What is Intimacy?
Intimacy is a feeling of knowing another person deeply and feeling deeply known by them. It is created over time and comes from a deep connection on a number of levels. There are different types of intimacy, including physical, emotional, experiential and intellectual. Often people assume that intimacy is about a sexual connection; while for some this will be the case it is quite possible to be intimate with another person without this. Although feeling intimate with a partner on a romantic level is often desired, sometimes it can be hard to achieve that level of closeness.
D/s Lifestyle and Intimacy
Living in a power exchange dynamic has helped us to find this for a number of reasons. A D/s relationship is about building a deep level of trust, it is about open and honest communication, it is about showing the other person your deepest desires and it is about experiencing new things together. All of this comes back to vulnerability and in a D/s relationship, both partners have to make themselves vulnerable by showing who they truly and are and what the really feel. Through this, a deep bond is formed and an intense connection is created in a physical and emotional sense.
Different Forms of Intimacy
- Physical intimacy is about physical closeness to another person. This can often be sexual or sensual and will be about feeling comfortable with the other person in a physical sense.
- Emotional intimacy is about feeling safe to share your feelings, even if this might feel uncomfortable. It comes from a trust in the other person to listen and empathise with you.
- Experiential intimacy come from bonding while doing things together. The shared experience will connect you, especially if the activities chosen have pushed you on some level.
- Intellectual intimacy is about sharing your thoughts and ideas, even if you think the other person may not share or agree with them. It is about having the confidence to be open about what your really think.
Communication is Key
D/s lends itself to creating intimacy in all of these areas because of the closeness and intensity of the relationship. Communication is key and within that, thoughts feelings and desires will be shared and discussed. Sharing your innermost thoughts with another person takes a lot of trust and this will likely build gradually over time. Accepting that your partner has seen the best and the worst and the weirdest things about you and wants you anyway can lead to not jut a sense of being known, but a sense of being truly loved.
The Importance of Vulnerability
Being open and honest can make your feel vulnerable, but trusting your partner to listen and empathise is central. D/s is about meeting the needs of the other on an emotional and a physical level and this can’t happen unless you understand what it is they really need. Vulnerability is central because this is what allows a deep connection to be formed. It is about letting someone else in and allowing them to really see who you are. While many will see this as something for the submissive partner to do, in order for intimacy to be shared, this is something that is required for both partners.
Exploring the Sexual Side
In D/s, play is often an important part. There can be a lot of time devoted to this and sex becomes much more about creating a physical connection than it does about penetration. It is about learning about the other person’s body and how that works. It is about understanding the things that will arouse them and expressing the deep desire that you have for them in a very physical way. Often during a scene or play there the emotional connection that you have will be explored in a very physical way, connecting the two and allowing you to translate the sexual experience into something much deeper and more significant.
Exploring Together and Building Trust
Being open about your thoughts and feelings, and discussing your fantasies and desires, will lead to you trying things that you might not have done otherwise. Sharing experiences like this which push your own boundaries, or allow you to cross new territory together, will connect you through that experience. If some of these activities are kinky and feel a bit taboo then they may not be things that you would discuss with others, meaning that the experience is shared in an intimate way between the two of you. Again, this blinds you on an emotional level.
Fear of intimacy
Intimacy requires vulnerability and trust but some people can be scared of this, so perhaps the level of intimacy you have is not as deep as you would like it to be because of this. This fear might be for a number of reasons such as:
- Fearing that once you become attached to someone, they might leave you.
- Worrying that if you reveal flaws or imperfections, they won’t want to be with you.
- Being scared to lose your independence by becoming emotionally connected to someone else.
- Being afraid to trust due to a history of childhood abuse.
While these things will make it more difficult to create intimacy on some levels, being patient with yourself and with your partner will allow you to work on some of these things in a way which is manageable for you. Trust and vulnerability will not just be there because you want it to be. It is built slowly over time, and deepening levels of intimacy will be likely be part of the growth of your relationship.
More about Dominance, Submission and Intimacy
At the heart of any good relationship there has to be trust, respect, honesty and open communication but these are elements which will became stronger as you closeness and connection grows. Dominance and submission is based on these foundations and in a lifestyle dynamic you will likely create a structure which allows you to build on these aspects as you go. Over time you will feel more confident and conformable in sharing, safer in exploring, and more open about allowing yourself to be seen by the other person.
I have written a partner post to this one on submissy which explains more about what HL do on a personal level to create intimacy in our relationship. Intimacy and vulnerability which is also posted on submissy is about the part that vulnerability has played in helping us to achieve intimacy; another related post written for the blog here is Meeting Emotional Needs and Daring Greatly and it is about how an emotional connection can be created an fostered through D/s.