Intimacy is incredible but also challenging. We can sometimes feel we are not doing it right or measuring up. Often we are navigating intimacy in the only ways we can or know how, but that doesn’t always feel enough or allowed. With intimacy often comes vulnerability and insecurity. It can evoke confusion, scary and painful feelings. Sometimes our own actions, in navigating those feelings, can be harmful or toxic. Navigating an intimacy that feels safe and fulfilling for ourselves and others is not always straightforward.
It can be hard to step out of the way we have been socialised – to let go of the (heteronormative) ideals and norms that are placed upon us by other people and which have become ingrained. We aren’t always taught to think critically about the ways our bodies and psyches interact with each other. Finding and sustaining an intimacy that is in tune with our emotional needs, our values and our politics means engaging in the work of unpacking and undoing ideas and behaviours, as well as creating and developing new models. An un/learning.
This is a working document and the purpose of these shared resources is to contribute to a peer reflection and to find creative strategies for exploring, negotiating, coping with and sharing intimacy, within our personal lives as well as our creative practices.
The approach is one of Think-Feel-Do(ing) our way through our explorations, journeys and processes.
- How do we access intimacy in safe and affirming ways away from shame and phobias?
- How do we unpack the nuances and complexities of intimate interactions and socialisations across bodies, culture and language but also technologies?
- How do marginalised bodies access agency and pleasure?
- How do we hold ourselves accountable for the ways we have been socialised and behave around heteronormative intimacy?
- How do the ways we behave intimately impact how we treat others in society in our everyday and professional lives?
- How do the ways we express and behave intimately impact how we treat others in society in our everyday lives and our creative practices?
- How do we create boundaries that respect each other’s complex experiences and identities?