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February 4, 2012

Ache.

Filed under: Uncategorized — thirdxlucky @ 5:38 pm

I woke up yesterday morning with this blog post – fully-formed, Athena-springing-from-the-forehead-of-Zeus-ready-for-battle-and-armed-to-the-teeth-style – in my head. Not this blog post, I mean. Just, y’know, a blog post. It was about seduction, abuse, and the nature of “Scenes”. The BDSM scene; the train-jumping travel kid scene; the waterbuffalo enthusiast scene; you know, that stuff. I scribbled a quick outline before I had to go to work. But then I had to go to work.

So, I mulled it over all day, writing little bits and pieces in my head. It involved some cute analogies in which I described various Scenes as trying to pick me up, and whether the lines they used were the kind that I find annoying (“Ooh, baby. I’m gonna make you dangerous!”) or the kinds that I’m a total sucker for (“Psst. C’mere. I can make you free.”) I talked about how all scenes are poisonous, even the ones rooted in something liberatory and how, although I have sometimes described “community building” as my reason for being, I hate how people throw around the word “community” for much the same reason that maymay wants to break the word friend. Because, ultimately, I’m not interested in “building communities” in the abstract; I’m interested in one community. Mine. I want to find a way to live that doesn’t feel so lonely.

I could’ve written up this blog post last night. Not this one. The one where I pointed out that Scenes use tactics of manipulation similar to seducers in order to attract and shred their prey: Create an artificial need through wounding (or through taking advantage of pre-existing wounds), then convince the victim that the Scene (aka “The Community”) is the only possible site of healing – a sleight-of-hand trick that confuses antidote and poison. About how much it hurts listening to people (myself included) talk about reforming their “communities”, because it sounds so much like someone trapped in an abusive relationship saying, “He’s really a good person! You just don’t know him! He really loves me and it’s going to be different this time. I know. I know I can change him. I just have to try harder.”

I could have spent some time explaining that I want to spend my life surrounded by people who love me, not by people who think I’m cool. And how I feel so hopeless sometimes because I don’t know how to make that happen. Because it seems that so often, when I try, I just get spun right back up into the seducer’s trap.

But instead, I spent some time with Elaan. We stood on the porch with the snow still coming down, her smoking and me shivering in my socks, and had the closest thing to a real conversation about August that we’ve had in four or five months. We’re both feeling nervous about him coming home. We made hot toddies with lemon and cinnamon and we cuddled in bed and watched Internet TV together like we used to. Well, mostly. I think we feel even less sure about how to touch each other now than we did back when we were…dating or whatever. Still, it was nice. Needed.

It’s hard. The people I’m closest to are all so far away. And the thought of developing meaningful new intimacies at home is daunting. I’m working through so much stuff internally, it doesn’t feel like I have enough energy to also be engaging in all those complicated negotiations, both implicit and explicit, about what this kind of touch means or doesn’t mean, and what that implies about other kinds of touch, and where all our various boundaries are, and whether they’re the kinds of boundaries we need nurtured or the kinds we want pushed, and if so how; it’s just more than I can handle right now. Plus, you do all that work and then people leave.

But I am powered by hugs, as Eric once astutely pointed out, and when I go for long periods without affectionate physical contact, it’s hard to keep moving. It’s hard to keep my priorities straight. To remember that I want a community, not a “community”, and that the latter burns time and energy which I already don’t have enough of to invest in the former – or in figuring out what that is and how to make it possible, anyway. And I just miss being touched.

Here’s one way you can tell the difference between a Scene and your community:

In a Scene, any Scene, you can go out and find a warm body to touch – for some definition of “touch”, be that fuck, talk, dance, whatever – without a whole lot of set-up cost, but it doesn’t matter; in fact, you may end up being touched in ways that make you feel even more lonely.

In your community, it matters when you touch each other – but, because the members of a given community aren’t interchangeable, if you find yourselves separated from each other by physical or emotional distance, there’s really nothing you can do about the loneliness besides just…ache.

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6 Comments »

  1. […] most of my life, at the same time the Scene was still never genuinely accessible to me. Even when I’ve sometimes wanted it to be. Because of the ways in which I’m “rolequeer” (this word helped), and because of […]

    Pingback by A Coming Out Story of Sorts « Bloggity Blog Blog Blog… — February 8, 2012 @ 3:34 pm | Reply

  2. […] I am powered by hugs. But I’m motivated by relationships. Pretty much exclusively. Matthew pointed out the other day that this might not be entirely healthy. And he’s right. But if what we value gives us power, I feel totally powerless at this point in my life to do anything that isn’t directly impacting my relationship(s) with a person or people who I care about. Even the aspects of my activism that seem the most abstract and removed from my own communities are, if you scratch the surface, based on a desire for deeper intimacy with specific individuals in my life. […]

    Pingback by Bloggity Blog Blog Blog… — February 15, 2012 @ 4:26 pm | Reply

  3. […] academic-sounding bullshit, but it’s a really powerful concept for understanding why Scenes are inherently unwelcoming and other very everyday normal human […]

    Pingback by Bloggity Blog Blog Blog… — February 19, 2012 @ 1:08 am | Reply

  4. […] I wonder, when we converge simply to survive, if maybe that doesn’t always feel like community. If maybe it just feels like being lonely with a bunch of other lonely people […]

    Pingback by Stories of Loneliness « Bloggity Blog Blog Blog… — February 19, 2012 @ 10:52 am | Reply

  5. […] Things I’ve Written About This 04.22.2012 – Remedies for Hollowness 02.04.2012 – Ache. 01.17.2012 – “Yeah. ‘Cause existing is such a curse,” – Everett Piper […]

    Pingback by Operating Manual: How to Help Me When I’m Upset « Bloggity Blog Blog Blog… — May 16, 2012 @ 11:27 pm | Reply

  6. […] Continually performing the expanding set of pre-approved and increasingly arcane social rituals, in the right way, with the right words, becomes an integral component of their reputation as activists. This obsession with these correct expressions is both explicitly used to define the borders of “safer spaces” even while that very same function (policing others’ language—i.e., its use as a tone argument) is simultaneously denied. Publicly flagging “accountability” primarily serves the purpose of preemptively “confessing” privilege to an unknown and ultimately unknowable public they hope will continue to expand as they gain increased favor within the petty circle-jerk of their Internet social justice “community.” […]

    Pingback by Complicity with Abuse: 101-level Information Social Justice Hobbyists are Dangerously Ignorant Of « Maybe Maimed but Never Harmed — December 1, 2013 @ 7:40 pm | Reply


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