Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What does sexual passion mean to you?

Here are a few random thoughts that came to mind as I was responding to a reader under another article. Some folks on Christian marriage websites think I am a bit quirky... OK, a lot quirky. Here is the deal with me----

God doesn't expect me to be praying and/or reading the Bible before, during or immediately following a sex session. For those who feel the need to do all that simultaneously, go for it. Enjoying erotic, passionate sex while praying/Bible reading just doesn't mesh well with my dh and me so we don't worry about it right then.

And as far as I can tell, God is not displeased with the way I discuss sex on my blog. The reason I write this way is because 1) this is my writing and thinking style AND..... 2) to help free up other dw's or dh's who either, were or who are, trapped in a frigid body for one reason or another being unable to freely enjoy wild, passionate sex with their spouse. Many of my readers from TMB have told me that the freed up writing encourages freed up sex in their own MB.

Forgive my "riding the brakes" analogy below. Just this morning I was at the cemetery with a dd while she practiced driving (w/her driving permit). Even for those who are willing or more than willing to offer skimpy accommodation sex for their higher-SD spouse.... I compare it to someone learning to drive a car with their foot constantly on the brake.

*It slows down the learning.
*It keeps the driver in "fear" mode where they are too stressed and can't relax to enjoy driving.
*It can more easily cause accidents.
*It wears out the brakes.
*It costs more in auto repairs.
*If they drive with their spouse, it causes more arguments. (ie- "Why are you riding the brakes?")

There may be many more issues surrounding the habit of "riding the brake". Can you use your imagination and see how this would compare to having sex without your heart being into it... having sex but being afraid to enjoy it too much or too often? Nothing but problems and issues, right?

Everyone has their own ideas for helping couples deal with mix-matched SD's or to help them increase eroticism in their MB. What I do here is my method. When GR and I have sex, we don't forget that we're Christians. However, I don't feel like I have to *behave* a certain way in bed because God's eyes are watching us or because I'm afraid my dh will think I am a whore or a slut, which I love being for him, btw. Yes, I appreciate slow, tender sex but it doesn't usually have to be that way for me. Whether sex is rough or if it is gentle and tender, either way, I can enjoy it. And the words "whore" or "slut" work just fine for me. GR and I both know that I enjoy as my calling to be exclusively *his* whore, *his* slut... giving him as much quality and quantity of sex as he can stand.

And before anyone says, "I don't like to be called 'whore' or 'slut'," or "My dw would die before letting me call her those names," .... OK, but you're missing my point. It's not about what name comes to mind when you think of yourself or your spouse being wildly passionate in bed. It has everything to do with how we sexually engage with our spouse. Is it hot or is it not?

*When we're being sexually intimate, is our behavior intoxicating?
*Is it so hot that our spouse can barely think rational thoughts? (out of mind experience)
*Are we being as passionate as can be with our spouse whom we passionately loved when we were engaged?
*Do we even know HOW to be passionate in bed?
*If not, why aren't we learning how to be?
*Why are we settling for less?
*Is the passion hidden away, dormant?
*Did our passion leave since the beginning of our marriage?
*Do we even care if we get our passion back?
*Are we willing to put out every effort in our marriage to keep the passion up so that it's always in a state of "overflow"?

Can you tell that I am passionate about passion? :-) This is why I don't spend all my blog writing time suggesting "cute" ideas. Most low/no-SD spouses know all about how to come up with cute ideas. Please ::sigh::, I've heard it all. (ie- put panties in dh's pocket, etc. Boring!) When a spouse is extra horny, cute doesn't get it; passion gets it. You cannot have a hot marriage relationship without hot passion.

What changes are you willing to go through in order to bring about regular, hot, sizzling passion??? What changes are you willing to discuss with your spouse to push past the ordinary in order to love and make love in the extraordinary? My father, bless his heart, always taught me to be the best I could be. Here is one other area where each of us can choose to put forth our best effort... to "wow" our spouse.... to love and make love to our spouse so well that when he is going about his business throughout the day, the passion we share with him carries him through all other areas of his life.

Does our passion do this for our spouse? If not, then THAT is the task at hand. Learn how to increase passion. We all can benefit from improvements in that area. May I never get to a place where I feel that I have arrived at totally "wowing" my dh. He deserves all the "wow" and then some, that I can offer him. He is my love. He is the better half of me. He is the person that I swore to passionately love "until death do us part". We are not dead yet so may my passion continue in an upward spiral. I wish the same for you all, truly.

P.S. Quit riding the brakes!

32 comments:

Sensuous Wife said...

Passion to me means being free energetic and giving from your unfettered heart.

If you want to make love slow and tender, then make love slowly and tenderly and with passion. But do it because you truly feel like doing it that way not because you are holding back and trying to be proper in bed.

If you want to cuss and scream and get into your target heart rate while you fuck your spouse, do it. But do it because you truly feel like doing it that way not because you are trying to be like somebody else you read in a book or on the internet.

It's not about what passionate language sounds like for you. It's about you blurting out whatever you want because you are so intoxicated with arousal. There are some words I only say to Delighted Husband in a sexual context. Words I would object to if I heard somebody else say them to me. But hell, I'd object if anyone else talked to me and touched me the way he does. He's allowed to. He's my husband.

Whatever words amp up your arousal with your spouse are an individual part of your own erotic fingerprint. There's something very erotic about the idea that Delighted Husband sees and hears me and feels me in a way that no one else does. It's part of our bond.

I think passion is about way more than the bedroom. Passion is about living fully alive and fully awake and engaged in every area of your life. The glory of God is a human fully alive. Whether you're spread-eagled for your spouse screaming out your passion or standing on the sidelines cheering for your kids soccer game.

Be alive!
Be all there!
Notice the gift that is now and celebrate it.

Mark said...

Excellent as usual!
You go girl!!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Don't dismiss "cute" ideas. My husband and I have done many things that you would probably call "cute" that led to some off-the-charts, passionately hot love making.

Anonymous said...

you said:

GR and I both know that I enjoy as my calling to be exclusively *his* whore, *his* slut... giving him as much quality sex as he wants.. whenever... where ever.

How does your husband give to you?

Gemma said...

:::"that led to"

Anon, it's not so much the cute ideas that annoy me... if they lead to passionate moments together. My gripe with cute ideas is the way they're usually suggested in forums, as if placing your panties in your dh's pocket satisfies or pleasures him and puts the relationship in the ~HOT~ zone. Perhaps if my dh was in high school it would but now? No!

Forgive me if the "panties in pocket" idea works for your marriage. Honestly, though, if I did that it wouldn't do much for me and it certainly wouldn't do much for GR. He and I both are "physical touch" people... ala The Five Love Languages... meaning him touching my body or me touching his. Handing him panties or having him find them in his pocket would do zippo for for either one of us. But, heck, if my male readers find that a hot discovery, go for it.

Regularly reaching a hot level of passion is not so much about where you start as it is about where it regularly brings you.

Who am I said...

Dear Gemma,

I am away from my wife now on business.

Sure wish I was with her.

After reading these posts, I think I just need to be a little more aggressive and passionate sometimes.

Sometimes I hold back for fear of her rejection, but maybe I just need to go for it more often.

Gemma said...

If rejection is in the history, I can see why holding back would be less stressful. My own dh did the same thing even after my awakening. He would sometimes be afraid to tell me he was horny for fear of me saying, "I can't help it. Deal with it yourself," like I used to tell him.

If you think you'd enjoy being more aggressive and passionate in your MB, give it a try. If dw totally rejects it, time to have a serious talk with her about passion in the marriage or lack thereof.

Gemma said...

Nothing mediocre about your thoughts there, SW ;-). I esp like when you say "Be all there!". Why waste time doing anything halfway. Thanks for sharing.

Who am I said...

I don't think I have ever thought of doing small shallow circles with my finger in the vagina and then continuing to extend them.

Might have to try that one some time.

Who am I said...

Dear Gemma,

Thanks for detailed info. Sounds like I have a couple of ideas to try. As you say, every woman is different so you never know what will work without trying.

We keep discovering new things which is exciting.

Gemma said...

WAI, never give up trying new ideas. Often, when GR and I are enjoying each others' bodies, I love to keep moving my hands all over him in different ways and as I do this I ask him--- Tell me how this feels to you. Is it boring? Does it feel pleasant? Is it an erotic touch?

You never know what new technique you will learn about your spouse and it can be fun exploring together.

Of course, not everything that turns me on will also turn on your dw or anyone else's dw.

midwestman said...

Hey Gemma,

I posted here yesterday, didn't it show up? I had an issue with the word verification thing but the text was all there the second time I entered it. Hmmmmm

mwm

Gemma said...

mwm, I checked all my files and nothing showed up. So sorry. This one came through, though. Try again?

The Aestheticist said...

"Most low/no-SD spouses know all about how to come up with cute ideas. Please ::sigh::, I've heard it all. (ie- put panties in dh's pocket, etc. Boring!) When a spouse is extra horny, cute doesn't get it; passion gets it."

Going by Oxford's second definition of passion (that is, "intense sexual love"), one could concede that point, and I know that you reference sex as well. However, I'm philosophically inclined to look towards the first definition ("very strong emotion") in conjunction with the literal etymology ("suffering, enduring,"). It is because of this that I don't see passion as the one and only approach to sexual desire. To me, it's rather silly to suffer and endure for sex of any kind.

Though, as far as other Christian marriage websites go, this one seems quite a bit more honest. You do not portray yourself as an expert as some (falsely) do, and you do not have the tone of an overbearing person sticking a nose into what another likes to do.

You also have the tone of a real person.

While I openly admit I do not agree with everything you post, I also can see warnings ("proceed with caution if graphic language is a problem for you.") and I'm mature enough to not snipe at you like a petulant harpy. I've read others' advice, and very little can be honestly said to be better than yours, since, as I've said, you don't give the air of being an authority when you're not. Other's decidedly do, which, in my blunt opinion, makes them irritatingly worse.

(If anyone reading this has anything to argue at me about, feel free to email me at t.aestheticist@hotmail.com )

Gemma said...

TA, you and I have had many private talks. I appreciate you coming here and posting your comment. Besides using passion, what other approaches to sexual desire do you see?

:::You do not portray yourself as an expert as some (falsely) do, and you do not have the tone of an overbearing person sticking a nose into what another likes to do. You also have the tone of a real person.

That's because it is obvious that I am NOT an expert and because I AM a real person :).

:::While I openly admit I do not agree with everything you post...

Isn't that the truth, TA. You never hide your true thoughts from me when we disagree but you share your opinion respectfully...... well, most of the time ;-). Thanks again for your comment.

Who am I said...

Dear Gemma,

I heard someone say not too long ago that to know what you are passionate about in life, just think about what makes you either cry or pound your fist.

I have been curiuos to know more why you are so passionate about passion within marriage?

I am so glad that you are passionate about that and have been sharing it on this blog.

Gemma said...

whoami, my passion for "passion within marriage" is based on my 25+ years of wasting precious time and passion that GR and I could have been enjoying. Now that I am aware of what we are capable of having in our marriage, I am consumed with it, as is he. We both want the rest of our lives together to be drenched in passion.

Who am I said...

Some more thoughts on what sexual passion means to you.

Sexual passion to me is having an energy, an electricity, between us, where we have this longing to connect sexually and that when we do, we both feed off each other's excitement.

It is a mutual sexual desire for each other, and a mutual receptivity to each others desire.

It includes creativity and fun and a sense of newness in spite of the length of our relationship.

Thanks for prompting my thinking. Still feel like I am rambling, but hopefully not too much.

Gemma said...

:::Thanks for prompting my thinking.

You are quite welcome, whoami.

The Aestheticist said...

"Besides using passion, what other approaches to sexual desire do you see?"

Logically, sex. After all, one can have sex without passion - one can have sex with passion, but without passion for that particular person, actually. I fully believe it is possible to have favorable release without passion.

Then, there's not acting on it at all. I know this is not an approach you would advocate, but it is true. As a person who delights in the idea of self-control, and control over the body (I, for one, would love to control my body so well that I could control my very pulse), I see no problem with overriding sexual desire and calming the self until one masters the need to fulfill it. Not necessarily rid oneself of it completely, mind you, as that detracts from the challenge.

"Isn't that the truth, TA. You never hide your true thoughts from me when we disagree but you share your opinion respectfully...... well, most of the time ;-). Thanks again for your comment."

You are quite welcome. Though, I will say that I do endeavor to be as respectful as possible.

Gemma said...

TA, I am not that skilled in logic but it does seem to me that your logic here is correct. However, in a relationship where one is married to the person he loves, why would he want to have sex without passion? Or why would he want to override his sexual desire if it meant withholding sex from the spouse he loves? Are we not comparing apples and oranges when discussing sexual passion in a marriage of lovers vs. sexual passion in a marriage of two people who do not love each other?

The Aestheticist said...

"However, in a relationship where one is married to the person he loves, why would he want to have sex without passion?"

Why would he want to suffer or endure for mere sex, when being with one he loves affords him greater pleasures? Passion, though, in such an instance, would be having sex without wanting it because it would please one's beloved. I do not believe it is simply so black-and-white.

Perhaps the sexual desire is simply a desire for sex - which can exist in a loving marriage as well as a loveless one, as sometimes sexual release is necessary while the emotional feeling isn't particularly involved at the moment.

"Or why would he want to override his sexual desire if it meant withholding sex from the spouse he loves?"

What if his spouse did not have such a desire for sex? Some may be of the philosophic opinion that it is more reverant to not exceed the sexual desires of one's lover.

Or, perhaps, the couple has a particular penchant for enforced chastity, or something similar.

"Are we not comparing apples and oranges when discussing sexual passion in a marriage of lovers vs. sexual passion in a marriage of two people who do not love each other?"

I don't think so, no. No more than it would be to compare two different, but loving, marriages.

Of course, you do mistake my words (mildly), as my words can also involve the sexual activity or relationships of non-married people. Besides, I don't even see passionate sex as being passion specifically for one's bedmate, either. I think sexual passion could have other targets, depending on one's philosophic view. I do not leave it out of question that someone could be passionate during sex, but have no particular passion for his bedmate.

Gemma said...

TA,

Whether rightly or wrongly, I guess I assume that when I write an article here about "sexual passion", that it would be understood that I am mainly referring to passion WITHIN marriage, unless I state otherwise.

Given our personal philosophic leanings and how they contrast each other in several basic ways, perhaps this is all too emotionally charged for us to discuss together? At any rate, my apologies. I never intended to offend you.

I make no claims of understanding the reasoning behind Courtly Love so I do have a couple of questions. (Disregard the a, b, c reference in my question. I only inserted it to keep it all straight in my head while pondering and writing about it. )

If one [a] was married to his/her beloved [b], and another person [c] viewed [a's] spouse as their own beloved, would [c's] courtly love for [b] also be considered sacred and acceptable by [a]? Yes or no and if "no", at what point of the Courtly Love for [b] could [c] possibly be crossing the line, so to speak? I'm only guessing that there is a line drawn somewhere?

And what if [a] did not want any part of [c] being physically around [a&b], regardless of [c's] Courtly Love for [b]. Then how do the rules of Courtly Love apply? I could see this scenario going one of two ways. One way would be if [b] desired for [c] to be in physical contact. The other way would be if [b] agreed with [a] in not wanting any part of [c's] presence around [a&b].

The Aetheticist said...

"Whether rightly or wrongly, I guess I assume that when I write an article here about "sexual passion", that it would be understood that I am mainly referring to passion WITHIN marriage, unless I state otherwise."

That is not what I meant. I meant, you said "sexual passion," which is, obviously, a sexual thing, whether in a marriage or not. My philosophical inclination is that, whether within or without a marriage, sexual nature does not implicate an emotional one. I do not think, however, that this makes our discussion impossible.

"If one [a] was married to his/her beloved [b], and another person [c] viewed [a's] spouse as their own beloved, would [c's] courtly love for [b] also be considered sacred and acceptable by [a]?"

IF all people involved had the same philosophic view of the situation and courtly love, AND we assume the Courtly Love to be chaste (I, personally, do not care for Capellanus's view that supports adultery and subterfuge), THEN it should also be accepted as much. However, involving a model with real people, I cannot say that the married man is completely bound to view it as such.

My take on courtly love also implicates the aspect of not sleeping with another's wife. Capellanus tends to disagree, but his is not the only model of courtly love.


"Yes or no and if "no", at what point of the Courtly Love for [b] could [c] possibly be crossing the line, so to speak?"

If his beloved is married, then sex is the line that is drawn.

"And what if [a] did not want any part of [c] being physically around [a&b], regardless of [c's] Courtly Love for [b]. Then how do the rules of Courtly Love apply?"

READ: My underlying assumption of your question is that "physical contact" is simply being nearby, and is not sexual contact in any form.

The married man must, of course, be treated with some measure of respect. However, it is not his say. The man who is of courtly love serves only his beloved. Moreover, there have almost always been ways around not being physically around one's beloved. Writing letters is a way, of course. Courtly love does not need physical closeness.

"I could see this scenario going one of two ways. One way would be if [b] desired for [c] to be in physical contact."

In which case, her husband cannot entirely dictate anything. As, one is servant in soul to one's beloved and does whatever it is that is good, and will bring his beloved pleasure. Additionally, he may do whatever will bring him his lady's good favor.

"The other way would be if [b] agreed with [a] in not wanting any part of [c's] presence around [a&b]."

If she did not want the courtly lover around, then he would not have physical closeness. Even Capellanus states: nothing is pleasurable from one's love unless willingly given. This is also true of simply keeping company.

Gemma said...

:::The married man must, of course, be treated with some measure of respect. However, it is not his say. The man who is of courtly love serves only his beloved. Moreover, there have almost always been ways around not being physically around one's beloved. Writing letters is a way, of course. Courtly love does not need physical closeness.

See, I can't wrap my brain around what you are describing, TA. In a traditional marriage, I would label this as an emotional affair. If I was doing this with another man, my dh would be crushed. If he were to do this with another woman, I would be crushed. Either way, our love and respect for each other would be damaged. The Courtly Love would be way too intimate of an interference in our marriage. I cannot imagine my dh not being deeply hurt in knowing that I was regularly writing letters with another man.

:::In which case, her husband cannot entirely dictate anything. As, one is servant in soul to one's beloved and does whatever it is that is good, and will bring his beloved pleasure. Additionally, he may do whatever will bring him his lady's good favor.

And what about the woman's dh? Is the dh always comfortable when another man is showering Courtly Love on his dw? What if the dh decides that he is not comfortable having his dw share her affects with both him and with another man? How do the dh and dw deal with that? Does she tell him- too bad, this is the way it will be"? What part of that scenario illustrates respect being shown by her towards her dh? I guess I will just never "get it".

:::If she did not want the courtly lover around, then he would not have physical closeness. Even Capellanus states: nothing is pleasurable from one's love unless willingly given. This is also true of simply keeping company.

So basically I'm understanding that whether or not Courtly Love is intermingled within a marriage between a dh and dw, it all hinges on whether or not the person being showered with Courtly Love wants it to happen. That person's spouse has no say in the matter. Is that correct? If so, then I would say that the spouse gets the crappy end of the stick unless they get some sort of enjoyment and fulfillment from having another person show Courtly Love towards their spouse and they like not being able to receive all of their spouse's affections.

OK, I have to ask a follow-up question here.

Do you know of a couple where you are ONLY close friends with the spouse who is not being Courtly Loved? What can you tell me about his or her thoughts on being the spouse? Do they love every aspect of the arrangement? Does any part of it bother them? If so, what part(s)? How do they deal with it?

Gemma said...

Gemma said:
"I cannot imagine my dh not being deeply hurt in knowing that I was regularly writing letters with another man."

I meant to say that I can't imagine this if I was regularly writing intimate letters with another man. There is a difference when it's "regular" and "intimate", which in my thinking would be no different than an emotional affair.

The Aestheticist said...

"See, I can't wrap my brain around what you are describing, TA. In a traditional marriage, I would label this as an emotional affair."

In my mind, a traditional marriage goes all the way back to Ancient Mesopotamia (which has a tradition that was, in fact, the normal standard for marriages intil MUCH later in history), in which Marriage was a legal institution in which a man could raise a family while better guaranteeing that the children were his. In which case, adultery, in a traditional marriage, would be more like sex, only.

However, I do understand what you mean.

It is not a philosophy most enjoy or understand. It takes an uncommon mindset, and a willingness to place something over one's own wants. Most commonly, courtly love places one's beloved of a higher status, no matter what the initial social status is. A lover is as a slave to his beloved, in his heart and soul. In some variants of courtly love, I do see what I percieve as selfishness, and I shun those ideas.

Sometimes posessiveness, which I do not condemn, is the core of the problem. Sometimes, it is selfishness, which I do condemn. Sometimes, it may simply be insecurity.

"And what about the woman's dh? Is the dh always comfortable when another man is showering Courtly Love on his dw?"

Realistically? No, he would not be. There are stories from Medieval France about men finding out about their wives having a courtly love. Of course, these men are portrayed as the villains, for they stand in the way of love. To put that in context: in that time, it was a popular belief - taken from Ovid - that men could not love their own spouse. Marriage and love were seen as incompatable. Obviously, not everyone held this belief. Chr├ętien de Troyes obviously disagreed. In any case, no. The husband is not always comfortable.

"What if the dh decides that he is not comfortable having his dw share her affects with both him and with another man?"

If it turns out anything like a story I read, the courtly lover ends up dying tragically, while the woman gives birth to her courtly lover's son. And, of course, the son justly kills his true father's murderer, the woman's husband.

Realistically, it'll simply cause conflict of varying natures.

"What if the dh decides that he is not comfortable having his dw share her affects with both him and with another man?"

Then they'll talk or fight about it, coming to varying conclusions.

"How do the dh and dw deal with that? Does she tell him- too bad, this is the way it will be"?"

If she doesn't believe in tact, or has the fire of my own lady-love, then that might be how she deals with it. I do not dictate how a woman ought to conduct herself, in this particular aspect. I have no real example of how a woman would deal with that, as courtly love was typically kept a secret for such reasons. Particularly because women weren't known for having the most outstanding rights, particularly when she had a husband.

"What part of that scenario illustrates respect being shown by her towards her dh? I guess I will just never "get it"."

Perhaps you won't. Perhaps the respect given is mere honesty. Perhaps it is respectful to willingly, openly, and honestly discuss the subject.

"So basically I'm understanding that whether or not Courtly Love is intermingled within a marriage between a dh and dw, it all hinges on whether or not the person being showered with Courtly Love wants it to happen. That person's spouse has no say in the matter. Is that correct?"

Traditionally, the husband might be able to get away with a number of outright terrible things, because, traditionally, a woman was chattel first, and a person second. However, applying my own philosophy, the husband does have a say, but no power in the final decision making. He is not trapped in a marriage, and he has plenty of negotiating room, if he so needs. However, only the beloved can command her courtly lover. His heart and soul do not belong to his beloved's spouse.

"If so, then I would say that the spouse gets the crappy end of the stick unless they get some sort of enjoyment and fulfillment from having another person show Courtly Love towards their spouse and they like not being able to receive all of their spouse's affections."

What is the courtly lover to do? Wash his feet and beg for his mercy? Show his underbelly, like a dog? The husband should enjoy that his wife is happy. If he is not happy with only his wife's happiness, then he does not love as much as the courtly lover does. Yvain - the Knight with the Lion - told Laudine - who would later become his wife - that, if it please her, then he would thank her for condemning him to death.

In regards to my own philosophy of courtly love, the husband still gets to taste of his wife's lips while the courtly lover does not. Not one physical solace belongs to a courtly lover, if his beloved is wed to another. As far as I can tell, that should be special enough, in your mind.

"Do you know of a couple where you are ONLY close friends with the spouse who is not being Courtly Loved?"

Before I can answer your follow-up questions, I will require clarification.

I cannot tell whether the question allows me to draw upon my experience with the man who is husband to my lady-love, or not.

Gemma said...

:::What is the courtly lover to do? Wash his feet and beg for his mercy? Show his underbelly, like a dog? The husband should enjoy that his wife is happy. If he is not happy with only his wife's happiness, then he does not love as much as the courtly lover does.

I guess this is where we have to agree to disagree, TA. Unless you've been in the dh's shoes and unless you believe in emotional intimacy in marriage to belong strictly between a dh and dw, you may never understand this.

Suppose you have a courtly lover and you marry her. But then later in the marriage another man insists on being a courtly lover towards your dw. Your dw is happy about the relationship with the other man so she permits it.

Do you honestly think that you would simply enjoy seeing your dw's happiness even though you know that some of her emotional affections were going towards the other man rather than towards you?

If it did bother you, would that mean that you don't love her as much as the courtly lover does?

Or, could it possibly mean that that you (rightly, imo) want your dw's affections all to yourself?

In that example with you being the dh, what would YOU want that courtly lover to do?

:::In regards to my own philosophy of courtly love, the husband still gets to taste of his wife's lips while the courtly lover does not. Not one physical solace belongs to a courtly lover, if his beloved is wed to another. As far as I can tell, that should be special enough, in your mind.

It is honorable to an extent, to be sure, since no sex would be involved but it still tears down the marriage bond when a spouse is involved in an emotional affair,

:::"Do you know of a couple where you are ONLY close friends with the spouse who is not being Courtly Loved?"

Before I can answer your follow-up questions, I will require clarification. I cannot tell whether the question allows me to draw upon my experience with the man who is husband to my lady-love, or not.

"Or not"... for your clarification. If you're mostly friends with the courtly loved, then you're still not able to objectively see this from her spouse's POV. Instead, you're seeing it from your own POV and the POV of the courtly loved who is on the receiving end of having two men showering her with love.

If many of your friends believe in this concept, surely you must be close with one who is the husband? Otherwise, of all your married, male friends who live this way.... are they all completely satisfied and content with their wives being courtly loved by another?

The Aestheticist said...

"Unless you've been in the dh's shoes and unless you believe in emotional intimacy in marriage to belong strictly between a dh and dw, you may never understand this."

You presume much to think I do not understand. I merely disagree. I understand what brings one to such conclusions, and I understand a possessive nature one may have. However, that does not mean that I agree with it. It does not mean I give it equal placement next to the ideals of courtly love.

Just as, whether you understand Courtly Love or not, you shall not give it equal placement with your ideals of marital intimacy.

My questions were rhetorical, attempting to illustrate a point. I find the notion of the husband needing to gain anything from his wife's courtly love to be absolutely absurd. It's not his; he doesn't need to gain from it. If he expects to gain from it, then I find him to be selfish.

"Suppose you have a courtly lover and you marry her. But then later in the marriage another man insists on being a courtly lover towards your dw. Your dw is happy about the relationship with the other man so she permits it.

Do you honestly think that you would simply enjoy seeing your dw's happiness even though you know that some of her emotional affections were going towards the other man rather than towards you?"

Honestly? Yes, I do think that I would. I would not hold such a philosophy if I did not.

"If it did bother you, would that mean that you don't love her as much as the courtly lover does?

Or, could it possibly mean that that you (rightly, imo) want your dw's affections all to yourself?"

Logically, I would want to be the one and only. Any man would. However, it is not about whether or not I want it, but what I do about it. If I, because of my wants, undertook a selfish action - as in, imposing this want upon my beloved - then I would not love her as much as the courtly lover does. If I place my wants over her happiness, then that loving her less than the courtly lover.

And I would hope to be shamed and castigated for such behavior.

"In that example with you being the dh, what would YOU want that courtly lover to do?"

I would want him to respect the boundaries (courtly love as being chaste), and act only in ways that please her. If he pursues sexual activities, or if she is displeased with his actions, then I have full right to step in to defend my lady's honor.

It would be wrong of me to not afford the same courtesy I would wish to be treated with. I am a man of principles.

"If many of your friends believe in this concept, surely you must be close with one who is the husband?"

That assumption is false. It assumes that outside people, for one thing, are true courtly lovers. It also assumes that a large enough portion of my friends are married men. I know rather little married men. My best friend is a man much enamored of being a bachelor, and has no interest in any romantic activity with either gender. I do not think that the polyamorous triad I know counts, either. The only married man I know, besides the homosexual acquaintance, is not one who has experienced his wife being the target of such affection and tells me he still is uncertain as to what his true opinion of the subject is, and, therefore, is not the type to give a valid answer.

Moreover, it also assumes that all of my friends have the same philosophical inclination. I do not think all of my friends agree with courtly love. I do not know this for certain, of course, because I do not discuss this matter with all of my friends.

The philosophy is not, whatever you may think, common.

Without my beloved's spouse, I know no spouse who is the husband of a woman with a courtly lover.

Who am I said...

Hope this is a good place to put this. My wife admits that at the moment she doesn't have much passion for life in general- alot of dashed hopes is a big reason.

Of course this means that her sexual passion isn't real high.

I have been down too, but not as much.

Any ideas for sparking passion in myself and her about Jesus, life, sex?

Or maybe a better question. At those times when you have been lacking passion, what has your husband done to really help fire you up again?

Gemma said...

wai,

"Dashed hopes" can mean a lot of different things. If I had dashed hopes from conflict in my marriage, causing lack of passion, I would want us to clear the calendar and mainly work on resolving the conflict. It won't go away on its own. If we did nothing to fix it, nothing would improve. I'd want us to be proactive, to take care of our marriage.

If the dashed hopes are caused by a force outside of the marriage you may be more limited in controlling the outcome but you can still focus all your energies on attempting to solve things as much as they can be solved.

My dh, GR, knows that the best way for me to get over dashed hopes is to talk it out, see if we can solve things and then move on. I don't do well at all when things have me down and keep me down. If it is something that we absolutely have no control over but it is keeping us down, then it is time to trust God and leave it in His hands.

Here: http://www.oca.org/OCchapter.asp?SID=2&ID=174 is a short article on the topic of "hope" from a Christian POV. Obviously, Christ knew we would lose hope from time to time or he would not have written about it.

wai, I pray that you and dw will soon reclaim your hope.

Who am I said...

Gemma,

Thanks for your encouragement. Alot of what we have been dealing with has been outside of our relationship, although some of it has been inside.

From what you have said, I think I have been on the right track, trying to give her air time to talk it out.

Thanks for article.