I am currently making my way through, among other pertinent reads, Otto Rank’s, Beyond Psychology. (Additionally, I have decided to include an up-to-date list of books I am reading under the main menu/sidebar for anyone who is interested in doing their own reading on the topics discussed here. I was inspired to do so by a recent post on NancyRuns&Writes.) The other morning, I found myself pulled into a thoughtful discussion of the need, in the late 1930s, for a feminine psychology. Ranks asserts, “Whereas man’s will in its free expression is simply ‘wanting,’ in woman’s psychology we meet the paradoxical will-phenomenon of wanting to be wanted. Such reversal in the expression of the will raises the question as to whether we are to see in it another perversity of human nature or a genuine expression of woman’s natural self.” I cite this passage because it gave me pause. I first asked myself about the relevance of the example, wanting to be wanted. How do I observe this phenomenon within myself—if I do at all? Is it really a reverse expression of will? Or is the phenomenon of wanting to be wanted, like so many of the other phenomena I’ve described, or attempted to describe, here simply best understood through an entirely different lens? And isn’t that what Rank is suggesting, anyway?
I also had to ask myself, if I go on long enough elucidating these feelings, motivations, and sexual/sensual experiences, could I eventually develop my own theory of the female psyche, or at the very least, of female eroticism? A lifelong endeavor, perhaps. I mean, is that what I’ve already started to do? Talk about bizarre and (marginally) unintended consequences. But, I digress…
I have decided that wanting to be wanted fits in squarely with the other aspects of female eroticism I have discussed previously. It is very much a charged experience, for me, anyway. I do not believe it is rooted in insecurity, nor is it reflective of a desire to be taken care of, to be objectified, or placed, unintentionally, on display. It doesn’t feign modesty or helplessness. Rather, I see it as a need to be admired, or more precisely, as a desire to command desire. I say that because wanting to be wanted produces a kind of ferocity in me. It bites.
When I want to be wanted (would I, by the way, be terribly remiss not to mention the song?), I want to draw desire out of a man. It is the dance I crave. I am hungry for the chase. It is just as straightforward a desire as “wanting.” Indeed, it is its own form of wanting. More than that, it is its compliment. Wanting to be wanted is a very powerful and energizing desire to exert control (to a certain extent, though never completely) over a man’s desires. To make him crave me. To render him helpless to his need for me. That’s part of the hunt. And it’s what women are good at.
It’s in the way we flirt.
It’s in the way we dress.
It’s in the way we walk.
It’s in the way we pose.
It’s written in our smile.
It’s embedded in our stare.
And we do it on purpose. Because it feels sexy. And it feels good. And it feels powerful. Indeed, if I want a man to make me want to submit to him (perhaps a topic for a post of its own), then I must first go through the ritual of making him want me. Isn’t that right?
The more I probe these complex erotic experiences, the more convinced I am of their interrelatedness. And the more clearly I can see how they operate by their own set of rules. I often think that, although I am able to articulate these feelings somewhat straightforwardly, they are best expressed creatively. Through art. Through fiction. Through poetry. That is the reasoning behind The Vixen Diaries (which received a great deal of attention, including a much-needed makeover, during the last 24 hours): to use my creative abilities to enhance my understanding of those otherwise inarticulable phenomena within myself. To venture across that often unsteady bridge between thought and feeling. As far as it can take me.