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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %UNINVITED UNWELCOME ACCEPT INTIMACY RAPE FORCE 900111 For intimacy to be meaningful and integrative it must be invited, welcome, and accepted at each and every stage of intimacy. The meaning of forced intimacy is the meaning of rape. Forced intimacy is coercive, violent, and alienative; not integrative. Forced intimacy is an oxymoron, not meaningful integration. This is true whether or not those who seek forced intimacy are a cohesive group of people who approve of forced intimacy, or not. A large cohesive group cannot make forced intimacy integrative; no matter how hard they work at it and no matter how sure of themselves they are. Self confidence (whether real or fake) is not the essence of meaningful intimacy. A cohesive group of people can agree through collusive games of mutual self deception that truth is falsehood, falsehood is truth; ugliness is beauty, beauty is ugliness; good is evil, evil is good; etc. Ultimately the cohesiveness of such a group disintegrates because the cohesiveness is based upon disintegrative values rather than upon integrative values. Such a cohesive group is not coherent and integrative, but selfish and alienative. The use of coercion, violence, intimidation, etc. in any approach to intimate relationships leads to interactions which are experienced as being meaningless except in the sense of the meaning of rape. Such interactions are reactions; not meaningful responses in the manner of invitation, welcome and acceptance in meaningful intimacy. Meaningful intimacy leads to a deepening of trust and willingness to take additional and deeper risks in vulnerability. The use of coercion, violence, intimidation, etc. in any approach to intimate relationships leads to a reduction of trust and to a reduction in willingness to take risks in vulnerability. Meaningful intimacy leads to increased security; i.e., to an increased freedom to be vulnerable in each other's presence. The exact opposite is true of the use of coercion, violence, intimidation; which lead to increased defensiveness, rejection, alienation, and misunderstanding. Meaningful intimacy can be enjoyed only though mutual invitation, welcome, and acceptance; not through the use of un-welcomed force. The use of force will often entail the use of dishonesty in coercive and manipulative moves towards pseudo-intimacy. Honesty is central to meaningful intimacy. Dishonesty is central to behaviors which seek to force intimacy which is uninvited, unwelcome, and/or not accepted; for in the latter behaviors there is usually an attempt to make the behavior appear to have integrity; perpetuators are participants in collusive games of mutual self deception, and they seek to involve their victims in those same games. Intimacy is difficult to enjoy with integrity when the participants who are seeking intimacy are of significantly different levels of power, authority, and/or social standing. Such differences make it difficult to transcend the real or apparent use of force within intimate relationships; as seen by participants and/or by members of the social context within which the intimate relationships develop. Difficulty does not imply impossibility; but the difficulties can make meaningful intimacy rare in the face of great differences in power, authority and/or social standing. These considerations regarding intimacy apply to many forms of intimacy: physical/affective, sexual, intellectual, economic, political, religious, spiritual, etc. The exact manner in which the considerations apply may differ according to the kind of intimacy; yet they merit attention in instances of each kind of intimacy and in instances of attempts to force each kind of intimacy. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================