Eros: Essential Sexual Contact or Icing on the Cake?

Credit: Persians via iStockphoto

Credit: Persians via iStockphoto

Eros is a spicy little asteroid who generates excitement in relationship astrology. It’s been suggested that an understanding of someone’s natal Eros gives you the keys to unlock their erotic desires. Eros contacts in synastry have been touted as creating attraction that cannot be denied. Maybe, maybe not. While Eros certainly has some important things to say about desire, it’s easy to give him so much importance that other pieces of the relationship profile are overlooked.

Eros, Mars and Venus

Mars is male energy, action and assertiveness. He describes how you pursue what you want. In a straight woman or gay man’s chart, he describes the type of male energy that is attractive. Venus is what you want, how you relate to others, and how you express love. In a straight man or gay woman’s chart, Venus describes the type of female energy that is attractive. Eros is erotic love, for both sexes and all sexual preferences. In some ways, he is a combination of Mars and Venus. He was their son (Cupid) in Roman mythology, although he predates both of them as one of the original deities born out of the Void. In the book “Asteroid Goddesses” by Demetra George and Douglas Bloch, Eros is described “…as a higher octave of Mars.”

Natal Eros describes what turns you on. Although I’m assigning a male pronoun for clarity’s sake, he is not gender-specific or assigned a sexual orientation. He describes erotic fixations, fetishes and the sexualization of someone (or something). Eros’ passion is more than the raw, Martian urge; it’s a focus on what fuels sexual desire, and how that desire manifests in relationships. How you relate (Venus) to someone on a sexual level (Mars).

Eros in Action

For example, Eros in Aries is turned on by competition, challenge and the thrill of the chase. These things are sexualized, whether you’re male or female, gay or straight. Eros in Pisces is turned on by losing oneself to the beloved. If you have Eros in this sign, you can be more aroused by fantasy than the real thing. Eros in Scorpio is into exploration of the forbidden; the more uncomfortable and intense the union, the hotter it is. You relate most strongly to a sexual partner who pushes your limits.

But let’s say that along with Eros in Scorpio, you have Venus in Sagittarius. Despite the erotic pull towards intensity, you still want the freedom to explore on your own terms. And, you have Mars in Leo, so you may publicly strut your stuff to grab someone’s attention, although your deepest desires will be private. If you’re a straight woman or gay man, you may be drawn to men who are in the spotlight. But in the bedroom, what’s beyond the spotlight (in the shadows) really lights your fire.

If someone’s planet(s) aspect your Eros, they’ll have a direct impact on your erotic desires. His Mars on your Eros means the way he asserts himself arouses you. You’re not just receptive (as you would be if his Mars was conjuncting your Venus); his actions are sexualized to you, whether or not that’s his intent. Her Saturn square your Eros could put a damper on your erotic urges (when she’s around). Maybe there’s something about her that makes you feel blocked on that level.

Which brings us to the question of Eros versus the planets in synastry. Taking our Saturn square Eros example a bit further, let’s say her Mars conjuncts your Venus. Does the itchy square to Eros cancel out the Venus/Mars chemistry? Absolutely not. The way she asserts herself (in and out of the bedroom) blends perfectly with what you want, and it’s all systems go. Her Saturn square your Eros simply means that you may not feel free to indulge a particular desire with her.

On the other hand, let’s say there are zero aspects between your planets and her planets (that indicate sexual chemistry). And no major Saturn synastry contacts to provide glue. But, her Sun in Cancer conjuncts your Eros. The way she expresses her capacity for nurturing and empathy is a huge turn-on for you. She is your ideal of the “erotic mother.” But a lone contact to Eros, without significant planetary aspects to back it up, is  not enough to give a relationship momentum. There may be some heat between the two of you, but it’s never acted on.

As intriguing as Eros is, he doesn’t seem to carry the weight that planets do in relationship compatibility and chemistry. Reading the descriptions and mythology of Eros, it’s easy to get swept up in the story. The God of Erotic Love! Higher Octave of Mars! Surely he must be a heavy hitter. If you concentrate on the description of any asteroid, each one sounds pretty impressive. But they don’t all have the same impact. There’s no doubt that Eros is hot, and when he’s activated (by the right planet) in synastry, it can feel like you’ve met your sexual soulmate … or your sexual fetish. But you need to start with the planetary basics to see if and how a relationship will unfold.

Related: Find Your “”E” Spot: Asteroid Eros in the Natal Chart

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