She explains:. We seek intimacy to protect ourselves from feeling alone; and yet creating the distance essential to eroticism means stepping back from the comfort of our partner and feeling more alone…Our ability to tolerate our separateness — and the fundamental insecurity it engenders — is a precondition for maintaining interest and desire in a relationship.
In our mutual intimacy we make love, we have children, and we share physical space and interests. Indeed, we blend the essential parts of our lives. It is a space — physical, emotional, and intellectual — that belongs only to me. Not everything needs to be revealed.
Everyone should cultivate a secret garden. Tending to that secret garden, Perel suggests, is an art of acquired skill. This, perhaps, is why great artists work like gardeners. Its acquisition begins in treating love and desire not as a dissonant opposition but as a symphonic composition of counterpoints:. Love enjoys knowing everything about you; desire needs mystery. Love likes to shrink the distance that exists between me and you, while desire is energized by it.
If intimacy grows through repetition and familiarity, eroticism is numbed by repetition. It thrives on the mysterious, the novel, and the unexpected. Love is about having; desire is about wanting. An expression of longing, desire requires ongoing elusiveness. It is less concerned with where it has already been than passionate about where it can still go.
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But too often, as couples settle into the comforts of love, they cease to fan the flame of desire. They forget that fire needs air. In the remainder of Mating in Captivity — one of the most lucid and liberating perspectives on love written in the past century — Perel goes on to explore how to integrate these paradoxical needs into the wholeness of a fully satisfying love.
Brain Pickings participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. In more human terms, this means that whenever you buy a book on Amazon from a link on here, I get a small percentage of its price. It's a fact that E. James' Fifty Shades trilogy helped bring sexy back.
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Her global publishing phenomenon prompted the masses to talk openly about BDSM, to buy riding crops, and to buy books. Millions of books. Lots of sexy books. Two years later, the current bestseller lists are loaded with novels featuring vivid, detailed descriptions of all kinds of sex -- whether between people who are falling in love or who are just having a good time.
From Scottish highlanders to futuristic CEOs, from art patrons to ex-military commandos, college students, perverted 19th century royals, and in my case, a devastatingly handsome Chicago billionaire gourmand, there's a hero for every mood and every preference. From heart-breaking love stories to titillating tales of sexual exploration, domination, submission, and everything in between, it's all out there, proud and readily available for purchase -- online but also in stores everywhere! Personal tastes regarding sexy novels are just that: personal. One woman's Sunday poolside read is another woman's special book she keeps hidden in the back of her closet.
Which means labels really don't matter that much; it's more about what you're into. What is important to keep in mind is that good authors write good books and don't limit themselves to "genre conventions. That's exactly what's going in today's erotic fiction renaissance.
Veteran authors and newcomers alike are skewing the rules -- or ignoring them -- and are simply creating some great characters that readers care about and crafting creative scenes which draw readers in and make them feel intimately connected to the story. And everybody's on some kind of sexual journey. I answered my girlfriends' probing questions about my foray into the erotic and then I asked them some in return. Most copped to reading Fifty Shades of Grey , but also to reading more recent releases that featured hot couples and very hot sex.
And they liked them. A lot. These were giggle-inducing reveals, from grown women. I am not sure I want to know the intimate details of my pals' very personal reading choices. Most of my early followers were friends or people who had followed me already from Tumblr, so everyone was already into my work. Which sucks. So many! International people can see my work now, and bigger brands will reach out to me because they see that I also have a bunch of followers which works in their favor too. Of course, there are downsides to putting your work on the Internet, but nothing is perfect, and I try to be careful and focus on making good work.
Instagram is just a tool for me, and hopefully, my paintings can speak for themselves regardless of how many followers I have. How do you like to describe the style of the works on your Instagram? I like to define my art as eromantic work, in the sense that eroticism is just an indispensable aspect of my love story, but it's not all there. There is a world, a subtext behind every design, a secret story that helps me not forget the perfect feeling of being in the right place in the world. How did the response to your Instagram change over time? I published the first drawings in April to keep them in order.
I never paid too much attention to the growth of the fan base or the viral power of certain images, but at one point I realized that what I thought was just my space became a space for everyone. This thing has changed my approach slightly, and I began to care more about the page's appearance, but more for the respect for visitors than out of self-respect.
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With a more cautious organization, I got the storytelling of my relationship. Is there anything you do to get around their community guidelines? I do everything so that those who visit my profile can feel comfortable. I do not talk about sex as an excitement and voyeuristic performance, but as a moment of pure and sweet intimacy. That's why sometimes I cover the nipples with graphics, even though it makes me smile that someone can think that a drawing of a small pink circle is obscene.
What else are you working on right now? I'm ending the latest phases of my third illustrated book, which will be called hotelrooms. It will be an emotional investigation into 12 hotel rooms with the man I love. Can you talk about how you learned to make art? Almost everything I know about art, my mother taught me.
She taught me all about mediums, technique, how to do figures and landscape art. What inspires the work you show on Instagram? I am inspired by my own mind. The content of my art is, in a sense, my expression. What was the early response to your art like on the site? The response at first was cruel. Then when they learned I was a woman, I was thought of as dirty and called a whore.
For a split second, the negativity did hurt, but then it became funny. Have you gotten any opportunities that you wouldn't have without Instagram?
I get to work with international companies as a designer and artist, featuring my art on much more than paper and canvas. The most exciting opportunity was the launch of my MillieMoonhouse merch. What do you think makes for good erotica? It should definitely be sincere and should come from the heart and be mindful.
I don't support tasteless art or plagiarism—both are very common in this genre. Also, it should promote only consensual sex. There is a very thin line, but nobody should cross it. What inspires your work? Considering I make erotic art, I'm inspired by Kink. Also, I'm inspired by Brecht Evens and his use of color and his visual language.
Lorenzo Mattotti is quite an inspiration too—figures, color, body shapes. Is there anything else you're working on at the moment? Currently, I am working on my erotic graphic novel and different small side projects to submit to several contests. I am still quite a young artist, and I'm aiming to organize my solo exhibitions in Russia or elsewhere and maybe get a residency somewhere.
How'd you start on Instagram? I started in March , when I was greatly fed up by my final major project in university, and I instantly got quite a lot of positive responses— to likes on those first drawings. I also asked a few art pages on Instagram to repost my works, and some of them agreed to do it for free. That's how first one to two thousand followers came. After that, people just followed me naturally. Talk about your background as an artist—are you self-taught or did you go to school for it? I was always artistic as a child.
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