A few weeks back, one of my friends asked, “What makes you feel desired?” With desire, there’s a sexual connotation associated with it. So the first time when someone asks or shares about it, we tend to judge them for how sex is a taboo topic to talk about with friends. In my case, I neither hesitate to talk about sex nor judge them for their sexual preferences. But this question stung me in a different way.
I felt sad. For all these years, nobody had been so direct, interested, and curious to learn about my perception related to desire and what makes me feel desired. Usually, I am very quick to answer questions that are associated with me as I am very curious about myself and try to know more about myself. Working on my self-awareness has helped me become more open and empathetic. So I keep on asking random questions to myself and even ask others to ask me random questions. Because these activities compel me to think harder and deeper about myself. Yet, this question of what makes me feel desirable was hard that I had to ask for some time to reflect on it and get back to the friend.
If we look beyond the single connotative narrative behind desire, then we will also find how ages back Aristotle too was very curious about it and had expressed, “intellect itself can move nothing”. Thus practical reasoning associated with desire originates the appetite and the motion for action. Reflecting on it I realized that I had three layers that make me feel desirable. It was sexual rather it was based on connection and friendship.
Reciprocity was an important trait for me to feel desired. If I am the only person who is taking the initiative in the given relationship, then I feel less desired as a friend. For me, initiative means texting, making a call, or even planning visits.
Exchanging gifts was another important form of desire for me. Making surprise visits, and sending and receiving gifts was another. Cooking food for friends, and arranging surprise parties.
Then, the third layer of I feeling desired was someone noticing my physical features, acknowledging my make-up or the dress I wear if I am meeting them.
Here, the most important aspect for me was that this feeling was based on the level of my relationship with the other person. I would definitely not like someone expressing interest in my makeup and dresses if I am not very close with the person. When it comes to me feeling desired by my partner, there are other layers of it, which are more physical and associated with attraction and romance.
Well, that’s me connecting desire with both friendship and romance. For you, this might be different. But my recent learning is this question of desire, mostly in relation to feeling desired has been on the backburner or has been overlooked. One question from a friend who was curious about this took me on a reflective route.
So what’s essential here is being curious and open. Most importantly not hesitate to ask yourself and your close ones: what makes you feel desired?