Desire Is Your Compass

I believe that opening to desire will transform your life.

I’ve seen it happen again and again to my clients. What starts as a return to pleasure reawakens your relationship to your body. You start to pay attention to it. You feel more, physically and emotionally. You start to look at yourself with fresh eyes. You learn things about yourself you never would have suspected.

(Change is not for the faint of heart.)

Listening to your body, and to your partner(s), shows you new ways to listen to yourself.

Here’s the funny thing: when you start listening to what you want and giving it to yourself, or asking and then negotiating it with your partner, it reinforces to your brain and your body that you can have what you want.

Let me repeat that: you can have what you want.

(That’s right: not only do you get better sex and a more satisfying relationship, you get bonus personal growth.)

We’re taught that desire is wrong. That it brings pain. That it is the root of suffering. That we have to deserve what we want to get it—and when we get it, we’re told that we don’t deserve it.

We are told that we will never be enough and that we should not want.

Ignoring your desires is a prerequisite to ignoring your needs.

What if I told you that rather than your enemy, desire was your compass? That its pull—calibrated by your instinctual self, and magnetized by your own attention—was there to pull you powerfully toward what you really want, and that rather than being controlled by your desires, you could choose whether or not to satisfy your wants?

(It’s easier to decide not to do something you want to do once you admit that you want it. Action is always yours to take.)

We’re taught to fear desire as uncontrollable. Desire is not uncontrollable if you’re aware of it and paying attention.

If you choose when to pick it up and when to put it down—rather than believing that desire should overpower us, so that following it isn’t our fault—then you’re staying honest and accountable. Pleasure is a good thing, and good people can learn to experience pleasure without guilt or escapism.

Why are we taught that our desires are uncontrollable, selfish, and bad, and that we should ignore them?

Desire shows us where our boundaries are. Listening for yes helps us find no, and vice versa. When we’re too mixed up to hear our own yes and no, then we suspect it’s wrong to do what we want because other people, other needs, come first—and if we engage our desires, we’d better be out of control, because otherwise it really is our fault and we’ll have to feel all of the shame, guilt, and disappointment waiting there for us.

Ignoring your desires is a prerequisite to ignoring your needs.

If you feel guilty for having desires, check in: have you recently caught yourself feeling guilty for having needs, or shutting your needs down to focus on someone else’s desires?

The same compass that points to what you want points to what you need. You will always feel unsatisfied until you learn to hear it.

I can show you how to listen to it again.

That same skill set will lead you back to pleasure, back to connection with your partner(s), back to excitement and self-discovery… and it starts by listening to yourself right now.

Do you want to say yes?

Let’s talk.

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Alex is terrific. Smart, supportive. Do it. – Jay M.