I have been exploring wonderings about sex and love for as long as I can remember, and will be posting many more posts on this in the future. May these words spark a bit of desire's star in your hearts and maybe your loins! ;)
Do please comment and share respectfully. Thanks for reading!
Love needs constancy.
Desire needs space.
When is it you most desire your beloved?
When do you most long to be with your beloved?
Why does the romance novel industry generate over $1.08 billion dollars a year in sales?
And the porn industry? Last I heard it was one of the highest generating industries in the world...in the world! And let's be frank, much of it is geared to heterosexual men...but that is a topic for another blog post.
We humans tend to desire that which we do not have. We daydream while at work, we dream of greener pastures, we develop elaborate fantasy worlds, only to discover at the end of the day that the object of our desire does not keep house well, or has poor music tastes, and most certainly will age one day, as will we.
In desire there is little room for the frailties of life, or of the mundane of the real world: rising on a cold morning to light the fire, rousing sleeping children from slumber who grumble at you and plead for more sleep, to the monotony of never ending dishes to wash, to the same lover night after night after night. Desire has her wings in courtship, in longing, in daydreaming, of that first flicker of flame we feel when we see a beloved from far away. Desire reminds us we too are made of spiritual matter, and that every so often, locked in an embrace, or given over to the kind of lovemaking where we know not where one begins and the other ends, desire sends us to the stars. Desire allows us to kiss the divine, to leave behind albeit briefly, the monotony of our day to day world. Desire lets us walk that bridge between seen and unseen worlds where creative possibilities seem infinite, inspiration lives, time and space spiral out instead of plodding along our culture's dictate of the past/present/future, and we surrender to the fullness of our body and heart singing in full abandon.
Ah desire! The stuff of stars. And quite literally this is what this wonderful word conveys.
Rooted in old French and further back in Latin, an original understanding of the word desire was to "await what the stars will bring," originating from the stars, from the heavenly body, from the constellations. For what human has not felt that tug of longing when staring up at a black night studded with shimmering stars?
The opening phrase: Love needs constancy/Desire needs space, is a remembering of Esther Perel, who planted these words in my mind and heart several years ago. Ms. Perel's Ted Talk on The Secret of Desire in a Long Term Relationship has now garnered over 8 million views- ringing soundly in the souls of many of us who took in those nineteen minutes. Ms. Perel is a therapist based in New York who has focused her professional career on infidelity, questioning all along: what exactly is the "cheater" looking for? Her work on the need for maintaining desire in long term relationships is in sharp contrast to the countless self help books and therapists constantly towing the line for attachment. The attachment theory in adult relationship counseling often brings about that which it seeks to banish- greater insecurity.
Given desire's starry ways, her dance with longing, mystery, and wildness, we seek out lovers beyond our norm so we can remember our star-ness, our uncultivated soul, and taste, but for a moment's pleasure, the intoxication of the wild divine. So many of us make do with an anemic life of cabin porn, countless girl on girl action streamed any time/anywhere, IG homestead feeds, airbrushed beauty, and lack of a good sex life, that leave us always hankering for more, but for what, we're not even sure?
Desire is a cohort of mystery, and mystery needs patience, beauty, and a certain old fashioned style of cunning to call her forth. Is this not why we fantasize about things dark, illicit, and forbidden? We crave mystery, like we crave true wilderness, even as we witness every day the decline of any truly wild places (untouched by human hands). Mystery hinges on wildness- she is the tracker's quiet step, the plant folk's keen eye, the singer's tuned ear. To court mystery, we court wildness, we court the divine, and we pay homage to older ways of remembering, ways humans have had for millennial of being in relationship with place and time. What whispers to you when you craft a love letter that cannot otherwise sing when you press the keypad? Is it simply because there in the ink you know your lover is the one who stayed up, perhaps late into the night, penning words of adoration, words that can only be written after the death of day? What happens when we light a candle instead of instantly switching on a light? Court darkness for a time, and watch desire begin to sing. When we go for a walk feeling wind caress our hair, holding hands with a beloved not talking, desire sings there as well.
I have made love near a desert, on the edge of the White Mountains, where Bristol cone pine trees have lived for thousands and thousands of years- some of the oldest trees on earth. That day, off road, far from humans save my lover and I, under the hot desert sky, I was transported to an ancient trove of memories, tapping into a deep creative spring where words and songs began to seep and later, to flow. Since love making like that I have tried, unsuccessfully, to recreate that scenario, and once again watched how desire can be elusive, needing just the right conditions to be born. Cling to her too tightly and risk suffocation and stagnation. Feed her mystery, darkness, and magic and watch her rise. Thus to cultivate this every day so she may reside side by side with the mundane, takes practice, alertness, and the commitment to keeping desire fed.
Without desire we lose vitality. It is when we enter that space of desire, where mystery, wildness, and divinity live, we find ourselves tied to the vast cosmos of life: startled at how truly alive we are.