veach glines art, intimacy

Some kind of far and deep metamorphoses has been taking place in me the past few years. I’ve grappled with some of its details here on this electronic stage, in posts such as Flat Sex and Taboo Sex as Mythic Fuel.

Intimacy is a very different chemistry than sexual attraction. Men tend to fear intimacy. I know I do. I feel like I’m giving over my soul. No way. Sex is easier than love, by far, especially for men. And post orgasm rejection comes as easily as removing the condom.

In the long run, having sex is less important than intimacy. I know that seems obvious to many, but sex and its trappings in the gay world can create a quagmire of identity. To my surprise, I’m finding that a deeply felt connection can lead to beautiful and rewarding sexual experiences. But the walls of self protection and self deception are high and the foundations deep. The house is confused with the man.

The house metaphor carries through my life. I have always lived more clearly externally than internally. My soft, chewy center is well camouflaged by my friendly, affable exterior. I focus on the exterior to fulfill my desire to be accepted and loved, but my vulnerability remains hidden. And that exterior takes time to maintain. It becomes self perpetuating. The house becomes me. But I remain, the inner child wanting to play, the faerie struggling in a man’s world, the artist trying to shape chaos, experimenting, the boy fearing rejection by his father, by anyone, the explorer wanting to wander and get lost, to find new lands.

I’m finding that just allowing myself to know these intimate personas is the greater battle. Looking in the mirror, I only see the shell. The inside is hidden even to me. But that is changing.

Digiart by Veach

Technorati tags- , ,

19 thoughts on “Intimacy

  1. This post got me thinking about what intimacy is, and how it’s generated – I think part of what’s tricky is that the hunger to be seen fully, known and understood, is a different hunger than the one for intimacy, but we confuse the two, and at the same time, we’re defensive because we’re afraid of getting hurt, so when we get close to someone it’s ‘me me me me’ instead of gently bearing witness to the other with wonder and love, which is where intimacy really happens…

    What I’m trying to say is that I think we get so wrapped up in self-centered fear, when it comes to intimacy, that it stops being about this lovely empathy generated between two people and starts being about our fears of injury to the vulnerable places.

    Which not only makes for self-centered fear wrecking the intimacy, but lousy sex, too. 🙂

    As always, thoughtful and thought-inspiring, dear Garnet. Write on…

  2. Im curious…
    I have done a bit of study into what we call The Prime Biological Imperative: Basically, that males are instinctivly driven to spread their seed, and females are driven to find a long term mate, and that both of these contradictary strageties are used to ensure survival of the species.

    When one is gay, there must be question, deep in the mind, about giving up the ability to pass on DNA. In addition, I wonder which forces are stronger…the male drive to spread seed, or the female drive to pair?

    One might assume that each individual hashes this out, but when I look at all the things we do as an unconsious part of this imperative, I suspect that being gay does not free one from those instinctual bonds.

    I always tell women that the reason they wear make up, is not to look pretty, but because when a woman is sexually receptive her lips and cheeks swell and redden. Its a signal to men. Make up is just a tool to get seed spreading men to pair up and hang around.

    When a husband or wife separate for a day or two for out of town trips or whatever, the male will always instigate sex on return. Why? Not because he missed her, but because he knows that other males had potential access to her, and if he makes love to her, his sperm will kill off the other sperm.

    There are lots of examples of this in scientific lit, but I have never read anything about how it effects the gay/lesbian population.

    Any clues?

  3. Therios- I like your distinction between the desire to to fully understood and intimacy. That is certainly relevent in my quest as a writer, to put my self-explorations out there. Quality of intimacy between people is affected by how comfortable each is in his own skin. When one looks to another for validation or a cure for ones fears, the relationship is built on dependence. I think many relationships are sadly codependent.

  4. Kelly- I don’t know if there is much research on how different, if any, the sexual hard wiring or tendencies is for gay men and women. I can say from experience, the male gay culture is built around sex, and judgment of physical appearance is harsh. It’s a superficial culture.

    The problem with gay men in relationships is they have double the roaming instinct. The missing nesting instinct of the woman marks trouble.

  5. Well, if what you say about physical looks and sex being very important to gay culture is true (and I assume it is) Then this relates very much to the over all prime biological imperative.

    There have been many studies that show how we are sexually attracted to people with beautiful features. This type of visual selection ensures that only the best DNA gets passed forward.

    The stereotypical male often puts little if any focus on “beauty”.

    So, since we know that a certain percentage of gay people do pass on their DNA, maybe we can surmise that this serves an important function in the overall survival of the species.

    After all :

    “In animals in which “bachelor groups” form, such as bison, gazelles, antelope, sage grouse and Guinean cocks-of-the-rock, it is not uncommon for same sex pair bonds to form and last until one or the other member of the pair departs the relationship and breeds.”

    You know what the girls always say:

    “All the good looking guys are either married or gay!”

    So basically, gay men are responsible for keeping all men attractive enough for women to be willing to mate with.

    As for lesbians, I think there is a different PBI. I think that this goes WAAAAY back to our ancient ancestors. I think that very early societies were much like deer herds, where women and children formed the core group, thus females would pair up as partners and parents.

    (Im just guessing here…I like to think about nature and science and humanity and stuff. But its just my musings.)

    What I do know, is that we are all who we are for a reason, and that there is a divine purpose for everything.

  6. Garnet,
    Beautiful vulnerability. I’ve done my fair share of external/internal struggles and will continue to do so until death I suppose. But I do know there is a “peace that surpasses all understanding.” I have felt it and it’s the only time there was not a conflict. What does it come from? Awareness? Faith? All of it? I know that as a man, I struggle with intimacy/sexuality issues and they have affected/damaged me to the core. It’s really maddening to be such gently, creative, senstive men such as we are, and yet fall victim to objectifying men/women. Self-love? Outward love? Agape? Hell, just my thoughts brother. Again, Liked this one. You always get me thinking!

  7. Kelly- I really like your scientific way of thinking.

    This phrase of your “So basically, gay men are responsible for keeping all men attractive enough for women to be willing to mate with.” sums up what I believe gay mens’ purpose is: to show culture and society a mirror, to emphasize beauty for its own sake. I think straight men’s culture has benefitied. The metro-sexual, for example is a by-product of gay culture’s influence in urban areas. Perhaps, as you suggest, this benefits society as a whole in the long run.

    If you are interested in more of my thinking on the function of gays in human culture, check out Faerie Spirit.

    I love these discussions we have!

  8. THG- I love the word agape. It’s a great combination of descriptive and metaphorical. I dont like to admit I need selfish love to be happy, but I resign myself to it. However, I realize that sexual energy has to come naturally, from chemistry. It can’t be forced. I do believe, however, that men can acquire a certain amount of “feminine” sexual energy, that is to say, “non-objective”, or sensual and intimate sexual attraction. I’ve had relationships with men whom I wouldn’t necessarily find attractive, but found their energy compatible. Yes, it’s complicated. That’s why it’s fun talking about it. Thanks for your thoughts.

  9. I love your house metaphor. You say you have difficulty exposing your inner, vulnerable side, but you seem to do it with ease here. It’s strange–isn’t it–how sometimes we can be more completely ourselves in a sea of blogging strangers than in an more intimate situation.

  10. patry- yes, it is ironic how easy it is to open up here. But it’s not that different from being in a car, where you can give the finger to someone or blow them a kiss, and you wlll probably never see them again. There’s a safety in the relative anonymity.

  11. Garnet,
    Your house metaphor is very interesting to me…I read your post detailing that and I think that it’s very insightful, as is this one about intimacy…A classic connection in dream anaylsis is one between the house and the mother. If someone dreams about a house they are dreaming something maternal:
    Intimacy; caregiver; creative force and so on…
    All kinds of perspectives, here:)

  12. Tammi- I had no idea that metaphor went so deep in its reference. But all those you listed are relevant to my search. In one room, I went from pale icy blue with pale furniture through a watery blue with warm orange accents, to deep burgundy purple with bright gold trim. That’s quite a progression in color, and perhaps, in personal development.

  13. I think that it’s ironic that someone who only sees a shell when he looks into the mirror is more in touch with his own inner workings than most of us. It may be that very awareness that makes you understand that you are complex. Some of us are not observant enough to comprehend that we do not know ourselves.
    You have such a strong connection to the physical world as well. Colors, the wine poem shows a connection with taste and texture….You have a wonderful mind/body dichotomy that seems to want to fuse together.

  14. Tammi- The gifts of rich thought, such as your comment here, have been the greated boon to me as a blogger. I had no idea I would find such growth in the conversations I have here. Thank you for this creative and supportive comment. I like your last point. It’s a suggestion so many of us could benefit from.


  15. Wonderful post.

    I tend to agree. The hardest battle we all struggle with is the true knowing of ourselves. The true depths we can reach and the sheer heights we can achieve; both equally as challenging to accept.

  16. Jackal. So glad you came by. Good point about the heights. We often limit our abilities through a kind of modesty or shyness, or from a weak self perception. And intimacy can suffer by the same un-balance.

  17. Gay men must have adopted the two fundamental insecurities of female and male approaches to a relationship. Namely, the fear of a fattening ass (F), and the fear of emotional dealings (M).
    Well, maybe some of them!
    I personally know many others that own the greatest treasures of the female and male nature, such as sensibility (F) and strength (M), to name only a few.
    In addition, such traits exist in wild patterns within the minds of straight people. Like me. I am full of female insecurities and male strengths…

    P.S. Just a humorous note.
    P.S.S. God bless gay men, and lesbians, and straight college experimenters!:-)

  18. herbal mood- I have a theme switcher style for M and F in my personality. Unfortunately, the F switch gets hidden most of the time, because it’s “not normal” for a man to be feminine. Hopefully this will really, truly change someday. yeah, like when women make the same salary as men for the same work.

    You know any straight college experimenters? I’d like to assist them.

Comments are closed.