Am pasting below excerpts from a recent chat conversation I had with a friend. We started by talking of ingrained values, how they are automatiocally accepted, of romantic vis-avis unromantic love, of love across the age barrier, etc. The conversation did open up some windows, but no flooding of light.
Darkness persists, provokes.
Friend: Is romantic love nothing but the working of hormones? Only a prelude to mating---which ends it all? Is it just Nature at work with its "propagation of the species"? Are we just the deluded?
Me: Romantic love is definitely a prelude to mating, but love doesnt have to end there all the time.
Friend: And what is un-romantic love? What attracts people to each other when there is no mating possibility?
Friend: No. It doesn't have to. But how does one explain eroticism creeping into parental or filial love and overtaking what would normally pass for parental love?
Me: Well, love doesnt have to be romantic. Maybe initially, it is. But it cant be starry eyed for long. What remains after the dust has settled, is either love or boredom
Friend: No, mating ends the "starry-eyed" business. But what then explains the problems created by eroticism overtaking other forms of love?
Me: Hm, i get what u say
Friend: "is either love or boredom"---yes, that's good. The question then is which remains? Boredom? Which is why couples cheat on each other? Or is "cheating" once again just the hormone-driven mating game again?
So two questions: 1. Love, or boredom---after the mating is over? 2. How does eroticism overtake other forms of love where it "normally" shouldn't appear?
Me: The first question, of course, each one has to answer for herself or himself. "But how does one explain eroticism creeping into parental or filial love and overtaking what would
normally pass for parental love" -- do u here Mean love that appears between 2 people of vast age differences? or do u mean incest?
Friend: And the second? How does one, for instance, explain the horrible incidents one reads of---of middle-aged men "raping" an infants? Molesting little children? Paedophiles? How does eroticism overtake "normal" affection? Just "perversity"? And how does such "perversity" work?
Me: the answer to Q 2 is beyond me
Friend: "love that appears between 2 people of vast age differences? or do u Mean incest?"---both. How does one explain this?
Me: Why cant love happen between 2 people of vast age differences?
Friend: "why cant love happen between 2 people of vast age differences?"---The problem is, it DOES happen ever so often. But why does it? It's not "normal" in the conventional sense, is it?
Me: Well, who's given a damn about 'conventional' anyways. I mean, incest, love of the kind discussed above, and homosexuality have always existed, despite social strictures to the contrary. The only difference is that people are now becoming more vocal about their sexual rights.
Friend: There is something akin to incest in such impulse, isn't it? The older man (let's say) begins with fond fatherly affection for a young girl (student/neighbour/whatever and then at some point begins to feel "strange" erotic attraction. The Lolita syndroMe . . . But why should it? Especially, if he remains fond and retains his initial fatherly feelings?
Me: Contradictory feelings, hm. But something else is the point here. We always expect a kind of uniformity, continuity, consistency, soMething explainable. We seek this in the world around us, as well as in the self. And when we find contradictory feelings: either around us, or in us, then we are destabilised, confused, sometimes disturbed. We dont realise that contradictions are but natural. Why the contradcition happens, well i dont know.
Friend: The question is, is the "inexplicable" to be viewed as just "kinky" behaviour---something inexplicable? But it happens ever so often---too often to be just wished away, right?
Me: yeah. Again, i wud want to wish away somethng like middle aged man raping infant, but not
something like love across generation gap.
Friend: But love across generation gap too isn't quite normal, is it?
Me: Unusual, yes, but not abnormal. Because eroticism is so different for everyone
Friend: "because eroticism is so different for everyone." But when it comes to patriarchal societies, the Lolita syndrome is quite common among older males. Wonder what it may have been in matriarchal set-ups? Did older women take young lover boys? There are some indications they did. Older woMen takeing young "beach boys" is something very common among young widows of old, rich landlords of Midnapur, West Bengal, for instance. Also, in western societies. Have you seen Liz Taylor in "Night of the Iguana"?
Friend: Middle-aged Liz Taylor is rich and is bored. And so she engages two "beach boys" to take her to the sea each day and stir her with love bites and foreplay till she wants them physically. The "beach boys" are young enough to be her sons.
Me: my point is: sex appeal doesnt always have to be bound by age. And that is what I meant by eroticism being different to everyone. Older men/women preferring younger people: well, we can think of substanital reasons for it. But if younger men/women prefer older people: it is unusal, but again it aint abnormal.
Friend: Too long have such incidents been dismissed as "kinky/perverseness" without any discussion on how all this works. There has never been any EFFORT to understand or analyse such things. At best oversimplifications such as "cheating/boredom" etc
Friend: ": but if younger men/women prefer older people"---that's rare. But why is it rare?
Me: because nature's dictates require mating to produe the best progeny. And old/young coupling may sometimes go against this dictate.
End of conversation.