Dating, Relationships, & Sex, Featured, Theory & Essay

Intimacy Compatibility: The Most Underrated Part Of A Happy Relationship

Rarely does a week pass without someone asking me what married life is like. I usually provide the same answer (“It’s…just like life before marriage. Except now you have God’s blessing to have sex in Macy’s dressing rooms.“), but it always feels incomplete. Mainly because the best way to describe married life is to provide an example of a typical conversation two married people have. But that would take too long to say in a regular conversation where people really aint all that interested in the answer.

Fortunately, I have some space here.

***Typical morning conversation between two married people***

Husband: Do you want to go to the gym after work today?

Wife: Hmm. I don’t know. I have to meet with my sister at 6 to help her plan this surprise party she’s throwing for her friend.

Husband: That “Kim” chick with the awkward lips?

Wife: No. She’s not cool with Kim anymore. 

Husband: Why not?

Wife: Do you really care?

Husband: No.

Wife: Then why ask?

Husband: So…you’re not going to the gym?

Wife: No.

Husband: Ok.

Now, imagine having a conversation like that everyday. If you’re married for 30 years, you will have it 10,000 times.

Seriously though, this doesn’t seem too bad though, right? I mean, you’ll have all types of other fun things to do — unprotected sex, family trips to Sandcastle, country-wide brunch tours, passive-aggressive landscaping battles with neighbors, etc — besides have mundane conversations. And, those mundane conversations can also be ways to reinforce your connection to each other and take the relationship’s temperature. If this is all marriage is, marriage is a motherfucking breeze.

But wait. Before you agree, I have to admit that I edited some parts of that conversation out. And I’d like you to read the unedited version before you answer.

***Typical morning conversation between two married people while wife is in the shower and husband comes in the bathroom***

***Husband sits on the toilet***

Wife: What are you doing?

Husband: Jumping rope.

Wife: You couldn’t go downstairs? You knew I was in the shower. 

Husband: It’s cold down there. And I think we have morning ghosts.

Wife: I hate you. 

Husband: I love you.  

Wife: Just make sure you courtesy flush. 

Husband: Do you want to go to the gym after work today?

Wife: Hmm. I don’t know. I have to meet with my sister at 6 to help her plan this surprise party she’s throwing for her friend.

Husband: That “Kim” chick with the awkward lips?

Wife: No. She’s not cool with Kim anymore. 

Husband: Why not?

Wife: Do you really care?

Husband: No.

Wife: Then why ask?

Husband: So…you’re not going to the gym?

Wife: Nah, just go without me. Wait…I thought you were going to courtesy flush!

Husband: I did.

Wife: So why does it smell like baby elephants in here now?

Husband: You wanted empanadas for dinner yesterday, not me. Every choice has consequences. 

I imagine that some of you were completely grossed out by that scenario. I also imagine that some of you read this and thought “Shit. This was totally us yesterday morning.” Which side you’re on matters. And, interestingly enough, whether you’re currently in a relationship or not actually doesn’t.

Compatibility is often brought up as the most crucial part of maintaining a happy and healthy relationship. And, for good reason. If you can’t get along — if you don’t “fit” each other in some way — it’s probably not going to work. This concept is also often distilled down to specifics. Sexual compatibility. Social compatibility. Spiritual compatibility. Netflix compatibility. But what doesn’t seem to be discussed as often as it should is intimacy compatibility. 

To wit, some people are fine with the level of intimacy exhibited by the couple in the conversation. Perhaps they’d be a little annoyed, but they’re not as concerned with setting and maintaining those types of boundaries. And there are some people…well, there are some people who, if you tried to take a shit while they were taking a shower, would jump out the shower and stab you with a shampoo bottle. They could be just as in love with their mate — and just as compatible in other ways — as the “comfortable” couple, but they’re just not cool with that type of shit. Literally. They need more boundaries and don’t need or want to be as intimate as the other people clearly are comfortable being.

There’s no right or wrong either way. But along with “How do you feel about kids?” and “Would you eat the last Red Hot Cheeto, or save it for me?” intimacy compatibility is probably something that should be discussed before you decide to get together. Because the only thing worse than an interrupted shit is a shit interrupted by a bottle of Pantene thrown at your spleen.

 

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • Don’t come set on the sh***er while I’m in the shower. Launching a broken arrow on the toilet AND trying to talk to me while I’m trying to get ready is not love.

    • Rachmo

      Cosign. No bueno.

      • That’s some sitcom/white folks ish.

        • Rachmo

          *daps and leaves the thread*

        • Charlisia Nwachukwu

          I had an ex that used to do that.. drove me nuts.. he was not white but he did grow up poor. Poor like 15 people in a 3 bedroom house in the slums poor .. he used to make fun of my reaction to it by commenting I grew up with too much “Velveeta Cheese”. LOL, still one of my best friends til this day. But.. Nope. I need some boundaries.

          • Val

            “I grew up with too much “Velveeta Cheese”.

            Lol

    • Aly

      What if she’s just going #1? I don’t have a problem with that. Anything more you’ll have to hold til I’m done.

      • Charlisia Nwachukwu

        my shower is where I clear my head..

        • miss t-lee

          This is why I lock the door…lol

          • I hate foggy mirrors, but just bwcause the door is open dont mean u can come in

            • miss t-lee

              True, true. Foggy mirrors are the worst.

            • Lea Thrace

              Bruh. My mother does not understand this concept. That chick has ZERO boundaries.

              • miss t-lee

                This is my sister when she visits. Pretty much why her visits are limited.

              • Charlisia Nwachukwu

                ugh. My Grandma house is like that.. she has a 3 bedroom house with ONE bathroom.. there is always someone trying to get you to let them in.. No Ma’am. Door locked.. I do not hear anything.

                • Lea Thrace

                  But that’s the thing. I have 3 BATHROOMS in my house. My parents house has 4 BATHROOMS. How is it that you always find yourself wanting to use the one that I am showering in?! Aint that many of us!

              • Mimzi

                Is it a yoruba mom thing? My mom will just BUST in the bathroom and then get mad when I get mad

                • Lea Thrace

                  Yep. Yoruba mama dont care about your damn boundaries!

                  • HeyBooHey

                    Same with my Haitian mom smh. Whenever I visit her, guaran-damn-tee she’s coming in the bathroom while I’m in the shower and wants to carry full convos when I’m just tryna be taken away by Calgon

                  • MsSula

                    I would say any African mom does NOT give a damn about boundaries! Like boundaries in her OWN house, FOH! Loll.

                    • LJK

                      That is so real! My mom stay walking in on people during the most awkward times. Her excuse, she’s already seen us all naked.

      • Nope. Nyet. Nein. Nah!

        • Aly

          Cold blooded.

      • HR Paperstacks

        Bathroom should be a neutral zone. I don’t care if we were conjoined twins at one time; we separate now, we don’t share the bathroom. I’ll just wait.

    • miss t-lee

      Yeah, how about let me take my shower in peace.

    • HeyBooHey

      That’s grounds for me throwing water on dude til he gets up and gets out

  • taliacadet

    Husband wants wife to go to the gym really bad. Lol.

    1) A shampoo bottle is too dull to stab someone with.
    2) I hope I can find someone I can share less-than-glamourous moments with. Sit on the toilet bae. If it wasn’t bolted and caulked to the floor, I’d pull it out for you to sit on.

    I’m loving your marriage insight Damon! Keep it coming.

    • Sarita Alexander

      he was rather adamant about that gym. I’d be like are you subtly trying to tell me I gained weight, while simultaneously stinking up the joint? not cool, dude.

    • Epsilonicus

      When you married, doing a number 2 while in a shower aint that big.

    • Damon Young

      “1) A shampoo bottle is too dull to stab someone with.”

      not if hurled with enough force. you can stab someone with a freezer if you’re angry enough

  • Val

    Is it just me, Champ, or has your writing style changed? It’s seems lighter now. More upbeat and definitely funny. I’ve really been enjoying the new, if it is, Champ style. :-)

    • Champs got a few greys in his beard and went full Uncle Wisdom

      • h.h.h.

        Champ took an L in spades, totally changed his world view lol

        • Rachmo

          HA

        • miss t-lee

          LMAO

        • Val

          So, is everybody upvoting themselves now? Lol I thought that was just an Eps thing.

          • h.h.h.

            that’s the new swag

          • miss t-lee

            Not I.

      • Damon Young

        just one grey

    • tgtaggie

      I guess there are perks to having a wife lol

    • Damon Young

      upbeat? i don’t think I’ve changed much. but i do appreciate compliments and shit. so thanks.

  • Life is too short to waste time pretending not to have normal bodily functions. And in a 1B/1BA apartment, the concurrent shower/poo is inevitable. Courtesy flush and Febreze!

    • miss t-lee

      This is why we’d definitely have a 2nd bathroom.

      • It would be nice. But we’re not trying to spend a full paycheck on rent each month, b/c you only get 2 bathrooms in a 2 bedroom apartment which we don’t really need. You pick your priorities.

    • Damon Young

      “Life is too short to waste time pretending not to have normal bodily functions”

      and it’ll be even shorter if you try

  • miss t-lee

    “And there are some people…well, there are some people who, if you tried to take a shit while they were taking a shower, would jump out the shower and stab you with a shampoo bottle.”

    Yeah, I’m that person.

  • Charlisia Nwachukwu

    lol. i love my honey but I need some boundaries…do not shit while I am in the shower please.

  • Sarita Alexander

    this happened once… then he wore a brown shirt that day. I still call him doo doo brown, when the mood strikes. **spontaneous dancing too**

    lesson: we have a second bathroom for a reason, take ur stinkin’ a$$ to that one.

    • Damon Young

      sometimes second bathrooms are cold

      • Sarita Alexander

        Wear a robe and some socks. *shrugs* that bathroom was cold when I got in the shower. You can’t make the bathroom funkdified like the brat and leave me to suffer.

    • rubbadubbagullagulla

      Every house justs need to have an allocated “take a dump” bathroom. Like, if it ain’t number one, take it to the number two bathroom.

  • Breezyx2

    “Rarely does a week pass without someone asking me what married life is like.”

    Really?!?! How cute.

    • Val

      Lol Troublemaker.

      • Breezyx2

        I am just a person Val…LOL!

    • LMNOP

      I’ve never been married and never asked anyone about “married life.” So, how often does someone lose their temper over dishes? Who sh!ts first in the mornings? How can I possibly live without understanding the finer points of married life?!? Good thing I have champ to enlighten me.

    • Damon Young

      aint it?

  • Medium Meech

    Wait… dropping a deuce while he other person is in the shower crosses that line between intimacy and human decency. Turning the bathroom into a steamy sh*t sauna, effectively attaching your fecal matter to water molecules to create a delivery system to efficiently move the contents of your bowels to her respiratory system sounds more like domestic terrorism. I don’t know what amnesty international does, but this literally sounds like the type of sh*t you call them for.

    • Breezyx2

      It really is the nastiest thing I have ever heard. Christo!

    • miss t-lee

      *dry heave* at “steamy sh*t sauna”

      • Medium Meech

        As well you should. The respiratory system is the gatekeeper to the circulatory system. Basically this means if a dude does this to you he’s taking a series of the smallest of sh*ts on your heart. Science.

        • deviant

          You learnt ’em.

        • KLysha

          This comment finished me for the day.

        • Tish Harris

          Since nothing on the internet can be better than this comment, i’ll just log off and go to the gym.
          Good night.

    • hahahhahahhahahah. I am so finished. This comment is as equally hilarious as it is gross

    • Tx10inch

      This comment…

    • Cleojonz

      HA HA HA this comment is everything. It is both hilarious and vomit inducing at the same damned time!

    • Damon Young

      thanks for ruining my bagels and shrimp

    • Muze

      i’m glad you said it. lmaoooo. such terrorism.

    • SororSalsa

      That’s some biological warfare for your a**.

  • Charlisia Nwachukwu

    I feel like this is one sided too. What if I interrupt your shower dropping bombs .. is the still ok?

    • Damon Young

      depends

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