I really wish I could have found the time to write this post last week for the Food for Thought Friday meme, but I was busy with dates and work and all that life tends to throw at a person.
I used to think intimacy was like those scenes in the movies where the girl looks into the guys eyes and you just know it’s LOVE. The weak knees, the parted lips, the eye contact, it all screamed intimacy to me. I certainly equated intimacy with love, but I know now that’s not the case.
As I delve deeper into my exploration of non-monogamy, I think I begin to understand intimacy even better. It’s not the sickly sweet romantic farce found in fiction, it’s so much more than that. I’ve been thinking about it a lot this week, and I wondered if it was possible to have an intimate moment with a stranger. Essentially, isn’t that what you do on a first date? You meet with someone, have dinner or coffee or drinks, and you talk, first about small stuff, obvious and almost predictable questions and answers, before you begin to peel off the layers and discover things about them that make them unique. I think an intimate moment is what turns a first date into a second one, and that intimacy can take on many forms. It could be a shared experience, something comical or profound. It could be that electric spark when you touch hands for the first time. It might even be something curious or mysterious, something that you can’t even name that draws you in further to that person and makes you want to get to know them better.
Recently, I had an interesting intimate moment that turned a good date into something more. I can’t quite explain it, it was a small moment in time that made me look twice. It was almost the end of the night, we were finishing a late dinner side by side at the bar. We talked easily, shared our food, and laughed comfortably. It was just the kind of evening I imagine when I’m meeting someone for the first time, but right at the end, someone threw a wrench into the works. The bartender cleared our plates right as a highly intoxicated man sat down next to us. We were engaged, sipping our drinks, chatting and we didn’t pay him any attention. As is wont to happen with drunk folks, he rudely inserted himself into our conversation. Normally, I retreat from a situation like this, choosing flight over fight, and we tried to politely turn him away. He kept on, though and became more rude as the minutes ticked by. My pretty and intriguing companion quickly grew tired of his meddling and chose to fight back. She was calm and cool, the words coming from her mouth were intelligent but scathing, and my eyes widened with each utterance and my own confidence grew until I too was fighting back against this misogynistic male intrusion. We banded together, stood our ground, and confidently put the man in his place. We weren’t unruly or unhinged, and soon he began to lash out, losing his footing so quickly and efficiently, he resorted to name calling and childish put downs. We were done, our tab paid, our drinks finished, and I grabbed her hand and dragged her out of the bar, warning an incoming patron to watch out for That Piece of Work at the end of the bar. The whole altercation only lasted a few moments, but my blood was pumping through my veins like a rushing river. I pulled her out onto the rainy sidewalk and kissed her.
So, what was the intimate moment in that story? Was it the laughter and the shared meal? The kiss? Or the moment we came together to fight off an intruder? It might be different for different people, but for me it was the moment she opened her mouth to defend us and our right to enjoy ourselves peacefully, the way she empowered me to step out of my comfort zone and speak my mind.
I’ve learned that intimacy isn’t about love, it’s not about sex, it’s not about nakedness in a physical sense, but about vulnerability. For me, being vulnerable brings a level of comfort that normally my walls wouldn’t allow. I’ve been seeing V for almost five months now, and we share an intimate friendship that is unique to any other I have. I can talk to her about anything. About my mistakes and failures, about my mental health, my family problems, about all the good stuff and the bad. I have that kind of intimacy with my other girl friends and my sisters, so what makes this different? What pushes this relationship into a different realm of intimacy worthy of this post? In this case, I think it’s the sex. Well, not just the sex, but the connection through sex and comfort through vulnerability.
I farted in front of her. We were side by side, kneeling on the floor naked. My husband had just fucked my ass harder than he’d ever fucked it before as she held my hand and kissed me. It was a hot and dirty fucking that is usually reserved for just the two of us, but having her there made it fun and different. I was panting, worn out and sweaty and getting over a cold, and as I lay there catching my breath, I coughed.
It came out like a foghorn, more of a butthole queef than actually passing gas, but he said it blew the hairs on his leg. I could have felt shame or embarrassment, but instead I laughed. Giddy and silent giggles shook my body so hard that another one squeaked out. She laughed with me, clutching my hand, the two of us on the floor laughing. She does that a lot. She laughs with me, not at me. She laughs when I get into the sex stuff and my leg does something funny. She laughs when I try to take her whole boob into my mouth and end up making a fart noise around it. She even laughs when I come, her mischievous eyes staring at me from between my shaking thighs, her cheshire grin dripping with my dampness. When I am most vulnerable, she laughs with me and she breaks down my walls. She makes me feel comfortable in my vulnerability. Comfortable to open myself up to her, to be strange and weird and free.
There is nothing like the intimacy I share with my husband, and I think that many married people will agree. It’s beyond comfort and vulnerability. It’s certainly beyond sex and love. It’s this all encompassing intimacy, the kind that you get from committing to Forever. I know that marriage isn’t forever for everyone, but it is for us. We don’t define our marriage like most people, and for us, that makes Forever feasible. Our marriage is flexible and always changing.
Recently, I have found a new kind of intimacy with him. First, through D/s and now through non-monogamy. With the power exchange dynamic, I found that our connection was solidified. We learned how to communicate again, and through that, we opened up to each other in completely new ways, sharing our deepest desires. We learned to be vulnerable, to both express and control emotions, we learned how to support each other. With all of this comes an intimacy that we did not expect. This closeness has allowed us to let go of each other in a way, to explore parts of ourselves that the other can’t provide. It’s interesting how non-monogamy has brought out a new intimacy between us. You would think that separating yourself from your partner would cause a divide, but by learning not to be co-dependent on each other, we have found a way to appreciate each other in a different way.
I met one of his partners last month. We met for dinner and drinks, and I had a great time talking to her and getting to know her a little. One thing that I remember fondly, a moment that makes my heart swell even now, is that she put her hand on his thigh as she sat next to him. She looked up at him and smiled and gave his leg a little squeeze. It was an intimate exchange between the two of them, but the fact that I was there too, made it mine as well. When we got home later that night, he mentioned it. He said how much he liked it, how comfortable it felt, and how happy it made him to share that with her and with me. It was sweet.
We often sit on the couch and watch tv in the last hour or two before bed, letting the day and everything that goes along with it fall away from us. Recently, instead of zoning out to sitcoms and gameshows, we turn towards each other and talk. We talk about the date we had last night or how we can better communicate to make our lifestyle run more smoothly. We discuss plans for upcoming dates and we give advice on how to word a sexy text message. We enjoy each other’s excitement and we encourage each other. This is a new kind of intimacy. The kind that goes with jumping into the unknown together.