I would like to know what "letting its current take over" means in the following sentences:

You smelled of water and pines. There was softness, and there was hardness. I could sense your tan under my fingertips, and with your strong, solid hands you drew me afresh, creating me, the small of my back, my inner thighs … and you. Your back, your chest, your stomach, your thighs, your cock. Hard and impossibly close beneath the softness of your briefs, caressing my palm, obvious, world-shattering, demanding. We moved fervently, struggling. There was so much I could not get enough of, so much I would never be able to grasp or possess, no matter how much I tried. And I tried, we tried. Covering ourselves with each other, merging into one, pulling, following the pull, letting its current take over. Our sighs were shared, refused to release us. The night reminded me of the Easter bonfires I would watch as a child in the park nearby, where the pyramid of wood burned from top to bottom, chasing the ghosts of winter, bringing a thaw, releasing the warmth from the dormant, the resting. The flames would hypnotise me. I’d merge with them, with their dancing, destroying, and bearing. We played this struggle, breathless and elated, heads light and filled and spinning, until exhaustion, until we released ourselves on to each other and fell asleep entangled like weeds.

In this novel which is set in the 1980's in Poland under the socialist regime, where homosexuality was socially unacceptable, the protagonist Ludwik (a university graduate) left Poland in 1981 to live in the United States of America. And he remembers what it was like back then in Poland, where he went to the agricultural camp (which was mandatory for college graduation). At the camp, he met Janusz, who would soon become his lover. After the camp, Ludwik decided to go to a lake district with Janusz. They finally arrived at the lake district, and stayed by the lake for some days after pitching their tent. During their stay, they made love with each other.

In this part, I wonder what "its" "current" would mean, and what it would mean for its current to "take over." I understand that, in this sentence, they covered each other with their bodies, unified as one, while pulling one towards the other, and the one letting his body to be pulled towards the other (Am I understanding right till now?). But as for the "current" of the "pull," (Would it be right to see that "its" refers to "pull" here?) I am not sure whether it means the "flow" of the pull, or even the "electric current" of the pull, implying that the pull made them thrilled, electrified.

I am an English learner from South Korea, so thank you for your patience in advance as I may not know obvious things. I would very much appreciate your help. :)

1 Answer 1


The "pull" in this context isn't simply physical; it refers to the boys' attraction to each other and their desire for each other. This feeling can become so strong that it appears to escape control and becomes a force of its own. If two lovers surrender to this force, they are "letting its current take over".

  • Dear Tsundoku, thank you so much for the explanation. Then, as for the "current," would it be alright to understand that it means a force, a flow like a stream, rather than an electric current...? Commented Dec 19, 2020 at 7:08
  • 1
    The current would be like an actual current in the water that you feel carries you in a specific direction. I hadn't thought of current in the sense of electric current; that is not something I would like to take over, since an electric shock typically forces you to move away from its source.
    – Tsundoku
    Commented Dec 19, 2020 at 9:34
  • Dear Tsundoku, thank you very much for the additional explanation. Yes indeed, an electric current would take you in the opposite direction rather than taking you to its source! I sincerely appreciate your help. :) Commented Dec 21, 2020 at 7:51

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