Magnetism, Lust, Kairos, Gunfights

Since I was young, I’ve been attracted to that invisible nub that emerges when you put two magnets near each other, that push and pull (depending on polarity): one the one hand, that palpable attraction between two supposedly inanimate objects. On the other hand, that palpable repulsion between two supposedly inanimate objects.

Magnetism is a sensual introduction to the power of objective forces, a testimony to the undeniable reality of the world’s primal desires.

But it’s that moment in which the magnets neither push nor pull, both push and pull, that I love. Once the magnets either connect or leave their zone of repulsion, the fun is over. It’s the power, the energy, in the moment just before that is nothing less than erotic.

This is an exquisite erotics — riding that tension without ever quite consummating. Oh, it’s not easy to maintain. Bodies want to go together or not — attraction and repulsion: they want to fuck or be gone. Of course, there’s an ambivalence between human bodies that is more nuanced than between magnets. Still, to exist in and on and with that nub where attraction and repulsion have begun to show themselves, when bodies ache for each other but don’t surrender: this is a kind of jouissance, an edging towards that release but never coming, as it were, to a conclusion.

In order to maintain, it involves a very intimate and secret compact between you, an endless negotiation that says “yes I want you” and, in the same breath, “but, no, I’m not gonna fuck you.” This takes confidence by all parties involved, a surrender to possibility without making that possibility real — heavy petting without fucking. Sometimes, it is much harder to not fuck than to fuck. It demands an incredible, impossible intimacy, a conspiracy of desire: both parties must say yes, let’s ride this wave of surging power, extend it even though its very condition is to annihilate itself, even though it’s telling us to go all the way, even though this is what the universe seems to demand. What a strange and beautiful pact!

This is not the only erotics. There is, needless to say, a beauty and power and frenzy and delight and merriment and madness in consummation, in riding that wave of attraction that exceeds you and dominates you and becomes you all the way to the sweaty, sticky end.

But it is that tension, that palpable push and pull, that attracts me in many ways. It’s the time just before kairos, the very possibility of kairos, the groundwork of kairos, the conditions of kairos. It is the moment in a gunfight before they pull their guns, the dribbling and passing and movement before the drive to the basket, the tension and swell before you undress.

There must be a word for this. TC mark


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  • Lim Yan Yun

    to make magnets the anology to sex. earth shattering.

    • Josh Mosh

      yeah but he's pointing to an oft-overlooked facet of the analogy….

      • Daniel Coffeen

        Thank you, Josh. Alas, with no disrespect to TC, I've never taken TC comments terribly seriously — not while I have the most brilliant commenters on my blog: http://hilariousbookbinder.blo… And I'm not pushing my blog: I'm pointing to a community of readers and writers where people actually think before, and as, they write., where comments push me to think and are never ad hominem. A rarity.

  • elpida tsiarta

    I speak Greek and this is the first time that i ve looked at the word 'kairos' this way.

  • Jocelyn

    loved this article. kinda spoke to my romantic life as a whole.


    People should have magnets implanted in their genitals to further this analogy and experience.

  • xx


  • Greg Petliski

    What an idea! Let's purposely not have sex when we otherwise could have sex!

  • Guest

    I thought this was beautifully written, regardless of the other comments.

  • Josh Mosh

    this was awesome. i really enjoy your articles.

  • RamonaCC

    This was… wow. An extremely powerful piece of writing, not only in it's content but in it's tone as well.

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