HEALTH, Sexual

Addicted to desire: between ecstasy and vulnerability

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The psychologist Juande SerranoThe relationship expert, begins a Wellness Forum collaboration today with this beautiful article on desire.

As life unfolds, desire manifests itself as a powerful force that drives our search for connection and fulfilment. From a humanistic hedonistic perspective, we understand eros as that need, that lack that drives us to love and to seek that which we lack.

To love from eros implies recognising the distance between oneself and the object of our desire. It is to choose with our gaze that which represents a world with which we long to merge, even if it still presents itself as a distant horizon. This tension, this excess of energy, awakens our senses and activates our capacities, immersing us in an amplified version of life.

In the Western tradition, Eros stands as the bearer of an ambivalent experience, capable of granting fulfilment and joy, but also of revealing needs, insecurities and anxieties. This path teaches us that there can be no eros without the recognition of vulnerability and lack.

The Greek word "eros" encapsulates this notion: it denotes need, lack and desire for what is lacking. To love implies desiring what one does not possess, and desire is nourished by this lack.

He who loves from erotic eros looks outside himself for what he lacks. He selects with his gaze a universe with which he aspires to merge, but which remains at a calculated distance. Erotic desire represents the tension between beings, a difference perceived as insurmountable when we admire from the perspective the qualities of the one with whom we long to unite.

This tension, this abundance of energy that comes from eros, sharpens the senses and enlivens the faculties. When there is no frustration, we find ourselves in an exalted version of life, with multiplied capacities and in a dance of seduction in search of shortening the distance.

But Sappho's "bitter sweet Eros" reminds us that all is not glory. This duality implies that the search can lead to anguish and frustration. Radical openness to the other carries the risk of facing the vertigo of abandonment and rejection.

Fear of abandonment, active or latent, is an essential part of us. The vulnerability inherent in surrendering to eros exposes us to the fear of abandonment, a fear ingrained in human nature. Merging with a partner can offer a temporary respite from this anxiety, providing a sense of security and belonging. This pleasure should not be underestimated, as it can motivate us in our choice of paths. But, in the long run, too much fusion can numb the cycle of desire, leaving us in a state of complacency that, paradoxically, ends up extinguishing the initial spark. By merging, we risk losing the capacity to desire within this newly created unity. And the pleasure of fusion, though erotic, can numb the cycle of desire and need; ensuring that the rupture after an intense fusion brings immensely harsh mourning.

The fear of distance and the possibility of loss intertwine with the longing for those moments of ecstasy when we were fully aware of our desire. In this game of presence and absence, desire becomes an intensity that accompanies us along the way.

Because desire always accompanies those bodies that have known it, whether by its presence or by the appreciation of its absence. It is an intensity that we learn to live with. That is why, in the act of loving, keeping one's distance is essential.

As desiring beings, there is no definitive solution beyond understanding the stages of our lives and the enigmatic needs that drive us. Accepting the fear of distance and the possibility of loss is crucial. So is acknowledging the longing for the state of desire, when reality acquired depth and ecstasy.

To maintain distance in love is to recognise that distance is always present between us. This distance always exists, but sometimes the promises of unconditional love and monogamous practices make us forget it. The other always has the capacity to turn towards horizons that we do not share. From this recognition comes the perspective of awakening a dormant eros in a routine of abundance.

While we celebrate the impulse of desire, exposure to the cycle of lack can be exhausting. In a world where the ethic of love fades, the superficiality of the search, affective irresponsibility, rejection and misunderstanding wear us down. Erotic suffering manifests itself in a time where the cycles of desire are accelerated to favour rapid consumption. Exhausted by the speed of compulsory desire, we sometimes seek the total suspension of this search, we "withdraw", we withdraw our attention, in order to also withdraw from the "market" and its violence.

Yet we are addicted to desire, to the constant search for fulfilment and connection. Learning to live with this intensity, embracing vulnerability and distance, is the path to a more authentic and enriching relationship.

That learning, or unlearning, is the recognition that desire, at its core, drives us to explore, to connect and to find fulfilment in interaction with the other, even when that means facing the possibility of loss. It is in this dance between ecstasy and vulnerability that we truly discover the transformative power of desire in our lives.

Thus, on the path of desire, we embrace the complexity of being human, understanding that eros is a vital force that accompanies us and that, by understanding and respecting it, we can learn to live with it in harmony. Vulnerability and distance are not obstacles, but the nuances that enrich our experience of loving and being loved.

That is why it is often said that "desire lives on lack" and we spend our lives exhausting our desire through satisfyingly unsatisfied lacks. Because the law of desire really has no rules and whoever breaks it condemns himself to the eternal memory of what he has never lived.