This is the third part of a 3 part article, click here to read the first part, Agape, and here for the second about Caritas.

So that leaves us only with Eros. The erotic, sexual love. Now it gets really really exciting, because at this point a little arithmetic exercise follows. Calculate the number of your sexual partners, divided by the number of years you were sexually active, again divided by 12 months of a year. How many sexual partners have you had on average per month? I could probably stop at this point, because it probably dawns on everyone what I am getting at.

But I will still say a few short words about it: To say it with Barthes, at around 6 per month, I loved love itself more than the object of love. Love for love’s sake. My heart or my brain, wherever you might locate love, would have been quite busy with it. That would hardly be an emotional hurricane, but rather rapidly rafting through the waters of serotonin, oxytocin and whatever else the hormone pharmacy has to offer.

This is the point where I actually stop writing and would like to conclude with a few words. I love love and probably none of the above is true. When I asked my boyfriend at the turn of the year if he could imagine a future with me, he simply answered: “Of course baby, you bring joy into my life!” You’d think that this is the moment that makes you a cynic. But please do not confuse cynicism with simple reason. The word “joy” is greatly underestimated. The reason for my assumption that love has become profane lies here like the devil in the details. Not only many sexual partners can wander through a life, but presumably one has already expressed his love to various people. Sometimes you may even regret it later. Now you may feel inclined to say the same about joy, but hand on heart: you have a lot of fun with friends and co and this is certainly undeniable, but how often do you tell someone that they bring joy into your life?

The three magic words of love can certainly make a big difference. I cannot know, I have never heard them.