Medonsa and artistic difference

Medonsa and artistic difference. (Medonsa story 2) 

Medusa

“Do you mind If I take your photo. Just like this. Before I stone you? I want to hang the picture of you next to the stone version in the gallery. Your freckles are just so beautiful. They light up your face like this cosmic display and I’m worried that when I turn you to stone your just going to end up marbled in that sort of way that the imperfections in your skin will be erased. It’s always tricky trying to turn people into the right sort of stone that speaks to their pose and their character. Mother is really good at it. Her recent work in Obsidian has been incredible. I mean don’t tell her that, but after all of her endless sort of phoned in statues that she has been working on for what feels like AGESSSS, I think that her work in Obsidian is actually like a rebirth of her own artistic career…

Oh really…

A few of them were featured in Vogue last month. Just online, but you know they are talking of doing a real shoot with her in the coming months. Capturing her at work and the likes. An exposes on how she makes her art. She’s normally so private about it. But you know if you’re not going to recreate yourself every once in a while then your just going to fade into obscurity…

Can you tilt your head back slightly…. Thanks… wow… this picture is really good if I do say so myself. I wish my stone work felt as alive as my photography. Maybe its in the way I let you gaze upon my snakes. Maybe I’m doing it wrong…

Yeah well its not like I can ask really. the process is so quick, a few seconds really. It’s like once you have seen them BAM your stone and I mean though I really would like feedback from my models, your dead so it’s not like I can ask…

Oh… I’ve never thought of that…

Yeah I mean I guess I could call me friend Cassy, she’s pretty good at seances…

You would do that… really?… come back and speak to me about what the experience was like being stoned. I mean I CANT even begin to tell you how awesome that would be for me. I feel like it would really give me opportunity to grow as an artist you know. I don’t want to be stuck making terrible works for my whole life, but authentic feedback is so challenging…

WAIIIITTTTTT you went to HillKraft Arts Camp as well!

No. I Never went but the first boy I had a real crush on, Jacob, Jacob Decotas, went there….

Not sure I can remember the year… It would have been when we were about 14, so… yeah… just over ten years ago I guess…. Where does the time go….

Same time as you!? Thats crazy… did you know him?.. Well it was a long time ago…

Anyway you were saying before we got side tracked…

That is an interesting way to appreciate ones art sure, But saying “All artistic failures are the artist striving to accomplish that which has not been accomplished,” sounds a bit like a failed artist trying to validate their poorly received work, or the fact that they are incapable of completing tasks. being lazy you know….

No i’m not trying to be difficult its just that art is art and its not so mysterious. I mean a statue is a statue, its just that some are better then others for what ever reason….

no that does not prove your point…

No i think that….

LISTEN If you don’t quite down I’m….

Well yes, if you don’t shut the fuck up I’ll just turn you to stone now…

Because I can…

No I don’t think that means I’m running from my problems….

No…

UGHHHH… HA… HA…. lets see you speak now. Shhhhhh Oh his name was Jacob Sauster, not Decotas… ohhh I wonder if knew Jacob Sauster…. I wonder where Jacob is… I’m talking to myself again… I wonder…”

Medonsa continued to sit on the stool and stared off at the walls of her studio space. they were perplexingly bare. Perhaps it is the Mise-en-Scene, that is wrong here. She thought, as she twirled a snake into a tight kink and then let it unfurl around her finger. The statue of the young man she had picked up at the Dio’s cafe was disappointingly mundane. Even in her rage, in his rage even, the statue felt remarkably lifeless, cool. His arms were all wrong as well. hunched up around him, they destroyed any sense of elegance and left the whole piece feeling unbalanced. She considered breaking them off. Perhaps she should do just a series of arms. She looked around the studio and her eyes alighted on a half finished joint from the day before sitting in-between an ash tray and a book she was not reading but left out casually so that she seemed well intentioned. She lit it, inhaled and stared at the stone body of the young man. Yes. Perhaps I will do a series just of disembodied arms. She inhaled, reached over, and wrapped her hands around his biceps. the stone was still warm to the touch. She gritted her teeth, het body flared green for a moment with exertion and she ripped his arm from his body.

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Medonsa: Entry 1

I’m trying to get better at this writing every day thing. But today words have not been flowing in any way that’s useful. It has just been hours of staring at screens and doing work and waiting for something that has the vague feeling of inspiration to do something like strike me. Instead what I have done is write the same few sentences over and over again as I try to figure out what it is that I am actually trying to articulate. I can sense the form of my thoughts, but their translation to words is fooling me today.

Given that I have decided to give myself a pallet cleanser of a day and explore a fiction story instead of working to continue to articulate my thoughts regarding space. I have recently been fascinated with the Idea of Medonsa, Medusa’s youngest daughter, a sort of awkward recluse of an individual who is struggling to create her own identity for herself in relation to her mothers success and acclaim as a famous classical character, turned Kim Kardashian style reality celebrity. I’ve been trying to get a sense of what her voice may be and to that end have been writing Medonsa’s diary, and exploring her voice through one sided conversations with the people that she stones. Here is one that I recently wrote and reworked today. 

I'd love to see Medusa on Dancing with the Stars.

I’d love to see Medusa on Dancing with the Stars.

“I don’t even really know why i’m telling you all of this… Mother always tells me if I am going to grow up to be a really scary gorgon and make the family proud that I have to stop talking to my victims. She tells me I bore people to death, and then when I turn them to stone they look like thats how they died, and no one wants to furnish their gardens with real-life stone statues of people slumped over in the agony of being talked to death, but I’m lonely, and mother is not here right now, so you know, I’m just going to do what I want.

Plus jumping out and scaring people in mazes was moms thing. That’s how she got her start. I can’t do that too. It would be like nepotism or something. I have to figure out a way to do it myself, you know, find my own voice. I think it may be in knowing my victims, or you know models, whatever. Like having a relationship with them. My dream is too like fill a gallery with lots of you and be able to talk about who you were and what you liked. you know personalize it…

You know. do you ever, I mean did you ever just do what you wanted? You look like the type who did. I mean you don’t look like a hero. You’re not covered in muscles, and your sort of not that tan, but you have like a trendy haircut and some cute shorts, I bet you were like one of those hipster people, who biked everywhere carrying your electric guitar on your back and wearing plaid…maybe thats what i’ll have you put on before I stone you. Mothers always saying I need to be more inventive with the outfits I make for my victim as well, she keeps telling me, “Medonsa the devil is in the details.” but i’m just not that good at making outfits anyway. I keep wanting to make ones that are all fabric and flowing and catch the wind, but they just keep ending up rather clunky and then they break when I try to move em. Maybe something simple would be more elegant in stone.

Mother keeps telling me that their is no more market for statues with broken arms in this day and age, but I think its kind of retro so I am hoping it comes back in fashion. I did an entire series last year, of people I met and then stoned while out for walks in Prospect Park, and I broke the first woman legs off by mistake, carrying her home, so i did that for the whole series, trying to give it cohesion. It was my first ‘series’ but mom says you can’t make a series out of repeat mistakes, so she had me sell the bodies to the gravel company to chop up for paving stones. She said she would rather walk on the vestiges of my failures than have to see them in the garden. Mother is always making me chop up and destroy my work rather than keep it about the house. In a way I think that makes me more evil than she is, though she refuses to see it that way. Everyone sort of wants to be turned to stone by Medusa, you know. She’s been working this job for multiple ages, and barely has taken time off, she’s killed so many would be heros and demigods that I’ve lost track. But the great chroniclers have not, she’s always popping up in heroic tales, and stories, and frightening kids into bed at night. you know her work is pretty famous now, in museums and in the gardens of the elite. I mean once she started doing custom stoning for rich families, turning their love ones into statues on their death bed is when i think she sort of stopped being a villain and became a sort of b-list celebrity. Don’t tell her I told you that. OKAY! she’d be really angry if she knew I thought she had become sort of basic, you know. I mean i’m totally going to kill you before that happens anyway.

I just want to be recognized as an artist too, but I think I’m maybe just too like avant guard or unexpected for most people. or something… like maybe I should cut off your arm so you’re bleeding out when I stone you. could be pretty cool right, Like agony and stuff.

SORRY, please don’t cry. It’s ok. You’re just going to die, but I PROMISE to try and make you worthy of mothers rock garden. I MEAN you could live on forever in my art, and you would look just like you do now, you won’t ever age, or get old, or have your body fall apart around you. PLEASEEE stop crying, tears look so shitty when they turn to stone, and mother says hero’s never cry. you want to be a hero right. Please Please Please stop crying. Look how about this, if you stop crying I’ll let you pose yourself before I stone you. how about that? would you like to choose the pose your going to hold for eternity. It could be fun. you know. Like a game?”

Scruff Your Way to Queer Space with your iPhone Athame.

My Dick Pic Familiar and Me

Part 2: SPACE

Last time we ‘talked’ I began speaking about my relationship to my dick pic, re-articulating it as my witches familiar in the first step towards reclaiming my relationship to my sexualized sense of self and my body. Today I’d like to continue that conversation specifically looking at the production of queer space.

This is not what I look like on the subway. But um yeah go at it bois.

This is not what I look like on the subway or (IRL). But um yeah go at it bois.

I’m sitting on the M train still, it’s delayed in that no-man’s land between stations and Lion27 and I are still chatting. He really is rather cute, and he’s made several jokes that actually have got me semi-hard. You know that awkward ‘I feel like I’m 13 and just got a semi-boner on the bus’ sort of feeling, where you look around and wonder if everyone knows. No one knew. But I could feel myself blush, my face flushed, the fabric of my jeans tightening in the crotch.

I love these moment when I am semi-publicly digitally cruising. (or just cruising in general) It’s the rush. How the sexual seems to come cascading in and around you from the ether till it saturates everything. My sense always feel heightened, I begin to actually pay attention to the smells around me. I find myself correcting my posture, cracking my neck, tightening my stomach. Plus he’s doing that cute sub-bottom boi thing that makes me want to simultaneously devour his soul through his ass and cuddle him. Needless to say I have decided, once this train starts moving to go over.

While we were chatting he sent me a screen shot of a map with his house pinned… clever boi, he’s done this before, I don’t even need to type his address into my google. And as I looked at the map, my mind continued to wander, to think about maps in general… space in general… specifically my position in space.

I began to imagine a little red line of lust, floating through the ether, from my phone to his, weaving us together. As we chatted other messages came in. Other men, in other places, some as far as the San Fran to Perth, also messaging me. Sending me anything from photos of their cocks to the casual SUP. Their I was on an M train at 3 am, but it was beginning to take on the character of a good cruisy gay bar. Alone, headphones on, unplugged from the reality of my present physical vicinity, I was finding myself flitting through a series of conversations with a bundle of intriguing men. In turn I too sent photos of my familiar, until my imagination spun it into a dense web of digital connectivity, red desire lines pulsing through the city, its queer veins.

Mostly I feel like this in Gay Bars. I'm rather bad at flirting, I get very confused and I end up saying exceptionally awkward things. I'm learning to deal with it.

Mostly I feel like this in Gay Bars. I’m rather bad at flirting, I get very confused and I end up saying exceptionally awkward things. I’m learning to deal with it.

Our phones ability to change our experience of space, specifically our sexual experience of space, fascinates me. See if my dick pic is my familiar, then perhaps my iPhone is better understood as an Athame. Today I’d like to specifically talk about how gay sex apps on my iphone/athame enable me to re-write and recode space. In a quite literally way these apps enable me to cut space-time and produces moments of intimate connection with people variously distant from me. YASSS modern Witchcraft.

Traditional tools are meant to be upgraded.

Traditional tools are meant to be upgraded.

See for me, sexting, specifically through location-based apps, is an intriguing way to challenge and reform space. Why? Because in the abstract, sex apps allow us to make any space, ‘gay erotic space’. In bathroom stalls, or office halls, or other traditionally coded hetero-normative spaces, I can use an app to broadcast my location and thus, make visible to those who are capable of seeing my spell, (a 6 pixel image of my face) networks of queer/gay desire. No longer do I need to go to specific physical locations, like gay bars in order to ‘broadcast’ my sexuality. I can do so from my phone. While sitting in a traditionally coded straight Starbucks in Midtown for instance I can also be involved in dialogues with horny men, exchanging images and promises of future pleasure.

I no longer walk in a world that is ‘straight’ till I escape into the welcome arms of a gay bar, or bathhouse, everywhere is becoming gay. Tinged with the potential of digital cruising.

Furthermore entire screens of men, shift from strangers, to ‘regulars’ over time. These are the men I live near, who I work near, who I see daily when I open one of these apps. They are becoming and have become part of my expanded queer friendship circle. Yes there is an awkward moment when a conversation slides from the digital to the physical unexpectedly. Such as when I run into the guy whom I just texted a photo of my ass to in the cereal aisle of Mr. Kiwi’s. But there is a simple magic to it that I revel in, it helps us as queer people see ourselves everywhere. We are everywhere. We come in every shape and size and form, and digital apps help us to become visible to one another. We Are Not Alone! I also like that I can meet men, virtual strangers, and have already shared with them images of my naked body. I feel as if we have a special sort of connection, a knowing of each other that is deeper then just a casual glance. I like this.

Particularly I revel in how all space, has become spaces where I as a gay man can ‘encounter’ queer forms of digital desire. I would argue that unexpectedly digital technologies and apps such as Gridr, while inevitably hurting the creation of ‘physical’ queer and gay culture in many ways, has offered a massive proliferation of desires. Traditionally, gay bars and cruising zones were ‘gay spaces’ as they stood outside of heteronormative frameworks, had their own networks of communication, their own rituals, rites, and forms of cultural exchange. I love these rites and rituals and bemoan their loss, but rather then cry over the decay of past structures I am seeking here to find joy or inspiration in new modalities of communication. (we can also totally cry later and figure out how to reclaim/produce radical queer space.)

One of My favorite gay bars in London recently closed. It was a sad day for all.

One of My favorite gay bars in London recently closed. It was a sad day for all.

Now thanks to Gridr and Scruff I can make every space gay and cruise within it. That’s some 21st century magic for a collective of people who have been oppressed for generations. We are queering the world. Everywhere I go through the spell of an app and a dick of a familiar, I can transport myself into a magical gay world, filled with desire and longing. Scruff or Grindr to a Faggot Witch Faerie such as myself, is a locator spell, helping me seek out like-minded individuals for entertaining experiences. I use it when I travel to make friends, find bars, discover which club I should be going to. It has numerous applications beyond just the basic finding a willing sex partner. Thats part of its magic to me, it creates complex networks of connectivity.

To me the nearest gay is never more then a login away +/- 78 feet. It’s amazing how not lonely that makes me feel. When I was young, growing up in rural New York, the gay world felt so intangibly far away. Not only was I socially awkward, overweight, and not particularly attractive, which rendered me all but invisible to the few kids my age I suspected may be gay, but beyond them there just did not even seem to be anyone near me that fell into the category of gay. There were no guys on the streets in my town, there were no bars, there were no cruising zones, it was a desert of homosexuality.

I would later learn I was wrong about all of this, and that I in fact grew up in an town overflowing with Faggots, but the thing is I had no way of seeing them. They were hidden to me. I lacked the awareness to pick up on their social queues, to read their bodies and stances for the traces of their queer identity. What these dating/sex apps do is reveal the queer/gay that is present in those unexpected places. (Thank you Scruff for that unexpected rest-stop diner, or airport bathroom moment.)

I remind myself of this when ever I am in rural America. Most often what happens when I am in rural country towns is that younger men (18-22) contact me wanting to know what life is like in the city. What being gay is like in the big city. It is moments like this were Scruff and Grindr become magical tools for changing peoples perspective. So often these young men remind me of the person I was when I lived in the country side. Their feelings of desolation and being cut off from a community are tangible. Yet we have the opportunity to talk with these people about life inside gay/queer communities. How I would have relished this advice, even coming from a stranger when I was 18.

I often talk with these ‘kids’ about the hardships of city living sure, but I also let them know that they really are spaces and places that exist within the physical realm where people are not hounded and insulted for their desire. I think about this often when I go home to visit my folks and am contacting by a bevy of disembodied torsos, asking me if I wanna meet and if I can be discrete. I’ve never really understood this. No I’m not particularly discrete. But then again I’m not going to go around town pasting up screen grabs of your profile on telephone poles. I see no shame in my desire, and rarely if ever meet these men, for honestly I feel that our sex would be inflected by the cold edge of desperation, of self hate, and perhaps pity, and those are not the emotions I want to embody during the sex act. But what I do instead is try and talk to them about why they feel they need to be discrete. Most people have a reason, my job, my family, my friends, and while I hear that, I like to try and encourage these people to perhaps consider life outside of the closet. To talk with them about my journey, to discuss support structures they might want to find, ect… Here is where I find Scruff and Gridr to have a secondary form of quasi-magical connection. We can use these technologies for their non-intended purposes to not just connect and fuck strangers, but to create queer communities.   

Yet what most people say when I speak to them about these apps is how bad it makes them feel. How disappointed in themselves. That they message people, or send people ‘woofs’ and never receive a response. To them this moment where they are brushed off or ignored by some one they desire actively hurts them. I see this in part because the people who are not responding believe that they occupy a more desirable social/physical position and don’t need to respond to someone that they think is ‘beneath’ them. It has to do with the ‘space’ they believe they occupy in the social hierarchy.

We must start by seeing each other as fellow peoples/faeries/unicorns/witches and greeting one another with respect. We can do this in part, I think, by intentionally using apps like gridr and scruff to foster gay/queer community that includes and moves beyond the sex act. I mean sure we should also continue to have amazing and liberated sex thanks to sex apps. But we need to learn to share our bodies, our stories our skills with one another in dialogues of exchange and gifting rather then commodification. How do we meet each other as people rather than as object we desire and covet.

It begins I think by having a conversation on the etiquette of using one of these apps. If you are going to spend your time on it, watching messages fly into your mail box, and deleting all the ones that come to you from men whom you don’t physically desire, you are part of the problem. Sure the sheer volume of messages can get overwhelming, but at the end of everyone of those sup, hellos, hiyahs, is an actual person.

I wonder what the world would look like if we used location based gay sex apps to also foster and create community. What if we invited each other over to dinner when we have cooked to much, or skill shared, or ask each other for help when we need it. What if we used these tools of connectivity to actually connect.

We could create networks, and neighborhoods of queer community. I’d like to say I do this. I don’t. Not as much as I should anyway. I think I’m writing about it in part because I want to inspire myself to do it. I want to name my intention to begin actively using scruff as a way to foster queer/gay space. I want to invite over all the men who show up on my ‘Nearby’ list to come over and have cups of tea with me this winter. I want to throw mixers. Sure I hope I fuck or am fucked by many of those guys, but ultimately my desire is to strengthen queer community so that I feel even more supported, more seen and more visible. I guess I will report back at some point as to how this is working. But we have the tools to connect ourselves, we already are weaving ourselves together through lines and networks of desire, and I do imagine that much greatness could come from our connecting with one another in a physical space. 

Anyway, the above is not a fully fleshed out or entirely formed idea, I’m presenting it here as I want to start a conversation and I’m not sure exactly where it is going. But I think a first step is in exploring our relationship to our phone and seeing its potential for magick. Seeing how it can disrupt expected social conventions. I really planned to talk almost exclusively about capitalism this morning, but I got distracted, I guess I’ll write about that tomorrow.

Thanks for reading. Now go Queer some space.

A Witches Tale: My Dick Pic and Me.

I have always wanted to ride a vacuum cleaner with my friendz

I have always wanted to ride a vacuum cleaner with my friendz.

Last month I was sitting on the subway, bemoaning the fact that I was riding the M train and not whisking my way to Bushwich on a broom, a thought that must irritate almost all 21st century witches, when my phone buzzed in my pocket. It was a scruff message from Lion27 (I changed the name but it was ruffly that), asking “can I see your noodz”, his words not mine. With out much of a thought, being that I was lost some where between the witching hour of drunk and horny, (aka heading home alone at 3 am on a Saturday,) I send off my prick pick and went back to meditating on how much more enjoyable the world would be if everyone had access to flight via common house hold objects.

He responded, I responded, more images were exchanged, address were given, plans were set to stone like commandments, and I sighed, the sigh of a man still secretly debating between getting off two stops early to get off, or simply staying put and allowing our digital exchange to fizzle out into nothing but half held hopes, and pipe dreams that perhaps a random tumble in the sack with a stranger would become something more delicious. (Like everyone in New York these days I too am looking for winter cuddles.)

I actually love the M train

I actually love the M train

I mention in my profile that I give structural massages as part of a skills exchange. Having apparently read this, he then sent me a text saying he cuts hair, and wanted to know if I needed a trim. … the prospect of a hair cut for a massage followed by sex if we vibed was promising to me in my drunk state, yet as I debated it my mind continued to wander. Lost in the question about how to be a more fully actualized 21st century witch.

It was somewhere over the Lorimer stop, the train wrat-wrat-rattling around me, my body swaying, from the movement of my mechanized steed and rich honeyed cider, spiked by all the bottles of rum I could find, when I began to recognize the witchcraft present in this moment.

Being a witch in the real world in the 21st century means that though nothing might be as magical as you would like it to be, there is magic here all the same, you just some times have to look for it. Some times you accidentally cast a spell, or find a magical object, or brew a potion, life is like that. But I did none of those things that night. Instead, I am proud to announce, I realized that I have a familiar.

A witch and their Familiar from a YE'OLDEN TIMES line drawing.

A witch and their Familiar from a YE’OLDEN TIMES line drawing.

Familiar: NOUN: A demon supposedly attending and obeying a witch, often said to assume the form of an animal.

It’s my dick pic. I was always worried it was going to be something insipid, like a toad. No offense to toads, but if I am going to have a daemon side kick which both is and is not made from the fabric of my flesh and desire, I want it to at least look real cool, and either be practical, like a ferret, or absurdly awesome like a dire wolf. Yet it turns out, that in the realm of 21st century witchcraft, your familiar might just be a dick pic, shot from a flattering angle, with good lighting, taken while you lay mostly naked on your bed. (My feet get cold, I like to wear socks, most photos of my cock, include my socks in the background.)

BACKSTORY:

See I am actually a witch, of the reclaiming tradition, and given that much of the world is mundane I rather enjoy meditations on moments where the magical and the real intersect and I am gifted new vistas, new ways of articulating my relationship to reality and space. Magic is mostly in how you choose to relate to reality. It’s an active choice. Sure, things occur which feel ‘magical’, ‘unexplainable’, ‘miraculous’. But the majority of the time it has much more to do with  seeing things as magical. In many ways it’s actively choosing to explore reality with an edge of child-esq wonder, for children, with their comparative lack of social programing, often interact with the world as if it is magic. When boiled down to its essence, I see the divisions as such; the world, both physically and socially is governed by a set of laws, (in the form of constants such as gravity, or social codes, like ‘respect your elders’) Magic is the anarchic. It’s the potential to disrupt these codes. I don’t think I have ever seen some one use magic to violate the laws of physics, but I certainly have seen magic deployed to deconstruct if not fully destruct expected social norms.

One of the most powerful ways that magic can remake social codes is in offering us alternatives. Rituals, circle casting, coven meetings, personal practices, all of these tools can and are used by the witches I know to change their own reality, and in so doing change the reality of others. But even though all of this is great and groovy, I would be lying if i did not say that really what I want to be able to do is fly on a broom and hurl fire from my fingers.

Took the words right out of my SOUL

Took the words right out of my SOUL

Perhaps this is because I grew up on Harry Potter and other fantasy novels and I have unrealistic expectations around magic. However the bond between pet and pet ‘owner’ (I dislike this term owner. but you know what I mean.) has always been a space where  ‘the magic’ has been tangible to me. Not only can we learn so much from our pets, but we can develop odd and uncanny ways of understanding them. Sure most dogs are creatures of habit with limited desires, but that does not make the bonds we have with them any less magical and profound.

As a kid, I had many pets, and often imagined that my dogs were my familiars. I would read the tales of witches who had magical familiars in the forms of cats, ravens, and geese, animals they would set off into the world to do their bidding, and then try to get my dogs to do things for me. It never worked.

But as a social tool for reworking your relationship to social norms the familiar to me functions as a representation of the animalistic, the natural, the raw and the wild as present within ourselves.  A symbol of the bridge between the human social and the wild natural that I meditate on often. The familiar as a concept is a way to externalize and in externalizing honor and try to understand, (be in relationship with) your wild desires and passions. For a few months I have been meditating on what my ‘familiar’ would be. I kept looking towards the animal world to find a creature I thought represented me. (probably a Sifika Lemur, Thank you my dear friend NEON ANIMAL for suggesting this) but after months of looking, it dawned on me, that evening on the M train that the singular concept that combines my human social wants; community, relationship, snuggling, security, love of the digital, and my wild natural side; sex, consumption, scents, smells, tastes and fluids, is a photo of my cock.

OH god Its just so cute and Faggoty

OH god Its just so cute and Faggoty

So now as a 28 year old in a world where technology is exploding around us, and divisions between the mundane and the magical are being deconstructed daily, I find my mind turned towards the powers my phone grants me and find within it lays a host of quasi-magical abilities. Instantaneous access to maps, communication, memory, my phone augments my reality so deeply that I can only truly understand it as magical. Without question my favorite magical element of my phone is that it is the digital home, (aka pokeball,) for the familiar I have always dreamed of, my dick.

BACK TO THE STORY:

Ok yeah, this is hardly me at my most eloquent, but I love that this man liked the nail polish I was wearing while holding my penis.

Ok yeah, this is hardly me at my most eloquent, but I love that this man liked the nail polish I was wearing while holding my penis.

This particular incarnation of my familiar and I have been together for about 2 years (it really is a flattering picture, and I mean I love my dick in the flesh, but it looks real good in this picture). Yet why you may ask is my cock my familiar; a familiar who has perhaps become too familiar to too many men?

Because as I lay in bed in the wee hours, or sit at a cafe waiting for some friend to show, I send him on adventures like the witches of my young-adult fantasy novels did send their crows: to deliver messages, promises and spells to other creatures in far off parts of this magical land. He flies down digital pathways, given wings by my need to grapple with the human condition, by grappling with another and delivers the promise of magical union, sexual bliss, to strangers. He is a magic key, from him comes addresses to magical doors, portals to pleasure and ecstatic bliss. He casts spells for me; wanders the world and does my bidding for me; he seeks out prey and sings sirens calls, luring them into my erotic fantasies, he tells them of times we could have, and pleasure we could feel, the joy of bodies, strangers bodies, friends bodies, lovers bodies, pressed together, mingling sweat with promises, with cum.

My physical cock is of my flesh, it is me. The photo of my cock is an object an icon, here named familiar.  Though it is of me, it is the promise of a sexual dimension of me stripped of complexity and emotions and rendered into a purely sexual object, into the promise of an orgasm. The cock picture-object is very different then who I am, it is myself locked into a state of the wild erotic, it is hungry and devilish and desiring. It is glorious. In seeing ‘my hard cock’ as different from ‘myself’, I also open up space for multiple dimensions and parts of my own sexuality that include ‘my hard cock’, but also hold space for other forms of erotic interaction and exchange that often get lost or swept away in our dick in ass or mouth obsessed gay sex cultures. Forms of erotic interaction such as massage, snuggeling, role play, bdsm play, kissing, hugging, verbal sex play, mutual masturbation, and so on… My dick pic can be the raw, hard, hung version of myself, and I can be just authentically me. At times I am my familiar and yet sometimes, I just need a snuggle.

I have come to understand my dick pic as something that symbolizes what society wants from me. It wants me to be a ‘MAN’, and MEN are HARD.

But that’s so reductive, I am not my erect cock, nor should I be, and I should not try to act like it. But often I do. I feel a weird social compulsion, especially in gay space, to always be READY for sex. To always be flirting, to always be seeking it out.

The eternally hard cock is part of my psyche but it’s an element of me, rather than me. So much of me is flaccid, is weak, is supple, loves to bend and be mutable. Weakness is a strength. I am only now coming to understand how I can ask for help when I need it, or show weakness and not be ashamed. I feel that for years I tried to live up to these unobtainable expectations, sexually and culturally, and this personal move to see my dick pic as a familiar, even just in the last month, has actually helped me hold space for flaccidity. It helps me both honor my sexual and erotic impulses, while reminding myself to remain present and myself within those interactions. It’s like I recently went to an orgy, but when i showed up, what I really wanted was to chat and have a glass of wine and unwind with friends. Traditionally I think i would have felt incredibly bad about myself. About not getting hard the moment I walked in, in not being sexual enough, but then I remembered this was a community of men who have all seen photos of my hard familiar, and I could take my time. Be my fleshy, tired from the day me, rather than jumping right into THE SEX.

OMGAWDZZZZ if I cropped this differently you would be able to see my penis. SCANDAL. really what is so scandalous about a body thats naked. I love being naked. perhaps this is more a conversation for another day however.

OMGAWDZZZZ if I cropped this differently you would be able to see my penis. SCANDAL. really what is so scandalous about a body thats naked. I love being naked. perhaps this is more a conversation for another day however.

I don’t have to be hard always, because my Dick Pic Familiar is. It is never anything other than a dick in a permanent state of arousal.The way I see it is the capitalist – patriarchal system has always desired and tried to make us into, the eternally hard cock, ready at a moments notice to fuck anything. Fuck, consume, fuck, consume, fuck, consume, CAPITALISM.

GIFS CAN CHANGE THE WERLD

GIFS CAN CHANGE THE WERLD

Personally I love both of those things (the fucking and the consuming that is.) But I want to reclaim them from a capitalist dialogue, and use those terms, and perform those actions intentionally and with understanding. To position my dick pic as the object that is those things allows me  to be something else. What I am perhaps not sure, but I am beginning to question it.

My familiar also allows me to gloriously claim my desire to fuck in a new way, it is a step in a long journey towards honoring my own earth based sexuality — my desire to explore the orgasmic, my desire for new modalities of sexual exchange, new forms of touch. Sex is now a communion between me, my cock and  everything from my hand to the orifices of another.

My dick pic as familiar helps me interpret the act of digital cruising as Magical as well. As a ritualist act of giving myself and my sexuality over to the worship of the god/dess, of cycles of desiring and death, love and lust, things fleshy and infleshed and human. It makes Scruffing an almost spiritual practice where I honor the fact that I love sex, and I love ‘hunting’ for sex, I love my cock, and I’m not ashamed.

There is nothing wrong with my (or your) desire to penetrate and be penetrated (or whatever in whatever way you want) and to be TOTALLY ROCK HARD FOR HOURS, but I think the big old metaphorical straight white man who thinks with his cock all the time has fucked this world up enough and it’s time to change our relationship with our sex organs while still honoring them. (BECAUSE SEX IS TOTALLY SACRED EVEN WHEN IT’S WITH STRANGERS OR YOU KNOW LIKE EHHHH NOT SO GREAT…)  I have no idea if I’m doing it right. But I’ve got a dick, a dick pic, a phone and a whole lot of dreams. Seeing my dick pic as a construct I am in relationship with rather then an object, helps me to see other men, and their sexual images as something I am in relationship with as well rather than as objects. It helps me remind myself that though we are communicating with each other through an application designed to foster sexual connection, I am speaking with people who have dreams and fantasies and insecurities, and moments of flaccidity themselves.

Which brings me to where I am headed in the next installment, perhaps, an expanded conversation on the spells of capitalism, which I briefly touched on, and how capitalisms desires for us to see each other as objects rather than as people. How capitalism wants us to never actually have sex but to just have huge amounts of sexually inflected frustration, desire and dreams, for an unhappy and frustrated person is more likely to buy things. I’ll also keep talking about this Lion27 character. maybe… does it really matter if we had sex anyway? 

Unicorns and Faeries: The Scourge of humanity?

The picture that launched these thoughts! Shaft, obvi the photographer.

The picture that launched these thoughts! Shaft, obvi the photographer.

My old friend Shaft was in town and being that he is a unicorn, and that I used to be one with him, we obviously got our horns on together.  After a delightful day of catching up and talking shop, we went over to his lovely friends house in the FIDI and sat around making Unicorn horns. It was such a lovely way to connect with an old friend and welcome in the spirit of Samhain.

But this morning I awoke to an innocuous Facebook message in a thread of comments about a picture of us dressed as unicorns from the night before. “NOOOOOO shelton, not you too!!!! (crying image of a puppy) PS, if you have to be a stupid dumb-ass unicorn, you do look sorta super-cute, for a unicorn.” While i’m glad that i look cute, (obvi) I find this idea, that once would feel empowered to yell at some one else for their costume choices, to be a fundamental example of why I celebrate people like Shaft who have decided to claim their identity as other that human. Shaft I love you. I love that you are unashamedly a Unicorn. I think it’s both sexy and fun.

My friend who posted this response, was probably not expecting it to touch a raw nerve of mine, but it did. It got me thinking about all the negative response that Shaft received as comments from his Vice documentary, from death threats, to vague ‘he’s worse than a terrorist’ racist comments. To comments I get for being a faggot, to those comments anyone gets who falls outside of the expected boundaries of being ‘Human’ See my ‘ Facebook friend’ is not alone, my friend is one of thousands of people, whose response when they see something different, is to make fun of it and belittle it. While I welcome freedom of expression, am not looking for an apology, and I understand in a way what they were saying, it inspired me to ask, well if you hate me for being a unicorn, what’s so good about being human? What am I missing? I think probably, the answer is nothing. For if humanity was so great it would not have to police its boundaries so strongly. It would not have to make sure that those who transgressed it ’s boundaries were brought back into the folds of conformity. Well I’m sorry humanity, yelling at me for not being like you, does not make me want to be like you. 

Here is me being an Atlantic Blue Fin Tuna for a day, because why not.

Here is me being an Atlantic Blue Fin Tuna for a day, because why not.

All that we are doing is exploring our own psyches. I know that our freedom of expression must serve as a harsh reminder of all the ways you self-sabotage, deny, and occlude your truest expression of self. But join us rather than hate us. I want you to come play with us!

I’m sorry to all those who find it so easy to hate those who are different. It must be hard being you. You must be sad often. I too am often sad. But that is because the world is a cruel place. And yes their are many ways which I fail at being fully me, but at the end of the day, I do make a concerted effort to support myself. To love myself, to forgive myself. It’s cute. It’s Werk. It’s actually a lot of werk. Between that werk, and work, and you know trying to WERKKKK IT, I really don’t have the time to absent-mindedly hate others for being different. I mean it seems like a pretty obvious waste of resources and time.

One of the tricks, and it’s TOTALLY a trick that I have used in attempting to understand myself is to begin by just discarding humanity as a term I identify with. (I mean obvi, in a biological way i’m a human, and culturally too.) It’s a thought experiment I play with while biking around the city, or sitting on the subway. What would it mean to discard all those signifying terms from gender, nationality, race, ect… and just be what ever the fuck I felt like. I’m not doing this for you, I’m doing it for me. To heal my own wounds, to be more fully myself, to just have fun.

Me as a willow tree, the whomping willow tree in fact. Shot by Santiago Felipe at the culture whores CHAMBER OF SECRETS party, for Paper Mag http://www.papermag.com/2015/10/

Me as a willow tree, the whomping willow tree in fact. Shot by Santiago Felipe at the culture whores CHAMBER OF SECRETS party, for Paper Mag http://www.papermag.com/2015/10/

I often play with this in a real way by trying to embody the traits that I have self selected as defining a ‘faerie’, or a ‘witch’, or a ‘tree’. I like to dress up as these things, and for the duration of that performance, or time I am in that outfit, discard my own humanity. YAY for liminal spaces of liberation, yay for different modalities of seeing yourself, YAY for questions without answers, yay for trial.

That said, I’m sorry for all the hate we attract for being different. I often wonder what about our disavowal of human as how we define upsets so many people on such a fundamental level? When I think of what defines ‘humanity’ it is a long list of modalities of oppression. Contemporary and historical conversations on queer rights, women’s rights, POC rights and environmental protection, leave me mortified. How we have as a collective of souls allowed war, capitalism, the patriarchy, religious intolerance and national pride to ruin and fuck not only our planet, but each other.  It seems what humans are exceptionally good at is fucking things up. Hurting each other.

What is so good about being human. What is it that we do well? What is it about our species that is worth saving? Oh sure perhaps it is our kindness and compassion, perhaps it is our capacity for love, or our desire to tell stories. (all things which I love about humans.) Yet I fear that even those traits are eradicated by our species deep and unfortunate inability to process our own bull shit internally. Instead we project, we yell, we belittle others, we even do such things as innocuously make fun of people for dressing up like unicorn’s on the night before Halloween. What is it that we do right? I’m not sure we do anything right.

My first Unicorn moment oh so many years ago.

My first Unicorn moment oh so many years ago.

We are like a plague. We are trapped in our history, we rarely make smart choices. We are driven by greed. (I’m including myself in this, I often fail and I too can be cruel and unjust.) I often experience this hate directed at me when people choose to go out of their way to let me know that they don’t approve of my choices. Firstly, let me say that’s on them. I’m actually rather pleased with my life, and the choices I have made, and I am happy to have you tell me why you think I’m a failure, ugly, weird, stupid, ect… I don’t expect you to be nice to me, because people are not particularly nice. But I hope that I can be your mirror. I hope in hating me, it makes you question why you hate. I hope our interactions ultimately lead you to question yourself. See, in my experience people who truly like themselves rarely go out of their way to insult others.

this outfit made BRO's GAG. WERKKKKKK.

this outfit made BRO’s GAG. WERKKKKKK.

(Extraneous example: a few weeks ago I was walking on the streets and these BROS saw me and started pretending to vomit on themselves. I’m not sure they intended to make me laugh, but it was a pretty golden moment. I think the best part of the interaction was that when I laughed at them, because it was funny, they got super awkward. when I asked them what about my outfit they disliked, they got really uncomfortable. and then mumbled lots of stuff and looked sheepish. I mean watching to adults fo-vomit on themselves because of what I was wearing was totally a bucket list moment even if I was not aware of it till it happened.)

Anyway, really what I am getting at, is that costumes, and play, outfits, and performance, embodiment and channeling, unicorns and faeries, dress up and make believe are actually super powerful tools we can use to reshape our world. So much of humanity is shitty, but I really honestly believe we could wake up and live in a different world, a world much more peaceful and glorious, if we all stopped seeing ourselves inside the context of human history and started writing a new narrative. The old narratives are not working, they no longer serve us. Our greatest tool as human’s is language. So lets utilize it and see what happens. Let’s all for a day discard all old oppressions and modes of relating to each other that tell us that we can’t and should not like one another.  One to many wars, genocides, acts of enslavement have happened to humans at the hands of humans. Lets all just become mythical. For a moment for a day, witches, faeries, unicorns, fauns, nymphs, dryads, creatures of love, creatures varied and different who see the difference in others as something to learn from, to love, rather than something to hate. I want everyone to be a freak. It’s Halloween. Let’s don more then costumes tonight, let’s all become something new. 

Happy Halloween.

(these are rough thoughts written over a cup of coffee, I will inevitably return to them. I’d love your thoughts peoples, if you want to share them with me so i can craft a more articulate piece in the weeks ahead about this theme, but I just woke up wanting to share. Really xx)

‘Expressions of Self Love’, An excerpt from a larger piece I am working on, called ‘My life’: Sauna

The flyer for their AWESOME show

The flyer for their AWESOME show

Once Upon a Dixon place I read this story at Dust Tea Shoulders and World Famous *Bob*’s Queer Campfire Story. They will be hosting another Campfire in November and it is totally worth checking out.

Below is my story. It is a story of drama and intrigue and umm drama… sort of.. It’s about falling in love in a bathhouse really…

Prologue

When I think about the campfire, I think back to my summer camp times at Flying Moose Lodge, lovingly referred to by its campers as F.M.L. It’s there that I learned to be a faggot, camping in the woods of rural Maine with 50 other boys, no showers, no running wanter, no electricity, only tents and stars and bonfires. We often told stories late into the night, while we drank hot coco and ate burned blueberry pie right out of the dutch oven. The stories we told were of conquest and terror, of creepy happenings and the campers who a mythical number of years ago were sucked into a hydro – electric dam and spit out in pieces. I don’t want to tell those stories tonight, I want to talk of when I first fell in Love… Perhaps in its own way its a horror story, for love, often is, a tad bit horrific. Here is my story, I am titling it;

‘Expressions of Self Love’, An excerpt from a larger piece I am working on, called ‘My life’.

This specific entry is called ‘Sauna.’

An example of a chariots interior.

An example of a Chariots interior.

We met in a Sauna in East London. Which sounds classy I know, but I promise you, it was not. It was the Shoreditch Charriots. For those of you who have never been, Chariots is a rather successful brand of Gay Bathhouses that dominate the U.K.’s Capital. They specialize in a faux-Grecian theme, you know painted ivy and gladiatorial porno-wresteling mosaics on the wall. What I remember most was the smells, a delightful mixture of pre-cum and poppers mixed with chemical cleaning solvents and that light metallic scent, which I have come to recognize as desperation. it’s the scent that lingers around burnt out lights, and those duct tape patches holding  red pleather mats together.

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Here is Chariots almost burning down… Awkward.

I had just turned  20 when this story takes place. I had recently lost 50 pounds, grown out my hair and begun dancing regularly. When I looked in the mirror I was a stranger to myself. My body had become alien and yet delightful, and I was deeply enjoying exploring it with the help of others. That said I still had a lot of hang ups about sex.

I looked a lot like this at the time.

I looked a lot like this at the time.

It had a lot to do with how I viewed myself. Like mainly everything. I was deeply uncomfortable in my own skin. It’s not just because of the aforementioned fluctuating weight. I think it had everything to do with being uncomfortable with self pleasure. I’d jerk off nightly into a tissue because i never wanted to see the cum. I thought it was messy, and yes, a bit shameful. My gay cum was a symbol of my continued failure at achieving heterosexuality. I was this really faggoty, glitter wearing, queen by day, and a huge internalized homophobe in the sheets. My sex was timid, and vanilla and never beautiful.

However I had begun to work through this issue of self love, of in all places, the Chariots Steam room. The first time I went to a bathhouse at all i sat quaking in a toilet stall for almost an hour, listening to the sounds of men shit in the cubical next to me, Petrified, that they were going to sense my presence, kick down the door and drag me out and laugh at me. Shame me for my body and let me know that I would never be like them.  It was only when i got to the steam room, dim lights, misty air, hidden hands, that i exhaled, relaxed and allowed myself to be present.

I first noticed a big change in myself, the third or forth time I visited the chariots steam room. I was blown to competition, and yet still kept sucking some other man’s dick. It was in that orgy room that I began to be okay with orgasming. to still feel sexy, to still love my body in the moments after climax. I know that sounds simple, but for me it was really hard.

It was there I learned I could walk into a room filled with men, who all had that hungry look in their eyes, that desire to touch taste and lick one another, and simply by the virtue of not being terribly British about it, but just taking off my towel and standing in the center of a room pulling my own nipples and moaning in that fake it till you make it sort of modality, I could convince any number of men to join me and rub my body.

It looked nothing like this... lets pretend it didi

It looked nothing like this… lets pretend it did.

It was heaven. I became addicted. it was a delightful feedback loop, they wanted me, I wanted them, we wanted eachother, BAM it was sex therapy at 11 pounds a session. I would show up in that Sauna room on extended lunch breaks, on weekends, when I was meant to be at a friends art show, and I would indulge in the caresses of a hundred unknown men. I began to feel sexy. Actually sexy, for the first time in my life. Yet the visit this Tuesday was different. When I paid my 11 pounds, and walked into that locker room I did so with the predetermined decision that I was going to fall in love.

Fall in love you say? yes! LOVE OH LOVE. the most noble of pursuits. The subject of good poetry and prose! How I wanted it. I had up until then, never really been in love. Not even with myself if I am honest to you. But on that Tuesday, from the moment I had awoken, I felt that I was fated to fall in love in the steam room. I was ready! Ok I was hardly ready, Love is Scary and Messy, but I told myself my future love was going to see all the fear in me, and be ok with it. He was going to be a guide to me. My gateway drug to love. This handsome hunky gay bearded self possessed daddy billionaire, just looking for an awkward, not a boy not yet really a man, expat with half a degree in film theory.  Yes I was going to fall in Love that day I just KNEW IT.

At first, when I got there it felt like any other time I had been to the bath house. I slipped on a pool of cum, some one had definitely shat all over the dark room if the smell was anything to go by, and so far the only person who had displayed any interest in me was quite clearly crazed. Not crazed like askance from the normal, or crazy like he’s probably a really good poet, just, you know, your average crazy.

But un-daunted I found my way to the sauna steam room, found a nice place on the second tier of the bench, up between the muscle daddy, (Likely candidate) and the twink (Not so much, but you never know.), and I relaxed into the orgy I knew was coming. I breathed in, breathed out, let my towel slide from my body and offered myself up as sexual tribute.

I mean he just looks like the kind of man who would want to spend his time with a semi-self aware 20 year old, right?

I mean he just looks like the kind of man who would want to spend his time with a semi-self aware 20 year old, right?

Often, to make the experience of a largely anonymous orgy more enjoyable, I close my eyes. I like the feeling of being pleasured by faceless individuals. I l love not knowing who is touching me of feeling greedy hands grab me as if only my body can satiate their hunger.

At some point I had slid into the arms of the muscle daddy, woof, and found myself contorted around his body, my tongue licking its way across his pecs and up to his shoulder, while his calloused fingers pulled at my flesh. As he slid  his finger into me, wet off my own sweat, I discovered his arm. Not the muscle daddies arm, his arm, my lovers arm. My eyes were still closed, the sounds of moaning all around me, I kissed it once and it felt like home. I kissed again. deeper. More intense. with ferocity and hunger. I moaned. Some where he moaned. WE MOANED. It felt as if we were falling into each other. And if by magic while I was kissing his arm, he was kissing, and licking and biting mine; it felt so divinely circular. Me biting him, him biting me, it was… completion.

In a sea of sweaty men, in an orgy largely of my own devising I opened my eyes to gaze upon my love. I traced the contours of his flesh up his arm, and to his face, where with horrifying actuality, I realized I was in fact making out with my own arm. My love, the man I had gone to meet in the steam room, the man I had felt all day fated to find, was in fact myself.

Orgies are not normally where one looks for spiritual and personal development, but sometimes its where you find it. 

Come on roll that d20

A continuation of the story I began early this week about breakups and DnD. It has been therapeutic to write, and share, and through that process to learn to relax and let stories have their space, to give them the freedom to be that delicious mingling of truth and fact, fiction and desire. To give words breath.

http://geeksout.org/blogs/sheltonplindsay/level-ups-break-ups-and-2-music-comprehension-rolls-part-2