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The Way We Love Now
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lilblackdress
I was directed to New York Times Opinion piece "The Way We Love Now" by a friend.

Interesting.

I think one of the problems with marriage today are the societal expectations of it. You get married, buy a house, have kids, blah blah blah. People are expected to get boring as they get older and that's just... sad. Security in marriage and in life doesn't mean limpness. I don't understand the idea that "modern relationships have been... purged of eros". I can accept that it is true, but I don't understand the feeling of looking at my lover and not craving him, because I experience that all the time. I ache for his touch, the fire he ignites in me. I've thought about this, trying to analyze what is it that keeps the passion in our relationship alive.

I think, first of all, that I've got a very healthy and open attitude towards sex. I enjoy it immensely, know what I like about it and what to do to maximize my pleasure. I've come to believe that frequent lovemaking, fucking, and masturbation are part of a healthy and satisfying physical life. My mood is enhanced, I feel great about myself, and, over all, I think physical satisfaction gives me a lot of energy. And it is a positive feedback loop: the more I get, the more I want.

Secondly, my lover is one of the most fascinating men I know. He's got enough of the same interests with me to have those shared experiences that build a relationship, however, he has enough different (and interesting) interests for me to keep on inquiring about them. His depth of knowledge about certain subjects is astonishing and his patience with me in explaining them is equally vast. Likewise, my knowledge in certain subjects is foreign to him and bringing our expertises together is like a dance. Our conversations are intellectual sex. We play with ideas and scenarios all the time. It's frequently exhausting but so satisfying. And fun! And I crave for it. I want more.

(Halfway through writing this, my lover came to sit with me on the living room couch. That adventure was told in my previous entry.)

This bit, "Is it Tsing Loh’s dystopia, where everyone “works” grimly on their relationships, and post-feminist husbands happily cook saffron-infused porcini risotto but rarely practice seduction on their wives?"

It sounds like the happy-husband-in-the-kitchen and the seductive-husband-in-the-bedroom are mutually exclusive! They aren't. In fact, I think it's wonderful to blend the two together. Come home to a home-cooked meal, lean over the stove to smell the saffron-infused porcini risotto and have one's husband lean into you and feel him all hard and ready for you? OMG that is so hot. In a situation like this, I don't think I would be able to make it to the bedroom. A man that cooks for me and wants to fuck me needs to get naked now.

The article says, "As Nehring observes, our hyper-educated, socially-liberal elite is considerably more romantically conservative than its blasé attitude toward pornography or premarital sex would lead you to expect."

I would class both my lover and I in that "hyper-educated, socially-liberal" category (although both of us come from middle class roots and I actually come from quite poor stock). And I would agree that we are both generally romantically conservative, but I think that's because we're both unromantic creatures. We don't want the Sturm und Drang. It's not that we don't lack passion - that we do have - but the passion has followed our intellectual attraction to each other. When we engage in our relationship, it's a heart-follows-head situation and not the other way around. I don't think either of us could handle someone whose heart leads the way: we're too rational to allow that to happen. In that way, we don't have "wild passions and death-defying flings". Our passion is not wild - it's focused. To a point. With each other. It's intense, but it's not willy-nilly. It's controlled and intentional. It's the sort of passion I prefer: I want it to be constant and reliable, not fickle and "wild". We don't have death-defying flings because those are too heavily based on emotion. So, no "wild passions and death-defying flings" for us but I think that it is a rare few that would call our relationship unexciting.

What we have together is stability. We're both dutiful. But we're not boring. We're not lacking in passion. However, what we have and chosen is a life where we've deliberately looked for a relationship which would maximize the highs and minimize the lows... and I think we're demonstrations that domesticity does not equal impotence. Perhaps our lives would not be enough for Nehring, but I think, in the end, we'll turn out to be happier and more satisfied in the long run.