Intimacy, a word that almost resonates to—with me, about me, close to me.
A word that haunts our deepest emotions (or the lack of them) with the people around us.
The reality is that the days of promiscuity are long gone since the pandemic. As the focus shifts to real intimate relationships that matter, the hook-up culture is almost dead, and so are the strings of the “unavailable.”
I write this as an average woman balancing her life between reality, ecstatic dancing, and the corporate world.
Everyone often thinks sexual liberation is about open relationships, rejecting marriage, social conventions, and a lot of hooking up at New Age festivals. I thought the same, that the more we spoke about sex and rebelling against norms, it gave us an advantage from the rest of the conservative society, or it gave us a better chance in the dating pool.
In reality, nothing is exciting or erotic about sexual liberation; it is just a step toward recognising trauma and shame associated with a darker side. A lot of things in life can be learned through exploring the holiness of one’s body and honouring feelings that arise—without judgement.
On a personal note, this included an obsession with being always on the run, almost like a criminal, which now reflected heavily on relationships and friendships. I often just wondered about the depth of my perplexed thoughts—until the days it dragged me down to the borders of turmoil.
The voice inside me had died down; it felt hurt and betrayed. In those moments, all I ever wanted to do was crawl under the bed and die in my sleep. During such times, it’s not easy to say, “Look at the good things and blessings around”—because the sadness and pain overpower everything else.
Some days, I could barely feel my body or heartbeat; even the womb and yoni (vagina) had completely gone numb. And for someone who was extremely connected to her sensuality, I felt robbed of it.
That’s when I realised that sexual intimacy does not start with sex itself. It starts from loving ourselves deep within, trusting all sides of us, and being open to vulnerability—only then can our bodies be ready to experience deeper ecstasy.
But I didn’t want to belong to anyone, not even myself, locked away in the prison of those tall endless walls. When men viewed me as an object of desire, a little of me would die on the inside, with shame. Hardly anyone talks about the vulnerability of women who are their protectors. It is never alright to succumb to or initiate abuse or sexual power play in the hands of the unknown.
Another realm where power play occurs: professional environments. Sacred sisterhood and feminism do not work at all times, especially in professional environments. When one feels odd in an otherwise competitive realm, there is a sort of isolation that occurs. It becomes difficult to trust anyone, but there isn’t another way to survive. So what do we do? We try to find a way to connect, if at all and end up in the hands of predators or just people who pretend to like us—mostly.
Everybody talks about the good and seeing the good all the time, but even the bad needs to be addressed and spoken about. Why am I connecting sexuality and power play here? Because it is essential to draw boundaries that can help two people heal, grow, and evolve in a relationship. And boundaries need to occur in both our personal and professional worlds.
And there are a lot of women like us—silent but outgoing, fun but naïve at times, who are sometimes attracted to hearts and bodies of kindred souls trapped in their lies and lives they no longer seem to be enticed by. We are the ones who might fantasise about the kind of desire that doesn’t necessarily start or end with a sexual union (not a common phenomenon for most). Reality is a different dose of our own medicine though.
These relationships represent the love I don’t regret giving. Allowing myself to be open to anything they had to offer, even nothing, seemed like a lot to me; their time seemed enough. Because when two people have nothing to offer but attraction, it seems like a win-win situation on the eve of the moment.
Oddly, I never felt quite good enough to be loved for who I was, rather than for my strangeness or audacity. Sex was never a destination or even a distraction.
And what was I looking for? Maybe it was for someone who didn’t see me as just another woman filling up his lonely nights. Living amidst travelling relationships, I longed for stability, but was I ready to open my heart after years of hiding?
I was forced to learn about boundaries between attraction, lust, and boredom. And realise the importance of my relationship with intensity, an undeniable one. To be a sort of woman who loved and roared was a challenge.
I was looking for the next place to run away to, the next identity to camouflage into—everything was about the future. The past or present had no context in life or at least in mine and I lived in denial. Living in denial is great, till one day the walls start shattering one after the other and you’re left to look at your naked, even ugly self in the mirror.
What I saw in the mirror was a little girl frozen in time, looking for love and lessons to learn in the most maleficent yet hidden towers. Saying hello and getting to know this girl would take time, and honouring everything she felt would help me cope better.
So, what did I learn from opening up my heart to myself, finally?
>> To own my emotions without fear.
>> I was enough: as a woman, a mother, a lover, a wife, and a daughter.
>> People are always capable of improving or destroying themselves for the better or worse.
>> To honour my boundaries, body, and heart.
>> To be happy with the present, and, ultimately, the present is what leads to the future.
>> Healing is a forever journey, one that cannot be completed as soon as possible.
>> Slow down my thoughts and actions without always expecting an outcome, in love and otherwise.
The pandemic freed me of being yet another puppet in the hands of power play. After years of hibernating behind closed opportunities, I walked back into life with vigour—soon enough finding myself in the arms of a gentleman who wanted me insanely and possessed a rather delicious mind and soul.
And initially, it took me by surprise that I could be good enough to attract someone who didn’t just want me for my body and youth—an initiation into a more loving phase of my life, I can only hope. A rebirth of another me with fragments of the old.
This affair with intensity has evolved into a blissfully aware state of mind, finally allowing my heart to be open to receive and give love. But I know this life is an ever-progressing version of some ridiculously beautiful highs and lows.
Without even an end destination called awakening—because every experience or moment we experience is an awakening by itself.