Who is bearing witness to your life?

group hugs. this is not the online collective.

group hugs. this is not the online collective.

At the beginning of this year i promised myself to lay off twitter – and social media in general – for while. and by ‘lay off’ i mean unfollow, mute, block, ignore, disengage with, step out of the mess of arguing, competitiveness, hating and awfulness that twitter, especially, spews out into my eyeballs on an almost non-stop basis.

i decided to make a point of following beautiful, interesting, funny and educational streams. if that makes me a political ostrich and a bad feminist, so be it.

what happened is that i stopped attaching to my online life altogether

but what happened is that i stopped attaching to my online life altogether. i’m not online at night anymore, rarely tweet over weekends and i started doing what i’m advising people to do all the time: i switch off and focus on my primary relationship.

it had the affect of almost entirely shifting my attention away from online altogether. hence the trickle posts (though, with the new site in dev, i’m reminded of the last time i waited for a new platform to materialise. i got so irritated posting to the old interface that i just stopped altogether, too disgusted and bored to even pretend).

apart from simply having more time to do stuff like read a book, one consequence of this has been to see in full the gaze of the anonymous witness and the role it plays (or doesn’t play) in my life.

a fav or a like or a follow doesn’t cover this, but it’s hooky enough to have you believing it might

just before t and i got together, i remember a moment of utter OFFS in morla’s room about flying solo. it’s all very well being a strong, independent, smart, sassy, single whatsit whatsit, but i was frankly just bored with ‘aloneness’ as my daily reality. i was bored with my own thoughts, no longer challenged by my surroundings or mental landscape. i was bored with puddles, bored with the same rote dating cycle, bored with trying to find interest … bored with not being ‘seen’.

morla suggested that humans, apart from being pack animals, need to be seen – to have their lives witnessed with authenticity and love, unconditional acceptance and vulnerability. to be known.

a fav or a like or a follow doesn’t cover this. but it’s hooky enough to have you believing it might. looking at how much overshare happens online, i wonder how many people strip naked – psychologically, intellectually, physically – on a daily basis, hoping to be seen in a way that will confirm their value as a unique entity. and i wonder how many people are practising a form of self-harm by doing so?

how are you wanting to be seen and by whom?

creeping into the normalisation of living your life online is the question: how are you wanting to be seen and by whom? how much value are you placing in the gaze of the anonymous witness? how much time are you dedicating to it? and why?

these are the questions that have been tugging at me for a few months now. tweeting, vlogging, blogging or instagramming fulfils a bunch of needs for me, but it’s no longer my primary partner. the moment i realised it was making me more sad and mad than happy and delighted, the relationship was over.

in a way, social media is back to being what its meant to be for me: a platform for information to share and sometimes have conversations. sometimes it’s a place to blog some thoughts. but it’s not the place to live my life.

do you think this is old-fashioned? i wonder.

***

As someone who’s built this blog since 2006 and been a very happy camper on twitter since 2009, i’ve noticed an increasing disdain in my writing for the bundling of our private lives and online platforms. i guess it surprises and scares me a little. 

Postsecret pic of the week :: these bruises are consensual

7-bruises

iwillnotbeaspellingnaziiwillnotbeaspellingnazi…

as someone who moves in and out of BDSM circles i’ve often listened to subs who enjoy a bit of harder play comparing body marks. bruises, whip marks, welts, even pricks of blood – it all becomes a story of pain and pleasure written on the body …

i enjoy me some flogging from time to time and have only ever received marks once or twice. the few that i got at the beginning delighted me; they were little reminders of a sensual intensity that cannot be fully described, but might at least be recognised by others who like the lick of leather.

lately, however, i receive no marks whatsoever. anybody who has watched me being flogged will tell you that this is fucking crazy considering just how much my lady Doms bring to the party. my theory is that, in that moment, in that context and headspace, i literally do not feel the sharp or velvet tongues of floggers as pain. they bite, yes; they growl and shout, sometimes; pluck and pinch and burn. but they also whisper and flirt and seduce.

whatever they do, they lead me to the centre of chaos, where everything external melts into inconsequence, where i am met by kali, rushing in my ears and up my body.

she transforms me totally on the inside, dropping me into subspace and whipping up an energy ball of bliss

and then she is gone, with no trace of her on my skin,

only my legs trembling and my Dom’s sweet lips at my ear calling me back, wrapping me blankets