I love pizza. I love my car. I love my dog, my kids, and my wife. Yet, the context can mean different things when I use the word.
Here in the West, our use of the word oftentimes means nothing more than I “like” something or someone. Also, love often means nothing more than to lust.
The use of the phrase “making love” means nothing more than to have sex. In fact, it can have nothing to do with love. Our culture markets and sells us that sex equals love and that love equals sex.
This is perhaps one of the biggest lies our generation has sold us every day‑from the music we listen to, the shampoo we use, and the cars we drive.
Sex is love.
Sex is powerful.
Sex will make you happy.
Sex is intimacy.
Porn is love and intimacy.
However, sex can also equal abuse, hate, fear, porn, rape etc.
Radio and television ads about erectile dysfunction send a message that sex equals love.
It was once thought that only men in their 50s or older had erectile dysfunction issues. Now, ED medication is given to men in their 20s and 30s.
What is going on?
Counter to popular belief and the main stream media, many men and event women are suffering from Pornographic Induced Erectile (and/or arousal) Dysfunction.
Furthermore, is love just a physical act?
We know it is so much more.
Love is an emotion and can also be spiritual. Love is energy, and some believe the most powerful energy.
Love is an action.
Love is a behavior of kindness, patience, and caring. It is forgiveness. It does not harbor resentments.
Love sets you free.
Hate, fear, and lust keep you in bondage.
Love is simple, pure and innocent just like a child loving another.
Our culture has taken love, lust, sex and intimacy and has blended them all together to be one and the same. Yet, they are very independent and different.
Since the word love has been so abused, I like to look at other languages to understand its deeper meaning.
For example, the Greek has many different words for love. We are going to look at two.
Agape in the Greek is the highest form of love. I simply like to define it as a love that gives to give. It longs to give for the sake of giving. It loves regardless if it receives love back. It is unoffendable. Think of this type of love as a mother loving her newborn child. Generally, the mother loves the newborn regardless that the baby only takes, depends, and needs its mother.
Eros is where we get our word erotica, porn and pornia. (aka lust) I like to simply define this type of love as lust. Lust takes. Lust is traditionally thought to be sexual, but one can lust after a better job, clothes, a bigger house or a nicer car. It is a strong desire to want more and more of something.
So just as a reminder: love gives, and lust takes.
As we understand just these two words, we begin to have a deeper understanding of love and its powerful nature as compared to lust. When a husband says to his wife “I love you.” Is he saying I agape you or eros you?
Next, let’s look at intimacy.
Intimacy is about vulnerability and transparency. I like to define intimacy as in-to-me-you-see. People can be vulnerable and transparent with a good friend while having an intimate conversation, but there has been no sex act.
Generally, the word sex or sexus means gender or the state of being male or female. It is also linked to the word seco which means to half, separate, cut or divide.
It is also believed that sex is equal to the number six.
How a number became something related to gender or a behavior is not clear. Even more unclear is how sex became associated with the word love or intimacy.
Love, lust, porn, sex, and intimacy need to be understood to be independent of each other. At their essence, they have significantly different meanings.
We pay a great price by cheapening love and accepting it to be mixed with lesser words and not questioning why.
Cory Schortzman is an author, speaker, teacher and licensed mental health professional. Since 2008, he has served as the Executive Director of Transformed Hearts Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, CO. He is the founder of SARA, the Sexual Addiction Recovery Association. Cory is passionate about helping couples and individuals overcome sex addiction. He is also passionate about bringing awareness to the public and supporting the elimination of sex and human trafficking. Cory has been married since 1998 to his beautiful wife, Kerry, and lives in Colorado with their four daughters. He and Kerry have been seen on the CBS Early Show, Inside Edition, and ABC Good Morning America, Fox 21 News, and TLC/Discovery discussing the harm of sex addiction and the joys of recovery. He has also been heard on numerous radio programs.
Cory’s books include: Out of the Darkness, Into the Light the Workbook, Into the Light the Steps, Ashes to Beauty the Steps, 301 Dating Ideas, 301 Conversational Ideas, 301 Ways to Say I Love You, 301 Ways to Love Your Children & 301 Recovery Tools & Tips.