Here’s a fascinating entry relating to Armstrong’s account of her first kiss. It combines a number of elements anticipated in Foucault. First, the post contains a quote from a letter Armstrong sent to a friend. Foucault would probably read this as a hupomnema or perhaps more accurately as correspondence. Letter writing is an important technology of the self in Foucault’s technologies of the self. Second, the account documents a limit moment where Armstrong’s bodily experience lead to the creation of new limits. She uses this experience as a source of reflection on her various relationships with power. Finally, she refers to her conscience at play as a result of the experience, a move anticipated in Foucault’s understanding of power and subjectivity.
Here is a quote from the post:
David kissed me in I guess what he would consider sensual fury, what I
would consider beastly uncoordination. At about midnight I pulled out of his
driveway never to see him again, well, never to see him for a long, long time. I
was really messed up from the experience even though all we did was smooch. In
the eyes of the Church, I thought, I must be a heathen, a stiffnecked wayward, a
virtual Lamanite. For about three months I lingered on the brink of
self-destruction. David was gone forever far far away in a land called Caltech.
My innocence was gone forever far far away with Nirvana as my only
And then Armstrong reflects on her subjectivity at the time:
And then I remembered just how distraught I was at that first kiss, how I seriously thought I was going to hell because my tongue had entered another human being’s mouth for purposes other than life support. And I so totally and completely don’t want my daughter to ever have to go through that sort of self-loathing.
So I’m going to keep this letter — a single-spaced account of my whole sexual non-history from ages 14-18 that is written in one whole paragraph and stretches over seven pages — and hope that when the time comes I’ll be able to teach my daughter about making healthy personal decisions about sex and about relationships, and about never using the word “uncoordination” because it DOESN’T EXIST.