Intimacy is perhaps most simply described as a deep connection. For me, it comes from a place of true presence, awareness, trust, openness, courage, communication and love, creating that eternal romance in a moment where time and space cease to exist. That is the deepest Intimacy I have experienced with myself or with others.
Tantric Intimacy is like the merging of body and soul, of outer and inner worlds, of the physical and non-physical space, breaking down boundaries and opening up ready for a deeper connection still.
Connecting tantrically is like switching life on, finding a true intimacy with the world around us, others and our own psyche.
We can talk about different types of intimacy:
– Physical intimacy – not necessarily sexual – it could simply mean hugging, kissing, holding hands, caressing or touching someone with love.
– Sexual intimacy – sex involving a true and present connection.
– Emotional intimacy – self-expression, appreciation, honesty, vulnerability, listening, and effective and open communication.
– Spiritual intimacy – beyond the physical realms – for example, perhaps you see someone and feel that you know them despite having seemingly never met before, and it doesn’t matter if you know nothing about this person’s life, there is a feeling that you know something deeper than words can tell you about him or her.
– Intellectual intimacy – connecting with an intellectual equal.
– Intimacy through activities or shared interests – perhaps explore the 64 kalas of tantric tradition, including singing, dancing, pottery, poetry, cooking etc. and make time to do these things – spending quality time with yourself or another.
Intimacy with one’s self
If we are missing an intimate connection with ourselves like enjoying alone time, self-care, self-reflection, self-love, acceptance and understanding without judgement, then intimacy with others will also be difficult – we are missing some chords of connection with self, or maybe running to find ourselves.
Give a thought to a time when you had an intimate moment with yourself – what made it so special? How can you cultivate further similar experiences?
Sometimes just being aware of such moments can help to create more…
Intimacy With Others – possible at various levels with different people. Intimacy with others does not necessarily mean sexual intimacy – your intimate moment could be with your child, peers, friends, or even a stranger walking on the road, sharing an honest smile. It could be a deep moment of awakening or a heartfelt moment.
Who are the people in your life with whom you are intimate? What were the moments in your life which you can term as Intimate? Perhaps cultivating gratitude for such moments could help create further such experiences…?
Intimacy in a relationship – this relies on a foundation of mutual understanding, acceptance, trust, consideration, awareness, love and respect. Respecting each other’s space is so important in creating a ground on which intimacy can grow, as is being aware of your own and each other’s needs, listening and sharing, being open and expressive without overwhelming each other, remaining empathic.
We can put words together to try to explain connection and intimacy fully, to delve into it and try to express it for all to understand, but really, a true understanding happens when you manage to let go of your fears and delve openly into a relationship with the world, yourself or whoever it may be, without expectation, fully trusting your path, respecting boundaries, with full awareness as you go.
Remember not to put too much pressure on yourself or others – it’s a process.
Points to consider helping to build up the Intimacy with yourself or with others.
– Love / Compassion – be really loving to yourself. Don’t be too tough on yourself, it’s ok to make mistakes in life and learn from them. Be generous, kind, forgiving.
– Truth / Honesty / Authenticity – it’s hard but very important. Be true to yourself and in relationships. Even if you are going through hard times, are scared, confused it’s ok – be open and honest about it. Also, your energy is wasted if you use it to hide how you are feeling rather than to express it and move forwards.
– Building trust – letting go of any fears or insecurities will really help develop a deeper connection with yourself and others.
– Acceptance – when we can embrace who we are, who someone else is or whatever it is that comes to pass, it provides that deep feeling of letting go – you can allow whatever is to be what it is without judgement.
– Affection – we can express our affection in many ways through caring, actions, giving gifts, hugging, playing and listening. Bringing affection to a relationship can help to soften it up. – Touch – conscious touch is one of the greatest ways to express affection and different kinds of touches can be explored. Be aware of what is appropriate in any given situation, be aware of what your partner is going through and therefore whether touch is what he or she needs in that moment, and if so in what way.
– Communication – so important, and is certainly not only verbal – when communicating with others, try to remember to respond rather than react, give each other time to feel heard with empathy and understanding – trying to be right all the time can just create a wall of ego and you will then find it harder to really feel others. It’s not about proving yourself right or wrong; it’s about understanding one another.
Open up communication by spending a small amount of time each day expressing how you are feeling, whether in a diary or to your significant other, set aside a few minutes to express yourself – and make sure, if doing so alone or with a partner, that you don’t overdo it or let one person dominate – try to maintain balance. Some days you or the person you are connecting with may have more to express than others, just make sure this doesn’t become problematic.
When there is a problem to address, make sure you set aside some time to do so properly and openly. Try to avoid blame and try to express how whatever the problem is makes you feel rather than just complaining about the technicalities. You are not necessarily seeking a solution, just giving yourself/each other a space to offload openly.
Take some time every day to cultivate gratitude – at the end of each day, write down or discuss 5 things you have been grateful for in that day. These could be things you have achieved or things you have discovered, things the universe brought you, and/or things your partner or someone else has done, things you appreciate in him or her. Making such a list can truly help deepen a connection with the self and others.
– Breathwork – working on the breath together, focusing on synchronising the breath during meditation and along with physical/sexual intimacy.
– Safety – Feeling Safe and protected and also offering that feeling to others. It’s very important to provide a feeling of being safe to let the other person trust and open up fully to you. That may include not judging or feeling judged, not biting back, not talking to others about someone behind their back.
Tantric intimacy is a complete turn on to life. It is like learning the art of love making to life. Through conscious awakening of senses you enter into timelessness and bliss. In Tantra we learn how to slow down in life and connect with a person in different realms. We drop the words or known or obvious means of connection and stimulate other senses or uncommon ways of exploration with other beings. In a real Tantric experience you may experience godliness through each other.
You touch the divine within yourself and the other. In fact, I would say all the above things are difficult to achieve in an intimate relationship without Tantric practices and meditation, as Tantra brings awareness to our shadows and light.