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Monday, March 8, 2010

To Be Lovers

What does the term 'lovers' mean today? What connects lovers? As a writer of romance/erotica, the etymology baffles me. Some friends of mine recently brought up a conversation which showed my usage of this word flawed, quite a surprise for me, since I spend plenty of time pondering the meanings of romance, intimacy, love, lust, passion . . . for a few intriguing story ideas, and to understand life.

In modern life, being lovers doesn't necessarily imply love or caring; it's loosely used as a pretty term for sex partners. In my Swedish friend's native language, the word 'lovers' is considered ambiguous, and other terms are used to better define the extent of the emotional bond. In comparison, English seems limited. I wish I had words to describe various involvements: people partnered primarily for sex; a couple whose fondness, caring and sexual interaction are equally important; and a pair united by their sexuality, as natural extension of their souls being deeply bonded by love. I need more words.

In my fiction I expect lovers to care for each other and their sex be an intimate extension of that. Their bond may be threatened by evil characters seeking to come between, by perilous sword and sorcery adventures separating the pair, or by magical and natural physical impairments. In response, I want my fictional couple to demonstrate emotional upheaval when forced apart. The extent of their anguish is a measure of the depth of their feeling for each other.

This is, perhaps, in contrast to reality. Seems sad. Wouldn't it be wonderful if all lovers truly cared for and about each other? The element of friendship transforms sex into intimacy, an ember fanned into flame. Most likely, physical urges cry so loudly, even an ember satiates our bodies, while our minds still yearn for the flame. That all humans long to be deeply admired I accept as a premise, supported by Maslow in his psychological hierarchy of needs. Possibly meeting a person who can help us discover intimacy occurs so infrequently we hold the goal as an ideal. Our thirst for what appears beyond reach fuels our interests in romance stories. If so, fictional lovers MUST be more than sex partners. Otherwise, as I write I need to define the term 'lovers' more carefully, or switch to Swedish, or coin a few new English words.  What do you think?



Scott E. Green said...

You may want to check out Circlet Press run by Cecila Tan

Marsha A. Moore said...

Thanks for the tip. It does look like a good fit for my work.