Developing Intimate Relationships
a one-day workshop for men in Sierra Madre – Saturday, June 23rd, 2018 – From 10AM to 5PM (lunch included)
People use the term “intimacy” very loosely, but, what exactly is it?
The meaning of intimacy varies from relationship to relationship. To me, it has to do with feeling a connection with another person. It requires empathy: the ability to stand in another man’s shoes.
Intimacy is both the ability and the choice to be close, loving and vulnerable. You have to know yourself in order to share your self with another. Knowing yourself makes it possible to be in an intimate relationship without taking over the other person or losing yourself to them.
Not so easy to do…
This ability to be separate and together is what I call healthy intimacy. It’s not obsessive, clingy or controlling. Unhealthy or unskillful intimacy typically results in problems like: getting too close too quickly; struggling to set healthy boundaries, having problems sustaining a loving/friendly connection; fears of vulnerability and rejecting/fearing friendship with other men.
Most of us know that intimacy can be emotional and physical, but have you ever considered intellectual and spiritual intimacy? There’s a lot more to intimacy than you may have previously considered!
This one-day workshop “Developing Intimate Relationships” workshop is perfect for friends, friends with benefits, partners, and husbands. The workshop runs from 10AM to 5PM and includes a delicious lunch prepared by the NatureFriends kitchen.
The workshop isn’t a lecture: it’s experiential and interactive. You’ll have opportunities to talk one-on-one with a half-dozen men during the course of the workshop. The workshop will include guided visualizations, physical movement (according to your ability) and group discussions.
The workshop will have a morning and an afternoon session. The morning session (10-1PM) will focus on trusting, developing and sustaining relationships – especially friendships – with other men. We’ll address questions like:
• What is healthy intimacy? How do you know it/feel it when you experience it?
• Are you looking for more intimacy in your life with both friends and lovers?
• Do you feel lonely more often than you’d like to admit?
• Would you like more intimate connections with other men that are not mostly sexual?
• Would you like to deepen your friendships with other men?
• Do you find it hard to trust other men? Would you like to change that?
• How satisfying is the intimacy in your most important relationships? What stands in your way of deepening your connections with the people you love the most?
• Are you afraid to be vulnerable? Is this stopping you from letting people really get to know you? Have you always been a “loner” type of person? If so, would you like to change that?
The afternoon session (2-5PM) will focus on male-to-male sexual intimacy in monogamous and open relationships and will address questions like:
• What are the differences in intimacy in open and monogamous relationships?
• Is there a limit to the number of people you can be intimate with?
• How do you differentiate between emotional and sexual/romantic intimacy? Do you ever confuse the two/blur the lines?
• How do you navigate intimacy with new or current partners?
• Are your relationships monogamous or open? What are the pros and cons of each?
• If you are in a committed romantic relationship, how would you rate the intimacy you have with your partner(s)?
• How do you separate emotional from sexual/physical intimacy, or do you?
• In a romantic relationship, is your intimacy affected by jealousy and/or insecurity? What factors in your relationship deepen the intimacy? What factors lessen it?
• If you are in an open relationship or marriage, how intimate are you with your sexual partners? Does this increase or decrease the intimacy you have with your partner/husband?
Come join us in exploring these questions with a safe, supportive group of men, facilitated by psychotherapist/author Michael Kimmel.
Workshop location and information
The workshop will be held at a private retreat center located in the beautiful foothill city of Sierra Madre, near Pasadena.
The buildings are set in a fork of Little Santa Anita Canyon on the eastern shoulder of Mount Wilson, nestled in a grove of wild oak and alder trees and other nature plantings. The property is a nature and wildlife sanctuary, retreat center, community resource, library and welcoming garden.