When people find out how long I have been married to someone incarcerated, one of the quickest questions I receive is “What about sex?” I respond “What about it?” It is completely inappropriate to inquire about another person’s sex life, which is why I ask the person why and how this is their business. However, the question of sex is a revealing look at the mentality of people when it comes to prison, relationships, sex and (the piece they don’t consider)…intimacy, as it often leads my inquisitor to respond with “I don’t see how you do it.” And, this is where I educate them.
We live in such a sexualized world. Sex permeates every aspect of our lives, from direct references to the slightest innuendo. Some say sex is the most important part of a relationship. If that were true, relationships separated by distance and time would be flaccid, but that is not the case. When you are in a relationship removed from sex, thoughts and urges wane.
Intimacy is not a function of the anatomy. It is a function of the heart and at the center of that heart is communication. Communication is the tool by which intimacy enters. In this type of relationship, you can’t use sex to fix an argument or pass the time, you have to communicate. Intimacy is the ability to connect on a level so deep it transcends physicality and understanding. Intimacy is the by-product of communicating with love.
I’m able to be with my husband because we have true intimacy. I hear his heartbeat from the inside. I read the sound of his voice. I know the wounds and hurts before the words are spoken. I see the weariness that hides behind his eyes. I possess powers no other woman has because he only communicates with me, as in he allows me to see him stripped-down naked without masks, presumptions, or ego. Sex is fleeting, a moment in time, or a washed-off action in jest. Intimacy is a fingerprint on the soul. His hand print is on my heart. This is how I do it. Education complete.[rft]
Do you have true intimacy with your partner?
What’s the difference between sex and intimacy for you?