Relational intimacy

Intimacy denotes a degree of connection common to most human relationships. An intimate relationship is an on-going close bond between two people that includes emotional and/or physical closeness. While 'intimate relationship' implies the inclusion of physical intimacy, this need not necessarily be the case.

In a healthy, functioning relationship we expect to be able to connect with our partner on a number of different levels: share warmth and affection, respect each others struggles, meet each other in our feelings and passions. However, where there is emotional disparity or an issue with sexual intimacy, the situation damages the quality of our connection with our loved one, and this subsequently affects all our relationships.

Sexual intimacy is not always fulfilling. One-in-three men suffer from premature ejaculation and one-in-two over 40 year-old men are reported to suffer from erectile dysfunction, while 80% of women experience difficulty in reaching orgasm during intercourse. Sex can also be used as a way of avoiding real, emotional intimacy.

Just as we often hold tension in our shoulders, so trauma memories and emotional pain can be stored in other parts of the body. Men, for example, often experience anxiety around sex since male sexuality is typically regarded in terms of performance. Women too can feel pressured to meet imagined expectations in the bedroom. I provide counselling that specifically addresses the situations where such stress can lead to disconnection.

Intimacy involves establishing a close personal bond with someone you care for. Through familiarity and connection, a loving attachment develops that is emotionally soothing and rewarding to you both. Intimate means “to state or make known”, which is why genuine intimacy in human relationships requires dialogue, trust, transparency, vulnerability, and reciprocity. Working with a variety individuals and couples, I support people to discover and express themselves through loving emotional, physical and spiritual closeness.