He was lying beside me in a white sweatshirt moving his hand over his hairless belly. His feminine appearance and soft spoken voice gave him an aura of decency. We were discussing our experiences with sex and revealing our fantasies to each other on that cold winter night. He told me he had always wanted to spank a girl but had never done that, for he wanted to be a sweet and caring guy. I listened and he went ahead. “When I will use a hunter to hit and choke a girl, that is when I’ll get the real pleasure of sex”, he said. I then told him my fantasies. We both thought of each other as very nice people until that night. I thought of him as a sadist and he must have thought about me something along the lines of a perverted lover. Then we went to sleep and I kept on wondering how things look on the outside, they are not same on the inside.
Desire refers to a person’s inclination towards wanting more things be it materialistic goals or some sort of life related achievement. In respect of sexual desire, it refers to the longing to procreate and explore the sexuality of oneself and other person while reaching a state of mutual pleasure. Orgasm is what that state of pleasure is called.
Desire can be differentiated or rather separated from a feeling of will, drive, need and tendency in multiple ways. Desire arrives from an unconscious source while our conscious awareness brings forth our goals, ambitions and wishes. Some stimulus is required for desire to surface and be acted upon. Here is where the concept of fetishism comes up. Fetish varies from person to person and may include a piece of clothing, a particular action or gesture or a body part. This object or act of fetish evokes erotic feelings in a person and allows them to turn towards wanting more of what they desire. A guy I knew, was known as that guy in hostel who was infamous for performing oral sex on guys, who otherwise couldn’t sleep at night. That guy was straight but had a gay fetish. Nothing is cocksure in human behaviour and psychology but there are plausible rationalisations that we make to understand and demystify our inherent thoughts, feelings and desires.
One factor that leads to desire and often perverted desires is Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) that one faces at the age of high emotional and physical vulnerability. Desire is also born in suppression for what we hold secretly within ourselves, it always waits for the moment to get out and flourish. A child who has an affinity towards same sex will wait for the chance to get free from social boundaries before the child acts on his or her desire.
In the most basic sense, there is a conflict as to whether desire is what we are born with or does it get unconsciously instilled in us because of our life experiences. Promiscuity and perversions breed in highly conservative environments, for there seems a thrill to enter the tabooed territory. Freud also talks about this uncontrollable urge and longing that stems from childhood. If there is no judgement of a person’s desire for power, sex, money, fame and other things, they would pursue their desires freely. But thanks to the constricted environments that we have, wherein people are judged and shamed, these cravings and urges often end up hurting somebody. At the same time, people like Hitler have tendencies that are destructive to the common good and those people make it unsafe for us to allow them to do what they want.
A desire that comes into existence not from repression, narcissism, BPD or other deep rooted psychological issues is what is pure. Now, this is not about moralising somebody’s desire. Desires that make one feel heard, expressed and bring joy are worth acting upon as long as other people are not being intentionally or unintentionally harmed in the process. Desire that is not indulged in for ego validation and seeking approval, only that desire has brought me pleasure and contentment. And, while there is no end to the limitless sexual desires of human beings, there exists the responsibility to accept ourselves and pursue our desires in healthy way. After all, it is our own desires that ultimately make us who we are as an individual entity in this world. If my friend wants to spank a girl and she loves it, why do I have to worry about him being a sadist?
EDITED BY - DIYA MATHEW