Apr 30, 2022

Sexualities finite and infinite 2


61 and 62 of Carse's Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility (p. 84-5 of my copy):


There is nothing hidden in infinite sexuality. Sexual desire is exposed as sexual desire and is never therefore serious. Its satisfaction is never an achievement, but an act in a continuing relationship, and therefore joyous. Its lack of satisfaction is never a failure, but only a matter to be taken on into further play.

Infinite lovers may or may not have a family. Rousseau said the only human institution that is not conventional is the family, which for a brief time is required by nature. Rousseau erred. No family is united by natural or any other kind of necessity. Families can convene only out of choice. The family of infinite lovers has this difference, that it is self-evidently chosen. It is a progressive work of unveiling. Fathering and mothering are roles freely assumed but always with the design of showing them to be theatrical. It is the intention of parents in such families to make it plain to their children that they all play cultural and not societal roles, that they are only roles, and that they are all truly concrete persons behind them. Therefore, children also learn that they have a family only by choosing to have it, by a collective act to be a family with each other.


Infinite sexuality does not focus its attention on certain parts or regions of the body. Infinite lovers have no "private parts." They do not regard their bodies as having secret zones that can be exposed or made accessible to others for special favors. It is not their bodies but their persons they make accessible to others.

The paradox of infinite sexuality is that by regarding sexuality as an expression of the person and not the body, it becomes fully embodied play. It becomes a drama of touching.

The triumph of finite sexuality is to be liberated from play into the body. The essence of infinite sexuality is to be liberated into play with the body. In finite sexuality I expect to relate to you as a body; in infinite sexuality I expect to relate to you in your body.

Infinite lovers conform to the sexual expectations of others in a way that does not expose something hidden, but unveils something in plain sight: that sexual engagement is a poiesis of free persons. In this exposure they emerge as the persons they are. They meet others with their limitations, and not within their limitations. In doing so they expect to be transformed – and are transformed.