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     Another striking characteristic of erotic love is nature’s design that keeps our sexual interest dormant for over a decade until puberty, brings forth its calling with overwhelming intensity, and then draws it back in later life.  Eros is one of many “clocks,” like sleep/wake cycles and menopause, that nature’s genes wire prior to birth.  Ritualistic sexual behavior is present in all species whereas mature love requires the presence of the sophisticated mature cerebral cortex.  It is critical to understand that mature love is a voluntary, intentional act that we may initiate as we free our will power from the control of nature and our nurturers, from instinct and tradition.  Eros is a given; mature love is an opportunity and a responsibility.   

     Do we fall in love or crawl into love?  The distinction is important!  “Falling” is governed by gravity, a force outside of our jurisdiction.  “Crawling” is powered by our own will, an act we choose.  Nature has deemed procreation basic to survival of a species.  It so powerfully pre-programs its subjects to engage in reproductive activity that copulation is ritualistically pursued even when life itself is at risk.  Common sense is commonly ignored.  Win/lose confrontation for mating rights is readily observed, most transparently in the animal kingdom.  Genes overlap the location of aggression and pleasure centers in the primitive portion of all brains, add features designed to attract a mate such as chemicals, and rituals that assure that procreation will occur and that newborns will be nurtured to a state of self-survival.  Nature demands that we “fall into sex.”  We also call this “infatuation” and, mistakenly, “love.”  Thus, I say, “We fall into sex; we crawl into love.” 

     Our nurturers and societal traditions add to nature’s gravitational pull for “falling into sex.”  Money or its material equivalents are required for survival.  Sex is a very saleable commodity.  Sexual activity commonly results when a payer offers money and/or security to a needing payee; love may be of secondary importance.  What is the message in the hit song, Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend?  Society rewards sex, even when love may be limited or lacking, by offering economic benefits and social and religious pressure to come and stay together “until death do us part.”  Marriages of convenience are widespread!  Unconditional concern for the “other” is often lacking in nature’s plan.  You have heard the term “selfish lover.”  Intercourse is for one’s own gratification with little or no regard for the other. 

     Extending the dependency on others that we all require during our prolonged immaturity is common, and can include emotional as well as physical dependency.  Approval from others may be compulsively sought.  In the extreme, the needy individual becomes a “love junkie.”  This was clearly expressed by a promiscuous young woman who abhorred sex but confessed, “I couldn’t resist anyone who told me they loved me, even though I knew they didn’t mean it.”  To the credit of self-mastery, we often create love from the incentives to procreate that have been provided by nature and our nurturers.  What begins as the instinctive need to “get laid,” to get pregnant, or to securitize physical needs and wants, becomes the incentive that inspires mature love. 

    The enthusiasms that are hard-wired into us by instinct and tradition, such as erotic love, sustain our dependency.  Frustration follows when these commands remain unfulfilled or uncompensated by self-mastery.  Such dependency is expressed in many of our popular love songs: Prisoner of Love (Perry Como), You Always Hurt The One You Love (Mills Brothers), I Want You, I Need You, I Love You (Elvis Presley), I Can’t Stop Loving You (Ray Charles), Saving All My Love For You (Whitney Houston), Addicted to Love (Robert Palmer), I Just Can’t Stop Loving You (Michael Jackson), Can’t Live Without Your Love and Affection (Nelson), How Am I Supposed To Live Without You (Michael Bolton), Can’t Help Falling In Love (UB40), You’re My Everything. 

     Nature insures at least minimum competence in fucking; most of us “get it” with minimum instruction.  This is hardly the case for mature love, which we must create through a gradual, active willing process.  Advertisements for techniques to enhance sexual pleasure are ubiquitous, but where does one “buy” a course on becoming an expert mature lover?  Our establishment has yet to institutionalize education for its populace on the basic skills of mature love and the newer way of thinking (ANWOT) essential for our survival.  We are unlikely to change our educational system until enough citizens recognize the difference between love and sex.  Mature love is such an important issue that I recommend you give it considerable attention and share your views with others.  I urge you to give some priority to the next strens on the skills of mature love.  Popularizing mature love will have a powerful influence on making our world a safer, more enjoyable home.
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