Photo of the Week Blog: Intimacy Between Friends
About This Photo
I believe a large part of healing is about feeling safe in relationships that have physical intimacy. We often believe relationships with physical intimacy is related only to our romantic/sexual partners, but physical intimacy does not have to be sexual. I loved photographing these two because they are just friends, but they also have a friendship in which they’re physically intimate - hugging, holding hands, cuddling, etc. Just because people have physical intimacy does not mean they don’t have boundaries and it certainly doesn’t mean that all touch is acceptable or feels okay. The more intimate (on all levels) that we are with someone, the more healthy boundaries we have to have. Some people don’t enjoy physical intimacy, either, which should be respected by their friends, family, and partners. The best way to find out what someone is comfortable with is to ask. For example, “may I hug you?” is a great question and doesn’t make a moment weird. It gives the other person the ability to answer honestly. Asking people for permission (about touch and talking about sensitive subjects) is respectful and creates trust. Physical intimacy in friendships can take awhile to establish because in our culture, we’ve framed most physical touch between folks as related to sex or sterile and medical. It doesn’t have to be either. A hug or a kiss on the cheek can feel great coming from a friend or a family member, especially when trust has been established. If something that once felt comfortable starts to feel uncomfortable, new boundaries can and should be made. Healthy relationships are not stagnate. What are your thoughts? Are you comfortable with physical touch? Do you hug or hold hands with anyone who isn’t a romantic partner? I love hearing what you think!
Check out my full blog about Sam and Phil’s healing session by clicking here.