Letters From An Alien#4: Life On Mars?

Posted: August 13, 2010 in Identity, Letters From An Alien, Masculinities, Writing
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Dear Sir,

I know I am an alien from another planet, but in many ways I would say we inhabit similar territories. We all have wondered at some point in our lives, what it would be like to meet an alien. And it must have crossed our minds, the idea that once the spaceship had descended to earth, and the creature the likes of which we had never even imagined, had emerged from the vehicle, if we actually sat down and spoke to it, we might find we had more in common than we initially thought. It might turn out, that the question may not be, is there Life On Mars? The question may be, how much does life on mars resemble life on earth?

I am used to being an alien. There have been many times I have been with a man, and he has looked at my body as if it was the most confusing thing he had ever seen.  Sometimes a man will handle me as if he is feeling some weird unknown material, not flesh and bone, but something horrific, strange. Alien. I know these men may never admit it, but really they want to feel a hard cock in their hands, not this gaping hole. They want to bang up against a flat, solid chest, not this wobbling moving mass. They want to be the one that is fucked, not have to negotiate how to navigate this unknown landscape. I accept their confusion and distaste. The fact is, I quite like it.

I am not called ‘alien’ for nothing. Part of my pleasure, if you can call it that, is derived from being alienated, unknown, unwanted.  I have read books about this condition, some of which suggest it is a fatal flaw in my character, something to do with my ‘early childhood’. But I don’t really understand what they mean. As far as I am concerned, this is who I am.

Men I meet who do not think I am an alien, who seem convinced I have holes in the correct places, and bumps in the right spot, handle me with confidence and lust. They want me. They want to know me and get into that deep dark crimson crevice that I usually keep locked up and secret. They want to  hear me scream and feel my body shake, and twitch and gush.

But I don’t feel comfortable with these men. It is like they want to possess me, take me over. I feel like I am being invaded by an imperialist force, and before I know it I will be stood at a kitchen sink, in some faceless suburb, wondering where I am and how I got there, and what is the best recipe for lasagne.

Just as you may be attracted to a certain coldness in your fellow men, a promise of violence, an urgent but detached interaction, that does not lead to breakfast in bed, and Sunday papers for two, and talks of holidays. So am I. And where better to find that than with men who do not recognise me as a woman at all, but see me as I am, this unattractive, unknowable creature from outer space?

I sometimes think that for all we have learned about sex and power and desire, we struggle to apply our radical ideas to our own lives. Here we are, bound to a particular way of doing and seeing and fucking.  Thinking we can only do and see and fuck particular species, particular types.  If I were as clever as I sometimes like to think I am, I would find a way to escape physically from the bonds of gender and sexuality, as I have done theoretically. I am not quite sure what that would entail. I expect you are not either.

Benjamin Noys conveyed something in his rather prim, academic prose, that struck me at my heart. It was to do with ‘ascetism’ and ‘spirituality’ – aspects of sexuality we seem to avoid at all costs in our current, greedy, lustful, narcissistic culture.  I don’t think to find those things that we necessarily need to be abstinent. But maybe it is worth searching for experiences and connections that don’t satisfy our immediate, traditional, base desires.

I have come to find writing to be a satisfying, ‘ascetic’ expression of my sexuality. Writing like this, from the cunt, from the heart, as well as from the mind. I feel I am laying myself in front of you, in a perfectly chaste manner. But laying myself in front of you all the same.

You don’t have to ask if there is Life On Mars? I am proof enough of that.  Maybe you might gain something from knowing an alien. I can’t believe I have been sent down to this incomprehensible world with no mission whatsoever.  I come in peace.  What do you need from me?

  1. i have read this back and it reads as some kind of anti-narcissism. I know all that Kristeva crap about how women are ‘othered’ by their very biology followed fast on its tail by the acquisition of language. They are the ‘not-male’ the ‘non-masculiine’. A kind of void. And this sounds like an expression of that. But I am not happy with it as a final analysis of gender difference. Especially as many women become uber-narcissisitic and our culture has been uber-femininised. and my love of masculinity is homo-erotic in that I can see the point of the male body mirroring itself, more than I see the point of this filling the void of male into female. I can’t bear to re-read Kristeva. I don’t know where else to look, though.

    • and I have questions about the homo-erotic queer psychoanalytic analysis of narcissism too. Because a) women are narcissistic, at least at the level of appearance. but Id say they build whole fucking empires around their sense of self.
      and b) the main writers through history have been men writing about men, not necessarily out of psychological narcissism but social norms. or if writing about women, the women have fallen into traditional roles, again not necessarily for psychoanalytic reasons. c) if times can change, if men can be metrosexual and narcisssistic in that ‘feminine’ way, can’t women be narcisssitic in that ‘masculine’ way? d) Is it really though still all about the phallus? e) Is that what I lack? really? I don’t want one. I just don’t want my not having one to be such a big deal.

  2. I really do feel like an alien by the way. writing to another planet. In this particular moment. Because I don’t even know if anyone would read or understand what I am saying. I will send my message through the galaxy and see what happens.

  3. I wonder if this contradicts my ‘bottom line’ post in some ways. A desire to be unwanted and unrecognised, versus the reality of when that happens? But no. For when I say ‘gay’ or ‘bottom’ I don’t mean these as fixed categories. I know those bottomly boys wanted me, they just didn’t know how to dominate me. I hope they could learn, as I learn. And when I say I want to be ‘unwanted’ ‘unrecognised’ I don’t mean it entirely literally. I mean I value that detachment, that not being totally led by carnal desire, that ‘straight’ men are led to believe is how to be led when it comes to women. Maybe they could learn too, as I learn…

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