Sex has nothing to do with love

Sex is thrilling, but the quiet importance of love can't be overstated

This is a very easy essay to write. There is no relationship between love and sex.  Zilch.

There will be those of you who cry out, ‘haven’t you heard of Eros?’

Eros has to do with an all-consuming appetite to sexually possess another. It has to do with beauty, longing, hunger. It’s visceral, powerful.  Eros has to do with self and what the self passionately needs.

But it has nothing to do with another real human being, with a real interior life.  In fact, interior lives actually interfere with Eros. Imagine what a passion-killer it would be to confess to one’s partner during a romantic Valentine’s supper how miserable you were at work, how you had lost your faith in God and were finding life meaningless, if you feared death or were desperately grieving your grandmother.  Eros would be severely dented.

My mother taught me about Eros.  Eros is about play, repartee, flirting, teasing, dancing, mystery, one step forward, one step back.  One does

Continue reading

Enjoy unlimited access to the world's leading thinkers.

Start by exploring our subscription options or joining our mailing list today.

Start Free Trial

Already a subscriber? Log in

Join the conversation

Fiona Lyczynska 4 August 2022

If "sex has nothing to do with love" I think it's a big problem. If we are not expecting and enjoying trust, liking, love and intimacy, surely these are big signs something is wrong and if we don't even look for these things we won't even notice. Intimacy, trust and equality are very sexy.

Jeff Thorsen 10 May 2021

Interesting article. It seems to me that it all depends on what each partner wants. If both are committed to a serious relationship, love can arise. Somehow I accidentally went to the site https://isexychat.com/chatrooms/sex-chat/with-men/ and began to correspond with a girl. Even then, I felt that we would be happy. And when we met live, we realized that we would always be together.

Bob Gilchrist 16 April 2020

Um, this is from a "leading thinker"?! What sad, bitter nonsense. A sprinking of irrelevant Greek mythology to underpin the trope "it is all the fault of the white male patriarchy". There is no thinking here.

Vincent Mulder 15 March 2020

Puts me in mind of Charles Williams:
"And if so high a potentiality lies in so many lovers' meetings, then those lovers might well be encouraged to believe in the Way and to become aware of what potentialities they hold. It is not to make us heavy and solemn; Eros need not for ever be on his knees to Agape; he has a right to his delights; they are a part of the Way. The division is not between the Eros of the flesh and the Agape of the soul; it is between the moment of love which sinks into hell and the moment which rises to the in-Godding."
From his "Religion and Love in Dante". Expresses a differing view in much better words than I could manage.