So, why does good sex so often fade, even for couples who continue to love each other as much as ever? And why does good intimacy not guarantee good sex, contrary to popular belief? Or, the next question would be, can we want what we already have? That’s the million-dollar question, right? And why is the forbidden so erotic? What is it about transgression that makes desire so potent?
Fatal erotic blow, isn’t it?
And when you love, how does it feel? And when you desire, how is it different?
These are some of the questions that are at the center of my exploration on the nature of erotic desire and its concomitant dilemmas in modern love.
There seems to be a crisis of desire. A crisis of desire, as in owning the wanting — desire as an expression of our individuality, of our free choice, of our preferences, of our identity — desire that has become a central concept as part of modern love and individualistic societies.
So what sustains desire, and why is it so difficult? And at the heart of sustaining desire in a committed relationship, I think, is the reconciliation of two fundamental human needs. On the one hand, our need for security, for predictability, for safety, for dependability, for reliability, for permanence. All these anchoring, grounding experiences of our lives that we call home. But we also have an equally strong need — men and women — for adventure, for novelty, for mystery, for risk, for danger, for the unknown, for the unexpected, surprise — you get the gist. For journey, for travel.
So why does good sex so often fade? What is the relationship between love and desire? How do they relate, and how do they conflict? Because therein lies the mystery of eroticism.
So if there is a verb, for me, that comes with love, it’s “to have.” And if there is a verb that comes with desire, it is “to want.” In love, we want to have, we want to know the beloved. We want to minimize the distance. We want to contract that gap. We want to neutralize the tensions. We want closeness.
But in desire, we tend to not really want to go back to the places we’ve already gone. In desire, we want an Other, somebody on the other side that we can go visit, that we can go spend some time with, that we can go see what goes on in their red-light district. You know? In desire, we want a bridge to cross. Or in other words, I sometimes say, fire needs air. Desire needs space. And when it’s said like that, it’s often quite abstract- root it in absence and in longing, which is a major component of desire.
Sex isn’t something you do, Sex is a place you go.
It’s a space you enter inside yourself and with another, or others. So where do you go in sex? What parts of you do you connect to? What do you seek to express there? Is it a place for transcendence and spiritual union? Is it a place for naughtiness and is it a place to be safely aggressive? Is it a place where you can finally surrender and not have to take responsibility for everything? Is it a place where you can express your infantile wishes? What comes out there?
It’s a language. It isn’t just a behavior – Poetic.
You know, animals have sex. It’s the pivot, it’s biology, it’s the natural instinct. We are the only ones who have an erotic life, which means that it’s sexuality transformed by the human imagination. We are the only ones who can make love for hours, have a blissful time, multiple orgasms, and touch nobody, just because we can imagine it. We can hint at it. We don’t even have to do it. We can experience that powerful thing called anticipation, which is a mortar to desire. The ability to imagine it, as if it’s happening, to experience it as if it’s happening, while nothing is happening and everything is happening, at the same time.
Many claim “I want more sex,” but generally, people want better sex, and better is to reconnect with that quality of aliveness, of vibrancy, of renewal, of vitality, of Eros, of energy that sex used to afford them, or that they’ve hoped it would afford them.
So I Challenge You To Ask Yourself:
“I Shut Myself Off When ...” Began to be the question.” I Turn off my Desires When ...”
Which is not the same question as,
What turns me off is … and
You turn me off when …
We began to say, I turn myself off when I feel dead inside,
When I don’t like my body,
When I feel old,
When I haven’t had time for myself,
When I haven’t had a chance to even check in with you,
When I don’t perform well at work,
When I feel low self esteem,
When I don’t have a sense of self-worth,
When I don’t feel like I have a right to want, to take, to receive pleasure.
In the beginning, the growing intimacy isn’t yet so strong that it actually lead to the decrease of desire. The more connected I became, the more responsible I felt, the less I was able to let go in the presence.
Committed sex is premeditated sex. It’s willful. It’s intentional. It’s focus and presence.