Love is a collaborative work of art… by Paula Dennan

Intimacy is a word that is used widely and often as a way to describe sexuality. However it involves much more than how we experience our sexuality.

Intimacy includes the sharing of tasks and interests, being emotionally in tune with each other and non-sexual forms of touching and closeness. It requires the capacity to work together and to connect with each other. It involves the deepest possible sharing of ourselves with our partner, mind, body and soul. This can grow in collaboration or stagnate over time.

Intimacy can be uniquely constructed together and as such is a team creation.
One way develop intimacy is to consider the various domains of intimacy. These domains offer a guide on areas that you can use to help you grow your connection. Any area can be discussed and developed from wherever you , your partner and the relationship starts from.

The Psychological Domain – this can include your inner thoughts about your relationship and how you demonstrate these. How do you show respect for yourself and your partner, how do you develop trust, communicate openness and honesty about your thoughts. How do you show your partner that “ I believe in you and am there for you”?

The Emotional Domain –this is the domain in which you can grow your skills on being aware of your own feelings, empathizing with your partner’s feelings, being expressive and verbally affectionate and making room for two people’s experiences.

The Physical Domain– it is important in this domain to consider how you give and receiveg non-sexual affection, how you utilize the power of touch in your unique ways. It involves being aware of the physical connections you learned from childhood and how these play out in your relationship, developing these. If you enjoy sexual connection together then this domain includes sharing chosen and negotiated sexual activities and erotic experiences.

The Operational Domain– this is the important practical domain, the one in which many conflicts surface. This domains involves considering the ways in which you and your partner share responsibilities, roles and decision making. How you both reviewing and renegotiating these when needed with the development of your lives and as situations change. It is often quoted that ‘foreplay starts with the dishes’!

The Social Domain– this can include sharing activities, interests and friends. Review how how you support your partner across settings when together and when socializing separately to each other. Do you often bring home to your partner stories of your experiences socially when you have been out without them?

The Spiritual Domain – this is a domain that is not often known, named or described in relationships. But this domain is the one in which you share your deeper dreams, hopes, beliefs on meaning of life. A place where you share your sense of being in your body when connecting with the world. For example your embodiment in sensory realms and when at one with nature forms. Some consider the spiritual domain a place where the soul is experienced through prayer, connection with the universe. Consider how you might meet with yourself and your partner in this spiritual domain.

Deepening intimate connection is a creative team effort – take the plunge…

Paula Dennan

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