Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Writing Myself in White Ink

(10th July 2006)

Tonight I began seriously pumping- only about a month after I had planned to! It simply seemed like time.

The first half of this year has been one of many personal losses. My partner of two years abandoned me. I lost a lot of money to her. After a long period of having my spirituality, my identity, my sexuality, my body and my work demeaned by someone I loved dearly I lost touch with what I value in myself. Somewhere along the way I also misplaced the ability to live without apology, and the faith to trust my gut instincts. A number good friends gave up on me, as they no longer knew me anyway. I was homeless for a while. A close friend (and ex-lover) died. The combined force of this all shook me to my very foundations and I began to doubt the stability of both my mind and my matter.

It is time to rebuild and reinvent. Through luck (and rather brazen text messages) I became somehow entangled with the very sweet Boy, and he has done much to reacquaint me with the pleasures and possibilities of my body. My new home, a gift from a truly inspired friend, is one of sanctuary and silliness. A most intuitive hypnotherapist reminded me that I can have confidence in the capabilities and knowledges of my flesh. After quite a hiatus I have begun pushing my bodily boundaries again— having undertaken a hook suspension, rope suspension, piercings and cuttings recently (and I have a saline labia infusion planned for the near future). Today I went swimming in the mid-winter sea until my veins felt like they might burst open with adrenaline and then sat alone at the edge of the ocean, laughing and shivering with the seagulls and the waves. I am performing in public again, and revisiting the joys of dressing in whatever drag my fancies dictate. I’ve rediscovered how to flirt with strangers, and pull faces at small children when their parents aren’t looking. Most of all, I am remembering how to play with myself— to be joyful and adventurous, to discover and imagine and participate in my own evolution. Without apology.

I include inducing lactation as part of this process. It is a gift from myself to myself, a dose of feel-good oxytocin and nurturing not reliant on another body’s participation or permission. Self-loving and auto-erotic. Its something that I have always wanted to do, although for the most part I always imagined it as involving a baby of some description. But inducing lactation now is not for a baby, or for anyone else at all— it is for me. Fiona Giles gives an account from ‘Lilith’, who fantasises about breastfeeding her grieving friend as a form of solace and healing and to ‘erase the pain of another’s breast with one’s own’(2003: 46). In this vein I will provide myself with some of comfort, consolation and confidence. To paraphrase Helene Cixous, I will write myself in white ink.

And so I begin to pump. I fiddle about with positions and for twenty minutes my nipples and areole are sucked by this machine as I sit cross-legged on a rug in front of the heater. I imagined I might be able to read (some lacto-porn perhaps, just to help with the mood), but with both hands required to hold the pumps in place it proved quite difficult. This strikes me as an activity more easily in front of the TV, or at least with some musical accompaniment. It’s an odd sensation, and I find myself both mildly aroused. I can feel the swell already, the tide is coming in...


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