Friday, 18 February 2011

Intimate relations

Established couples are assumed to be completely open and intimate with each other, having abandoned all the polite taboos and inhibitions of normal social encounters.

They no longer hide anything, no matter how personal or unappealing. Be it peeing, washing, cutting their nails, removing their body hair, picking their spots or farting, long-standing partners should be open-minded and tolerant enough to let their loved one behave any way they like, free of the usual suffocating public etiquette.

With a lot of couples, this is exactly what happens. They never lock the bathroom door, they pee and shit while chatting to their partners. They carry out every type of personal grooming, however unsavoury or hideous, in full view of the other person. They belch and burp freely at the dinner table, cramming their mouths to full capacity.

Well, that may suit some couples but Jenny and I would beg to differ. We don't believe a close relationship calls for that sort of unrestricted intimacy, in fact we regard it as insulting and tasteless. It's precisely because we respect each other's sense of decency and dignity that we keep certain things to ourselves.

We don't see unabashed intimacy as vital to emotional and spiritual closeness. Closeness doesn't come from cutting your nails together, it comes from knowing each other at a deeper and deeper level, and savouring that knowledge.

There's nothing more embarrassing than the uninhibited middle-aged male who believes his carefree farting, belching, groin-scratching and ear-probing is the sign of an enviable intimacy, while his long-suffering spouse watches in a state of mounting dismay and horror. And finds the idea of divorce increasingly attractive.

24 comments:

kylie said...

hmmm, i'm afraid i have been guilty of many of these things but somewhere along the way most of my decency returned!

it might not be very nice to mention it here but it did occur to me that as standard sexual behaviour expands its boundaries ..well, a fart or a pee are pretty mild compared to what folks are doing in the bedroom!

Scarlet Blue said...

I agree with you Nick. And I agree with the sentiment that familiarity breeds contempt. We all look more appealing wrapped in a little mystery.
Sx

Nick said...

Kylie - You're right about what's going on in the bedroom. And one of them might have bizarre tastes the other definitely wouldn't want to share. Or even know about.

Scarlet - Yes, a little mystery is always tantalising. It keeps us guessing and tickles our imagination.

Nota Bene said...

As an uninhibited middle aged male, I can only concur with you and will start behaving accordingly.

Nick said...

Nota Bene - If you're that uninhibited, I think it would be difficult to change. Old habits die hard. As innocent spouses eventually discover.

Eryl said...

While I'm quite happy for my husband to come in for a pee while I'm in the bathroom, mouth cramming, belching and farting, being extremely unattractive, would be likely to severely diminish his appeal.

Baino said...

Yep some things are best left private although people aren't mysteries really. Interesting that you focus on the male of the species being the indiscreet partner, my sister is woeful and makes me cringe with some of the things she 'shares' with her husband.

Grannymar said...

I'm with Scarlet, a little touch of mystery makes all the difference.

Nick said...

Eryl - I do wonder why some people think such habits add to a relationship rather than detract from it.

Baino - I'm sure women are also guilty of such behaviour, though the instances I hear about usually involve men.

Grannymar - There's something very romantic about a touch of mystery. Revealing absolutely everything is not necessary.

nursemyra said...

I wouldn't mind squeezing a blackhead for a partner or cutting toenails on the back porch together.

But taking a shit? Ewwwww.....

Farting in front of someone else reminds me of when I told my 5 year old son it wasn't acceptable. Apparently I used the expression "ladies never fart" during my mini lecture. Then when he was about ten we were using the swings at the local park and I accidently let one out. He was horrified - but mostly because he'd spent years believing that it was something only the male body was capable of.....

secret agent woman said...

Oh, I agree! I peed only once in front of my husband of 20 years - and that's only because I was in the middle of labor and needed help with the IV pole! I think a little discretion is a good thing.

Nick said...

Myra - I think I believed much the same as your son when I was little. Ladies just weren't capable of such inelegant waftings.

Secret Agent - I think the peeing could be excused in that particular situation. Discretion is a lot more civilised than letting it all hang out.

rummuser said...

I am blessed. I live in solitary splendour! But, I am in total agreement.

Nick said...

Ramana - I thought you lived with your son and dad? Or have things moved on? Yes, if you're on your own you can behave exactly as you please. Except for those internalised rules of good behaviour....

Leah said...

I think I may be in a minority here...Oh we're a pretty free-wheeling lot in my house! We just have to look for our mysteries in the metaphysical rather than the physical. But I will say our total earthiness has in no way diminished the appeal we hold for each other.

I've missed you Nick! I'm in the ether rarely lately...

Nick said...

Leah - Howdi stranger! I suspect you don't share absolutely everything even if you're pretty laid back about sharing. But I know how close you three are so clearly heavy sharing doesn't create problems!

I've missed you too. Mainly because I hardly ever look at Facebook!

Wisewebwoman said...

I learned a long time ago from a wise old shaman:

it is all in the concealing and never in the revealing.

XO
WWW

Nick said...

W3 - There seems to be a consensus here that revealing too much is undesirable. Certainly, exposing too many vulgar habits too quickly is a sure way to kill a budding relationship stone dead.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

It's unappealing and I fail to see why someone we profess to love should have such ugliness inflicted upon him or her. Perhaps I'm uptight, but I do believe in privacy while performing bathroom functions, and so does Flip.

Nick said...

Heart - I know that if we love someone we should accept them warts and all, but some everyday behaviour is simply unattractive, whoever the person is. Even if it's the sexiest person on the planet.

Wordcheck: pubegore. Good grief!

rummuser said...

Yes, I do have my father and my son living with me. Each of us however have our own space and except for the occasional meal together, we are not exposed to each others peccadilloes. My comment was addressed to my single status and the agreement for the earlier married status.

Nick said...

Ramana - Ah, I understand now. Each person having their own self-contained space is an excellent arrangement. As you say, you can be on your own or come together for something, whatever suits you.

Roses said...

I can't believe I missed this post.

As you know, it's Boy, The Cat and me. With the Cat there's no such thing as a shut door, despite our best efforts.

However, introduce a man into the situation and I'm a great believer in shut doors, privacy for bodily functions. Not that there's a danger of that at the moment.

Nick said...

Roses - A cat's not going to be too critical of whatever you're exposing to public gaze, but a man might be more squeamish....