As Franklin explains, “We live in a world of 8 billion people, and to be connected and intimate with a person is special because it doesn’t happen a lot.” And whether we’re willing to admit it or not, intimacy gets a bad rap because media—from TV shows to men’s magazines—reinforces this myth that men don’t know how to be intimate.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Franklin shows us that intimacy can be an unpredictable, captivating force that makes the world stop and not only reminds us why we exist, but that those closest to us—regardless of whether it’s only for a night or a lifetime—deserve to be cherished.
Intimacy can be shown physically through kissing, hugging, touching, and sex, but it doesn’t stop there. I would describe is more as simply an opening up, a display of vulnerability both physically and emotionally. In moments of intimacy, you don’t have to rush and tell a person every little secret, but it is allowing yourself to be vulnerable and connect with someone else on a deeper level. And it’s incredibly important because we all need that connection.
The funny thing is that when I think about the most memorable moment of intimacy I’ve ever experienced, it wasn’t actually in bed or in an intimate setting like that. I was in Taiwan and had bumped into this girl after enjoying the city, and we just started talking. That night I learned her birthday was on the same day as mine, and we stayed with each other from 2AM – 8AM, sitting on the curb talking.
I don’t know why we did it. It’s probably because we knew we wouldn’t see each other for a long time. But I remember that it was so captivating. There were so many other things we both needed to do: she had to go to work and I needed to pack for my flight back to America. But we didn’t rush to do any of those things.
The funny thing is that when I think about the most memorable moment of intimacy I’ve ever experienced, it wasn’t actually in bed or in an intimate setting like that. It was sitting on a curb with a girl in Taiwan…
Instead, we sat there and enjoyed one another. I even remember there were points where it started drizzling or softly raining, but we didn’t run or even move. In that moment, it felt like nothing else in the world mattered. We were one aura. And the more we talked, the more it grew, protecting us from our obligations and the world. That was about three years ago, but it’s something I’ll never forget.
When I think of intimacy and its role in relationships, I think of my parents, who have shown me through their own relationship together that it takes a lot of work. I remember periods where it seemed like they hated each other’s guts, but they’ve always managed to maintain their very close connection, which you see when they go on walks together, spend time with friends, and just focus on one another. Together, they’ve shown me that relationships are more than just falling in love and living happily ever after. There’s a lot more to it.
Through them I’ve also realized that, although it is important to say, “I love you,” it’s even more important to recognize the different ways it can be expressed outside of those three words. For example, my mom always asks if I’ve eaten, and if I haven’t, she jumps at the chance to cook for me. And when it comes to my father, it’s not really expressed through him saying, “I love you,” yet I truly feel and know he loves me because he’s always put his life on the line to take care of me and our family.
Intimacy is one of the few ways you can truly feel lucky, discovering those unexpected connections that make your life so much better, even though you never knew they existed.
Ultimately, intimacy is so important, and I’m reminded of that in my own personal life as well as in the many ways that fact is proven around us. For example, there’s this big thing in Asian culture right now where people live-stream themselves doing simple things like eating or watching TV.
There’s actually something similar in America called Twitch, but within a gaming context where you watch your favorite gamers play. Although they may seem different, I think both of them show just how much people can feel alone in the world and that they want to simply feel connected.
We live in a world of 8 billion people, and to be connected and intimate with a person is special because it doesn’t happen a lot. Whether it is sharing a meal or watching someone you admire play your favorite game, we all want to get to know another person at a deeper level because intimacy is also one of the few ways you can truly feel lucky, discovering those unexpected connections that make your life so much better, even though you never knew they existed.