Saturday, December 22, 2012

To Be Desired

Last night I was in bed, unable to get to sleep, and I started thinking about desire. No. Not my phone. The act of desire. Feeling desired. Or making someone feel desired.

You see, people like to feel desired. Not just women either. Men too. They want to know that others think they are attractive. We all do. And not just from our partners. Even when we are in loving, caring, amazing relationships it can still feel good to have someone else desire you. Compliment you. Think you're the bee's knees.

See, most of the time, the task of making us feel desired comes down to the people we take to bed with us. Mostly meaning our partners, girlfriends, boyfriends, wives, husbands, sidekicks. It's kind of their job to make you feel desired. Attractive. Admired. Coveted. Longed for. I mean, it shouldn't be hard to do, right? Because you shouldn't be going to bed with someone you don't find attractive, right?

Well, not exactly. Trust me, my bubble was busted too.

A couple months ago a male friend told me men will sleep with any girl (we are saying girl simply because it jives with the fact that I am a heterosexual woman and am really only interested in forming sexy relationships with men who like the ladies. For all I know, this might actually apply to gay men as well, but at the point in time we were actually discussing men who like chicks.) Anyway, this friend also went on to clarify that it didn't matter whether the dude was even attracted to the person or not, he could still knock boots with her regardless of whether she was hot or not.  

Yeah, it seemed pretty harsh to me. Mostly because the thought of someone sleeping with me only because Monday night bowling was cancelled made me feel sad. My friend said, even though men preferred their booty buddies to not be dogs, if push came to get my point. And then I found myself kind of disenchanted because sex isn't just sex to me. Maybe I'm a hippy but I think there should be some sort of attraction going on there. But even if there is that initial mind blowing chemistry it doesn't mean it's going to last forever. Or even a year.    

We've all been there, knee-deep in a relationship only to see the sex fizzling out. We go from feeling desired to feeling like yesterday's dirty laundry pile on the floor of your bedroom. The truth is, a lot of us have been in relationships where the sexual, affectionate, complimentary, ego boosting side of the relationship dies and has to be buried in the backyard next to the remains of Crumpy the hamster. Some people think the death of the hanky-panky is inevitable, that it will dwindle regardless of how you try to avoid it.

I don't want to believe that's true. I want to believe there are people who can live their whole lives together and find one another more attractive each year that passes. I want to believe there are couples who enjoy each other physically no matter how many days, weeks, months or years pass.

One might call this wishful thinking.

Because we all know things change. The compliments stop. Affection gets put on the back burner. Sex lessens, and sometimes stops altogether. Kissing is reserved for hellos and goodbyes and goodnights. Holding hands becomes virtually non-existent. And cuddling? Well, that's just for the honeymoon stage. It's almost as though the better you know someone, the less you actually want to touch them. Or touching them becomes less important for some reason.

Don't get me wrong. I'm sure you love them, but do you lust them? Do you desire them?

It's like that terrible scene in the first episode of Breaking Bad. It's Walter's fiftieth birthday and his dutiful wife is intent to giving the birthday boy a little action. She's going to take care of him because it's his special day. Except, her laptop's open and they're talking about chores that need to be done around the house as she gives him some manual pleasure. In the short scene so much is conveyed. Maybe it depresses me because I understand it. I've done something simply for the sake of doing it before, like it's expected, a quota I needed to fill.

We grow up. We get old. We move in together. Have kids. Buy homes. Work overtime. Stress about money. Get annoyed with each other. Become resentful and bitter. I get it. Life happens. But part of me wonders if it can't be avoided, not life, but the breakdown of desire. What if we simply put our phones and computers away. Turn the television off. Mute the world around us so we can reconnect, and not just mentally or emotionally, but physically as well.

So often, it simply turns to routine. Trying to schedule intimacy into our busy lives. If we're lucky. Sometimes we just let it fall to the wayside and gradually forget what it's like to be wanted. And, essentially, that's what desire comes down to. Feeling wanted. Being wanted. Having someone touch you because they want to, not because they're supposed to.

I guess it's easy to desire someone you don't really know. A picture. A model. An actress. The cute girl who serves you coffee. It's harder to desire someone you see everyday. The girl who always wears sweatpants around the house, who cleans the kitchen floor, or nags you for leaving your crap on the dining room table.  The guy who comes home dirty, picks his toenails, and can't seem to put the toilet seat down.

Or maybe we just forget how attractive they are. The qualities we lusted after in the beginning disappear. We just don't see them anymore. We forget what initially drew us to them. Or maybe we simply grow accustomed to seeing them, to the point where we don't really see them at all. They turn into a piece of furniture. The old worn leather chair you've had for so long. It's comfortable, and even if unsightly, you're just used to it.

Either way, I've never really felt extremely desired. You know, to have someone unable to keep their hands off me. Probably because I've never been 'sexy' (please see this blog to understand). Those who have had lusted over me usually don't really know me. And maybe that's the kicker. Maybe the 'can't keep my hands, lips, eyes off you' thing is specifically for the beginning, or internet affairs. On hold for those who don't really know us and can let their imaginations turn us into something we aren't. A fantasy. The perfect recliner, not the cute ottoman that you really are.

The thing is, if you feel like a piece of furniture - functional, practical, scotch-guarded and safe - then that's probably how others will start to look at you. Perhaps you need to desire yourself before other people will desire you.

And maybe I'm just rambling to fill space.


Greg Edwards said...

Nicely written. I have so many things that I would like to say but will stick to just one. You know my story. For two and a half years my wife and I have been sleeping in separate bedrooms. A kiss on the cheek in the morning and one at night. Would I leave her? Nope, I love her to bits. I'll wait. Need I say more?

Noelle Pierce said...

Like Greg, I have so many thoughts about this post. Many of them are recent-event thoughts. I think most desire does tend to fade when you really get to know a person. It's easy to lust after someone if you've never seen them pick their nose, or smelled their farts, or...I'll stop there. Once you live with someone, you start to see those little habits the rest of the world doesn't see. You hear the insensitive comments that others may not hear. These things may not be deal breakers, but they have an effect. Then again, it's possible to be desired, but not feel desirable, which kills the intimacy just as easily. Now I'm rambling. :) A very thought-provoking post. Thank you.

Lady Unemployed said...

As a single girl looking for love myself (a heterosexual female looking for a male, if I need to be specifics), I really miss the feeling of being desired. Or the idea that it may turn into desire. Stress seems to fizzle my dating world and the past couple of years? Well, let me tell you, it's been quite the dry spell.

I like the idea of a long lasting marriage, even though my parent's are divorced. I think that after a while, what started out as desire, becomes love, respect, and a need for that touch and togetherness. Maybe desire arises again, but most of all, the longing to be with each other. That's what I hope for.

Tyson said...

@ Greg - When we love a person, even when the affection and desire is gone, we often stay on. For different reasons. Sometimes for other kids. Sometimes for ourselves. Sometimes because we don't want to be alone. It's all up and down, really.

@Noelle - I understand being desired and not feeling desired. That's a hard one, but then I find a lot of people have a hard time even expressing what they desire. Then time passes and it just doesn't get said.

@Lady Unemployed - I had a self inflicted dry spell for well over a year. It was probably the best thing I've ever done. I think I needed the time to fix myself. So that when desire came along again I could believe it. Weird how that sounds, but sometimes even when people think you're attractive it is so hard to BELIEVE. I think you will find what you're looking for. It shows up in weird places. Or so I have found. :) xxx