|The characters "Marylin Monroe" and "Colin Clark" in the |
film My Week with Marylin (2011).
|Claire Forlani in |
Boys and Girls (2000)
C. S. Lewis supports my distinction between “in love with” and lust. In his explication on this topic in his book The Four Loves, he differentiates between Eros and Venus. He argues that sexuality (Venus) may operate without Eros (“being in love”) or as part of Eros. While the state of Venus is purely sexual (which I merely refer to as “lust”), Eros is “simply a delightful pre-occupation with the Beloved”. He continues to explain that:
“A man in this state really hasn't the leisure to think of sex. He is too busy thinking of a person. The fact that she is a woman is far less important than the fact that she is herself. He is full of desire, but the desire may not be sexually toned.”
Concerning Venus, Lewis argues that the focus is on “it, the thing [sex] in itself” while “Eros wants the Beloved.”
So I agree; there is a difference between being in love and lusting. The former is not by default sexual; while the latter does not necessarily mean that there is anything more to it than just sex. Hearts are too often broken because to the one their relation meant something profound and beautiful, while to the other the companion was merely a vehicle for “the thing in itself”.
And so when I am “in love with” women or sometimes men, with fictional characters on pages in books or as projections on screens, with new friends, with kittens, even with sexy cars, it is seldom—if ever—sexual. “A man in this state really hasn't the leisure to think of sex,” for one is too delightfully pre-occupied with the object in her or his or its totality.
It has been weeks since I watched My Week with Marylin and Eddie Redmayne as Colin Clark; and as is the case with both “in love with” and lust, they both pass.