On Empty Spaces

What is Empty Spaces? By its nature—and like queerness—it’s not the sort of thing that is precisely defined.

There’s a philosophy at its core and the loose community that gathered around it and the stories we all share, all of it with hazy, mutable borders.

Empty Spaces is trauma and queerness and kink, the intersections between, and how they influence one another.

It’s saying “I am not a person” as a way of reclaiming our dehumanization or just because we like the vibe.

Empty Spaces is about playing with symbols and archetypes that feel like they resonate with something inside us. Sometimes we can clearly explain our connections to them, and sometimes we’re exploring them to better grasp a connection we don’t yet understand.

Sometimes the writing contains clear and sharp metaphor. Sometimes it’s just our literal truths expressed directly with the archetypal forms that best communicate what we feel.

Sometimes it’s a cry of pain, or wish fulfillment, or just smut. Sometimes it’s hard to tell which.

Empty Spaces is, crucially, about not believing we have to hide the ways our trauma changed us.

It’s openly engaging in acts of play and expression that reflect the parts of ourselves which polite society would prefer we bury. Yes, even the bad parts.

We accept the idea that maybe there isn’t a path to healing from the trauma that will make us the way we would have been if the trauma had not visited us. It doesn’t mean we can’t get better, but it does mean our “better” may not be what others expect or want from us.

The scars may fade, but they won’t vanish. The broken bones may have fused back together, but not aligned properly. The part they surgically removed will not grow back.

We don’t think it’s best for ourselves to pretend that we’re on the road to becoming perfectly “normal.”

Maybe we’re all healing wrong.

Maybe we’re doing trauma wrong, or queerness wrong, or kink wrong, or traumaqueer wrong, or queer kink wrong, or traumakink wrong.

But we’re still alive. We’re still doing it.

And we’re still playing with dolls.


Empty Spaces is subjective and personal, and any attempt to say “what it is” necessarily reduces it. It becomes impersonal by attempting to define it.

It is not “just” the things I’m saying here. It’s all this and even more kinds of authentic self-expression.