Sex and Intimacy: Conflicting Concepts in Gay-Male Couples?

Posted by on 29 Jul, 2012 in Gay Relationships | 1 comment

Sex and Intimacy: Conflicting Concepts in Gay-Male Couples?

Gay Male Couples who Struggle with the concepts of “Sex” versus “Intimacy”.

Sex and Intimacy: Conflicting Concepts in Gay-Male Couples?

"Who wants Mangoes?" © robstephaustralia

Through my private therapy practice for gay couples, it has been my experience to learn that a significant number of gay men confuse “relationship intimacy” as being the same as “sexual intercourse”.

These same gay men are surprised to learn that whilst there is an important overlap between intimacy and sex, the two concepts are distinct and have important differences.

A Gay Man’s History of Intimacy effects his behaviour in Couple Relationships.

When a gay couple working in couple counselling bring their sex lives into focus, a therapeutic air of curiosity and interest encourages the revelation of what each partner understands about intimacy, sex and love.  When we compare what both partners have learned of these concepts we can begin to see significantly root-sources of the problems the couple are bring into couple therapy.

Some gay men have never seen another two men (gay or otherwise) being intimate (i.e. affectionate) with each other. Some gay men have never seen their own parents show intimate affection towards each another. Such men entering an intimacy couple relationship with another gay man may face crises: how does his lack of understanding about intimacy translate into a live & loving gay couple relationship?

Some gay men negotiate their way from being oblivious about intimacy along with their life-partner. Some gay men don’t make the transition.

Couple relationships containing both kinds of men can be successful when the partners are compatible.  Conflicts arise when each partner exhibits contradictory intimacy-behaviour.

So … what is intimacy, really…

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1 Comment

  1. Note – since I wrote this article I’ve received helpful feedback telling me that this behaviour is also experienced (and acted out…) by some lesbian women too.