intimacy

(redirected from intimate)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Wikipedia.
Related to intimate: intimate apparel

intimacy

sexual and personal relations characterized by closeness and personal disclosure. A recent analysis is provided by GIDDENS (The Transformation of Intimacy, 1992), who focuses on the changing character of the ‘pair relationship ’ in modern societies including homosexual as well as heterosexual relationships, and FRIENDSHIP relationships as well as sexual relationships. Three central concepts are employed in this analysis:
  1. the pure relationship, a relationship maintained for its own sake;
  2. plastic sexuality, sexuality freed from considerations of property relations;
  3. confluent love, the self-consciously conditional, revisable love relationship, a relationship that must be continuously worked at to ensure the mutual commitment and trust it requires of both partners.

The origins of the ‘pure relationship’, according to Giddens, are ‘separation of sexuality from the reproductive function’, made possible especially by modern contraception. In these circumstances the possibility of confluent love emerges. Child-parent relations also tend increasingly to approximate to the pattern of the pure relationship, and as Janet Finch (Family Obligations and Social Change, 1989) points out, kinship relations in general become increasingly dependent for their continuation on a ‘working out’ of relationships. For Giddens, intimacy involves above all an emotional communication with oneself and others, in a context of equality in which ‘TRUST has to be won and actively sustained’.

References in classic literature ?
The eldest of them, a sensible, intelligent young woman, about twenty-seven, was Elizabeth's intimate friend.
Miss Bingley told me," said Jane, "that he never speaks much, unless among his intimate acquaintances.
Here speaks the man of masts and sails, to whom the sea is not a navigable element, but an intimate companion.
Young Shtcherbatsky went into the navy, was drowned in the Baltic, and Levin's relations with the Shtcherbatskys, in spite of his friendship with Oblonsky, became less intimate.
During the time the Stangersons lived in America they were very intimate with Arthur Rance, who was one of the most distinguished phrenologists of the new world.
You will intimate nothing of the kind, Philip," said the queen, "for if you act in that manner, and violate hospitality to that extent, I will invoke the severity of the king against you.
Be it so; I will not appear in the matter, but I shall intimate my will to Madame.
Vanstone's character which Miss Garth, after many years of intimate experience, had never detected, she accepted the explanation as a matter of course; receiving it all the more readily inasmuch as it might, without impropriety, be communicated in substance to appease the irritated curiosity of the two young ladies.
Vanstone began by referring to the long and intimate friendship which had existed between Miss Garth and herself.
de Chevreuse, who told it to two or three of her intimates, that, yielding to his vocation, he had retired into a convent--only into which, nobody knew.
If things start to collapse, it pointed out that sharing intimate memories on devices or online accounts goes from being a perfectly natural part of a loving relationship, to a potential privacy nightmare.
For example, 70% of couples share passwords, PINs or fingerprints to access their personal devices, and 26% store some type of intimate data on their partner's device: such as intimate messages from/to the partner (14%), intimate photos of themselves (12%) and intimate videos of them and their partner (11%).