Saturday, May 21, 2016

Life Imitates Art

Jacques Lacan reminds us, that in sex, each individual is to a large extent on their own, if I can put it that way. Naturally, the other’s body has to be mediated, but at the end of the day, the pleasure will be always your pleasure. Sex separates, doesn’t unite. The fact you are naked and pressing against the other is an image, an imaginary representation. What is real is that pleasure takes you a long way away, very far from the other. What is real is narcis­sistic, what binds is imaginary. So there is no such thing as a sexual relationship, concludes Lacan. His proposition shocked people since at the time everybody was talking about nothing else but “sexual relationships”. If there is no sexual relationship in sexuality, love is what fills the absence of a sexual relationship.


Lacan doesn’t say that love is a disguise for sexual relationships; he says that sexual relationships don’t exist, that love is what comes to replace that non-relationship. That’s much more interesting. This idea leads him to say that in love the other tries to approach “the being of the other”. In love the individual goes beyond himself, beyond the narcissistic. In sex, you are really in a relationship with yourself via the mediation of the other. The other helps you to discover the reality of pleasure. In love, on the contrary the mediation of the other is enough in itself. Such is the nature of the amorous encounter: you go to take on the other, to make him or her exist with you, as he or she is. It is a much more profound conception of love than the entirely banal view that love is no more than an imaginary canvas painted over the reality of sex.
- Alain Badiou, "In Praise of Love"

12 comments:

FreeThinke said...

Lacan may be telling us a great deal more about himself than he is about the essence of sexual experience, but I do know it is perfectly possible for two –– or more –– people to permit each other to use their bodies to pleasure themselves, as individuals, without a shred of emotional attachment or commitment, although a sort of club-like camaraderie may enter the picture.

In cruder more direct terms this means they agree to use each other's bodies as implements in a form of mutual masturbation.

"Nice" people, or "good" people are not supposed to know this, or if they do, they feel ashamed to acknowledge it, and would never dream of acting upon it. That does not stop it, nevertheless from being true.

On the other hand it is perfectly possible for one person to love and adore another obsessively without any physical contact whatever taking place. Psychologists may call this "sublimation," but in truth it may be the finest and purest form of love on earth.

Sex should never be confused with Love, but when the two coincide, as I know positively they can do, the experience –– next to true artistic or intellectual achievement –– becomes the greatest joy, and the most satisfying pleasure on earth.

FreeThinke said...

I winder if I eradicated my remark, would others come to comment?

-FJ said...

Probably not. Not many visitors come here, FT. It's you, me, nicrap, Gert & beamish.

The point of the post is, there is no "sexual relationship." It's pure masturbation/narcissim. Try to give it a "deeper" meaning (ala "love") if you wish, but ultimately you only get out what you put into the act.

-FJ said...

ps - It's only the "pervert" who purports to know what the other desires, and then acts as an instrument of the other's desire.

FreeThinke said...

REPETITION for EMPHASIS:

Lacan may be telling us a great deal more about himself than he is about the essence of sexual experience, but I do know it is perfectly possible for two –– or more –– people to permit each other to use their bodies to pleasure themselves, as individuals, without a shred of emotional attachment or commitment, although a sort of club-like camaraderie may enter the picture.

In cruder more direct terms this means they agree to use each other's bodies as implements in a form of mutual masturbation.

"Nice" people, or "good" people are not supposed to know this, or if they do, they feel ashamed to acknowledge it, and would never dream of acting upon it. That does not stop it, nevertheless from being true.

On the other hand it is perfectly possible for one person to love and adore another obsessively without any physical contact whatever taking place. Psychologists may call this "sublimation," but in truth it may be the finest and purest form of love on earth.

Sex should never be confused with Love, but when the two coincide, as I know positively they can do, the experience –– next to true artistic or intellectual achievement –– becomes the greatest joy, and the most satisfying pleasure on earth.


In other words I think your friend Lacan is full of horse puckey. I certainly don't need HIM to tell me what love and sex "really" are. As I said at the beginning. We learn more about Lacan from this exercise than we learn about either sex OR love.

Fly Over American said...

Fear lies at the heart of love... and love is borne of apathy. Sex (pleasure) is merely a means to replacing apathy. ;)

Fly Over American said...

Else, why would I follow you into he dark?

FreeThinke said...

Give All to Love

Give all to love;
Obey thy heart;
Friends, kindred, days,
Estate, good-fame,
Plans, credit and the Muse,—
Nothing refuse.

’Tis a brave master;
Let it have scope:
Follow it utterly,
Hope beyond hope:
High and more high
It dives into noon,
With wing unspent,
Untold intent:
But it is a god,
Knows its own path
And the outlets of the sky.

It was never for the mean;
It requireth courage stout.
Souls above doubt,
Valor unbending,
It will reward,—
They shall return
More than they were,
And ever ascending.

Leave all for love;
Yet, hear me, yet,
One word more thy heart behoved,
One pulse more of firm endeavor,—
Keep thee today,
Tomorrow, forever,
Free as an Arab
Of thy beloved.

Cling with life to the maid;
But when the surprise,
First vague shadow of surmise
Flits across her bosom young,
Of a joy apart from thee,
Free be she, fancy-free;
Nor thou detain her vesture’s hem,
Nor the palest rose she flung
From her summer diadem.

Though thou loved her as thyself,
As a self of purer clay,
Though her parting dims the day,
Stealing grace from all alive;
Heartily know,
When half-gods go,   
The gods arrive.


~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

FreeThinke said...

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not Love,
I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge;
and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not Love, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,
and have not Love, it profiteth me nothing.

Love suffereth long, and is kind; Love envieth not; Love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail;
whether there be tongues, they shall cease;
whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

For [now] we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away ...



~ St. Paul, First Corinthians, Chapter 13

-FJ said...

"Where there is no love, put love, and you will find love" -St. John of the Cross

It's up to YOU to "put" it there, first.

Gert said...

Is he saying that those terabytes of stuff about 'romantic love' dispensed though the ages is just ideological kvetch? Who knew?

Oh well... ;-)

Thersites said...

He's saying that you can't share jouissance... you get out of sex what you put into it.