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CJ has his deep thoughts to express
I'm afraid I feel I must disagree entirely with that last post. Respectfully, I think you are making some pretty unjustified claims about sex, because they fit with your own particular philosophy. You described sex as both a “wonderful source of pleasure” and a “basic human necessity”, but I really don’t see how it can be both. Food, water and shelter are the basic human necessities, whereas chocolate ice cream, TV shows and, I believe, sex are firmly in the category of ‘indulgences’. I understand why you would firmly assert that sex is an integral part of a conventional romantic relationship, but you can’t assume that such a relationship is the definitive form of happiness. Most couple’s sex lives decline in excitement and intensity as, say, a marriage progress, so does that necessarily mean that they are becoming less happy? Must they spice things up and resort to kinkier activities to keep the relationship together? Or perhaps they are just flogging a dead horse that is self-indulgent desire, when in fact a different kind of love based upon a bond of personalities would sustain without the need to try and desperately prologue a waning sex life.
Now most people will probably assume that they have experienced such a close personality bond with a partner, and that sex merely brought it to another level, however, I would ask how can you be sure that you actually have experienced exactly what Flaneur seems to be yearning for? After all, it is impossible to conceptualise what you have never experienced, and so our brains will merely relate such a description to the closest match from our own life experiences. But who’s to say it’s the same thing, or that we have the slightest conception of what they are describing? Who’s to say someone else is not describing something on a whole other level from the one that we are currently thinking on?
How this relates to the original point is that I believe it is a mistake to directly compare what Flaneur is describing to our own experiences of romantic relationships. This is because when you have a sexual attraction to someone, then time spent in their company can feel like bliss; they can feel like your sole-mate and that you will always enjoy spending time with them, but I think this is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from the kind of connection that she was describing. What I am referring to is the circumstance where the mere sharing of thoughts, feelings and ideas with another are sufficient to provide unlimited hours of enthralling conversation; where crux’s like TV or music are not required; where conversational pauses are few; and where discussion rarely ventures into the realm of the impersonal and uninsightful, i.e. clothes, make up, celebrities, gossip etc. Such a thing does exist and if you have experienced it then you are lucky but you are also in a minority. However, to taste such a fulfilment makes sex seem like a paltry consolation, and certainly not a critical element in the maintenance of this kind of bond.
In stark contrast, the thrill of the romantic connection is a relatively fleeting sensation. It is a blissful high that comes not from bonding with the ‘soul’ with whom you are sharing a bed, but from the vain gratification that comes from being around someone who adores you. Its like a drug; we all desperately want to worshipped and cherished in such an intense way because on some fundamental level we believe we deserve it, because ultimately we all adore ourselves. Little else feels better than a conformation that this self-love is well founded than by its reinforcement from the ‘love’ of another person. However, I’m afraid this is an unjustified love because as human being we are all riddled with selfishness and poverty, and few individuals are in fact ‘good’ enough people to merit such unrestricted reverence. And in time, as we start to identify aspects of these latent deficiency in our partners, we slowly start to lose respect for their opinions as we realise that they are in fact human and not divine. Their affections then lose that initial thrill, we become accustomed to them in all ways (including physically) and the sex inevitable declines in quality.
Tragic perhaps, but only depressing if you are (1) seeking utter fulfilment in another person and (2) making sex a critical component of that relationship. A physical copulation may well bring about an intense feeling of emotional closeness with another, but I believe that souls can only be brought together by unfettered mutual comprehension (i.e. in flowing communication like conversation) because after all, a soul is not a physical thing and so cannot ‘bond’ through physical means. Mutual emotional intimacy brought about by physical stimulation is a momentary phenomenon, and it is only the more ‘friend-like’ connections formed between couples that will stand the test of time.
Therefore, if I could summarise all of this into two golden rules they would be as follows:
(1) Sex is unimportant and perhaps ultimately antithetical to an insightful relationship.
(2) ALL non-insightful relationships will inevitably decline and disintegrate in the long term.
Do you agree with them?