In Pursuit of the Erotic?
a teaser, an edging, a vision
My erotic imagination has greatly been tied up with digital technologies. From my discovery of (a form of) sex through porn since no one would communicate about it with me to my negotiation of desires in early chat rooms as I tried to perform both a horniness and a knowingness of sex before actually having done “it.”
As a teenager, I was forced to pledge my abstinence to YouTube vis-a-vis a digital camera held by an eager adult who was supposedly in cahoots with God. And as a college student, I was doling out punishment, commands, and witty comebacks to subby men in exchange for dominant image-construction and money.
And throughout it all, what has also / often captured my attention more so than the “it” that so often comes to mind or that is being portrayed when we think of sex is perhaps everything else surrounding our erotic entanglements that we either often don’t have words for or forget to give to words to.
On dates I dread the age old question: What are you into?
I know that people are expecting me to list out a series of actions and activities: licking, biting, spanking, kissing, fisting, bondange, and so on.
We have words for these things, which is useful to an extent, but unfortunately I am a vibes and wordless realms person who feels so forced in this lifetime to use words that I’ll write a whole blog post about it knowing deep down in my heart that words will always equal a failure for me. So thank you for reading this failure of a blogpost.
Anyways, the question what are you into is also often a failure because me liking biting does not mean I would like to bite you so do not get excited just yet.
But back to the vibes…
I suspect there is a whole realm of our erotic imagination that is so often neglected or willfully ignored in service to ease of communication, discourse, and the over-equating of the erotic to both sex and pleasure, as well as the over-equating of pleasure to that which feels good.
And then once you wrap this all up with the “empowerment and healing” bow with a side dash of “divine feminine” and “divine masculine,” well… :(
This will require a whole blog post one in which I scream via my keyboard how I am low-key anti-healing but that’s not what this is.
THIS is the teaser to my DIY PhD, my yearlong journey through eros with The Ecocene School. We just wrapped up our first semester of soul searching, ancestor talking, soil collaboration, and decolonial research methodologies.
My current desires:
To take a look at how so-called erotic cinema constructs and negotiates eroticism, erotic impulses, and desires. I am slowly moving through a long list of movies, some I will chat about here. I do not really want my watching to be academic. In a way I am looking for what moves me, what lights my flames, and what does for those on the screens.
Beyond the big media landscape, I am also very interested in how individuals make space for their erotic imaginations and desires and negotiate these with others through visual technologies aka WHAT ARE US COMMON FOLK DOING.
Beyond this, I am quite willing and ready to FUCK UP my own understanding and definition of the erotic by drawing on my research here, personal experience, and work done with the eco-erotic in my Pleasure Ceremony work (which has a different lens but is not entirely separate from my work here). I will probably force myself to write about it here too because…there must be pleasure in the pain of my failing (with words) since I am so drawn to it (is writing erotic?).
And lastly, I want to create my own erotic visual communication. If I had talked to you in the past about this project, I might have described my interest here as wanting to zoom into erotic mundanity. Not only is this not my sole interest anymore, I also do not know if this is the appropriate language I’d want? Let’s see how this might shift as I do some soul searching.
It has taken me forever to embark upon this project. I have wanted to do something of the sort for well over a year now, even before I was set to begin my DIY PhD program and even when I applied to the program, I did so with a different project. There’s a lot of stress and inherited trauma around being a black person both learning and constructing erotic imagery and dare I say I fell into the spiral of the problematic not-problematic/empowering binary along with the stress of others would-be projections onto me as a highly-sexualized being. But here I am, turning my gaze elsewhere.
So let’s begin!