“Desire is the engine of creation. Desire is an evolutionary impulse. Desire leads the way home.” —Danielle LaPorte
We live in a culture where we glorify & congratulate those who follow the rigidity of schedules, diets, regimens, & to do lists; where we’re more prone to denying our needs because in doing so we nobly show self-control & temperance; where our imperviousness towards macarons, reality television, & sleeping in past 6am make us to be a warrior of some kind—one who has the composure & sensitivity of a robot.
I don’t think I have to tell you that we are not robots, yet we regulate, govern, & maintain strictness with our delicate needs as though we were.
Many of us are suffering silently the callings of our hearts to indulge, to feel, to impulsively & deliberately quench the thirsts of our souls. We suffer because we choose to go against our inherent tendency for pleasure, for goodness, for ecstasy, for joy, that which is meant to be our natural state of existence & thriving.
I’ve been working with women one-on-one in the realm of sexual liberation, but we almost always end up on the subject of desire; specifically, what it is they want, what it is they crave, what it is their bodies, minds, & spirits are begging for, & how they can attune themselves to Desire’s whispers (or boisterous bellows) so that they can finally feel harmonious in their bodies & in their sexual expressions.
It always starts with this one simple question: What are your desires?
And then. . . What do you yearn for, crave for?
When I hear these questions, my mind is swarming with its own ideas & visions. . .
I crave cherry pie. I crave the feeling of water lapping at my feet. I crave connection. I desire a good night’s rest. I desire a good, hearty fuck. I desire succulents (the plants) & succulence (the juiciness). I desire surrender to my desires.
But, so far in my coaching practice, there has been not one woman who could answer these questions outright without hesitating or side-stepping, & finally admitting defeat—”I don’t desire.”
It’s as if for them to speak aloud the things & feelings they lust for so earnestly, so deeply within their bones, is to speak foolishness or admit selfishness or to acknowledge a part of themselves that is better off buried under ground.
For them, there is far too much shame that accompanies desire, so they denounce its existence & vow (unconsciously, usually) abstinence.
But I hear it in their voices. I feel it in the space between their pauses. They are teeming with desire, practically bursting with it. It’s following them around like a shadow; it has never, ever left them. They’ve just chosen to not acknowledge it.
And they say, “I don’t know what I want, actually,” or, “I don’t think I have any real cravings.” A brief pause. Then, “I just feel something inside of me that is dying to be expressed. Like, sometimes it would be nice if I could flow more & feel more connected to others. . .” They stop themselves & heave a sigh that signifies more pondering.
And on the other end of this, I am squirming excitedly in my seat, arms practically flailing, going, There! There it is! Did you catch it? It came from underneath the shame for a moment & showed a quick glimpse of itself! Did you see it? Did you see Desire?
They often don’t & that’s OK.
So we start small.
This what I tell them:
“For the next seven days, your assignment is that you do anything & everything that turns you on.”
I sense that their ears prick up. “Anything?”
“Anything,” I repeat. “It doesn’t have to make sense, it doesn’t even have to be rational. You could want to take a bath at midnight or eat chocolate cake for breakfast or masturbate after a call with a client. Whatever your body is asking for, whatever your psyche is hankering for, you give in without hesitation.”
And then I explain to them that if they’re at all like me, they’ve probably lived most of their lives denying themselves of pleasure & satiation more than they have allowed those desires to be respected.
“So let’s put the shoe on the other foot,” I challenge. “We know you’re great at control, at practicality, at logic—at the Masculine. Let’s see what would happen if you exercised your Feminine energy, that which is flow, whimsy, pleasure, & agenda-less living. Let’s see what would happen if you allowed yourself to have whatever it is you want.”
Now, each time I suggest this to a woman whose desire muscle has atrophied, I always expect there to be a grimace or a pause of indignation or trepidation on their end. Instead, I am given the greatest gift in the form of their excitement, their willingness to try, & their sincerest joy at being granted permission to not only desire but to act on desire.
They coo, they “Awww!”, they thank me. I sense their bodies & hearts softening. I sense effervescence returning to their cheeks & blood flowing to sacred spaces of their bodies. I am thrilled for them.
But sometimes they don’t know where to start. Sometimes being given the key to the city is too much too soon.
So we start even smaller.
This is what I suggest:
“I want you to carry around a journal with you everywhere you go, & for the next seven days, I want you to jot down anything that makes you sparkle, anything that puts a glint in your eye, or makes your senses activate.”
“This could be the color of the paint peeling off on your neighbor’s lawn chairs,” I continue. “This could be the last few notes of a song that you happen to catch on the radio. This could be the way your barista made your latte. Anything that makes you come alive—if only for a fleeting moment—write it down.”
Again, they soften. Writing down their favorite coffee drink? This is doable.
Desire is lofty. The energies around your desires can feel heavy, cumbersome, relentless. Perhaps “desire” isn’t the word you’d even use; perhaps it’s lust, hunger, gnawing, yearning. Or, perhaps it can’t even be expressed with words, but in feelings: an urge to release, like the cap on a shaken bottle of soda; deep tension in your womb space.
Whatever words you use, however it manifests for you, desire is big. . .
. . . but it’s doable.
And if you’re not sure where to start with your desire, with your hungers, with your lusts, start small. Graze the edge of desire’s cup with your lips, tasting just a little.
Your body, your heart, your soul will know exactly what to do next & how far to go.
“Eat what you desire. Make love in ways that deeply pleasure you. Move your body always in the direction of its own happiness. Your self-denial is not medicine for the world. Your self-generosity is the healing balm we’re in need of. Walking the tight rope distracts you from life. Step off. Step off and feast!” —Rachel W. Cole