Question about the "Intimacy Sabotaging Device"

Submitted by pin_cushion on
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Hi, folks!

I've been thinking about the "Intimacy Sabotaging Device" that Marnia talks about in "Peace". As Marnia describes it, it's a part of our mind that tells us to be afraid of open-hearted love and intimacy because it leaves us open to being hurt.

I seem to be in the beginning stages of my first romantic relationship that I've been in since having read "Peace". I feel like the book has opened my eyes to aspects of relationships between the sexes that had gone unnoticed in the past.

As for myself, I have suffered in the past from years of negative sexual attitudes and negative relationships. As you can see in my previous post "Biological Self", my intimacy sabotaging device was letting me have it with both barrels last time I was spending time with her. I still have a fearful, uneasy feeling in the back of my mind when I think about her sometimes, but I believe that it's just my intimacy sabotaging device talking. It's entirely possible that I could be hurt in this relationship, but that's always a possibility.

Anyhow, one thing that I've noticed is that as my feelings toward her have intensified, the noise from the intimacy sabotaging device (ISD) is getting a bit louder. I just sent her a mushy letter and the ISD is, of course, telling me that I shouldn't have done it.

Actually practicing this concept of loving someone with an open heart instead of just following my instincts and impulses is quite frightening. I expected it to be easier, but so far, I have not wavered. I have talked to several close associates about this, and they think that there's nothing wrong with doing the instinctive way and that I'm just being silly. There is the fear of failure, the fear of embarrassment, the fear of being hurt, and so on.

I was just getting to my question, but I seem to have gone off on a tangent. One thing that I've noticed that Marnia didn't touch on in "Peace" is that it seems that the most powerful trigger of the ISD is the sight and touch of my lady-friend. I feel one way when I think about her with the ISD in the background, but last time I was with her, I felt as if the ISD was *screaming* at me. So what am I going to do? Stay the course! This is a path that I've never walked before, so all I have are the words of those who have gone before me, and for now, those words will have to suffice.

My question is, "Is the sight and touch of a lover usually the most potent trigger of the ISD, or is it thinking about past relationships or some other trigger?" Furthermore, how long should I expect to have to hear these negative thoughts coming from my own mind?

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed!


I can tell you my own experience.

My own ISD used to be pretty formidable. Loving touch would sometimes cause me to detach, or freak out, or on occasion actually burst into tears. I didn't do anything specific to fix it. I just stuck with it, and it eventually went away. With any luck, yours will too!

I wish

there were a simple answer to your questions about timing and touch that would bring you comfort. When something makes me anxious, I often use an oracle to get a new perspective. Even if you don't believe in synchronicity, it may help you think outside of the box.

I admire your courage. I hope your sweetheart appreciates your efforts...but remember that she may be frightened herself.

Anyhow, it doesn't hurt to see what "slow" will yield. You can always go back to your old habits, but you can't try "slow" as well later on.

Brave man!

careful observation

I feel both love and fear at the same time. I feel the love more when I am alone, and I feel the fear with emotional separation more when I am with her. It is quite frightening. When I kiss her, it feels almost as if there is a wall between us ( I've felt this before! ) I fear that my love may be in vain and I may never get any closer to her. Still, I choose to press on.

I believe she must feel something like this, too. I want to use love to hear her pain...

Sounds like quite a challenge

I'm glad you're persisting, slowly and patiently. Stick to those bonding behaviors for now. It can be quite frightening to have a big, passionate breakthrough...and then feel yourself snap shut again the next day. So take your time, even if it's uncomfortable. Better to build slowly and solidly. Wink

We're cheering for you!


I was coming back here to report on my progress and seek further advice. It sounds like I found what I was looking for before I even got to the "new comment" form.

[quote]I admire your courage. I hope your sweetheart appreciates your efforts...but remember that she may be frightened herself. [/quote]

Yes, she is quite frightened herself. She made this clear to me. I think that she can benefit from the process of the Ecstatic Exchanges every bit as much as I can. I just don't know how to explain it to her and she lives with a rather protective 'host family' as she is an exchange student.

[quote]It can be quite frightening to have a big, passionate breakthrough...and then feel yourself snap shut again the next day. So take your time, even if it's uncomfortable.[/quote]

My partner lives about an hour and a half away and English is her second language. I have not even tried to explain to her the ins and outs of Marnia's ideas for lovemaking; only that I've been made to understand that there is a superior approach to romance compared to following our animal instincts. I've actually only seen her about half a dozen times, so when I did feel myself "snap shut" so to speak yesterday, it was very upsetting to experience that for a whole afternoon that I spent with her, knowing that it will be days before I see her again. What's more, it feels totally like the emotional isolation I've felt with pre-Peace partners. Today, I've been feeling that awful feeling again that I'm afraid I'm incapable of love relationships.

When I have this feeling, sometimes I wonder if I have selected an incompatible partner. Then I read "Ruthless Eugenics" ( ). Marnia suggests that 'chemistry' isn't really all that important and that we can enjoy this new approach to lovemaking irregardless of it. Is this really true?

The one thing I try to keep in mind is to dedicate my relationship with her to her happiness and well-being instead of my own gratification. But man oh man, yesterday, even though I was holding hands with her, I felt like our hearts were miles apart, and I really feel torn up about it.

::Hanging on::

Yes, I can see

that the Ecstatic Exchanges might be a bit much to lay on her, given the situation. Smile But you can try some other bonding behaviors to break the "ice."

Is there anything funny you can share? A funny video? Some jokes she would understand? Animals doing tricks? Laughing is always good. (If you need some funny videos, just say so. I'm sure the "Reuniting" crew can suggest some!)

And what about exchanging hand massages? That can be very nurturing and yet also very sensual and fun.

Ask her if she wants to try an experiment of gazing into each others' eyes for 3 minutes. (Focus on the left eye.) Supposedly that was the most powerful practice in the Courtly Love tradition. It should be good for some giggles if nothing else.

It's lovely that you feel so protective toward her. Let us know how it goes.

I did hand massages in the

I did hand massages in the past; perhaps it's time to do that again.

I suppose gazing into her eyes for three minutes could be a fun thing to do, but please do direct me to some funny videos.

I watched this

and found it *very* funny, but my husband just thought it was stupid. He's a very funny guy himself, but his humor tends to be more clever than inane...whereas I'll obviously laugh at anything. Smile

Who knows? Maybe your girlfriend will love it. Wink

I would have replied that

I would have replied that it's the opposite for me, that it gets triggered when I am alone rather than with him. But sometimes it is the other way around for me too. It all depends on what bonding cues I'm getting from him or not getting from him. Does he look at me that special way that makes me feel safe, that makes me feel his love for me, or isn't he. Did he perhaps say something that I could interpret as a threat/rejection.

It also depends on my own balance of course. Am I having a confident day where I am more relaxed and humorous and trusting - or am I feeling imbalanced and deprived and needy.

Seems really good that you could express to each other that you are afraid. I don't feel safe enough to do that yet, and when I do, there is perhaps no point in doing so! Wink

Makes me happy to know there are brave men out there. I mean of course there are, but sometimes I feel like most of them are cowards emotionally. Keep it up!