Conversations of Desire

I am writing this in a public square. It is Saturday night and post-secondary school has just started, so there are swarms of young people out partying. I am sitting on a bench hoping nobody will beat me up and that I won’t catch COVID. A few benches away some young men were discussing young women they found attractive. It reminded me of yet another missed milestone in my life.

I am aware that people (particularly young people) engage in such conversations, but I have never actively participated in one. Back in the Cambrian era when I attended high school, a few people attempted such, and I had nothing to contribute. Once somebody asked me what kind of women I liked, and I could not articulate anything — not because I was trying to hide anything, but because I did not have a rating system in my head. When I was seventeen or so, I was asked whether I had ever fallen in love. I hadn’t, and I received a look of disbelief in response. “It should have happened by now?” my associate asked incredulously.

Clearly such feelings intensified among my peers as I entered university. I had a job (can you imagine?) on campus, and my coworkers would frequently admire the wildlife. Occasionally I would serve a tall, conventionally attractive young woman, and my coworkers would express astonishment that I wasn’t drooling. By this time I suffered occasional unwholesome thoughts about my Numeric Computation professor, but this conversation never came up.

With the advent of political correctness and increased co-ed workplaces, I am sure such conversations have migrated away from the workplace and to private friend groups.

During my one and only intimate relationship two decades ago, the topic of sexual attraction did come up. My ladyfriend at the time knew that I was intrinsically disordered before we became A Couple, but aside from assurances of her attractiveness, the only other crush I remember admitting was Salman Rushdie. (Let’s just say that Midnight’s Children resonated deeply with me.) In retrospect, that particular crush was as ill-advised as my relationship, which crashed and burned in ways I regret to this day.

A few years ago I had an acquaintance with whom I would occasionally walk. I had no serious intentions of being more than a conversation and walking partner with her, but she may have been misreading my intentions. The subject of sex and relationships came up, and I admitted that although I might be interested in maintaining a small number of sex partners, I had no desire whatsoever to ride the relationship escalator. Shortly after that she stopped returning my emails, and although that conversation was probably not the primary reason she dropped communications, it may have been a contributing factor.

Other than that? Nothing, really. Over the years I have attended a few groups at the Lurkville LGBTQ+ centre, and although the topic of sexuality has come up I have never participated in a discussion of sexual preferences. Once in a while others have disclosed their sexual histories, and others have remarked on people they find attractive on TV shows, but I have not made such disclosures and I probably won’t. I can’t think of a conversation when others discussed real people they found attractive in the same way the young men this evening were.

Admittedly, I have used this blog as a confessional, and from time to time I leave lecherous comments in your blogs. Although it is uniformly true that you are all handsome and/or pretty, much of the time these comments are intended to be more playful than serious. Even if such comments were serious, blog interactions feel qualitatively different than in-person dishing sessions. My guess is that such sessions are a common rite of passage for many people, but I was too oblivious in my younger years to participate in such, and am too antisocial now. I can imagine that it is therapeutic to admit one’s crushes in a peer group, but I guess I’ll never know.

14 thoughts on “Conversations of Desire

  1. Ok, so first of all, Intrinsically Disordered must be the name of my Punk Rock band. Second, I think that nobody should be shamed/laughed at/ made feel ‘different’ because they just don’t get the sexy the same way other people do. What kind of fuckery is that? Let alone, making it heteronormative.
    But I feel you. Some of us tend to over-sexualize things (I’m guilty of that) because we do like sex and sexually-related shenanigans. But not everybody does! And not everybody should be expected to drool over whomever it is that is considered a sex symbol by the masses.

    And I LOL’d at your thinking we are all handsome/pretty. I may be a Quasimodo for all people know, dear Lurkie. The thing is, I have noticed that a lot of people I know (here in the Blogsphere and IRL) shy away from sexy or sexually-related things. So what? More power to them. Because so many people like talking about sex and sexual exploits, it does not mean everybody should enjoy such convos (or take part in them). A lot of people love peanut butter and I loathe it. So there’s that.

    The thing is, if you want to confess your crush (I think Salman is more attractive in his later years, BTW) you must feel free to do so either here or in any of the horny blog posts we all write. Who cares who is it that you lust after? What is important, though, is that you must feel free to either discuss it or not and not being pointed out by others for doing so.

    XOXO

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    1. I am confident that you are handsome and/or pretty, even though you have not even shown us your tats yet (and as far as I know, have only posted one blurred out picture of you and some friends at the beach).

      I think lots of people care about the objects of one’s lust. If I went around swooning over Mitch McConnell then I should (rightly) expect some backlash.

      If you wish to maintain a crush on Salman Rushdie I recommend avoiding Joseph Anton: A Memoir. Rushdie is real smart and can speak multiple languages and can spin a sentence like nobody’s business, but he is not a nice man.

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      1. Hahahaha
        Well, I was cute when I was 18. But who isn’t? Now I’m just an aging twink who never made it to Twunk. And swooning about politicians, huh? I think Brian Sims is absolutely delicious. I kind of envy his BF.
        As for Rushdie, he IS smart but his intellectualism is cold and cutting. He does not come across as nice, you’re right.

        XOXO

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  2. I don’t think many people fall in love by the time they are 17. I didn’t fall in love until my 20’s, but looking back, I have to question if it was love, or simply an infatuation with a very handsome man.

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    1. I don’t have a good sense of this one way or another. I suspect many 17 year olds have had experiences they think of as “falling in love”, even if they subsequently revise those assessments. Certainly by age 14 many people are discussing “who they like” and such.

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  3. When I was 10, I joined a church girls group called “Explorers” that was promoted as a kind of girl guides group where we would get to do exciting things like camping and hiking and crafts, etc. But all we ever did was sit around in the church basement while all the girls gushed about how cute Davy Jones of The Monkees was. I quit this group in disgust after the first boring year.

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    1. …without the associated fashion sense.

      We’ll miss you, Jimmy! For what it is worth, I use private browsing without being logged into Google and I can see both Upton’s and Sixpence’s blog. Commenting on Sixpence’s blog is a pain, but I can leave comments on Maddie’s. So you may be able to keep commenting if you want.

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  4. I don’t mind your reasonable and logical obsession with me…even if you can’t admit it *smirk*

    Sexuality is a spectrum, from Asexual to Sex-addict and everywhere in between. You are not weird or abnormal. You are who you are and feel what you feel. That it does not seem to match others makes you unique, not a freak.

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    1. Well, I didn’t want name names by listing my reasonable and logical obsessions explicitly. It is best for there to be some sense of mystery.

      I am what I am and I feel what I feel, but I am also very much a freak, and not in the nice “let your freak flag fly” way.

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