In our mid-month issue, Rahul Sen writes of the impossibility of intimacy, of the gnawing pain and underlying cruelties it may unsheathe and how it is at best an illusion while Pavel reminds us of how, in our search for intimacy, we keep bits and parts of our lost loves and they keep parts of us, and how through being loved by them we learn also to love ourselves.
Every match that came my way, every person I spoke to, every time someone pointed to the word “asexual” in my bio – it was all an exercise in acceptance, compassion, and empathy. People were asking questions because they wanted to know how best to interact with me, how to respect my boundaries, how to to get over their own misgivings about ‘my kind’.
For a while now, I have been invested in noticing the unique terms of endearment that characterise individual relationships. What are some of the non-verbal, non-physical ways in which couples begin to connect with each other? Intimacies that are so subtle that they are almost invisible and often hidden in plain sight?
We would spend hours just lost in our sweet, intoxicating world of soft skin, whispers and drenched sheets. It was amazing. But also, I remember the most just sitting together at midnight talking about his mother, my childhood, his habit of wearing a nightcap while sleeping or just our Instagram browsing-patterns.
But whether you root for this couple or not, Little Things makes you think about the small things – like reading out a line from a book of poetry, sharing a friend’s WhatsApp message with your partner, forgetting to wash your dirty socks before they make the room stink – that make or break a relationship.
The point is simple. Intimacy is not about sexuality, penetrative sex, gender, BDSM or any one parameter. Yet, intimacy is about all of them AND MORE.