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Constructing The Sexual Crucible

Literature reveals that the search for intimacy is filled with the quest for self-reflection with attempts at self-disclosure rather than a true search to know and be known. The clinical model attempts to understand and explain the dynamic processes that are needed for intimacy (pp. 92-93).

Contributions from different disciplines are discussed. Sexual therapy offers a definition by Masters, Johnson, and Kolodny which states intimacy is a close, trusting, and emotionally open relationship in which love is not the principle concern. Marriage and family therapy literature rarely attempts to define intimacy, however it was once referred to as an open, vulnerable experience with a sharing of innermost feelings and thoughts. Descriptions of intimacy do not lead to solutions, clinical problems regarding how to do it, remain (pp. 99-105).

Schnarch focuses on a clinical model of intimacy. The author states that a capacity for intimacy is critical for the development and maintenance of a long-term intimate marriage. Self-differentiation and realistic expectations are important. The literature lacks a clinical model that accounts for the process of human development and relationships. For Schnarch, intimacy includes the ability to display one's inner life to another; sexual intimacy includes the use of sexuality for disclosure of core aspects of the self. Couples typically avoid intimacy and focus on escaping from or finding ones


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Constructing The Sexual Crucible. (2000, January 01). In Retrieved 16:38, October 25, 2014, from
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