So, while I've gotten better at this over the years, I've always been kind of bad about expressing my desires - be they sexual or for objects or especially emotional. I've gotten to a point where I can talk about them, but only in a detached, logical sort of way. Like I'm reporting on something external to myself.

It's easy enough for me to say "In general, I need regular physical contact and cuddling to be comfortable in my life," but much harder for me to say "Please hold me, I'm feeling sad."

This is something I've been struggling to overcome for years. It's kind of stereotypically feminine of me, and it's one of those ways I fit my gender role that drives me crazy. I'd like to be the first one to lean in for a kiss. I'd like to be able to simultaneously want and admit to wanting for something. As opposed to waiting until I don't feel it as strongly to admit to it.

I think I feel like my desires are so strong that I can't let them out while remaining at all in control of myself. I'm also afraid that if I admit or show the strength of any desire, the person I'm interacting with will be overpowered by it and bow to it regardless of their own needs. This may be irrational, but I also really don't want to impose on anyone else.

There are lots of reasons for this involving my upbringing and probably, yes, my gender role. But that's not as important for this post.

What I've started to think is that maybe I can approach this in a different way. Reframe it, if you will. Instead of thinking "I'm repressed about my desires" or "I'm incapable of expressing myself clearly," I could just think "I'm shy when it comes to desire."

It sort of changes things, doesn't it? Shy is not necessarily a positive or negative thing. It just is. And there are things you can do to deal with it, to live with it. It can even be cute or endearing.

If I can give myself permission to be shy with my desires, then I might even be able to, tentatively, physically express them in a way that doesn't make me uncomfortable. The gentleness of a shy expression of desire takes away, in my head, some of what I fear about it. It makes it manageable. It's a small step.

I haven't really tried this yet (I'm being celibate, remember?), but I'm hoping it will help.


courtland said...

I read several of your post, and I really like your blog.

The Author said...

I think if that's the way we are that's the way we should be. If we're not harming anyone we should be free to be ourselves.

I think there is a social pressure to be extroverted. For obvious reasons the traditional broadcast media is dominated by extroverts, particularly with the advent of 'reality' TV.

There's always been a kind of acceptance that shyness is not a good thing, but I think it's fine. It's just what some people are and there's nothing wrong with that.

Some people like large parties, I prefer my own company, or just those few people I really like.

Back in the Middle Ages hermits were often celebrated figures venerated for their wisdom, not pitied for their self-imposed isolation. That's an extreme of course. But I believe there are many people very happy on their own (they just don't make a song and dance about it). Pitying them only reflects certain prejudices, such as we can only be happy in company.

And perhaps ideas can be better company anyway, much better than people we don't get along with.

Paradox said...

I agree with you. I don't think there's anything inherently better about being an introvert or an extrovert. There are definitely benefits and drawbacks to both, as with anything. It could even be empowering to be shy sometimes, especially in the face of the societal disapproval you mentioned.

My main challenge has actually been that I'm very extroverted in other ways. I like to be in crowds and around people a lot. I'm just shy about wanting stuff. But hey, that's okay too. I can be a mix. :-)

On living, loving, learning, and fucking with the materials I've got at hand.

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