Anyone up for some real 4th of July pyrotechnics? The next Big Ticket Item that needs Big Time Scrutiny is Love.
People, we’ve been sold a bill of goods, and boy how we’ve bought it… The lengths we will go to deify our comforts knows no bounds and is epitomized in our worship of love. Love has become the new religion, and the new opiate, and nowhere is it more distorting to our senses (and thus our sense of reality) than in the realm of sex. So, in order to anchor into intelligent synthesis, we’ve got to get out from under the influence and go through some mental rehab.
Following is a patchwork of material excerpted from my unpublished yet completed book (Hot Blooded: A Sexual Resurrection):
Even though it’s bejeweled with ornate decoration and drowning in such sweet perfumes, I smell a rat called “love”. Now, love is a lovely emotion— who can argue with that? — but it is an emotion, and emotional states are constantly in flux within the dynamic biochemical slurry of the multifaceted human organism. They cannot, and should not, be forced and controlled. They must only be observed, expressed, valued appropriately, and allowed to pass through.
Nevertheless, love has been taken far beyond its practical status of a capricious emotion to represent the ideal of a universal constant. Because of its socially benign attributes, love has been glorified, deified, canonized and otherwise exalted among almost all sections of humanitarian, philanthropic, religious and spiritual circles. Yet, once love is a socially defined entity, and controlled accordingly, it sets up some pretty strong boundaries. Think of the possessiveness of lovers, often manifest as militant monogamy, the ferocious anger inspired by the love of another God, or the exclusivity of familial love. Just how much violence, subtle or extreme, has resulted from jealous love is immeasurable. The reason is simple: struggling to control the uncontrollable is always going to backfire violently. It is practically a law of nature.
As a society, we are addicted to love. This humble little emotion has been singled out to represent the panacea of all ills. In Sex At Dawn, Christopher Ryan states, “Sometimes called ‘nature’s ecstasy’, oxytocin is important in pro-social feelings like compassion, trust, generosity, love, and yes, eroticism.” But, the way most of us humans have arranged our current cultures effectively puts our most pro-social behaviors under lock and key. We have linguistically, and ideologically, defined intimacy as sex and then buried that sexuality so deeply under so much moral rubbish that we’ll be damned if we can locate either one in any pristine condition. And then, of all things, we have the audacity to complain about all the violence and dream about world peace as though that could, and should, simply materialize out of thin air.
It is of utmost importance to recognize and accept, carte blanche, that the hormones of sex are not at all exclusive to a certain special somebody. They are universal and indifferent to such trivial parameters (and, incidentally, serve us much better as a species if shared more openly on a much broader scale).
While the pleasant biochemical sensation we call “love” may provide the social advantage of a sense of interpersonal connection, it only gets turned into the doctrinal directive toward exclusivity in a cultural environment that condemns a liberal sexuality, confines expressions of interpersonal intimacy, and values the isolated nuclear family over all else as its moral and economic foundation. It doesn’t mean we have to throw out marriage and monogamy altogether, but it does mean— if we are to handle ourselves in the sexual domain with a greater degree of intelligent awareness, satisfaction and well-being— that we really do have to question the institution, to understand how all of this works, and to cut ourselves some serious slack in the doctrinal department.
I’m risking it all here in order to point out why it is such a tricky proposition to even suggest that love, to speak the most truly and clearly, has nothing to do with sex. The suggestion puts into the crosshairs one of the most profoundly cherished fundamentals of moral and ethical conviction.
Because of the preeminent approbation of “love”, it has been used— and abused— for justification, glorification, accommodation and circumscription of the otherwise “dubious” affairs of the flesh. So to get out, once and for all, from under the umbrella of the sex-negative mindset, that whole reeking construct has to be ignited, incinerated, detonated.
Then sit back and enjoy the show!