︎Connected with Intimacy


Mia
Berlin


This content contains adult themes and is not suitable for anyone under the age of 18. Please view at your discretion.

Original text from the online magazine Great Sex Worker Writings. ︎︎︎ Find it here

It's been a long time since I've written. Unlike previous lulls, this one is because I've been busy and not depressed. Summer has finally arrived after we never thought it would. Here are some hazy glimpses from the past few days slathered in sweat, cloaked in heat. 

Flickering light reflects from a mirror that catches a sunrise otherwise hidden behind a curtain, waking me up before I'm ready.

Wondering why I never move the mirror that beams light into my eyes, taking my vibrator and masturbating myself back to sleep.

Trying to remember the exact words my therapist used when giving me my homework task, using my ill memory as an excuse to scrap the whole thing.

Lying in bed trying to fall asleep, comparing the sensation of the tiger balm I've rubbed into my pole bruises with the heat that hangs in the air. How the burn of the balm cools my skin while the hovering heat clings to my body. It cools nothing.

Walking by two laughing men and inviting myself into their space with a joke, for once feeling like an observer and not the observed. Slowly salvaging the recession of my confidence, throughout the months of March, April, May, June? where no matter what I would say, my German was unintelligible through the beautiful, thick mask my friend kindly crafted.

Relishing in the FKK nudist sections of East Germany, promising myself I will never move into another flat-share unless I'm able to walk around naked. At least during summer.

Maintaining a sense of calm even when the light from a man's bike shadowed me, the light illuminating my feet on the pedestrian pavement as I walked home in the dark.

Wearing my favourite kinds of shorts.

Seeing with euphoria my neon pink toes, one in my lover's mouth, four against their distant face.

Extreme polarities of boredom and busy-ness age me faster than time alone should. I've forgotten the task that my therapist has given me. I know it's meant to be a letter that I write to my mother, but the specifics of what I'm meant to write (and not send) are crushed under the weight of the task and ooze out of my mind.

*

I'm still reconsidering intimacy.

I wish I connected more with intimacy when I was in the throes of what I'll call The First Lockdown (I am anticipating The Second Lockdown soon here, in Berlin). I don't think I managed to traverse the issue of replacing physical intimacy with something intangible, but more importantly remote. I read some articles aimed at people in long distance relationships, which is what me and my friends became.

My relationship framework is non-heteronormative in the sense that it is driven by friendship; if I were to have romantic and sexual partners, this would be in a non-monogamous interpretation. I was not impressed with the dated Cosmopolitanesque articles I found after a frantic and shallow search.

Intimacy is not a trauma bond. Intimacy is not oversharing. Neither are intimate for me or the person who receives/reciprocates/reveals in the first place. Being intimate with myself is knowing with whom to share myself. Maybe the process of refining my filter is an experience of self-intimacy. Maybe my position as a sex worker and writer is a grappling with, a being at odds with the sharing of myself with unknown audiences.

Intimacy is not insisting on knowing someone's birth name. Asking my real name is a route, the fastest way into a forced feeling of intimacy. Knowing another of my names may well be the least intimate detail to focus on, compared to the nuanced ways in which we create the space for intimacy between us. Knowing a name doesn't validate a connection.

A sexual partner and sex doesn't necessarily need to be an intimate experience. The invitation of a sexual partner into my space maintains an intimacy within myself and restricts an intimacy with another.

There are few cases in which I would invite a sexual partner into my space.

One such being that there is no other option (do they have a partner at home? do they live with their parents? is their place inconceivably far away?), with the caveat of: am I horny enough? am I inebriated enough? does the combination of the two make me sweat, dissolving the protective alkaline layer that dusts my skin? If such conditions are met, you might receive an invite into my bedroom.

Another case is that we live together. Or, that we have slept together more times than I can remember, resulting in an unnamed, likely unacknowledged constellation between us.

I think the latter two cases have occurred one time each.

I wonder if anyone else has had the instinct to mimic the expansion and contraction of the lungs of their spooning partner in a bid to forge intimacy. It's a behaviour I can remember when I was younger with my mother. I would do it when cuddling for the first time with someone... Engineering a symbiosis that didn't nourish intimacy at all, and becoming paranoid that its artificiality was obvious. I was convinced that synchronised breath validated (strengthened?) the sharing of space with a person in bed as you were holding each other, imitated or not.

An action performed alone does not inherently ordain it as intimate. I want to explicitly differentiate between an act done privately or a thought kept to myself in the name of intimacy — and another in the name of shame. Contrarily, opening up about my shame to another is a form of intimacy.

Being seen naked is not a form of intimacy for me, anymore. Perhaps if I were to be seen naken by someone from whom I wanted acceptance — someone who makes me quiver — perhaps this could replicate a sense of intimacy. Ultimately, however, I think this is a false intimacy. A mistranslation of intimacy.

I joke that I couldn't be in a relationship with someone who doesn't love the way I smell as much as I do. Or is at least as intrigued by my smell, as willing to inhale deeply into my armpits as I am. What began as a joke evolved into an arbitrary measure of someone's capacity for intimacy with me. I don't mind that this is a flawed parameter.

Regrettably, I've not archived how my body has transformed as an agent, a vessel; secondary to forming intimate connections, or as integral to them. I am sure, though, that being a sex worker has influenced this.

I used to wrestle with the idea that as a sex worker I would benefit from keeping, and that I needed to keep, some of my own personal sexual practices and preferences for myself. It wasn't an easy concept for me to stick to. I noticed that it was easier for me to express how I like to receive pleasure in a work context (unafraid of rejection) than it was outside of work (shrouded in self-doubt and vulnerability). I felt a sense of guilt after first describing that I like [REDACTED] in [REDACTED] way. By sharing this information, I thought I betrayed my own intimacy and jeopardised the intimacy I could have with personal sexual partners. I realised that this notion would have some merit if the sharing didn't occur so naturally to me, that maybe there was some underlying whorephobia or puritanism that told me: "This is something you do at work, and this is something you do at home. Never the two shall meet."

An intimate moment doesn't need to be reciprocated or validated by another person, it can exist and occur stand alone. An experience of intimacy can happen when I'm avoiding eye contact with a person. I can't make eye contact with them because I feel too overwhelmed and insecure to talk to them — I have a crush on them, their presence is too much. Or, have I confused intimacy in this moment with an otherwise named emotion? Maybe I've made a linguistic mistake. The problem is that intimacy is not an emotion but a condition with many emotional reactions, and that the range of emotions felt within intimacy are not exclusive to this condition.

Being washed by someone I love may not be an intended expression of intimacy but is one of my favourite occurrences of intimacy. I wonder if this is a requited feeling for the lover who washes me or if it's devoid of any intimacy for them. Is it as intimate for you as it is for me? Probably too ridiculous or too laborious to be mutual...

As Junglepussy says: "We don't fuck, he just pick me up from Trader Joe's" — and I think this encapsulates the notion of a non-sexual intimacy that isn't necessarily shared, or is disparately shared, based on an exclusive model of devotion.

*

It might seem like things are kind of back to normal in my part of the world. That if I avoid large gatherings and stick to the rest of the rules, I can have a little intimacy as a treat. I think it's important now to reflect on the dearth of intimacy I felt in the first lockdown and prepare how to cope in the second. To name the intimacy that occurs within myself, recognise where it is possible with others and what elements of it I am/am not resistant to evolving.

Is intimacy in an intra-COVID-19 context persistently checking in? Replacing touch and shared body warmth with the meals you leave on a lover's doorstep — should they live within the same radius as you?

If this is the case, is intimacy found in the smell of fennel seeds popping in oil whilst you think of your lover, knowing they are still there even though they aren't there for you to touch? Is it long and exaggerated love letters that, in a socially near society, could be considered too much, too melodramatic?

My heart would have been fuller in The First Lockdown if I'd put down my phone and written my friend a love letter, delivered it to their mailbox and waited for their response before texting them again. Could this have created the intimate condition, elicited an emotion akin to those I feel when I embrace a friend? It would have at least counteracted the constant availability of social media, which was only heightened by lockdown.

Maybe I have ignored the potential of oral intimacy... Toying with my voice to create considered and conscious tones, breath as arresting punctuation, employing pauses and silence not only to think. Using the familiarity of my voice as an instrument of intimacy. Would this add a texture to what I was lacking before?

I feel too resistant to the inevitable change of how we interact with one another. It fills me with anxiety both practical and existential. I'm in mourning for the (absolute false sense of) stability of my income stream and more so, the accessible familiarity of intimacy pre-COVID.
 


Mia is a Melbourne born and Berlin based stripper, full service escort, and writer. 
















︎Connected with Intimacy

Mia
Berlin


This content contains adult themes and is not suitable for anyone under the age of 18. Please view at your discretion.

Original text from the online magazine Great Sex Worker Writings. ︎︎︎ Find it here





It's been a long time since I've written. Unlike previous lulls, this one is because I've been busy and not depressed. Summer has finally arrived after we never thought it would. Here are some hazy glimpses from the past few days slathered in sweat, cloaked in heat. [...] 
Read more


︎Intimacy soundtrack

Ioana, 34
Cluj-Napoca, Romania



We spend a lifetime building intimacy inside ourselves and with others. It’s in how we face our fears and look at our demons. It’s in how we talk to ourselves in honesty in kindness. It’s how we deal and what we choose or get to live. But that’s an intimacy we share with our inner selves and it’s beautiful in all its trying. Self intimacy reveals our own selves to us.

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︎Your big brown eyes

Victoria, 26
Romania



5.20 AM
You
As you tell me ‘I didn’t have you’
And the moment of silence we fell into after
And I said ‘No. You didn’t’
And I was ok. And we were ok.
Your big brown eyes
And the many ways you smile at me.
My heart grows feeling the tiniest touch from you.
I wonder a lot about the growing of my heart and if my growing means you’re growing and if so would you tell me and if so
would we grow together?
Like the 5 sunflowers I have growing in the bay window
I wonder if they are being looked after by big brown eyes
Because your big brown eyes are growth.






︎Amniotic container

Dana, 31
Berlin, Germany



RO:
“Pentru mine, intimitatea este sacul amniotic al sinelui, pe care îl ritualizăm prin diverse practici, cu sau fără ceilalți.”


EN:
“For me, intimacy is the amniotic container of the self, that we occassionally ritualize through various practices, with or without others.”


︎La noi acasa

Ingrid, 20



La noi acasă miroase a fum, a scorțișoară și a tihnă
La noi acasă miroase a bere, a linte și a anxietate
La noi acasă miroase a praf, a agrafe sub canapea, a haine uscate pe calorifer și pe ușă
La noi acasă miroase a buletine pierdute, a ciorbă, a ovăz, a sex, a compoziție și a baroc
La noi acasă miroase a pâine goală și vomă la mahmureală, a pomi veșnic verzi, a scrum, a vopsea și a dezordine
La noi acasă miroase a dans și a nesomn, a haz și a necaz, a râsu-plânsu, a bețișoare parfumate pe zile, a elefanți și a cumpărături
La noi acasă miroase a chiloți străini după calorifer, a parfum de cameră, a adulter și a periuțe de dinți
La noi acasă miroase a București, a covrigi și a dulce, a furt, a artă și a prostie
La noi acasă miroase a chiul, a integrame, a bonuri, a vase nespălate, a chec cu banane și a apă micelară
La noi acasă miroase a stres, a lumină roșie, a oglinzi, a mâini, a nume de hamsteri și a afișe
La noi acasă miroase a liste de cumpărături, a vijelie, a mârlănie, a vanilie și a hazard







︎Universal truths

Bear Grasstone, 54



Intimacy is life giving and essential for the development of a healthy society. In my opinion, a really important foundation of intimacy is no judgment. [...]










︎Intimacy with 10000 things

Anya, 34
Yoga in English - Berlin, Germany



It is said that in early Chinese Zen literature, the word 'awakening' was used interchangeably with 'intimacy'. We often think of intimacy as connecting with another person, but this ancient practice shows the path to intimacy with all of life. ⁣[...]









︎Amprente

Raluca, 21
Cluj-Napoca



în varful degetelor calc prin mine
gânduri trag de mine
să le uzez trăind
îmi simt pereții labirinturilor interne
cum pulsionează aritmic
simțurile-mi sunt naive
își caută un sens
mă scufund în orizontalitate [...]

︎I fear a man of frugal speech // Jeg frykter en mann av nøysom tale

Cecilia Riis Kjeldsen
www.ceciliariis.com
32, Norway




“A tool with many tools” as described from Aristotle; the hand is a tool for grasping, taking, pushing, pulling, pinching, pressing, pointing, fumbling, crushing, smashing, itching, stroking, caressing, throwing, drumming, lifting. There are more verbs for the movement of the hand than for any other movement. [...]”











︎Cea mai bună notificare

Lucian Brad, 24, Iasi
Fotografie: Ami Vornicu, 25, Iasi

︎Pielea Liviei

Orsolya, 28
Cluj-Napoca, Romania


“Ne-am cunoscut prin februarie. Mi-a zis de la bun început că are o relație, dar Livia este de acord ca el să se mai vadă și cu alte fete – despre care vorbea cu termenul de „iubitele mele”; odată când ne certam chiar a zis: „Este decizia ta dacă vrei sau nu să faci parte din galaxia iubitelor mele”. [...]”










︎Un loc părăsit

Dan Coman, 44
Bistrița, România



“Intimitatea e o chestiune
care ţine de tehnică
așa că desprinde-te
şi mergi singur printre
păpădii.
Zîmbeşte, lasă umbra să
se lungească la dreapta
ta..”














︎Life in a caravan

Susy
Portugal




“This was the beginning of our story. Magical Love. Our relationship was like an expansion of all the good feelings. This was meant to be. We were searching for each other in these interconnected Universes until we met..”

︎Truly present

Ioana


“I’ve learned that I can have moments of true connection and intimacy with almost anyone. For me, these moments come when I’m most at peace with myself and present, truly present, in whatever is happening in that moment. It’s a difficult thing to do and I cherish it very much when it happens, even if it’s just for a few seconds.”











︎Clumsy around intimacy

Cristina, 30
Romania



“I’m clumsy around intimacy,
it follows me, like a hungry cat
at the door, tripping my every step
always too soon
for trust, or secrets, or reveals,
for seeing, touching, kissing
the scars
the anger at someone betraying you”

︎At home

Alex
Bucharest, Romania


“Intimacy is not just our relationship with people. It is also our way of relating to objects, places, books, images, tastes and smells, a reflection of our desperate need to feel “at home”.












︎Darkness and silence

Gabriela, 25
Romania



“Someone once asked me what I was most afraid of. I said stairs and death. But with time I’ve stopped taking the elevator and started climbing those damn stairs, even if my legs were shaking. I’ve started to believe that we are all just energies that will come back in a different form, so the dying part didn’t look so scary either. But when I’m alone in the shower, and the water runs faster than my heartbeats, I know it’s love, the one that I’m the most afraid of, that terrifies me, that hits me in the chest so bad that I can hardly breathe. The love that I’m missing.











︎Some love is not to be forgotten

May, 31
Arizona


︎Pure ecstasy

Emily

“There had been many lovers before.
Those who came and gave me their version of what loved looked like, which I accepted no matter how tainted it looked. You have the young ones that are pure lust since you don’t quite understand what relationships are just yet. I considered them the practice..





















︎My house

Cristina, 30
Romania



“I panic at the thought
of sharing my house with someone
(my bed, my books,
my cat)
of him finding out I’m not as
smart or pretty or tidy
as he thought,
of him not liking the way I
smell in the morning,
my crooked nose
my unshaved legs
my too long getting ready
the perfume I bought myself when I turned 30.
and then one morning, as I wake up,
there they are,
in bitter autumn light:
my house, my bed, my books,
my cat.”



















︎Emotional distance

Antonius, 37
Australia




“My father – a stern man. There was a great emotional distance to reach him or for him to reach me. He found greater satisfaction in work than in family. Nonetheless there were those rare moments in the evening, in which he’d loosen – cold problem-solving analysis broke away to something warmer, more expressive, some would say more human.”




︎O invingatoare

Andra, 27
Romania



“Sunt mandra de poza asta pentru ca este o expresie a biruintei asupra depresiei.