|illustration from Flaubert's Madame Bovary by Charles Leandre|
There's a longing for promiscuity, an emotion that some may experience when they read or hear about the romantic and glamorous liaisons or others. This is a modern day form of Bovarysme which equates the known and familiar with boredom. “Familiarity breeds contempt” goes the old saw. But there are others who experience less a longing for promiscuity than a promiscuity in their longings. The chief characteristic of this emotion is an obsessive glimpsing into lives that seem to be preferable to one's own. You look at another person’s existence whether it involves multiple lovers, money, travel or even just working out of the house (when you have to commute to your deadly job) and feel you’ve been left out. The longing for promiscuity is actually a subset of the promiscuity of longing containing as it does a relatively narrower set of dissatisfactions mostly relating to the bedroom. While the longing for promiscuity is a squall, promiscuity of longing is like one of those large destructive storms that leaves a wide path of destruction in its wake. It's the direct confutation of Buddhist precepts like living in the now or wanting what you have and is predicated on a perverse from of romanticism that values what has yet to be over what is. The promiscuity of longing is like a systemic disease that eventually will infect every part of your being. From being simply a faithless lover, you turn into a person who is ultimately disloyal to everyone.