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Body Language

Intimate Communication: What's There to Know?

Whether in the public or private setting, bodies always tell the truth.

Whether in a public or private setting, bodies tell the truth. Though intuitively I always knew this, the concept really came alive for me back in1971, while reading what was at the time a ground-breaking book, Body Language by Julius Fast. The book provided an overview of the emerging field of kinesics, and made me more mindful of the messages we give to one another. It made me cognizant of my own body language to insure that I was not offering conflicting messages. When it came to watching others, I learned how to observe with a keen eye.

Good communications skills are a large part of my role as a writer and transpersonal psychologist and this includes being mindful of both verbal and nonverbal communication. In the 40 or more years since Fast’s book was written, many more on the subject have been released, but what changed for me, is that now I view the importance of communication inside the bedroom as important as outside the bedroom.

The art and power of body language during intimate moments cannot be understated. Body language reveals what is transpiring both consciously and unconsciously. Watching peoples’ actions while listening to what they say helps you get to know them and identify what is important to them. Body language is a form of communication that should be viewed as poetic because it taps into the senses, emotions, and the imagination.

Some suggested books that view intimacy as poetic are Intimate Kisses, and The Poetry of Sexual Love both edited by Wendy Maltz. Also, my latest poetry collection, Lust, shares musings about and during intimate moments. Each intimate moment should be identified as a profound human experience, a glimpse into the psyche of another person that results in a deeper understanding of who they are and who you are with them. This connection forms the deepest type of desire and joy.

Years ago, while wandering through a local bookstore chain, I stumbled upon Sallie Tisdale’s book called Talk Dirty to Me: An Intimate Philosophy of Sex. At first glance, the cover looked like a buttock, but on closer examination, the cover featured someone holding an apple. The reason the book caught my eye was not so much the cover, but the subject of the book. The first chapter entitled, “Desire,” began by saying, “We talk about sex all the time, us moderns.” It went on to allude to the idea that sexuality and intimacy are communicated in both verbal and nonverbal ways. For example, by putting your arms around someone’s waist while kissing them, you express that you want to be drawn in with them. You want to be one with them. If someone tries to kiss you and your arms are crossed about you, it is surely an indication that you are not interested in being kissed. The more intimate and longer kisses portray a deeper connection and desire between two people.

In the privacy of the bedroom, listening to the sounds and movements of your partner can be clues to what brings joy to the other person. Offering your own clues through sounds, eye contact or movements helps your partner know how to satisfy you. Those who are quiet during lovemaking or keep their eyes closed may also be offering a message from their subconscious. While exploring the idea of desire, it is important to be mindful and alert to both verbal and nonverbal forms of communication. If you focus on the art of observation, you will connect on a much deeper level, and after all, isn’t that what being intimate is all about?

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