December 2017
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what I am proud of about me: skills/knowledge about intimacy & consent


icon: "garrulous(a photo of my lips with the skin greyed out and the lips overlaid with a green and blue fractal pattern)"

prompt from antuvschle: Describe the one thing about yourself that makes you most proud.

I am very skilled at creating and nurturing intimacy. I have been practicing one-on-one for 20 years (since my first intentional friendship) and practicing with the public for 13 years (through LJ) and practicing in groups for 4 years (through intimacy practice). I am always eager to learn, and quick to change my behavior when I come across a new concept, but it is rare that I come across someone who has a deeper understanding of intimacy.

I confess that I do feel pride about my level of skill, which can be very annoying because when someone I know re-posts something that is a simplified version of what I have been writing about I get miffed that they don't take me seriously but they'll take some random white dude with a Ph.D. seriously. If we dueled I'd win, and I'm very confident of this because it literally takes up the majority of my waking life. Some people with doctorates might know as much as me on how to create intimacy but I am certain that most of them don't. Frankly the literature available is mostly devoid of intersectional analysis (which means they miss even the basics), so if you're not learning from personal experience and/or justice-focused blogs you'll just not know much.

I also feel offended when people with less understanding of consent, power, and privilege get asked to talk/teach about sex or relationships. I keep this to myself because I don't think I have a legitimate cause for complaint, since I do not seek out platforms like others do, and I know that is a factor. But yeah, I can tell that I have pride there because I expect to be treated with more deference than most on the topics of intimacy, interpersonal power & privilege, and consent.

I don't think I should take pride like this -- it has no value and serves only to get me miffed over imagined slights -- but I do!

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Comments
ghostwriter ══╣Me in Spirit╠══
Only now have I met someone who has a deeper understanding of intimacy, and its so wonderful. I've always been this way but I've never been able to share it with anyone until now.

belenen ══╣giving╠══
I am glad you have someone to share it with now!
b00kl0ver ══╣╠══
suckyfucky ══╣╠══
looking into this now
belenen ══╣artless╠══
thanks!

I don't generally enjoy ethnography. It tends to aspire to objectivity but fail miserably, due to unexamined privilege. I like anthologies instead, where I can draw my own conclusions from people's thoughts rather than having a go-between.
b00kl0ver ══╣╠══
suckyfucky ══╣╠══
I'm curious. I personally think I'm good at intimacy (after I let my walls down, but I only put them down for people who deserve it, so I'm very conscious of my intimacy), but I'd like to hear your thoughts. You talked mad game in this post, so I'd like an example.

Not that I think you're lying, I'm just genuinely curious as to what a "deep understanding" of intimacy means to you, how do you define it.
belenen ══╣artless╠══
Well, an example would be conflict resolution. I can almost always handle conflict in a way that allows the people involved to feel understood and validated, with the end result that we have a better method of handling that type of situation next time.

I'm also very good at sharing important aspects of myself, and even better at enabling meaningful sharing from others.

I guess to me a deep understanding of intimacy involves how to create it (which I can do very quickly with anyone who is open to meeting me even 1/4th-way) and how to maintain it (through things like excellent conflict resolution).
jeune_fleur ══╣╠══
I'm sorry for butting in >.>; but the first thing you said resonated so much with me! I'd love to learn more about making others feel understood and validated. I usually handle myself very poorly during conflict and end up victimizing myself :(
belenen ══╣analytical╠══
no need to apologize!

Conflict can be very stressful and even if you have all the skills, if the other person is not willing to meet you part-way then it can just go terribly anyway. That's the sad part!
suckyfucky ══╣╠══
Give me an example. I know how to create intimacy in book terms, I'd just like a real life example that you've done.
belenen ══╣voltaic╠══
okay, first you need to know that I have a memory like a sieve. Pulling up a specific example is not really an ability I have.

However, I can pull up the general example of intimacy practice with strangers. I have a multi-step workshop-type thing that I talk about at conferences and lead sample ones. It involves a group of people (usually strangers) getting together and very quickly becoming very emotionally intimate. People often tell me after participating that they have not connected on that level in years, or almost never at that speed, or even that they've never been open like that before with anyone. This kind of connection is part of my daily life and it is the way I connect with anyone who is significant in my life.

You can read about intimacy practice here: http://belenen.livejournal.com/532220.html
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.