Keeping eroticism alive
From an intimate relationship we need two opposing things: safety and excitement. In the beginning, sex can be thrilling! Over time we become closer, answering our need for security and stability. We become so familiar with our partner that the spark dissipates. Sex loses its sizzle.
This is called emotional fusion; the feeling that the two of you are really one. This may sound romantic, but it squelches eroticism. A certain amount of differentiation and distance is necessary to keep breath and life in a relationship. This takes work and conscious effort! It requires you to allow for a certain amount of discomfort as your partner lives their own life.
Vulnerability is a gateway to expansive feeling. When we can allow ourselves to feel vulnerable with our partner, we have the opportunity to simultaneously go deeper into intimacy and dive into the erotic. In vulnerability lives mystery –the experience of the Unknown.
If we aren’t intimate with ourselves, how can we be intimate with anyone else? By intimacy I mean making friends with all the various aspects of ourselves, not just the parts we like. Being in intimate relationship with anyone (yourself, your partner, your family) requires self-inquiry, self-disclosure, honesty, and presence. And letting it simply be.
“Love is not without its flaws. The stronger the love, the more it tests you. Compassion and empathy will make true love persist.”– Khalil Gibran
The well-examined life is one of intimate relating. Having been in an open relationship for many years, I have direct personal experience of many types of intimacy, intimate relating, and eroticism.