The word desire comes from the union of the terms "de" and "sidere", that is, it comes from the sidereal, from that world that transcends the mind and even the skin to reach the stars, the divine and unintelligible. We analyze below what is erotic desire.
If we ask ourselves what erotic desire is, it is very likely that more than one of us will think almost immediately of the mere urge to have sex. It is not quite correct. To speak of desire is to transcend to a higher plane, sophisticated as well as delicate. It is longing for caresses, for physical contact, it is motivation to feel close to the other and experience pleasure, it is to enjoy pampering, laughter, and the complicity of the skin.
It is curious to think that some figures in our history interpreted desire as a simple irrational impulse. When in reality, when talking about this behavior, few things are governed so much by the rational choice of who to engage in erotic activity with. Not everyone awakens these emotions, these feelings, instincts and desires in us .
So much so that from the field of psychology we know well that erotic desire is much more than an experience governed solely by hormonal factors . It also requires mental activation, that perfect symphony of the emotional that drives, directs and motivates us towards that desired person.
Plato even pointed out to us that desire belonged to the sphere of souls ...
3 keys to understanding what erotic desire is
We can define erotic desire as the motivation that surrounds and drives sexual behavior . But remember, the only goal is not in all cases to achieve intercourse; it is to delight ourselves in everything that surrounds sex and the latter can shape a whole series of experiences and sensations as wide as they vary from one person to another.
Thus, something that studies such as those carried out at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (United States) show us is that if we ask ourselves what erotic desire is, we must understand that we are facing one of the most complex dimensions of the human being .
Our eroticism can change from one partner to another, be simpler or on the contrary be richer in languages and behaviors. Likewise, what this research highlights is that we cannot ignore social and cultural factors either . Often, even the weight of gender roles , educational and even religious factors, can completely limit the power to express and even feel free our erotic desire.
Let's dig a little deeper.
The three components of erotic desire
One of the pioneers in the field of sexology was undoubtedly Dr. Helen Singer Kaplan of Cornell University. Books like The New Sex Therapy or The Sexual Desire Disorders laid the foundations for this science. Thus, in case we wonder what erotic desire is, it is almost obligatory to delve into the components that make it up and that Dr. Kaplan herself defined. They are as follows:
- The impulse defines the effect that arises from the activation of the biophysiological bases , it is the excitement that a person causes us.
- Longing . It refers to the desire and need to touch, feel and have that person close. It also includes all those erotic desires that we often feel when someone attracts us (the craving for caresses, pampering, kisses, hugs , etc.).
- The motive represents the disposition towards that erotic and also sexual behavior . This component goes beyond the physiological and hormonal bases, because it also includes personal factors. Sometimes we don't want someone just because we are physically attracted to them. There are other subjective elements that are just as decisive (it reminds us of someone, it awakens intense emotions ...).
On the other hand, it is important to highlight a detail. Erotic desire is not the same as sexual arousal, the former always starting from a subjective dimension (Bozman and Beck, 1991).
Characteristics that define us when we erotically desire someone
Sexologists admit that it is very difficult to define exactly what erotic desire is. However, it is a dimension that we have all experienced more than once and therefore it is almost easier to specify this dimension through its characteristics. We analyze them:
- You cannot always control who you experience erotic desire for. Sometimes, and without knowing why, you may feel attracted to someone you hate. How can it be? The world of emotions and attraction is sometimes inexplicable.
- It is involuntary . It arises spontaneously, it is not something that can be forced to appear or repressed so that it never appears again in front of that person.
- Complex. Erotic desire is more than complex, it is flowery, flexible, impulsive, creative ... The mind is nourished by fantasies, by ways of expressing that impulse, that desire and motivation . If that desire is reciprocated with the other person, we can give free rein to all our fantasies.
What is erotic desire according to philosophy?
Beyond the field of sexology and psychology, there is that other interesting scenario that undoubtedly opens the world of philosophy. Aristotle , for example, pointed out that one of the components of desire is appetite, but this, far from being a mere impulse or biological need, is a premeditated act where each one chooses who to desire and what to desire from it. Therefore, we are facing a deliberate desire.
For Plato, for his part, erotic desire is also a passion of the soul. Now, it is interesting to talk about a current reference in philosophy such as Michel Onfay and specifically his book Theory of the Body in Love . In this interesting work he reminds us that the word desire derives etymologically from the terms of and sidere (from the sidereal) .
That is to say, desire unites with the celestial, with the divine, with those stars of the cosmos where Saturn and Venus, Mars and Jupiter dance, and melancholy and love, war and power intermingle in turn ... We are before a dimension where everything is forced to come together and reconcile to finally reach ecstasy .
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