Love, Sex, Family… Second Part



It was back in the early eighteenth century that in Paris a group of people, known as the libertines, used to devote their energy and themselves to others in the name of sex rather than romance. They were for sure into other people, but not in the same way the troubadours of the South of France were some centuries earlier. As Alain de Botton pointed out, “they worshiped the delight of unbuttoning a lover’s garment for the first time, the excitement of exploring and being explored by another at leisure by candlelight.” I guess that it was something similar to what Francesco Gonzaga was referring to in a letter to Lucrezia Borgia on July 10th, 1502. Quoting from Sarah Bradford’s book, “Lucrezia Borgia”, this is an extract of the above-mentioned letter in which Francesco wrote that he was sick from being deprived of “the air of Ferrara which so suits me and of Your Ladyship’s conversation which brings me such pleasure.” As some studies show Francesco was Lucrezia Borgia’s passion while Bembo was “the great love of her life”. Well, none of them were married to her.


Since the beginning of humanity, there was something intrinsic to it: that was the desire to raise a family. But it was not until the mid-eighteenth century that this need had to be melted with the other two elements I talked about. What in the past did not have to be necessarily “fused together with constant desire as well as frequent sensations of romantic longing” was now to be found in the spouse, the same person with whom you shared children and vows. Consequently, the new ideal proposed by the bourgeoise was that “spouses ought not to be satisfied with just tolerating each other for the sake of their children; instead, and in addition, they were to regard it as their due to deeply love and desire each other.”

So here we are to the concept of relationship/marriage that the bourgeoise gave us where it is not okay to have somebody who flirt and/or sleep with you. Alain de Botton gives a good point when he declares that the wrongness of adultery as well as of marriage lies in all the idealism we create about it. In a world in which what all we look or is perfection, we should always pause and meditate on the fact that imperfect human beings will never be able to create anything perfect. It could have a resemblance to perfection, but it will not ever be!


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