Intimacy & Sex: The Wrong Definitions

/, Sexual Health/Intimacy & Sex: The Wrong Definitions

Intimacy & Sex: The Wrong Definitions

By Dr. Dean Aslinia

We often define intimacy as a politically correct and a polite descriptor for Sex;  then we further complicate things by equating sex to intercourse.  We seem to have a tendency to also do this with so many other definitions, where we erroneously associate meanings to words that do not in fact exist for the described meaning. This trend creates huge problems as it diminishes the true meaning and the power of these words.

To start with truly understanding the word intimacy, we need to recognize a few baselines. The first is that you can be sexually intimate, but to be intimate does not mean you need to be sexual! Same goes for sex; you can choose to include intercourse into sex, but sex does not have to include intercourse to be considered sex. These two definitions become more and more important as we age, and diminish our physical sexual powers and desires.

If we could define these two terms correctly from the start, when we age, we don’t always have be disappointed with the fact that we can no longer be “intimate” with our partners, because we can’t have “sex”.  Obviously this is not true of every aging adult.  However, it is extremely common for men to struggle with erectile dysfunction issues, and for women to lose their innate abilities to lubricate and thus, making intercourse much more painful.  These two issues, being some of the most common, and least interruptive in the sexual engagement process, tend to create many undesirable feelings. Just imagine, if there are more severe dysfunctions or disorders.

The point being, that this does not have to be what we settle on. In fact if we just realize that to be intimate means much more than to just have sex, we’d forgo a lot of the feelings of disappointment.  One of the play-on-words that I have seen and read over the years is
Intimacy = Into Me You See. I love this for a series of reasons. The first is that it truly captures what intimacy is emotionally and does not focus on any sexual practice.  It simply highlights that in order for us to be intimate, we need to understand our partners at much deeper emotional levels, and to become able to read their verbal and non-verbal cues, as though we become a forecaster with their emotions.

Additionally, if we realized that sex means so many different things to so many different people, we would decrease the immense pressure we place on ourselves to perform. For some, sex could simply mean laying naked and caressing each others’ bodies. Now imagine how fulfilling a couple’s sex life would be if they realized they were both sexual and intimate with these much more accurate and simple definitions.

As a sex therapist, one of the things I have observed to be extremely common among couples from all walks of life, is that when we try to create intimate moments our brains are fully preoccupied. We often bring to bed so many thoughts and critical judgments of ourselves that we distract ourselves from the potential powerful moment, of creating intimacy.  We often worry about how we might look to our partners, or if the angle through which they are seeing us is making us to look as attractive as we believe to be or know at we are not.

The simple fix here is to allow ourselves to become vulnerable, to give ourselves the permission to relax and be present in the moment. Remember, the whole point is to create intimacy, not to distract ourselves from it.  These definitions and quick fixes might require months of processing and practice. However, if each time we hear the words or when our thoughts stray, we catch ourselves as wrongfully associating or not being present in the moment, to re-define or to bring ourselves back to the moment, eventually we will create the muscle memory of not getting lost in our thoughts. By doing so we in fact teach our brain how to stay focused on what is important and at the task at hand.

By | 2018-03-30T23:21:42+00:00 March 30th, 2018|Marriage & Family, Sexual Health|0 Comments

About the Author:

Dr. Dean Aslinia is a Licensed Mental Health Expert and University Professor. He holds a license as a Professional Counselor-Supervisor and a National Certified Counselor in the State of Texas. Dr. Dean’s educational background includes a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Psychology from the University of Houston, and a second master’s and doctoral degree from Texas A&M University-Commerce. Over the past decade, Dr. Dean has been engaged in professional trainings, clinical mental health practice, graduate higher education teaching, research, writing, and advocacy for greater mental health access for all Americans. In 2011 he co-found and created New Horizons Center for Healing in north Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan area. The clinic over a five-year span grew and became the most comprehensive mental health clinic in the State of Texas. Housing more than 30 licensed mental health professionals, ranging from adult, child, and addiction psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, licensed professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, and chemical dependency counselors, AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators Counselors, and Therapists) certified sex therapists, play therapists, and eating disorder specialists. His peers in the profession consider Dr. Dean a leader, as he is the Past-President of the Texas Association of Marriage and Family Counselors, a member of the Texas Counseling Association’s Governance Council, and currently serves on the Texas Counseling Association’s Executive Board. He was also appointed by the Collin County (North DFW) Commissioner’s Court to serve on the Collin County Local Behavioral Health Authority (MHMR) Life Path System’s Board of Trustees. He has also on several occasions, testified in front of the Texas House and Senate Health and Human Services Committees as well as the Texas Health and Human Services Commission for advocacy of mental health related bills. Dr. Dean’s passion, strong leadership, and desire to create a greater social interest with his work has led him to creating Ulead Ulearn Professional Training Company, to provide companies, universities, schools, and organizations with a better understanding of the impact of behavioral and emotional health in their environment. Furthermore, helping companies achieve their goals by fully understanding their work-force, and addressing their concerns. Dr. Dean is an engaging, fun, inspirational, and high energy speaker with expertise in business and leadership development, relational health and communication, team building and trust, mental health legal and ethical compliance, emotional intelligence, workplace environment, and anger and conflict resolution. Dr. Dean has researched and taught on topics that hold individuals, employees, and executives from producing at their ultimate capacity. He in a concise, clear, and highly motivational delivery method communicates and delivers his message to his audience and calls for them to begin to take action on their lives. Media & Press Requests Please Email: [email protected]

Leave A Comment