Platonic love

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Sexless, safe philosophers ~ Amy Levy

Platonic love is a type of love in which sexual desire or romantic features are nonexistent or have been suppressed, sublimated, or purgated, but it means more than simple friendship.

The term is derived from the name of Greek philosopher Plato, although he never used the term. Platonic love, as devised by Plato, concerns rising through levels of closeness to wisdom and true beauty, from carnal attraction to individual bodies to attraction to souls, and eventually, union with the truth.


  • And then there are such things as love divine,
      Bright and immaculate, unmix’d and pure,
    Such as the angels think so very fine,
      And matrons who would be no less secure,
    Platonic, perfect, ‘just such love as mine;’
      Thus Julia said—and thought so, to be sure;
    And so I’d have her think, were I the man
    On whom her reveries celestial ran.
  • The hand which still held Juan’s, by degrees
      Gently, but palpably confirm’d its grasp,
    As if it said, ‘Detain me, if you please;’
      Yet there’s no doubt she only meant to clasp
    His fingers with a pure Platonic squeeze:
      She would have shrunk as from a toad, or asp,
    Had she imagined such a thing could rouse
    A feeling dangerous to a prudent spouse.
  • To hold the pure delights of brain
    Above light loves and sweet champagne.
    For, you and I, we did eschew
    The egoistic "I" and "you;"
    And all our observations ran
    On Art and Letters, Life and Man.
    Proudly we sat, we two, on high,
    Throned in our Objectivity;
    Scarce friends, not lovers (each avers),
    But sexless, safe Philosophers.
  • a lost battalion of platonic conversationalists

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