Written by AngeliqueB

Fact
08 Jun 2014


The word "anticipation" makes me think of slow-moving tomato sauce or chutney not cumming out of the bottle......and then, whoops, the whole lot ends up on your plate! Maybe you think about award ceremonies or being hungry before dinnertime, but when I think of "anticipation," I most often think of carefully-choreographed sexual tension - the feeling of pining; a deliciously uncomfortable sensation that is both exciting and excruciating, much like scratching a mosquito bite until it bleeds, or that deep massage that hurts so good. In general, I think it is playful and more about opening a present than the guillotine blade falling.

There are several phrases that are specific to this type of waiting: "the anticipation was killing me," and "trembling in anticipation." I think anticipation is necessary to push your brain into the crazy-in-love stage; otherwise it goes straight into affection. Something about the uncertainty makes things extra-hot and piques our intellectual and emotional interest simultaneously. Somehow lust and anticipation go hand-in-hand. Reciprocated lust, without the wait, is just sex, really, isn't it?

What is it about waiting to eat that makes it more delicious; waiting to get to the pool that makes the water feel better when it is so hot? I would imagine that an MRI brain scan would show greater pleasure spikes when one has had to "delay the gratification."

That being said, there seems to be a "window," after which something kicks in and you just get pissed off; the reaction "I didn't really want it anyway" takes hold. "Screwfuck him," you tell yourself, "(s)he's playing with me." At what point does anticipation pass the "excitement" phase, peak, and curdle? In "date-waiting," this peak happens earlier for women than in men, the later since you are sort of expected a wait...... right? How much does the "I'm running late" phone call or text help delay the peak and turnaround? Making "him or her wait for it" works women-to-men, but not men-to-women. From a man's point of view, how long you will wait for a "piece of ass" defies sales and marketing mathematical formulas: "it depends on the ass, the fineness of the ass" or would one of you experts care to elaborate more expertly?

The rule books on love have tried to corner that "time" with contradictory advice: wait one to three day(s) before calling; make sure she got home OK that same night; make sure you get off the phone first; do not be too available. etc. etc. All this, has become further complicated by the advent of texting and emailing. At what time does "absence makes the heart grow fonder" cross over to "out of sight, out of mind?"

Both history and film are full of scenarios where love that is not meant to be, grows; or, at least remains consistent despite time or space. Social psychology discusses anticipation and waiting as a form of political resistance; clinical psychology about the effects of waiting to get treatment, and industrial psychology addresses waiting line "management" - usually with the goal of speeding up of "service." The general rule being that the more coveted the prize, the more waiting time most are willing to spend.

Television has it down to a science in knowing how many seconds it takes to lose a viewer and how to stagger the adverts with lengthier times closer to the end, where the biggest loserbachelorettesurvivor is uncovered.

One of the "advanced concepts" is not being attached to the outcome. I think that turnaround from excited to angry occurs in dependence upon our expectations. We have the power to act, but we do not have the power to influence the result; therefore we must act without the anticipation of the result, and without succumbing to inaction. If you can manage this, then you can just enjoy that excited feeling without feeling the "after-burn" of the unfulfilled desire.

So much about how you experience waiting depends on whether you are a "nothing easy is worth having" person, or subscribe to a more fear-based definition of anticipation, as Hitchcock said, "There is no terror in a bang, only the anticipation of it."