Not because of any responses I’ve gotten over it, but more because I think I processed what I needed to. Or at least in the way I needed to. I wanted to write about my masochism, and how I truly am in a situation where I cannot feel physical pleasure- and so finding joy within pain has become both the worst and best thing that ever happened to me. But, while I have found, and continue to find, a lot of value in processing through writing (it is what I do after all), I find I’m more comfortable by exploring other avenues. In fact, I recently wrote a novel and am currently trying to publish it, and it contains a lot of events inspired by my own- but that’s how writers write, we weave fiction and experience together into character and prose.
The first piece of clothing that I ever tried on for myself was a corset. It is my earliest memory, and must have happened when I was about four or five years old. It’s also the first instance of a confusion which would take decades to reconcile, and the first sign that my nature isn’t necessarily sexual. I remember sneaking into my mother’s closet and trying on her clothes, and the first item that I was drawn to was this beautiful corset. I remember silently trying it on, and how pulling the strings brought a snug tightness around my small frame. It fascinated me, and while I hardly remember anything else from that escapade, I clearly remember that. I said that I snuck into her closet because even then, even at that young age, I knew what I was doing was wrong.
This is the big one. Before Final Fantasy XIII, before I adopted the phoenix, before I knew what either of those was- hell, before I even discovered the term Anguissette, and even before I could read- one defining characteristic has been, has always been with me; I am a masochist. More than that, more than just that word, there is something that I have been since my earliest memory, something that has driven me more than any other facet of my life, that has led me to find a home within the title. The term Anguissette is from Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Dart, and is a person who feels no pleasure without pain, and no pain without pleasure. Whether it be physical, emotional, spiritual suffering, finding beauty and relief within those most brutal circumstances.
Here’s an article I never thought I’d write. Recently it was announced that Claire “Lightning” Farron would become a spokesperson for the fashion brand Louis Vuitton, sparking exactly the kind of comments I’ve grown to expect by now. It’s no secret that Final Fantasy XIII is not widely popular, especially since nearly every recent article that even mentions Final Fantasy feels a need to restate that fact. Whether it’s coverage of Final Fantasy XV and the predictable use of “return to form” and related terms, or on the recent PC ports of the FFXIII trilogy where commentators openly ask what the point of them is. I’m being defensive, but it’s frustrating to see a series that means the world to me so often, and easily dismissed. However, this endorsement deal is actually pretty interesting, and here’s why: It makes a bizarre amount of sense.
It’s the final days of 02015, and I’m reminded of the sheer number of RPGs which came out. The Witcher 3, Fallout 4, Pillars of Eternity, Xenoblade Chronicles X, to name a few. On top of that, games like Bloodborne included RPG elements, including the ability to customize your hunter, even if explicit roleplaying wasn’t its focus. But what this means is that for a large portion of 02015, I spent time existing in virtual and imaginative spaces playing characters largely of my own creation, and while The Witcher 3 gave me a wholly different experience as I played as Geralt, I’ve come to value the ability to create my character a great deal, even if they are largely silent (as in Bloodborne). This isn’t new, customization is a well-enjoyed feature for millions, but there’s certain elements which I’ve come to adore.
If you follow this site at all, you’ve likely noticed a pattern. There’ll be a brief period where updates come semi-regularly, at least to the point where this site appears alive, and then I’ll drop off the face of the earth for weeks, if not months. For the past week, I’ve been climbing out of another Bi-Polar induced valley/ crater, where between late June through July, along with the first week or so of August, I had to deal with a depressive episode. It’s taken me a while to get my life back on track again, to socialize and even longer to refocus on getting work done. Especially in terms of this blog, which despite being therapeutic at times, has certainly taken a backseat while I prepare to self-publish a novel. Ideally I’d like to produce a steady stream of content for this site, but it has proven difficult.
Very recently I had to prepare for a formal event with a very strict dress code. I was told I’d have to wear a proper shirt and pants, and cut my hair. Past that, I’d have to shave my beard, and above all- learn how to bow, which is a shame because I have curtsying down. But the strange thing was, what should have been a nightmare for a post-op trans woman, was actually a lot of fun. Such is the nature of virtual worlds and roleplay, and such is the reality of playing Geralt of Rivia in CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 3. A massive open-world RPG where you not only play a man, but your status as such has a plethora of gameplay consequences. It made me reflect on how, and in which context I’m comfortable roleplaying, and on the discussion surrounding the ability to play as your gender.
Partly an experiment, partly because I want to expand a bit. Welcome to the new Resonance Frequency YouTube channel!
Resonance Frequency exists because of the power of media, but it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve begun to realize that the power of media is narrative. Everything I’ve examined, from BDSM theory and the psychology behind it, to why ensemble casts are so prevalent, is connected by the common thread of narrative. In the past few days, I’ve stumbled on a TED talk about the danger of the single story, and seen the response to Vanity Fair’s cover with Caitlyn Jenner. I’ve also finished a novel, which was not intended to, but ended up drawing on so many stories I’ve experienced within the past decade. But it wasn’t until I was asked to read a part of my novel, and asked why, that I was told the person asking me values it as a counter-narrative. It wasn’t until then that I realized the true power of narrative.
I’ve had a few articles in my drafts folder and would like to do something with them, but a few weeks ago I entered the final stages of completing a novel and it has consumed my soul. More than I was ever anticipating. It’s turned from a curiosity to one of the most involving, personal, and cathartic experiences of my writing career. At this point I’m spending my time between classes at night, and then coming home at 22:00 to write until 03:00ish. It has given me a lot to think about, but until this goddamn book is done/ abandoned (my mother’s an author, among her advice to me was: “Novels aren’t finished, they’re abandoned.”) I’m tied up. If all goes according to schedule, it’ll be done within 30 days. Actually far ahead of when I thought I’d be finishing it, but I didn’t anticipate it being all consuming.