Do you feel brave in your intimate relationships?
Intimacy with One or Many Partners is Brave Work
by Dr. Kirk Prine
As a graduate student one of my gay mentors was a gay man who was married to a woman with two children and a bisexual male lover. This “throuple” relationship of love, sex, intimacy and family was all new to me. What I knew was what the biblical text had said, “You will know them by their fruits”. This throuple has inspired me over the years as a loving model that took bravery on each of their parts to be a healthy family.
Seasons of Different Intentions
In my own journey as a gay man exploring the erotic and spiritual, I have had many kinds of arrangements, agreements and intentions for intimate relationship.
For a year I was celibate. For many years I was single and explored dating, play dates and intentional sexual encounters of every kind. In addition, I've had serial monogamous relationships (two of which explored “open” relationships). I've been the secret/private lover of many, both through doing erotic spiritual work, as a practitioner and through my own personal exploration.
For 10 years my beloved and I have been married. Both of us do erotic work/play and facilitate a whole community of men around the tenants of erotic spirituality and sacred space. We share a life commitment as our marriage vows “to do our own work, thus enhance each other.”
The key to healthy intimacy is congruence. Who are you now and what fits for you now; not who you were and certainly not what others may think what you should be. The pain, wounding and conflict I have witnessed among men who love men starts internally but is held in place often by the world around them (both gay and straight).
Intimacy is brave work:letting yourself be seen for who you are. As we celebrate gay marriage as a right, let us also celebrate--without judgement—all the kinds of relationships that are committed to wholeness.
Be brave. Open up to intimacy.