Polarities are everywhere, for everybody. They exist in the inevitable space of grey that occupies two both complementary and opposite values. Neither value is positive or negative, and neither value can be chosen as a solution to the problem its balance presents. Polarities appear at a community, business and individual level.
The intimacy; erotism polarity is one to explore at the individual and relational level. American psychotherapist Esther Perel speaks frequently on the topic of erotism. She defines it as “not the physical act of sex per se, but the qualities of vitality, curiosity, and spontaneity that make us feel alive”. It is playfulness that is often a missing ingredient from many established, longer-term connections. Erotism requires a sense of ‘otherness’ to exist in a relationship. Contrastingly, intimacy is the closing of this ‘otherness’ between ourselves and our partner.
So, if the solution to meaningful connection is not one or the other, how do we have both? The answer to that occupies a different space on the intimacy; erotism continuum for each individual partnership. Self-exploration may help you find yours. For this, try journaling about your current experiences with each side of this polarity. Then, share these with your partner. Love deeply will help
“The quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives.”