This is a partner post to one I have written for The SafeworD/s Club about what intimacy is and how that fits with a D/s lifestyle. While the other post is more informational, I wanted to include some of the more personal side about the things that we do which allow us to feel the close and intimate connection that we do. I know I often refer to the level of intimacy we share as being one of the key differences to me of living a D/s lifestyle, so I thought I would try to apply what I had written in my other post in more real terms and explain what we do to go about achieving intimacy of this kind.
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.
Achieving Physical Intimacy
In a physical sense, I have never been as intimate with another person as I am with HL. Achieving intimacy in a physical and sexual sense has been a gradual and ongoing process and in many ways it began prior to committing to a D/s dynamic. We were already experimenting with some of the kinky things that we enjoy but without the level of discussion we have now, it felt a bit more of a hit or a miss and didn’t connect us on the same level that it does currently.
Part of my submission is being available to HL 24/7. The idea the he can use me as he wants means that my body becomes his and there is a vulnerability to this as well as a loss of control. It requires a high level of trust to hand myself over to him and to follow the directions that he gives. In terms of being open with my body, during play he will push my boundaries and limits. He wants to see me let go and give up everything that I would usually keep in reserve. This can be in terms of taking a level of pain, experiencing the extremes of pleasure, and in allowing him to make my body behave in ways that I might prevent in normal terms.
As part of play there can be intimate inspections which help to push me into my submissive mindset. As my body begins to respond to him and what he is doing he will comment on the changes and show his knowledge of how I work in terms of the way he steers the play that we do. There is an expectation that I will serve him with my body and through acts such as cock worship, I am able to show him the connection I feel. After play, the aftercare we do allows us to move from physical intimacy to something more emotional.
Generally we will be quite physical with each other. Touch is important and we enjoy spending time together. HL likes me being naked and when the opportunity is there, he will have me on display for him as much as he can. We have always slept naked because it enhances the physical closeness that we feel. In more recent years, achieving physical intimacy has been pushed through the taking, and sometimes sharing, of more intimate images. Although my body image issues remain, HL has tried to challenge my disordered thinking and support me to have a healthier self-view.
Achieving Emotional Intimacy
Although HL would naturally seek an emotional connection through physical intimacy, it works differently for me. I find that if I feel emotionally connected then I am more comfortable with the physical openness so exploring how to achieve emotional intimacy in a way which works for us on a practical level has been important. It took us a whole to get it right really and it was the one area we would come a bit unstuck. We found that if we stopped talking about us in a structured way, things would start to slip.
I think most people would agree that effective communication is at the heart of making a relationship work and I believe this is true for achieving intimacy on a deep level too. It is about feeling known or seen and about doing the same for the other person so in this way much of the structure of our D/s has come in handy. During our weekly talks we will speak openly about our thoughts and feelings. We have found that having time put aside to do this means that it is not interrupted by other family and work demands and pressures.
Being able to really listen to each other is important, and being able to ask questions and check understanding is essential. So often things will go awry because of a misunderstanding or an assumption of how the other person is feeling. In order to feel safe there has to be acknowledgement and empathy, and although that will come through our general interactions, there tends to be an evaluation of it so that we can learn from it during the more focussed discussions.
The rules and rituals we have in place also form part of achieving intimacy on an emotional level. I am required to communicate with HL prior to coming home if things at work have not gone well so that he is aware and can support me with that. We have both agreed to share openly, even when it is difficult and what we have to say might be awkward to say. We are patient with one another and take the time to explore our emotions, rather than predicting and mind reading.
We have had our fair share of stress the past few years and seeing ourselves as being at the centre of our world has helped. If something happens, we tend to view it as happening to us both and look at the impact of it and at how we can deal with that together. This has avoided us becoming separated by our experiences and means that we are able to support each other through the challenges as well as celebrating the positives together. It an be hard to show your vulnerability on an emotional level and we have both found that for different reasons, however, doing so has been a huge connector and has allowed us to really build out trust in one another.
Achieving Experiential Intimacy
Doing things together, especially things which have pushed and challenged us has also been significant in achieving intimacy. On a D/s level we both have our blogs but we also run a number of other projects together. We are invested in these as individuals but also as a couple and therefore, it creates a strong sense of who we are together as we both have a vested interest. We have also attended kink events which took us out of our comfort zone and allowed us to explore areas which interested and excited us both.
Another area where we have created an experiential connection would be through erotic photography. We have got more confident, more conformable and more knowledgeable about this and it has allowed us to share in something that we have both come to enjoy. And in terms of sharing, we have moved more recently to activities which have involved other people, allowing us to push boundaries and limits in ways that have led to a deeper bond between us, as well an feeling more intimately connected to others.
Achieving Intellectual Intimacy
Intimacy on an intellectual level has been a bit trickier for me and achieving intimacy of this sort has probably been a longer process. While I am more than happy to share my thoughts and ideas on a variety of topics, where kink and fantasy is concerned I have found it hard. HL finds it much easier than me and this allowed us to build intimacy around the things that he was sharing and allowed me to take a little longer to really feel comfortable.
Exploring fantasies and revealing your deepest desires can be challenging, particularly if your earlier experiences have prevented this or make it feel unsafe to express your thoughts. I think this was really where I was stuck and it we have tackled it really in a drip, drip sort of way. Writing here, sometimes as fiction, has meant that I have been able to articulate some of the thoughts while keeping a degree of detachment from them. I have also found that chatting to others at The SWC has allowed me to open up and share, without feeling that the spotlight is on me.
Learning more about erotic humiliation and where that fits, and sharing that with HL even in small ways, has also been important. Through use of narrative and role-play we have sometimes been able to explore things we might find enjoyable but felt were slightly beyond our grasp. HL was also able to share the desire to explore his more sadistic side, which I think happened because he felt safe enough to acknowledge it, knowing that it would not be misunderstood.
As with anything in a relationship, achieving intimacy is an ongoing thing. It has to be fluid and what you do will depend on your circumstances at any given time. We are moving towards a period in the coming few years where we will likely have more time on our own than we have done, and I would expect that this will lead to some changes and developments in a variety of different ways. What is important is that you move in a way and at a pace that works for you and try not to compare yourself to others in a way which adds pressure.
Apart from the partner post, Intimacy, which is on The SafeworD/s Club, other related posts are Intimacy and vulnerability which is about the part that vulnerability has played in helping us to achieve intimacy and Meeting Emotional Needs and Daring Greatly (also on the SWC) which is about how an emotional connection can be created an fostered through D/s.