PHOTO ESSAY: INTIMATE
Every person’s interpretation of intimacy is unique. Our lived experiences are what shape our bonds with other people.
In Intimate, subjects were asked what it means to form intimate bonds with others, and what it means to be intimate with themselves.
In showcasing the diverse ways individuals experience intimacy, I implore you to ask yourself how your lived experiences have impacted the way you approach relationships with others, as well as with yourself.
Intimate was made in May 2017, shot on 35mm film and hand-processed by yours truly.
"In 2006, I met a woman from Poland online, and our connection was instantaneous. We talked for constantly for years, but since drifted apart.
We used to call each other on the phone from across the world, but the person receiving the call wouldn't pick up. They'd just receive the signal. It was great because I was too shy to actually pick up the phone, and neither of us wanted to incur long distance charges. It was our way of saying hello."
"I've never felt truly intimate with myself.
In yoga, my instructor will periodically tell us to show ourselves compassion and love, and I try to do it but I can't seem to get there. I can't seem to connect with myself in that way. I feel like I put it out there and try to tell myself that I love myself, but it's halfhearted. I never really feel that love."
“Accepting yourself and the things you regret doing demands intimacy. Acknowledging your shortcomings and facing them with humility is painful but completely necessary. The most important lessons you’ll ever learn will come from being self-critical.”
EMILY AND MANDALYN (words by Emily)
"The way I perceive intimacy has truly evolved. To me, intimacy meant sex, and validation from men through sex. Being sexually attractive was really important to me. Intimacy and validation were so inextricably connected for me that I couldn’t feel intimacy without fucking. Intimacy was kind of a guise, and there was power in performing femininity in order to get what I wanted, which was validation. I’ve been able to explore different forms of intimacy outside of those kinds of situations.
"When physical touch was gifted to me through platonic friendships, it was the first time I got to experience that kind of connection in a non-obligation, non-sexual situation. It was really game-changing; all the things I thought I was getting through sex with men kind of flew out the window."
"Living with Emily has been one of the most nourishing, loving experiences of my life and I think that’s due largely to our shared desire for intimacy. For us, it looks like speaking honestly about our neurosis and insecurities, jumping into each other’s beds in the morning to say hey, sharing a bath with oils and wine after a particularly long day. Few people feel so safe in their home; I’m very blessed."