About Curiouser Jane
Lately, I’ve had absolutely no motivation, ironically right as I was about to start writing about Sloth for my deadly sins series. But this lack of motivation is well beyond common, summer time indolence. I have become drained of all energy, by equal parts Mid-western heat wave and by an ever-encroaching depression. As a result, I have found myself continuously sputtering around in a sloth-like stupor.
On the one hand, as I said in a tweet a few days ago, the summer leaves me feeling utterly apathetic. When it is this damn hot outside, it is very hard for me to ever remotely care about how fucked everything is.
The mirror was my first sexual partner.
She was the first one to hear my secrets and my desires, whispered to her telepathically, illuminated by my synapses, charged by my fantasies. She was the first to see my naked skin, goosebumped and excited by adolescent experimentation. Our relationship, as one sided as it was, was steadfast. I could always trust her. With a certain credence I knew that she would never lie to me; it was never in her nature to be deceitful. She was that perfected portal to positivism, showing solid, undeniable truths.
I knew that she held, close to her chest, that truth and reassurance that my teenage soul desperately craved.
She was golden and glorious, with her unforgiving glare, one that refused, inherently, to sugarcoat or tell white lies. I could lay myself bare for her, still, no matter how vulnerable, how exposed I was, our interactions were never jeopardous. I knew that she held, close to her chest, that truth and reassurance that my teenage soul desperately craved.
I am a proud weirdo. I’ve given up all semblance of normality ages ago. Embracing, instead, the most exuberant displays of my strangeness. Still, sometimes, a thought creeps up on me like a surprise party. I might be walking down Michigan Avenue, watching the tourists pass by, and I will find myself almost in awe of the simplicity of their existence. I mean these people – these squares, these muggles, these buffers, these rubes – do they ever look in the mirror and wonder, like I do, if today will be the day that my toe scratches up that line, dooming me in a blazing hate crime perpetrated by a dude-bro in a popped polo?
I think there is something particular to being queer, of existing in the bizarro side of society, that lends itself to a hyper and heightened sense of jealousy.
They have it so easy. The bastards.
Of course, I know that this is not entirely true. I’m sure they have their own idiosyncratic hardships, and the trope of “the grass is always greener” is by no means limited to the queerful. Still, I think there is something particular to being queer, of existing in the bizarro side of society, that lends itself to a hyper and heightened sense of jealousy. I think it’s fundamental to the experience of being an outcast, a persona non grata. It’s common, or at least I tell myself that it is, that, for those casted upon the margins of society, we each have moments where we contemplate ourselves against that thick, fun-house mirror of normality. Peering in, with our hands on our hips, we stand wondering how we would look, wear our hair, dress, speak, or conduct our boring lives if we could, for a moment, step through that looking glass into the ostensible State of normality.
The feminist sex wars were raging as I was coming into my sexuality. All around me, I heard the argument that pornography was a feminist phantasmagoria: a shadowy show of the most heinous and horrible sexual exploitation and objectification of people in the name of profit and male sexual gratification. I internalized this belief and conflated it with masturbation, creating a mutant born of sticky second-wave residue. I was absolutely certain that masturbation, coupled with free internet porn, was pretty much the grossest blight on feminism.
Would the fact that I am a trans woman who masturbates be just another example of the “male-energy” belief?
In Dante’s Inferno, the first level of hell—not including limbo, where the unbaptized and virtuous pagans spent eternity—was saved for the most earthly of the seven deadly sins, what he called “carnal malefactors,” or simply, lust. But my struggle with lust had its origin in an entirely different church. My lustful leanings chafed against the morality of my feminist beliefs: a paradigmatic confusion between my most corporeal of proclivities and the foundation of my political bedrock. That is to say, I have always found it difficult to align my feminism with my utter love of masturbation.