Do You Prefer Intimacy or Sex?
In casual conversations, I've found that most men
say they would prefer just uncomplicated sex with a
partner. But when men truly get honest during a
counseling session or even when a colleague or
friend discusses his personal life in a deeper
conversation, I often find that most men actually
long for intimacy.
What's the difference? Here are some clues to
help you sort it out and decide which one you would
like to make happen in your life: Sex is when
you're performing and worrying about whether you're
Intimacy is when you and your partner care about
one another at such a deep level that all sorts of
awkward and graceful, bold and wonderful things can
happen during your sensual moments with each other
and neither person is judgmental or impatient.
Sex is when you're trying hard to get to the
Intimacy is when you surprise yourself and you
surprise each other by all the exquisite detours,
quiet moments, noisy moments, and caring gestures
that show up along the way.
Sex is when you're turned on by a specific body
part that seems detached from the whole person.
Intimacy is when you're amazed that you can
connect so deeply with another human being and have
so much pleasure from just being with each
Sex is when you feel finished and ready to shut
the other person out immediately after you're done
with the heavy breathing.
Intimacy is when you feel like lingering or
embracing or talking or resting in each other's
arms because the outside world has disappeared.
Sex is when you feel like a conqueror and you've
Intimacy is when you feel as though you checked
your ego at the door and you've entered a whole
different level of existence where you are no
longer separate or alone, but rather at one for at
least a few moments with someone whose soul and
your soul have a mysterious connection.
Sex is when you keep score of who's doing what
Intimacy is when you can't keep track of who's
doing what to whom because you both receive as much
from giving as you do from receiving.
Sex is when your hormones are flowing but your
heart isn't fully open.
Intimacy is when your heart is flowing and each
breath opens you up even further.
For many people, sex is safe because you know
all your moves and how to stay in control. But
intimacy is more risky because you finally allow
yourself to be fully present and vulnerable and
real with another human being.
Sex will sometimes leave the two of you feeling
distant and removed afterward, which can eventually
drive you toward a breakup.
Intimacy will often leave the two of you feeling
amazed and grateful afterward, that two unique
individuals can become so close and build up so
much trust and mutual respect.
Sex is what a 15 year old longs for.
Intimacy is what you realize at a certain age
has been missing from your life and you are finally
willing to make it happen.
Which have you been choosing lately--sex or
intimacy? Which would you like in the future?
* * *
Felder is a licensed psychologist in private
practice in West Los Angeles. As a popular lecturer
and recognized expert on how to improve personal
relationships, his books have sold more than 1
million copies. His latest book is Wake
Up or Break Up: The 8 Crucial Steps to
Relationship He has
appeared on more than 200 teleivsion and radio
programs, including Oprah, The Today Show, The
Early Show, CNN, AM Canada, NPR, and
ABC Talkradio. He and his wife, Linda, have
been together since 1980, and they hare the parents
of a 12-year-old son, Steven. E-Mail
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