Originally Posted by nycindie
I have thought about this a lot over the years. I hope that all made sense.
Yes! It makes lots of sense. And I found this post very insightful and helpful. I agree with what you say and think what you say is important.
It's probably true of all people, regardless of gender (or biological sex -- not that these two are always identical), that the higher the intensity level of "intimacy," in the broadest sense, the greater the tendency to "sexualize" it, or "frame" it -- internally -- as "romantic" (or nearby). [Sorry for the sloppy sentence!]
Of course, what I have just said is relative to cultural contextualization. I'm not sure how to think of this in terms of cultural contextualization because my experience of other cultures is quite limited and my anthropological education is too thin. But I'd hazard a guess that modern/western types are probably just not so much used to a high intensity of "intimacy" (in the broad sense) with others with whom there is not a romantic love container. So to speak. And this does seem to comment on how we as a culture tend to
conceive of and experience friendship--which we think of as "less intimate" than a loverly relationship (Or so I would guess). And that's a little sad, to me. 'Cause friendships have tremendous potential in terms of fulfillment of our need/desire for intimacy.
That said, there is yet another non-"romantic" context, aside from "friendship" as it is usually conceived, wherein a high level or intensity of intimacy might occur. And it is worth mentioning. This other context is "community" in a special sense. Those who live in or seek to create "intentional communities" tend to use "community" in this sense. A community of this sort binds people together more intimately than, say, an urban American would experience in their "communities". Members of such communities would be more like a family or a tribe, I suppose.
Clearly, trust is an important factor in framing "intimacy". People who have learned to trust one another are more likely to experience intimacy with one another. And contemporary urban environments don't provide much basis for widespread or generalized -- communal -- trust.
Just some thoughts....
Obviously, I cannot respond to all of the previous posts today. I'll try to respond to others soon.