Cafe Hitch-hike


Desire 101

I went to another SCA event on the same day I saw John Edwards (VP candidate) and discovered my mother moved back to Michigan. This time, however, I did not suit up in armor and get whacked by sticks. Instead, I sat in on a workshop on aphrodisiacs. Hmmmm... Who wanted to improve their powers of seduction? Only me and 2 other ladies (well, I was there also to support Canadian Jane, my co-worker who was presenting). She had some interesting findings, and there is a synopsis on desire:

After studies and surveys, human desire is something that isn't codified. It cannot be distilled and studied. Its qualities and quantities are elusive.

What makes humans feel desire is as diverse as people themselves. Desire can be found by knowing one's "sexual map," that is, a schemata of linked memories of that are associated with desire. What makes a person feel desire has alot to do with this map. Freud believed it was largely formed in childhood, and scientific studies are starting to back this up. There appears to be things that make people feel secure and nurtured, thus allowing a channel for desire, but even that isn't very predictable.

(**"sexual maps?" whoa, this got me thinking...**)

Aphrodisiacs step in because they are devices that mimic physical sensations of desire. The Spanish fly, a crushed beetle of some sort, is a vacodialator-- an object that dialates blood vessels. It gives the impression of blood flowing and that "hot" feeling that is associated with, well, feeling "hot" for someone.

Aphrodisiacs are perceived as having powers also because of the law of association. Powdered rhino horns are considered an aphrodisiac. Why? Well, what's the horn's shape? Men who use this feel that because of its immense phallic shape, they too will be able to possess, well, immense phalluses of their own. Hahaha, but true.

Desire is so desired that aphrodisiacs are often harmful. Rat poison is often used an aphrodisiac, and so is cocaine.

Hmm, it seemed that aphrodisiacs are really objects with a very loose connection to making someone hot. It either brings on a physical or psychological effect which may (or may not) lead to feeling desire.

Or, they may work with a placebo effect.

People are willing to harm themselves so they can feel desire? It was scary to see how far people were willing to go to feel that. Autoeroticism (a sexual thrill from being choked or strangled just short of dying) was discussed as an example (it works because zillions of pleasure-inducing neurotransmitters go off like nuclear bombs).

It's amazing to think that feeling hot for somebody is such a powerful and elusive thing. It's a little scary to see its unpredictable nature. This later made me think of former beau Disturbed D* from 4 years ago... we were unlike anyone the other had ever dated or even considered sexy. Nothing I had ever seen would've guided me to feel a certain way for a person of his qualities, and nothing could've predicted it, either. Trust me, I tried and tried to figure out what it was. We mutually noticed each other, and with time we developed a mutually deep longing for each other in every conceivable way. Weird-oh-weird... Desire was like lightening that struck the both of us in the middle of a sunny day.

What in the world was in our sexual maps to make us crazy for each other? I couldn't find it anywhere. I just noticed him, then felt energy, and then more, and then more, and then even more that I felt like if I never asked him out (which I eventually did), I'd burst in flames! It's been 4 years and I still can't figure out what in the world did it!

Whatever the case maybe have been in that situation, the workshop was intriguing. It brought plenty of thoughts like this.

downwind | upstream