So apparently some folks have declared it female desire week, for women to express their lustiness or what have you. I'm ... a little bit at a loss, honestly.
Sometimes I feel this tremendous gap between myself and the surrounding culture, in which it's expected that one will feel desire for celebrities, passers-by of appropriate aesthetic qualities, or what have you.
I mean, if I were going to pick The Universe's Most Aesthetically Appealing Celebrity, my current vote would be Keith Hamilton Cobb, and not just because his voice is even more beautiful than he is. But, y'know, I don't want one. I wouldn't know what to do with one. Wall hanging, perhaps, but that isn't what people are talking about when they talk about desire, attraction, whatever.
Desire, for me, isn't something that comes that easily. There are things that hit my sense of aesthetics -- one of Figleaf's recent posts includes a bit of the curve of the hip that I'm quite fond of -- but it's all terribly abstract to me. There's no bite to it, no desire, it's all very intellectual-awareness, very unconnected to anything that goes anywhere. Yes, that's pretty. "Pretty" doesn't connect all that much to "desire".
When I think desire, I think ... I'm going to quote something Trinity wrote a year or so ago now:
It made it very difficult for me to enjoy sexual fantasy and sexual play with other people. Because for me, a huge part of the appeal of SM is the excess. The idea that too much sensation may be painful, but that only feeds an intense loop of pleasure that increases and increases, until I feel capable of devouring the world. And the person beneath me becomes a great consuming wild creature, able to take anything, transmute anything, beg for more, opening and opening, endlessly devouring in a different way.
And that sort of energy is a kind of destruction and consumption. It's a sacred kind, the consuming fire of the Destroyer . that fire runs through me when I'm high from topping. Frightening, sacred fire that seeks to devour to bring rebirth and joy.
I'm thinking in that kind of direction. Not in those terms precisely, because of not doing significant SM, but definitely in the consuming fire kind of feeling. And to get to desire, to get that raw intense redness, I need more than pretty. Pretty is nice to look at; pretty is not worth enveloping, devouring, wrapping up in myself, swallowing. (Look at me still being switchy!) I'm not interested in assimilating mere pretty, but I'll hang it up somewhere I can look at it.
I do watch pretty at times. This week at my tai chi class I spent a while when I was sidelined to rub down my knee watching one of my classmates do the advanced form, partly to see what the movements might look like should I study far enough to learn that, partly in appreciation of the motion, partly because he has some of the prettiest hands I've ever seen (hands are one of the things that I like). But later, I was watching the female student in the following karate class because of the feel and flavor of her movements, and I'm straight enough to not have any potential of the frisson that might somewhere derive from pretty maleness. And more often than not, when I'm taking a few minutes to rub down one of my bum joints, I'm watching my liege in that class, and I damn well know when I'm watching with desire involved. (This week I'd have far rather been watching him, honestly, given my overall state of lustiness, but he was on the far side of the room and obscured by other people, and I prefer to keep my ogling at least vaguely subtle.)
(Hah. And what does my music start playing right now but "Tall Dark Handsome Stranger", by Heart:
I had a tall dark handsome stranger
I've had the devil in disguise
I've been attracted to the danger
But I was never satisfied
And I know what I like and I like what I see in your eyes
You're so beautiful
I'm amused by the appropriateness.)
And I can think about things I like to look at, body-bits I particularly appreciate; I've written about that now and again. The curve of the hip. Beautiful hands. The area around the throat and collarbone, and the shoulder. Longer hair than is 'normal' for mainstream masculinity. Eyes, gods, I love beautiful eyes. Distinctive noses. The ruffleable soft fur on forearms. I like the build that gets called 'athletic'; I like stocky and broad-shouldered too. I don't care for a heavily muscled look. I'm so well-known for my fondness for engineers that a friend of mine, upon meeting one of my exes at a party, sent me an email that concluded by asking me if he was one. (I told her you were a thwarted weatherman, m'dear.) My taste seems to run sufficiently to sarcastic, arrogant, if-I-ran-things types that an acquaintance who's fond of astrology reacted to anything I quoted from one of my partners with, "Was that the Leo?" I like creative, and it's not coincidental that most of my partners have been met in a gaming situation of some sort (the major exception I met in a writing discussion forum, and has since taken up RPGs); I like musicians so much that I've decided it's probably a bad idea for me to actually get involved with them. I can fuck someone who doesn't smell good, as in go through the physical motions, but I'm not going to make that sort of mistake again; one of my standard "I'm finding you particularly appealing at the moment" mumblings is "you smell good". I appreciate skill on display, especially smooth and graceful motion. I appreciate a clever mind, someone who can understand my jokes and pick up on my somewhat tangential idiom, someone I can talk to about the stuff in my head, which is wide-ranging, frequently esoteric, and needs the support to flesh out.
All of that stuff goes into desire. And so much of it is so personal and individual that it's weird to imagine writing about in a useful or interesting way. I can't share the narratives of desire for celebrities; I can get aesthetics and occasionally to the point of "I wonder what he's actually like", but I can't smell them, let alone know if they're actually interesting enough to want. I can't frame desire in purely aesthetic terms; when I talk desire, I'm talking hunger, that passionate, frightening, swallowing-up kind of feeling.
And I've always been a picky eater.