The Intimacy Interviews

To all of the women reading this:

I want us to talk. I mean like really, really talk. I want us to talk about the thing that tends to be our downfall and our salvation. That’s right…I want to talk about romantic love and intimacy and passion and heartbreak and all of the little things that exist between all of these words that are so much more than words. They are experiences and feelings and emotions.

I want to hear your greatest love stories, regardless of how they ended. I want to know what you learned from the lowest places of heartache and from the highest places of connection. I want to hear about the time you felt love so deeply that you felt for sure that you had found ‘the one’. I want to hear about the when that love left and you felt broken and unsure of everything.

I want to hear about the one night stands, the decades-long partnerships, passionate drawn out affairs and the one who got away. I want to hear about your marriages and your divorces and your first love and the relationships that you can’t quite define.

I want to hear what keeps you up at night. I want to hear about the mistakes that you keep making over and over and over. If you think you’ve got it all figured out I definitely want to hear from you. And this is not about our love for our friends or our children or our pets. I think we can all agree that those interactions tend to walk a straighter line. Oh no, let’s get to the stuff that songs and poems are written about.

Why do I want to know all of this?

Because I feel quite sure that this is the story that I am meant to tell. And I need your help. My 39th birthday is approaching and I want my year before the big 4-0 to be something meaningful. There are two big things that I’ve been wanting to do for a while now—-write a book and get out of my own way. I think that this project will help me accomplish both. Starting the week of my birthday, I will interview a different woman every week for a year. That’s 52 women, 52 stories. And during these weeks that will become the final year of my 30’s, while conducting these interviews, I will be setting about on doing some very important work on myself.

You see, I’ve kinda got my stuff figured out at this point in life. I love my jobs and feel absolutely certain that I have found my purpose on this earth. I have the best friends that a woman could ever ask for. My life is filled with beauty and adventure. I have found my bliss. But alas, the one thing that’s always eluded me has been relationships with men. Basically, I’m pretty bad at them. It has something to do with a fear of intimacy for some reason. And it’s the work I’m finally ready to do. Over the course of this 39th year of mine, I am taking a vow to completely abstain from any kind of romantic encounter. All of the energy I once threw into going-nowhere relationships is now going to be funneled straight to myself and this new project.

So what’s in it for you if you decide to become part of this? Well, you see, things tend to lose the power that they hold over us when we speak them aloud. If you need to heal, I’m here to take that story away from you just a little bit. Or perhaps you are trying to figure it all out like I am. Maybe together we can start to find some answers. It’s time to talk about this stuff. I have a feeling that, at the core of things, we have more things that bind us together than things that make us separate. I recently searched for books that dealt with women and intimacy and came up with a lot of results that read like “How to Get that Guy.” There’s got to be more than that. Who are we when we are in relationship and how does that shape and shift who we are in this world?

All of the results of these interviews will be treated with the utmost respect and anonymity. That being said, I will ask you to be completely vulnerable and open with me. It won’t work if you aren’t. I want you to tell me the things that you never thought you would breathe aloud. I have training in compassionate communication and holding space for others. I promise to honor your joys and your sorrows and your truths, no matter what package they come in. If I am a stranger to you, I can provide references of friends and yoga students who will tell you that this is something I am completely capable of.

I don’t know quite where this project will go. But I’m excited to find out. I want to talk to women of varying ages, backgrounds and sexual orientations. If you are interested in being part of this, please send an email to [email protected] Tell me briefly what it is you might want to share with me. And if you don’t know and are still interested, that’s quite alright as well. Let me know where you live. I am definitely not opposed to travel; I’m a big believer in face to face communication but if that can’t happen, then a good old fashioned phone call would suffice.

Thank you for your time,

Ashley Skeen

2 responses to “The Intimacy Interviews”

  1. Sue Pannier says:

    I’m game. I’m 56, 4 children, married 28 years, together 29 1/2. Divorced because my husband fell in love with his mistress. I like to talk. A lot. So I could be a blessing or a challenge to you.

  2. Peg O'Connor says:

    Wow – what an ambitious undertaking, Ashley. You are amazing!

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