In case you haven’t been alerted, let this cupid-loving writer do so: the annual day of hearts, kisses and flowers arrives this Saturday. It’s always nice when it falls on a weekend.
With the exception of the Christmas season, Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday and, while it isn’t really an official holiday, it certainly should be.
In past columns, I’ve written extensively about the enormous amount of scientific work that’s been devoted to the exploration of sex and love; and, strange as it may seem, researchers have absolutely no problem separating the two. Indeed, love and sex are so profoundly different – that is, they’re located in different parts of the brain, generate different electrical patterns and offer different color intensities – you have to wonder why any confusion ever occurs. But, as we’re all painfully aware, such confusion happens all the time.
Sexual desire is a physical and vital energy that’s easily observed in a CAT scan. But it’s also a bit mystifying; at least, there are aspects of the energy field that aren’t yet understood.
The power of sexual attraction can be so great, delaying gratification often becomes difficult. Nevertheless, we usually manage to do so. After all, the alternative is to throw caution and control to the wind and suddenly and spontaneously shed all your clothing and inhibitions, which can result in considerable personal embarrassment and jail time, especially if you happen to be sitting in The Mint with the afternoon lunch crowd.
If our sexual flames are continuously fanned and then frustrated, we can become angry, even violent. On the other hand, love is never frustrated or hostile. It’s a much more gentle, peaceful and enduring energy field, yet it’s still easy to detect and measure. Real love doesn’t demand satisfaction; real love understands that it may not be reciprocated. A mother will continued to love her son, no matter how mean and deceitful the child might be. (The idea that your “investment” should necessarily produce a return is a sexual thing, not a love thing.)
And finally, we don’t necessarily desire sex with the objects of our affections. Freudian theory and Jim Morrison withstanding, most young men are not incestuously drawn to their mothers. Furthermore, though we have a deep and abiding love for our pet animals, most of us aren’t about to lapse into perversions with the family dog.
But that’s enough of such psychological ramblings. Instead, let this hopeless romantic offer my suggestion for a splendid afternoon and evening. Kneel before your lady, offer her a dozen red roses, a bottle of Blackstone Merlot and reservations at one of her favorite restaurants. And given the current reviews of some movie critics, you might also include a couple tickets to “Fifty Shades of Gray.”
Happy Valentine’s Day!