Donald Black

in Moral Time

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199737147
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199944002 | DOI:

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Intimacy is a relational distance: a degree of participation in the life of someone else. Intimacy includes both involvement and exposure. Whereas involvement occurs when one enters someone's life, exposure occurs when one reveals their lives to someone else. Too much of the former is overinvolvement, and too much of the latter is overexposure. Too much involvement is a trespass, and might include anything from an overly personal question to a taboo sexual relationship, a burglary, a rape, or an invasion. All such movements of relational time cause conflict: Conflict is a direct function of overinvolvement. Rape causes conflict because it is a radical and rapid movement of relational time, a seizure of closeness: sex by force. It is an extreme case of overintimacy. It might be painful and injurious as well. However, it is a matter of degree: The more relational distance a rape crosses and collapses, the greater it is.

Keywords: intimacy; involvement; exposure; overinvolvement; overexposure; conflict; rape; sex; overintimacy

Chapter.  9710 words. 

Subjects: Social Theory

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