After this break-up, I focused my work on defining the unique physical/spiritual energy we had used, formalized it in my art to tap again into the intense, pure play with people to then use the resulting creativeness in art without being derailed by sex. I used my public performances, but especially my private pieces, to experiment with this energy.
I started to realize that one of the things that was undermining my work was the English language. There was no word, no name, for the force I was dealing with. This fits the designs of the established powers that are out to isolate and censor us. So my first task was to create a new word. It was eroplay.
Our mind needs labels, words for something to be able to think about the thing clearly. There is such intense physical play, and such a force or energy, and I have labeled it eroplay. But before this, there has not been a word for it. Usually the word sex has been the catch word for people to dump almost everything sensual, romantic, physical, or for showing more skin than usual. Cars are called sexy. Poses that do not show the sex act are called sexual. Wearing certain things, moving certain ways are all called sexual, even when it is not leading to the sexual act -- even when there is no intent to have sex.
In magic words have power. To create a word for something is to create the possibility for it to exist in our reality -- for it to happen. Even for us who intellectually knew eroplay existed as a separate thing from sex, it was hard before the word eroplay to talk about it clearly, to think about it clearly, and to experiment and play with it without sexual undercurrents and fears creeping in. This was because we had to use words like lusty, sexy, and erotic to attempt to talk about it. In our language, all of these words have sexual connotations. In magic, words create. So if you use sexual words for nonsexual playing, the sexual words will set a false sexual confusion. This is why the word eroplay itself is important.
Eroplay is intense physical playing and touching of oneself and others. Eroplay is also the force or energy which is released as the result of such play. It is also the happy, playful attitude towards life that comes from such play. Eroplay is not foreplay, even though foreplay is eroplay.
Kids play very physically both with their own bodies and others' bodies. They get turned-on by this play, turned-on both physically and mentally. This turn-on is not sexual in kids. Studies have shown that babies who are held, touched, and played with are more healthy and alert, weigh more, and have a lower rate of death than babies who are denied this eroplay. Studies also show that old people who live alone, who don't get physical and emotional contact, are less healthy and die sooner than people of the same age who live with others and get that physical contact.
When we grow in to adulthood, eroplay is linked to sex, maybe to assure procreation. But there may be different results when eroplay is connected to the sexual orgasm. This difference may be caused by the mixture of chemicals released in the body during eroplay with other chemicals released in the body during orgasm. Foreplay is eroplay, but eroplay is not foreplay. We may need a certain amount of straight eroplay (not connected to or leading to sex) to be as healthy as possible.
Orgasm may start a patterning process in our brain, which is an intense bonding between people. Free love did not take into account this psycho/physical process.
Foreplay leads to orgasm -- eroplay leads to being turned-on in many different ways and in all parts of the body -- including, but not limited to, physical arousal. It can be different every time. Skin touching skin seems to be what releases the full impact of eroplay.
Eroplay can be intense. It is like when you rub a puppy on its belly and the puppy goes into a state of rapture, both totally turned-on and relaxed. To use something that is not normally confused with sex, eroplay is the blissed-out, warm, relaxed, turned-on, totally satisfying feeling of a good head rub. The same feeling comes from playing with ears. Eroplay is that intense feeling throughout the entire body.
Sex seems to be connected to mating; whereas the combination of both physical and psychic forces released during and after eroplay seems to be connected more to communication and attracting people to you.
What stops most people from physically eroplaying without connecting it to sex, without sexual undercurrents or expectations, is the inability to see where eroplay ends and sex begins. Foreplay is eroplay, but eroplay is not foreplay. The difference between foreplay and eroplay is one of intent -- physically there is no difference. It is the same pleasurable, physical, turned-on feeling.
But there is a difference physically between eroplay and sex. Eroplay is satisfying in itself, in relaxing intensity. There is no build-up of pent-up energy in one climactic act. In sex, however, there is a point where foreplay (eroplay) ceases to satisfy and energy gets pent up and built up to be released in the sex act. This build-up is a clear and broad dividing line between the turn-on of eroplay and sex.
Eroplay starts when the possibility of physical eroplay arises -- the possibility of the breaking of the normal rules, social conventions, and morality.
Eroplay is not just physical activity. The possibility of physical eroplay is enough to start releasing whatever chemicals and other forces that physical eroplay will continue to release. Talking and thinking about eroplay will excite, will turn you on, even physically. This seems to be a natural part of eroplay, an innate part.
Eroplay is fun!
Eroplay is innocent and childlike.
Eroplay's focus is on physical enjoyment and pleasure for its own sake. This is one reason why eroplay is taboo in our society where religion teaches physical pleasure for self is bad.
Eroplay connects you more with your own body and with other people. It decreases isolation and alienation. It increases self-trust and trusting of others. It makes you harder to be controlled. This is another reason why eroplay is taboo.
Because the after-glow of eroplay attracts people to you, you get more opportunities in all aspects of your life. And because eroplay relaxes you and gives you more energy, you are in a better position to use opportunities.
Because eroplay is not focused on goals other than physical enjoyment in many ways, and because it does not lead to a mating life, eroplay would be much harder to use to sell products than sex. This is another reason why eroplay is taboo.
Because of all of this, eroplay leads to a definite life-style with all these characteristics. The life-style looks strangely like the love generation, but without drugs or free sex.
In recent years, outside forces have affected my work. The political sexual cultural artistic war of suppression of Senator Jesse Helms has given my art social issues against which I can do battle.
But it is AIDS that has started people searching for other ways to find, to show, and to give physical intimacy. Eroplay is a safe, fun, lusty channel for free physical touching. It is safe because it has no physical intercourse. It is not an avoidance, as celibacy is. It is not something second rate. Eroplay is satisfying in itself.
Photos (from top to bottom): Rod Dailey, Rod Dailey, Rod Dailey, Linda Mac