That which delays our enjoyment

The second point is altogether different, more internal. It deals with a difficult question of the fantasy latent in our very frustrations with our body. This fantasy is also, fundamentally, one of enjoyment; it is to enjoy. If we consider what is today the most present example of at least one half of this equation, namely frustration with the body, it is the reality of Trans. The obvious question is whether or not there is (I) a fantasy in trans (which is not merely some fantasy of freedom within a specific liberal paradigm of rights) and (II) whether there is not some unexpected enjoyment at the heart the very radical sexual paradigm which emerges from within the reality of Trans. It is necessary to note that what we call the gender spectrum or even non-binary is not intersectional with Trans, though we may risk suggesting that these are precisely the paradigms which radically emerge from the reality of Trans. It is nonetheless true that someone who identifies as a man, and yet who is born into the body of a woman, is not exactly participating in a fluid gender binary as such. There is after all a much more profound point latent in the Trans reality, which Žižek has expressed very well as its being a radical proof of Lacan’s (and earlier Freud’s) arguments regarding this disjunction between biology (that is, the naive topos of sexuality) and the body (that which becomes more sexual than sexuality; freely sexual, which to paraphrase Žižek, involves something like a sexuality with(out) organs), namely: do not underestimate this disjunction, or what is technically called dysphoria. It is not, strangely enough, an accident; not something to be repressed as such. There is absolutely no doubt, however, that it is almost universally the thing which is repressed and yet it is this, and only this, which names sexuality as such.

This nomination of sexuality means a nomination of enjoyment. This is what is principally repressed. We enjoy our nonbinariness, but somehow at the expense of a much more primordial jouissance (which horrifies us) which the body itself has had (somehow before our birth). It is even a sense of jouissance God has somehow possibly had in configuring us dysphorically, so that no wonder right-wing Christian fanatics see an indictment of God latent in the jouissance seemingly embodied in the non-binary and Trans communities. They see this as somehow entangling God in sexuality, which is tantamount to entangling God in Adam’s dream (anachronism) or in the deeper thesis (proposed by Badiou and Schelling) that God himself thinks. The problem, of course, is that non-binary and Trans communities as they ideologically stand embody the first enjoyment, which is importantly a kind of fetishised, fixated, and interrupted (hence, fascist) enjoyment subject to infinite categorisation. The question is of the deeper jouissance, which nominates the Augustinian topos of all true sexuality: original sin, i.e. that our bodies have already enjoyed (without us). Is this not the almost rabbinical reading of Trans, that if this is the truth of the body, that something has either happened without us or the pain inflicted upon us in the form of this seeming dysphoria seems to be utterly at the expense of what we consider some truer, even purer enjoyment. The recovery to be avoided, of course, is that minimally proposed by the non-binary spectrum; namely, that there is something either magical or natural to this dysphoria, insofar as it nominates some deeper range of (dys-)morphisms, and that we have been wrong to have ever thought we were somehow born improperly. We were not born improperly, merely miscategorised, seemingly. The difficulty is that this brings the return of the very implicit (self-)categorisations we thought we had escaped, and, if not, then only because we have now elected to assert some deeper rêve with respect to the state of our bodies (only without the crucial triptych: sin, flood, and resurrection).

This dream, however, is entangled with categorisations; the dream is supposed, if not to be empty, than to have just that slip—that béance—which allows it to really work as a dream. That which is unrealised of course functions as that which coordinates that there is (a) desire at all. Where is this desire in Trans? It is clear, more importantly, that this desire is connected to that which is expected to (eventually) be enjoyed. A slip functions as a kind way of showing that whatever it is exactly we hope for can be lived, and it is in this respect, and in this respect only, that Trans proposes a category of enjoyment: this, with your slip (from birth) in hand, is how you desire. Have we not, after all, underestimated the extent to which, whether I like it or not (and this is when it becomes enjoyment as such), I must do what I must do to become myself. It is crucial here that jouissance names precisely what is necessary here, even as it is clear, from the naive material facts, that you are not what you are. You are what you are (with a slip). As in, the body has already acted out (and this the enjoyment) the slip you will make in trying to name yourself. Still, the fact that you must become what you are is what enjoyment tries to name; it is effectively why we enjoy, so that to say, and this is the ideology, but this is what I am, on the basis of some necessity, is to misunderstand the entire crucial move: the price for enjoyment is that you become who you are.

It is, in view of this formula, important to ask the question of whether enjoyment is present in our present world. Do we not, after all, see how the formula has been tragically reversed: the price for becoming who you are is enjoyment. Of course, this is precisely the standpoint: enjoyment is considered (at the same time as it is accepted and fetishised) as that which one must take on as a burden in the “journey” to become who you are; enjoyment is somehow how one gets there. It is, of course, enjoyment itself which names the precise disjunction which much more radically makes you what you are. It is not that you are something, or will become something, or any variation on this forced necessity: if you are anything, it is on account of not being able to reach who you (think) you are, for which enjoyment is the perverse signal. This is why Trans names precisely what is at work in any of us insofar as its (holy) disjunction is not only accepted, but, in turn, radically anticipated, to the extent that the fact that one’s enjoyment comes from having, almost as a political duty, to become who one is, is the crucial move. Here we nonetheless have two recouvrements (I) the idea that you are somehow “meant” to become this and (II) the idea that this political duty convenes upon some question of rights. Of course, the question of meant advances our points regarding grey loops insofar as the fact that you are born not as what you are is to be treated as an elementary statement on becoming anything and the standstill, which language itself names, that to become what you are is enjoyment.

It follows enjoyment names something about ourselves we will not reach, which we then presume to enjoy. This means that the thesis here is: we enjoy precisely when we are not (just) ourselves. The fact that Trans allows us to see just how radically this thesis is with material reality is crucial, because it is also the reason this strange thing called enjoyment is precisely what is repressed: one must, after all, radically accept that to seek out what is mistakenly called performativity, but which should be called precisely enjoyment, is to, firstly, accept that enjoyment and not exactly being who you are are uniquely related. Whatever the “next step” in the journey is is not on the basis of the absolute contradiction, but you see I always was myself. The point is that you never were who you are; this is what you get to enjoy: since enjoyment is what you get for never becoming yourself, how can it be that there is any relationship between enjoying and being oneself: it is enjoyment itself which names, not only that they are radically opposed—that one enjoys when one is subjectively not oneself, but the fact that not becoming ourselves is not that which delays our enjoyment. As we have seen, the opposite is the case.




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