Sex-starved writer

There would be impure thoughts everywhere!” Even in my fiction, I’m afraid.

I had a scene for my latest story written in my head, more or less, but I refrained from writing it down today. I feared, almost certainly with good reason, that it was influenced by the general high tide of sexual consciousness that has been in my life the last couple days.

Even though I am over 50 and quite comfortable with my celibacy, the body-mind seems to have its own tides and times when it comes to sexuality. This is a more general atmosphere. It is not like I actually go out and buy drinks for lonely women in the hope of sexual favors, or indeed go out at all. But there is rather a general hunger for physical intimacy (to use a somewhat flattering but not quite misleading name). Or perhaps more starvation than hunger, in a certain sense.

I do not have experience with starvation in the East African sense, I am happy to say. But after a virus destroyed my ability to digest (or possibly metabolize) fat except in small quantities, it took my body several months to rebuild my digeston to live off carbs instead. During 9 months I kept losing weight, until I was a “thin client” indeed, as my coworkers joked. (Thin client is a kind of computers we used in our line of work.) Having lost my fat reserves, my body reacted with a different form of hunger.  You may think starvation is an extreme degree of hunger, but that is not really true. If you go a couple days without eating, you will probably experience an extreme degree of hunger. After a while, the stomach stops screaming for food, leaving only a dull ache.  Starvation is a hunger that permeates your very being. Even after I was able to eat large meals, I felt hungry deep inside. Before eating, during the meal, even afterwards when my stomach was so full that I more than half wished I could throw up. It was a hunger that came from the brain stem, not from the stomach. Ever present, until my body had recovered a ways.

The high tides of sexuality are like that. It is not something that stops if I wake up from a wet dream in the morning, for instance.  It will recede in its own time, but until then, it colors my perceptions, pulls at my thoughts and my feelings, and of course my body. It is not so much urgent as persistent. That is how it is for me, at those times.

In later years, I have had longer and longer periods of complete freedom from sexual impulses, as if that part of my life was something of the past. Only a couple weeks really at that level, but very enjoyable weeks. But always it comes back. I am not sure whether it is tied to the moon phases (it seemed like it when I was younger, but less so now), or some other kind of internal rhythm. There may also be an element of enantiodromia … whenever there is a strong impulse in your life, there will be countercurrents at best, possibly outright rebellion. It would not surprise me if my recent interest in the life of St Gregory would trigger some kind of active resistance.

Whenever one moves a step forward into contemplation or some related area, it is a safe bet that the mind parasites will stir up distractions. What these are can vary from person to person and over time, ranging from computer games to compulsive gambling to full-blown panic attacks. OK, I actually haven’t tried the compulsive gambling, but it is a classic example. I assume this could be something along the same line.

In any case, it is sure to be temporary. And in the meantime, I have to be very careful about what I write, whether fiction or otherwise. I have read some fiction where it is painfully obvious where in the book the writer has gone through a horny phase. I like to think that in my current story, what little flirty banter there is would actually be a natural part of the situation. But just to be sure, I won’t let my characters out more than necessary until this has blown over.  And the same should probably apply to some of my non-fiction.

In the computer game The Sims 3, sims with the personality trait Good have the option to donate to various good causes, exchanging some money against 24 hours of some extra happiness. One of the options is “Donate to Starving writers.” In the case of sex-starved writers, however, I think it is better for all involved if you don’t donate pictures of an explicit nature, as has happened (very rarely) in the past with overly helpful online friends.  Chick pics with beaks are OK though – I am not that starved!


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