I Can Feel My Skin, I Am Everywhere

“…Attempts to escape the body result in a reaffirmation of the body, just as an escape from consciousness implies a reassertion of consciousness. (Butler, 53) The body never disappears in cyberspace; it is continually reaffirmed, reimagined, reified- written and rewritten, over and over again.” (Rodriguez, 142) 

              In her essay, “Welcome to the Global Stage” Confessions of a Latina Cyber Slut, Juana Maria Rodriguez explores the practice of cyber sex, fantasy and anonymous intimacy in queer Latina chat rooms on the Internet. Rodriguez shares some details of her own explicit encounters online and as a result the identity building that happens In Real Life (IRL) thereafter. As to the process of nonphysical encounters shaping our physical lived experiences I would like to suggest Spike Jonze’s film Her as an excellent visual example. Though a very vanilla version of the encounters Rodriguez was experiencing online- Jonze’s characters Theo and Samantha (a human and an operating system who engage in a romantic relationship) develop through surreal relationship in a very real way. Both Jonze and Rodriguez ask the audience through non-physical relationships and non-corporeal sexual encounters to consider and complicate one’s own understanding of body and non-body, real and unreal. Each piece accomplishes this through an unreal setting, linguistic disclosure, and challenging the boundary between internal/ external, private/public.