More on Desire

I want to follow up on my last post and talk about women’s lack of autonomy in our culture. I do believe this is changing, but considering that the women who raised the women of today were themselves taught how to be a woman by their mothers (whether by example, direct communication or both), the trans-generational patterns still continue to some extent, even among the current generation of young adults. If you buy the premise that autonomy and choice are infringed upon for women by their connection with another, then choice is only an option after considering another’s preference. At that point, it’s not really a choice, but more of a mandate or at best, a compromise. For example, if a woman is at a function she desires to leave but her partner wants to stay, can she feel free to tell her partner that she wants to leave, or does she have to consider what the other wants? If she does consider what her partner wants (which is not wrong or remiss in any way), can she still opt to go with her own desire or must she defer to her partners’? This is a rather mundane example, however it applies across the board. It’s easy to see why that can become problematic, not only in life, but about sexual intimacy. What I so often see is women who have divested themselves of their sexuality and given it over to their partner. What follows next makes perfect sense. If her sexuality is not for her, it no longer belongs to her, therefore, she loses any investment in having desire, let alone acting upon it in her relationship. My recommendation in this instance is that she take her sexuality back, claim it as her own, embrace that experience and then choose what she wants to do with it. In other words, she now has the capacity to feel her own desire sexually, as opposed to being a receptacle for someone else’s. Once again, this applies in all aspects of life. We can always consider another’s needs and wants, yet stay true to our own, consistently and in a manner which allows us to truly and deeply value ourselves, as well as our autonomy and freedom to choose.

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