These two words aren’t often associated. Eroticism refers to raw physical passion, sexual desire, and sexual pleasure. Eros is often thought of as our very life force. Like all passions, manifestations range from healthy to psychotic, and even deadly. Fidelity, in an individual, is associated with ardor, staunchness, and strong character. In love relationships, it refers to loyalty, trustworthiness, and reliability. I believe strongly that Eros and fidelity can work closely together within an individual and throughout the life of a committed love relationship, yes, even fifty or sixty year unions.
As a psychotherapist, I see many individuals who have lost their “spark,” consumed by work, jaded by life, and victimized by an array of life stressors. I see relationships that are dead at the core, consumed by constant power struggles, little or no genuine affection, and infrequent and de-eroticized sex lives. Yet, most of us can remember a time or times when eros was alive within us and within our relationships. Often, committed partners have to think back to the very beginning of their life together to find a time when affection came easily, came in torrents, and they felt aroused at the very thought of being alone together, naked together, sexual together in all of its many splintered ways.
With all the stress of living adult lives, we have to continually work at keeping eros alive in ourselves and in our “marriages.” We must remember what “pleasures” us and refuse to allow life to engulf our erotic nature. It is helpful to remember that erotic fantasies and desires are not bad or harmful unless we choose to act them out in bad/harmful behavior. Within ourselves and our relationships, it is helpful to stay open to our own erotic life and keep an open mind and ear to our partner’s erotic fantasies and desires, being slow to judge ourselves and our mates. Erotic thoughts and desires can seem weird and naughty, but within a healthy self and within a loving relationship, they can can keep us “alive” and help us retain our “spark.”