Spiritual

Bodies, Schizo Vibes and Hallucinatory Desires - Sexualities in Movement

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The essay is a philosophical meditation on some of the limitations of contemporary cultural and social theory of sexuality, which views it as a subject-position(ality), nicely and relatively stably wrapped under the epidermal cover of an individual
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  Article Abstract The essay is a philosophical meditation on some ofthe limitations of contemporary cultural and social theoryof sexuality,which views it as a subject-position ality), nicely and relatively stablywrapped under theepidermal cover of an individual human body. Through a Deleuzeanreading of two liminal sexual experiences,the essay urges to rethink human corporeality,gender,sexuality, desireand pleasure along the lines of a vocabularyandepistemology that is sensitive to  affective) intensity, flux, andthe sensual assembling of humanandnon- human elements into a pleasure machine. Keywords delirium and subjectivity, desire, movement, sexuality SashoAlexander Lambevski National Centre in HIV Social Research, University of New South Wales, Australia Bodies, Schizo Vibesand Hallucinatory Desires -- Sexualities in Movement As a writingpractice, exemplilication activates detail. The success of the example hinges on the details. Every little one matters .. _ very example harbors terrible powersof deviation anddigression ... Take joy in your digressions. Becausethat is wherethe unexpected arises.  Massumi 2002: 18 Nomadism is associated with the notion that academic and political writing < can itself be conceived as a journey. In order to theoriseone leaveshome and travels.  Urry, 2000: 28 Unpredictable desires in hallucinatorylandscapes - what is one to do with them? Hundreds of molecular events and narratives about them, feelings, memories and observations of  mostly) male bodies - friends, lovers, 5   XUGlltl   S Copyright © 2005 SAGE Publications  London, Thousand Oaks, CA andNew Delhi Vol 8 5 : 570-586 DOI: l0.l |77/B63460705058394 www.sagepublications.com  Lambevski Bodies, Schizo Vibes and Hallucinatory Desires strangers, research interviewees, fellow travellers in pleasure andpain - havebeen pestering me for awhile now. VVhat I am to do with all these delirious vagabonds and tourists of desire, disordered body-minds assembled together chaotically at danceparties and gay sex venues, in an intoxicated/ ing state of frenzied excitement andexcessivejoy followed by incoherent speeches, intenselypleasant hallucinations, wobbly body movements, and suspension of ‘normal’ reasoningand alertness. Thenessay I offer here is a result of a struggle to make sense of the sexual potential contained within these pestering experiences. This potential sometimes bursts with such forceful strangeness that it is difficult, but tempting, to dismiss itas an aberrant event unworthy of serious reflectionby studentsof sexuality deeply invested in the stabilityof sexual subject- positions and the habituated predictability of ‘regular’ sexual desires. Through an affirmative-productivist exemplification of two deliriousassemblages of desire  Massumi, 2002: 17-18 , I intend to develop here appropriate metaphors for sociologyand cultural theory ofsexuality that ‘focuses upon [imaginative travels], movement, mobility, [chaos, excess] andcontingent ordering, rather than upon stasis, structure and social order’  Urry, 2000: 19 . The Hrst delirious example involves the singular comingtogether of so many mobile hybrids ofsubjects,objects  artefacts anddesires at a dance party and how they are ‘sensuously experienced by humans’  Urry, 2000: 14 . The second example explores a delirious sex scene from a gay sex venue. With both examples, my aim is not to offer a ‘simple’ description of real events that Ilater theoretically ‘explain’. Rather my aim here is to affirm the reality producing potential of the theoretical apparatus I deployhere. By embedding my theory in the very description of theexperi- ences/ issues I explorehere, I readily admit that this adds, if only very meagrely, to new  ways of perceiving and experiencing reality. With these caveats in mindand without much ado, I will ask the reader to join me on a journey through the hallucinatory social landscapes Idescribe in these two examples. Inthelast few sections of the article I will further unpack the theoretical implications of these two micro-examples for thinking differently about sexuality. Delirious example no. I  from a big dance party In the otherworldly landscape of a big dance party everything is possible:the techno beats welded to the hauntingly beautiful holographic visions produced by a sophisticated network of technical machines  computers, lasers, mobile reflection mirrors and so on re-engineer the sea of dancing human bodies on a visceral level  Thornton, 1995; Malbon, 1999 . A complete synaesthetic orgy of the senses: sounds bleed into colours, these 57|  Sexualities 8 5 togethermelt into shapes skin or visceral sensations smells and tastes under the effortless coordinationof the proprioceptive senses - the muscles and ligaments   that c nnot stop moving. Friendly nano aliens are beamed down all the way to human cells via laser rays piglets fly around and shape shifters change their bodies with every flickering of the computer controlled exchange of darkness and brightness on the dancefloor. One turn ofthe body to the left or right one moment of darkness one moment of light, one turn back to the left or right, and  booml  , one isgreeted by a completely new set of grins longing gazes, indifferences to which one remains blissfully indifferent astral travellers, dancing and walking bodies. Out of this magnificent chaos a singular attraction occurs that fuses things words images and people in a way that could never ever be repeatedagain. . I shuffle amidst this chaos, threading gingerly on countless plastic bottles of w ter disfigured by thousands offeet.I finally feel a compulsion to join a groupof dancing shirtless muscular htmks. The group welcomes me with w rm smiles and sexy flirty gazes. They all elegantly swing their bodies to a song that fuses a hauntingly beautiful female voice singing in Arabic with some very funky techno beats.We all seem to be progressively hypnotized by the song and we start exchanging little kisses or caresses here or there on each other’sbodies. I am particularly attracted to one man in this group. He is almost 6 ft tall. He sports an incredibly sculpted male torso. Every littlemuscle in every muscle group etched to perfection in the most beautiful human marble. His shirtless torso is covered with a soft and not too thick moss of hair that only adds to his irresistible masculine sex appeal. The tanned polish of his skin so radiantand delicious summons the touch of thousands of handsand tongues. His face, ruggedly sculpted in a few sharp gestures, looks like those rough yet perfect Michelange1o’s sketches of beautiful virile men. Full bodied lips meet a perfectly straight nose. His cheeks form two shadowy canyons that allow his nose anddeep black eyes to shine in their full glory. On the top of his ruggedly beautiful face, his perfectly rounded shavedhead presents a sublime view. His whole body emanates deep warmth. His mouth-watering lips are slightly stretched upwards in an almost perm nent gesture of joy. There is something impersonal, unqualifiable egoless andcontagious about the joy that seems to be coming out ofthe body of this man. There is no hint of self consciousness on his part which makes him stand out in this alreadyoutstandingly beautiful groupof men. While the other men in the group wilfully engage in more or lessrehearsed games of narcissis tic gratifrcation quite careful to dispense their affectionate attentions to the ‘right’ people the incredibly attractive man is a carrier of contagious gladness withwhich he infects whoever happens to enter his field of vision 572  Lambevski Bodies Schizo Vibes and Hallucinatory Desires or bumps into the trajectory of his body movements. I notice that the group of peopledancing around this man keeps growing their bodies and faces in a state of zombie like trance/ attraction to this beacon of joy He is the bull’s eye in a whirlwind that sweeps everyone offthefeet. Suddenly he fixes his gaze on a plain-looking and very voluptuous woman. She without even looking at him gracefully dancesher way into his embrace.Theydance with each other for awhile. Their dancing becomes increasinglysexually suggestive. I scan the woman looking forclues to her attractiveness trying to understand whatmakes her irresistiblein the eyes ofthe man to whom I am so attracted. Groovy bursts of high energy shoot forth in every direction from beneath her velvety skin. A delightful light scent of orange leaves and lemongrass envelopherin a beautiful olfactory aura. Her emerald green eyes shine with the subdued glow ofa precious stone put in a room with very little light. The stone absorbs whateverlittlelightcomes close to it magnifies itand turns it into a lighthouse of ecstatic contentedness. Sonic Wave after sonic Wave coordi nated with laser bursts keep crushing on the base of the lighthouse. With each wave the strengthof the light coming fromheremerald eyes seems to increase. Suddenly I am touched to an nth degreeby my vision ofher as Gaia a benevolent goddessblessing me with a revelationof the profoundly intricate connections between all the living andinanimate matter aroundher.I pass through a stargate leading to a wormhole. The vectors ofmy delirious trajectory: from the molar to the molecular. I travel fromrocks to a nebula of schizophrenically moving particles. Shift in perspective for a moment again: from the molecular to the molar. From flickering electrons and bubblymolecules I emerge above the ocean surface where I see dancing entities I manage to register as human bodies. The beautiful man cannot resist his urge to fondle and kiss Gaia’s volup tuous breasts.She returns his affections with soft licks of his pectorals. Indescribable vitality is inscribed on the ‘prime organ of affect’  Tomkins 1995: 30), their faces as if saying: ‘I am not a woman nor a man I am not straight gay or bisexual. I am not beautiful or plain muscular or fat. Iam nothing and everything thathas ever been/will ever be.I aman ocean suspended from the ceiling of this dancefloor.I ama forest ofdancing talking feeling trees. I am a swamp of fat cells dancing underthe desert ofmy smooth hairy skin. I am an evanescent spacecraft with rays coming out of my febrile vagina penis, mouth eyes and anus.’ Another shift in perspective: I am headeddown to earth. There are bodiesdancing around Gaia and my beautifulman that are immune to this epidemicofgladness. Ibegin to see clouds ofdisgust envy, and hostility on the perplexed and sneering faces of the male hunks in the initialgroup. A tall very muscular blond man introduces himself to me as the ex boyfriend of the irresistibly attractive man and whispers to me in a voice 573  Sexualities 8 5 mixedwith contempt and anger: ‘I didn’t have a fucking clue that he was bisexual, and she’ referring to Gaia ‘is so fucking uglyl’ I register the remark but feel that the blond man ismissing the point altogether. Unlike the rest of the group of sexy gay men around us, I more then gladly continue to submit myself to the delirious contagion. I revel from a distanceof a few feet in the dirty dancing and kissing between the man to whom I am so attracted and the plain looking wom n I merge with them again then with the people dancingimmediately around me then with the whole dance floor, then with thelasers and the music. I Hnally ingest the whole world. BLISS. Fadeout. Delirious sceneno. 2  from a gay cruise club There is a beautiful, lean, athletic, blond and WASP gay man in his early 30s who works asa junior partner in a well established andquite con- servative law firm in Sydney. He is alsowell known in Sydney’s gay sex subculture for hisvanity his exclusive sexual interest in guys who are almost spitimages of himself, and his nasty cruising attitude   he likes to inflict a bit of humiliation on suitors who  re not up to his ‘standard’. Tonight he is here at The HQ ina state of probably pharmacologically assisted delirium frantically ushering a motley ofmale body shapes in the ‘prison room’ oftheclub. Under the rhythmic beats of the tribal music that echoes throughout the club, and the dimmed floodlights with a red tinge hefuri ously plugs his arse and mouth with white Asian black, working and middle-class dicks of ugly, older men with grotesque bodies infrontofthe stunned and disgusted gazes of the body beautifuls of his class andethnic ity  Boltanski, 1971: 232 . As the grotesque bodies push andshove eachother for a taste of the delicious morsel, almost everyone else - around 200 men   in the club is in the ‘prison room’ trying to witness this amazing scene. A film of sweaty sticky steam emanates fiom thehuddle of so many bodiesin such a smallspace. It envelopseverything. An unbelievable smell a mixture of so many deodorized and non deodorized men’s sweats wafts in the air, further hypnotizing everyone with its headiness. Many of the ‘witnesses’ push and shove their way through the swamp of bodies inorder to get closer to this blond man. The sea of male bodies in the ‘prison room’ is in a state of Borg-like collective interconnectedness with each body acting both asan amplifier and modulator ofthe orgasmic pleasure of everyone else  Tomkins, 1995 . With each moan groan,body movement and facial gesture thebeauti ful blond man turnedinto FREAK modulates the density a product ofintensity times duration  Tomkins, 1995: 51 of orgasmic affectivity permeating theerogenous factory assembled arotmd him. He sends an orgasmic signal to every body-part in this desiring machine with each part 574
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