“All you need is love.” All right, go ahead and hum the chorus fill, “doot doo doodoo doo;” it’s out of both our systems now. Focusing more attentively on the lyrical content of this refrain-turned-mantra, we see a claim reiterated to us in various forms by not only the Beatles, but by poets, theologians, and philosophers. Even Disney, that dark tyrant of corporate woe, steps down from its black throne to sing out with the Bacchanalian masses: “Can you feel the love the tonight? It is where we are.” But is it enough for our own “star-crossed warriors,” burnt and well-scarred by the pangs of heartache, to pursue the ideal further?
At our core, of course, we are animals. On the obvious level, we like to shag. Say it with me kids. “Shag.” Even makes one feel sexier, somehow more complete, doesn’t it? All you porn-star types can go ahead and hit me with a “fuck”if it makes you feel dirtier; the bottom line is that people dig coitus. But a further meditation, I believe, will show that even on the primal level, we crave a bonding that is more substantive than handcuffs or nipple clips. Even at the most animal tier of consciousness, a large number of people feel the desire to be a part of a pack, to love the tribe and have that love returned. Maybe this pack is small, a wild-eyed couple on their honeymoon who needs nothing and no one else. Maybe it is larger, a la Salt Lake City – patriarchy notwithstanding, I am sure that Mormons need lovin’, too.
The point is, we have two distinct drives in play when we take up the love gambit: one sexual, one interpersonal. One often seems to trip over the other, however, and the restrictions of the “social contract” complicate the matter further. Would that we might find some romantic sorting hat, that grouped us each with our own kind before we prowled the bars and singles’ sites – “You’re a polygamist,” it would call to us, each in our turn, “you should marry immediately and monogamously, and you simply need to fuck until your eyes fall out. Now go, all of you, and be happy!”
The truth is, neither of these drives can be reduced to a textbook definition. What for one person is the sex drive will for another seem some psychic torment (think a blushing traditionalist swapping brain-states with the Marquis de Sade.) And, of course, when one does find the elusive fruit that poets call true love, it may be doomed by one partner’s inclinations toward a romantic life into which the other simply cannot follow. I believe this escapes many of us on a daily basis, as Americans are wont to accept the tacit premise of monogamous marriage without question. And this is not to knock monogamous marriage, though the institution seems marred by bigotry in most states.
Perhaps you have considered this issue in depth – I would be quite intrigued to read what other seekers might have found. Perhaps these thoughts seem new, exciting, like the opening of so many spiritual doors within the unseen corridors of your heart’s subconscious yearning. Caution, young grasshopper, you tread a frightening but exciting road – trust yourself, but never the terrain. Or, just perhaps, you think this is a bunch of hippie bullshit, and that the author is single-handedly responsible for incurring both AIDS and 9/11 at the hands of a vengeful god. Be not afraid, oh traditional one – there is room for you as well at love’s table. Eat the fruit which suits your palette best.
(Note: the author takes as given that each lover’s needs may transcend gender – in a few generations, maybe we won’t even remember what homophobia meant.)
Redpillneo is a contributing writer for projectgroupthink.wordpress.com. Get instant updates for this blog via Twitter: PGTblog.