Monday, August 24, 2009

A Real Live Crush

No, I don't have one. Well... maybe not? I don't think so? Long story. But it is so incredibly awkward when I think someone might have one on me. I don't know how much more there is to say about it, but knowing me I'll come up with some commentary.

The thing is, crushes are more complicated for asexuals than for sexuals, which is saying a lot because I don't think crushes are particularly simple for sexuals. An asexual person is gonna have one of two pretty unique experiences. If they're aromantic, that's one situation and if they're romantic, that's another altogether.

So, I'm no expert on being aromantic because I'm romantic (though not very, and not in the stereotypical way. That's a post in itself). But I'm going to venture a guess that being aromantic and knowing someone has a crush on you is probably super awkward. Cause there's not a snowball's chance in heck that you're going to feel the same way about them. And if you're romantic, it's awkward because you still aren't quite going to feel the same way about them, with the added bonus of the fact that you might be quite interested in them, but not in the way they are interested in your or in the way they'd like you to be interested in them. Yikes.

How do people handle this? I've kind of got this idea that I'd like any guy I'd be into dating to know that I'm asexual. I don't know if I'd be able to have sex with anyone- I've just never been in a position to find out, because if I were ever to allow someone to have sex with me I'd have to trust them more than anyone in the world. I'd have to be more comfortable with them than with anyone else. It would take a lot of real closeness for me to be okay with that. What that means in a relationship is that we're not going to be doing the whole premarital sex thing, because if I were close enough to a guy to be able to have sex with him we'd be so close that we were married. Tell me if this doesn't make sense. But the problem is, at what point is is appropriate to tell someone? I want to get it out in the open before I start dating someone, but what if sexuality just isn't something we discuss? I try to avoid "the talk" because that's awkward and it makes a bigger deal out of it than I'm cool with. Gotta think about this one some more.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Gender-Fluid in a Gender-Solid World

This blog is turning out to be as much about gender as it is about asexuality. Not what I was planning, entirely, but hey, who am I to complain? An idea is an idea.

This week is orientation week at my University and I signed up to be an orientation leader because I'm crazy and masochistic. (Our dorms have no air conditioning, so I'm melting this week.) I'm having fun anyway.

One thing we did, during Orientation Leader training, was play a huge 120 person game of "trainwreck". This consists of sitting in a huge circle with one person standing in the middle. That person says their name and a fact about themselves and then anyone for whom that fact is true stands up and runs to find a new seat. The catch being, of course, that there is one more person than there are chairs and someone is left standing to begin the next round.

One of the facts someone used was "I am a girl" and later, "I am a guy". Of course, I stood up for "I am a girl", but because it's me and I think about my gender so frequently, I wondered- how would I have felt standing up for "I am a girl" if I felt more like a boy that day? Sometimes I do. It depends on a lot of different factors, none of which I'm going to detail here because I already did so in a very long series of earlier posts. As I'm sure we're all aware, it would have been all kinds of not fun if I had stood up for "I am a guy". People would have been very confused, probably would have corrected me and I would have been embarassed.
My gender identity has to do with my everyday life, but not really very much. I'm content with people reading me as female and treating me accordingly. It's just that sometimes I don't feel like a female. Honestly is not a requirement for playing "trainwreck", but what if my gender identity had really mattered to me, enough that I stood up and, in running around like a chicken with it's head cut off, implied that I'm not a girl?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Filler and Fluff from the Beach!

So, what the heck is it with me not being capable of updating even once a week? I really do think that this will get more regular as I get back to school. Sneak preview- I decided (right this second, no lie) to do a weekly Monday-night update. What's so special about monday nights, you ask?

Monday night is PRISM night!!

Have I explained/bragged about PRISM yet? My beloved GSA... We meet every monday night and I love going to meetings. Plus, they're awesome and super supportive. I'll need to do a whole post on them at some point. The upshot of all this is that I always come away from PRISM with something to think about and though I do usually work up the courage to share (I'm a tad shy. Okay, really shy. I address all my comments to the center of the floor) I often have more to say, or I develop my thoughts further as I have more time to think about them. What better way to get it all out than to blog a bit? Plus, that means more/more regular updates here. Win, Win, Win, as Michael Scott would say.

As the title of my post suggests, I'm at the beach this week with the whole extended family. This means lots of quality time with my very liberal relatives, which is cool because I'm not in the minority for this one week every summer. It also means quality time with the brother.

My brother's been doing this funky thing lately where he apparently is obsessed with people's sexualities. He makes loads of gay jokes and calls people gay when what he really means is "dorky" or "strange". (He's 17. Perhaps that just explains it?) He also likes to give me heart attacks, and I nearly had one when he slyly referenced this blog, which, as you will recall, he has read. Out of curiosity, Tom, are you still reading this?
What I don't get is people's obsession with various sexualities. If sombody's a different sexuality than you, who gives a flying flip? Really, what does it matter? People insist that it does, but I can't think how. And somehow it's so important to each and every one of us. It changes the way we view people, the way we talk to them, the way we look at them...
I'm trying subtlely to prepare the family for me being asexual. Like insisting to my cousins yesterday that no, there really is not any guarantee that I'll ever be somebody's mom. Honestly, no. Just because I'm female does not mean I will ever have children. Gotta break down those notions now, because it's better to learn to take people as individuals. Just becasue somebody can physically have kids, doesn't mean they will.
Cake to anyone who can figure out how many points I just made in this post. I'm really really tired and misspelling every second or third word. Off to bed!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Internet is for Porn (sometimes)

After that last post, I'm going to stick in one that's a little less whiny. Angsty. Whatever.
Anyway, as I suggested a couple posts back, I found an asexual sort of viewpoint in that song, "The Internet is for Porn" from Avenue Q. I love that song- it's hysterical. For anyone who hasn't heard it, first of all- Youtube. Second of all, just so you can keep reading, in a nutshell it's about a girl who's "teaching a lesson" (I don't actually know what's going on, but that's how the song begins) about the internet and is going on about how great it is while another character interjects the phrase "for porn". Like this-
"The internet is really really great (for porn)
I have a fast connection so I don't have to wait (for porn!)"
And then the girl gets upset and tells the other character off because of course the internet is not for porn at all! She points out to other characters what sort of chaste things they do while online- shop, pay bills, send e-cards and stuff like that. Then the other character objects, "But what you think they do after?"
And they all admit that, yes, after they look at porn. The girl is totally disgusted. She can't believe that "normal people" would look at porn online. Never occurred to her and it disgusts her once it's pointed out. Totally sounds like something from the "Incredibly Ase Moments" thread on AVEN (which I love and read religiously).

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Third-Wheeling It

So, I have relationship problems. (Uh, what else is new with me? Not much.) My own relationship problem in the sense that it deals with the relationship between my best friend and I, but also his relationship which can be defined in the more traditional sense- with a girl.
So, I'm going to attempt to clarify for myself as well as for anyone reading why I am so upset when he gets into a new relationship. Not angry, but sad is probably the word I'm looking for here. I guess the reason would be that when he starts a relationship, guess where the sun starts to shine out of? Yup. So, I can look forward to seeing her every time I see him, I know I'm going to hear about everything they do together as well as plenty of things she does alone and tells him about. He likes to pass on interesting stories and to talk about things that interest him- especially the girlfriends.
The crazy thing is, I always get along with the girlfriends really well. He has yet to date a girl I didn't like and get along with. So what am I so sad about? I guess I feel like I lose my friend for a while when he partners with someone. I don't get him to myself until they break up and when we're in a group together he (and this sounds incredibly childish in my head) pays attention only or at least mostly to her. I feel like I have to turn cartwheels to get his attention to talk about something. I perpetually feel like I'm interrupting "their time" together.
I proabably could file this one under jealousy, too. We're really close and spend a ton of time together and it's like he starts dating and I lose all that time I used to enjoy with my friend.
So, an ongoing "thing" (I'm really sorry, I have no idea what else to call it) is that I'm always a nice number-two person. My problem here is that with the friend in question, we're each other's number-one people, the brother and sister, we always go to each other first with ideas and thoughts and to spend our free time... until he starts dating again. And then, just like that, I'm number two. He doesn't stop calling me, he doesn't leave me out of things we might have done together, he doesn't disappear. But I lose my number one. I feel like I'm being cheated on. (For the record, until I typed that I had never been able to pinpoint the reason behind the way I feel about his relationships. Just so you know the depth of what you're reading.) I still consider him my number-one person (family doesn't count, they're a category of their own) but he doesn't consider me his number-one anymore. It's like being left- over and over and over again and always making up in the end.
I don't know what I hope to gain from this post. I'm using it to figure out my feelings and so I should throw in this- that I connect this feeling to being Asexual. I feel that if I were sexual I would understand how somebody could have a new number-one so quickly. I don't- whenever I've dated, my friends were still my number-ones, which I sincerely hope never hurt one of the boyfriends. (Not like there were many anyway.) I feel like if I were sexual I could have my own number-one who I was dating and then we could be each other's number-two people and then it would be equal.
But I'm not and I feel really left behind and I have no way of explaining it to this person so that he'd understand. I don't even think of him changing because it is impossible and would result in resentment towards me, destroying our friendship. I don't know what to think.
End angsty post. Thanks guys.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Guilty Listing

This is what I've been up to lately:
~Hiking in the desert
~Seeing the Grand Canyon
~Spending 12-hour days in the car
~Changing the occasional tire on the side of a highway in Texas
~Catching up on those podcasts David Jay did a while back
~Fiction writing
~Feeling guilty for not updating my blog in forever.
~Finding out what adjective goes with sheep (sheep are 'ovine' like cats are feline.)

What I haven't been doing:
~Forgetting about the blog

I've actually had a boatload of ideas for posts. I'm going to write them down here as teasers/space fillers/to assuage my conscience.
~Asexuality in the song "The Internet is for Porn"
~My inability to write about relationships when I write fiction
~How I used to feel about not being "out" to my parents, and how I feel about it now
~How I really should have written these things down as I thought about them :)
~The podcast.

Friday, June 19, 2009

How I Came Out To My Brother

He found this blog.
Henrik had been joking that if I wanted to come out to my family, I should have them listen to the podcast we're doing* and of course I didn't take him seriously. But I left AVEN up once, apparently, even though I thought I was being as careful as I could be. Guess not.
So my nosy little brother (not little anymore: he's about to turn 18 and graduated from High School yesterday, which I'm very proud of him for) had a good look at the AVEN boards and foun my username. As he explained it, he figured I was the only one dorky enough to have a lolcats avatar (I'm totally not!) and when he saw the link to this blog, he got that it was a Big Bang Theory reference and knew for sure that I was the only one who would do something like that.
His plan, he said, was to read the blog and comment anonymously to 'get the whole story', but he changed his mind and just asked me about it instead. And he's totally cool with me being ase.
Happy ending.

*have I plugged my podcast yet?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Picture, As Promised

Here I am. Don't I look nice? If you're not sure why you're looking at this picture, read "Don't Dress So Asexually" part 3. Come to think of it, you'd better start back at part one, so it'll all make sense. Happy reading!

"Don't Dress So Asexually" pt. 3

The thought I left off with at the end of Part Two was that the way I dress sometimes affects my gender identity as it exists that day as much as my gender identity affects the way I dress. A situation can do the same thing.
When I dress up for church, for example, part of the way I make the decision what to wear is based on how my gender identity feels when I wake up that morning. If I feel boyish, I put on pants (still women's pants, mind you) and look around for a button-down shirt. If I'm feeling feminine, I have a couple of cute dresses to choose from. (Somehow, no matter what my gender identity is, I'm stuck with high heels, because I own no other nice shoes.)
Similarly, when I wake up in the morning I choose between a t-shirt, a button-down shirt or a tank top based pretty heavily on whether I feel boyish or girly that day. It doesn't take a drastic change in what I'm wearing to make me feel comfortable on an average day. I can fulfill the need to feel boyish by pulling my hair back tight and wearing a button-down shirt and sneakers. If I feel girly, I can wear a tank top and wear my hair down. Easy stuff.
A little more complicated is when I can't really choose what to wear- some situations, I'm just expected to wear a dress. Let me be clearer about this: I am never in a situation where I'm forced to look more masculine than I want to. I'm often in situations where I'm expected to look more feminine than that day's gender identity would have me feeling comfortable with. I often compensate by acting more manly than is really necessary and I have to be careful to "sit like a lady" in any case, if I'm in a dress. Still, I can usually adapt pretty easily. My flexible gender identity/expression isn't really a cause of any emotional turmoil for me.
More interesting, to me, are the situations where my clothing affects my gender identity. This is usually when I'm in a dress, or when I'm the only girl in jeans and a t-shirt. I start to feel more masculine when I'm with a group of girls who are all dressed more nicely than I- this was a common thing when I was younger and it was in vogue in my age group for girls to hang out at the mall. Frequently, the other girls would dress up, so as to look cute for any boys who might be there, and I would just be in a t-shirt with my hair in a ponytail. Talk about being the token guy!
The other place this happens in when I reenact (Yeah, I'm one of those nerds!) and where, of course, I'm wearing a very lovely, old-fashioned dress. And petticoats. And a corset. There's just something about this that makes me feel very feminine- I like the idea of being a lady in that situation and I never have gender issues while I'm reenacting. It's very easy for me to be just straight-up female. The other thing that probably contributes to my feminine identity in that situation is the fact that the men in those situations treat me as a lady- just like men are supposed to have done in the 19th century. All this works together to make me feel like a lady, just as I'm expected to be. And I really don't mind it. Unlike a real 19th century lady, though, I'm not lacking in rights and opportunities and I think that's what makes the difference. For the most part, I am still thought of as an equal, though I'm treated differently, so I'm not putting up with any of the male-dominated culture stuff that women then did. So I can enjoy being treated nicely, I can enjoy not having to pitch in- although actually I feel guilty about not doing more work, which I know I'm capable of. But last time I tried to help pack up the Unit's gear after an event one of the guys looked at me like I was crazy and said "hand me that". When I did, He said to the guy who'd asked me to pick the stuff up and said, "She's in a dress" as though that explained the whole thing. I actually found it pretty funny. But then, as a good buddy of mine says, "With chivalry comes chauvenism" and I think he's right. But still, in this instance, I can feel female and enjoy it because it doesn't feel like real life. I don't have the experience the downside of being female at that time and it's all playacting- my gender doesn't matter because for the whole weekend I'm living the life of somebody other than me.
I think that may, in fact, be about everything I want to say about my gender. Wow. I'm sure I'll come back to it, possibly in a more explicit fashion, having worked out in my mind what I want to say, and talk about the ase community and gender in general, but I think that covers the specifics.
Having talked so much about my hobby, I think it deserves a picture. Let me figure out how to post one...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

"Don't dress so asexually" pt. 2

So this time I promised to explain how being asexual makes me mentally androgynous (a word I can't spell without looking it up).
I think it works like this: Because I'm not interested in 'coupling off' in the traditional sense, I don't need to be particularly female. I don't need to do any of the things that women typically do to find a male partner. I have a really hard time explaining to people without some background in the LGBTA community what that means, because they don't see it in themselves. To them, acting gendered is just a very natural way of being and because they see the obvious differences between themselves and other people who act in a way specific to their gender, they don't see the difference when someone is not gendered. It doesn't help that I look like a very average girl, though I feel like your typical amoeba.
So, when I say that I don't need to do the things women do to find a partner, what do I mean by that? I'm not referring to wearing miniskirts or makeup. Although I think you'll find that sexual women do that much more often than asexual women, there are plenty of sexual women who wear no makeup at all and there are probably plenty of asexy women who wear lots of makeup. I think it's more often the little things- they way a woman walks, the way she looks at a man she's attracted to, the way she behaves around him, and men do the same thing- they walk a certain way, look at women a certain way and behave a different way towards attractive women than they do towards guys.
I often say that I give out 'ase vibes', because I rarely get any attention from men (I mean that kind of attention) and with most guys I find it very easy to be myself, in contrast to sexual women who, more often than asexys, get silly and giggly about men. I think I told a story in an earlier post about an outing with my Girl Scout troop, several years ago, in which these budding teen mothers decided to 'pick up boys'... who then spent the evening talking to me, since I was the only girl who was willing to act like she had a brain in her head.
And while I don't act like a woman, I don't actually act mannish either, leaving me somewhere smack dab in the middle of the gender spectrum. In a group of girls, I feel like the token guy. In a group of guys, I am very definitely the woman. How gendered I feel, and in what way, is affected by the setting I'm in because with my female friends I notice all the little things they do that make them feminine and which I don't also do. With guys, I notice all the little things they do that make them masculine, which of course I also don't do.
You know what? I have a lot more to say about this. Stay tuned for part three, in which the title becomes very relevant indeed and I continue to ramble on about my gender. I'll update sooner this time, I promise.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Don't dress so asexually"

The quote is from a friend of mine, when we once ended up at the mall. The point of it is that he was equating the words "asexual" and "androgynous" and while the two terms aren't the same thing, they seem to show up in some of the same people.
In this discussion on AVEN, http://http//, GoAllyGoGo says, "Actually, I think my asexuality affected my gender identity. I'm mentally pretty androgynous, and I really think asexuality has been a major factor in that."

I couldn't have said it better myself. I'm not even going to try, though I am going to elaborate on what that means to me.

This is something I've told very few people: As a teenager, I thought briefly that I might be transgender. I didn't feel like a girl and it was very obvious to me that the other people around me did, in some unfathomable way, feel gendered. People must feel gendered and proof of it exists all around us. I wanted to wear a suit to the Homecoming dance my senior year and go with a friend. I figured that if one of us wore a suit and the other a dress, we'd be able to dance together, and that we'd fit better than if we both wore dresses. Oddly, nobody else saw this.
Further proof of gender- it occured to me that the fact that people feel gendered is what makes the drag show at my school possible. There has to be an opposite to dress up as, if you're going to be in the drag show. So yeah, there's proof everywhere. Gender, social construct or not, exists as a very real thing for the vast majority of people. There's your gender, and the opposite gender.

For me, there's no opposite. Dressing up in a suit feels just as right as wearing a dress. Sometimes one feels better than the other, frequently I'm equally happy with either choice. For Halloween, again, my senior year of High School, I dressed up for a party as (no, I'm not kidding here) a Midshipman of the Royal Navy, Napoleanic War era. I'd been reading too many Patrick O'Brian novels, and I thought that would be really fun. It was; if I ever find a picture of it again, I'll post it here. Anyway, I went all out trying to look as authentic as possible. I pinned my hair like crazy and wore a top hat that covered it all and a big shirt, because I'm girl shaped at least, and I actually tea-stained a pair of white tights, for stockings, and a pair of white gaucho pants which I then cut up and sewed into knee breeches. It looked great. I showed a friend a picture, much later, and she said, "Who's that guy?" I guess some people might have been offended, but I was pleased. It proved that my costume had looked good.

So I finally decided that I'm not actually transgender. I'm... not anything, really. I'm okay with female pronouns and wearing dresses and using my given name, which I'm attached to after all these years. But I still don't feel like a girl should feel. But I'm okay with that, now. I've learned to understand it and how it fits into my life. In my next post, I'll explain how that fits into my identity as an asexual person and what GoAllyGoGo's quote has to do with any of this.

By the way, if anyone knows how to get make a word a link, like making it so people can click on the phrase "this thread" and that's the link, can you tell me? Thanks!

Friday, May 22, 2009


I have a new favorite word! That word is "squish" and I have this AVEN thread to thank for it:

A 'squish' is kind of like a crush, but it's non-romantic. It's that feeling that you'd love to get to know someone better, not to have a romantic or sexual relationship with them, but just because they're an interesting person. If I have a squish on someone, I want to be around them a lot and talking to them. I want to know what they think and I want them to approve of what I think, do and say. I'm probably also a little shy and awkward about them, because that's just me and I kind of go into my shell whenever I'm worried about another person's opinion.

I love the word 'squish' to describe that feeling. It's remarkably different from a crush, in that I don't actually desire to date the person. No kissing is necessary, though I love hugs no matter who they come from. I think this is a feeling that sexual people have also and I think it's what's meant by a 'bromance'(another of my favorite words) but of course 'bromance' isn't the sort of thing you can say about two girls.

So once I started thinking about this whole concept of having a squish, I started kind of classifying my relationships and how I feel about people I know.

As far as my best friends are concerned, I've decided that's not a squish. I love them like sibings and while I would like them to think well of me, I'm never anxious about whether they do. I'm secure in the idea that they will love me even when I do crazy stuff and I am totally comfortable with them.
PRISM members on the other hand... I have come to the conclusion that I have a squish on just about everyone in that group. I think the world of them and I am anxious to have them think well of me. I love spending time with them, just hanging around and I love just listening to what they have to say. .
Definite squish.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Romance in Books

Despite the fact that I'm really, really tired, I feel bad because it's been a while since I posted. I figure I'm doing pretty well posting about twice a week and I don't want to do any less than that, since that's about the minimum that would keep me interested in reading a blog. I'm rambling, but I think that this post is going to contain a lot of that.
I wanted to touch on the subject of romance in books/movies/etc. (whatever "etc." entails in this case.) In short, I usually dislike it.
I totally think it's because I'm asexual. I feel like so often the character's romances change them and they stop being an interesting independant person and start sighing over their love interest. This is very boring to me. I love reading books where the main character can handle their problems by themself or with the help of friends- without their hormones coming to life in the middle and the author sticking in a romance just because there should be one, or just for a plot complication.
Now, that isn't to say that I dislike all romance in all media. I have to confess here, I actually do find it cute sometimes. What I dislike is romance as a subplot, just to give the character something to be angsty about. Examples:
I like the romance in 'A Very Long Engagement' because it's the whole point of the movie- that Matilde is in love with Manech and is determined to find him if he's still alive.
I dislike the romance in the Harry Potter books, actually, because I didn't like how neatly everyone paired off at the end.
I liked the romance plotline in 'A Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag' (one of my favorite books!) partly because Sean is so unlucky with the girl he likes and partly because it's not at all angsty and dramatic- on the contrary, even their eventual kiss is very funny.
I dislike the romance that they stick in the last few seconds of 'War of the Buttons', because I thought the kids, who are no older than about 13 at the end of the movie, didn't need their future romantic lives mentioned. (Also it's the most frusterating ending ever, because the female narrator, speaking of the two male leads, says that "I married one and the other was our best friend- but I shan't tell you which is which." Argh.)
I liked the romance in 'The Raging Quiet' because it came about slowly and naturally and there was no blushing and sighing over the love interest.
I disliked the romance in just about any of the Tamora Pierce books, because I loved the strong female main characters, and didn't like it when they got whiny about boys. It felt unempowering to me, as a girl who doesn't get whiny about boys.

Now, like I said, I connect that to being asexual. I think that, because of the way my sexuality works, I view relationships pragmatically. Which is not to say that I wasn't upset when my last boyfriend dumped me- I was, but I didn't spend a week sitting around sighing. That's why characters whining over their love interests annoys me. I just don't see how that's mentally healthy and it bothers the heck out of me when actual real life acquaintainces do much of it. Being upset because your relationship didn't work out, sure- you get my sympathy. Sighing and whining because you have a crush on a boy you've never even talked to? Oh for heaven's sake.
Secondly, I dislike when characters are made to look incomplete without a partner. That's why I didn't like when J. K. Rowling paired everyone off. I thought it should be okay for somebody not to get married or something. At least not to the obvious character we'd all known since Book 1! This is also why I dislike gratuitous romance scenes. If your character was okay before, why do you have to have a love interest to make them complete? If they weren't okay before, why is it that only a love interest can make them complete? Newsflash! Single people are complete also!

On that note, I'm going to bed. I think I've said all I can coherently say and I'm making more typos than you can imagine. Goodnight, all!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


No, it won't really be TMI, but I've been wanting to blog and I had the coolest dream last night with an asexual twist to it. So, I have these really vivid dreams sometimes- they have whole complicated plotlines and characters and stuff and they're really fun to have. Me being me, I spend all day thinking about them.
So in the dream I had last night, I was one of a group of four people who were running away from... er, something. It was dangerous, I remember that much, and we were being chased. At one point, one of us got caught by whoever was chasing us and we started to argue and ended up splitting up as a result. (I promise, this gets relevant. Really.)
So I'm standing on the sidewalk someplace and this boy, one of my 'friends' in the dream, is kneeling in front of me, stuffing his belongings in a duffel bag. (His name was Henry. Ask me how I remember this.) I asked him what he was going to do next and he replied that he was going out west ("Santa Fe or someplace." Newsies anybody?) where he could be safe. I asked if I could come along and he wasn't sure that would work out and I suggested that we get asexually married. Not in so many words, though- I remember thinking in the dream that it would be perfect because we loved each other deeply as friends and that way we could stay together forever. The dream version of me was thinking how perfect that would be, me being ase, that Henry wasn't attracted to me 'like that' and that if he would marry me I would have someone to love and grow old with and there would be no relationship pressure. Plus, we could keep each other safe from whoever had been chasing us for the majority of the dream, which was kind of the point.

So yeah, it was weirdly vivid, this dream I had. And somehow it managed to sum up exactly what I want in a relationship someday. Someone I love who loves me, someone to grow old with, somebody who wouldn't pressure me in a relationship and someone who's on the same wavelength as I am. (I'm kind of extrapolating that from the shared goals we had in my dream.)
Plus, the guy in my dream was really cute. Maybe I should write a book about it. I could be the next Stephanie Mayer.
(Kidding, kidding.)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dying Alone

I think this is an asexual's biggest fear. With 'coming out and being laughed at/ignored/disbelieved/put in therapy' as a close second, I think that asexuals spend a lot of time and energy worrying about being alone forever. This worry definitely gets a lot of press on AVEN, I think, and it's not an illogical fear. But I also think that, while 'dying alone' is a valid worry, especially for an asexual, we spend too much time thinking about it. This is why:

To my way of thinking, whether we are alone at any point in our lives is something we can control. Maybe we can't control whether we have a romantic partner and certainly not all of us want that. Maybe we can't control the fact that our friends will get married and be the sexual people they are and might spend less time with us than they used to, and maybe they'll even leave us entirely. But we can control how we spend our time and how we get involved in our communities. We can control our relationships with family members and with neighbors and we can form new relationships in non-traditional ways with people we've never even met.These are some of my suggestions for combating the problem of 'dying alone'.

1) Stay close with your family. I've never wanted kids of my own, really, but I'm totally looking forward to being the fun aunt to my brothers' and sister's kids. I love my own aunts and I enjoy spending time with them and if they ever needed me I'd be right there to help. By being a good aunt, I can have a relationship with younger members of my family who will want to be there to support me and help me out when I get old.

2) Get involved in your church or community service program. Big Brothers, Big Sisters, as I understand, pairs up kids who need mentoring with adults willing to mentor. By getting involved, you can have a non-traditional relationship with a younger person. With a little luck, you could end up having a very good relationship that might continue past their childhood years.

3) Stay close to your friends. Several recent conversations on AVEN have centered around the idea of friends getting into sexual relationships and ignoring their non-sexual relationships. I think to an extent, people are always going to spend more of their energy on their marital relationships. But just because my parents are best friends doesn't mean they don't also have friends other than each other. Maybe as an asexual, without a single sexual partner to focus on, I will just need to cultivate a wider circle of friends in order to increase the chance that somebody will be available to talk or spend time with me. I should probably also learn to plan ahead in order to find time with friends who have busy family lives.

4) Join stuff. Becoming a hardcore member of a group focused on things you're interested in, an asexual can find people with similar interests who are dedicated to spending time together on a regular basis. If you get really involved with a club or group that's close knit, you can bet the group will take care of each other outside of meetings, too.

5) Have an unusual relationship. This is probably the hardest, but it's my favorite option- I'd love to have a partner to spend my life with. Ideally, I think we'd be like live-in best friends. We might have our own rooms, but because we would live together, we could share vacations, or a mortgage or pets... but unlike a traditional marriage, maybe my partner would be another woman (who I wouldn't be attracted to, cause I'm romantically interested in guys) or they'd be a man who I just didn't have a sexual relationship with. If both parties were happy with it, I actually think this sounds like a lot of fun.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Why I Love Alex Sanchez

If you've never read anything by Alex Sanchez, you really ought to. A couple years ago, I read the 'Rainboy Boys' series and got hooked- it's about three gay teenagers and tells the story of their last year of high school and first summer before college. I've liked all the books I've read by Alex Sanchez and I think there are a few reasons why. Since I discovered AVEN and asexuality, I've always felt a kind of attachment to the LGBT community, which has only gotten stronger since I started college and got involved in PRISM. But in High School, I wasn't allowed to join the school GSA and I didn't know many people who were gay. I didn't feel like part of that community and Alex Sanchez's books...well, they gave me something gay in my life. They gave me a link to other queer teenagers at a time when I had almost no other link to the LGBT community.
The books have never mentioned asexuality...until now!! Since I started 'Rainbow Boys', his first book and the first of the trilogy that got me hooked on Alex Sanchez, I've had my eyes peeled for him to mention asexuality. It always seemed like the sort of thing he would do, since his writing seems to go out of it's way to include all types of people.
So I got to the library this week and picked up the two books of his that I haven't read- "Getting It" and "The God Box".
Now "The God Box'' is about reconciling Christianity and being gay, which, as a Christian, I think more people ought to be talking about. I was really excited to read this book and I'm thrilled I did because halfway through the main character's friend tells him this:"Even if sexual orientation were a choice, aren't we a country where we're supposed to be free to pursue our happiness, whether we're hetero-, homo-, bi-, trans- or even a- sexual?"
I love the assumption that ases are normal. I love the assumption that asexuality is just another option for human sexuality and identity. I love the assumption that we fit in with the LGBT community.
I love Alex Sanchez! *cake*

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Why Being Ase is Ace

I've sat through a few heavy conversations today about death. Specifically, my parents (and other adults I love) talking about how awful it would be to lose your child and then about what it was like to lose a parent. As a kid, (I'm not that young, but I'm just young enough not to think of myself as a grownup) that was really kind of upsetting. After that, I need something happy. So today I'm blogging about the nice things about being asexual.

1) I feel like I have more love to spread around.
Because I'm not caught up in looking for 'the one', meaning a sexual partner, I spend all that love on my friends. I'm not waiting around for a single person who I will then consider the most important relationship of my life. Every sexual person to whom I try to explain this, denies it. They don't see their eventual sexual partner as the person who will be the primary focus of their love and attention. Guess what? I think they're wrong about themselves.

2) I can talk to guys. And they like me.
Once, when I was in Girl Scouts, we went to a scout-sponsored beach weekend for both Boy and Girl Scouts. The girls in my troop, much more boy-crazy than me and much less sensible (if I do say so myself) decided to spend the evening 'picking up boys'. Keep in mind we were in the 8th grade and I guess their hormones were kicking in. The boys we "picked up" happened to be high school sophmores or so and a bit on the dorky side. The other girls in my troop were kind of eyeing them and giggling, despite having invited them to go on a carnival ride with us. I made my way over to them and said hello, as though I had a brain in my head. Turned out they were in their school band, like me, and they spent the evening talking to me and going on the carnival rides with me. I don't think my Girl Scout troop ever forgave me but boy, did that make me laugh.

3) I can be comfortable in my own skin.
I don't spend any of my time trying to please a potential sexual partner. I once had a friend tell me that she thinks my motives are more pure than hers, because she'll sometimes get to know someone purely based on attraction, which I can honestly say I've never done. I don't worry about looking good enough to pick up boys and I don't worry about being the prettiest girl in the room. Actually, in a large group of girls I feel like the token boy (/masculine person, I guess I don't really feel like a boy either) so I certainly don't think about being prettier than anyone. I'm also unafraid to be a dork, as evidenced by several years in the marching band, the debate team, and a reenacting habit... I mean- hobby. Yeah, that's right. It's just a hobby, I swear.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Openly Asexual

Not a coming out post. In no way.

"He is gay, guys. Only he doesn't talk about it all the time, on account of having interests outside of being gay." ~Ryan North, comic character

I was gonna wait a day or so to post, so as to space things out, but I've given up on that. This has been bugging me for a long time and I'm going to vent, darnit!
What is it with identifying people's sexualities? If somebody's not straight and they're mentioned in the media, or in conversation it seems like their sexuality always gets inserted right next to their name. "Jim Bob, a gay Minnesotan, thinks this about fishing season" or "Mary Jane, an openly asexual librarian, likes to correct other people's punctuation." (ooh, stereotypes...)

Why do they do this? I get that in some contexts it makes total sense, but I see it freaking everywhere! I was reading an article online which talked about the 'openly gay registrar' of a country in Iowa (okay, maybe it was just a little bit relevant.) Still, the registrar wasn't the one getting married and I don't recall that she said anything earth-shaking. But they still stuck her sexuality in there.

Now, I get that in that case the person's sexuality was relevant and knowing her sexuality helps us understand her motivations and where she's coming from. But the quote I started this post with is quite a good point. GLBTA people have interests other than in being GLBTA! I'm pretty certain gay people don't sit around thinking about the fact that they're gay any more than I sit around thinking about being ase. Of course, I do that to some extent, because I'm blogging about it, but it's in the context of ordinary life. Of course it think about it during the day, but not "Wow...I'm asexual." More along the lines of "Ugh... I could have done without that last 'that's what she said' because I'm ase..." So I think that mentioning sexualities every time somebody's not straight, unless it's definitely relevant to the conversation, is probably pointless.

In fact, what if we purposely leave it out and just treat it like it's normal? If I'm talking about my friend Cory, and I just casually mention his latest boyfriend without starting the sentance with 'My friend Cory, who's bi..." what would happen? Nothing dramatic, I think. At worst, somebody would be confused and I'd back up and explain that Cory likes guys. At best, somebody is surprised when it clicks in their mind that Cory is a boy who likes boys and they are forced to challenge their own assumptions about gender and sexuality. And that can't be too bad.

I like that it takes the emphasis off of people's sexuality and assumes that because a person is human, their sexuality is normal. Reminds me of a guy in my campus GSA (we call it PRISM and I'm going to talk about it a lot. I love the group) who, when we talked at one meeting about the term 'queer' went on a long rant about how we shouldn't need these labels- we're all human and that should be good enough. I agree, and I think it would be great if we could change the way we talk in order to change the fact that we view sexuality as a dividing line and start seeing everyone, regardless of sexuality, as simply human.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Only Gay Eskimo

I've been downloading music (er... copying it from Youtube? Can I even admit to that?) and one of the songs I "downloaded"(/copied illegally) was the song 'The Only Gay Eskimo'. It's one of those songs that I'm not sure is actually in good taste, but I think it's pretty funny.

The lyrics go like this:
"I'm the only gay eskimo
I'm the only one I know
I'm the only gay eskimo
In my tribe."

And then the singer goes on to describe the trials and tribulations of this gay eskimo. Frighteningly, I think I kind of identify with this song. I've finally met somebody else who's ase, but we're not close friends. We just say hi when we pass each other. We've got lots of stuff to talk about when we spend time together- we just never do. Gay, straight, bi, whatever- all my friends are sexual. And until I came out to them, they didn't know that asexuals existed although they all say it makes sense that we do.

It can be isolating to be the only person who thinks the way I think and who wants the things I want in life. When my friends sit around talking about boys, I don't understand the attraction and I never will. Being in college, they don't just talk about who's pretty... they talk about guys always in terms of sex. Knowing that they mean 'attractive' in a different level than I do makes me reluctant to join in their conversations. I don't want to end up saying the wrong thing, something I don't mean, and be misunderstood. So I get left out of the conversation. It's embarassing to realize I'm the only one who doesn't understand a topic of conversation. It's lonely to realize I'm that nobody agrees with me or understands what I am saying. And it's really freaking awkward when somebody follows up what I thought was an innocent comment with 'That's what she said!" I try to laugh along. I try to see it as funny. What other option do I have?

That's the price I pay, I guess, for being the only gay eskimo.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Asexual Closet

I had a really cool conversation last night. I was walking back from my project meeting, the one I ran off to at the end of my first post, and I got talking with a couple of my classmates about the LGBTA etc. (let's call it 'alphabet soup') movement and, me being me, we ended up talking about asexuality.
First off, I think it's worth mentioning that I don't bring up my asexuality all the time, but at the same time if it's actually relevant to the conversation I'm not shy about mentioning it. Also, I was wearing my 'Flaming A' t-shirt and kept catching my friend staring at it. :)

We got onto the topic of asexuality because I began a statement with the qualifier, "And me, being asexual-" and someone finally stopped me to ask what that was. I gave the usual explanation and of course they asked the usual questions.

What I found myself doing was trying to articulate something I had never before articulated to anybody; what it's like to be in the asexual closet, why an asexual closet exists and what difference being in or out of it makes. I feel this, but I've never found myself explaining it to anyone and I think it would be really beneficial to be able to do that.

First thing is, why should I feel like there's a closet to be in at all? This was a point my friend made and it's a good one. I'm attracted to guys in a very abstract way (ie, I think they're cute sometimes but I always feel pretty weird dating one) so there's a chance that I could get married or be in a relationship and even if I don't, what does it matter why?

I think that technically it doesn't matter. So long as I'm happy, I don't see my parents as being the kind of people to push their little girl into getting married. And if I do get married, I'm pretty certain they're not going to concern themselves with what goes on in my bedroom. But on the other hand, I think part of it is that I'm just not comfortable with keeping things from my parents. We have a really close relationship and I don't entirely like that there's this huge part of my life that my parents don't know about. I feel like I'm lying when I leave them with this assumption that I'm straight. It makes them happier, but it makes me feel dishonest.

Aside from my parents, I dislike the idea that people are making assumptions about my sexuality and assigning me all the cultural baggage that comes with being a straight woman. I don't like that everyone is assuming that I'm going to be into boys and think like a sexual person. I don't like the assumption that having your "significant other" (a term I hate) be the most important person in your life is okay with me and that I'll understand and not feel left out. I don't like when people assume I'm just a prude or naive or innocent. I'm not any of those things. I think and act the way I do in large part because I'm asexual.

What it feels like to be in the closet marked "asexual": Weird. Sometimes it's crappy. Sometimes it's even fun. At family gatherings, at big family dinners, I'm often amused to look around and think, "...and they don't even know...". But I always feel as though I'm not giving the people around me the true story. This isn't a problem if we don't talk about relationships. Like my friend said last night, my sexuality just wasn't something she ever thought about. If I'd never come out to her it would have made no difference for either of us. She's right, but only because of the context in which we know each other. Because we worked on a project togther, and didn't end up talking about relationships (except for a crazy few minutes one late night in the library when we talked as a group about innuendo in Quizno's adds) it didn't matter what I thought about relationships. For people with whom I talk about that kind of thing, though, I don't think they can understand me or what I think without knowing the background- that I'm asexual. That lets them put my thoughts and feelings into the correct perspective.

Another example (maybe two) of times when being out would have made a difference in how someone viewed a situation:
My senior year of High School, I wanted to go to homecoming with my best female friend and I was going to wear a suit. My mom got really upset at this- she said, "You want to go with a girl and you want to be the man?" No, that wasn't it at all- I wanted to go with my best friend, platonically, and I wanted to wear a suit because I thought it would look cool. Knowing I was asexual would have helped her understand my motives.
Not to rag on my Mom, but the next story is a bit about her too. I love the movie Master and Commander and at one point she commented "Yeah, a movie with all those men..." and again, that wasn't it. I think the Age of Sail is cool, end of story. Being asexual, I saw it as just a great movie with a lot of guys in it.
That's why I prefer to be out.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

In Which I Perform the Introductions

I think I may have sold my soul just now- I started a blog. This isn't really like me. I feel all trendy all of a sudden, and that's an odd way for me to feel. I'll get into what prompted this desparate move in a second, but first off... It's probably worth introcducting myself.
Since if anyone ever reads this we're unlikely to know each other, I'm going to skip the name thing. What's relevant to this blog is that I'm an asexual college student. I like reading, foreign languages and long walks on the beach... no seriously, I love the ocean. It's just that I take my long beach walks with my Ipod for company.

I should probably also explain the title of this blog. On the one hand, it's a reference to 'The Big Bang Theory' which is about the only thing on television that I watch. It's about these physicists, one of whom is a flaming asexual. He's lots of other things, too, but I think that's the thing I like best about Sheldon Cooper, and I can really relate to him. Specifically, the title of the blog comes from an episode in which Sheldon, totally by accident, finds himself dating somebody. His friends are in their apartment the first time she comes over, dying to watch the spectacle of Sheldon on a date and when he kicks them out they stand in the hall discussing his sexuality.
Penny, their neighbor, turns to Sheldon's roommate Leonard and says,
"I know it's none of my business, but... what's Sheldon's deal? Is it girls? Guys? Sock puppets?"
To which Leonard responds with a shrug, "We've been operating under the assumption that Sheldon has no deal." It's become a running joke with a friend of mine that I'm "deal-less".
The title's also a really lame reference to the controversial book "Heather Has Two Mommies". Yeah, I know, fail. :)

Why I would write a blog... I'd like to say I don't know and forget the whole thing except that this is my first chance to jump up on my soapbox and preach a little.
I'm writing this partially to give my friends a break. Asexuality is very much on my mind a lot of the time. Since I don't live under a rock and since I do this ordinary stuff like have friends, I'm confronted all the time by the idea of sex and I end up in a lot of situations where I don't get the joke, or aren't interested in the boy my friends are talking about... In short, I never run out of situations that remind me I'm different. Usually, my friends get to hear about it. I'm trying to give them a break.
Also, I've gotten really interested in asexuality as something to be studied, sort of, and examined. A lot of people have at least a basic understanding of how it is to be gay, and what kinds of problems gay people face. Or at least they think they do. But almost nobody understands what it's like to be asexual. I want to promote that understanding (note to self- this would make a good future post) and I want to be visible.
Last reason: for the Day of Silence last week, I read a speech by Harvey Milk (the Hope Speech) and one line of that really resonated with me. He talks about remembering "what it's like to come out and have nobody to look up towards." I've felt like that and so have most asexuals. In a community this small, people who feel asexual and have not discovered a word for it, who have coined the word themselves independently of David Jay and AVEN, who think they are alone... that's really isolating and I think we've all felt like that at some point. I read other ase blogs to combat feeling lonely and I think the more the ase community can get out and give our members places to look toward for that sense of belonging, the better.

And if I don't shut up now, I'm going to be late for a project meeting. Talk to you later.