In the film Yuva, Ajay Devgan, a practical man, emphatically explains to a visibly romantic Esha Deol that love is nothing but procreation. It is an urge to procreate ' a form of sexual gratification, which just happens to be good for the survival of a species. This need for satisfaction of the physical or rather the sexual urges comes veiled, in the garb of an emotion called love. According to him, it was this physical or sexual attachment and not love that was actually responsible for the couplings that result in progeny and further the human race. So, love is nothing but procreation. Period.
But the idea of another type of love, as conceived by Plato, the Platonic love, has also been the subject of countless poems and books. In modern times, the term platonic love and platonic relationship have come to mean a relationship between individuals of the opposite sex, marked by the absence of physical romance or sex. Ambrose Bierce, or Bitter Bierce as the world calls this American satirist, may define Platonic love as 'a fool's name for the affection between disability and a frost', but this philosophical treatment of love transcends a variety of theories of sex and gender.
A traditional and conservative society like ours looks on platonic relationships with suspecting eyes. It wonders whether in a friendship, physical attraction between the friends of opposite sexes can be sidestepped, whether platonic relationships ' love and friendship without sexual alliance - can exist between a man and a woman. What they fail to understand is that platonic love is actually the sublimation of sexual urges into other forms of desires and attraction. It is love that looked beyond physical bodies to pure thoughts and intellectual stimulation. Thyra Samter Winslow is right when she says, 'platonic love is from the neck up.'
Platonic lovers are not impulsive lovers. They aren't physical, but are characterized by being more emotional and intellectual than passionate. Friendship or love of this type, like other relations, is based on the pleasure that is derived from each other's company, but the relationship here is predominated by thoughts and imagination. The love doesn't live outside but inside. Platonic love, in which the loved person is idealized, is part of a dream. With the platonic love, the people idealize one person in the fantasy of the thoughts, with feelings of love, in a very creative way. This love builds an illusion in a no-love world of disillusion and it is this love, which has inspired poets and artists of all times.
People may scoff at platonic lovers and compare them to inactive volcanoes, but such lovers do not condemn sexuality or the erotic, neither do they deny that platonic love is only possible outside sexual relations. Platonic love is actually a spiritual bond between two people of the opposite sexes, wherein they are attracted to each other's mind. But the reason why platonic love or friendship can be difficult is plain genetics. In most of us, attraction to the opposite sex is genetically woven into our psyche. There's no way to avoid it. Friendship between the same sexes can be relatively hassle-free, but one between opposite sexes may be infused with sexual undercurrents. Nothing makes a romantic relationship more successful when the people involved are friend first, and it is easy to understand why platonic relations can be difficult to keep strictly platonic.