13 Jul What do you desire?
What do you desire?
Desire… And what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Sexual desire.
Desire is more than just sex. Desire is all those things we want to bring into our lives. The things that will satisfy and bring us alive.
I’m talking mostly to women here. Because we’re the ones who spend most of our lives attending to the needs of others and trying to be what we think society expects of us. Some people would say we’re being selfish in taking time for ourselves. In putting our own needs above others in any given moment in time. Selfish is the kid who pushes others aside and grabs all the candy. It’s not the person who thinks a moment, and says, I feel like having a piece of chocolate right now. That person is looking at what appeals to them in the moment. Acknowledging and then taking action.
How often have we forgone our own desire in order to please someone else? To fit in? To not appear too aggressive? To let others feel their decisions are more important.
In this stage of our lives the pressing needs of children or jobs or hectic schedules may be lessening. This is the perfect time to ask, What do I desire? And begin to cultivate and satisfy those desires. We can see this as a necessary act, not a selfish one. The person who may call us selfish is coming from their own ‘stuff’–envy, frustration with their own lives, judgment.
My book, Inviting Desire, A Guide for Women Who Want to Enhance Their Sex Lives is about sex, for women who want to connect with their bodies, to cultivate awareness, and stimulate desire for themselves. A desire to be touched, a desire to experience pleasure. I help women explore what their bodies desire and how to ask for that. How to have the conversations necessary to get the right results. I don’t teach women how to be better lovers for their partners. That comes later, if at all, after a woman has figured out what works for her and what she desires for her own sex life.
Exploring our own desires starts by paying attention to what we want and how our bodies and minds respond. Sometimes we have to work past cultural conditioning, emotional blocks, denials and unsatisfactory relationships in order to ask ourselves, what do I want? What does my body want? How do I want sex to look? What do I want from a relationship?
In asking these questions we are listening to, and affirming our desires.
Desire is about more than sex. Active, pleasurable sex opens up our desire to see the world in a new light–that energy and creative surge we get from pleasure impacts other avenues of our lives. And it works in the reverse–when we are engaged with the world and in touch with our own needs we are more likely to come to our relationships with greater positive energy. When you feel dissatisfied with life it’s difficult to feel fully connected to your sexual desire.
My work is shifting as I look at my own life and rethink about my desire. As I said earlier, desire is a word that often speaks to sex. At every stage of life we have desire. But in midlife and beyond we may have more time, emotional space, and wisdom to look at what we’ve given up and what we want to embrace. We can focus on new decisions, new avenues for satisfaction that will add richness to our lives. Sex included. First, we have to be willing to examine what’s missing. Or maybe nothing specific is missing. Maybe you’ve reached a new stage and know that there’s more to be squeezed from life.
What shifts do you need to take? What can you do for yourself today that will make you feel more vital, engaged, and at ease with the person you see in the mirror?