Aging & Dying, Life of Carmen, Uncategorized

The craving

The Dalai Lama looks pretty happy for a guy who never gets laid. What’s up with that?

A wise woman once advised me, that once you’ve gone long enough without it, the craving passes. I didn’t believe it at the time, but now that it is approaching two years since I’ve been in a sexual relationship, I’m thinking it may be so.

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying it wouldn’t be nice. It’s not like I’ve sworn of it or anything. I think about it now and then, warmly and wistfully. But as with any pleasurable sensation, there is a huge difference between fully appreciating the moment, and living in anticipation of the next hit.

It is a curious sense of vague relief and release – a lightness that I never thought possible, back when sex seemed to be the most desirable of desires and the ultimate act of self-validation. It is a bit disconcerting to be free from that familiar gnawing ache, that grasping need. It is also interesting for me now at this pivotal time of life, as menopause approaches and my societal value as a perpetuator of the species fades. The whiff of fecundity is no longer honey to the bees, and my own sense of bodily urgency wanes in response.

But the flip-side of craving is aversion. I’m a little gun-shy, avoiding the possibility, fearing that if (when) I go there again the appetite will be re-awakened, with all its attachments and neuroses trailing behind on poodle feet and tiny jewelled leashes. And the wheel will spin round again, as it does. May I know what to do, whatever (ahem) arises.

6 Comments on “The craving

  1. About that non-desire thing? It can be an illusion. And you can just be sitting beside some guy, and smell him, and POOF! The illusion of peace is gone and it all starts anew. Sigh. Sorry about that bad news.

  2. Hmmm, desire (aka SEX) isn’t such a bad thing. It is one of those prerequites for the continuation of all species. Still, as you have written, it can become a living beast (all be it a pleasurable one) that can become a tad consuming of ones thoughts. However, as I have aged I feel I’ve become more appreciative of the mind / heart connection in relationships. Add that layer of healthy sexual appetite to the forray and OH MY OH MY, you have the making of . . . .
    Cheers to all you mindful and lustful sorts

  3. I find that desire itself is a pleasant sensation, if i can experience it in itself and keep the must-have-consummation imperative from taking over. We are, after all, social beings living (in the West, at least) in a profoundly anti-social culture. Of COURSE we crave corporeal contact.

    I remember living for a short while in India, mostly with a bunch of young men. We hung, together, ate together (jammed about 16 to a table, hip to hip), slept together (not in the Biblical sense, at least not me), and LIVED together. It was delightful, the moreso in retrospect when i returned home to B.C. and found that i did, indeed, want to live in a heap with other people, not alone with my precious freedom in my studio apartment.

    Now i swing back and forth between delicious solitude and tedious loneliness, and i think there’s nothing wrong or perverse about wanting another human body pressed up against mine, even just when sharing a meal.

  4. I never said sex was a bad thing, or that it is wrong or perverse to want it! But i also think there is a difference between “wanting” and “craving” – i look forward to physical and emotional intimacy, and sometimes i do feel lonely (because i am human). But “craving” is a more obsessive and driving force…it leads to rushing for immediate satisfaction, at the expense of deep contentment.

    As for “desire”, it is kind of boring…as Stewart Brand wrote, “The outcome of desire is always known, but the outcome of destiny never is.”

  5. Your societal value is that people like you make the notion of perpetuating the species seem like a good idea. (You can always freeze some eggs.)

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