Thursday, 24 November 2011


I've been intending to write a blog post for the carnival of aces for...the entire year, but uni and stuff got on top of me/I couldn't really think of anything to write on the topic which wasn't "yeah, I think what other people have said about this is right/interesting/worth reading...soooo".

But! Now, I'm finished uni for the year, and I have words which I wish to say (type?) on the topic this month.

Which, by the way, is attraction.

I'll start off talking about the kinds of attraction I don't* experience, namely sexual and romantic.

I actually have a hard time with romantic and sexual attraction, mostly because I have no idea what it actually feels like. And not in the "I've never been bitten by a redbacked spider, but I've been bitten by a huntsman so I have a reference point", but in the "everyone keeps talking about invisible elephants and I have no idea what the hell an elephant is".

But. I do have demonstrable interest in cuddling a few people, and extreme interest in skin on skin contact with S. Both of which are things that are mostly classed as sexual attraction. Except the way I feel it, doesn't seem sexual. (I'm equally happy running my hands over S's arms or back as I am running them over somewhere else. Which, from what I've gathered, is not How It Works for most people. And I cuddle with many of my friends, something I've spoken about before, again to an extent I'm fairly sure is quite unusual.) And (primary, at least) sexual attraction is usually described as having a sense of "I want to have sex/be sexual with this person(s) now/at somepoint" which is not a feeling I can say I have ever experienced. On the other hand, if something with S does become sexual, my reaction is usually to continue it. Quite a bit. And enjoy myself thoroughly while doing so.

And as for romantic attraction, I can say the same kind of thing. "I want to spend lots of time with this person, and have a mutually acknowledged important relationship with them, but it doesn't feel romantic (and in the case of people who are not S, it is not my most important relationship but it is important)", whereas the view of romantic attraction I have pieced together is "I want to date that person and be important to them and have ~romantic feelings~ for them (and generally be monogamous)", which is something I don't...really understand. I don't know what these romantic feelings actually are. Except I think I would know what they were if I had them, and since I don't seem to...

But. (there's always a but, isn't there?) I know there is something different about my relationship with S that is not present in my relationships with others. And I do things and say things** and feel things and want things which are typically romantic. (except not this time because they don't feel romantic (oh my god this has become the refrain of my life "it's this except not because it doesn't feel this"), and this is why it is Very Confusing to be me sometimes)

Romantic and sexual attraction are kind of like unknown languages for me, ones that the majority of the world speak fluently. I can see the effects these languages have on native speakers, but I can't understand them. And then the language I speak, which appears to be one I'm making up as I go along half the time, sometimes sounds like these languages. But it's not. And pretending it is just means I and everyone else gets confused (people may pretend my language doesn't exist, but that's a separate matter)

But. Enough about the types of attraction I don't experience. Onto the ones I do.

Um. This is where it gets even trickier.

I experience aesthetic attraction to people, but really it's more just an urge to draw them a whole lot. But this seems to come in two 'stages' - primary and secondary. Primary is more of a "I've never met this person, but god I'd really like to draw them/they're really awesome looking, like a piece of art", whereas secondary is more of a "This person is my friend so they mean a lot to me and also I would like to draw them because they mean a lot to me and I have gotten used to their faces and because their faces remind me of them they are awesome and should be drawn." For some of my friends, there has been both primary and secondary aesthetic attraction, for others only secondary, and still others there just doesn't seem to be an urge to draw at all. They still mean a lot to me, but I'm not aesthetically attracted to them at all. And gender doesn't seem to have any impact on whom I'm aesthetically attracted to - I've been attracted to people all over the gender spectrum.

I also experience what I'd call intellectual attraction - that is, I find myself wanting to talk with some people because they have a really interesting point of view on something/have a huge range of knowledge/ know lots about something I'm interested in/will discuss with me interesting things. And I'll want to talk with these people even if they're kinda arseholes.

So. I've got attractions, and in addition to this I like specific things on people. (Longish hair on men, dark or red hair on any gender, curvy women and skinny-ish guys). Not in a "This is the best, any thing else is ugly", but in the "I prefer Russian caravan tea to Irish breakfast tea -they're both tea (which I like), I just prefer one"***.

And this is the point that I've run out of words.


*or if I do, I sure as hell don't know I do/ do so really weirdly.

**Like, you know, write Gallifreyan sappy notes on his whiteboard. Or other typically romantic/sappy things.

***I cannot think of a non-problematic way of saying this, despite the fact I don't mean it problematicly - if anyone's got any ideas/want me to clarify this, I'm happy to answer in the comments

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Woe post is woe

(apologies for any formatting/spelling errors, this has been typed up on my phone)

So, I've been away for the best part of the past week, and haven't seen S since the Sunday before I left. This is a very long time for us not to see each other - we generally see each other at least two or three times a week. Plus all the time we spend communicating via txt, messenger or Facebook.

I've not really had reliable access to any of these, and I'm missing him terribly.

This is actually the first time I've missed someone like this. I keep turning around to point something out to him, or waiting for his response to a comment, or expecting my phone to tell me I've got a text. I keep going to text him (I've got halfway through a whole heap of texts before remembering I can't text right now), or send a Facebook message. When I sleep, I keep wondering where he is. When I wake up, I have a few seconds of "where's S?" before reality kicks in and I realise he's not here*. I keep wanting to touch him, hold him and curl around him. I'm so skin hungry right now it's like a physical ache in my chest, and I feel like I'm missing a part of me.

And I hate this feeling- if it's this bad now, what about when either if us travels for longer?

*the thing is, though, when I'm at home I don't get to sleep with him that often (the problem with living in two separate houses, whole my parents disapprove of me sleeping in the same bed as him). I don't get to touch him whenever I want. But suddenly, I'm so aware of the fact he's not here.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Life as an aromantic asexual

(Or; My life, so far)

(WARNINGS: Not exactly all sunshine and rainbows here guys, I was a bit messed up for a few years. Also potentially triggering about mild suicidal thoughts, and general self hate. If you're not in a good place, please don't read this.)
(Obviously, I can only speak for myself here, but this is basically a second person narrative form of my experiences re; love and sex)

You're born, and nothing marks you out from all the other babies (in terms of romantic and sexual orientation, at least). You become a child, and during your childhood you're told and shown that 'everyone falls in love' that there are certain actions (which you're not quite sure of yet) that you do with your husband (and only him, because that's what good women do. Why this makes a woman 'good' is never discussed). You might play "mummies and daddies", or "house", or whatever you call it, with other young girls. Whatever you call it, you will spend hours being forced to sham a family, to make believe that you are the wife, cooking and cleaning for her husband, or the husband, working to get food and clothing for his wife, when really all you want is to go and dig in the sandpit or climb a tree or read a book. Sometimes it will become quite an elaborate game, where there are multiple families "living" on a street. You will never quite understand why there needs to be a "mummy" and "daddy" for each family, why you can't just 'live' alone (or with a cat!) without being the evil old witch who tries to cast mean spells on the good "normal" mummies and daddies. You will decide that, for now at least, being alone is worse than anything, and you will discover that while you can't be alone, you can pretend to be a pet. Pets don't get married, after all, nor do they become "mummies" or "daddies" (you know they have kids, but this, you will know, is not what makes someone a mummy or daddy.)

Eventually, you will get better at avoiding being forced into playing mummies and daddies, and you will learn to like sitting alone and reading. You will not understand the romantic implications of a book - you will see them as close friends, nothing more.

You will get older, and you will go to school. Here, you will be taught about the concept of "love", which is somewhat ill defined. You can love your family, but you don't love them, and loving them is wrong. The only person you will love is you future husband. You will get roped into sham "marriages", where your classmates will pair off and pretend to get married. You will quickly decide that you will be the priest, because the priest can't get married (pretending to be a boy is far better than pretending to get married). You get quite good at marrying people, good enough that people stop asking to marry you and instead ask you to marry them.

You will still not understand what the big deal is about getting married, nor about being in love. An adult will tell you that they "married their best friend", and you will misinterpret that to be that they married their best friend because they were their best friend. Using this misinterpretation, you will suddenly understand why people get married - to stay with their best friend forever. You're not sure why two people of the same gender can't get married though - surely not everyone has a opposite gendered best friend!

You will get older, and suddenly truth or dare becomes truth, dare or kiss. You will still pick dare or truth, and never tell people to kiss anyone - what's the point? it's just pressing your lips to someone else's (lips/cheek/hand/skin, depending). Your friends will see it as a big deal, and you won't, but you'll assume this is just like how some of them see fashion as a big deal and you don't.

At some point, you will start becoming more selective with your reading, avoiding romance novels altogether. You won't understand the driving plot, nor the feeling expressed, and they'll bore you. You'll get equally bored of most chick flicks and rom-coms, instead preferring sci-fi and fantasy (where, if there's no where near as many girls represented, at least there's little romance).

You will also pick up on the fact that, within a few years, you will begin puberty, and start wanting to date and chase after boys. You won't be particularly bothered by the concept, but it will seem foreign and odd to you. 

Some of your class mates may even have crushes on celebrities  - they will say how "hot" they are, or how "cute" they look. You, having associated cute with small kittens and other animals, will be totally confused. Your games of truth or dare or kiss will start having truths about if you've kissed anyone yet, about who you have a crush on or who you like. You will not be believed when you answer in the negative.

You will finish primary school, and get to high school. By this point, you've had the bare basics of sex education, but nothing detailed. You know tab A is inserted to slot B, but not why. You think that it'll be explained to you at some point - there's gotta be a reason people do that, after all! 

You make friends, and some of them are male. People will start rumours about you dating some of them, and when confronted with the rumours you can only express bafflement. You will go to parties, and there will still be discussions about who you "like", and you will still answer in the negative. You will still not be believed, and you will gain a reputation as being secretive about who you like.

You will go through the mandatory sex ed classes, and you will wonder if this is the year that you discover why people have sex. The reasons given are to express love (you're still not sure what love actually is, let alone feels like, let alone why you'd want to bother to have sex), or because the people in question are horny (you have no idea what that feels like - the concept is alien to you).

You will watch your friends start dating, and you will still not have had a crush on anyone. You will question your orientation - surely you've got to be attracted to someone, anyone. You will read many romantic books, as many as you can get your hands on, trying to find some sort of connection between you and the main characters. You will find none, and you will give up on the entire romantic genre - you prefer to think that the whole genre is totally unrealistic than to think that you're not normal. The thought that you're broken will creep up on you, and stay rooted in the back of your brain.

Eventually, you will still not have had a crush on anyone, but will have learned to lie when asked. You will learn to sham being 'normal' - putting up posters of actors in your room, agreeing when friends say an actor is hot, giving made up names when asked about your first kiss/crush.

You will still not see the point of dating, or what's so special about kisses. You will be already fed up of the response "you just know" when you ask questions about romance or love.

At some point, you will be asked out by a friend, and you will agree because you can't see any reasons why you shouldn't. (you will not count a reason as "I don't feel like dating anyone" as a reason - you are a teenager, you should feel like dating someone.) You will "date" him for a month, before he calls it off and tells you he just doesn't think your heart's in it. You will feel terrible, not because you loved him, but because you didn't. You two will never speak again, and none of your other friends will know you were even dating someone.

You will agree to several stupid things, to being kissed by others and skinny dipping and midnight bike rides across the country side because you don't have that desire for them, and maybe love (sexual desire and romance) are something you need to practice at before you want them. (you will ignore the part of you telling you that doesn't make any sense.) You kiss girls and guys and everyone in between, trying to find if you're attracted to any of them. You don't feel that spark, and you stop, because kissing is really just the pressing of lips and not all that special. You in school friends will still know nothing about this, and you will keep it that way until you find out who you are (at this point you despair of ever actually belonging anywhere -you're pretty much resigned to being a freak)

You'll get asked out again by a different friend, and you'll agree. You'll care for him, and you'll just want to hold him and hug him. You'll put up with his requests for kissing, for making out, because you get to cuddle with someone. You'll be heartbroken when he breaks up with you because you won't sleep with him - you can't see the point, and don't want to until you can- and he tells you that that was the reason he started dating you. You'll still not have told your school friends about this, and some of them will call you repressed because of your perceived lack of relationships.

You'll go back to reading romantic novels, because surely now you've been in two romantic relationships they'll make sense to you (you'll ignore the fact that, while you have dated you still don't think you've felt love (surely you'd know if you had, everyone says you would), and you still don't know why people kiss). Each one is like running sandpaper over your soul - each mention of how  everyone fall in love makes you feel that little bit more alone, the little bit more freakish.  You start to wonder exactly how broken you are - you started reality checking years ago, and you wonder if that's related to your lack of romantic drive. You start having mildly suicidal thoughts, and the fact that you are now coving love in health doesn't help this. Each 45 minute lesson is an exercise in torture and futility - the questions about what you look for in a partner are baffling and alienating. The watching of Love Actually will nearly drive you to tears - on bad days you still can't watch the movie without feeling like you did all those years ago. On good days you only have to skip some parts.

You will decide, eventually, that you will be happy being alone. You will decide you never want to get married, that you're never going to date again, and that you're going to not feel freakish for not knowing why people kiss or what love feels like. You will ignore the fact that this (as far as you know) means you will end up alone (while you don't want that, trying to fake feelings you don't understand is too hard, and you can't spare the energy pretending anymore).

You will be questioned by your friends, your family and strangers about if you're dating, if you have a boyfriend, if you want one, when you want one etc. Each time you're asked, it will feel like they're driving needles under your nails and then hammering them in. You will learn to dodge the questions, and eventually most people stop asking.

You will learn to ignore your mother telling you that dating makes you a less selfish person, that everyone dates, that you'll fall in love. You'll learn to awkwardly deflect the praise for "concentrating on your studies" that not dating gets you.

Then, eventually, you'll come across the words for what you are. You'll find something that fits, that sits right, and you'll let that tiny little voice telling you you're broken go. (It'll return sometimes, when life gets bad or you fail reality checks. You can't get rid of 16+ years of being told you're wrong, that you're broken, that easily. But for the most part, it's gone).

You'll slowly adopt the label that fits you, and eventually you'll tell a couple of your friends. You'll tell them because school is ending, and you know if it goes badly you can always make new friends. They'll be accepting, although one will try to play devil's advocate and inadvertently become offensive. You'll forgive him, and never mention it.

You'll slowly come out to more people, some of whom will accept you. You'll not know how to feel when you realise that the people you came out to whom you haven't spent the last five years attending school with are more accepting than the people who attended high school with are. Some of the people you come out to will believe you. None of them will know what you're talking about at first. Some people will assume you're being ironic, or lying or mistaken. You will never tell them how much it hurts you (being told that you should go back to how you were, that how you were was right, that loathing yourself and wanting to not exist was how you should always feel and that you're deluding yourself to think otherwise).

You'll get to a point that you can't remember whom you're out to and whom you're not - except for your parents. You'll feel guilty for not being honest with them, but you'll be too afraid of their reaction and too inept at talking about this sort of thing with them to change it.

You'll come out to your high school deputy principal, and be immensely surprised when he knows what you mean. You'll learn to come out on the defensive, to expect people to scoff and not understand. You'll spend a night convincing someone that just because you don't see the big deal, doesn't mean that you want to date or make out or shag someone ("I don't care" does not mean "So it doesn't matter to me if I do"). You'll stop talking to them because they can't understand that being told "you're the only person I want to cheat on (current partner) with" is not a compliment.

You'll re-meet someone you connected with, and you'll wonder to yourself if maybe you identified wrong, because maybe this is love. You'll read about zucchini, and squishes, and realise this is a squish. You'll become close friends, and you'll watch as he starts dating a friend of yours. You'll become closer, and you'll start worrying that you're going to break his relationships. You'll contemplate trying to distance yourself, to pull back a bit, and then not be able to deal with the very idea of doing so. Throughout all this, you'll deal with the fact your parents think you're pining for him (you are, just not how they think you are), with people assuming you're dating, with friends thinking you're cheating. 

You'll slowly start hoping that that future you planned on, the one where you were alone and lonely but not lying to yourself isn't going to happen, that you'll be able to have a partner that knows how you feel and doesn't hate you for it. You start daring to plan your future for two, not one and a cat.

You'll become zucchini to him, and you'll feel so, so  lucky. You'll find you need to make up convoluted metaphors, and run into issues you didn't see coming because it never occurred to you that it could be an issue. You'll learn why people like kissing, and you'll have someone to turn to when you get skin hungry. You'll love someone, and even if it's not love you'll be happy because you don't need love, just his company. You'll realise you're actually a really weird combination of cheesy romantic behaviours and aromantic asexual feelings, and you'll be ok with that.

But you'll never, ever really be "normal", and you'll still get those moments when your experiences aren't counted, aren't real for the rest of the world. You'll still be highly surprised when people use the term asexual, when people know what you're talking about, when people believe you. Statements like "Everyone is attracted to...", "All people are sexual" and "everyone falls in love" will still be like fine sandpaper across your soul. 

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Queer meetings and Cohorts

Today I went to my first uni queer group meeting (I know, we're starting late (only a few weeks left of this year!)). I was some what nervous - what if they told me that I'm not welcome? what if they tell me I'm broken, or repressed, or a freak, or don't belong?

Happily, they didn't. They were all really welcoming, and I'm very much glad I went.

There was a fair chunk of the time that I'm fairly sure they all thought I was actually lesbian, until we had a conversation about who was out/who wasn't in regards to parents (and discussed coming out stories, for those that had them). I was eventually asked my out status, and when I disclosed I wasn't out to my parents I was asked if I was subtly directing them towards it with TV choice. At this point, I really felt I had to say I was ace, and thus had no TV choices. And they sympathised with me. They sympathised, something I wasn't expecting (most people don't even think about the fact there's little to no representation of aces in popular culture).

Before the meeting, however, I was doing some uni work in one of the computer labs. A couple of the other people in my course, M and B, were there doing their assignments too. We got talking as we did our assignments, and it eventually came up that I was going to the queer meeting at 5:30. I came out to them, too (so much coming out today! o.o) and they took it so very well. B was the one who actually asked what Asexual meant, and he and M both listened as I explained, asked a couple of questions, and accepted me. They didn't try to tell me I was wrong, or 'too young to decide' (both are a couple of years older than me), or caution me not to label myself. They just accepted who I was, and wished me luck with my meeting.

And I'm so very thankful to both of them for that.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

On feelings


  • This post is about me and S's relationship. Thus, for some(mostly those who know me), this is probably far too much information. You guys are just going to have to deal with any mental scaring you incur from reading this. 
  • Discussion of sex(ual) activity, kissing, etc, 
  • Language warning

This post is another on my relationship with S, because I've been intending to write more about it and also because I'd really just like to have one or two posts that I can link people to instead of explaining all of the nitty gritty details over and over and over (and over and over*) again.

But, before I go into our relationship, let me tell you about myself. I'm a cis female non-repulsed aromantic/wtfromantic asexual. I am aware that that is a lot of labels, so let me go though them for you.

  • cis - I identify my gender as being the same one I was assigned at birth, and my sex and gender "match up"
  • female - my gender is female
  • non-repulsed - I have no problems with either the concept of or practice of sex(ual) activity concerning myself***
  • aromantic - I don't feel romantic attraction towards any gender
  • wtfromantic - I form close emotional connections, usually with people who are male, and I want not to be living alone for the rest of my life.However, it's not a romantic connection.
  • asexual - I don't feel sexual attraction towards any gender

Labels done with for now, let me go onto explaining my relationship in detail. It's, quite obviously, not a conventional relationship. As S said to a mutual acquaintance "it's a queerplatonic relationship between a heterosexual heteromantic person and an asexual aromantic person. That's anything but conventional."

But what does that mean for us, in our case?

Well, I can't speak for S, but for me it means I've got a partner. It means I've got someone whom I can hold and be held by, someone I can trust with all that I am, and someone who will try to understand me because they love me. It means I've got someone who worries about me, and who wants me to be happy, and who cares about me. It means I've got someone whom I worry about, and whom I want to be happy, and whom I care very deeply about. It means I've got someone who places the same kind of value on our relationship that I do.  It means I've got someone whom I can laugh with, and cry with, and cuddle and sleep with.

It means I have someone whom I'm allowed**** to express my affections with however I want. It means I can kiss him, and he can kiss me. It means we can do what feels right for us, and what we're comfortable with, and what gives us pleasure instead of trying to ascribe to some arbitrary inane outside rules. 

And, before anyone cries with a triumphant "AHA! YOU (might) PREFORM SEXUAL***** ACTIONS, THUS YOU AREN'T ACE/AROMANTIC!", let me explain something.

I do not see, or feel, kissing or caressing or anything else as an inherently sexual action. It's just physical affection to me. Yeah, I did just say that hugging S is like kissing S is like caressing S is get the picture. But, as I have explained before, I want lots of physical affection with S, not particular physical affection. 

He is my partner, and I like making him happy and giving him pleasure. For now, that's mostly just giving him backrubs. Later, it might be something else. Either way, I get pleasure out of giving him pleasure. (I'm sure most people can identify with this - making someone you love happy makes you happy) But the important thing is we'll work out what works for us. 

And as for the aromantic thing: I love him, but I'm not in love with him. It's not really something I can put into words (it's all wibbly-wobbly, emotionly-wotionly stuff), but suffice to say I can state that whatever the name for the love I feel for him, it's not romantic.

This doesn't mean it's a lesser feeling, or that I don't love him with all of me. It's just not a romantic love. It's...almost an intensely deep platonic love, but not quite. I love him with the bastard love child of romance and platonic.******

Of course, you could have read all this and still not believe me when I say I'm feeling what I'm feeling. If so, there's nothing I can do to convince you. Please fuck off if this is you. I don't need you in my life.

If this is not you, you're welcome to stay.

*and over and over and over and over and over and over...

**as some of the people reading this (i.e. the ones I'm likely to link) may not know wtf I'm talking about, let me give you what dear Wikipedia defines it as : "an adjective used in the context of gender issues and counselling to refer to a class of gender identities formed by a match between an individual's gender identity and the behavior or role considered appropriate for one's sex." It also quotes Kristen Schilt and Laurel Westbrook as defining " "cisgender" as a label for "individuals who have a match between the gender they were assigned at birth, their bodies, and their personal identity" "
If you're still confused, Google it or ask in the comments. If you have a better definition, please feel free to supply it in the comments

***assuming it's all Safe, Sane and Consensual.

****I say allowed because I can kiss him, and hug him, and suck on his fingers and generally fool around with his body (with consent, of course), whereas I both can't(socially, we're not that close) and won't (not that close, these are things I do with S) do that with other people.

*****I am still unsure about how to define what makes something sexual. Yes, there are obvious ones, but what about those which are subjectively sexual? I don't feel things as being sexual, but S does. What does that make some things between us? English language, Y U NO HELP?!

******Platomance? (adj: platoromanticly)

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Of Pavlov, Buttons and Capybaras

There are a few warnings for this post, both about sexual content (it's vague, but it's there), and generally TMI about me and my relationship. It's also very tangential, as I kinda just wrote this on the fly.


For the past while my zucchini and me have been working out what, exactly, we want out of this relationship and what we're willing to do.

This has been very, very slow and difficult going, not only because neither of us are particularly good at the whole 'talking about emotions and such' thing, but because the English language wasn't designed to have this sort  of conversation. In fact, we've found (I've found) that the English language is particularly bad when it comes to talking about anything which is non-normative at all, let alone feelings.

(I should probably explain right now that he's quite comfortably heteroromantic and heterosexual, whereas I, quite obviously, am comfortably aromantic and asexual. (Yes, I am aware of how strange it is that an aromantic asexual is willingly entering into a relationship which is both romantic and sexual*. However, it's working for us right now, and hopefully will continue working for us for the rest of our lives). As you can probably guess, this has lead to a few miscommunications and erronus assumptions on both our parts.)

The other night, it got to the point that we were adlibbing metaphors on the fly as we discussed what I wanted/felt and what he wanted and felt. One of these actually is useful for the both of us, so we're sticking with it for now. (I'll explain it in a bit, I promise). 

However. Before we discussed this, he was feeling a fair bit of turmoil as he was under the (incorrect) assumption that whatever feelings/sensations I'd receive from any more physical actions would be less than someone who was otherwise orientated (i.e. sexual) would recive from the same actions  (e.g., that if he were to preform an action which would normally be sexual for both parties, such as caressing a body part etc., that I would receive less sensation than someone who was equally sexual as him would), instead of different sensation to someone who was sexual.

As far as I understand it (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong/explain it better/put in your two cents/etc) and as far as I can conceptualise it, sexual people (and society as a whole) has a hierarchy of touch. At the bottom, you have the touches which you're expected to share with everyone you meet, like handshakes and pats on the shoulder and such. At the top, you have the ones which you're only meant to share with certain people (Shagging, etc.). This mostly coincides with the sensitivity of said location for touch (i.e., your nipples are far more sensitive to touch than your shoulders generally, etc.), along with the relative softness of the skin at that location. As it is a hierarchy, it is expected that you will want to have as much of the top 'ranked' actions as possible, and that you will value the top 'ranked' actions far above those at the bottom.

Most sexual people tend to have this hierarchy instinctively.

I don't. I have a line, instead.

On my line, there are still categories of touch, some of which are the same as society's. People, depending on how much I trust them, have access to categories. (S has access to all of them**, random stranger has access to one or none).

However. I don't place the same hierarchy on them that society does. Society wants everyone to try and get as much of as many 'top ranked'  actions as possible. I just want to get as many actions as possible. I don't care whether it's hugging, or cuddling, or kissing or whatever, I just want lots.

Quantity, not 'quality', is me. I want lots with the people I trust, and the actions become 'higher ranked' for me not by what they are but by who they're with. Thus, shaking hands with S is of a higher rank then hugging K. Something which ties into this is that, and I'm not sure if this is because I'm ace or because I'm just wired that way, I don't see most actions as inherently sexual. I see them more as "this feels good (SPAM THE ACTION)".

This leads to the metaphor I was talking about earlier. For S, who has, up till now, been in purely heterosexual romantic/sexual relationships, this is more than a little weird/different.

And this is where the Capybaras and Pavlov come in.

We used the metaphor that S was Pavlov, who so far has been dealing with experiments on dogs*** (experiments in this case standing in for romantic/physical relationships). Each dog had a huge control board of buttons which make it feel and do certain things. So, as far as Pavlov knows, push a particular button, dog gets hungry and eats. (standing in for sexual...ness. Yeah, my English is failing me, it's nearly 4 am)

However. This relationship is as if Pavlov (who done all his work with dogs and so knows, generally, how they react to having a particular button pushed) has just been given a Capybara.

Which, quite obviously, is not a dog. And Pavlov doesn't know how the Capybara will react when he pushes the button he pushed to get the dogs hungry. It might get hungry and eat, but it might also start dancing. (The Capybara, on the other hand, is just happy to have Pavlov paying attention to it, and so doesn't really care what buttons he tries to push. Both reactions are positive, anyway).

At this point I worried about S getting something out of the whole thing, because as he's stated before what he generally gets out of the more physical side of things (other than the pure physical stimulation) is causing pleasure in the other person. However, continuing the metaphor, he explained that Pavlov is just happy to get data, even if it's not the data he's got in the past.

Then, because we have this need (I. I have this need, and I drag S along with me) to extend metaphors far past their logical ending point, we started having the buttons stand in for causing pleasurable**** reactions in the other. Thus, it became a case of "(other) reacts well to this particular action. SPAM THE BUTTON!" Thus, as part of a nerdy, sewer-located joke, S commented that a Mortal Kombat line***** would have been appropriate at some points during his visit ( it was tangentially relevant too as a common tactic in the game for many players is "spam all the buttons").

There were some more bits added, but that's the basic summary of the metaphor. (I am aware it probably doesn't make much sense to anyone who is not me or S. I don't actually care, though I will attempt to explain in further detail if anyone wants to ask me questions in the comments section)

*This is another problem I've run into recently. How do you define when something is sexual? Sometimes, when me and S preform an action, like rubbing each other's backs, it is nonsexual in nature. Other times, it is sexual in nature. Other times, he finds it sexual and I don't. Yet, at the heart of it, it is the same action(s).
(I am aware the answer is probably "you just know", but I am not comfortable with this answer, because a couple of times it has gone from something that was distinctly not sexual to ...something that was, and I was not really aware of when that happened. (S, I know you're reading this. This is not a bad thing, more of a "Huh, I fail observation forever" thing, with me trying to look out for landmarks for next time)

**Nominally. At any given point, however, I may not allow him to do so. Much like he has a keypass to a building, but sometimes the building is locked and the keycard won't let him into said building. He still has the permission to enter the building, he just can't at that point in time.

***Not to say anything about his previous girlfriends. They're, as far as I know, very nice people.

****Not necessarily sexually pleasurable. This also extends to general hugging, and such.

*****If you can't work it out, I'm not telling you.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Of Vegetables and Termites

I have a zucchini.

I never thought I'd be lucky enough to find anyone, let alone the wonderful person I have found, let alone someone who understands that romance/sex is never really going to be on the table from the start. (eventually, we'll see. I suspect not, but I can't see the future.)

(By the way, for regular readers of my blog, I suspect none of you will be surprised to learn that my zucchini is S.)

However, this has lead to some unexpected issues.

The least of which is what the hell do I call what we're doing now?

We're not dating (not a romantic relationship, even if S assures me he doesn't expect it to be). It's not friendship, either. I hesitate to use the phrase 'more than friends', but we're not, strictly speaking, purely friends any more.

We're something other than both of these, and while I have a word (actually, I have a word and a phrase!)* to attempt to convey what we are to each other**, I don't have any words to explain what we are actually doing. (again, can't use dating. It's not the right word, and I have this strange need to attempt to label things).

One larger problem I have is the lack of visibility about said relationships. I went to my cousin's the other day, and nigh on the first thing I was asked was if I had a boyfriend.*** And I totally dodged the question. I was the roadrunner to the Wile E. Coyote of the question, that was how much I dodged it. (If I remember correctly, my answer was "How's uni?" Not the most subtle topic change, but it worked, so I'm counting that as a win.)

But as I was lying in bed last night, I got wondering. "How would I have answered that question?"**** I thought to myself. And the answer I received was "I don't know." I probably wouldn't have answered yes, because technically speaking I'm don't have a boyfriend. I will never have a boyfriend. Asking me if I will is like asking a fish if it will ever have a spaceship - mostly pointless.


Society says that if you do not have a boy/girl friend*****, you have no important relationships in your life except those you have with your blood family. And, in my case (and others' cases), this is not true. And so saying "No, I do not have a SO." is generally taken to mean "I do not have a primary relationship outside my family."

And I'm not cool with that. I'm very much not cool with that. I have a primary relationship. I will not stand for people assuming I don't. I will not stand for people disregarding it. It is my relationship, and it is important to me. It is just as worthy of respect as any other.

So I can't answer "No, I do not have a boyfriend."

So my choices of answering is either taking the 3+ hours to explain first asexuality, second being aromantic, and third queer-platonic relationships (and fourth my own said relationship), or dodging the question.

A third, and more worrying, issue that I have recently become aware of, is the fact that  at least one of my friends does not, and has never, believed me about my orientation. The most worrying, and frustrating, thing about this is that she hasn't said so directly to me. (She has actually said so to S though. Which is so far beyond the pale it's not funny.(pro-tip: do not doubt a person's stated orientation. Pro-tip two: DO NOT DOUBT A  PERSON'S IDENTIFIED ORIENTATION. I don't care if it "doesn't make sense". I don't care what you think. Another person's orientation is not something you may have an opinion on. It is not a book, or a piece of art or a movie. IT IS THEIR ORIENTATION, and you must deal with that.)) Even if he wasn't my zucchini, and even if she wasn't assuming we were shagging (which she quite obviously is), this would still not be acceptable******. (Also the fact that I suspect she never intended for me to know that she didn't believe me. As if (what she is assuming) my 'boyfriend' wouldn't tell me. -_-)

It's the fact that she's passive aggressively doubting my orientation that's really pissing me off. (Although it does explain her reactions to my previous comments/linking on Facebook...) If she said she didn't believe me, I could take that. I already have taken it from other people, some who are much closer to me. Obviously, it's not the best state of affairs. It's still better than assuming she's supportive, and then finding out she's not. Now, there's a bit of me that wonders what else she doesn't believe me about. There's a rather large bit of me that wonders who else doesn't believe me, that wonders how many of my support pillars that I thought were strong are actually riddled with termites.

And I hate that. I hate that so much.

But, other than these issues, none of which are my zucchini's fault, I'm beyond ecstatic. I'm in (aromantic)love with the loveliest man on earth, and through some extreme luck he shares my feelings and is willing to wander down this unknown goat track of a path with me.

*Zucchini and queer-platonic life partner, respectively.

**even if only a tiny handful of people will ever understand what the hell I'm saying.

***There was a rather large bit of me that wanted to comment on the heteronomativity of that question, but I really couldn't deal with the fall out that'd potentially cause. My cousin would probably take it in the spirit I meant it (i.e., not as a confession of my sexuality but as a blanket statement), but my aunt certainly wouldn't.

****Assuming I was the type to actually answer a question like this when asked by my relatives or someone I don't know very well. as I'm not, it was really more a thought exercise than anything else.

*****I am aware of the binarism inherent in that statement, but it is the societal view. It is not my view.

******The fact that she is assuming we're shagging also really pisses me off. Because it means she was, in essence, congratulating my zucchini on "turning me" sexual. She also hadn't been informed (as far as I know) about us starting this relationship, and so was assuming based upon the fact that we were sitting together at a party (not an unusual thing for us). If she had been told, the only other people who knew also knew that he was my zucchini. So she was either drawing her own conclusions (again. this is not the first time she has assumed we were shagging), or she had it explained to her and then disregarded it.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

"best friends"

As I have mentioned before, I don’t like the phrase “Best Friend(s)”.

I don’t like it because it seems to place (or imply) a hierarchical structure on friendship that I really don’t like. It seems to imply that you have (a) best friend(s), and then you have ‘lesser’ friends. I have very close friends, and then I have less close friends, but they are not inherently ‘better’ than each other. I am just closer to some of them, for various reasons.*

The phrase also seems to have a rigid structure of friendship implied, as if you have a friendship that ‘levels up’ once you have completed certain actions.** However, running with the gaming metaphor here, it is as if you can only have so many friendships of each ‘level’, and once you have reached the set amount you have no more slots for friends.***

Society seems to say that you cannot increase your number of friendship slots, you may only have certain people occupying certain slots (other gender? Restricted to level  ~4000 and below. Significant age difference? Level ~3500 and below. etc), and you must start all friendships at lvl 0, working your way up lineally to whatever level you attain. You may not skip levels, you may not do several at once, and you may not pass go and collect $200.

And I’m not cool with that. Everyone should feel free to have as many friends as they want to have, and not feel pressured to only have so many “best friends”/friends/etc. And friendships, relationships in general, don’t progress linearly. No two relationships are the same, so why do we act like they are?

Now, I’m not saying that everyone should have loads of friends. I certainly don’t, and I try not to be hypocritical. I’m saying that the amount of friends you want to have is the right amount of friends for you. If you want to have 50000 close friends, that’s really cool. If you want to have 2? That’s also really cool.

*This is why I use ‘close friends’. It does not presume a value judgement on either my friends or our relationship, but instead vaugly quantifies how close we are as friends. (think of it as plotting places on a map. Place A is closer to place B than it is to place Z. This does not mean that place A’s relationship is ‘better’ than place A and place Z’s, it just means that place A and place B are closer. (except that the metaphorical land distance is emotional distance, and there’s about a million other axes on which distance is measured)

**knowing each other’s names? Lvl 1. Knowing each other well enough that you can interpret their eyebrow wiggles into the entire English dictionary? Lvl 8002.

***in this metaphor, you’d only have room for one “best friend” (lvl >9000), and then more room for each successive ‘lower level’ friend. (i.e, you can have ~2 friends of ‘level’ 8999, and then 3 of lvl 700, and then 5 of lvl 600, and so on and so forth until you reach lvl 1, which would be acquaintances or something. You can have millions of those.

Sunday, 7 August 2011


Tonight I played my first proper session of D&D with my group.  (Our DM runs a blog chronicling our adventures, go read it!)

It was awesome fun, even if I'm now infected with filth fever (got bitten by a dire rat. Along with our bard, who is a shardmind* and thus none of us can understand how the hell he's infected.)

But I want to talk about the gender distribution of our group and our characters, which is something I find really cool.

There's 6 of us playing (or will be, once our cleric recovers from surgery), plus our DM (who is S, for regular readers of this blog).  So, we've got fairly large group, most of whom have either never played or have played little.

The gender distribution of our group is 4 guys to 2 girls, plus our DM is also male. Considering the stereotypical group set up (mostly all male, maybe one female at the best of times), we're doing pretty well. I'm the only girl actually able to play at the moment (again. cleric's in the hospital), but once the cleric's joined us it'll be a little less unevenly gendered. (Not that this is actually a problem. The guys are all really awesome people, ones whom I'd be comfortable being the only girl in the group with.)

Anyway, the group's gender division is not the thing which I find really, really, really cool about it. What I find cool is the character’s gender divisions.

We've got a male shardmind bard, played by a guy (F), a male human fighter, played by a guy(T), a male halfling rouge, played by a guy (M), a female halfling wizard, played by a girl (me), and our cleric has neither a race nor a gender yet (or even a name. She just knows she's going to be a cleric).

We also have an undecided/gender neutral dragonborn sorcerer, played by a guy (W).

The fact that we can have a non-binary character, that no-one raised the "but that's not possible" argument , is fucking awesome. Yeah, we've had a few "too afraid to look" jokes. But none of them were serious. Not once was it actually doubted that someone (or in this case, some dragonborn) could not know their gender or not be either male or female. It wasn't even an issue. It was just "This is my character. They don't have a gender." "Alright, mine is male."

And for a group of people who, as far as I'm aware, have mostly little to no knowledge of queer issues and/or gender issues (our DM has some, as does W), that's fucking awesome. The fact that they could accept someone, albeit a fictional someone, not having a standard gender, gives me hope that someday the whole world will be just as accepting as they are.

*basically a swarm of living crystal, who takes humanoid form. He's jokingly called the group's pet rock.

30 Day Asexuality Challenge, Day 29 -30

So, I haven't really been up to blogging for the past fews days, and thus have missed posting my final two responses to the 30 day challenge. Thus, I'm posting them now.

29. Where did you first learn about asexuality?

The internet, during a disscussion on the (then new) series of Sherlock.

30. Tell us anything about asexuality that you want to end with.

We're here, guys. We withstand trolls, and more trolls, and people insulting us, and people pretending we don't exist and hate and rage and sorrow and so much shit for being who we are, but we're still here.

And we're not going anywhere.


Friday, 5 August 2011

not happy, jan

(also emotional whiny shit. I know lots of people have it far worse than I do. I am not actually capable of caring at the moment of posting though.)

I'm pretty pissed off right now, and it's making me more pissed off.

Tonight I could have gone to see friends, but instead stayed home to cook a dessert for a friend of my parents. (I'd agreed to do so, this is not the whole reason I'm pissed). It was a fairly labor intensive dessert, all of which I preformed myself.

I made it while being yelled at for not being prepared earlier (I'd just come home from uni, which is where I'd been for the past 6 hours), for taking up the kitchen, and generally for being around and thus a convenient target. I was not thanked for doing so, nor was it acknowledged that I was doing so on request. (still not the reason I'm pissed. a small, niggly issue, but not the reason)

After sitting through a long and boring dinner where the main topics of conversation was either about people I don't know or an overseas trip I'm not going on, I was then mocked for falling asleep, mocked about my relationships and generally made fun of by my own mother. She seems to have agreed with my cousins that making fun of me and my life is and/or embarrassing me a perfectly acceptable source of humour for others.

Afterwards, while cleaning up, I asked for someone to clean out some space in the fridge so I could put the leftover dessert away (as my hands were full at the time, and thus I couldn't do so). When the person who did so cleaned out a tiny space, and I commented that we'd need more room, I got yelled at (again) and told I was "being a bitch." I also got threatened that if I didn't "pick up my act" that I wouldn't be allowed to see my closest friend*, because he "seems like he's having a bad influence on me".  (Not that this really would have any effect. I'd just have to be more circumspect about my visits to him.)

To understate it a bit, I didn't react well to this. I (fucking calmly) pointed out that A: I've been awake from 5:30 am, B:had just cooked half the meal, C: spent most of my time being an unpaid babysitter, D: wasn't the one shouting and calling people bitches, and E: could have seen my friends tonight instead of spending the entire evening listening to gossip about people I will never know, and being mocked about said friends, my uni course choice, my lack of traditional romantic relationship(s) and my general gender presentation. (These are the reasons I'm pissed. That, and there's a bit of me that spent the whole night saying "Why did you give up seeing your friends for this, again?)

I then got told I was being irrational, and "unreasonably angry". This caused me to realise something.

I’m not allowed to be angry.

If I’m angry, or grumpy, or pissed, or annoyed or livid or irritated or (insert synonym here), I’m told I’m “acting irrationally”, that “I should stop making trouble”, that “I have no need to act out”. I’m told my feelings are because I’m tired, or because I’m pms-ing, or because I’m being "a teenager", that my feelings are irrational and don't matter compared to others, that "I have nothing to be angry about", that basically, I cannot express myself because it might bother others when I do so.

If I criticize others, I'm told I'm "being too harsh", whereas others can use the exact same words and tone to criticize me and it is not considered an issue. If I tell someone that the job they have done is unsatisfactory, I'm "being a bitch", whereas others who tell me this are "pointing out my errors". If I don't give an answer of a satisfactory length to a question, I'm "being extremely rude", whereas others are "summarizing".

I get told that I may not raise my voice**, that I may not have space to myself, that I must be kind and welcoming and submissive to every other person's whims at all times, regardless of my wants. I get told that I must be available to do any and all tasks at any time, regardless of what I'm doing or have planned. I have my actions dictated to me, or my motives questioned.

And never, not once, am I asked why I actually feel this way. Never does anyone think to ask, or indicate they care. 

And I'm fucking sick of it.

*My mother has irrationally decided today that my closest friend is having a bad influence on me. Yesterday, she thought he was a good influence, and the day before that she was neutral. It appears that his "influence on me" is directly related to how angry she is at me at the time.

**Not that I tend to. I go by the idea that 'if you have to raise your voice to win an argument, you've already lost. Others don't.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

30 Day Asexuality Challenge; Day 28

28. What is your favorite type of pie? (Or, is pie an acceptable replacement for cake?)

I like all pie. All pie is good. Pie shared with friends is better. Pie which I have cooked to share with friends is even better than that
Which reminds me, I need to bake some pies this spring.

Anyway. Pie is totally acceptable, not as a replacement for cake, but as well as cake.

Replacing cake with pie is like having two old friends, and losing one (cake), but then expecting your relationship with the other (pie) to be identical to the one you had with the first friend (cake again). It just doesn't work that way, and it's not fair to either friend (or baked good) to pretend it does.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

30 Day Asexuality Challenge; Day 27

27. What is your favorite types of cake?

All types of cake are good!

I actually don't have a favourite flavor/type of cake. There's a different cake for every situation, and all are fun to bake.

What makes a cake awesome is having friends to share it with/feed it to.

Monday, 1 August 2011

30 Day Asexuality Challenge; Day 26

26. Who is your biggest ally?

To regular readers of this blog, this will come as no surprise. To those of you who have never read my blog, allow me to elucidate.

Without question, S (I have mentioned him before) is my biggest ally. Not only because he's there for me, and because he puts up with me randomly ranting/crying/breaking down/etc at him when people are stupid (on the internet or  off), and not only because he's my closest friend. 

No, he is also my biggest ally because he's willing to learn. If he doesn't understand a term/phrase/acronym, he asks respectfully. He treats me like a proper person, and he explains things I have no frame of reference for. He also manages to take into consideration my lack of understanding re: romantic/sexual desire, without being patronizing when he references it.

Sunday, 31 July 2011


I’m somewhat in shock at the moment, I think.

I’m also fairly sure I just came out to my mother, during a conversation about the Mana bar.

Later this week I’m going to the Mana bar with a friend, and I was informing her that I would be out late (i.e., that I couldn’t cook tea that night), and somehow the conversation came around to my nondrinking. This somehow lead to my brother’s future dating habits, and the fact that she wouldn’t care who he dated as long as he was happy. She then extended the sentiment to me, before (hesitantly) asking if “I have any preferences”. I said that I didn’t, and she kinda went silent for a while. Then she commented that she “Had no hope of intimidating your future partners, do I?”, and then said something along the lines of “as long as you’re happy.”

I'm still not sure how to react.
On the one hand, she took it well.

On the other, I'm ot actually sure how much she understands that I don't ever want a partner. I'm not sure if I have an actual coming out I still need to do.

But for now, I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth.