In this project, I have sought to compare and contrast contemporary and mainstream understanding of what is erotic against Bataille’s definition of eroticism. I argue that our culture perpetuates and commodifies nostalgia for taboos and transgressions we have, largely, already dispensed with. Where erotic writing was once a site of resistance against dominant social forces, Continue Reading

The Edge of Language

Erotic experience will commit us to silence (Bataille Erotism 252). In his essay “A Preface to Transgression” on Bataille’s L’Erotisme, Foucault writes that, in all our attempts to liberate sexuality by speaking and writing about it, we have not failed, but done something worse: we’ve described its limits (Foucault 30). Now that science has laid Continue Reading

Ecstasy: Transcendence, Feminine Jouissance and the Lacanian Real

If transgression is a crossing of a boundary, then what lies beyond it? Bataille’s answer is ecstasy. While in everyday contemporary parlance we understand ecstasy as a wholly positive experience often associated with intense physical pleasure, the origin of the word reveals more complex and ambivalent connotations of insanity, dislocation, fragmentation, or a “feeling which Continue Reading


“Let me call you Daddy,” I said. There was nothing but hiss of a bad digital connection. The screen’s cold glow cast harsh shadows across the rumpled landscape of my bedclothes. I was glad, now, that Blue* had refused to use the camera on Skype. Glad he couldn’t see me because, as the hiss stretched Continue Reading


À la jouissance, on n’accède pas par un mouvement direct : il faut un franchissement, une action violente qui casse la chaîne continue, horizontale, uniforme du désir pris dans le langage. Le désir a besoin d’une effraction, d’un forçage, d’un saut dans l’impossible. Le désir a besoin de la transgression. (Lippi 17) The subject of Continue Reading

Back to Nature

The girl’s hair is short and of no particular colour. That mid-brown so many American girls have and dye to something more interesting. Elizabeth suspects she cuts it herself, in despair, in front of the bathroom mirror on Friday nights when her loneliness threatens to choke her. The girl—because she is just a girl, really—is Continue Reading

Laughing Man

Men don’t cry like women. I’ve always thought that most of the ways in which people say that men and women are different was bullshit. We’re not from Venus, they’re not from Mars, and all that gender stuff. That layer’s not as thick as everyone wants to believe it is. Maybe it’s just that I’m Continue Reading

Little Prick

I sat up amid the swaddle of bedding in the berth and rolled up the sleeve of my cotton nightdress, waiting in a tangle of fear and anticipation, hating the idea of having a piece of metal stuck in my arm and yet bearing the pathetic hope that the medicine would make me feel instantly Continue Reading

Three Little Letters

“What’s the R for?” I asked her, in an offhand way I hoped sounded like I didn’t care all that much. “Oh, that,” she drawled, pulling out the a and flattening it like a ribbon. She glanced over her shoulder and gave a soft, low laugh, like she’d forgotten it was there. “Dumb stuff you Continue Reading

The Desire Artist

You know what it’s like. You’re only reading this because you think that maybe you’re different from everyone else. Maybe you aren’t seeing things, feeling things right, but you are. But I’m going to write this anyway. Just so you know. So you can think: well, at least there’s someone else out there who thinks Continue Reading