Ask not just “does this feel intimate?” But
“Does this feel…”

  • …sexually intimate?
  • …emotionally intimate?
  • …romantically intimate?

And also “Would this feel intimate with”:

  • A casual office acquaintance
  • A buddy (gender not of their sexual/romantic interest)
  • A new friend (gender of their sexual/romantic interest)
  • Another partner (for the nonmonogamous)
  • A person/partner that you don’t like

Asking about these specific types of connections can certainly help you (both) understand more about what your intimacy languages are (for lack of a better term right now), and to talk about how to be compassionate around potentially sensitive issues.

If you choose to do so.

What are your thoughts?

Could you pick one item that may have surprised you, or share one of your own that you never would have expected to feel intimate, and yet, when it happened, you realized that you found a soft spot?

Or have you been on the other side, accidentally being more intimate with someone than a partner was ready for, and having to work with them through something surprising?

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