So I found a tumblr called http://postapocalypticfashion.tumblr.com and was surprised for once that a post-apocalyptic/dystopian/cyberpunk tumblr had images of people who for once weren't exclusively baby powder white or wearing cyberfalls, gears, gas masks, neon colored mohawks, crust punks, industrial gothic models with facial piercings and no eyebrows -- I can go on. Now, this tumblr does have a lot of images like this, but the fact that it's not exclusively that tired old bullshit is interesting. So I culled some worthwhile images from it and decided to follow it in the meantime.
Today's weather is odd. I've been wearing my trusted Thigh High Socks (all kept from my days working backstock at American Apparel) and shorts with a too-small hoodie, and it's been working out. I did an alley cat race the other day with a buddy, wearing my Geordi LaForge shades and the socks. It was cool. I wish the shades sat better on the ridge of my nose, but I knew it would be an issue before I even got them. As for the socks, I dunno what it is, but my legs in these socks do something to people. Compliments abound; respectful but laden with suggestive glances (or glances trying not to be suggestive).
Not too long ago a new acquaintance said that I sounded pretty stone (after talking about my gender in relation to my body). Stone as in stone butch, stone cold, stone, emotionally available and vulnerable only when it's deemed okay, and safe. Allowable. Lately I've been thinking about that and my longtime predilection for emotionally distant cyborg protagonists, and my recent realizations that I go to great lengths to prevent my body being sexualized without my permission. Unless I decide I'm in the mood to be sexualized by friends and strangers, then it makes me really uncomfortable. And that has something to do with control, one might guess.
I went to the alley cat after party and waited around by myself for some time till my boo showed up, along with some more approachable neighborhood faces. I got too high from a half of a potent pastry, and felt like I couldn't deal with anyone's suggestive movements or postures or glances. Boo asked if so-and-so was trying to holler at me, cause it sure seemed that way, and I was just like uhhhh well it's not a good time cause I'm not havin it! And this is the one quandary of being at queer dance parties (the after party turned in to one once it moved to another spot): Sometimes I feel overly objectified or desired or something, and I just have to reign whatever it is I'm doing in and be a wallflower. Or, on occasion when I'm in too far into party dance mode, I just ignore any advances, looks, or other fawning, and go into my own world which contains just me and the rhythm I'm dancing to. So it's paradoxical in a way. I just don't like to be approached on the basis of my physical appearance/body, and I'm wary of individuals that want to interact with me only based on how I look, yet I deliberately aim to be a 1980/90s cyborg babe, which is highly concerned with BODY (but one that the cyborg babe is in total control of, as well as her environment to a large degree).
I was telling a friend the other day about how night and day my place among the local queer community was. One day I was some random West Philly so and so, and then surprise! I know all these cool people outside of your queer circles, and now you want to know me and be my friend? I'd like to bitterly claim that is entirely the case, but I'm sure it also had lots to do with people seeing me around forever and ever and eventually getting used to me and figuring out I'm not a square. But I 1000% had my XX chromosome body as an assist on that front, and no riot grrrl, baby dyke, 'i'm queer but i still only keep lesbian friends' credentials to speak of.
And here comes my continuation of paradoxical existences: Why do I always speak so bitterly of social groups in which I consider myself a part of? I had a lazy afternoon hang with a sweetheart not too long ago and we ended up talking about loneliness, and then about feeling always on the outside, always somehow not quite 100% "in" a group, and always just a little excluded on the basis that the majority's headspace just wasn't exactly where our headspace is at. Once my mother told me that extremely creative people get sad and more emotionally distraught than others. When she said that to me, I scoffed to myself at lumping me into such a population, and yet wondered if she wasn't right in some way---she is my mother.
Which brings me to something my dad said the other day when I saw him, and that was that he thought my mother wasn't emotionally available to me enough as a child. My dad says lots of things, and he had a rough, loveless childhood that makes him especially sensitive, but recently my mom also hinted at emotional distance and depression when I was a kid. It's not the first time, either. I never really thought about not getting hugged enough as a kid until very recently, when I began to become especially sensitive to boundaries, my level of control, and how I wanted people to touch me or interact with me.
[trigger warning on this next paragraph--talking about rape]
And I can't shake this one event that happened to me a couple months ago, when I was in the middle of enjoying sex and was suddenly filled with an unreal and overwhelming body sensation of violation--a flashback, the fragment of a deeply buried childhood memory that I might never relive totally (yet my mind reaches for it). It was the memory of a rape, I cried out through all my uncontrollable sobbing. But where did it come from? In one instant I'm accidentally penetrated too deeply by my partner, and the next I'm reliving some surreal, awful memory of my child body. I cried for a long while and couldn't wrap my mind around it, wondering why now and why at all, and could it possibly be made up from something else. My boo listened and held on, and since then I've been wondering how to deal with that and if more will come back to me.
There are one or two more instances of childhood violation (a Catholic school "physician" in plain clothes with a strange exam that made me uncomfortable even then) that I've begun to consider as contributors to my relationship with my body and my relationship to larger social groups. It makes me unbelievably sad. Because the violation and domestic violence I've experienced in my life can be so tame compared to so many other people, and lil ole me is so profoundly affected. And rape culture is total bullshit. And apologists of rape and sexual abuse need exposure to the emotional terror that haunts your existence. And here I am with my rational brain trying to figure out how the sexual violence I've experienced in my life isn't a factor to my personality today. And WHY? What for?
The consciousness inside the body. Now I'm having Ghost in the Shell existential crises of self; IF I could plug my consciousness into a different body, what kinds of pain would I have to endure or not? My ideal body is currently a lithe, muscular androgyne that people react more to its grace and movement than potential sexuality. The Puppet Master said to Kusanagi, "Your desire to remain what you are is ultimately what limits you." My dad contextualizes painful memories as being "in the past." My god, and I haven't even gotten into how I DO want my body to be sexualized! I'm entertaining the idea of going to a queer play party next month, and that's what I opened up LiveJournal for! But I guess my personal holds on sex and power escape me so thoroughly right now that I can only vaguely write about experience tied to my body and its sexualization.
I guess . . .
If I am the stone cold cyborg, how do I wield my power and my desire, and how do I willingly submit to trust amongst others who would contextualize my body in ways I do not agree with?