— Lauren Berlant, Cruel Optimism (via rogueish)
"I salvaged my capacity to attach to persons by reconceiving of both their violence and their love as impersonal. This isn’t about me. This has had some unpleasant effects, as you might imagine. But it was also a way to protect my optimism. Selves seemed like ruthless personalizers. In contrast, to think of the world as organized around the impersonality of the structures and practices that conventionalize desire, intimacy, and even one’s own personhood was to realize how uninevitable the experience of being personal, of having personality, is."
"When de Botton finally gets the couple off, so to speak, he provides a profoundly unsexy definition of sexiness: “The more closely we analyze what we consider ‘sexy,’ the more clearly we will understand that eroticism is the feeling of excitement we experience at finding another human being who shares our values and our sense of the meaning of existence.” There are, of course, other kinds of eroticism, other ways to reach orgasm, not dreamt of in de Botton’s philosophy, but he confidently brands these “empty.” Thus, everything from masturbation (since it is performed alone) to bestiality (since it is nonconsensual) is considered a “betrayal of what sex should really be about”: a procreative couple in love sharing their values and their sense of the meaning of existence."