Human sexuality mirrors human culture. Mating dances of seduction and refusal, and acts of non-consensual aggression cannot be separated from traits witnessed, practiced, and internalised by the people of a particular society. It is impossible to close the bedroom door to the culture at large. Eros not only inhabits the genitals and the heart but Anima mundi as well.
Sexuality is not going to go away because its nature, which is sublime in the sense of the beautiful and the monstrous, makes people uncomfortable. The phenomenon brings all things human to the fore of consciousness. Therefore, it is imperative we talk about it all, and without mind-negating shame and heart-freezing hysteria.
The late, archetypal psychologist James Hillman, in his final book, the brilliant but under recognised, A Terrible Love Of War, noted the consort, the backdoor man, of the Goddess of Love and Beauty is Ares, the God of War. Moments after her practical minded husband Hephaestus would leave for work, Ares and Aphrodite would be ensconced in the lover’s bed, locked in intimate embrace, under the very roof constructed by her craftsman spouse. Withal, libido translates, often, into impractical, irrational, and dangerous phenomenon.
Hillman asks, “where else in human experience, except in the throes of ardor – that strange coupling of love with war – do we find ourselves transported to a mythical condition and the gods most real?” — A Terrible Love of War (p. 9).