Life is innately sexual. My life just seems to defy all boundaries in this respect. Last night in one of my classes where we discuss contemporary issues in photography, we were talking about the concept of the surveyor and the surveyed. Specifically we were talking about Sophie Calle (amazing woman, amazing story) and how her work differs from something along the lines of Jennicam (one of the first real webcam shows that ever existed). But then the conversation led itself into the direction of voyeurism.
People were arguing that Jennicam was trying to gain attention. She began her webcam website at the age of nineteen. She broadcasted from her dorm room and streamed a new picture every three minutes (which was really fast when she started). She danced for the camera, performed little strip teases, etc. Then over time it became about her life on camera. If she was in the room, the camera would update with whatever she was doing. If she was out of the room, the camera would update on the state of the room while she was away. Eventually she moved into her own place and got more cameras and updated her site with more photos at a faster rate. She began documenting/sharing her life with millions of people per day. Visitors got to witness her at home, working from home, sleeping, eating, being intimate, etc. But it is the intent of the project that confuses people.
Was she doing it for some kind of release for herself? Was she in-fact, an exhibitionist? Purpose is difficult to figure out, but everyone will come up with his or her own hunches. I tried to argue that, to me, it all seems like a sort of rite of passage. I feel like everyone goes through a phase where they are interested in showing off their body. Everyone is a bit of a voyeur. I compared to her site to being like my journals thorough the years. I began writing in high school, as a sort of release. But I was only interested in it when I would get responses from people. It was a way of reaching out, from the security of my own home. I could decide what I wanted to disclose. I was in complete control. But an online journal is a bit like voyeurism… people are reading what I write–much like people are viewing Jennicam at all times of day.
But it all has a sexual overtone. Even my writing. Regardless of it all, sex continues to run my life. Not in the sense of “I gotta get laid.” But more like everything has a sexual charge of some sort. I write. I take photographs. I have an underwear fetish. However, I prefer nudity. I enjoy the body. I am coy. I struggle to express myself with spoken words. I constantly reorganize and edit. But I separate my lives very distinctly…
For school I am very well composed. I am quiet, but will be honest with you. Some take me for an asshole, and I embrace that (they just do not know me at all). With my friends, I am no longer quiet, but still keep myself on a fairly tight leash. But then there is my life alone. I return to my apartment, with all my belongings, and there is so much more to be said about me. But only the very, very select few get to experience that. And even fewer get to experience the overtly sexual being that I am. I often feel bad for people when they first begin to date me… especially when we start to get intimate. I know how I am; I can be overwhelming. But that is part of who I am.
I have been beginning to accept myself in all respects of life. It is hard to do at times though. But recently I can say that I have been very proud of myself with how I have been dealing with some things. Like I mentioned previously, I am quite shy. Usually in mixed company I just keep my mouth shut, doing the “hello” thing and falling back to the background. But recently I have been joining in conversation, with strangers even! Small talk used to make me real uncomfortable, but I think I am growing into something new, something with more confidence in himself. I have an out of control ego as it is, but I shy away from interacting with people… but this leaf has been blown over and I am to take on this world all over again. A voice to go along with my presence.