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Marriage Without – notes

Normally I’d leave a post like yesterday‘s alone, to be interpreted as you will, but it came out of a lot of feels and thoughts combining and sitting in a great big knot in my head this month (well, last month) and the poem was the overflow of the untangling… and I did wish to share that. You’re welcome to skip it and simply enjoy the post as-is, though.

As far as stages of coming out is concerned, I feel I’ve sat at synthesis for a long time. I wrestled anew with what it meant to be demisexual after I moved, what it meant for my faith (especially the expression thereof in commmunity) and what it meant for my writing. I lacked a sense of acceptance in my new environment, but that collided with a growing dissatisfaction of my own. Being demisexual has made me a different person, has put me on a different path and that has made me less sympathetic to those people that would only tolerate me out of privileged ignorance, rather than truly accept me.

What I’m far more new and hesitant to is the panromantic label, I feel I’m at about ‘acceptance’, certainly not at ‘pride’. Especially since it feels like it’s dragging the queer label in by the hand. That label is a loaded one, in my head. The publically known one I’ve placed al lot of the baggage on that I feel I dodged by being ‘only’ a type of ace… yeah. Add to that that living amongst more conservative folks, mostly in church but also the occasional colleague or friend I speak to during the week, most of whom I’ve had conversations with at one point or another when I mention I’m from a (politically) more socio-liberal church that raised the issue of blessing same-sex marriage* for member discussion and vote while I attended. All the ins and outs of religion-fueled homophobia have become much more well-known to me, suffice to say, and hit far harder because I’m not, myself, straight anymore and starting to maybe, tentatively consider identifying in private as queer. So I feel squeamish and conflicted. It’s not pretty.

Some of the biggest shifts in my progression from feeling included to excluded by the Christians I interact with are not about being queer, but the idea that everyone feels lust. For example, each sermon on the topic of reigning in sexual sin leaves me feeling more skeptical. Not just for the assumption that everyone has lust bleeding from their ears and eyeballs, but the assumption that one becomes more virtuous for having less sex. I certainly don’t feel more virtuous. The lack of peer pressure to have sex within the Christian community, which I liked so much initially, no longer makes up for the assumption I’ll have a ‘healthy’ sex life after marrying or forego a relationship altogether. I want a to have romantic-platonic or queer-platonic relationship, dammit**.

It also really doesn’t help when I have mental will-they, won’t-they-reject-me games with myself when I imagine bringing a woman rather than a man to church, when I have a moment to myself during coffee after service… Feeling out the roots I’d pull up since some of the folks have become good friends and I like several of the activities I’ve gotten involved in.

I also made the mistake of googling asexuality and Christianity together and read a lot of things that deserve warnings and zero screen time. Time and distance from my hetero-by-default frame of mind have made it a lot harder to step back into it, to sympathise with a point of view where I was part of the unthinking majority. I still stumble so much even when I encounter other minority identities, in speaking to and about them respectfully, inclusively, but at least I have a taste of how much work it is to bridge the gap when someone doesn’t really accept you, how hurtful being excluded can be, even in passing, impersonally, indirectly. I’ve sat in church so, so angry at a guest preacher rejecting ‘those unnatural homosexuals’ and how they ‘chose wrong’ and wanted to jump up and punch and yell and run out and instead wandered about the rest of the day with an unvoiced question in my head: I wonder what you’d make of me, then, sir. Until my poor unsuspecting mother casually asked me how I’m doing and it took me an hour to pour her ear full of all the worries now hanging off that initial question like it’s a set of monkey bars.

Also tied into the knot of thoughts, I would very strongly prefer to have a relationship that did not include anything more than kissing, call it asexual or platonic, regardless of the orientation(s) of my partner. Though I cherish each contact with a person for what it is, just as I have acquaintances as well as good friends, I’d ultimately want for one of them to flourish into a sharing-the-rest-of-our-lives, whatever that looks like. One contention in the QPR post really set me off**, namely, that the relationships – involving neither a formalisation nor sex and, in the case of the post, not the hallmarks of romantic relationship – could be dismissed as an especially deep friendship. Just as same-sex relationships used to be, still can be. Just as the type of relationship I desire, with romantic elements or not, may be.

This stings, because in Holland people are marrying way less because it’s not considered what makes a relationship ‘real’, like living together does or bringing your significant other along to meet friends and family. I feel it could be easily argued, by extension, that having sex or bringing flowers or the initial surge of territorial, sentimental obsession we call romantic love isn’t what makes a relationship ‘real’ either. The sexual drive, romantic drive and attachment drive*** are three separate instincts, after all, and I think we as a community could make a good case for them functioning perfectly well independent of each other. In short, you can have no sex, no romance, no marriage ceremony, (even no monogamy) and yet have a relationship that deep, that significant, that lasting, that it could arguably be equivalent to marriage.

I’ve seen enough couples together long enough that even without any outward sign, at some point people around them got tired enough of referring to them as “my boyfriend’s brother” or “my aunt’s partner” that they shifted to using terminology you’d normally use after a formalisation… so “my brother-in-law” and “my uncle”, in these cases. In other words, without anyone coming out and saying it, these relationships (often only defined by people always being mentioned together, Tom-and-Jane, Dick-and-Cathy) had passed some mental benchmark that made them as-good-as-married, in people’s minds.

What I’m saying in a roundabout way is, I think, that we don’t really know what makes a significant relationship a true and deep attachment with our chosen partner. We have some characteristics by which to identify them, but just like you can’t really define a woman by having breasts, long hair or a skirt, you can’t really define a ‘real’ marriage/relationship/person-and-partner based on whether there’s been a ceremony or sheet sharing or dates. I think that all the different folks in the ace community illustrate that truth beautifully. I also think that kicks some people into a big-ole existential crisis, if their ideas are broken down like that.

I like the idea though, that we can’t really define relationships, limit them within an absolute definition, the same way we haven’t really define life, or sentience, or reality. Gives us something to keep on wondering about.

So there I was, picking my own conflicted feelings about my labels apart, and my ideas on relationships, keeping the question in mind: what do I want? What would it look like if I had one?

What if… what if… this question I prefer to wallow in. My favourite pastor once said that the devil got so little attention in the bible because he wasn’t worth it, was deliberately omitted. The focus was on how people ought to live, ought to be bettering the world. On the promise of a better future, in defiance of a broken world with imperfect people making mistakes left and right. That we – Christians – would be harshly rebuked for how much we focus on fear, infighting, judgment, division. When I come to church to celebrate my faith and get rejected by a human in the middle of worshipping God, I can’t help but feel the truth of that. I think of the families that I saw come to Pride, three years ago, just to show their kids first-hand gay, bisexual, trans people were people too. I think Jesus would have loved that, I think he would have loved to be there.

In honour of that, I tried to put some of my hopes down on paper. To make it as accessible as possible, I decided to omit labels that might not mean much to outsiders. And I wrote this way-too-long author’s note about all the thoughts I carried around that led to writing “Marriage Without Sex or Ceremony”.

*) in our country, blessing civil partnership as well as marriage, both of which are legalised at city hall before the (Christian) couple has a bigger (optional) ceremony in church, both levels open for any couples as of 2001. Our denomination dumped the decision to be open to blessing them on the individual congregations, to avoid offending anyone (thereby disobliging everyone).

**) While I’m a panromantic, I figure my partner may not be, and that’ll influence the shape of the relationship, especially considering it may grow either out of formal dating or informally out of an existing friendship. I got schooled on the topic by this post on QPR’s,  which also left me poking at what exactly I’d name the relationship I want to have, and that inspired the title for the poemish freewriting on my relationship fantasy.

***) This TED talk influenced my ideas on relationships a lot, especially its claim that one has three instincts or drives that make us partner up, that could trigger in that order, out of order or independent of each other.

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.

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.

I Want to Have Sex Like… Amsterdam Gay Pride 2015

Rainbow hearts boat

The boat I liked best, because rainbow coloured hearts.

Rainbow flags waved along boulevards and bridges all over the city centre. For ten days, including two weekends, museums had special tours, cafes had special offers and cinemas had special films. There were walks and talks and concerts. Friday was the parade’s eve, with a march to the Gay Monument and the Drag Queen Olympics. Saturday was the finale, with eighty decorated boats in the official parade and many more moored three to five boats thick to the side on some stretches, filled with spectators and students and beer. Locals and visitors and families and tourists mix and bunch together whenever there’s a bridge, one in three wearing a pink shirt.

The LGBT community is part of Amsterdam’s identity and city marketing much like it is for San Francisco. For the average Joe, that means it’s comfortable to live there as member of the LGBT community, the locals won’t stare as much and the tourists come especially to stare. During the Pride, it means the city is proud, the cultural sector colours pink, corporations sponsor a boat in the canal parade. Awareness is raised for the HIV-positive and LGBT minorities abroad but mostly people come to enjoy and relax.

What made it interesting as an event was more intangible, however, which is what I hope to make sense of in this two-parter about the Amsterdam Gay Pride of 2015. This part is more about how it influenced my public identity, the other more about what demisexuality has come to mean to me in private, during.1

What’s with all the heteros?

COC boat

Dutch LGBT organisation, campaigning for same-sex PDA being okay.

A strange question, perhaps, but I wondered what all the heteros who came to Amsterdam got out of the event. To see the parade or enjoy a concert, yes, but… if you walked the streets, they were the ones in the rainbow hats and the pink shirts. People who were gay or bi came to be themselves, albeit with beer and music, so they didn’t dress up… unless they had an additional reason. But no, it was a girl convincing her boyfriend that they both ought to wear a headband with miniature penises waggling on metal coils, and the Korean tourists counting out euros to buy a “Gay For a Day” shirt.

They were, in that little bubble of space-time, outsiders. They needed to wear something special to participate. What love and sexuality was exhibited here was queer, not theirs. For a very short time, it was normal to grab a hand or a kiss from someone with the same gender, not the opposite one. It was, for that matter, normal to mess with gender altogether. So the cisgender heteros felt the need for a souvenir or a costume, the way you do at a Renaissance fair or a carnival, to fit in with a different sort of normal.

Vervreemding

HIV medication boat.

HIV-medication-for-everyone campaign, with a dick joke, “It’s not equal for everyone.”

Art’s main job isn’t decoration or beauty or avant garde, here. In Dutch, the highest praise an art piece can get is that it vervreemds, estranges or makes something other. To break its audience out of the familiarity that blinds them, to refresh and transform their reality. To open minds to what is strange and yes, queer.

During the Gay Pride in Amsterdam, it was love and gender and sexuality that were vervreemd, the more unusual expressions made normal and the norm, heterosexuality, just one of several options. That wasn’t just theoretical, but a lived reality in the streets. You literally weren’t to know what the person in front of you, behind you, beside you, thought of themselves or preferred in their partners. Everyone was just people.

Only those who thought that was strange felt the need to dress up.

And it was to this vervreemding that I could connect. Demisexuality means you might find some people you know attractive, but mostly everyone is just people. Not sexual, not attractive, not beautiful. Just people. And within the asexual community, this is what we’re struggling to label: to us everyone is just people. We choose to act on it in different ways, but at the core of it is the same conflict: people are just folks to meet, when to others they may stand out on a sexual level.

The streets at Gay Pride? They’re the crowd I’d be comfortable in, seeking a partner, no expectations, anyone can be any label. Anyone can desire any relationship on any level, or not.

LGBT(QI), not LGBTQIA

I distinguish between LGBT and LGBTQIA because I think as subculture or umbrella it’s evolving to be more inclusive, and accept asexuality as part of that umbrella. In some places it is already, in some it’s not. Largely because of the creation of communities and activism of local asexual-spectrum individuals… a work in progress. In Holland, we’re not there yet. Though I believe most would welcome us, we are as yet unknown. Literature is scarce, our meeting places still in the process of being created, awareness a dim glow on the horizon of the most open-minded.

So while I felt some kinship, I did feel like a spectator. Because I represent a type of sexuality that isn’t known, let alone accepted. I both was and was not ready to show it.

Private performance in public

Yeah, I know one field's supposed to be white. Try finding white eyeliner.

Yeah, I know one field’s supposed to be white. Try finding white eyeliner.

I decided on a discrete display that fit my budget: buy some eyeliner pencils and draw a demisexual flag on my hand and wear it out in public. It was quite an adventure simply to draw and photograph it in the privacy of my room. Nerve-wracking to step out onto the streets a few days later, flag on my hand. The first few minutes, I hid my hand against my thigh, until I almost fell over in the tram on my way to the canal parade.

No one noticed.

By the end of the day, neither did I.

When I came home, I finally looked at my hand and decided I was okay with this, to wear it as I do any part of myself, invisible to most and relevant to those who care.

Permanence and peace

Two days later, even the thickest black line had nearly washed off my hand. I traced it, knowing it would disappear and missing it. I wanted a souvenir, not of something I am not, like the heteros at Gay Pride, but of something that I discovered I am and was now settling into being a comfortable fact of my life, a cog wheel that smoothed out a big stutter in my self-knowledge.

I bought a silver ring, with a black line in the middle. Not quite an asexual ring, but halfway there, for demisexuality, enough to feel like promise, a private symbol that could sit around the middle finger of my right hand. I had grown comfortable with who I am, in this week, and it was good to wear that openly.

So what’s it taught me about the sex I might like?

Wedding boat

The wedding boat.

I liked the freedom in this crowd, how utterly heteronormativity was gone, any sexual orientation was welcome. This is the type of gathering I feel comfortable in, meeting people, swapping stories about sexualities and being okay to communicate about love and gender and sex because there’s less assumptions than in your average crowd.

At the same time, I was a stranger, asexuality wasn’t here, to the point where I could walk around unrecognized unless I’d literally painted a sign and I’m in no way there yet, may never be. Asexuality got a mention in the summary on TV later, which was already pretty cool, but that’s what I was really missing, peers and a mention somewhere in the material.

Next year’s the big-ass EuroPride in Amsterdam, a two full weeks and probably a festival with activities on an even bigger scale than this year. I’d hope we can get a group together for that and visit.

Until then, I’m back to finding spaces with open-minded people and figuring out what I like as demisexual and how to express that in a heterosexual-normative world. I’ve won another measure of self-acceptance and that, that’s the true treasure I’m taking away from that week.

Further reading

  1. The first part, “I am neither straight nor queer” can be found through the link. More posts in the series can be found via the “demisexual satisfaction” category or the “sex-like” tag.

Images: mine 🙂

The Creative Demisexual: Invisible Self

You cannot see
What I do not do
I cannot deny
What you do not say

When you do not speak
And I don’t do sex
Then what we have
Is buckets of silence

Leak

The holes where speech
Never will have been
When it never rains
The roof, not repaired

The drought will kill
So I went looking
See what I’d sow
Life I could reap

Speak

Because a lack
Is rarely spotted
Won’t you ever, though?
Sex, you don’t ask…

No, I believe that
I start the dance
Tweak your nose and
See if you follow

Carnival of Aces: Dutch History?

So, this month’s Carnival of Aces took some thought… I didn’t know if I’d have something to contribute. But one question got me thinking:

  • What unanswered questions do you have about asexual history that you would like to see addressed?

Well, I’d like to know more about what’s happened in my own country, since I found out about asexuality and demisexuality in a very geeky corner of the internet.

It ties in with an awesome occasion, I think. The Dutch Pride is to be held in a month’s time in Amsterdam, and would make a great event to focus on to see how much visibility and attention we get and what ‘lives’ in Holland.

So I’ll be doing some stomping around and then hopefully making a contribution around that topic at the end of the month.

Aven’s Dutch-language forum’s the place I start. It’s been great connecting with people in my native tongue, the past few days there, after I finally dared to write my first post.

That Weird Ace Woman

Another angry Millennial internet queer

Eleanore

Editing • Photography

The Court of Ranternal Affairs

A Website of Wonky and Rustic Beauty by Calum P Cameron (he/him)

This blog is Ace

A blog about asexuality and other A things

The Demi Deviant

Demisexual, Demiromantic, Agenderflux Kinkster

The Asexual Agenda

Furthering upper-level discussions of asexuality

A Carnival of Aros

An Aromantic / Aro-Spec Blogging Carnival