What do you need for Intimacy?

I’ve been compiling a list of intimacy skills.  You know, all that stuff we learned in human sexuality class in school.  Yeah, right.  Anyway, what do you think?

Skills for Intimacy

  • Speak truth (gently and frankly.)
  • Know my desire (and be able to ask for what I want, even if you can’t give it to me.)
  • Listen compassionately (without being dismissive, moving to fix it or offering advice.)
  • Be responsible for my own emotional landscape (discerning what is mine, what is yours.)
  • Hold an open heart (work at it, know when it’s closed, breathe into it daily so it stays connected and available to you.)
  • Vulnerability (without expecting it to be reciprocated and without expectation that you will fix, save or rescue me.)
  • Boundaries (having good ones and maintaining them, as well as honoring yours.)
  • Energy (me noticing mine, and having some internal regulation and accountability about what I project.)
  • Saying yes to your desire (more often than not.)
  • Receptivity (being able to actually receive love, touch, care.)
  • Gratitude (being thankful for all the joy, support, as well as work.  Being grateful that you are such a good mirror for me.)
  • Awareness of differing needs (my needs are different than yours, and both are valid.)
  • Trust  (you care deeply about me and my best interests. You will tend your boundaries.  You will honor mine. Assuming good intent, even when I don’t understand your actions.)
  • Risk-taking (trust and vulnerability are required.  I have to let you have the ability to hurt me, and trust that you’ll try not to. Allowing you to see my shadow.)
  • Ability to let go of my story and of being “right” (and acknowledge that your story is true for you. This included forgiveness when you fuck up.)
  • Ability to hold space for your feelings. (No greater gift I can give you.)
  • Acknowledging when I fuck up. (Having empathy for the pain I inadvertently cause you.)
  • Cooperative, not competitive engagement with each other.  (I can depend on your care, support and well-wishes for my life.)
  • Generosity (well wishing for your life, being able to back-burner my own stuff when yours is more pressing, being available to make your life more wonderful.)

My dear H.R. Bremner ,(another fabulous somatic sex coach) and I are exploring these skills together.  We will be teaching “On Fire with Desire” on October 4.  Register here.  Getting in touch with, naming, asking for and receiving your deep desires are all skills we will work on!

Any glaring intimacy skills not on this list?  What level is your skill set at?

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6 thoughts on “What do you need for Intimacy?

  1. I appreciate this list. Thank you.
    My knee-jerk reaction is that I interpret ‘intimacy’ as relating to only sexual relationships, when in fact it relates to others as well. I have non-sexual intimacy with my family and my close friends, and thus this list relates to those relationships as well.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I agree…there are many different types of intimacy. What comes to mind is that there are intimate relationship we can have with beings other than human. I’ve definitely had intimate moments with certain trees, a plant, the hummingbirds in my yard. The skills are certainly transferable to our non-sexual intimate relationships. I wish we learned Human Relating 101!

  2. Excellent List!! Thank you for posting it!!!! It’s amazing how the sexual is usually about the non-sexual reminding you how inter-connected we really are.

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