Saturday, June 9, 2012

Essay on Shame #8

If what I want is not who I am, that could mean I don't have to do anything about it, to get it, and can steer away from shame that way.

It could mean that I can do whatever I want, without being ashamed that I want it, got caught wanting it.

If shame makes the self more important -- puts the self at the center and drools over it with passionate reminiscence of the last terrible mistake and anticipation of the next terrible mistake -- this division could displace it, could put wanting at the center instead.

There's a sexual gospel that does just this. You can find it on the internet. It fascinates me, in theory. Who cares who I am, as long as I yearn, beg and am satisfied? It replaces a static self with a mutable cycle of longing and relief.

The late Mark Aguhar, whom I'm ashamed to say I only learned about after they died, wrote on their blog calloutqueen, "Aren't simple desires dead yet? Are we still so obsessed with the hegemonic body? ... Why are things like pleasure and bodyfluid still so predominant in discussions about ecstasy and emotion and love and lust? ... Where are the tricksters, and the sneaks, marked by illusion and deception and joy and glamour and transformation?"

I read "hegemonic" there as a cross between "absolute" and "approved".  Who does the approving? A vast stadium of faceless mainly white people that arises, in a vision, around people having sex. My mind goes, "It's a problem! Solve it! Repopulate the stands with more fabulous and loving people! Stop caring about them! Keep everything in extreme privacy!"

I want to solve everything.


  1. Thanks for including Aguhar's quotes here. Something interesting to me--the consideration of what exceeds traditional representations of "ecstasy, emotion, love, lust"--what more (besides emission) to include when embodying these states? I am interested in this because I have been thinking a lot lately about the deep (often emission-producing) somatic reverberations of imagined scenes and zones...

  2. It's interesting to me too, j/j, but I don't know -- how to embody them, and where to find them? Where to look (or feel -- like palpating and fumbling around) for how to be is of great interest to this project.