On Finding Intimacy

intimacy 2

One of the things I long for is a sensual, intellectual, loving intimacy with another man. I want to go to sleep with a man and wake up and be able to hold him close. I want to have him in my life in a permanent way.

While I’ve gone on a lot of dates and met a lot of great men, I don’t think that I’ve met anyone yet that fulfills all the definitions of intimacy that I’m looking for, but a few men come close. And after years of being in the closet, I’m not sure I’m very good at doing intimacy with another man. I see learning to do intimacy well, as one of my next goals on this big gay journey. And I’m finding some of the men that I really like, don’t know how to have a deep intimate relationship with another man either.

So what are the components of intimacy that I’m looking for? While sex is important, I don’t think it is where intimacy begins. Intimacy begins with getting to know someone. Yes, there needs to be a basic attraction or feeling of closeness with a person, but that attraction is more than sexual. I find a man who’s interested in the world, knowledgeable about the world, and has a certain excitement about life, attractive. A man that wants to experience the world: seeing a play; visiting a museum; traveling; sailing; discussing world events, are all qualities I find attractive.

Of course, physical attraction is important, but so many of us have unattainable ideals of physical perfection that can’t be met by a real human being. Once I’ve gotten to know a man more deeply, their physical perfection or lack thereof is less important to me. Don’t get me wrong, a sexy guy is a sexy guy. But so many men have their ‘type’ and do not want anything else. But I’m seeing that my type may not be the person who I fall in love with.

There was a man I met shortly after coming out who I found incredibly sexy. He was handsome, hairy, sexually aggressive, and passionate. But beyond sex, we had very little to talk about. He was interested primarily in his gym, his job, and his house, all of which consumed his interest and his time. He was ‘my type’ in so many ways but it became quickly clear that it couldn’t go anywhere.

While anonymous sex has its place, I found it can create a false intimacy. For those moments that you are together, you can feel powerfully close, but then it is over, and the wall of coldness and distance can descend quickly. I’ve been amazed that a man, who I felt deeply close to in the intimacy of sex, would, like a light switch, turn off, shut down, and become distant and cold once he finished. Suddenly it is all business and the transaction is over. For me, these encounters are supremely unfulfilling and leave me feeling empty and lonely. Thank you. Goodbye.

When I first came out I still had the pornography view of the type of man I wanted. Then something happened: I went on a lot of dates and met some very nice guys. I don’t think any of my dates fit my ideal type of man. But I met some very nice guys who were interesting, and I began to open up to a much wider possibility of the type of man I could imagine being intimate with.

It has been a journey. Being in the closet for so many years, and only being able to look, but not touch, or talk, left me with a very narrow view of the kind of man I wanted to be with. The last year and a half, meeting men, making new friends, dating, has all shown me how narrow my perspective was. I think I’m more open today to the possibility of finding intimacy with a broader world of men than I thought possible. But I still have a lot of growing to do on this topic. So I’m still working on finding intimacy and also working on welcoming it into my life when I find it.

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