David Bowie Was A Man


David Bowie, Dearly Beloved, dead now, we are to pay tribute: how he was the innovator dreamboyish archangel of art-rock, the Man Who Fell to Earth, carved of angles and illusion, ever morphing, grinning sidewise sly mutant shapeshifter, an outsider, an alien: he was so different, wasn’t he? With one blue eye, the other hazel. As if he weren’t even human. As if he weren’t a man at all. Hair a shock of chemical-electric orange a blaze sleek over the razored elegance of that beautifully strange face, painted vivid cyan and scarlet or powdered pearl. His body lithe, the hairlessness of it, milk-skinned delicate. As if he weren’t a man at all. With arch grace through calculated spectacle the man born David Robert Jones crafted an image, or a sequence of images spanning four decades, of an exotic supernal creature – David Bowie – he could inhabit and perform for the watching world. The images trhough which he raced made him unrecognizable as a Man – capital M here to mean: a male, allegiant to masculinity as a beneficiary//benefactor of patriarchy – to the humble citizenry of the workaday world it was his aim to transcend, by way of sequins and a superficial chaos of sex role signifiers. That the fascinating creature on stage or on TV was a Man lapsed into obscurity, because of how he dressed, the way that he looked. Singularly a master of artifice the Man who was David Bowie made himself appear strikingly to be something Other. Not a Man at all. And he was a brilliant artist, and he wrote songs that never get tired and he sang them fiercely, do you think I did not love him, too? How he stood slanted and voice shuddered through him, do you think I did not love him, too? How I longed to run forever through the blue cement night of some razed chain-link cage of a city with a friend running behind me my hands in theirs locked against loneliness as we ran, we would not stop running, this trance-scene a private dimension scored by “Heroes” on repeat as I rode alone, eyes closed, on the bus home from the greyness of high school? And I did not want my life to be boring, I thought David Bowie was beautiful. I, too, wanted to be beautiful. If you say run, I’ll run with you. To retreat into incandescent vivid-glitter technicolor dreamscapes remote from the mousy woe of my girl-life. David Bowie passed down to we the lowly visions of living differently; how could we not love him for it? How tempting to forget: David Bowie was a Man.

He was born on Planet Earth. He was brought up a boy. He moved through the world as a Man. It is important we do not forget this simple truth, for what reminds us David Bowie was a Man, not an alien aristocrat, what drags the cosmonaut crashing back down to earth exposed as a terrestrial being, is the dull, sour awfulness of one footnote in his legend, written out as inconsequential and without relevance from the story we are supposed to tell of David Bowie, Dearly Beloved, but which no level of reverence for any man’s art or vision will ever compel me to ignore: his treatment of women and girls. Continue reading “David Bowie Was A Man”

women in music industry cornered into protecting abusive men to preserve their careers & social lives, just like every woman trying to survive anywhere ever


“Swimming with Sharks: Sexual Predators in the Music Industry”

Rachel Grace Almeida, editor-in-chief of ZERO Magazine, published an article in Broadly this past October drawing overdue attention to the problem of the abusive vileness of men against women within the music industry. In the article, Almeida writes of her own attack by a major PR exec in London, as well as of a female music publicist raped while intoxicated by a talent booker, of a female events promoter harassed by a man for whom she was interning, and of a female musician abused and raped by her bandmate boyfriend. Neither Almeida nor any of the other women reported what happened to them, sensing that their accusations would 1) count for less than nothing against the established, successful male shitheads who harmed them and 2) amount to career//social suicide. The music industry is like all industries in that it is male-dominated and hostile towards women who seek entry, a misogynistic hostility enacted by members of the brotherhood along a spectrum of cruelties from the pseudo-subtle sexism of dismissing women’s contributions progressing to sexual violence. In the music industry and every other industry//field//profession women are trained to accept our male bosses’ and co-workers’ devaluations of us and violence against us as a natural “part of the game,” like a rite of passage except instead of going through it once we risk it every day we show up for work. We’re expected to accept and ignore men’s abusiveness if we want to survive, professionally and socially. Necessary to women’s survival is women’s silence. Every woman in the music industry Almeida spoke to had experienced sexual assault or harassment by a man during her career; the prevalence of abuse is well-known among women and yet victims do not feel they can speak out against abusive men, since their ability to succeed in the industry relies on maintaining good relations with its ruling brotherhood. Maintaining good relations means smiles and silence and concession to male power. It means accepting that as a woman in any industry your presumed function from your male colleagues is, in part, as sexual plaything. It means men remain comfy-cozy in the positions that matter (positions of power) and women are traumatized or terrorized or frustrated out of achieving their aspirations.

Women’s silence crystallizes men’s control over women’s lives in the music industry and beyond but, as Almeida writes, “…there is one thing that can be done to help prevent this: A deconstruction of the fear of powerful men. Stories need to be told and people need to be called out if someone has destroyed another person’s life.” 


UPDATE  + + + (& if women call these men out for their abusiveness, can we put them out of business? here’s evidence that it’s possible! [ Life or Death PR Publicist Resigns After Being Exposed as Serial Sexual Predator ] + + +

The “Feminist Resistance” of Taking It Lying Down

Screen shot 2015-11-29 at 8.22.37 PM

Dazed Digital, the online corollary of the fashion//art//culture magazine Dazed & Confused, published an article last week introducing the world to a new form of “feminist art” that made apparent how dazed, confused, bewildered, addled, muddled and generally clueless this publication and its readership are as to the meaning of the terms feminism and resistance. The subject of the interview is Audrey Wollen, a rising young artist whose major export is photos of herself pouting or dead-eyed, sometimes dressed in fashionable outfits, sometimes fashionably slumping out of her outfits, posted to Instagram. Wollen informs us that these photographs represent her exploration of “Sad Girl Theory,” a peculiar new model of feminist practice which proposes that by embracing the pain of growing up female within patriarchal society – and all of the degradation, the victimization, the constant fear, the engrained self-doubt and self-hatred that entails – we as women can use our “sorrow and self-destruction” to reclaim agency over our “bodies, lives, and identities.”

Since self-destruction by definition leads to a relinquishment rather than a reclamation of one’s body and one’s life, it is difficult for me to imagine how, exactly, we as women are going to manage the task that Wollen has proposed for us.

Of course, suicide would be at the extreme end of the “Sad Girl” catalog of possible acts of feminist resistance; one hopes there are less terminal means of dismantling patriarchy via purposive melancholy. And indeed yes! Based on a review of Wollen’s art as displayed on her Instagram, our options include: glum Sailor Moon cosplay, eating sandwiches naked in bed, standing expressionless alone in public in stylish sunglasses.

Being personally unsure how these approaches would work out for women as a subjugated sex class in our effort to extricate ourselves from male supremacist oppression//exploitation//brutality, I turned to the oracle that is the collective for counsel. We read the Dazed Digital article and we asked ourselves: is lying on the ground downed by the mortal anguish of womanhood and recording that experience of lying there in misery via selfie dissemination online a potent mode of feminist resistance for these sick sad times? is a pout the best we can muster at this point? *are* girls in fact finding empowerment through being sad online??

Continue reading “The “Feminist Resistance” of Taking It Lying Down”

A Personal History of Substratal Misogyny Through Underground Music

11/30 ADDENDUM: The text below has been substantially edited since it was first published last week, in response to complaints made by the second member of the musical project in question and numerous other women who came out in support of her. In short, the piece was read as a public, personal attack on the second member, a woman, by the author, a man. Obviously men attacking women is problematic and since personal attacks on women by anyone, male or female, are not part of our agenda here, and since no one involved in the production of this website aims to cut down women or hurt women’s feelings, we worked together to revise the piece out of respect for the second member and the concerns she and others raised. We take allegations of anti-woman action seriously, and since both p.m. and I are invested in dissolving the stigmatization and feminization of mental illness, we were particularly horrified by the interpretation of the piece as discrediting a woman by means of reference to mental instability. We hold ourselves responsible for these misinterpretations and have endeavored to remedy them through reflection, scrutiny, revision & expurgation. We’re very sorry for any pain we have caused through the release of this article.

We do not, however, withdraw any of the p.m.’s analyses as presented in the current iteration of the text.

In explanation I would first like to acknowledge one of the accusations leveled at the piece, that of “mansplaining,” to be defined as “a man condescendingly speaking to a woman about something of which he has incomplete knowledge.” The danger of mansplaining lurks eternal whenever men become involved in the work of feminism, because, being men, they naturally lack experiential knowledge of what it feels like to be a woman in a man’s world. For this reason – in supplement to the primary reason being that most men don’t care too much about women and consider the struggles against men’s rape, abuses, bodily and psychological colonization, commodification and exploitation of women on a global scale to be “women’s issues” thus not their problem – men shy away from engagement in feminist thinking and action, as if out of fear of trespassing. But as asserted by the title of bell hooks’ terrific, must-read introduction to feminist theory: “FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY.” Feminism, or radical feminism in this case – since “feminism” alone means less and less all the time – is a movement, with a perspective, a praxis, a politics, a purpose (social transformation), a body of literature, which men can and must enter into with as much passion as women if we are going to realize the unmaking of the heinous complex of male supremacy and the remaking of a kinder reality (for all beings) in its place. Men can speak about their relation to feminism without becoming mansplainers, but such requires care, humility, and a willingness to admit one’s own deficits and limitations. Clearly we were careless with this piece. We’re learning. It is a difficult and delicate process to become a person who doesn’t suck, reared in American-Masculinist-Capitalist culture, because I think we’re all socialized toward being unbearably awful. But one thing I’ve learned for sure is that I do want pro-feminist men because the larger our movement, the greater our strength, the more we can accomplish. Men can read radical feminist literature, and they should. Men can take radical feminist action, and they should. Men can model their lives after radical feminist principles, and they should. But most men don’t, because 1) they don’t care, and//or 2) because feminism has become a theoretical ghetto with a “girls only” sign nailed to the door. This doesn’t help our cause, as women. Therefore a secondary but requisite course of feminist action is demanding that men care, rather than excluding them from the exigent effort of anti-patriarchal social overhaul because they do not have the disadvantage of being female in a woman-hating society. I will always challenge males to cease being Men, to disaffiliate from Manhood, and contribute as they can to the work of feminism.

Moreover we have edited rather than rescinded the piece because, while we apologize for the hurt it caused on a personal level, we do not apologize for our views on the widespread social phenomena – in which p.m. was a participant – addressed in the text. We do not apologize for being critical of whatever fuels masculinist institutionalized violence or complacency to the violent paradigm men have created, meaning: we do not apologize for criticisms of the toxic hyper-normative sexual practice of sadomasochism//BDSM, or of narcotic escapism to dull the ache of living in a despairing world rather than taking action against it, or of nihilistic paralysis within privileged niches, or of the exploitation of any and all marginalized and objectified beings, including animals. Therefore we’re critical of the practice of eating animals’ dead bodies and the body-products of female animals reduced to commodities for human use. Yes, we’re critical of pizza—and we will not apologize. We do not apologize for being critical of self-involvement at the expense of vital social conscience + consciousness. We recognize that people – yes, even female people! – may choose to participate in these behaviors and activities, but just because someone – yes, even a female someone! – chose something does not make that thing by default a good choice. We are critical of the choices we, as cultural agents continually involved in the production of the society in which we exist, are making, in our art & in our lives, because we recognize that our choices have real consequences. If these criticisms annoy you or offend you, we are not sorry.


(BY: P.M.) 

Please note! These critiques can also apply to many active (and inactive) music projects in the ‘underground’, so this essay is intended not as self-damnation or self-absolution, but as a case study. Critical analysis and reflection to encourage rigourous thought + careful action. The essay is about me and my relationship to the project. It is not an attack on the other person who was in the project, but it is necessary to look at the project as a whole.

“Oh, that stings good, piekpieeek piek pieeek…!” – Die Dominas – Die Wespendomina

Creating a cover version of Die Dominas “Die Wespendomina” proved to be the final straw for an underground electronic music group created by myself and M, called VVAQRT. Released in 1981, everything about Die Dominas’ sole recording is playful paean to BDSM; the name, the song titles + lyrics, the cover sleeve. The music itself is a kitschy exotica-lounge song which has been pummeled + stretched into a surreal cartoon-dungeon soundtrack. In early 2013, a European record label (“NO LABEL”) proposed to release a VVAQRT EP, as long as it included a cover of “Die Wespendomina”. I was already familiar with + enjoyed the Die Dominas record and enthusiastically agreed. I set to work creating a suite of songs to appear with the cover, and had them finished in a couple months.

However, in late 2014, when the vocals were scheduled to be recorded, I refused to have any part of the release if it were to use the lyrics from the Die Dominas song, because I did not want to espouse any positive message regarding BDSM. It was decided to record vocals with different lyrics for the ‘cover’; the music, which had been recorded over a year previously, bore almost no resemblance to the original. But the incident was a stark illustration of my changing political (personal) thinking, as well as my attitudes regarding artistic motivations and purpose. Continue reading “A Personal History of Substratal Misogyny Through Underground Music”

Sham-Transgression — The Supreme Mundanity of BDSM


 Georges Bataille (1897-1962) was a man entrenched reverence dictates deference to as “writer and philosopher,” though “Man” seems plenty suitable, whose work I confess to reading extensively during a period in my life when I was basically an idiot. By which I mean during my phase of being an adolescent girl who, engulfed in self-disgust, did not want to grow to be a woman but clung to the male voice I knew as the voice of the artist as if I could be real like Him instead. As a wannabe Bad Boy I studied Bataille to internalize the blood-black rapture of his rhythms and I would cite him among my influences if anyone asked, grasping after the ephemeral cool of carnal dissidence he cast as aura, to make it mine. Always with latent unease, since my love affair with Bataille was complicated by the fact that I considered him for the most part to be full of shit. No doubt I treasured his style but as re: his ideas, I tried to ignore them. Unlike his writing his ideas were ugly. The ideological surmise that rules Bataille’s writings is this, in brief: the body dies and in dying drags with it into darkness the (male) mind, meaning that all experiences which immerse the mind in bodily feeling, as with sexual arousal, are tainted in their proximity to the nonstop decay which is the body’s true nature, as substance – degeneration being nature’s true nature – and since patriarchy assigns heterosexuality as convention it is a woman imagined as the male mind’s object of sexual desire, the female is anxiously transmuted to meat-entity whose material reality dooms the male “I” to suffocate inside his own flesh he senses decomposing in her company, women thus are hollowed as vessels for death and sex, fused to a single force that exists to overthrow the male//mind; a physical being with physical needs despite himself the man cannot extinguish the body’s sensibility wholly and so he longs for the femme-death of sexual release even as he is repulsed by the ruin it promises, thus sexuality becomes a trauma, and horror its incitement: sex is ghastly, as an abyss which burbles stench and roils, a crisis, dissociated from all emotion but abject dread + disgust; when man stands at the precipice of sexual putrefaction to salvage himself he submits a sacrifice to the churn, and that sacrifice of course is the female body, an object uncannily akin to the abyss itself: it belongs there. And her death spasm will be sublime. If this brutal neurosis sounds familiar to you, good, because it is an approach to eros Bataille shares w/ BDSM’s # 1 Daddy, the Marquis de Sade, the subject of the last study in this series, and w/ the pornographic ethos in general.

Bataille read Sade and loved him and was perhaps the principal force in establishing the artistic + philosophical “value” of Sade’s works in the 20th century, I’ve read him termed “neo-Sadean”—this alone should cue our bile rising. In his 1930 essay “The Use-Value of D.A.F. Sade (An open letter to my current comrades)” Bataille disparaged the Surrealists as sapless for idolizing Sade in such a way that isolated his violence to the theoretical realms of art and literature. Bataille meanwhile aspired to put into practice what he saw as Sade’s call for “revolution” against morality, giving life to Sade’s theory, tasting the blood siphoned through his own teeth, sinking rapturous into the smolder of anti-ethical entropy, et cetera, et cetera. Bataille often appeals to Sade’s authority as culture-arbiter to defend his own assertions that sex is fundamentally a violent force, linked to sadism and squalor, culminating in murder. That sex is exciting despite being disgusting because it’s criminal. As in Sadean eroticism, supposed deviance (apparently the sole course to freedom) replaces sensuality as the pleasure of sex. Like Sade, Bataille identified “sovereignty” in the reduction of other beings, particularly women, to victim-objects. So, in his veneration of Sade and the marriage of sex to death Bataille comes into focus as a predictable misogynistic creep, marked conventionally masculine by his nihilistic self-involvement and fetish for cruelty, supremacy, and sex murder. Bataille wrote more beautifully than Sade, point conceded, but philosophically he has equally nought to offer us if we want not to be vectors of cultural virulence. Continue reading “Sham-Transgression — The Supreme Mundanity of BDSM”

“80 Books No Woman Should Read”


“I just think some books are instructions on why women are dirt or hardly exist at all except as accessories or are inherently evil and empty. Or they’re instructions in the version of masculinity that means being unkind and unaware, that set of values that expands out into violence at home, in war, and by economic means.”

Rebecca Solnit (author of 2014’s Men Explain Things To Me) wrote for Literary Hub this sweet and summary slaying of Esquire’s reading list of greatest hits from the misogynistic canon, that dungeon of muscular prose otherwise known as The Canon, plain-n-simple, since as we’re aware “literature” is synonymous with “men’s literature” while we girls gossip irrelevantly in the corner with our namby-pamby CHICK LIT. Notable, isn’t it, how many of the books listed are taught in high school or college English courses, maybe to formally educate young people into fealty to the rightness of male power and an expectation of women’s servile silence and baublehood? I read almost all of these books at an early age and I know they made it so very easy for me to betray myself.

notes on death rattle burlesque (boys are blind)

i perform because it is a horrible thing to perform, hating being seen, needing to be seen and in this need the crisis that kindles it to panic is a voice from the bottom repeating: “desire me”

there are echoes of this urge embedded in my body i cannot evict. maybe i constantly long to be looked at to sense i exist in reality, the mark of reality for a body like mine (female) being eyes tracking its skin to instill in it its shade and textures, inscribing into air the outlines of this girl-body, supplying momentary contour to diffuse shadow; without the bodysculpting of someone’s seeing you if you’re a woman do you even actually exist? in hiding i have felt unreal. unsmiling in a dress like a garbage bag with hair undone unkempt undesirable i’ve vanished: beneath notice. the process of becoming ourselves organically involves accepting that our extraction as women from the cultural machine of our dissolution may require practically erasing ourselves from this world that is ours no matter how little we want it and i am still struggling with ceasing to exist as a woman, because what else can i be? it is difficult to imagine, yet how foul to rely on the wan desire of gaze, when i would rather define the criteria for my own existence, if i can feel wet jasmine when i hold it in my hands i’m real & i would rather experience desire for myself, desire that is not aching for the desire of another but is its own vital entity – to vibrate in reaction to the variegations of light that catch in breath as it issues as vapor from a girl’s mouth when it opens, and that warmth – than acquiesce to scrounging like an addict after scraps of the mass-produced insensate prey-drive of eyes hurled against me splatting down my legs in the street and in dimmed rooms. neither i nor the eye’s owners are controlling ourselves under the influence of this urge. the eyes are conducted along wires into me. wires course a nervous electricity that dictates i twirl my hair around my finger because i know of no other action appropriate for when i’m here alone and you’re looking at me. these movements that invade and carry us along a predetermined course are canned and codified, action→reaction, automatic: our bodies obedient to the mandates of our conditioning. when we slide into this death-want we won’t see one another. we won’t feel a thing.

brought up as if for born-for-boudoir spoon-fed obsessive hunger for His (the male’s) desire i developed into the following wreckage of a creature: chewing out my underside with shame for being weak but malformed limbless without the thew to stand upright so crawling pigeon-pawed the paced loop pleading to be loved because i cannot do any better than this, because i was poorly manufactured, a flaw, like puke, a puddle, pathetic and preemptively wasted in utero, in the sack, not my fault i’m some ugly thing you could wipe the floor with after you’ve picked it up and spreadeagled it across a table to prod with a stick until you’re bored as my nerves recede with a sequence of dull slurping sounds. and it’s like i can’t grow out of it. i am 26 years old now; at this point i’ve got black veils sewn like tarps over the wettest spots but inside myself it does not change. remains repulsive. this is the experience of my performance: i attack my nightmare body you turn away from in disgust after you stop looking. i beg for forgiveness. why did you stop loving//looking at me? what did i do wrong? aren’t i precious anymore? what do you hate? is it this sticky dress? is it this grey skin? is it these gurgling bloody guts full of worms, without any room left for the baby, yours or his? not mine. and i scream baby-talk to whatever. wanna make you love me so hard you stomp on my head. there you go, baby. a creamy thump and we’re done here. good night: my performance is a murder projekt: i want to put to death myself as girl-monster-whore-slut—the creature who needs (love love love love a boy a baby an eyeball on her all the time). she who has been rotting inside me since i was eleven, twelve, thirteen (and i got the sense men were looking) that putrid coquette of a corpse who refuses to totally drop dead already. to exorcise her is to draw her to the surface forced up against all available routes of egress, meaning she must fill me to the body’s limits, so i’m bursting with her, and she gets fattened so big her only option is to seep out of one of several holes or wounds. i do this in front of strangers, including males, but not for fun.

i do it so they know that it hurts. a man has never asked me if it – it: they: he – hurt(s) me, or my sister, the silent other She whose hurt i’ve heard even as i stood too far from her, i don’t think they know, don’t think they want to know, how can they not have to know? i insist it’s critical they must know how horribly it hurts to be this Thing.

for the most part women know what i am doing when i perform. men however are easily confused.

here’s the best example i can offer: we played in Providence in the early spring of 2014, a performance during which i peeled my fur off to sit on warehouse floor in a beige slip that dragged then washed my face in black paint, licking the slime from my fingers, delivered flowers on dirty hands and knees from witness to witness with a sycophant’s simper and a delicate gold chain dragging from my waist, then bawled and gurgled and hissed fast through roughed-up tongues – not human language but GIRL LANGUAGE, a.k.a. goo  –  until i’d emptied and my performance partner redeemed me by dumping (non-dairy, no sister-cows need suffer for this smut) cream into my hair. it’s absolution in insemination fused to the sorrow of mother’s milk lost, loss of the nurtured cleanliness of infancy, of which a girl is stripped the instant she is initiated into “SEXUAL VIABILITY” and “nurture” becomes a dirty word or worse than meaningless. i have my texts written into a book (Dreams of Young Girls) and i read from the pages, since without the pages present the anxiety of being seen would be crippling and cause anything i’d memorized to warp as dribble, but when i wasn’t looking at the pages i would flirt with eyes i could catch. using myself as bait: sacrificial expiatrice purging the mutant devotional: “LOOK I LOVE YOU SO MUCH I’M LITERALLY BLEEDING TO DEATH FOR YOU RIGHT THIS SECOND PLZ PUT YOUR HAND DOWN MY THROAT IT’S (YOU’RE) JUST WHAT I NEED.” cough, sputter. all smiles as my legs crack open for the audience.

afterwards in some dirty postindustrial-carnage-type apartment in Providence i was drenched and run-down, mortified in the beige slip made see-through from the cream spilled and as i was trying to stuff myself down the crevice of a sofa to become invisible a boy i’d watched watching me as he sat at the back against the wall during the performance came and sat down beside me on the sofa that would not swallow me.

the boy first informed me how “cool” he’d thought the set was, but he also had advice: i should memorize my texts and stand to recite them, thereby taking the performance to a new level of compelling i would never have conceived in my own well-intentioned but stunted female imagination. residually obsequious from self-excoriation i thanked him for bringing it to my attention i could do better. next he asked me if i would like a drink. in general i do not take alcohol into my body, i declined. he asked me what my plans were for the rest of the evening. my plans did not include being fucked by him in any position on any surface in this apartment or any other. i intended to go home to my mother’s house where my friends and i were staying, it being already far too late, and also to take a shower so i could fall into bed less filthy. i was exhausted. these sentiments were expressed in rudimentary terms to the boy, but apparently the subtext of “you are not fucking me tonight” insufficiently surfaced because the Man continued to speak to me.

“are you sure you don’t want a drink?”

he told me he would buy one of my zines because they looked “cool” but he didn’t have any money. usually i’ll give anything away for nothing if someone wants it, but i did not like this person so i didn’t offer. he told me my name was beautiful, and my hair was beautiful, and i got very quiet.

he was sitting close to me so his left thigh was a firm pressure against my right thigh. and he skimmed my leg with the fingers of his left hand while he spoke as if accidentally but it wasn’t. i could not identify a route to getting away from him. i was so tired and psychically mauled from splattering myself around that it did not occur to me i possessed in my body the power to stand up off of the sofa. in truth i hoped someone else might notice i was being held captive and rescue me, like the distressed maiden into which i’d helplessly decomposed. the boy opted for a new seduction tactic and abandoned flattery to commence telling me all about his own art, his comic or something, as if i had any reason to care. the comic sounded pointless. in the postdrome of performance i’m left squashed submissive so i went nice and docile for the boy, giggles substituted for words since language flees in proximity to sexual venery—Men make me stupid. the stupidity encompasses a constellation of behaviors coalescing to define BEING GIRLISH, a mode of being i strive to refuse but nonetheless sometimes i relapse, particularly when frantic, cornered, in public.

the Man sat beside me and talked about himself as i dissociated to stuporous smiling courteously (a complacent courtesan) for centuries, until i saw my friends carrying their various machines out of the apartment and i became convinced absolutely that they were leaving without me, forsaking me to the Man, as if they’d assumed i were enjoying myself with him. “are you sure you won’t stay?” as dread drove me from the sofa. like an idiot of a child i said “i’m sleepy” and hurried from the room down the stairs to the street.

driving home to my mother’s i felt ashamed that i had failed to force the boy who post-set tracked me to the sofa to seduce me with tips-n-tricks on how to be a better artist and stories of his own artistic prowess to feel in his body the squalid burden of a girl’s self-nausea i’d suffered to serve up; all he had seen in the performance was another whore on her knees, the desecrated and pitiful pin-up pleading for affection, little-miss-supplicant-dressed-ready-for-action and to him the images of male-corrupted femininity i made physical on the floor could not be separated from his porn-prescribed sexuality. to him i was the abject perma-girl at his feet, perfect victim for the kill-fuck. if he understood consciously that the performance was an execration he could not sever the fetters binding eroticism to female debasement, so i turned him on. i hadn’t expected this. to render the degraded female of male fantasy unfuckable via slashed visceral elicitations of lacerating empathy is the purpose of my work, yet a boy had watched + still wanted to play around in HER: that mauled marred girl i put on display so that i will not have to be her anymore, moreover in service of the dream that one day no female will have to be her—to let her die at last, plant geraniums over her pink plastic casket, where the skull lies. R.I.P. Doll-Thing. i hadn’t thought a boy would disinter her for a quickie. my mistake was i trusted boys too much.

it’s a state like being not alive to be alienated from your body and the life tender & raw in the bodies of others so totally that you can watch a living body churn with pain and construe it as a titillating drama played out for your pleasure//amusement. i’m sorry for men that they have been numbed into this position. but i am nervous to be near them for this reason – the fact that anything you do as a woman a man will interpret as potential masturbation fodder, foreplay, even death throes become burlesque because whatever you do as a woman in this culture has been lubricated with the reek of sex, and your pain as a woman is sexy to men, truer still to say YOUR PAIN IS SEX to them – until they can re-learn the reality of my body as other than Other-Object and i resist my socialized Woman’s desire for their desire for the Thing they would have me (no self to speak of) as a desacralized sack of ratty mucous, w/ pink-rimmed hole.

“subverting the male gaze” is a joke phrase used by women who feel ambivalent over wanting to be looked at to justify their self-objectification and as such it is a concession and i consider it rancid; i struggle not to “subvert” the gaze but to re-possess it like winding the optic nerve around my finger to pull the eye from its socket up against my skin so it will throb when i throb, and finally rupture. the gaze can never be subverted if vision is maintained as the dominant sense activated in our exchange. rather the trick is to coerce a communion electric in the inmost thickets of nerve + vein, or he will always only watch you if you’re a woman, you will be a surface for his eye to scathe; when seeing dominates the subject-object opposition is preserved and so too the erosive erotics of boy-fucks-Thing. girl, you lose.

but i long to believe truly there must be something i can do for us both, to shift how we’re relating to one another: the boys & i. presently i am incubating actions which cannot be mistaken for sex acts. somehow to move thru the man’s eye to beyond it into antechambers of the flesh less calcified where the wet and warm hasn’t desiccated in the guts of the voyeur, to latch on to the nerves that line that place and thrash there, so he can feel to the pith the sick of the porno-social pathologies that have parasitized us. if we can feel the disease together we can learn together to hunger to purge it. physical revulsion as a catalyst to purification—is it possible? will it work? i’m trying.

with love,

*postscript* all that said, to be absolutely unambiguous i do not perform for men: nothing i do is for men. when i perform i’m performing for women. i don’t care if a man ever looks at me again, i repeat and repeat and repeat to myself to make it honest.

Sham-Transgression — The Supreme Mundanity of BDSM


What we will call an extremely normal and typical, prosaic, clichéd sexual episode involves a male whose prerogative is to overpower and ejaculate into or onto a desired sexual object, who is a female, whose role is to feign resistance, offering up an interval of coy struggle sufficient to whet the Man’s primal aggressive instincts before she surrenders, in a paroxysm of acquiescence, to the onslaught of His lust, cheerfully receiving into or onto her person the suitor’s ejaculate. In less wholly conventional arrangements (e.g., same-sex pairings), the roles are not necessarily hitched to genital configuration and a female will play at being the Man, or a male will take on the Woman’s role, but the underlying erotic dynamic of dominance and submission, conquest-virility and paralysis-passivity, does not erode with the shifting of roles. Normative sexuality actualizes in the bodies of its participants the patriarchal ideology of masculine dominance and feminine submission. The woman (feminine) is on the bottom. The man (masculine) mounts her. He’s on top. He holds her down. Stifled she silences, such a sweetheart. Accordingly it is typical for women to be sexually attracted to men whose physical features imply their capacity for force, “strong hands” being especially coveted. Men, meanwhile, are typically drawn to females who appear in some way physically vulnerable (e.g., young, waifish, tottering in heels), i.e. feminized, therefore readily subdued for coital access. Rape fantasies are a staple of both the female and male sexual imaginary: men fantasize about raping, women about being raped. Every fifth woman will be raped before she dies. A man will rape her. This is all very typical to the point of triteness.

As a respite from the bland “vanilla” sexuality of patriarchally determined masculine domination and feminine capitulation, our eager-to-please culture affords us the intriguing option of bondage//discipline, dominance//submission, sadism//masochism, or BDSM. Continue reading “Sham-Transgression — The Supreme Mundanity of BDSM”