Fictional Portrayals That I Strongly Relate to of Abusive Parents, Moms who abandon their kids, etc.

I started writing this post well over a year ago. It’s been in my drafts the entire time. I wanted to finish it and post it today.

Here’s a post that really ties together the two main words in the title of my blog – a post heavy in both discussion of family (namely my own family life) and heavy in discussion of fandom. ;)


Content warnings for discussions of personality disorders, bipolar disorder, child abuse, brief mentions of violence and suicide.

Continue reading

An Exploration of Not Wanting to Be Sexy, and of Never Feeling Sexy

I just finished reading Kasey Weird’s old blog post from April 2013 on Feeling Sexy, which I had not come across before.

I read the post, and NessieMonster’s comment on it, too, which then turned into a full blog post on NessieMonster’s own blog, and I read that too:

And then Kasey Weird wrote a follow-up post with further thoughts on the topic:

After all that…

Today, Jo posted a nice index of all of her blogging on asexuality. In it, I discovered this interesting post from 2012 titled, Sex or Society: the pressure to be attractive (an experiment):

Jo’s post there includes a lot of comments from asexual-spectrum folks on whether or not they think their asexuality influences their desire (or lack thereof) to “look sexy”, to “be attractive”, etc.

Those four posts give me some insight on the phenomenon of feeling sexy, and give me a lot to think about.

I think I have never truly felt sexy. Which, as a fact, is kind of fascinating to consider. I never really considered it before, but I am considering it now.

The Asexual Agenda Question of the Week last week on what people think about the term “asexy” had already got me started me thinking about this a bit too, because of it’s relation to the term “sexy”.

Sexiness seems to be a very complicated concept tied up in gender roles and heteronormativity, and for straight cis women it is complicated enough. For any other group to feel sexy or be perceived as sexy, things get much more complicated.

I’m an asexual woman who thought I was straight up until I started questioning if I was asexual and then, consequently, identifying as asexual.

Personally, while I already know this isn’t true for all asexuals, I’m sure my lack of feeling sexy in my life has to do with me being asexual.

Continue reading

My Experience of Friendship

I wanted to answer the Asexual Agenda’s “Question of the Week” this week, but my answer was getting too long. So I’m turning it in to a stand-alone post. And now I’ve made it even longer because it’s just on my own blog haha.

Siggy asked: What are your friendships like?

My answer: I think, sort of like the ambiguity of words like “Family”, I have a very large range of people I consider “Friends”, and my relationship with each person is different degrees of closeness, spanning all the way to “former friend” or “almost-friend” because for whatever reason I decided I didn’t like them enough or we 100% fell out of touch.

Continue reading

October 2015 Carnival of Aces Round-Up (Aromanticsm & The Aromantic Spectrum)

I hosted the Carnival of Aces this past month. Below is the round-up of posts written this month on Aromanticsm & The Aromantic Spectrum.

To see many wonderful posts for other topics written about for past carnivals, or to host and come up with your own theme for a future Carnival of Aces, check out the masterpost, here: which also explains what the Carnival of Aces is.

I found it surprisingly enlightening, in the end, with people posting a vast array of experiences and opinions on related topics. We ended up with 14 total people submitting, and 17 links for you to click!! Please consider reading all of the amazing posts.

Continue reading

Being an Aro Ace and Desiring (Foster and/or Adoptive) Parenthood

This is a late entry for the October 2015 Carnival of Aces on Aromanticsm and the Aromantic Spectrum, which I myself was hosting here on this blog. Sorry for the delay. The full round up will be posted within the hour!

First things first: I must update you loyal readers of my blog. Some of you may remember I identified as wtfromantic. That still accurately describes my feelings toward romantic and platonic “feelings” and “attractions”, even the whole relationships aspect of it… It still describes my place on the aro spectrum pretty accurately, I think.  But I’ve slowly started to ease into identifying as aromantic lately. For a lot of reasons. I feel like the more I think about it, the more it’s just easier to embrace being aro ace (meaning “aromantic asexual”) — that my life is playing out that way. I’m aromantic in a practical sense, in the way I live my life, in the way romantic… relationships, feelings, anything — just aren’t a factor anymore. I consider myself both wtfromantic and aromantic, while also being asexual. It felt freeing when I realized I could claim both aromantic & wtfromantic at once, that I didn’t have to choose.

I could write a whole blog post on the subject, but today I want to address another topic. I want to talk about being an aro ace, yet desiring to become a parent.

Allow me to backtrack.

Like many kids raised by a single mother who was abusive, I often felt drawn toward fictional stories about orphans. About children struggling, or even children whose parents abandoned them and made them practical orphans despite their parents being alive. For me and my younger brother, growing up was living in a constant state of fear that Mom would “get mad”. It meant us constantly walking on metaphorical eggshells and my dad commenting that the extreme ease with which something might startle me is because living with my mother made me hypervigilant. I was always hoping that maybe if I was prepared enough, careful enough, etc, I could prevent her rage. I was always hoping that maybe I wouldn’t have to spend hours crying, so many tears running down my face I would wonder if this might be why I’d get dehydration headaches sometimes.

I fantasized about her disappearing, about a life where she didn’t exist, and I didn’t care if it was death or what because it was all so abstract and just focused on me, and my brother, and not needing to live in this environment anymore.

I also fantasized about being a mother one day. Continue reading

Asexual Representation on Sirens (& maybe implied aromantic representation? Maybe?)

(This has been cross-posted to my tumblr, too.)

In April 2015, USA Network’s TV series Sirens was canceled, and with it, the USA lost their only current canonically asexual character on prime time television. Season 1 is still on Netflix for anyone curious enough to watch, and presumably season 2 will be added eventually.

Let’s discuss what exactly the representation was, though, and what it is that we lost when we lost the show.

Sirens is a half-hour comedy TV series, meaning each episode is actually only 22 or so minutes long. It is about a group of EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians), aka Paramedics. It involves treating serious medical problems and even death with humor and lightheartedness, at times.

Valentina Dunacci, who prefers to go by the nickname “Voodoo”, is revealed in season 1 episode 6 “The Finger”, to be asexual. But this isn’t the only episode she appears in, or even the only episode where her asexuality is mentioned. No, she is a significant part of the entire series.

In fact, the first three episodes of the show involve some highly sex-based plots and jokes, and in episode 3, when the character Billy walks into a room full of his friends and acquaintances bare naked, and his dick is supposedly the largest dick anyone has ever seen, Voodoo already is more in the background, not really reacting, not someone showing any sign of sexual attraction the way the other women (and the gay man) in the scene are. Even back in 1×03 a reading of her as asexual works well.

The show closely follows 3 men who work together in the same daytime shift, and on the same ambulance, aka “rig” — Johnny is the straight white man with a fear of commitment to his longtime girlfriend, a cop named Theresa, who is also a main character of the show. Hank is the gay black man who enjoys a lot of casual sex and flings with men that don’t last long. Finally, Brian is the nerdy, good Christian, straight white man who still lives with his parents and is new to the job in the pilot (the first episode of the series).

Continue reading

October 2015 Carnival of Aces Call for Submissions — Aromanticsm & the Aromantic Spectrum

The “Carnival of Aces” is a blogging carnival where each month people are invited to write on a specific topic that is related to asexuality/the ace spectrum in some way.

(Also, vloggers are invited to speak on the topic in videos, artists/poets invited to be inspired by the topic, etc — whatever format you wish to participate with, please, use that format.)

Check out the masterpost of all of the other amazing topics previous carnivals have been on:

September’s was on “Living Asexuality” and was hosted by Jo over at A Life Unexamined.

For this current month, October, I am hosting, and I decided to make the topic Aromanticism & the Aromantic Spectrum. Honestly, I’m surprised this has never been a topic in the carnival before.

The topic is meant to be broad.

Some ideas on what people might write about:

    • What led you to identify as aromantic or with an identity on the aro-spectrum?
    • What did you first think when you heard about romantic orientations and that an aromantic orientation was an option?
    • What are your thoughts on the conflation — or perhaps, the separation — of aromanticsm and asexuality?
    • What does it mean to be aromantic, or aro-spectrum, in a practical sense in your current life?
    • How does being aromantic or on the aromantic spectrum influence your plans for your personal future?
    • How do you feel society treats romance, and how do aromantic people fit in?
    • What does it mean to “participate in romantically coded things” while being aromantic?
    • What counts as romantic/non-romantic to you, personally?
    • What does it mean for aromanticsm to be most often talked about in asexual communities?
    • How is aromanticsm currently portrayed in fiction? In non-fiction news and documentary/biography media?
    • In an ideal future, how would you hope aromanticsm would be portrayed in either fiction or non-fiction?

Please consider these as some jumping off points. You may blog about anything that is related to the topic though. Surprise us!

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or concerns.

To submit your entry, either leave a comment below or send an email to me at . If you would like to post anonymously, I can copy and paste text from an email into a Guest post on this blog of mine, just let me know that this is your wish.


Non-libidoism & Asexuality (aka: I have never had a sex drive, so does that explain why I’m asexual?)

I think this can count as a submission for the September Carnival of Aces on Living Asexuality. This post, below, is largely about how I experience my own asexuality, in a very personal, “this obviously doesn’t apply to everyone” kind of way.

I don’t use AVEN. I never used it much. But before I discovered the asexuality tag on tumblr or the ace community on WordPress I was there, briefly, while beginning to try to figure myself out. And so I still track the two “What is Sexual Attraction” threads over there and get emailed when a new reply is posted on them. Those are literally the ONLY threads I still follow… it may only be one thread at this point (because they may have been merged or one may have died or something?).

A couple of weeks ago, someone posted something that sparked my curiosity. They said,

I apologize if this has been asked a million times but does having no libido make asexuality the default? How can one experience sexual attraction without having an interest in sex?

Personally, I can’t physically have penetrative sex. It’d be excruciating torture straight out of an Eli Roth movie. Is it possible to experience sexual attraction or desire when most acts are associated with pain?

Someone else replied:

I’ve always believed this to be the case, yes. I’ve considered myself “asexual by default” for that reason.

And they said more, but it’s irrelevant to the point I want to make here.

I don’t masturbate. I have never experienced arousal, or an orgasm. I don’t know how these things are supposed to feel. I can see sex scenes on movies/in TV shows, even pretty explicit ones, and feel nothing, regardless of the genders of the participants, and the same goes for reading erotic fan-fiction by talented authors.

I feel like I’m asexual by default, and I never saw that sentiment expressed until that post on AVEN. I really love how validating it felt to read that. I love the idea that yeah, I’m not the only person who is entirely non-sexual in every conceivable way and that is inextricably tied up in our versions of asexuality.

There is an article on the AVEN wiki about Non-libidoism: and the idea that at any point in the history of asexuality:

Some people considered nonlibidoism the only valid form of asexuality.

Well, it’s hard for me to believe that was the case. The thought is so foreign to me, and such a shock to read. I’m glad we have a community of asexuals now with a variety of experiences, some with sex drives, some without. And with a variety of other experiences too, from types of attraction they experience, including sometimes things that might be sexual attraction. I’m happy to be a part of the asexual spectrum and to acknowledge that we don’t all experience it the same.

But today on tumblr I came across a post, one of MANY that I’ve seen in the past few years, ever since I’ve began looking at asexuality-related posts on tumblr…

And it said at one part,

An asexual’s body is perfectly functional. It reacts to touch just like anyone else’s, meaning, an asexual will experience physical arousal and likely feel appropriate pleasure from sex when touched in a way that feels good to them personally. Asexuality isn’t the lack of sexual functions, it’s the lack of sexual attraction only.

When I read things like that, I have to admit, it hurts. It makes me angry intellectually, but my gut reaction is one where I’m just… sad. Where I feel like even among asexual standards, not just larger society but even among aces, I’m “broken”. It’s not often anymore that I think of myself as “broken”. I was in denial about my asexuality for months after subconsciously realizing it was likely my truth, most likely because I associated the orientation with being lesser, with being broken, with missing out on what it means to experience the joy of being human, or being alive. Once I accepted that nothing would ever get me aroused, that it would be impossible for me to enjoy sexual activities, that I wasn’t even “just” on the asexual spectrum but rather was a 100% asexual person who was also sex-averse and libido-less, I embraced it. I was proud to claim this sexual orientation. I was relieved to finally understand myself. I was able to relax and be happy with my sex-free life and feel a sense of not being alone with my problems because hey, I’m not the only asexual person in the world. I had a new community, a new identity, and it was liberating in a surprising number of ways.

But then people say “asexual people’s bodies function normally” and then explain that of course they have “healthy” reactions to touch, at least, or experience the thing “all people” do that is arousal.

I think back to the Preliminary Findings from the 2014 AVEN Community Census:

Sex Drive

And I think about the how the number of asexual-spectrum who think they have an average sex drive is only slightly higher than the number of people who, like me, marked down that they truly feel their sex drive is 0 — nonexistent.

I know I’ve seen some people in the asexual community cite some study that says that asexual people masturbate at approximately the same rate as non-asexual people, but I’ve never seen the study linked, and I’m not sure what they were referring to. I find those supposed results hard to believe, but if true I am desperate to know, so if anyone can send me a link to look at, I’d appreciate it. I find it hard to believe because I have a strong suspicion that I’m not the only person in the world who has never had a sex drive and then ends up identifying as asexual. Whose lack of a sex-drive might explain my (their) asexuality.

I know some asexual people worry that because they do masturbate, they can’t “Count” as asexual enough, that this alone makes them “Sexual” (allosexual, zedsexual, non-asexual), or worse, they know they’re asexual and accepted into the asexual community, but they’re asked the intrusive question of if they masturbate by outsiders, and if they answer truthfully, that yes they do, they have a real chance of their identities being invalidated!! Of being told masturbating is “too sexual” and that they can’t “Count” as asexual if they do it.

But like the classic problem where it proves impossible to be an “unassailable asexual”, I have the opposite issue. I worry that I’m not really asexual, because clearly my body is broken in some way, why have I never gotten my hormones checked?, because if I just figured out a way to experience arousal and orgasm I’d realize I never was asexual, because I’m a freak who has never even masturbated so how can I know I’m asexual, how can it “just” be “another sexual orientation” for someone like me? It’s more than that. It’s a lack of me having any kind of sexuality at all. I worry that people will believe I’m broken, I’m not the right kind of asexual, that I’m a person that is a super-outlier, abnormal by far even among the asexual community, because even the average asexual has a sex drive, everyone writing their Asexuality 101 posts says that.

I don’t experience a lot of what other people in the asexual community do. I don’t experience any of the forms of “attraction” in a meaningful way, like a magnet being drawn to someone for aesthetic, sensual, sexual, or romantic reasons. I can enjoy cuddling or other forms of touch in a few cases, appreciate beauty, and romantically ship my favorite characters on a TV show together, but I can’t understand what it’s like to be drawn to them. I’m both WTFromantic and now, beginning to identify as aromantic too, and I really do feel like my aromanticsm is inextricably linked to my asexuality. Similarly, my non-libidoism is tied up in all of it. And while whether a person ever feels aroused or masturbates or enjoys orgasms is ultimately a very private thing, it feels oddly important to me that I don’t.

When I come out as ace and someone asks me if I masturbate, I don’t feel offended. I feel like yeah, they get how big of a question that really is, and I want to answer. I feel like it is relevant to understanding me, and my sexuality, and how and why I came to identify with asexuality. I feel like the whole world just doesn’t get me AT ALL if they are thinking I masturbate, even if they know I’m asexual and maybe don’t imagine me picturing anyone/anything while I do. But then I want to make sure they know that people can be asexual and masturbate. It’s just me that… doesn’t.

I don’t know why my non-libidoism feels so important to me, but when I read stories about the women for whom Flibanserin (Addyi) is supposedly designed, when I hear those NPR interviews with women who have lost their sex drives, I just keep waiting for people to bring up the women who have NEVER, ever, in their lives, not even as a teenager, had a sex drive. The 25-year-old like me who hasn’t lost their libido, but rather never had it. I keep wondering if anyone in the entire world — or specifically in the medical community — even knows people like me exist.

I know I’m not the only one. I’ve been going to Asexuals of the Mid-Atlantic meetups and 1 person in the group told me he got his hormones checked (and they were normal) because he, like me, also has never had a sex drive. I know there was once an Official Non-Libidoism Society, and that there is a term for what I am because I am not alone. But sometimes it still feels like being a non-libidoist asexual means I’m broken, even among the asexual community. Sometimes it still feels like I’m even more different than the average ace when comparing myself to all of the zedsexual people out there. Sometimes I feel like I need to shout from the rooftops that I don’t have a sex drive and don’t masturbate, because whether it’s rational or not, whether it’s rooted in any reality or not, I just get the feeling that people are assuming, everywhere I go, that I do have a libido and I do masturbate and that I could enjoy sex if only I wasn’t repulsed or something. But my truth is that I’m not someone who physically could enjoy it. I’m averse to even kissing, and my lack of arousal is a huge part of what makes me feel so disconnected from a person when I’m doing it.

Does any of what I’m saying resonate with anyone reading this? I hope so.

And I really hope I haven’t upset anyone else who does have a libido or who feels differently about their lack of libido, feels it’s private or doesn’t matter to them or whatever. I know this is only my own experience, and I would never assume it applied to anyone else.

The Implications of the Words We Say: Learning Linguistic Mindfulness

First, before reading the post below, please check out my most recent post to this From Fandom to Family blog of mine, which was a reblog from someone else’s WordPress blog: How I stopped worrying and learned to remove ableist language from my vocabulary.

I haven’t updated my blog in a while. This was saved in my drafts for ages and I decided to put the finishing touches on it and publish it today.

And please forgive my writing style below. For some reason, this time, I chose to write about the past in a pseudo-present tense, for effect.

I’m a small child attending an American public school, so of course we have to say the Pledge of Allegiance. Decades later, I’ll still remember the words. We did it — or at least heard it, even if we didn’t speak it — every morning for 13 years.

I pledge allegiance
to the flag
of the United States of America.

And to the Republic
for which it stands

One Nation
Under God

With Liberty, and Justice, for all.

I remember finding out what the word “Indivisible” means and realizing for the first time it is not the word “invisible”. As a child, “invisible”, meaning: Impossible to see; not visible was a word I’d learned. I’d learned what “invisible” meant many years before I learned the uncommon English word “indivisible” that meant: unable to be divided.

I think it took me a long time before I had my little personal epiphany and began to fully understand that the words in the pledge aren’t just sounds to chant but rather two complete sentences that are actually supposed to make sense. I remember thinking about the meaning of what I’d been reciting only years after having begun saying it on a daily basis. When I was 5-years-old, I didn’t know what I was doing.

In kindergarten, I was certainly not old enough to care about the meaning of words I was being required to say. I should not have been required to say those words. I do not like that my country continues the tradition of saying “The Pledge of Allegiance” in school each morning.

I’m attending Catholic Religious Education Classes as a kid, and it’s called CCD, although none of us know what those letters stand for, or why we don’t just call it Religious Education. One of the most often discussed religious figures is the Virgin Mary. I find myself embarrassed at age 14 that I didn’t realize Virgin wasn’t just part of her name/title or something very specifically Catholic. This is actually a descriptive term? This means she’s never had sex? Wow. To have gone this far in life and to not know what Virgin Mary means? That is unacceptable. Words like “virgin” have meanings and I should’ve been taught what it meant many years sooner. Age 14 was a bit late. Eighth grade? Why had no one explained the concept of virginity to me before now? If the “Virgin Mary” was going to be discussed in my presence for as long as I can remember, the meaning of “Virgin” should’ve been of some importance. I don’t like having used a word myself for years, not realizing I didn’t know what it meant.

We head away from the auxiliary building on the church grounds where the classrooms are, going over to the church and the chapel area where the confessionals are, because today is the day, as comes up once a year now, where it’s time to, as a class, confess our sins to the priest. They guide us through a brief presentation first about what confession is, how it’s a Sacrament, how we need to confess our sins, and what common examples of sins would be. I start to feel nervous, worried, anxious. I didn’t do any of the things on the list! Disrespecting my parents? Never, my abusive mother made sure I always respected her. My dad… was always so worthy of respect in comparison. Using “bad language” like “Oh my God,” or “What the hell?” also wasn’t something I’d ever do. I’d always say “Oh my Gosh,” or “What in the world?”. But still… if I had used the Lord’s name in vain… that’d have been breaking a commandment, right? Maybe I should just tell the priest I did that. Maybe I should lie in Confession so that I have something to say. I look back down at the long prayer written on a piece of paper that is now my hands. How am I supposed to memorize this whole Act of Contrition? Oh, we can look at it even once we’re alone with the preist? Great. I can relax a bit.

I don’t care that much that what I will say is true because the pressure is on. I need to say something. I need to act like I am a sinner. The exact sin I choose won’t matter. I try so hard to be a good person and here I am feeling guilty about lying in Confession. Because telling the truth does matter to me. Because I do care about the meaning of what I say, and what these lies will imply about me as a person, as well as what lying itself will mean about me.

I am sitting in my aunt’s house, playing a game of Scrabble. I look at the letters I have. Included among them are J, I, and P. That’s probably not how you spell the word I’m thinking of, though, right? “To jip”, meaning to deprive, or to cheat? I turn to my dad. “How do you spell ‘gyp‘?” I ask. I’m informed it’s spelled with a G and a Y. “What?” I’m confused. That’s an odd spelling for an English word. “It’s based on the word Gypsy,” I am told. (I soon learn it is derived from prejudiced popular perceptions of the Romani people as thieves and petty swindlers). I am a bit horrified that this word that I had used casually in the past has this particular… history, and spelling. I vow to avoid using the word in the future, if I can remember. It just feels so… racist.

Continue reading

Featured Image -- 961

How I stopped worrying and learned to remove ableist language from my vocabulary


Please read this post from Kasey Weird who blogs over at Valprehension. Please click the links and read the additional discussions on ableist language and arguments on why we should stop using all of these words. Please read all of it. As soon as I get a chance, I do plan to write a follow up blog post of my own on this topic. I’d love for people who read my blog to have the context of having read this other post first, before getting to reading mine. Thanks.

Originally posted on Valprehension:

For at least a year, I’ve been making a concerted effort to stop using ableist language in my normal way of talking. This means not saying things like “crazy”, “lame”, “stupid”, “dumb”, and other words that are rooted in current or past ways of describing people with mental and/or physical disabilities.

Ten Easy Alternatives to Common Ableist Language: Say unreal, not insane. Say unbelievable, not crazy. Say jerk, not psycho. Say awful, not stupid. Say bad, not dumb. Say moody, not bipolar. Say ridiculous, not retarded. Say eccentric, not mental case. Say dismantled, not crippled. Say unruly, not mad house. From Upworthy

This has been…. harder than I initially thought it would be. There are a *lot* of words that are rooted in ableist attitudes. And they get used a *lot* in normal day-to-day conversation. So it takes work to stop using them. And I’m not even really there 100% of the time yet. But that’s not what I’m here to tell you about today. I wanted to dig into my reasons for making this change, (and hopefully to inspire at least some people to do the same).

For a long time I was a person who resisted this effort, in…

View original 1,000 more words