The atopia of Socrates is linked to Eros (Socrates is courted by Alcibiades) and to the numbfish (Socrates electrifies and benumbs Meno). The other whom I love and who fascinates me is atopos. I cannot classify the other, for the other is, precisely, unique, the singular Image which has miraculously come to correspond to the specialty of my desire. The other is the figure of my truth, and cannot be imprisoned in any stereotype (which is the truth of others).

Yet I have loved or will love several times in my life. Does this mean, then, that my desire, quite special as it may be, is linked to a type? Does this mean that my desire is classifiable? Is there, among all the beings I have loved, a common characteristic, just one, however tenuous (a nose, a skin, a look), which allows me to say: that’s my type! “Just my type” or “not my type at all”—cruising slogans: then is the lover merely a choosier cruiser, who spends his life looking for “his type”? In which corner of the adverse body must I read my truth?

Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments, translated by Richard Howard