Updated: Jul 22
If you type ‘books on intimacy’ on Google you’ll receive a ping back of about 100 books, specifically, on sex. Intimacy and sex and are not synonymous. Here is my in-depth series on the self exploration of intimacy to help every woman develop her ability to expand, provide, and deepen her connection to the divine feminine gift of grace and love to be a pillar in her home and community.
This series started with a simple quote out of Bell Hooks’ book, All About Love, where she spoke about the intimacy shared between parent and child. The quote states, “most psychologically and/or physically abused children have been taught by parenting adults that love can coexist with abuse. And in extreme cases that abuse is an expression of love.” I paused. The quote is a direct call to action to help with taking accountability of the impacts of a torn psyche on children. Although I do not have my own children, I can think back to the earliest portions of my childhood where I was taught to spank my sisters with a belt to help with instilling fear and to ‘discipline’ their behavior.
Boy, as a teen, was I wrong to whoop my sisters. As a matter of fact, the act of whooping can be directly related back to slavery when masters would beat their slaves into submission; my sisters are not my slaves. However, such a small teaching has been passed down generation to generation and continues to haunt homes which leads to an ongoing cycle of torture amongst our African American children who are desperately crying out for more love and intimacy to help with decreasing behavioral issues.
Intimacy amongst parents, siblings, and an entire family matters because in order to heal our culture we have to start with providing more love at home. With this intimacy series the intention is to grow upon the meaning of affection in order to reflect upon the existence or lack thereof. Intimacy is spiritual, physical, sexual, energetic, emotional, and mental amongst all relationships.
Intimacy starts with self acknowledgement and then shared amongst others to help with teaching right from wrong in a non-harmful way. While we may have all had our own experiences with intimacy these experiences have shaped us to be the women we are, and it is our due diligence to elevate our meanings and understandings. As such, this first article is only meant to spark the conversation and inspire connection.
The levels of intimacy, according to Jenn Parretta, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate in Washington are broken down into this wheel to help with being able to understand the above example in more detail. What I love about Jenn’s chart is that she takes the time to break down intimacy on levels that are not specific to couples and sex, these levels can be directly applied to all relationships; including, my sisters and I.
The wheel of intimacy helps with categorizing social experiences and actions to help with understanding intimate levels and ways to connect. In the wheel, I have answered my own question, ‘what is intimacy?’ The wheel has been able to teach intimacy as a shared connection through mutual relationships on a variety of social levels.
Intimacy is the ability to have positive relations with others and create deep connection amongst living beings, including self, by partaking in activities inspired from the wheel.
With this in mind, what does intimacy mean to you?
If you love the beginning of The Intimacy Series with Sierra Ayonnie take the time to subscribe to Si Mag, read the Jamerson High Series on Kindle Vella, or become a member of Women Supporting Women Co to expand. Feel free to comment your thoughts, we are open to starting the conversation and are in need of open thought dialogue.