On social media, I made the case that a healthy relationship with one’s own eros was an essential component to a healthy marriage. Some people disagreed and believed eros runs out after a few years, and pragma is a healthier basis for a marriage. I was also challenged, essentially, to differentiate eros from perversion. This was my response:
It’s very hard to articulate an adequate response to this in a singular post, as there are a lot of premises people tend to take for granted in these discussions which need to be covered. (I’m not presuming which premises you personally might take for granted; these are deeply human issues and I’m sure many people have thought about it from many angles.) It would be more appropriate for me to write a book or an essay on this, considering how many angles I’ve thought about. I probably will do that. But for now, I’ll try to cover the basics. I apologize in advance if I fail to articulate it on my first try.
So let’s start with this: “Eros exists. So where do we go from there?”
It is apparent throughout history that cheating is very common. We all know the age-old tale of couples getting married just based on pragma alone, and then finding erotic pleasure outside the home. Thus the warm, stable marriage which “makes logical sense” and “works dutifully” is so often wrecked by cheating and distrust, not to mention extreme resentment. In worst case scenarios, there have been stories where the resentment around “being stuck with this person” who is not fulfilling one’s erotic needs may lead to abuse or, worse, one spouse poisoning the other.
Beyond marriage, there are also many symptoms in society of misguided Eros. Porn is a symptom of misguided Eros, as well as Tinder, dating-fucking culture, etc. Religions and lifestyles tend to form as reactions to other religions. Our society was heavily religious and sexually repressed, so in reaction the left formed their own religion which worships the lewd and crude. But what they are doing is very far from Eros. Going to a kink-fest is not erotic in the wholesome and natural sense — that’s a social event with many rules of engagement. Watching porn is also not erotic in the wholesome sense. As for the gay culture, you can’t even talk to them without memorizing a bunch of pronouns that constantly change with the wind.
The idea that we can’t show breasts or nudity without sexualizing it, makes it “taboo,” and causes people to fetishize the human body. This isn’t necessary. If the body and nudity were not “taboo” in normal life, and there was not a constant battle between absolute disgusting debauchery vs. a far-right religious effort to repress erotic hunger, nudity and embodied beauty altogether, perhaps we’d find a more sane, healthy expression of Eros.
Of course, I’m exaggerating both sides of this to make a point. The left is not ONLY debaucherous and the right is not ONLY repressive. But to express the problem with the trend I must present two sides of the dichotomy. Right now, there is no healthy cultural expression of eros and spontenaeity. That’s where I agree with the article I posted, called “Carpe Diem.” There’s one group rebelling against the repression of Eros by being disgusting and making a bunch of rules around how disgusting you’re allowed to be, and another group telling you sexuality or eroticism is only allowed to exist in this one limited spot, and all other expression of it is forbidden. This is *quite evidently* not productive. As you said, the proof is in the pudding.
The question is not: “How do we get rid of Eros?” — History and human nature make it apparent that we cannot. The question is: “What do we do with Eros in a productive way?”
Humans were given Eros for a reason. We crave it for a reason. Are we to say it’s corrupt; an inherently corrupt part of our “bad” nature, or is it a biological imperative that has helped people in some way? I would suggest the latter, and I cannot think of any logical premise upon which to disagree. If we are made in God’s image, then something so basic and enduring as Eros must have been gifted us for a reason. And if one is to say “God gave us Eros so that we’ll repress it and fight against our nature” — I would be the first to reject such a God, as I’d rather burn in hell than worship someone so cruel.
So I, personally, am a very libidinous and passionate person by nature – but I am turned off by porn, to the point I watched a few minutes once in a friends’ dorms and found myself shaking under the covers. It grossed me out on a systemic level. I’ve had relationships where I connect very deeply to the person and keep them as a friend for life, and married my soulmate — who I recognized as such within days of meeting (and then asked him to marry me). Six years later we’re still thriving, madly in love, and supporting each other. We have a great group of friends, get along with each other’s family, etc. So embracing my erotic and full-bodied attraction to him immediately, clearly worked.
But this is not an accident. I trained myself to do this. It is a result of a life of astute study of myself, psychology, and passion.
Since I recognized the danger of eros, even in the first book I ever wrote at age 11-12 about a prostitute – I spent a great deal of time considering productive and heartfelt ways to honor my passion. And it has worked. I can sense quite quickly who I am attracted to on a deeper level; who I connect with; and for me this process of connection is highly erotic. (Even for friends, though please do not read that as “highly sexual,” as I am not preying on my friends.) I am not tricked by “good looking body parts,” which is not to say that I am not attuned to beauty — because I am. But I’m aroused by the deeper process of connecting to someone’s mind and soul; that said, their body is a vessel through which their soul emerges, so small things like how my partner sits or smiles can drive me wild. And after many years of studying my own patterns, studying others, studying psychology and romance itself – I fell into a natural groove which allowed me to understand instantly when my heart gravitates to ‘the right people.’ This helps with friendships too; as healthy Eros also exists in healthy friendships. Eros, in greek, literally means “flow.”
And having embraced a higher vibration of Eros, it made natural intuitive sense to me when my friend from Greece explained that it meant flow. Erotic passion and flow are indeed, one and the same. Rules and regulations often disrupt one’s natural ‘flow,’ so life is always a dance between ethics and flow, passion and reason; the two must be balanced.
Society offers many paths to repress Eros, and also many paths to pervert our sexuality (which is another form of repressing the natural flow that God gave us). My suggestion is that, as a society, we start learning the difference between higher-vibration Eros and perversion. This is the only way we will ever find a healthy balance; for , simply telling people to ‘stop acting on desire’ has never worked historically. Desire always comes back to roost, and once it has been repressed, it comes back in a much more ugly and destructive way.
my rant about what God really is, and how it doesn’t matter what you ‘believe’ — inspired by my friend solly who is an absolutely amazing person, and an atheist.
i personally don’t have much need for anyone to believe the same things i believe
i was raised atheist
so actually it would be helpful if i had stayed atheist. then i’d be in the same boat as my family and we could all live happily ever after in blissful agreement
but i had psychic experiences early on
but at the same time
if i would find out tomorrow that im not psychic and it was all fake and God doesnt exist
my life would be largely the same….
because for me God isn’t an abstraction
its just a name i am giving to the feeling i’ve always had, of connectivity, vibrations, rhythm of the world, connection to nature, mirroring
maybe you could say “Erica has strong Mirror Neurons” and call it a day
but whatever you call it, doesn’t matter
doesn’t change the essence of the thing
so i’m not hung up about people interpreting their experiences differently than i do
solly can be an atheist but he experiences connection, I’ve experienced it with him, i feel it in his music, and we both felt it together in the game, and in many of our other conversations
so really his life experience is not ESSENTIALLY that different from mine.
in fact, its more similar to mine than most people here
because we both navigate music similarly and that is core to my existence, it’s my first language
so if he speaks “music” – the universal language – then our language is one and the same….
i don’t really give a crap if his “world view” is different than mine, i still feel at one with his heart and soul in the moments we share music and connect
if he doesn’t believe in God or psychics its not a threat to me
like, i’d be hurt if he told me i’m crazy or stupid but he hasn’t and wouldn’t
but its all the same to me, if music is his God. it was mine for the majority of my life
as a kid i had that line from les mis in HUGE letters i wrote and hung over my closet: “To love another person is to see the face of God”
and music helps me communicate that love, that emotion, that connection
so to me that IS God. love is God. music is the word of God. as is nature.
solly experiences music and love and nature as deeply as i do, communicates with music as deeply as i do, so who gives a flying fuck if he calls it “God” or not?
if you TRULY experience God, you feel it in everyone. not just in people who verbally confirm that they believe the word “God” is a real thing
if you TRULY open your heart to God, you also open your heart to every person you meet. of course, it’s wise not to spill your secrets to randos. but you can still feel their humanity.
and you can repeat the word all you want. “God.” “Jesus.” “Allah.” “Buddha.” “Nature.” “Spirits.” “Ghosts.”
but it means nothing if you cannot feel the heart of the person in front of you
its just words, ramble and lies
so to me
its irrelevant what someone believes. it’s interesting conversation at best, and it is definitely fun, enlightening, thought provoking and intimate to talk about that stuff
but in the end it’s more relevant that we feel each other’s heart and communicate our own
that’s what God is
if you can’t connect to the people around you, and you’re using the idea of “God” as a replacement for connection
in my view… you might as well be an atheist
because that connection is fake. you’re connecting to an abstraction in the air
to put it into practice… love an animal. love a person. love your garden. love yourself.
solly’s love is more powerful than 100 religious textbooks.
just ask his dog.
ask his friends here, who he has supported when he’s weak, suffering, sick and in pain
if theres no one who can say this about you (and im not talking to anyone in particular, im talking general “you”) then perhaps reconsider whether you really experience God.
if you do, you know what im talking about.
and you would be able to love and resonate with an atheist just the same, if the atheist has love in their soul. you’d still look in their eyes and see God.
The main reason I want to self publish is so my characters can be complex, and can evolve in a way that feels organic to me, as a writer – without having rules imposed on them because of their race, gender or creed. It is a fantasy novel, but I still describe my characters, and honor their journeys in a human way. If I can’t do that, I don’t see the point in writing. Therefore, I can’t endure “sensitivity readings.”
To give an example of what I’m up against: I have deep characters of all races. Modern “sensitivity reading” rules would say you can’t describe a black person’s skin as “mocha” because it reduces them to a food. However they have no problem with “vanilla” for white people. And the only alternative they offer to “mocha” is “brown” or “tan.” Worse yet, if your black character is too nice and good, like a sage, it’s offensive because it’s a trope. If she’s too traumatized and makes big mistakes, it’s offensive because she’s a bad stereotype.
When I went on forums to read about this, many black people signed in saying that personally, they were more offended seeing white people described as “vanilla” and other romantic words, while they themselves were only getting words like “brown.” They PREFERRED “mocha,” and things like this, because it’s more romantic. However, others did prefer “brown.” But the general sentiment was “I don’t get why white people care about this so much. To each their own.” Some also mentioned that they prefer having characters who look like them, who are complex and real – like anyone would. Yet, despite the mixed responses among real people whose races are being described, publishers will not publish you if you break many, many rules about how you’re allowed to handle a character of a particular race.
I can’t do this. I need my characters to be REAL. My White, Black, Asian, and Indian characters all have complex personalities and traumas. Some overcome, and some don’t, and it is unrelated to their skin color. I need it to stay that way.
Many publishers, sensitivity readers and writing forums are now suggesting that people don’t describe their characters’ skin, or appearance, at all! But this doesn’t work for me either. I’m a very visual person, who loves people with extreme vigor. So my descriptions of people tend to be poetic, honorable, and symbolic, describing things about their physique or the impression they leave, which leave a strong and poetic impression of the person. Removing their physical appearance defeats the purpose of writing, or having characters, since part of the experience is being immersed in those sensory impressions.
To me, it’s a moral imperative to honor the beauty, complexity, and journey of all my important characters, regardless of what they look like. My books are extremely “character” oriented. They cover themes like trauma and recovery, religious realization, coming of age, love lost, mourning and guilt, self-discovery. I need room for my characters to breathe.. to evolve naturally… without carefully stepping around parameters imposed on them by people who think everything is about race, and who get offended by something they do, based on their gender or creed. It is against my principles to dehumanize people this way, so I feel I need to self publish at least for now.
I would not condone publishing themes that REALLY were amoral, if I had a publishing company of my own. But I guess my morality is just not the same as the common ones today. To me, those seem arbitrary, dehumanizing and restricting.
Nokoma falls asleep, dreaming of Roás’s ship.
Nokoma awakens from a dream of passion and death. Roás, wanting him, pushing him away. The two fighting until they float off at sea, clinging to each other as they realize they are facing their inevitable end.
This is Eros, Nokoma thinks. Sex and death. The other side of Eros is Thanatos.
You can’t truly love, in the erotic sense, without losing yourself completely. And you never know what will be left afterwards. Your entire life could be in ruins. You can lose it all.
He looks around at the castle pillars surrounding him as the sun rises. The waterfall. The high ceilings. The marble floors. He pictures the lovers in the glorious room just behind him. The matron beside him, with her sisterly smirk. The artisan making noise in a nearby room as she tortures some innocent robot. The dreamer, humming in the lake before him. The dogs wrestling in the water.
My family, he thinks. My home.
I have so much to lose.
His heart feels heavy as he sits with this realization. Up until now, he had nothing to lose. The wild man. The animal. He embodied Eros in its purest form. He was willing to die in his own fire if only to be closer to his lover’s embrace. A kiss with no poison is no kiss at all.
But now, just like every other uppity prig, he has a home. A family. Something to lose.
And with that realization, Nokoma wonders: Did I just lose myself?
Did I trade Eros for the soft comfort of family and a life of endless labor?
Can I still love so fully with so much at stake?
He stands up, exasperated. Time will tell, he thinks. But he can’t help wondering if he just sold his soul.
Modern leftism is a religion, based in guilt – and our society was bred for this type of movement. At our roots, we are a Christian society. The fundamental message we are taught is to feel guilty because Jesus suffered and died for our sins, and to get down on our knees and pray. Likewise, the Leftist religion teaches that black slaves, Native Americans and Mexicans suffered and died for our sins. The message is that we came here and enjoyed greed and gluttony while they were made to suffer. Thus we should feel guilty for the sins of our ancestors and we should get on our knees, bow for the liberal doctrine, and donate money to those members of government who will solve these issues. Once we donated to the church, and now we donate to Democrats – because we are taught to believe that we are fundamentally flawed, and we need to give everything to an organization who will fix our problems.
This is why personally I abhor the idea of original sin. It creates a slave mentality through guilt. A religion like taoism asks you to think. But as a Christian society, we are conditioned into a slave mentality, as a society. So we voluntarily apologize for sins our ancestors committed. White people in huge hordes are literally getting on their knees before black people and apologizing. Guilty people are donating all their money to blm without even realizing that this money goes straight to rich, white democrats. They don’t even bother to ask – they just put the money in the bucket and get on their knees. Then they point fingers at people who don’t follow suit, because they are sinners (now known as ‘racists’).
I can appreciate Jesus, but the religions of guilt and original sin, praying on your knees and giving money to corrupt organizations to ‘fix’ this, has set a precedent for how the left behaves today. And that’s why the religion of leftism works. Once, many members of our society were indoctrinated by churches and catholic schools; now, we are indoctrinated in public schools. And so we believe everyone in society is a sinner (a racist) – and give to the big Daddy who can fix society’s problems. Priests took advantage of little boys whose parents donated money to them, and Democratic governors exploit the black voters who elected them to run blue cities.
These mythologies centered on ‘original sin’ (the Christian bible and the Leftist bible) are both drawing on natural human emotions – but we are conditioned, as a society, to fall in line with the idea that we are ‘fundamentally flawed’ as a people. We are conditioned to shame the people who don’t get on their knees and express guilt simply for existing. Any society who is dominated by guilty sinners on their knees praying to God can also breed hordes of Leftists on their knees apologizing for their ancestors’ wrongs.
Any God that makes me bow on my knees is no God of mine. I call that a tyrant. In my world, my relationship with God makes me greater and wiser, not smaller and more obedient.
And that’s why I was the first of my friends to see through this crap and why I’m not conditioned to fall for it. When I see people forcing conformity and using guilt tactics, I associate it with Satan rather than with God. And I believe that is one reason why I can’t be brainwashed.
Sixty days to slow the spread
Sixty nights to mourn the dead
The world is overcome with dread
While time marches on.
With no commitments to obey
Home is the prison of the day
The mind is left to gnaw away
As time marches on.
Abusers reign with fists and rape
Their victims now have no escape
Society is losing shape
As time marches on.
The internet explodes with fear
While media is insincere
Saving accounts disappear
As time marches on.
“Trump is an abusive clown!”
“Bill Gates wants chips to track us down!”
“China needs to burn and drown!”
The hatred marches on.
Stuck at home inside their brains
The masses need someone to blame
It’s safer than to face their pain
The anger marches on.
To sit alone and contemplate
Reminds a person of their fate
All will soon disintegrate
As time marches on.
So let us protest
Let us fight
Let us blame someone tonight!
Let us fear
Let us win
The wounded love the taste of sin
To be alone
To be alive
“At least it wasn’t me who died!”
Roar, fuck, fight, swoon
The world will open very soon!
To the office they return
Fighting for the lives they earn
With votes to cast and bills to pay,
No time to think of yesterday
The dead are gone
The end is nigh
The sun explodes
We say goodbye
Time marches on.