You can listen to this musing here, or read it below.
This weekly musing is dedicated to love – love and relationship. It is a rather radical perspective, so I wouldn’t recommend anyone to live by it. But maybe it will inspire you in your search for love, love, love and relationship. It indeed had that effect on me. And I think its a reason why relating is challenging in modern society. Okay, here we go.
First, Hollywood is kidnapping the word love. They are using it to sell romantic comedies and reality shows. You know the Disney princess that marries the prince and lives happily ever after. There is a kinky roleplay scenario for this because it is a fantasy and not reality. Love is something else. I want to present a very orthodox Christian view on love. To give without expecting anything in return – to give without symmetry – how a parent provides for its child. Of course, they get something in return, but it is something different, something asymmetrical.
Then there is falling in love—the butterflies in the tummy, the madness, the passionated fire, the obsession. I believe that one must be good at falling in love to have good BDSM and sex. To let someone else become ones entire reality, and excepting the same in return. I read a study long ago, about the evolutionary function of falling in love. In general, it is preferable to hang out with people like oneself. It’s more predictable and therefore, safer. But it also causes inbreeding. When falling passionately in love, people tend to take more risks. And go for something more exotic. The spells last for about two years, that is the time it takes to create offspring together, less inbred offspring.
Hollywood is confusing the two – acting out love and falling in love.
That brings us to a polarity that I’ve talked about many times before – safety and desire. Love is not the driver of relationships because love is without expectation. And a relationship is all about the safety of expectations. The knowing what I will give and receive, and that I will be safe. Never alone. But knowing is not very exciting or attractive. Desiring, hoping, and the unknown on the other hand. That is sexy—the foreplay before knowing—the desire of wanting to consume—the not knowing if we will get each other in the end or not. That makes the air vibrate. The question, will you return my kiss? Compared to a safe hug. The big question according to relationship expert Esther Perel – can we desire something that we already have?
The safe knowing and adventures desire is in constant conflict.
Traditionally it is evident that relationships always was about safety. To make kids and ensure their survival. Looking for sexual adventure is a modern thing. Historical it was in wars, sports and business – in the competition. A modern relationship can be about one or the other. Or one has to learn to switch between safety and desire. But this is hard—conscious and consensual games help. Like what BDSM can be. I describe it in depth in the text Playing safer. But it is essential to be clear about why one wants to relate with others, for safety or desire, or both. One practical solution that modern society has created is the separation of friends and lovers. But looking for both in one person, that is a tricky thing. That is where people struggle. To find desire while building the safety of a relationship with kids, cars and a house to live. Some people wait until the kids get old enough to focus on desire again or to separate and look for excitement elsewhere. Others have lovers on the side. But the key is to allow insecurity, by acknowledging that building safety won’t lead to desire.