Saturday 23 April 2022

Down to the heart of desire

Knowing myself as me

I think about nature and nurture, the knowledge of desire and the things that make us who we are even if we are different and we are different in many ways, but we get along, all the same.

Speaking of desire, I have never thought differently about who I am even if I have questioned why I am who I am. I remember being asked when reviewing the issue of my sexuality with my religious leaders and sometimes with my managers at work whether I have ever been attracted to females, the truth is I have never had that desire, not in the slightest.

Misunderstanding the impossible

I cannot answer the whys or wherefores, but I know that the desire to rid myself of a desire I always had for one I never had was just a recipe for a totally miserable life. That is the complexity of sexuality and the absurdity of conversion therapy.

The idea that you can get someone to totally displace themselves from a desire they have for one they have never had is quite bonkers if not madness. Yet, many attempt to turn people from one thing to another, just because they think they can.

Acceptance is a journey

I guess the bigger struggle is the one of acceptance, first the one of accepting oneself, then the one about others accepting who you are, if they have the wherewithal to. At the end of the day, you are who you are and whether accepted by others or not.

Then at the same time, I observe the conflicts, the confusion, or the conflation of desire, even the fear or shame of the same desire that keeps people from being true to themselves first and then to others. The consequence being a double-life with the opportunities for exploitation and blackmail that makes for a secretive, paranoid, and unhappy existence. Many of us know about this.

Caught between desires

Along the way, there is the cohort that cannot extricate themselves from ambivalence, straddling different aspects of satisfaction of their desires that it becomes fetishized. Maybe I was a bit terse when someone asked if I like stockings and suspenders to which I responded without skipping a beat that I only do it with men.

In fact, I have been asked to dress up and nothing annoys me as much as anyone who expects me to pretend to be someone else for them to get their kicks. At the same time, I have to recognise that it is each to their own and move on. What I cannot completely put out of my mind and memory are times when I have been invited to meet someone casually only to see that in the absence of their spouse and kids, these men are playing the field with ‘taboo’ activities unbeknownst to their wives or girlfriends.

Here I was in a matrimonial home, in their bed, a cot with kid’s toys strewn around the house and well, there is life as you know it and desire as we seek to find it and satisfy it. It is a funny world and the journey to acceptance and being openly happy with it is still a tough one for many to begin, talk less of complete. C’est la vie!

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