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Intimacy Freak-Out & Gay Men; Part 2

Introduction

This is the second installment in a 2-part article series about struggles with intimacy that are relatively common in gay relationships. In Part 1 of the series, “intimacy freak-out” was defined and the reasons why gay men are prone to this phenomenon were discussed. This article will address some of the common intimacy fears that could block your potential for true connection with your partner and will offer some tips for enhancing your comfort with intimacy to help you achieve ultimate relationship bliss!

The “Freak-Out” Checklist

In my training and work with gay men, I have found some common intimacy fears that can prevent us from experiencing the depths of fulfillment that love can offer. Take a look through this list of fears to determine if there may be anything getting in the way of your ability to be uninhibited and free with your lover. Identifying your emotional blocks to intimacy is the first step toward freeing yourself from their grip. Add your own to the list.
_____ fear of abandonment
_____ fear of rejection and being neglected
_____ fear of engulfment or being suffocated/smothered
_____ fear of loss of control
_____ threatened by loss of personal freedom
_____ fear of being disappointed or “let down” by partner
_____ low self-esteem, fears of not being “good enough”
_____ fear of affection and sex
_____ fear of exposure, of being known for who you really are
_____ difficulties with trust
_____ difficulties expressing one’s emotions/feelings
_____ fear of failure
_____ other

Self-Analysis

As you can see, any one of the above intimacy fears can stifle you to the point that you’re not fully able to be “at one” with a partner because you’re holding yourself back. Fear may be too strong a word for some of the items—any hint of uneasiness or discomfort is indicative of an “issue” of some form. While it’s important to have boundaries and protect yourself from emotional harm, these characteristics can act as a barrier to experiencing love to its fullest capacity if they become a patterned response.

In addition to these fears, it might be helpful to examine some of the contributing factors that led to the anxiety in the first place. Here are some questions to ponder to get you started in looking at how the difficulties with intimacy you may have could have developed.

Whether you’re partnered or single, knowledge of your intimacy blocks and contributing factors can help armor you in defeating them so you can have the most ultimate relationship possible.

Become An Intimacy Champ

So you want to be a pro at this intimacy stuff and really super-charge your relationship and knock your partner’s socks off? While it won’t happen overnight, with persistent practice of the following tips, you’ll begin to see a positive evolution take place in your relationship with more connection and emotional intimacy.

What You Can Do As An Individual

What You Can Do As A Couple

Conclusion

Through a relationship with another man who is just as motivated as you to nurture a positive connection on all levels, you too can experience one of the most powerful and healing forces life has to offer. It’ll mean confronting some of your anxieties directly and being receptive to encountering a wide range of emotions and experiences. It’s worth it! After all, the road to gay self-acceptance and happiness has been hard enough to then rob yourself of one of life’s most precious gifts; you shouldn’t have to sacrifice what’s rightfully yours to claim and enjoy. You deserve love! Cheers to your intimacy quest!
References:  The term “intimacy freak-out” taken from Crowell,Al(1995). I’d Rather Be Married: Finding Your Future Spouse. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

© 2005 Brian L. Rzepczynski

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Brian Rzepczynski, Certified Personal Life Coach, is The Gay Love Coach: “I work with gay men who are ready to create a road map that will lead them to find and build a lasting partnership with Mr. Right.” To sign up for the FREE Gay Love Coach Newsletter filled with dating and relationship tips and skills for gay singles and couples, as well as to check out current coaching groups, programs, and teleclasses, please visit www.TheGayLoveCoach.com.
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