Negotiating Desire

Negotiating Desire

Having studied psychoanalysis (psychic life and the deep, dark, and unconscious ways humans function) for over 10 years, I’ve found the simplest answer to understanding your relationship with your lover boils down to this: You need what keeps you alive.

You desire those who give you what you need, but when you have too much of what you need, you lose your desire for the person you once needed.

If desire is perpetually maintained, love is created; it’s strengthened and it bonds two lovers in a resilient relationship that can resist and defeat any attack from within or without. We see this in couples who have severely ill children–they don’t fall apart even through the years of struggle.

If you have no self-awareness and you have ideologies and rules that keep you from developing insight into yourself and women, you won’t be able to negotiate desire and will most likely end up with a lover who isn’t good for you.

I take issue with this part of our culture, how psychology is practiced, and the manosphere. Culture wants you to ignore insight and be impulsive because romance is so great. Psychology wants to negotiate terms, rules, and behaviors–not actually create insight. The manosphere defeats itself in the end by believing so strongly that there is no way to negotiate desire and by pitting men and women against each other as enemies.

To be fair, I’m pointing out the worst parts of these perspectives. Culture…yeah, I actually can’t think of anything culture says that’s generally good for you. There are psychologists who have risen out of these destructive mainstream tendencies in order to be constructive for men.  Also, the manosphere has a good position on why they believe that you cannot negotiate desire. This one is more of a philosophical debate, but it’s good for you to be aware of those positions and how they may or may not help you.

I will say that psychology and the manosphere hold many truths, but culture is pretty garbage.

I’m going to give you a small snippet of a story between two lovers who have been married for over a decade to show you how desire can be negotiated in very small ways.

Jinyu and Kira got together as teenagers and are now in their mid-30’s with two kids. They went through a lot of suffering and pain as they were growing up and trying to figure out how to negotiate their relationships while figuring out who they were as individuals. This is the pain of being in a monogamous relationship early on in your life. You aren’t two individuals trying to build a good relationship; you’re two developing messes trying to negotiate a relationship that is naturally chaotic.

They made it through that era of their teenage years and into their twenties. They can’t really explain how, but they did. Kira is a handywoman-housewife-mother. She can do plumbing and sheet-rock while she’s decorating. Jinyu works hard taking night classes to further his career and Kira helps him with this investment–even by doing his homework sometimes when he has to work late. They cooperate with each other by having shared goals and values.

This could go badly if the two fall into a routine. He goes to work, she takes care of the kids, he comes home and does his school work, they fall asleep, rinse and repeat. That’s death for a relationship and an investment in resentment. They have learned, thanks to the chaotic years of their 20’s, to create desire between themselves. Jinyu understands that Kira needs a rough man. She is not into nice guys because she’d dominate them. Every once in a while Kira will text Jinyu to ask where something is and Jinyu’s reply will be something along the lines of, “It’s either under the sink or up your ass.” This is exactly what Kira needs from him. He’s being helpful, but he’s also being the masculine brute that she needs, which creates desire for him in her.

Kira understands that Jinyu just wants life to be fun and easy enough that the house may not be perfect when he gets home, but his kids are healthy and happy and there is food on the table and maybe there are even a few new doorknobs installed in their house.

Both meet the other’s needs, which continually creates desire for each other. They are also both fine with how imperfect they can be for each other. This failure to meet certain desires is annoying, but is paradoxically something that is needed in our psyche to sustain a long-term relationship. Without this “lacking” we won’t need, and without need we won’t desire.

This is why Nice Guys Finish Last. (Coming Soon)

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