During a short trip to Sydney, I met up with an old friend for lunch. Inspired by the sensual delights of Double Bay, maybe, our conversation drifted to modes of eroticism. My friend expressed frustration with a partner. She was missing the pleasures of role-play: ‘the brain is the biggest sexual organ,’ she said. I paused and reflected. ‘This is so interesting. I realise, I have a very different erotic experience. For me, the biggest sexual organ is the body. Roleplay distracts me. I like to get out of my head, into pure physicality.’
Both modalities involve a dissolution of identity. The rigid form of ‘who I am’ must disappear for erotic pleasure to be possible, whether it’s in a flight of fantasy, or in a tide of sensations.
Later in the same trip, the thought came up again as I discussed creativity with another friend. ‘The biggest obstacle to divergent thinking,’ she proposed, ‘is attachment to identity, limiting the range of what is possible.’ She looked to the theatre for ways of loosening this attachment.
As we discussed further, I realised the same two poles emerged. It’s the door open to another world through roleplay, acting a character and becoming someone else. It’s physical presence on the stage, leaving the self to become resonant flesh. Good creative workshops involve both.
Is it the case, I wonder now, that in order to solve complex problems, we can tap into the resources of our preferred erotic mode. Two pathways to radical change: kinky role-play, or the vanilla pleasures of touch.