Ask Natasha

Ask Natasha

Ask Natasha | Pathos, Perichoresis, Platony, Precautions

Q: I am already sexy/ hot… But I’ve had trouble finding love the past four years; what can I do to make myself more socially available without the Internet?
PS I’m not a crazy bitch so WTF? Can I also say that I’ve attracted everything from twinks to married men but nobody who will commit.
Kim, 26

A: I will let you in on a secret if you promise not to tell anyone. I, although I have practically lived through everything, can offer up advice to whoever is willing to sit near me at a pizza and soft-serve buffet, and haven’t quite lost my looks yet, also have difficulty finding love, if it is indeed a thing to be found. I, like you, in times of despair have turned to categorization (I’ll add to your list ever so many losers if you’ll give me a bottle of something and a microphone, Kim).

Your question implies that the internet search is the most pathetic one, and your assumption comes from a truth. Picking people based on stats and profile pictures will offer you no renewed faith in the existence of an honest man. You will see that heights, habits and motivations vary from what is listed in an advertisement for the people you will pluck from a feed of eligible bachelors, and they will find the same to be true about you. You will force your ideas of happiness on one another at a restaurant neither one of you particularly like (if you liked it, you’d be a regular, and end up running into friends) until you realize that there is something very different in the way a person you have not met naturally (by running into, by coming across, by happening upon…) views the world, which is why you had not previously known each other. You will part ways and gain the sense that there is no possibility of seeing this person again, based on the remoteness of the origin of discovery. You will see him again, though, and he will be eager, because he always was, as were you: eager enough to set up a lookbook on a site that reads “available.”

The news is, this is the only way anyone dates anymore, and it is an unavoidable element of the game if you want to have casual sex, or if the person you’re about to have sex with is at all casual about it. In other news, relationships are pretty passé, and talking about them even more so. Here’s something else you might not like: the way you have described the guys you’ve ended up with is the first step towards internet-y dating. You have suggested a way to place people into groups: committed, or not, married, or single, gay, or straight. The process of ridding ourselves of these societal blacks and whites has been postponed due to the ticks created by social networking: friends, or not, in a relationship with one other person, male, or female, and that laughably outdated term, “bisexual.” What I’m getting at is that there are larger issues at stake here, Kim.

I will leave you with selections from Peter Sloterdijk’s Bubbles (Semiotext(e), 2011). As he sees it, we have given relationships a much kinder treatment in the distant past, and yet our disdain for them is pretty ancient.

  1. Mystical theology and the Trinitarian system provide insight into the constitution of personal life, which is marked by dense interweaving; in these micro-universes of God’s intimacy with Himself and human intimacy with God, everything is disposed towards interdependence.

  2. In Being and Time, by contrast, Heidegger contemplates derelict forms of existential perichoresis… [W]hen he states in his analysis of the ‘they’ [das Man] that “Everyone is the other, and no one himself,” the catastrophe of the strong relationship idea becomes manifest.

  3. Sartre demonstrated how far the implications of this statement extend in Closed Doors [No Exit], where a trinity of inauthentic people spend eternity together in hellish intertwinement. Here each becomes the sadistic cognizant of the other’s sham life. But hell is only really other people when everyone gazes coldly at one another in their contemptuous mode of being.

Q: So, what would you do if a famous/well known author whose work you admire invites you out to dinner? How would you a) pick his brain and b) KEEP IT TOTALLY PLATONIC OTHERWISE IT WOULD BE ENTIRELY WEIRD? Therese, 26

A: One of a few power-relationships is occurring, and each is important to consider, but two are more likely than the rest. Either said author is as impressed by you as you are he and equally nervous about said precautions, or he knows and relishes the dynamic you are envisioning, hoping to exploit this imbalance by teasing out the sexual tension.

Hopefully, pretending he is as interested in your work as you are in his would cancel out the conventional dynamic of successful-male-writer dominating a dinner with a rising-female-intellectual. Let’s get real: a celebrity is a character who has been deconstructed and reconfigured in order to fill a gap in a community’s psyche. So, you have the upper hand because your work is not yet as historically relevant, which means your personality is still in focus. But that’s not really my point, because you will still talk careers, and points will be kept on a hovering, invisible scoreboard overhead.

Sexual innuendo hatches from boredom, insecurity born of developmental discomforts, or a revelatory factor introduced to a restrictive lifestyle—which are all essentially the same thing.

It can also come from a suggestion of deep truths, which you may or may not believe in. I, personally, do not, but many, including Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe, Roman Polanski and Mia Farrow, Bobby Brown and the late great Whitney Houston, etc. have implied that the relationship you are now describing is what created the greatest love of all.

Perhaps we should allow this non-struggle its course, and relent to the academic prowess of which a fairer sex has historically taken a weaker grasp. Authors tend to appreciate a rising action moving towards a finale, but not one that was never foreshadowed by the narrative’s introduction.

Ask Natasha anything at

Recent Posts


What is a piece of clothing that “works”? Who is working whom? Is the one who poses the one who actually “works” hardest? The S/S 2017 collection of Berlin-based, Swedish- Vietnamese designer NHU DUONG entitled ‘WORK COLLECTION’ plays with the ideas of professionalism, leisure and appropriateness through a range of garments that are inspired by work outfits and hobby uniforms. Overalls, raw denim outfits, kung-fu pyjamas, biker pants, baggy tights and gloves, bomber-jackets, bomber suits,… [read more »]

Preparing to Welcome the Chthulucene | Agustina Zegers

Preparing to Welcome the Chthulucene is a text made up of living exercises to accompany Haraway’s theorization of the Chthulucene and her upcoming book Staying With the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Haraway posits that not only should we name the Anthropocene carefully (including the terms Capitalocene and Plantationocene within its narrative) but that we should also be using this crucial ecological timeframe to move towards a dynamically multi-species, “sym-chtonic“, sym-poietic future: the Chthulucene.… [read more »]

Laboria Cuboniks in Conversation

Laboria Cuboniks is currently a group of 6 women working together online to redefine a feminism adequate to the twenty-first century. They collectively wrote Xenofeminsim: A Politics for Alienation in 2014. Here, in conversation with Postcontemporary Issue guest editors Armen Avanessian and Suhail Malik they discuss the dissatisfactions and limitations of historical feminism and the importance of theorizing “the future” as a feminist project. Armen Avanessian and Suhail Malik: The initial formulation of your political… [read more »]

Situating Global Forms: An Anthropology of Cosmopolitan Science

Aihwa Ong, interviewed by Armen Avanessian and Suhail Malik Constructing Globality Armen Avanessian and Suhail Malik: Your anthropological research pays close attention to specific emerging and inventive configurations of globally-constituted modernization, particularly in East Asia and its diaspora. Throughout this work you identity many ways in which ‘things that used to be fused together — identity, entitlement, territoriality, and nationality — are being taken apart and realigned in innovative relationships and spaces by neoliberal technologies… [read more »]

Ways Of Living ⎮ Arcadia Missa

Ways of Living, curated by the team behind Arcadia Missa, moves beyond the home as a site of political contestation and into the working place, the artist studio, the public sphere, and nature. While so-called ‘social practice’ taught us that any attempt of art to engage with issues outside its own institutional reality are easily coopted into the mythologizing machinery of individualism and patriarchy, art still possesses an ability to address issues far beyond the… [read more »]

What is at Stake in the Future? | Alex Williams & Nick Srnicek

Every ‘future’ inscribes a demand upon the present. This is so whether at the level of human imagination, or within the sphere of political or aesthetic action necessary to reach towards their realisation. Futures make explicit the implicit contents of our own times, crystallising trajectories, tendencies, projects, theories and contingencies. Moreover, futures map the absent within the present, the presents which could never come into actuality, the wreckage of dreams past and desires vanquished. Futures… [read more »]

Dog Plays | Hayley Silverman

Hayley Silverman’s “Dog Plays,” an ongoing series in which a cast of untrained dogs take on the role of characters from a range of pop-culture texts, disrupt the canon of identities traditionally represented in Hollywood as they are re-inhabited by animals. Calling on artifacts ranging from Richard Linklater films, to science-fiction thrillers, to Depression-era musicals that rhapsodize class difference, these performances investigate how our understanding of narrative, authority and identity transforms when we project stories,… [read more »]

A poem by Ser Serpas

ripped apart you rip me apart collage million dead collage donde queda mi cuerpo el temporal como dios en mil partes clothing as point of impact a totem is a wrap around a city as it is engagement with one’s surroundings and engagement with that which has been worn out discarded and filtered into alms buckets and newly tagged i wear my surroundings on my feet when it wears out i see only my vantage… [read more »]

DISCREET Call for Participants

DISCREET – An Intelligence Agency for the People The 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art invites you to apply for one of fifteen spaces open to individuals interested in taking an active part in a three-week-long public workshop conceived of by Armen Avanessian and Alexander Martos for the formation and development of a civil secret service organization. Held from June 22 to July 11, 2016, the workshop brings together renegade experts from art, theory, technology,… [read more »]

Parent and Parroting | Nancy Lupo

Each year retail displays are readied in preparation for the gestation and labor of the catch-all holiday season before floating into a colorless postnatal celebration of mundane plenty. Capitalism’s sympathetic pregnancy makes for a cold and lifeless pas de deux, at times humorously inseparable from the vitality of social milestones. In Parent and Parroting, Nancy Lupo continues with a series of interventions into commercial products and industrialized food. Her interferences often reveal or reconfigure the… [read more »]