She howls from the places inside you’ve tried to silence a thousand times.
She is angry, fierce, hot, passionate, and unruly.
She can’t be silenced , so don’t bother.
She raises questions that cut through the fabric of society.
She tears apart the choreographed way we do domesticated love: meet, date, move in together, get engaged, get married, and then have kids. Only one partner for life. That’s it, you’re done.
She wonders why we happily accept love that bores us, sex that doesn’t feel right, relationships that don’t honor our needs for freedom and glorious selfhood. She wonders why we trade passion for stability and yes, she dares to whisper — can we have both?
She is the erotic. She is all the things we have come to fear—the depths of our glittering desires, the raw heat of our rage and jealousy, the tenderness glowing behind our eyes, the ways we move our bodies that feel really good.
She sees our relationships sparkle with bliss at the beginning, and she screams as they mutate into something suffocating as we take on roles and expectations. We get pigeonholed into a space we never wanted to fit into in the first place.
The container is too small.
The structure doesn’t work.
“So what?” she says. “Make a new one.”
When the body and erotic mind wither, it is time to revive the wolves inside.
It is time to replenish our creative fires and sexual appetites—first and foremost — by listening to them.
By tracking their movements. By hunting our desires, one day at a time.
No one can tell you what you actually crave, what your fantasies should look like, or dictate the luscious details of pleasure-filled storylines — you have to track this in your own body and mind.
I’ve come to recognize several signposts that something is off. It’s the jolt of anger when I start to feel like a partner’s mother, rather than lover. It’s the fierce hunger and longing I try to push back down. It’s the tiredness that tells me I’m losing myself.
But more than anything, it’s the voice that says — I don’t wanna f*cking talk about who did the dishes.
I want to talk about things that make you curious. Things that turn you on. Things that turn me on. I want to ask tough questions and dig deep. I want to listen to the rain, see the tender dew of sunrise, and dance next to the moon.
Then, I want to talk about doing you. Pushing you up against the wall and feeling passion spill over the edges.
My edges. Your edges.
Yes. Edges are sexy.
The erotic is intuitive. She knows we need a crystal clear distinction of you as you, me as me. If we merge too much, if I try to become what I think you want me to be, the connection is f*cked…and not in a good way.
Boundaries create safety. Clarity cultivates trust.
It’s the delicious joy of knowing each other—but only up to a certain point. It’s the ecstasy of knowing where the limits are.
It’s not hiding, no — it’s the delicate tendrils of intentionally holding back a bit and maintaining some privacy that gives such a thrill.
We get so caught up in defining each other, in being together, that we forget to witness the scintillating truth of our separateness.
We forget about the wild spaces inside our partner (and ourselves) that are vast, complicated, broken, powerful, wise, and beautiful.
And ultimately, unknowable.
It goes sharply against the grain of “we” and all the scripts of what love should look like—two people completing each other, becoming one, becoming…the same thing?
Well, there are still two of us.
We need those edges — the glittering, raw edges that differentiate where you end and where I begin. We need our own lives and passions and friends and interests.
In this spaciousness, mystery is resuscitated and we get curious again.
Who even is this person we call our lover?
Who are we?
These questions ripen on our tongues. They split open boredom and shatter the roles we’ve felt stuck playing.
Freedom rushes in. In a gasp of cool night air, love becomes an adventure again. Jasmine blooms in our hair. We become enlivened rather than exhausted. Our partner becomes an enigma to unwrap forever. Over and over again…there is always something new to discover, and this takes on a quality of mystical rather than mundane.
The erotic is everywhere. She is buried in our anger. She comes out to play during loud thunderstorms and on days where your hair is messy as your body leads the way. She rises up in our fantasies. She is laced through our darkest desires, sweetest joys, wounds, and tears.
She is healing. She is hot and wild and confusing.
She is not shameful—and in exploring her, we remember the immensity of our own power.
The life force and sweat pulsing through our bodies that reminds us we are real and alive and have a right to take up space.
To not only savor pleasure, but to seek it out.
“Eroticism challenges us to seek a different kind of resolution, to surrender to the unknown and ungraspable, and to breach the confines of the rational world.” ~ Esther Perel
Author’s note: This piece was inspired by Esther Perel’s book Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic & the Domestic.