Category Archives: Creative writing

Pride, Coming Out and Representation

The theme for July’s Carnival of Aces is Then and Now. Let’s compare the summers of 2015 and 2018.

Summer 2015

I am still reeling from the shift, going from identifying as a heterosexual barred from falling in love by her insecurity to a more confident woman still seldom feeling sexual desire… demisexual. The inciting incident for this personal journey was a little over a year ago. I have lurked in the AVEN forums and set up a blog on WordPress, liking the long-form writing. I work through the questions my new identity throws up by writing and reading about them.

A city trip to Amsterdam coincides with Pride, at the start of August. With a thrill, I decide to go, wishing to be amongst other people who have a different orientation. Each museum advertises exhibits, the entire city centre sports flags for my entire stay. The place is proud of its pride and glad for its popularity. With a museumcard I happily browse through galleries and follow a tour guide through a zoo while he explains about homosexual animals.

On the day of the parade, I take out the eye pencils I bought, black, silver, white and purple, and draw flags on my hands. I walk until I hit the main canals, where crowds cluster, wreathed in colourful clothes and cheery music. I run into an aging lesbian I met earlier that week, who thought I was questioning-and-in-denial when I tried to explain asexuality – a practice run, with a stranger in a strange city, before I dare to tell family. We end up talking about how she claimed long-term relationships among lesbians often enough become queer-platonic relationships when they enter their second or third decade. We stay together that day to have someone to share comments with while we watch the floats and boats go by.

I feel a little lost, I am the only one like myself. Still, the day becomes a precious memory. Even in this time and place where there is no fight for rights, the people come to be uniquely blessed. Each time I see people together, I realise they could be friends or family or strangers or lovers, in any combination. This one day a year, anyone could be any sexuality and not be outnumbered. Too, I realise as I look better and see they can be any gender and have a good chance of meeting more people like themselves. It’s a one-day vacation from heteronormativity, from gender roles. It releases something in me.

I leave early, because there isn’t a party for people like me and I don’t much feel like beer or celebrating my sexuality. Still, I smile at all the families who start to leave along with me. They came here to teach their kids this, I realise, a broadening of horizons. Not a bad day out, either, with the festival foods and mellow atmosphere and colourful boats and people and places. Loads more fun than a documentary at school or a representative of the COC (LGBT centre) coming to talk. I find myself hoping they tell all their classmates.

The next day, my last day, I decide I want a souvenir, a symbol of when I went out to celebrate my orientation, even just to myself. I buy a ring with a black band in the middle and put it on my right middle finger. There, I decide, I’m out. A little more sure of myself I go home. I sit my family down, one by one, to come out to them.

Summer 2018

After a hiatus, I’ve been blogging again for a while. I have moved and joined a more conservative church, since my own denomination wasn’t around. It caused a whole host of insecurities and fears to upend itself over my head, even though I thought I’d reconciled my faith and my demisexuality. Seems I absorbed some of the poison out in the public domain just fine, even if I was accepted in my personal circle.

I have had an asexual orientation long enough that I am starting to lose the sense of what it was like to think myself heterosexual. One warm night, staying with family, I walk to the bathroom half-asleep in only a shirt and startle at an outrage squawk from my brother. It takes me minutes to realise what the problem is. My body has simply become my body, comfortable and only covered for my comfort. No longer a source of questioning what might make it seem sexy, or shame for what others might see in it.

I am finally confident enough to take the step deliberately into the dating world, though it’s still a slow shuffle as if across an iced-over road. I start to accept that lacking the wish to have sex does not mean I have give up what I do wish to have, most especially kids, far more even than a partner. Not yet, I decide, but I jot down what would be practical to know or prepare in advance and start to research at what point down the line it would be possible, responsible, good. I consider whether to adopt or to carry my own.

I speak in gender-neutral terms of a potential partner. While I am romantic, wish to be romantic, I don’t really know towards whom. I realise I find people striking on first impression, or their minds intriguing to explore further. By these two methods do I identify people to like, people to love. It is by convention that I determine which way it is appropriate to build a relationship with someone, with friendship an easier path and the romantic scarcely explored.

I mentally redefine demisexual when I read about the three instinctual drives: sexual, romantic, attachment. Demisexual: the sexual drive may trigger when attachment (trust, respect, familiarity, community, collaboration, cohabitation) is present.

The gradual paradigm shift has trickled into my writing, which I’ve picked up again. I cannot withhold my changed understanding of relationships, of love. Each story, by the time I’m writing character profiles, contains an asexual character or a relationship somewhere between frienship and romantic and sexual or someone who wishes never to have a relationship at all. Because these are the things I’ve been thinking about for years, to puzzle out. My mind is too full to avoid them.

I realise with dread I am on the point of another coming out. My friends, my family know I am demisexual. But I’ve been comfortable almost never talking about my orientation. People never really ask about the ring or the absence of a relationship. It feels a little naughty, to be differentunder people’s noses, most of them never realising.

However, if I wish to publish, if I produce something good enough, being asexual will not just be part of my personal identity, but part of my public identity. On Linked-in, on my bio, answering questions from strangers.

Yet, yet.

I remember that Pride. I remember that atmosphere, that all orientations and genders were accepted on that one day. I remember that people brought their kids from across the country. I remember feeling alone in having an asexual orientation, even as I felt affirmed in being not-heterosexual.

I want to write and these stories call to me. Working through the implications and insecurities of this identity has shaped my voice, because it’s taught me so much that’s worth telling.

So, a year from now, maybe two, maybe three, somewhere there’ll be another story with ace characters, by me. Not really because I’m brave or much of an activist, but because it will, hopefully, make for a good story.

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Carnival of Aces: Further Recommendations

Round-up post coming soon, but I’ll be wanting to read everything as I link to it, I just know it. And plus, then I can immediately include anything posted on May 1st (but mostly I’m just too eager to read what feels like extra special contributions because I hosted this month).

So, immediate recommendations for more writerly fun.

  • Host for the May parade of the Carnival of Aces will be Elizabeth over on Prismatic Entanglements, so keep an eye on that blog for the next call of submissions (link added).
  • Head over to the Carnival of Aces Masterpost to host a month yourself! We’re set for two months, but it’d be great to have more folks involved. The work is:
    • Think of a theme. I recommend an indulgent drink to go with it. Ask fellow bloggers the thing you’ve been wondering about (and yes, themes re-occur).
    • Write a post at the start and end of the month with theme and submissions respectively.
    • Write your own submission.
    • That’s it! And I can tell you it’s quite a good amount of fun for not much effort.
  • Write or draw or compose about asexuality and representation for the next volume of “The Asexual” and get published! The submission deadline for their next journal is June 18th (so you’ve got about six weeks), more information is over here on their website.
  • Get a place in the spotlight and tell a little about yourself in an interview over on asexualartists.com. Here’s their call for interviewees.

If you’ve got more recommendations, feel free to add them in the comments.

Reading now! (Edit: read, round-up post coming soon)

 

On Virginity, the label

I live in a progressive society.

I am ‘not sexually active’, rather than a virgin (maagd).

I

Virgin and maiden and damsel (in distress) are the same word in Dutch.

Everyone is the hero of their own narrative.

I was a child in the nineties.

We were never told we should be the damsel.

Thus, it remained a word for other people.

II

…Born from the Virgin Mary… (geboren uit de maagd Maria)

Except that was not the Mary I liked or pictured.

My Mary was the respected wife of a middle-class carpenter with half a dozen children, who had been exiled to Egypt and returned to Israel only to move to a completely different town and build a new life there succesful enough to afford a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the only woman on the planet to have raised God the Son with reasonable succes and saw him go off to do inexplicable things and then had to bury her eldest child.

The woman who went and asked that same Jesus for a miracle because her friends’ wedding was about to go off the rails.

The Virgin was a blue and white robed statue in old chapels.

Thus, it remained a word for other believers.

III

I was never asked if I was a virgin.

Society never impressed this word on me, but went out of its way to reject it as oldfashioned.

I was always asked if I was sexually active.

So, I was ‘not sexually active’.

Thus it remained a label for other cultures.

IV

I never needed the word to describe or defend the fact I did not have sex.

It was rather taboo to ask if someone had ever had sex.

If you had it, presumably you boasted.

If you did not speak of it, it was assumed you simply did not have it recently.

I moved too much so I did not grow up in one place.

I did not have a family that considered my sexual activity its businesss.

I had no people come on to me uninvited or presuming they could have sex.

Thus, it remained a line of defense for other people.

V

I did have talks with friends, of course I did.

It is really easy to turn the conversation to other aspects of a relationships.

People really love to talk about their own experiences, if they talk about it at all.

I also had kind enough friends that they simply respected my being single as a choice.

When I had a relationship, it felt so utterly personal, tender, vulnerable, I was circumspect.

In talking to my partner, the past seemed so much less relevant to discuss than us, now, until it didn’t exist anymore.

Thus, it remained a discussion I never had.

VI

Every single doctor I have ever had.

Every form.

Are you sexually active.

Yes. No.

I answer.

I get, perhaps, a look.

Thus, it remained a question I was never asked.

VII

The only time the issue of virginity was raised, was in a religious context.

It came dripping with bad and worse associations. Submission. Purity culture. Patriarchy.

I felt revolted at the mere idea of identifying with it.

I like having my judgment respected when it comes to my sexual activities.

I like having the freedom to discuss what I did and did not do without immediate censure.

I like having no law or rule dictate or limit my activities so long as I do not harm or harrass anyone.

I like the sense of safety and respect and responsibility that awards.

I like the idea that I answer to God, and God alone, when it comes to whatever consensual sexual activity I engage in.

The idea that I make choices to follow what I believe is right freely, in my own time and without outside pressure.

I like it a lot.

I like sexual freedom.

Thus, it remained a discussion I tried to avoid.

VIII

I am not a virgin.

I have never had occasion to identify with the word.

I have never much discussed it and when I did, disliked it.

I do not apply this label to myself.

IX

Ironically, people will apply the label if I am ever very clear about the limits to which I have been sexually active.

I cannot even make sense of where that line is drawn.

Is there one?

X

I do not wish to be a virgin, with all that that entails.

I am simply ‘not sexually active’.

On Virginity, the hymen

Lady bits will be discussed in this post.

I live in a progressive society.

I am ‘not sexually active’, rather than a virgin (maagd).

There are reasons for this. I want to illustrate that.

It’s always felt so… natural (vanzelfsprekend).

Privilege alert.

I

With great glee, teen magazines and sexual education revelled in one fact when I grew up.

Only one percent of girls would have their hymen intact and bleed when they had sex.

Hymen. In Dutch, literally virgin seal (maagdenvlies).

The accuracy of the statistic wasn’t important.

Its repetition was.

Scientific fact or fiction as a mantra, a talisman.

II

Your hymen will 99% likely not be intact.

It meant, do not fear sex.

It meant, it won’t hurt, try it.

It meant, you are safe, don’t worry.

It meant, there is no magic.

It meant, there is no unforgivable sin.

It meant, you will still be the same person.

III

There is no magic.

Your body cannot be a sacrifice.

Your blood does not have special powers.

You will not be targeted by evil sorcerers or monsters or bogeymen.

IV

There is no unforgivable sin.

You are not more virtuous for having had less or more sex.

You are not more holy before you have sex.

You do not have to be an angel.

You will not be a slut.

You do not need to be ‘kept safe’ for your own good.

V

You are safe, do not worry.

You are not in danger because you are innocent or beautiful.

Others’ lust is not on you.

Sexual harrassment is a crime.

We make laws, we bring justice.

If you are in danger, we are on your side.

We will teach you how to speak up.

We will teach you how to fight.

We will teach you how to be prudent.

We will teach you how to wield our laws.

VI

Do not fear sex.

You will still be the same person.

Your body is yours to do with as you please.

We have enshrined this in the declaration of human rights.

We are dedicated to bringing this freedom to everyone around the world.

This freedom is your inalienable right.

VII

Try it, it won’t hurt.

Here comes the sticking point.

What if I don’t want to try sex?

Then I don’t, I suppose.

VIII

They said, your hymen will likely not be intact.

You may not have a detectable hymen in the first place.

It may break when you ride a bike or a horse.

It may break when you insert a tampon, fingers or a device.

It may break with rigorous physical activity.

They said, be careful with the vagina, that may be narrow.

IX

The vagina may be narrow.

I have discovered the truth of this last part.

It is a flexible channel with muscles around it.

Go figure what inactivity does.

X

Relevant: bikes.

The Dutch ride bikes regularly from age four.

I have always wondered if other nations had a higher percentage of intact hymen.

XI

Relevant: tampons.

I preferred tampons.

We swim a lot, in Holland.

Hobby, outing with friends, day out in summer, exotic vacation.

Imagine having a 25% chance of not being able to do that.

XII

Relevant: fingers.

It’s hard to bend over and see, easier to touch lady parts.

We were informed it’s good to clean and be familiar with those lady parts.

We were told about a terrifying host of things that can be wrong .

Mostly, I remembered it was good to inform a doctor if anything seemed off.

That means knowing how my genitals looks when they’re alright.

XIII

Relevant: stimulating devices.

I explored enough to know parts were functional.

I found that it worked differently for me, however.

It took me a while to figure out, hey, other sexuality.

XIV

Upon the stage of public opinion, the Dutch don’t really have conservative evangelicals.

We have conservative Muslims.

They are not considered white, so they are ridiculed more openly.

Thus, Christian girls worry a lot less about being a virgin, at least in a clear physical sense.

Muslim girls, well-informed, do worry about not being virgin in any discernable physical way.

I have overheard several serious discussions of the wonders of goat’s blood packets in the marriage bed while on the train, over the years.

XV

An intact hymen is for other cultures and other times.

Physical inspection was for horrible quack-doctors among Victorians.

Physical mutilation is for horrible witch-doctors on other continents.

Here, just sign a petition, send a card.

XVI

Except, not really.

I read about sexual education going out the window.

I read about girls not knowing about or being scared of their own genitals.

I read about women feeling scared about not having an intact hymen.

I read about people getting sick, of STDs spreading again.

I speak to fellow Christians honestly believing this is all a good development.

I am speechless.

XVII

Your hymen is likely not intact.

It’s just a little fold of tissue.

It’s okay.

I find I am holding a talisman.

Hello, Sweetie

Image and official rules over on The Global Aussie.

So, this is taken me two weeks, but I loved the idea of this 🙂

Thanks to janitorqueer for tagging me into the Liebster Award.

Rules of the game, in the tag-post:

1. Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you and display the award logo.

2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you.

3. Nominate bloggers who you think are deserving of the award but also help promote newer bloggers with less followers.

4. Tell the bloggers you nominated them, in a comment on their blog.

5. Give them 11 questions of your own.

The first few questions…

  1. What inspires you most when writing/blogging?  A creative outlet for demisexuality and all it brought with it, especially at the start, with the two-fold goal of finding a sense of community and hopefully providing some informative posts for people similarly redefining their identities and lives.
  2. Are you religious?  Yes… and Christianity is definitely significant in my writing, I think most of all because faith and sexuality both feel like fundamental parts of my self.
  3. Did you enjoy your education?  (high school, university, etc.) Yes and no. I love learning stuff, but secondary school was a gauntlet due to a lot of uncertainties. University I adored because I studied something I loved. Graduate studies was a whole other ball-game again, that… no.
  4. What is your dream job? private tutoring in what I studied, with someone else doing the admin and client acquisition.
  5. Boxers or briefs?  yeah… on that subject I mostly appreciate it that my roommates have different preferences when it’s my turn to do laundry. Easier to tell apart.
  6. What important values do you live by?  Love others as you love yourself… and that can be split up into
    • a) Each person should know they are invaluable;
    • b) I am fascinated with every interesting mind I encounter;
    • c) It is essential that everyone recognise that everyone else is incalculably precious and not to be wasted, and that this is embedded in everything from international law to household rules;
    • d) Everyone has agency, needs and unique talents and worldview, so satisfaction of basic needs, freedom of choice, freedom of information, accountability, equality and a healthy support network are essential for each human being to function.

…since that leaves me with five questions, here goes, pulled from other sources.

  1. What would people be surprised to know about you? I was a scout and know three ways to build a camp fire.
  2. What is your greatest joy in life? Succesfully getting an idea I’m very enthusiastic about from inception to final execution. There is no bigger high.
  3. What is the favourite country you’ve visited? Ireland. It managed to combine an idyllic countryside with an inexhaustible source of culture and some of the best music and loveliest accents I’ve had the pleasure to hear.
  4. Craziest idea you ever got in the shower? Top five non-humanoid aliens I’d want to meet. Especially the part where I was speculating on safe methods of preserving my body while communing with noncorporeal entities consisting of thought.
  5. One sentence that sums up your 2017. The advance of human commodification is horrifying, enraging and inspiring (to write about).

Questions for the tagged ones:

  1. What was the catalyst for you to start blogging, and what keeps you writing now?
  2. What do you consider the best part of yourself?
  3. What stranger, friend or family has continued to be an example throughout your life (describe what they mean to you, if you want to keep it general)?
  4. What is the most important choice you ever made, to you personally?
  5. If you had to describe yourself in a movie tagline, e.g. the callous reporter or the down-to-earth jazz musician or the calm old soul, what phrase would you use?
  6. Congratulations, you are now the President of the United States. What’s your first executive order?
  7. Earth has been destroyed and you flee the planet. Describe the space ship you’re on.
  8. What is your favourite superpower?
  9. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
  10. You get one freebie to smack a person in the face without consequences. Who will it be?
  11. What polysyllabic (big-ass) word has become a common word in your vocabulary?

Tagged ones (which are just plain good blogs, and didn’t already get tagged, go read):

Dating While Ace

A^3

Ace Film Reviews

Prismatic Entanglements

The Ace Theist

From Fandom To Family

The Notes Which Do Not Fit

P.S. “Liebster” is something like “sweetie” in German, and River Song was one of my favourite characters. So, that.

Demisexual Body in Action

My contribution to the March Carnival of Aces, about physical health and bodies. Go check out all the contributions.

Explicit language about sex, though I try not to be graphic.

I

For twenty-five years all the landmarks of developing sexuality and romantic relationships pass me by.

I blame my impopularity, my insecurity, my anxiety, my depression.

I have a few crushes. I think those feelings are attraction.

II

I look at a man I have known for several years.

In disbelief I feel my lower stomach roil with heat and my groin clench. I flush.

I flee to the hallway and slide down a wall.

That was sexual attraction. Out of nowhere. Already waning.

I realise I have never, ever felt it before.

My mind explodes.

III

I find the word “asexual” online. I read, ferociously.

I am demisexual, I decide.

I feel highly relieved.

IV

The general practicioner looks at me. “Are you sexually active?”

“No.”

V

I tick the box for single on the document, on every document.

VI

I am in Amsterdam during Pride week.

I buy a purple dress and paint flags on my hands.

No one recognises asexuality as a thing. I comfort myself with forum hopping.

Weaving through the crowds I realise the most important thing about Pride is intangible: lack of expectations.

People bring their kids to experience a place and time when anyone’s sexuality and gender can be anything and it is okay.

VII

It is festive, but I am alone and unknown. I leave early.

On the way home I buy a black ring and put it on my right middle finger.

There, I am out.

I take a photo.

VIII

I fill out another form. Yes, I’m single, dammit.

For the first time, I want there to be a question about sexuality.

IX

“I’ve been flirting with you for ages!”

“I honestly didn’t notice.”

“Oh my God.” Skype makes his laugh a muffled thing. “Do you like me? I mean, you were not responding, so.”

“…yeah. But. I wasn’t gonna say anything. This is online.”

“You were just gonna pine. Pathetically.”

“Well, yeah. I’m… kinda glad to be having this conversation, though.”

“Me too.”

I discover that being in love comes with heightened awareness, especially of my body in the world.

Flirting, once I’m aware, is an addictive adrenaline rush.

X

I feel tender, vulnerable.

I stop blogging. This is for me.

XI

“Your vagina’s kind of narrow.”

I glare at my doctor. What part of ‘never sexually active’ was unclear?

“You never masturbate?”

I shrug. “Yeah.”

She grimaces. “This may hurt.”

She slides in the I.U.D. Aside from a dull ache, it’s fine.

Five years’ worth of birth control, installed.

XII

Our flirting, our conversations continue.

I am shameless. I grew up in a culture open about sexuality. I see no reason to hold back.

I find my imagination has the greatest influence over my body.

Anticipation can buzz for an entire day beneath skin.

I want touch, I crave it.

XIII

The flip side, he lives in another country.

I love the attention, the banter.

I want company. I want another body, close.

XIV

The calls become explicit too, sometimes.

I delight in the celebration of body, it is so new.

I am, perhaps for the first time, interested in manly bits.

I love the touch, even imagined, even removed. Giving and taking.

I love the gaze. I love the sounds. I love the play of talk and touch and exploration and affection.

XV

However, as it becomes more… focused, it becomes less interesting.

Reality is less without imagination fully engaged.

The more it is about just the genitals, the less my body and mind are into it.

The popping, crackling full-body fizz as we suggested, flirted, started, settles down into a low, steady buzz in my belly, depressingly familiar from masturbating.

Now, as then, orgasm is simply an end. A sudden stop to pleasant sensation, like stepping in a cold shower.

I have learned not to let that buzz culminate and tip over, but now it does.

“Did you finish?” he asks and I answer in the affirmative.

I do not fake that, but I fake how it makes me feel.

I fear he notices.

We end that call and I curl up wanting to cry.

Orgasms do not work as advertised and I want an afterglow badly.

The foreplay is not supposed to be the highlight, dammit.

XVI

When I start counting in months, I feel his physical absence acutely.

The difference with friendship turns out to be the level of preoccupation and the territoriality that comes with it.

He is a missing limb, in my thoughts but never under my hands.

XVII

We drift apart. His disinterest grows and I become stiffer the longer I want more than I can have.

XVIII

I move.

I start babysitting, for some money.

Children, I discover, like touch, especially when they can dictate it.

Since touch has always equaled affection in my family, it is very, very easy to love the kids.

I also discover babysitting can stop from one day to the next.

The first time it ends I cry for several days on the couch, I simply think I am sad.

The second time was longer, much worse, and I realise how much more territorial I was over kids than even a romantic partner. Even when I knew they were not mine.

I am preternaturally aware of my womb for several months.

After the third time is bad, so bad, I swear off babysitting.

XIX

I fill out another form. I tick single, and no, for sexually active.

XX

A year in my new town, I finally feel comfortable to start touching the people I have come to know.

A hug, a supporting hand.

I do not realise just how much it relaxes me until I am asked what’s made me so cheerful.

XXI

I meet my new doctor.

“I am not sexually active, no. I am on the asexual spectrum.”

She gives me a weird look at my wide, wide smile.

XXII

Two years seems to be the mark for me to be settled enough to start feeling attracted to people.

A grinning woman, oozing charisma and feminity, makes me weirdly cheerful and want to stare like a creepy stalker.

At the coffeestore, to make it more cliche.

No flush, no buzz, though. No desire to touch.

Oh, oh. Aesthetic attraction, I realise. For a real, live person.

XXIII

I meet a young woman, single.

She is going to be a foster parent.

It is a revelation. Many ways lead to Rome. I need not take the most common one.

XXIV

My anxiety hits me over the head again, out of nowhere.

My sex drive remains. I still feel the occasional attraction, mostly aesthetic or romantic, once even the flush of sexual.

I blamed all the wrong things when I was young.

I am demisexual, and it is simply my nature, not a symptom.

 

I have tried to cover all the feelings that relate to my body and are encompassed by my demisexuality.

This is not a complete account, I have chosen to include the first (or only) time I felt or acted on certain attractions.

I decided to leave out times when that attraction was not directed at a real person but a fictional character, especially since sexuality seems to function very differently in imagined and real scenarios.

Self-determination: am I?

For the February Carnival of Aces

Other submissions

i.

First meeting.

I told her I was asexual on the getting-to-know-my-patient form.

(Use language they might know.)

It was a test. She passed.

Reward unlocked: basic trust.

ii.

She leans forward, in an overstuffed armchair.

I am twisting my fingers, seated on an overstuffed sofa.

“Do you feel like you’re denying yourself anything because of your sexuality?”

iii.

Am I?

I do not feel any less than whole, but…

Non-default sexuality. Limited options.

(There are paths you cannot walk. Choices have consequences even if you’re free to make them.)

iv.

“Yes, I do.”

“What, then? What don’t you let yourself have?”

“I don’t know.”

v.

Sex. Love. Relationship. Loneliness. Family. Future. Life. Community. Connection. Status.

I type in mental keywords until I see what’s labeled ‘denied’.

Nothing.

Relief, which ebbs when I realise most results are coloured with doubt (do I want this) and dread (where do I even start) and trepidation (must research alternatives).

vi.

“I figure it’ll just be, y’know, harder for me. Or different. Don’t really know how to fit things in my life that I want.”

“Why?”

“I’m not normal.”

“Don’t put yourself down, now.”

“Actually… I like being who I am, a little weird. What it means for my life, though, not a clue. Which kinda brings us back to the whole no-clue-having about my life in general that brought me here.”

vii.

What helped, before, upon discovery of my demisexuality, was others who struggled, or didn’t. Their stories.

…must research alternatives…

Find a Let’s Play for asexuality.

viii.

My identity: demisexual.

Umbrella: asexual.

Widen the search parameters, lieutenant.

ix.

What I say in my head: not ‘impossible’ but ‘difficult’.

How much have I denied myself, thinking that?

How much, by leaving things undefined, unexplored, chaos.

x.

By choosing nothing, what did I choose?

xi.

Lesson from a therapist: a good one will not just accept, but help.

Questioning sexuality included.

Reward unlocked: active trust.

xii

In writing this, I have had to go back and change every ‘we’ and ‘you’ into ‘I’.

False sense of safety in generalities and impersonal language.

How much have I denied myself?

xiii

Must research alternatives.

Quest accepted.

xiv.

Happy Valentine’s.

I stick my tongue out at the advertising, after checking the isle is empty.

I buy chocolates.

Quest part the first: Count Your Blessings.

Reward unlocked: family hugs.

xv.

I debate whether to post this. Therapy is personal.

It is exactly the sort of story I’m seeking.

Hm.

xvi.

I trawl blogs.

I am not alone.

Still comforting, several years in.

 

I Want Your Love (No Regrets)

Got Valentine on the brain.

I do not want your naughty bits
I don’t want any sex
I do not want your dirty talk
No beast with the two backs

I do not want your nakedness
I do not want you bare
Unless you wish to sunbathe too
Unless you wish to share

I do not want your fondling
I do not want your touch
Unless you lack attraction too
Want cuddles just as much

I really want your loving, though
I really want your heart
I really want to love you too
I really want to start

I really want to share a life
I really want your mind
I want to know just what you think
Return that trust in kind

I really want to know the joy
I really want to court
To buy the roses down the street
Cook food that you adore

I want your love and no regrets
Society can fuck off
To love you, honestly myself
True love, so help me God

I’m a doctor, Jim, not a prescription dispenser

“Doctor, I want the female Viagra thingy, Ah-dee-dee-yee. Can you just get me prescription?”

“I generally want to get to know my patients, so let’s… talk first.”

“I’m in a hurry.”

“Please sit down, ma’am. Thank you. Why do you feel you need this drug?”

“Well… to have more sex.”

“What has led up to that?”

“Well, someone I know mentioned in and we got talking… so my husband said we should try it out. There’s no shame in getting a little help, y’know, when you can’t…. get revved up as easily as others.”

“Do you personally desire to have more sex?”

“I – I don’t know… not really, I guess… I mean, I like the activity once in a while but…”

“So you are satisfied with the intimacy as it is now?”

“No. I mean, I’d like more of it. But not orgasms. More… y’know, all the rest of it. Touching each other.”

“You’ve discussed this with your husband?”

“Not really, no. It’s awkward, y’know, talking about sex.”

“More so than having it?”

“Oh hell, yeah. I mean, you stutter and blush and there’s just so many words not coming out of my mouth.”

“Then perhaps… try to learn to talk and see if you can’t fulfill both your desires? It’ll be a lot cheaper and less harmful than chemicals. I can refer you to a good counselor, if necessary.”

“Oh… yes. Right. Yes, of course, thank you. I’m gonna, uh.”

“Have a good day ma’am. Oh, and ma’am?”

“Yes, doctor?”

“If you’re in need of a mild stimulant, might I suggest a glass of red wine with dinner? It’s actually more effective and has far less side-effects.”

“Oh… right… Thank you. I’ll keep it in mind. Goodbye, doctor.”

“Goodbye, ma’am.”

“Next, please. Hello, ma’am, please take a seat.”

“Oh, that’s not necessary Doctor, I just need a prescription for that female Viagra I read about in the newspapers.”

“…have a seat, ma’am. Let’s talk about it, first.”

“No, I’m fine, otherwise, really, and I’m on my way to work, so if you could just -”

“We don’t prescribe it ma’am, for some very good reasons, have a seat, let me tell you why, and perhaps we can find a solution to your problem that does work. Alright?”

“Yes, Doctor.”

The newspapers in Holland keep referring to it as female Viagra. Le sigh. I really hope these are prescription drugs, at least, not available over-the-counter.

Want to Start an Asexuality Community Library?

My thoughts continue to rattle on… Because possibilities! Ideas! Let’s see what we have, shall we?

  • Several books published on asexuality, available online and offline
  • Many, many articles written over the past decades, on paper, by magazines and newspapers, on people’s websites, in blogs, in events…
  • A very active AVEN world watch forum where links and/or posts are published several times a day.
  • Video and audio media in goodly amounts, as well as multimedia projects.
  • Dedicated archives for media and zines.
  • Several people dedicated to writing quality reviews and offering information.
  • Media starting to appear in several languages that would be good to offer, and possibly offer translations or sub/dub versions…
  • Probably a whole lot more.

Collecting either references or the media themselves in one place might help visibility immensely. So I figure, let’s think about this as a group, shall we? Hypothetically or realistically, what would be desirable to have?

  • An online catalogue or database of existing media, with the emphasis on searchability and possibly reviews. Parallel: a library catalogue, for on- and offline media.
  • An online archive with copies or reviews (depending) of existing media, with the emphasis on preservation and offering a wide collection of literature to those interested in a variety of topics concerning asexuality. Parallel: World Watch, but then a website.
  • An online library with both existing media and new, where people can post, tag and review anything of interest, with an emphasis on offering a long-term place of publication and inclusive archive that worked to preserve as much of the media available on asexuality as possible, in several languages. Parallel: AO3/OTW, but way smaller.

Please tell me what would have your preference and advice you might have.

The third option is my personal preference, but it’d be the most ambitious project.

P.S. please do tell me if something similar is already in the works and I’m trying to reinvent the wheel.

P.P.S. I’m not trying to replace the World Watch forum, I think they’re a great help in signal-boosting newsworthy content, and I don’t believe in competition. I do believe that there’s room for a more flexible platform than a forum that would add to the pool of knowledge. I’m trying to see if that’s actually something other people want too. Keep in mind this’d be a long-term project that would take time to set up and grow, which’d fit in with the general growth of the asexual community, especially internationally.

(Crossposted to my wordpress and tumblr blogs and the AVEN Visibility forum. Please respond on your preferred platform.)

Aut of Spoons

A Self Advocate Fights Oppression

Controlled Abandon

an apartment full of books, a heart full of dancing, a mind full of math, a life full of queerness

Asexual, Aromantic, Agender

Ace Film Reviews

Asexuality goes to the movies

Prismatic Entanglements

dew-covered spider web of condensed thoughts

Genderweird

An autistic, asexual, gender neutral person exploring life beyond the gender binary.

Reflective Ace

Reflections on identity and other stuff