Anus Utopia

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Anal Terror

Anal Utopia

Erotic of rotting

According to Paul Preciado in an essay called ‘Anal Terror’, patriarchal capitalism could only emerge through a centuries-long process of ‘anal castration’: the denial (sealing-up) of any orifice that cannot be reduced to sexual or reproductive functions – especially the orifice through which bodily compost exits our bodies enters the earth. That is, the anus. In another historical process of corporeal enclosure, ‘It was necessary to close up the anus to sublimate pansexual desire, transforming it into the social bond, just as it was necessary to enclose the commons to mark out private property,’ writes Preciado. ‘To close up the anus so that the sexual energy that could flow through it would become honorable and healthy male camaraderie, linguistic exchange, communication, media, advertising, and capital.’ Borrowing Hyde’s terms, to close the anus is to restrict the movement of the gift, which accrues rather than loses value as it exits the body and becomes independent of the self.

With the concept of anal castration, Preciado asks where desire and life emerge. The anus is threatening precisely because it is sexy and productive – even reproductive, if shit is understood as manure from which new life grows. Yet that new life is not, at least in the first stage, human life. The worldview required to un-castrate the anus, to reach toward an ‘anal utopia,’ as Preciado has it, would require one to consider nonhuman species as part of an ecosystem in which shit is essential food rather than toxic waste. ‘The community of closed anuses is shored up with dumb columns made of families, with their anally-castrated-father and their hollow-viscera-mother . . . The kids with castrated anuses built a community they called City, State, Nation.’ This community is limited not only to those whose anuses are closed but to those who see the telos of all life as capital production and biological reproduction.

Where would all that erotic energy go to, in the anal utopia? If all orifices were understood to be potentially erotic – the nostrils, the pores of the skin – and all orifices were seen as (re)productive? If productivity was besides the point? If bodies did not have ‘outsides and insides, marking zones of privilege and abject zones’? If desire were not seen as ‘a reserve of truth’ but rather as ‘an artifact that is culturally constructed, modeled by social violence, incentives and rewards, but also by fear of exclusion’? If desire were no longer a marker of identity, by which one is made queer or femme or whatever else? If desire were instead seen as ‘an arbitrary slice of an uninterrupted and polyvocal flow’? If interpenetration were understood as a constant fact rather than a means to a reproductive end? Erotic energy could be made political by being made ecological.

Sophie Lewis

Sophie Lewis, author of Full Surrogacy Now, reaches toward anal utopia through the concept of surrogate gestation. She begins by calling the work of gestation what it is: labor, and then asks how that labor could be distributed beyond the family unit, abolishing the family unit and its teleology in the process. In an interview, Lewis says: ‘If everything is surrogacy, the whole question of original or “natural” relationships falls by the wayside. In that sense, what surrogacy means is standing in for one another, caring for one another, making one another. It’s a word to describe the very actual but also utopian fact that we are the makers of one another, and we can learn to act like it.’ We are the makers of one another, and also the makers and the products of trillions of other species – we gestate and are gestated by them. We co-create the atmosphere, and we can learn to act like it.


  1. THE ONTOLOGY OF THE COUPLE or, What Queer Theory Knows about Numbers
  2. Homosexual Desire - Guy Hocquenghem
  3. Was there something queer about May 68?: The FHAR and Guy Hocquenghem
  4. This Compost: Erotics of Rot - Elvia Wilk

Output Writing Version 1


the last number invented

here I am, just an anus.

an insertion ports

the invisible garden

the corner of our cruising

the unlit room in the club

becoming flowers and wild boars

making love with Arabs

May '68 taught us to read the writing on the walls

there is no wine, candles, or roses

but everything flourishing in the darkness

the negative space of being

I am the moon, shadow, passivity.

I am female, African, Middle Eastern, underclass, terrorist.

put a pencil in the hand of a masturbator

Couples are the greatest violence and empire.

I refuse - the silent tango comes to an abrupt halt.

happy (not) together

between being and (non) being

(non) definition

(non) future

(non) ontological position    

between zero and one

before fiat lux

before language  

before senses

before the before

before after fiat lux

before after that before

no vagina

no penis



Output Writing Version 2

Three presences:

Andere (shaman), B, Z

As Venus shines brightest in the sky,

Homo sapiens struggle to survive on a dying Earth

that increasingly resembles the toxic atmosphere of Venus,

dreaming of flourishing again by mutating into post-humans.

Shaman Andere performs rituals to

allow endangered sea anemones to invade human bodies

Andere (shaman) :

Welcome all the new world workers, masturbate!

To make the walls sing.

To dance, to laugh, to celebrate!

no heterosexual tightly closed doors here,

only a multidimensional space

without any bony edges,

There is no subject here,

we are left to our uninterrupted passions,

we love a pulsating life,

that tingles and swells,

only with a bio-port that

to eat and excrete,

eternally sinking and rising,

a longing, never be silenced,

metamorphose and reproduce with light energy,

into the peach-blossoming night forest,

the endless poisonous purple mists,

we begin to grow fluid,

making our stretching skin bleed,

mixed with our menstrual blood, pre-cum, saliva, urine,

succulent, toxic humans,

translucent tentacles,

dissolving in the environment,

fragile, sickly, somnambulistic, and clingy,

paradise is rotting,

our fates look at us,

long since lost our sight,

back before language,

tentacles cling to each other,

no longer distinguish each other's shapes,

the universe is promiscuous,

desire is blind,

swing to the disco with the darkness of the cosmic dimension,

we no longer fear,

breathing is reproductive,

it births the atmosphere,

shit is reproductive,

it births the atmosphere,

dying is reproductive,

it births the atmosphere.


I am destined to disappear,


destined to perish in another.

put this moment in the can,

I love you,

for ten thousand years.


Never am I alone.

Many who lived before me

and made efforts before me

were weaving


on my being.

And if I now sit down beside you

and quietly say: I suffered

do you hear?

who knows,

who is murmuring