The adjective strange comes from the Latin word extraneus, meaning “foreign” or “external.” Many of us often consider our innermost sexual impulses to be strange, no matter how many people may share similar desires. We may guard our longings from lovers and friends. In fact, one of the top questions asked in sex therapy: Am I normal? This question, itself, illustrates a deep vulnerability at the very heart of desire. And, for good reason, many of us have endured judgment and persecution over how and who we fuck. The need to be accepted may encourage us to obscure ourselves, but in so doing, we suffer from an unmet longing to be seen.
In general, the extreme compression and secrecy under which we have become autonomous sexual beings has deprived us of a descriptive vocabulary as well as insight into the symbolic nature of our fantasies and desires. Truly, the majority of our fantasies are glimpses into our emotional needs, not real life scenarios that require enactment. There is a spectrum of pragmatism and risk calculation that we are able to bring into acting upon our desires–but only if we exonerate them from beneath blankets of shame. When we feel less fearful of revealing ourselves, we enjoy deeper connections and increased satisfaction. We make more meaningful choices for ourselves and with others.
It can serve us well to remember that all desire springs from childish innocence – our literal childhoods – and is the life force that permeates every possible living thing. When we bring consciousness to the hidden realms within us, nothing is verifiably strange. Rather than question the normalcy of what brings our bodies alive, a more appropriate question might be: to whom am I strange?
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