Saturday, 25 May 2013

A Phenomenology of Arousal by "Feminization" (MEF - Masochistic Emasculation Fetishism)

The picture above, what is it that makes it sexually stimulating? How is the picture functioning within the experience of a person like myself? It is the anxiety of associating symbols of emasculation to oneself. This is therefore a fetish I call MEF (Masochistic Emasculation Fetishism).

There are three intrinsic and co-dependant semiotic properties in the experience to understand. The semiotics of GENDER, EMASCULATION and ANXIETY.

A vicarious projection of the self(other). 

Understanding "Gender".
Femininity works in very much the same way as the self, where a property is only "feminine" in the style of which "femininity" is opposed to "masculinity". Historically "femininity" and "masculinity" derive from female-like and male-like, and this itself derives from culture coming to distinguish generalised notions of two types of bodies, "female" and "male". In our culture, people come to identify as female or male based on their physiological sex, and come to identify as a "gender" based on historical cultural associations related to either sex. A female will usually "feel" like a female because their relationship regarding culturally stylistic masculine-feminine oppositions. Regarding the fantasies in question, there are prevalent niched symbols and themes of femininity which reflect wider culture, but anything perceived as "feminine" is potential.

Understanding "Anxiety" & "Emasculation".
For some, it feels as if there is a curious discrepancy setting apart overtly masochistic fantasy themes, which they may struggle to reconcile. The case is that the logic which constitutes the masochistic fantasy themes, is what also constitutes the fantasies which may not appear to be so on the surface. All of the fantasies are intrinsically and necessarily masochistic, because they are a sexualization of emasculation anxiety, of which "femininity" is it's supreme object (it is a femininity through emasculation anxiety). The key point here to understand is that whilst one's association to femininity is manifestly productive of anxiety, a fantasy is only perceived as humiliating, in so far that a situation can be recognised as humiliating. That is to say that the association to femininity is itself distressing, yet distress itself is not necessarily thematized in the fantasy. For masochistic sexual fetishes in general, like the spanking fetishist, our commonsense instinctively recognises the act (of spanking) as a situation of distress, not to mention the physical pain. But for us, the association of oneself to femininity will display it's constituting anxiety in a theme we instinctively recognise as of humiliation, otherwise the anxiety is obscured from view.

The very anxiety displayed recognisably in a situation of humiliation (right), is what also makes one's general association to femininity arousing in the picture on the left. The individual's fantasy niches will determine the visibility or explicitness of the underlying masochism.  

In Addition: The Idiom of The "Faceless Man".
There are usually two main objects of concern for subjects of such fantasies, being the superficial appearance of feminine self identity and androphilia. These of course are routinely going to be the more powerful symbols of emasculation anxiety, and must be understood as such. It is not the case that one is actually sexually aroused by men or by "being female", but rather that one is sexually aroused by the very idea of being (associated to) such. Again it can not be more emphasized, that whilst these two predominant symbols of emasculation anxiety will routinely and understandably be given particular importance, they are not representative of the fetish itself, which is to say that the fetish is not androphilic nor is crossgender. In understanding our sexual experience, "androphilia" and "being female" are misleading abstractions, which obscure the actual autophilia of masochistic emasculation.