The Desire for a Desire
Me: It's interesting how we can have desires to have other desires. An example that occurs to me as I revise endocrinology: a patient with low libido may often still have the desire to have the sexual desire. It is not just the unfulfilled desires that trouble us, but also at times the absence of desires.
Aati: Interesting observation. Why do you think it is so?
Me: A number of reasons, I suppose. One important and common one is to possess a memory. A patient who once had an active sexual life remembers the pleasures of a fulfilled sexual desire, now lost to him. Compare this with someone who never felt sexual desire at all ever in life. Another reason that comes to mind: social norms. It is normal for a teenager to be obsessed with sex. An asexual teenager may end up feeling abnormal for lacking an interest in sex, and the desire for conformity may cause him to desire to have sexual desire.
Aati: And my two cents to that... it's like puberty in reverse, emotionally. Lack of desire belies the illusion you had that you know exactly what's going on inside you, inside your mind, supposedly under your control. Your body once again becomes a stranger to you, an obstinate stranger who sullenly juts out her jaw and refuses to budge. You push it, trying to order it so as to get back to the semblance of your own 'normal' that you'd come to accept, but the more you try to get back to the familiar, the more a stranger it becomes. This isn't like me! You want to say, and that brings with it the dreaded, disgruntling or despairing feeling that perhaps you never really knew what that sentence meant.