Forms of Love

The Four Forms of LOVE

Love is too complex to use just one Word.

Greek Philosophical terms for love

(The following was written by Nathaniel Kagan in January of 2014. It is an explanation of the four different words for Love in Greek. Following thereafter is commentary thereon by Therapist Samantha Summers, which was originally paired therewith on March 17th, 2014.)

The Forms of LOVE

  1. “Philia” (φιλία) is the caring & affectionate love one has for a friend; the love of friendship discussed by Aristotle. It is a love one does not feel themselves. Rather, this feeling is passive within its source but active in the person it is directed upon. After all, the person this love is for is seen as an extension of the other; being sad when sad, joyful when joyful and… emotionally dead when passed on. With this love are the desires for everything positive for that other person; selfless desire. Philia can be held for one’s pet as well.
  2. “Storge” (στοργή) is the love which also goes by the name “Familial Love.” It is the inherent love felt by parents for their children and children for their parents. This love usually extends to other family members such as grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, etc. This love cannot be overridden through conscious efforts no matter how much supposed hatred is held. It is the unconditional love which cannot cease once it exists within someone. Storge is also the underlying love felt between Soulmates.
  3. “Eros” (ἔρως) is the passionate form of love. This is the active & physical desire one fells for another. It is the sexual yearning for someone; lusting love. In this sense Eros is considered a “Theia Mania” (i.e. “madness from the gods”). This love is the one issuing from Cupid’s arrows; an overwhelming want to become physical with the other person. (Hence the role of Cupid {also named Eros} as Aphrodite’s tool in causing sudden infidelity.) However, there is another non-physical form of Eros; mentioned many times by the Christian Gnostics (e.g. “The Exegesis on the Soul”). Here, Eros is the passionate & uncontrollable love between Soulmates (i.e. the Gnostic version of Spiritual love). It is so similar to the standard sexual Eros that the Gnostics used strong sexual metaphors in describing it, including impregnation. A third form of Eros is the “Divine Eros” spoken of by Plato; which stands on the opposite end of the spectrum from the lusty Eros. (Divine Eros is connected to “Aphrodite Ourania”, the Celestial Aphrodite, while the sexual Eros is linked with “Aphrodite Pandemos”, the common Aphrodite.)
  4. “Agape” (ἀγάπη) is the form of love one has & feels for their spouse, lover, best friend, close companion or for certain activities. It is often connected today to the term “True Love.” Unlike Philia, Agape is active within the source-individual as well and so, even if thought to be selfless, it actually is mutually beneficent (if returned of-course). This is the non-sexual love felt between couples. Agape is also the form of love meant & felt by an adherent towards God in Christianity (i.e. to “love God”). In Christianity, it is likewise the love felt between fellow worshipers.

This ends the portion written by Nathaniel Kagan.

Following is the commentary by Lady Samantha Summers.

You may be wondering what this article has to do with the Samantha Summers Institute (S.S.I.). First & foremost, the S.S.I. is focused on expanding sexual understanding and emotions such as love are strongly connected to sexuality. One can always say (whether in truth or not) that a certain man feels no love towards a prostitute & it is strictly for sex. However, as seen in the definition of “Eros”, love in the form of sexual desire is obviously there. (If it weren’t, why would said man be having sex with a prostitute? Such would be quite a paradox.) The other reason for this article being here is that it helps explain the complex Dominant/submissive (“D/s”) relationship. Such is the main reason for my commentary thereon. All people chase after novel stimuli (both men & women) and thus most D/s relationships last for the length of a single sexual period. This is just a natural reality. Other D/s relationships will pop in & out from one period of arousal to another. However, there are D/s relationships (which are, in truth, a minority) last for an extended period; lasting for months to years, like any other “relationship.” Three of the four forms of love are found in such a relationship. “Storge” is lacking & excluded for obvious reasons. When it comes to “Philia”, this selfless love exists within the being of a true submissive towards his Mistress. Just-because, the submissive naturally holds almost inexplicable emotions towards his psychosexual owner. If the Mistress is happy, the submissive inevitably feels happy, if the Mistress is upset, the submissive becomes upset; as though the two individuals are linked through the Jungian Collective Unconscious in some manner. This form of love is sometimes existent within the Mistress towards the submissive. The Mistress feels sadness when the submissive is sad (for actual selfless reasons). This form of love within a D/s relationship is not only very special, but is also quite complex and needs further study to understand better. Moving on to “Agape”; despite having a link to the term “True Love”, this form of love is existent within the D/s relationship (more so than the Philia form). Indeed is a Mistress & her submissive a form of “couple”; good “companions” & “best friends” are appropriate titles for the D/s relationship. As a worshiper of a per-say Goddess, the submissive holds active love (i.e. Agape) towards that Goddess. This is a major part of the link between a submissive & Mistress, though not the main portion. Lastly we have “Eros”, the physical (hormonal) lust of one to another. This form of love is an obvious necessity in the D/s relationship. Physical desire is the starting point for this relationship, and though other forms of love may outweigh this, Eros will always remain, whether it be from just the physical or it extends to the psychosomatic. Thus the three forms out of the four exist within the D/s relationship.

Forms of Love was last modified: January 1st, 2016 by Therapist Summers
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One Comment

  1. omegaboislut (on niteflirt)

    I love this dialog thank you. For the interested, especially those of us dealing with the constant influence of Eros I just learned of the three distinct forms of Eros adding the spiritual Agape and Storge. It clearly occurs to me that all the ruthless demands my mostly unexplored, compulsory fantasy fetishes have over me all are intertwined with the deep need for acceptance, validation and feeling loved. If I were to surrender to the social ideals of addiction then I am clearly addicted but what if we actually lived a life with someone who loved us for who we are and adored every sexual expression we have so we may equally return the love in a manner that served our partners. A famous Mistress in Los Angeles once stated at a talk I attended: “Life before Lifestyle. Always engaging in loving, adult healthy negotiation, imagine the life you can lead.”

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