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Expansive Intimacy EP10: Understanding Power Exchange in Relationships with Ken Hamilton

“I can see all the harm that I did by leaning into my power without acknowledging it,” says Ken Hamilton, who joins the Expansive Intimacy podcast to discuss his own journey through intimacy.

That journey includes abolishing what he calls the “middle aged white man” belief that he is the center of everything, while at the same time acknowledging the way he affects people around him. He compares the differences between intimacy with a larger community versus a partner and the way each differs from and influences the other.

Ken’s primary relationship with his partner Joli (featured in Episode 09) has taught him much about how to communicate, to feel safe showing up as his authentic self, and about the “pursue and withdraw” power move at play in many relationships.

Additionally, Ken practices polyamory, and he explains what he has learned from having multiple romantic partners and how he plans to navigate such a dynamic in the future. Having a plan about the day-to-day operations of any group dynamic is ultimately more effective than waiting for a crisis to arise.

Regarding the gender dynamics in society, he shares his belief that men are secretly terrified of the power they have been handed. He speaks about power versus love and how–and if–they can co-exist.


“If you can point me at a relationship that doesn't have a power imbalance. I'd love to see it.” (4:08-4:14 | Ken)
“The more open I am about the power that I think is in the room… the less harm I do.” (9:07-9:24 | Ken)
“If I'm going to be in a relationship with her, I have to have conversations. It's not optional. It's not even an ultimatum or a demand. It's just what it is to be in the relationship. These are table stakes. Much like, if you're going to go swimming, you're going to get wet. It's the nature of the series.” (16:29-16:55 | Ken)
“Intimacy isn't for agreement. It’s for sharing.” (21:18-21:20 | Ken)
“She has demonstrated radical acceptance of parts of me that I loathe barely look at myself…I have yet to meet anyone else that I'm willing to do that with, partially for their benefit, as well as mine.” (31:05-31:38 | Ken)
“However it happened, the world is currently set up with men in the majority of the positions of power…It's terrifying, which doesn’t lend itself to love or intimacy, but to defense and aggression. And here we have a world filled with male designs and aggression.” (38:01-38:48 | Ken)

Connect with Ken Hamilton:

Connect with Jim Young:

The Men's Expansive Intimacy Project:

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The views expressed are that of the individual and do not represent the opinions of any companies past, present or future.


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