November 23, 2016

How to Sext like Anaïs Nin & Henry Miller.

texting dating

I wonder sometimes if we’ve watered down our understanding of what it means to love.

I wonder if the epic love stories of the past can even be carried out by text and social media.

We’ve become a society where our technology gives us instant contact.

In one moment, we can reach out with words of love, but with that immediacy technology offers, have we lost the passion that the notion of love used to carry?

No longer do we write letters to our beloved and send them, waiting anxiously for a reply. We can send a text and have an instant reply. It’s quick and often efficient. But it’s also sterile, devoid so often of the weight of passion and desire.

It’s even been further sullied by sexting, where a picture might be worth a thousand words—but are those thousand words worth it? We communicate in sex but not in eroticism or desire. Is this all there is to love anymore?

I wonder how future love stories will be depicted. I’d like to think that a passionate love could exist in this age of technology. I’d like to think that we’ll be able to tell stories that don’t revolve around our digital communication or social media accounts. I’d like to think that romance could be resurrected. Perhaps what we need is the inspiration of a love affair where the love letters we’re left with capture the desire and passion of a love deeply felt and passionately lived.

The following is an excerpt of a love letter written by Henry Miller to Anaïs Nin in August of 1932.


Don’t expect me to be sane anymore. Don’t let’s be sensible. It was a marriage at Louveciennes—you can’t dispute it. I came away with pieces of you sticking to me; I am walking about, swimming, in an ocean of blood, your Andalusian blood, distilled and poisonous. 

Here I am back and still smouldering with passion, like wine smoking. Not a passion any longer for flesh, but a complete hunger for you, a devouring hunger. 

Anais, I only thought I loved you before; it was nothing like this certainty that’s in me now. Was all this so wonderful only because it was brief and stolen? Were we acting for each other, to each other? Was I less I, or more I, and you less or more you? Is it madness to believe that this could go on? When and where would the drab moments begin? I study you so much to discover the possible flaws, the weak points, the danger zones. I don’t find them—not any. That means I am in love, blind, blind. To be blind forever!

I say this is a wild dream—but it is this dream I want to realize. Life and literature combined, love the dynamo, you with your chameleon’s soul giving me a thousand loves, being anchored always in no matter what storm, home wherever we are. In the mornings, continuing where we left off. Resurrection after resurrection. You asserting yourself, getting the rich varied life you desire; and the more you assert yourself the more you want me, need me. Your voice getting hoarser, deeper, your eyes blacker, your blood thicker, your body fuller. A voluptuous servility and tyrannical necessity. More cruel now than before—consciously, wilfully cruel. The insatiable delight of experience.



Author: Crystal Jackson

Image: Elephant Archives

Editor: Caitlin Oriel

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