Category Archives: Uncategorized


emmie's scribbles

i can’t fight it
the things you do to me
the way i respond to you
you draw me in
you wrap me up
in your love and perversion
until i can’t have one without the other
i need the soft
and the harsh
to feel loved and wanted,
i want you to want me
to accept my surrender
my acquiescence,
sometimes thoughts of you terrify me
and i cry for want of you
i need the terror,
in what way am i warped and how did it happen
no one knows really
especially not me
who knows if childhood prepared me for you
for us
or if it is you alone
that draws from me the darkest depths
what matters is you, me , us
we matter beyond all else
the world is a backdrop to our story
people merely actors in our play,
yours is what i…

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Wanna Play?

emmie's scribbles

Do you want to play
A game with no rules
Play your cards right
There’s no way to lose

Whats your wager honey
Maybe a touch or two
Strip for me baby
I’ll strip for you

Lapdancing and laughter
Don’t take it too fast
we’ve got all night
Lets make this last

High stakes rollin’
That’s the only way to play
Keep your scorecard handy
It’s gonna be a long day

So much ground to cover
From your hair to your heel
This game never ends
All the bases
That’s what I plan to steal

There is no way to lose
When we play like we do
I’m Ready
Set to go
How about you

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emmie's scribbles



And, overwhelmed

Hold me

Console me

Direct me

Protect me,

Don’t scold

Don’t argue

Don’t demand

Don’t disagree

Your fierceness is frightening

When it’s not for me,

Your time

Your attention

Your care

Your affirmation

I need it

I demand it

I crave it,

Pet my head

Hold my hand

Vanquish my dragons,

Tell me to never change

They try to tear me down

They try to deconstruct me

They try to make me assimilate,

You won’t let them get me

You and me always

Against them

Against the world

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A delightful handful

emmie's scribbles

A delightful handful

I’ve heard it said,

But is the sentiment

The heart or the head?

Taken apart

The meanings no issue

Taken together well,

Madness ensues.

A delightful handful

Just what is described,


Or just the curve of a thigh.

Might be boobies

Or a nice tight bum

Could be sassiness

Or the wonderful sum

Of your parts

Which make you so you

A delightful handful

In both head and heart.

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The Mutability of The Self in Being-Together-With

“We Are The Same”. We are the same in being self-same and self-different. We become a self, properly speaking, ourselves as self-same precisely in changing through self-difference. Self-Identity can never mean identification in the sense of some commonality.

“The same is in no way the equal. The same is even less the coincidence without difference of the identical. The same is rather the relation of the different.”

“”Belonging lies in the assimilation that distinguishes the appropriating event. By virtue of this assimilation, we are admitted to the event. This is why we can never place appropriation in front of us, neither as something opposite us nor as something all-encompassing.

.. This is why thinking which represents and gives account corresponds to Appropriation as little as does the saying that merely states.”

Representing one’s self, as in the I-Subject, nor representing the other can ‘get hold’ of what is meant in being-the-there-together as appropriating event. Nor can representations such as space get hold of the place we open up in which we become who are together.

To say that emmie and I became what we are for ourselves and for each other in the appropriating event of coming together means precisely this, that what is retrospectively the self is in the first instance, an outline, a figure that must be filled in by living. “Figure” does not mean picture, but a prefiguring in the sense that the wings of a butterfly are prefigured just prior to metamorphosis, by corresponding shapes that appear in the body of the caterpillar.

“Master and slave” are such a prefiguring outline. What it means to be such can only be worked out from the prefiguration, but the figure only properly is in the working out, the outline defines as little as necessary. Representing is to “picture”, which overdetermines becoming from the start. Identity becomes identification, which is opposed to both self-sameness and self-difference. It is merely applying a prefabricated generalization as already decided to what should instead develop out of decision.

Being the same does not mean being the same as the other, which is exactly what equality conveys. The same (το αὐτó) does not presuppose the equality of “two things or two terms”. In fact it precludes such equality. The same is always the same of some other, but this other is first of all itself, or self-same. The same is the gift of self, given in the event. The same is dative—for itself and with itself—in relation to itself, and therefore of a different self-relation.

The dative ἐαυτω means: each thing itself is returned to itself, each itself is the same for itself with itself. In sameness, there is thus difference—opposition to self. “Opposition appropriates itself. It appropriates itself in the same as the essential of being. This “opposition” is the incision of the other in the same, an incision that remains occluded within relationships of equality.

If being the same originally means being self-(ex) change (the withdrawal of oneself in self-giving—the play of the dative) and letting the other be in the self, and if, originally, identity is a metamorphosis, then the incomparable character of being simply designates the impossibility, for everything that is, of being equal to itself. A being could be just like another being, but it cannot be just like itself in that it originally differs from itself. The being of beings is what inscribes in beings the difference of beings from themselves.

It is in this sense that being and time belong together, we differ from ourselves in time, over time. Self-difference as contradiction has another definition: finitude. We can be “in time” and “over time”, and simultaneously self-different and self-same because we are finite. But as the same, being, essence, and beings are all finite and mutable. Through finitude we become incomparable except via the incomparable itself.

The complicity between being, essence, and beings revealed by the (ex)change stems from this change and rupture of identity that makes each thing, each person, simultaneously an essence, a being, and the difference between the two; a dative self-difference that prevents every self-enclosure. When I encounter emmie, after the event that appropriated us to each other, I move into her, exploring her difference, the singular play opened in her between my essence and itself. It is exactly there, at that place, that she welcomes me. Ereignis, the event that appropriates, or the enowning, is the place where this can happen, there where we make room—a place for the other.

This welcoming, or passage into the other and back, neither is pure transcendence, nor is it some sort of transcendental hospitality; it is ordinary in the sense of ordinary changes in living, where the interplay between living and those who live changes both. There is no alterity without change. The other changes me because I change myself in it. The strange resemblances between people who live together without being kin; between lovers, friends, and children are such living changes. Alterity is transformation—fashioning of and by the other.

The metamorphosis and migration of Dasein, God, the relation to being, beings, etc., corresponds neither to the sudden appearance of new monsters nor to what are ordinarily called fantastic creatures. The new metamorphosis and migration results from the way in which, after an appropriating event, breathe the same air, and live the same novel ontological condition: being-essence, being-beings, and being the difference between the two.

Self, Self-Identity and the thinking of identity are changed to the extent that what is the same is not the closed circle of generic community or commonality but a gathering that precisely does not generalize. Essence is henceforth a remaining open, the revolving door of the house of being through which the exchange of the favor passes.

The “gift” and the “giver” are not abstractions, but ourselves and the things we give each other, in this case emmie and I and what we give and receive, and the ways in which those things matter. The “gift” is material, in the true sense of mattering, and only by understanding each other, and each others place, the “there” we each are, have we a shared place where we could understand what matters to the other, and thus to ourselves. Favor is gift, of course, but also the excess of giving that is never exhausted in any gift.

“The visibility of Being itself found in transformed beings in and after the event is born precisely from ontological mutability, where god can be shown as Dasein, “Dasein as god, being as a thing, Dasein as a thing and a thing as a god, without any of these essences trying to alienate each other or become equal. The divine, the thing, man, and being from time to time show in each other, are installed in each other in passing. Essence—stand-in, double, halo, aureole—is the other name for what, in a thing, god, Dasein, or animal and in being itself is the most exposed, the most fragile, the most ordinary. The littlest, in everything, is living tissue of a constant autotransformation, which is itself living, thinking, and thinging: a being’s capacity to take leave of itself so as to be crossed and exchanged with another. There can be no “belonging” without this suppleness of gathered terms, itself founded on the suppleness of gathering, a suppleness that permits them to fold into and substitute for each other while remaining what they are.” —  Malabou, Catherine

That emmie can substitute for me, that she can put herself in my place and do what I would have her do; that she can see me as her Master, not despite the ordinariness she knows in me, but precisely because of that ordinariness, is part of suppleness, the exchangeability that nevertheless keeps us who we are. That I can put myself in her place and understand what she needs, understand what she wants, and decide whether those are congruous with our place together is also part of that suppleness and fluidity of self and self-identity. Enowning makes the ordinary explicit as fantastical, and the fantastical simultaneously real by living.

“Pain maintains a natal tie with the logos, meaning with gathering and belonging. An essential bond would in this way unite pain and gathering. “Pain would be that which gathers most intimately,” in the littlest, most fragile, and exposed fashion.” —  Malabou, Catherine

“It is necessary to look after and protect what is supple” – Malabou, Catherine

Enowning as an “Intra-Action”

“The notion of intra-action is a key element of my agential realist framework. The neologism “intra-action” signifies the mutual constitution of entangled agencies. That is, in contrast to the usual “interaction,” which assumes that there are separate individual agencies that precede their interaction, the notion of intra-action recognizes that distinct agencies do not precede, but rather emerge through, their intra-action. It is important to note that the “distinct” agencies are only distinct in a relational, not an absolute, sense, that is, agencies are only distinct in relation to their mutual entanglement; they don’t exist as individual elements.”

Barad, Karen (2007-06-20). Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning (Kindle Locations 789-792). Duke University Press. Kindle Edition.


While it can be dangerous to jump to ontological conclusions from any scientific perspective since those perspectives are always themselves based on a (usually) not well clarified ontology of their own, Barad is cognizant enough of that difficulty to at least make her ideas worth looking at.  Her notion of intra-action as a key implication of quantum entanglement is interesting in terms of M/s and the idea of enowning that I’ve put forward in earlier posts.

The notion of what ‘makes’ a Master a Master and conversely a slave a slave itself arises for me in the event of enowning, an entangled shared event which simultaneously enowns each to the other and out of which both are what they retroactively always already were.  We ‘are’ what we become, since we determine the effective past (the past perfect) that determines who we become, and thereby who we already have been. 

In dialectical terms the ‘actual’ series of events is not the determinative one, since any event not remembered or regained in some manner is gone.  The past that determines who we are in the present is that which we retain as in a sense still present, the past for which we use the past perfect tense; not the past that was but that which has been.  Since we determine this from out of entangled intra-actions what we ‘are’, in our case Master and slave, we determined as the past from out of a co-event that ‘made’ us such, and did so retroactively, in such a manner that we always ‘had been’ only as a potential actualized in that event. 

As such neither Master nor slave pre-existed the event, although we certainly were in the sense of being precisely who and what we were.  As distinct, determinate agencies in a specific situation of enowning we didn’t pre-exist the event of enowning which brought that situation about, and so we were not Master and slave as such.  The intra-action of enowning – the simultaneous leap into enowning/enownment is an ontological event, and a unique one – ‘The Event’ as such, for any shared being-with that comes about as such through the event.  We are as enowned perpetually in the leap.

Beyond the Master/slave Dialectic: Erotic Ownership

In erotic ownership of another self, Eros draws the potential owner and the potentially owned by engendering desire, and in this draw draws both into the draw itself as an intimate being‐there-with. If we posit the two persons involved, though, as present­at­hand, fully determinable entities, and the desire as some sort of mutual relation, we fail to understand the way in which the beauty we perceive in the other draws as erotic

If the other were a fully determinable entity, a thing, such as a statue for instance, our desire to possess it leads to a contrary desire, that is, to keep possession the beloved should be made less desirable to others, hence less beautiful, less engendering of desire in others, but this would also engender less desire in ourselves.  From the potentially owned perspective, then, precisely they should allow themselves to be owned by one that doesn’t desire them fully, because one that desires them less will have less interest in reducing what beauty is there. This technical understanding of the situation misrepresents Eros, in that desire and possession as moments of Eros become contradictory, and in one way or another the contradiction leads to the loss of both.    It is also totalizing in that it re-presents both the other and the between as fully determined, totalized things in a totalized relation to one another. Rather than erotic, this technical understanding is thanatic, in that the self, the other, and the relation are experienced clinically, laid out before, precisely as a corpse is laid out before a clinical, theoretical gaze. As total, this type of possession can only be relative, predicated on  a  relation  between totalized entities. 

Beings as things can be seen as present-­at-­hand, and in our ‘rational’ way of thinking, we experience things in that manner.  We can even, in a theoretical stance, strip a thing of the relations that give it meaning, such that it becomes an object. Things can also be experienced as ready‐to-hand, in the way we perceive tools when we use them with only implicit recognition of their presentation,  primarily  recognizing them as fulfilling a function, for example we don’t really notice the chair we sit in as a chair in its full presentation, but as a  functional “for‐sitting‐in”. These two modes don’t exhaust the possible modes of being, though, since they only deal with beings as determinate things. Neither our self, nor the self of the other, nor the beauty of the other as Eros that draws us towards, nor finally the desire that we experience in this draw are fundamentally experienced as things in either the present‐at‐hand or ready‐to‐hand modes, still less as ‘objects’ stripped of their meaningful relations. In that selves have thingly aspects we are no different from the higher animals, other aspects of our being determine us as primarily selves, and in so doing redefine the animalistic traits we do have. 


Eros and desire as what draws and the draw itself are not experienced as a relation between present‐at‐hand things.  In erotic being-drawn-towards we are drawn towards a projection of the self and the other upon a possible shared horizon. In this draw we are simultaneously stretched temporally from our history (the past as what is retained in the present) towards a projected future. The present ‘moment’ in which we experience the other is not a single now‐point but is the entirety of this projected stretch. Desire is not a relation between two already present‐at‐hand things but is mediated by the self‐narrative of the projection, and Eros is not an ‘object’ of this desire but its goal, its telos. The erotic is what engenders the self-narrative of fantasy (hence why fantasy is always seen as fundamentally erotic) by drawing us towards possibilities that are not yet fully actualized as possession and being-possessed, and can always be further actualized.  Absolute possession is always partial, because as absolute it possesses what is only partially determinable,

As selves, the potential owner and owned are not primarily present-­‐at-­‐hand entities, but the opening of a place in which such entities can appear and pass away as the interplay of reality. In being-­‐with the other there is no ‘relation’ between isolated self-­‐things because selves themselves are the between in which any such relations can occur. Since both the draw of desire and the being caught up in the draw occur as projections, both desire/Eros and self/other are experienced as only partially determinable possibilities, and desire is desire to  actualize those possibilities as fully as possible. To possess in the mode of guiding the actualization of the possibilities of the other, while being‐possessed, is in the mode of being-guided in that actualization. The erotic as owned is simultaneously present‐at‐hand beauty and ready‐to‐hand usefulness, but more primarily the continuing increase of self, Eros and desire in a co‐actualizing being-there-with, where co‐actualizing determines the possessor as owner and the possessed as owned as an ongoing appropriating event, an enownment, in which each receives their appropriate potential from the appropriating event itself.

In this situation there is no contradiction between desire and Eros as its telos. Desire desires precisely the fullest actualization of the erotic and of the self as possessing the erotic. In the appropriating event the proper places of each are determined in an ongoing way, the places of the enowned and enowning as the fullness of enownment itself. Being caught up in the draw and projection of desire by the possessed itself co-projects the fullness of enowning as far as our finite projections can, and the event,  as  ongoing,  constantly  re-projects  enownment  onto  further  horizons.  By absolute being‐there-with in the appropriating event we avoid predetermining or over-determining the other, from either side, by holding open possibilities as possible, and remaining open to changing projections of those possibilities.

American Medical Schools

Apparently if you attend medical school in the U.S. rather than elsewhere in the world, you can skip the required courses in Medical Ethics and Medical Prudence so long as you replace them with “Lying To Your Patients 101”, and the more advanced “Sociopathy Through Medicine”, along with “Being Patronizing for Beginners” and the follow on “Being Absolutely Condescending”. The final required course is a double credit value course titled “Replacing Medical Prudence with Personal Cowardice”.

The Problems with “Identifying-As”

A number of things I’ve read and/or observed lately run aground on the notion of “identifying as”. The notion of identifying as in a fixed manner indicates not only a misunderstanding of the proper use of that action, but a misunderstanding based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the notions of Self, identity and Self-Identity.

The only thing I identify as in a fixed way is my Self, i.e. I identify uniquely and solely as me. This isn’t some rampant individualism, since my Self is largely shared with other human beings, more so the closer we are in terms of the society into which we were initiated, and in which initiation we became human. Self-identity, at its base, is precisely the identity of one’s Self with oneself. How we comprehend this identity and how we always know when we are being true to our Selves is a complex matter, but it has nothing to do with identifying as one genera or another, or with one group or another.

When I see someone doing verbal somersaults trying to accommodate their sexuality, as an example, to a label they can be comfortable identifying as, and predictably failing, there is a demonstrable confusion between who one is and how one happens to live. Simply put, if I fuck the same sex, I’m gay; if I fuck the opposite sex, I’m straight; if I fuck both, I’m bisexual. At any given point in my life, based on how I project myself acting in the foreseeable future, picking one or the other shouldn’t be altogether that difficult. The apparent difficulty arises when we try to use the way we project living in the reasonably near future as determining who we are. At that point the simple definitions (and the huge variety of more complex ones) are never sufficient to capture every aspect of something as complex as sexuality, and the only possible outcome, beyond the above mentioned confusion, is a self-limitation to one or another group’s definition of itself as a group. Living as straight, gay, bi, is not a limitation since that projection can change as we change and develop. Identifying as any of those, or queer, or leather, or cuticle-centric, or whatever is inherently limiting the manifold ways in which we change and grow as selves.

Of course we spend time in various groups, not just over a lifetime, but over a single day, and to some degree we ‘take part’ in the identities of those groups. However simply because we are employed by private businesses we do not necessarily ‘identify as’ rampant capitalists; nor do we necessarily ‘identify as’ xenophobic nationalists simply because we come home to a family of a particular ethnicity and enjoy some of the common praxes of that ethnicity. The State arbiters between groups as groups precisely because individuals morph between various groups on a constant basis, and as a result their identities, wants, desires are far too complex and fluid for any kind of comprehensible contract between state and individual. Just as having an ethnicity that is part of my identity does not make me identify as that ethnicity, neither should having particular sexual proclivities, or being part of particular groups that are defined by some common proclivity, force me to identify as that proclivity. While it is part of my identity it may be a major or minor part, it may be constant or fleeting, or it may come and go.

The exceptions, of course, are groups where membership is a lifelong binding commitment. Being a Jesuit is not something you can take up and put down, for example. Neither is being a Hell’s Angel. Even in these extremes, though, members remain the complex beings they are, the difference being that they have made a solemn commitment to putting a particular group’s interests above those of any other group they may take part in at different times in their lives or different times of the day or week.

With the implosion of the concept of ‘personality’ and its replacement with the poorly enough defined ‘self-identity’, as individuals we are in greater difficulty coming to grips with who we are than ever before. However self-identity and identification are separate matters, and conflating them cannot lead to a satisfactory self-understanding. Simultaneously modernization, and capitalization in particular, has functioned as an acid on a vast number of shared praxes that lent a sense of belonging to members of different groups, whether the destruction of the shared praxes of particular rituals in various religious groups and their replacement with groups that only share abstract ideological belief-systems, or more recently the abandonment by capital of the shared praxes of the sciences, and the ensuing removal of funding for the scientific community and its replacement with “knowledge workers” that do not maintain the expensive and, from the perspective of global capital, useless shared praxes that gave a sense of belonging to members of the scientific community. These changes lead to an understandable desire to have a comprehensible determination of oneself, and a sense of belonging to some sort of community with whom we share something intrinsic.

Creating new communities, though, requires new shared praxes, and this is a difficult achievement, particularly in a time where people are skeptical even of skepticism itself. Trying to create communities via a shortcut of self-imposed sets of limitations via the notion of ‘identifying as’ will not work, and in fact will cause nascent communities to self-destruct, leaving individuals in the same place they were to begin with. There’s no point in defining and redefining what makes a particular group the group it is to such a degree that it becomes unrecognizable. All that’s been achieved, functionally, is the destruction of the group and its replacement by an arbitrary set of individuals with no common praxis that would lend the sense of belonging and identity desired in the first place.

Redefining something in order to make it more inclusive, in this case usually inclusive of whatever is part of your Self, but was excluded in the original definition, also makes the definition less precise. As an obvious example, some of the recent redefinitions of ‘leather’ that I’ve read are so inclusive they make it practically synonymous with ‘human’. We all belong to that definition in any case, there’s no need to duplicate it, nor will doing so give anyone any greater sense of belonging to something particular.

Communities based on new shared praxes, providing they are not particularly difficult or onerous, have the advantage of being open to anyone willing to participate in the shared activity, without thereby becoming more and more inclusive to the point of meaninglessness.

Enslavement and Enownment

I see two major issues with the linked post on enslavement:

  1. Everything mentioned is in terms of the slave’s “needs”. However you could turn things around and make all the same statements in terms of the Master’s “needs”.
  2. The point is apparently solely so that the slave can “be all she can be”. Aside from sounding like an old recruitment commercial, precisely what’s in it for the Master?

It’s true that a slave needs a certain “safe” zone in order to fully express themselves as such. In large part so does a Master, in order to express themselves as such. For both to occur there has to be an event, which I term “Enowning” or “event of appropriation”, both borrowed from two different English translations of Heidegger’s term “Ereignis”, which can also be translated as “Mastery”. In the case of an M/s relationship, “Enowning” has two simultaneous moments to the event, that of enslavement and that of enownment – the slave’s slavery is enabled as the Master’s ownership of the slave is enabled in the event of Enowning. The event is not something that occurs and then is over, but something from within which each remains what they have become, and becomes it more deeply.

As far as being all they can be, a significant part of being enslaved is precisely being what the Master/Owner wants her to be, not what she wants to be. A significant part of being enowned is that you *can* master the slave to be what you want them to be, in fact the mastery of the Master consists precisely in being able to accomplish this. The event of appropriation appropriates the slave into the malleability of being enslaved, and appropriates the Master into the ability to own and enslave.

The focus on a slave’s “needs” reminds me of an article I read recently, where the article writer said “obviously this woman is in close touch with all of her needs”, i.e. she’s a selfish bitch. That seems to me to be entirely the wrong approach for a slave in an M/s dynamic, and catering to it seems entirely the wrong approach for a Master.