I really like your posts because you're, IMO, nonconformist and you just say what you think.The novels can be quite arousing and threaten to undo the work one has put in to overcome one's "alcoholism," and I've held the opinion for quite a while now that if you came here to experience love and elope with your soul mate you came to the wrong planet. This planet is a meat grinder and if you're clever enough to run the gauntlet and avoid getting shredded then you may get something out of it. Romantic love is not really part of the package; it doesn't exist here or is a luxury few can afford. While I think everyone should read a sampling of the novels and it's fun to dream of what may await in the next world in moderation, I found myself getting too "into" the sex scenes after being able to initially fight them off. I started looking at women differently; instead of being immediately dismissive of their sexual features, my gaze would linger. I was being put into a mate-seeking mode led by my sexual instincts, hoping I would stumble across my lady fair who saves me like they save the emotionally unavailable men who appear in the beginning of some of these stories. After a certain number of repetitions of this process I decided that "none of that is real" and my mind has kind of switched off from the whole project. While there were some stirrings within me on a couple of occasions, I've never really loved anyone and I don't expect that to change.
Nonetheless, I can't quite go back to the way I was, something has shifted in me which makes me a bit more amenable to experimentation, however I anticipate that to blow up in my face and remind me why I went "Victorian" in the first place if and when it occurs.
Through reading Mackenzie series sometimes cross my mind: This is not real, it's more a fiction.
But, how else you can get a picture what love should be? With Beth seeing in Ian something that others couldn't, Mac changed for love of his Isabella or Cameron and Hart become softened because of rare virtues of their wife's. People changes us if we let them.
I don't have a idea what true love is but each one of my relationships brought me new lesson, opportunity to change something in me. In first I resisted it but then, with time, I realized that I want to be shaped and not be the one who shapes. The person who I was and now is totally different, maybe even opposite. Experience of love help us to discover a glimpse of Love, like with everything else. You can't find anything about love if your perspective is "I've never really loved anyone and I don't expect that to change."