On desire

When does an interest become a passion, when does a passion become an addiction?

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          These questions have been playing on my mind as I look back on the last five months since I began this journey. Recently I bought and read a book  “The Biology of Desire” by Marc David Lewis, in an attempt to make some sense of my unexpected life choices since mum died. The underlying premise of Lewis’s book is that addiction involves the learning function of ‘neuro’ or brain plasticity, rather than an abnormal disease process. It involves rewiring of  neural pathways as an interest, habit or unusual emotionally charged event is activated and reinforced through desire. Opportunity, or the ability to feed a compulsion through what Lewis refers to as “now appeal” also plays a part.

In the light of my reading, the intensity of what I now regard as “the orgasm” (relegating all but one other orgasmic experience to an indeterminate blur), was a trigger which started me on a journey to recapture this peak. This journey, only marginally documented in this blog, has not only involved hours of masturbation; it has involved a good deal of expensive on-line shopping, including purchasing and experimenting with a variety of sex toys. In the course of acting out fantasies I have obsessively collected bedding, props and clothing of a certain colour, texture and style. The clothing is not only for use in the boudoir, but amounts to a complete renovation of my wardrobe. Most disconcerting of all to a previously au naturale, often scruffy product of the 60’s, my obsession has involved the scrutiny, purchasing and wearing of makeup. Not just lipstick, but foundation, eyeliner and skincare products. Not just one lipstick but five!

While part of me is bemused at the last two items on this list – how often had I been judgemental and mentally dismissive of my dear mum’s love of matching underwear, her need to “put her face on” to greet the world; another part of me is appalled by the extravagance. I attempt, not very successfully, to console myself with an intention to use these items for years to come…

A telling piece of information in Lewis’s book is the way in which other interests are modified or linked in to the main obsession, or dismissed and whither away. A recent overseas trip, the writing of this blog and even the possibility of writing an academic paper about this blog all hold more interest for me right now than tending what was a much loved garden, maintaining the house or even taking the dog for a walk. I sit, still in my nightwear, after midday on a brilliantly sunny day writing on a computer about a compulsion I am currently finding distasteful.

When does an interest become a passion, when does a passion become an addiction?