Intimacy and Shame (aka Life and Love and the Pursuit of Wholeness)

If I were a kitchen ingredient, I’d be extra virgin olive oil.

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Two weeks ago I wrote about sex and repression and the beauty of Song of Songs. I wrote about being twenty-six and not married, unsure what to do with my sex drive other than crossing my legs and closing my eyes.

That piece made me realize I wasn’t alone. People clicked and liked and sent me kind messages saying they could relate. I was so so encouraged.

So I’ve decided there must be a whole bunch of us who were raised by middle-school locker rooms and abstinence talks. We’ve got fear piled up like dirty clothes—we shove them in the closets of our brain and fight hard to close the door and not let them out.

But maybe healing looks like letting out those fears. Like being honest about our stories so others can be honest about theirs.

So, for the next few weeks, that’s what I’m going to do—I’m going to share my story in an effort to show (1) God’s faithfulness, (2) the possibilities of opening up about each of our unique journeys, and (3) how the journey is ongoing—a continual climb toward health and wholeness.

My story with intimacy—just like all of ours—is more than the sex drive. It includes falling in love and feeling butterflies and breaking up and messing up good things and social media and loneliness and feeling heard and seen and loved wholly. It is holistic, so I hope these pieces reflect that.

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Before we get started, I want to give a few disclaimers.

(1) This is my story, and mine alone. The internet needs fewer “universal” stories and statements: i.e. “Here’s a story from my life and everyone can relate” or “Everyone should see things this way.” If you can’t relate, that’s okay! I bet someone else who can’t relate with my story can relate with yours.

(2) This isn’t the first time I’ve processed these stories, emotions, or fears. I’ve spent a lot of time diving into this topic with my family, wonderful friends, church small groups, and counselors. In today’s internet age it’s easy to write about our insecurities and fears to anonymous readers before sharing them with the people closest to us. It’s important to put in the work before sharing the results.

So, without further ado, welcome to Drew Brown’s love life.