"Sorry," Chiana says. To herself. "Most men aren't...aren't like those traders. Most men are, uh...are pretty drad." Monstervision again: "You like men for sex?" Chiana, one last burst of her old ego, retreating to a dead shell: "They're good for other things, but they're great for sex." This last said in a kind of mad ecstasy. The fact that we spend most of our days playing out these lies, telling propaganda in service to the person we think we are. They never figure out the MO here, not really, but it's more interesting to talk about it up front. If you made a list of five things about yourself, anything at all: "Woman." "Teacher." "Scaper." "Foodie." "Intellectual." Or if you're Chiana: "Rape activist." "Healthy sexual being." "Ecstatic." And then pick that list up in five minutes, and see how sad and flaky and thin the paper is: how every single thing on that list is really just ego, just identification with something larger, to give yourself context and power, power over your circumstance and pain. A way to make your messy, awful experience into a story. If that list were a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand words long, it would never approach who you actually are. An infinity of words doesn't make you real, or any more real than you already were before you started the list. Chiana loses her sex drive not because it's her "strongest trait," like she thinks. She loses her "sex drive" because that's what she needs most right now: a reason to think she's possible of getting back her innocence, of enjoying sex the way she used to. It's this lack of hope she's talking to, this fear and abyss they're all fighting. Not the strongest trait, but the one they need most this week, in order to head into Act Three of the season. This episode is stupid in many ways, but it's necessary in more.
Chiana gulps as Talikaa steps closer: "Just men?" Chiana stares at Talikaa, thinking, as we all did, I'm sure: "Always kind of assumed not." Talikaa touches Chiana's comm badge, the breast beside it: "You like this?" She caresses Chiana's face; Chiana turns her lips toward her fingers. Talikaa strokes down her cheek, under her jaw, as Chiana gasps at her touch. "Is this sex?" Chiana kisses Talikaa's hand and smiles at the question. "Yeah," she nods, all angles again. "It's...it's getting pretty close." They're wrong. This isn't sex, it's a Peaches song. It's masturbation, it's freshman year, it's a Tori Amos concert. You don't fuck your pain, you don't make sensuous Sapphic love to it: you take it out behind the fucking barn. Aeryn comes across this little scene and watches as Chiana and Talikaa lean in vibing hardcore, kissing. Grinning. "Chiana," Aeryn says, in that voice that you don't ignore. The kiss stops, and Chiana looks at the door; Talikaa looks away, one hand still on Chiana's breast.