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athgarvan

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day

untitledA few days ago there was a post from a writer in Australia who had just launched a book called LOVE is LOVE.
I responded by asking "What is love?" but got no reply. So I'm asking what you think love is?

For myself, I would say it can be summed up in the word 'unselfishness'.

I ask myself: At the height of human copulation what is uppermost in a person's thought?
Is it (a) What a wonderful pleasure I am receiving!
Or is it (b) What a wonderful pleasure I am giving!

If (a) I see it as a selfish act - indeed it is using another to achieve one's own pleasure.
If (b) I see this as love. True love is always unselfish. Always thinking of the good of the other.

Question: A young couple book separate rooms in a hotel the night before they get married. Is this a loving act?

I am a celibate. Is this an advantage or a disadvantage in discussing these matters?

Comments

'At the height of human copulation what is uppermost in a person's thought'

My own experience is, I have to admit, too intense to be doing much thinking at all! :o)

We were together for thirteen years before tying the knot almost seven years back. Seperate rooms? Ai think not!

Being celibate, while I totally respect your choice, does not give you much experience to go on.

"I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.”

(William Penn)

What would be the special significance of tying the knot after such a long time?

Is there any value in virginity nowadays - or was there ever such a value?

So many questions in my old age.
Not hugely- we just felt it was time and there was also the small matter of the law finally being changed to allow for things like sanity to take hold. It's easy to forget that there were always two victims in any relationship from that singular piece of seventies legal idiocy. :o)

Historically there was only ever a value in virginity because women were perceived as commodities while men were almost expected to sow wild oats- it's called hypocrisy in the trade.

One should never stop asking questions and never stop learning! :o)

Edited at 2013-02-13 14:11 (UTC)
love is a feeling of joy in another's joy. it can take on very peculiar forms though, as we can never be sure what another person is feeling, and i've met plenty of folks who don't understand or respect what the object (i use that word purposely) of their love actually feels.

as for the hotel room, if it makes them feel joyful and loved, then yes -- if it makes them feel lonely and like they've spent money on something silly, then no. it's all about how they feel.

i don't see what celibacy has to do with love in general. i wouldn't expect you to be esp. authoritative on sexuality or romantic love in particular, but surely you might love something -- i love my dog very dearly, but there isn't any sex involved in that :) but you might love a dog yourself, without threat to your celibacy, and it would still be love.
I note your emphasis on "feelings". Is love simply a question of feelings?

In spiritual terms, I see celibacy as an effort to place love of God above all other 'loves'.
i think love begins with feelings, yes. if the feelings aren't there, the same acts may be kind or noble or various other things, but i wouldn't call them "love".

i think celibacy to prioritize god is about as sensible as celibacy to prioritize the dog. but your god is apparently believed to be more than a bit peculiar about sex, so if you're going there, you'll have to deal with his presumed opinions on the subject. personally i don't buy it on spiritual terms, but hey, it's your body, you should do with it as you choose.
Some much to your questions, can't be solved here, but will add my 2-cents.

I would go with "love" as an emotion. One can love:
1. God
2. Your dog
3. Chocolate ice cream
One loves each of them in a different way (I hope), but "love" covers all of them.

As a celibate, you can't really comment on sex, but love is a different thing. Love and sex are overlapping concepts, but not the same thing.

Not sure what I'm thinking at the height of copulation, probably something like "wahoooo!!!!!" if I'm thinking anything at all. As for the entire act of love-making, in an ideal world, both partners (or however many one might have at that moment) are both simultaneously thinking about both their own and their partner's pleasure. It should be a give-and-take. (Note that here I said "love making," not "sex.")

As for your hypothetical young couple, I suppose that depends on why they took separate rooms: respecting each other? respecting the conventions of their cultural group? have had sex in the past but wish to intensify the wedding night experience anyhow (I confess that was my the night before my now-past marriage).
Thank you for your response.

Of course I'm not referring to the actual moment but to the attitude of giving, rather than receiving, I bring to that moment.

I suppose giving is part of love; or maybe "considering the other person before yourself." I recall, however, someone pointing out that "if you love your neighbor as yourself," and you don't love/respect yourself, then what does that say about your loving your neighbor. Okay, that was a bit abstract, so to bring it down to the particular case of sex/love-making, then if you are not willing to allow your partner to give you pleasure, then you are denying your partner the pleasure of pleasuring you. Not trying to be Oscar Wilde clever here, am trying to make the point that love-making should be a mutual give-and-take.
"love-making should be a mutual give-and-take."

Again I say, of course.
My dear friend, in human relationships, there is no "of course."
Thank you.

"love is a mutual experience"

But God loves the sinner. A mother loves her wayward son/daughter. No?

Edited at 2013-02-14 09:43 (UTC)