These posts about my erotic journeys in the practice of Sacred Intimacy have naturally been about experiences with gay or bisexual men, though on a few rare occasions with straight men. It is these few journeys with straight men that has me thinking about expanding our notions about male to male intimacy through touch.

Although we think of intimacy as primarily being sexual, it does not need to be. Intimacy is about bridging the gaps that lie between us and another person. It is not usually something we consider making a practice of, but then neither was breathing until yogis showed us the way.

Touch heals us through the simple act of physically connecting us with another human being and sharing in that person’s energy. For me, the fullest, most powerful, and intimate way of doing this is to be naked, in full body contact, and even to share in orgasm. However, this is neither necessary nor always appropriate for touch to be intimate; indeed it is absolutely possible for both parties to be in various states of dress or undress. The energy that flows between two people can be felt through the fabric of clothing.

The practice of Sacred Intimacy, as I have come to understand it, is a space in which to explore the healing powers of touch in fully erotic ways. However, as I think about experiences and conversations I have had with many straight men about their need for touch I am convinced we need to expand our ideas of what it means for men to explore being physically intimate with each other. Sadly, the barriers societies and religions have erected have resulted in a touch starved world.

Without denying or fearing the erotic energy that can be present in any physical interaction, a touch practice that is not focused on being fully erotic would make a range of other physical interactions possible-this is true for both straight and gay men. It could be that what is best and appropriate for many people is to remain completely clothed and simply allow themselves the pleasure of holding each other closely, or massaging each other through clothing. The important thing is to clarify each others intentions and boundaries. From there, experiment with options including one or both being completely naked or partially clothed. The intent of a practice of intimacy is to bridge the gap that exists between us while being cognizant and respectful of each others boundaries.

As I have said in many of these posts, let touch be your guide. It is not to be feared, and the more we confront our fears, the more we break down barriers. Begin each journey, each practice, by being clothed. Begin closing the gap by syncing your breathing with each other. This will gently lead you into touch space and away from the thinking, visual space wherein we spend most of our lives. What you will discover is a rich and timeless space that will make you whole through connecting your energy with that of another. It is a meditative and trancelike place that brings healing and love in a deeply physical way. It opens us up to intimacy.