Viewing Shipping, Sex Scenes, even Friendship through Asexual Eyes: a Privilege and a Curse since 2013

This is my second submission for the Carnival of Aces October 2017, themed around Asexuality in Fandom. I’m a day late finishing this one up… The call for submissions is here.


Imagine you really needed glasses (or contact lenses – you needed vision correction of some kind!) in order to see the world clearly, but you didn’t have them. You never knew you needed them. Zero people around you have glasses and every single person you encounter assumes level of eyesight is pretty consistent across humans. So you just assume it too. They look at you and just assume of course you can see with clear vision! (Everyone does.) You don’t realize they’re seeing more than you.

You manage your life for a while, maybe a long while, only very gradually realizing you’re… not fully seeing all the detail most people around you are. Maybe your vision is getting worse and worse all the while. Eventually you are pretty sure your vision is worse than other people’s but you don’t imagine any solution is possible, so you just try to make the best of the situation.

I wear glasses and I know the metaphor is far from perfect. But one day finding out about the existence of and/or need for select people to get vision correction (in this ridiculous hypothetical world I’ve come up with where average teenagers and adults aren’t already aware that people lose eyesight from genetics, age, illness and/or injury, plus are unaware that some people are completely blind, etc etc…)

Well in this hypothetical universe, the opportunity for vision correction would feel practically like a lifesaver, after all those years of being used to life without them! This is huge. This is what real people in our actual present-day world experience when they get their first pair of glasses, but to a much more intense degree. Once you possess those glasses you needed, you can’t help but notice many details all around you that other people overlook. You can’t help but feel very attached to your glasses. You guard them as the valuable item they are. You hate taking them off ever even when it’s only practical for something like sleep. You get frustrated by the lack of any characters in fiction either wearing glasses or even seeming to know low vision can exist…

The point isn’t that you finally could see exactly the same things as people who don’t need glasses. (That’s not at all how it works for us aces and… “Feeling sexual attraction” and that kind of thing. We don’t want or need a “cure”, and regardless no such thing exists.) The point I was going for is that the glasses themselves (the asexual identity), that item, were a thing you needed, something you find immensely useful, and an item other people around you don’t personally need to wear but you feel you do.

Ok I’ve clearly run this metaphor into the ground. It was never a very good analogy in the first place. But the idea I was trying to set up for this blog post is:

I was in fandom for between 6 and 7 years without knowing I was asexual or that asexuality existed.

And then, and I’ll admit the shift wasn’t instant like putting on glasses would be, but during the course of 2013, as my worldview shifted to accommodate both 1) the fact that asexuality existed and 2) the fact that asexuality included me.

(My worldview also, during this time, shifted to accommodate aromanticism, which in some ways was harder and slower for me to fully accept perhaps, and also took more time before l would understand that I myself was on that spectrum.)

I was freshly seeing fandom through asexual eyes.

It’s not like I was seeing the world through allosexual/”straight” eyes before, but it was eyes of not knowing what I wasn’t seeing/not knowing fully who I was vs being very much aware of it all, and it has made a huge difference.


In many ways, the shift was jarring and surprising to me, not something I realized would become a part of my experience… and also impossible to ignore.

I went from being indifferent to sex scenes or even curious and intrigued by them, perhaps trying to learn about allosexuality through them before I knew that’s what I was doing… to just instantly when a sex scene would come up feeling reminded that in real life I am sex-averse (because after giving sex a shot I knew I wasn’t ever going to enjoy it), instead of hopeful or expecting to one day be in those characters’ shoes.

Continue reading “Viewing Shipping, Sex Scenes, even Friendship through Asexual Eyes: a Privilege and a Curse since 2013”

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My Vidding, Fanfiction, Podfics, and Meta: The Works that Incorporate Asexuality

This is my first submission for the Carnival of Aces October 2017, themed around Asexuality in Fandom. The call for submissions is here. A definition of fandom for the sake of this carnival topic is here in the comments of the call for submissions announcement.


So I know this blog post below is a stretch when it comes to fitting this requirement of the carnival, especially in light of this explicitly being said in the call for submissions:

Be mindful that this call for submissions is not looking for fanwork, but for meta (aka discussions about fanwork, fandom and the way it relates to its source text and social context) either about the fandom(s) you participate in or about fandom in general. You can add some examples or recs, but make sure to focus on the analysis part.

However, I figure this compilation would be something fans of my blog here might be curious to finally see—seeing exactly how I sometimes inject asexuality into my fan endeavors. I blog so much about asexuality, and all the while the word “Fandom” has been in the title of my blog. When I hosted the Carnival of Aces 4 different times I didn’t ever think to make it about fandom specifically!! But someone else (Chrysocolla Town) did, and I appreciate it so much.

I’ll make this not just a list of my ace fanworks by also, in “meta” form, I’ll explain some of my thoughts behind working on them. 😉


(I’m sorry if this post is simply too long, I got a little carried away…)


So the most recent “fandom mixed with asexuality” thing I’ve done is… well, actually, it’s that I’ve written a fanfic that I haven’t actually posted yet.

So… The most recent fanwork I’ve actually finished is THIS, posted in September 2017:

And I’m very proud of this fanvideo of mine. I made it for a contest where each round is themed around capturing personal sides to our own life/who we are. For this round, we had to vid “our breaking point”, and at first I wasn’t sure what to do. The obvious answer was something to do with my abusive mom, cutting off contact, other moments related to those periods of my life… that all was very much “breaking points” in my life. However years ago in a couple of different contests I’ve vidded I’ve already captured in fanvideo form my feelings about my mother. I have that already on my channel. I also within the past year vidded my emotions over my grief over my grandmother. That was another low point in my life. But this… I’d never captured my own personal experience of asexuality in fanvideo form. I’d made an informational fanvideo on asexuality before (see way down later in this post) but never a personal one. And this was an emotionally trying time for me.

I participate in this type of fanvideo contest where we vid personal things because I find it’s a way to vid things I really want to capture in fanvid form, to make a video I really want to make but probably wouldn’t without added incentive to do it, so I ultimately got myself excited about making this once I thought of the idea. It took a lot of time and effort to get the clips and figure out how I was going to do it though. I used a pretty popularly vidded song (“overvidded” in many of the fandom circles I hang out in, perhaps, or at least not “undervidded”), one that has made me think of asexuality every time I saw a fanvideo set to it and again heard the chorus about wanting to sleep next to someone and that being ALL they wanted to do “right now”…

I found a female cover version of the song. A cover was in part because many vidders have found the original to be copyrighted and blocked in some countries on YouTube and they had to pitch-shift the song in order to share their video, but also mainly I wanted a female singer anyway (the original is sung by a guy) because I wanted to capture the importance of the female POV in my journey. There isn’t enough female ace representation, especially on TV, and in headcanons in fanfiction, and maybe in novels too… and I find the fact that I’m female and ace an important nuance to capture. I tried to mainly show women’s POV throughout the vid… I included many characters to span varying parts of my journey and all were women or teenage girls (including canonical female ace Voodoo on Sirens) except for two canonically ace men (Todd in BoJack Horseman but just one scene for him, also a few scenes of Gerald from Southland Street), plus one particular headcanonned as ace male character who to me feels practically canon ace, an extra personal and extra important-to-me to include guy, even though much of fandom doesn’t agree he’s ace: Reid.


Yeah, about Reid…

The not yet quite finished and most recent ace fanwork I’ve been working on is:

I’ve finally written 3,300 words of a story which is tentatively titled Reflections on Love and Life where Spencer Reid from Criminal Minds is an asexual character. After I finish the final part of writing this fic, which is likely only maybe 100 more words, it really is so close… and also after it is beta’d (a fellow fan writer works as an editor with helpful suggestions to improve it) I will post it publicly on my fanfiction.net account as well as on my AO3 profile.

I say “finally” because I’ve been headcannoning Reid as asexual since I started watching the show, actually. I started watching Criminal Minds at the end of 2013, and binge watched all 8.5 seasons that existed at the time, and loved it so much. (I was unemployed and had extra time for watching TV, for what that’s worth.) But the end of 2013 was also when I knew I was ace. I figured out, after months of sitting on the idea, that I was definitely ace at the start of Asexual Awareness Week 2013, around October 21st or 22nd of that year. And I had been in fandom spaces, enjoying TV shows, for years and years, but Criminal Minds was the very first show I started watching, freshly experiencing it, after knowing I myself am asexual.

Not only that, but Reid being headcanoned as asexual is something I saw at least one other person, probably multiple other people, do. I knew quite early oh that I wasn’t alone in this interpretation! This was really validating and comforting.

Continue reading “My Vidding, Fanfiction, Podfics, and Meta: The Works that Incorporate Asexuality”

Once Upon a Time I Was a “CisHet Ace”

This is my submission to the September 2017 Carnival of Aces, themed around “What’s One Thing You Want To Tell Ace Exclusionists?” or “Messages to Ace Exclusionists”. See here for the masterpost and explanation of what the Carnival of Aces is. (The call for submissions this time was here.) I’m a day late, which is nothing newsworthy if you are familiar with me and my bad habits…


So… Cishet aces or cishet aros are just straight people, and therefore the logic follows that they’re your oppressors. That’s what you Ace Exclusionists say, right?

You don’t seem to really believe or understand just how huge asexuality or aromanticism can be as an influence in a person’s life. You don’t seem to really accept they’re real. There truly is a reason these concepts evolved into being commonly accepted by people who use the identity labels as analogous to sexual orientations.

If you accept a trans het ace into being “LGBT” but only because they’re not cis (because they are trans), you’re saying that heteroromantic asexuality is the same as typical (allo) heterosexuality, and it just isn’t. You’re saying being Trans is the only aspect of their queerness, their non-straightness, you’ll even bother to see. You won’t give them space to feel fully welcome as their full selves.

If you say people who live their lives as aromantic while meanwhile feeling sexual attraction toward “the opposite gender” are exactly the same as most straight people who happily date and easily feel fluttery romance stuff or easily fall in love, you’re missing another point. But aromantic people aren’t brought up as often on any side of this “Debate”, this “Discourse”, this Fight. They are lumped in as a sidenote with the aces. I’d love to defend these aromantic people, but about allosexual (including heterosexual) aromantics I fear I might say the wrong thing. I still have to learn how to be the best ally possible. I still think about them more theoretically than have I read or heard enough personal accounts from real people who live those lives and right now this is all outside of the scope of this post. Let’s get back to the more blatant fight here, against asexuals.

Continue reading “Once Upon a Time I Was a “CisHet Ace””

luvtheheaven Ace-ing It Up Offline

This is my submission for the July 2017 Carnival of Aces. Read all the other submissions here.


There are so many parts of my experience as an asexual person that are offline these days. I do feel very attached to Asexuals of the Mid-Atlantic now that I’ve been attending for 3 years, co-organizing events for 2.5, and if my life ever takes me a direction where I’d want to move, I’d hesitate to move anywhere without any kind of accessible, in-person ace community. I’ve been spoiled by how wonderful the community is here. I currently have 39 numbers programed into my phone as people I met through Asexuals of the Mid-Atlantic, some of whom I only maybe met at one meetup, but still, it’s a fairly accurate reflection of how many aces are in my lifebecause there are still other folks, many others, whose phone numbers I don’t have and never needed but where meeting them has enriched my perception of what asexuality is and who makes up this orientation.

Continue reading “luvtheheaven Ace-ing It Up Offline”

Make Sure To Frame Asexuality, Clearly, as a Sexual Orientation

This is my (1 day late) entry for the June 2017 Carnival of Aces, which was themed around “Asexual Education”.


Today, in the afternoon into evening as we went grocery shopping at a few stores and then cooked dinner together, I had some amazing conversations with my dad, spanning:

  • the nature of asexuality and aromanticism
  • the complexities of what different people experience
  • the often unintentional and subtle erasure in TV shows
  • multiple real people’s experiences in the local ace meetup group and what that ends up playing out like
  • etc

And basically I was engaging in a much more 201 (rather than 101), in-depth version of asexuality education, imparting my nuanced lived experience from 4-ish years exploring these topics and what’s been on my mind lately to a straight ally who has enough foundational groundwork to basically “Get” all of it.

For this month’s Carnival of Aces, one of the suggestions of topics we could talk about was:

How can those of us who aren’t professional educators teach about asexuality? What are some good places/resources to start? Is anyone currently looking for people to teach about asexuality?

and I think there are so many ways!! It’s such a complicated topic.

Continue reading “Make Sure To Frame Asexuality, Clearly, as a Sexual Orientation”

The kindest letter I can muster up for my abusive mom

(Note: I don’t understand why the paragraph breaks aren’t showing up correctly… maybe I can fix it later, but I’m going to sleep right now.)

June 27, 2017
Happy 55th Birthday, Mom.
I remember 15 years ago, how stressful it was purchasing a gift for your 40th birthday, how important it was to me that I succeed in getting something you’d like. The fact that this is a milestone birthday number wasn’t lost on me.
How I, a 12 year old who’d only had my ears pierced for a little over a year at that point, shopped at a huge Jewelry Exchange place for the first time in my life and told my dad (your ex-husband) about your taste in always gold and not silver, how we (he) spent $100 on pretty earrings made of white gold with gold plating so it still didn’t look silver in color and…  and then when that weekend spent with my dad was over, when I was back home…  I waited with bated breath to see if it would make you angry because I’d failed at gift giving in some important way I’d overlooked.
You must not have liked your Mother’s Day gift 5 or so weeks prior because why else would I have been so determined to do this well this time? I’m not sure. Maybe I remembered a different gift thing you hated but it was probably Mother’s Day. I think I gave you little Hallmarks figurines of like a lighthouse and other things you’d see at the beach. Because despite how much i remembered you being unhappy at the beach the last time we ever went, when I was 8, you in the years since would comment that you liked the beach… you even wanted that “By The Sea” song played at your funeral
In the end, you smiled weakly in my bedroom when you opened your gift and said you liked it – without sounding like you meant it. And I thought that was the end of my feelings about giving you this gift. That the reaction happened,  and it was over.  It could’ve been worse,  it could’ve been so much worse, this was a pretty good reaction,  but I wanted to cry anyway, because I’d tried so hard but you still weren’t happy.
Literally nothing would make you happy, because you were in the midst of Persistent Depressive Disorder, but none of us knew that. Not my dad or me and my brother, not you.

I wrote a bunch of other stuff recounting the awful but I just hit “backspace” for a few paragraphs. I changed my mind. I want this to be… in a different tone.

I saw you for the first and probably only time I’ll ever see any glimpse of what you in your 50s looks like back in December at your mother’s funeral home visitation (my grandmother’s). It was so jarring seeing 54 year old you. Your hair was so much grayer. Your hair was shorter. You were wearing a shirt that actually looked pretty nice, I was surprised I liked your style.
I hadn’t seen you in 7 years. I haven’t even seen any new photos. My brother noticed your teeth looked decaying. He noticed your breath smelled like cigarettes. I didn’t notice these things. He even noticed you flip off the casket.
You came over to me, and my brother, and two of my younger cousins, including the 17-year-old one you later made burst into hysterical tears with some harsh whisper. Why did you do that to her? But sorry, I’m digressing. You came over to us and you called your mother abusive. You said she was an evil bitch. You asked the 4 of us to “Name one good thing about her. Just one!” and I felt so guilty that in that moment I couldn’t think of how to respond. I wanted to defend my grandmother. There were plenty of good things, I’d been mentioning them to people in the days before and after that moment, and other points that day when you weren’t there. I’d been hearing about them from others. But in that moment, when you asked me, my cousins were ignoring you on purpose and not taking your bait, being calm and reasonable about your scariness. I, on the other hand, was so hurt by everything about your presence, so outraged on behalf of my grandmother and on behalf of my cousins/aunts/uncles/the strangers who shouldn’t have to deal with you and everything else.
But you know who else I could say “one good thing” about, “just one”?
Well. You.

Continue reading “The kindest letter I can muster up for my abusive mom”

The Relief…

Imzy is shutting down. I want to preserve these little original writing things I did for the 100 words community so I’m reposting them here on my blog. The prompt at the time for this one was “Sweet”.


She never intended to actually drive us out of her life, but oh it happened anyway. My mom was yelling, I was crying, my brother was defending me, she was ignoring him, and the next thing we knew…

There was the sweet relief of freedom.

His hand broken from having punched the wall, my grandmother yelling at her daughter over the phone at 1:00 AM to stop calling – (we all needed to sleep, after all) – the many stressful, difficult things that were still to come…

None of that prevents this memory from being somehow fond in my mind.

Humor as coping mechanism

Imzy is shutting down. I want to preserve these little original writing things I did for the 100 words community so I’m reposting them here on my blog. The prompt at the time for this one was “Comedy”.


Sometimes humor is a reasonable coping mechanism. Finding a way to laugh at the trauma and pain means, well… maybe you’re doing okay despite everything. At least you’re able to talk about what happened.

Other times, though, the humor turns into a bad habit. Even when you don’t mean to make light of a situation, you find yourself chuckling. The people in your vicinity think you must not care, or at least that this isn’t a big deal to you. Even when it’s huge!

Sometimes, it hides your pain. Even from the people you were trying to reveal it to.

Falling

Imzy is shutting down. I want to preserve these little original writing things I did for the 100 words community so I’m reposting them here on my blog. The prompt at the time for this one was “Fall”.


In my life, there have been multiple instances where I’ve felt embarrassed – in fact, where I’ve felt lesser as a person! – simply because I had the misfortune of tripping and falling. Sure it makes sense to not want to fall. Literally being hurt in a physical way is, indeed, negative. Becoming skilled at avoiding injuring the only body we get is an important skill if we want to survive. But my instinctual first reaction? “Oh no; other people can judge me right now.” This shame seems illogical and problematic. I wonder… Do I shame others when they fall?

“Kissing, Hand Holding, Bed Sharing, etc!” – the May 2017 Carnival of Aces Round Up of all Submissions

(I’ve cross-posted this round-up to my tumblr as well, if you want to reblog it!) 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. Aromanticism is often grouped in as a thing to talk about as well, or even just “instead”, if desired. 😉

Check out the masterpost of all of the other amazing topics previous carnivals have been on: https://asexualagenda.wordpress.com/a-carnival-of-aces-masterpost/

April 2017’s was on “Aromanticism, Asexuality and Parenthood” and received 5 submissions (see all the way at the bottom of that post for some of them) – it was hosted by Ettina over at Abnormaldiversity.

For this current month, May, this was the fourth time that I hosted the carnival, and once again it was a big success! Thank you to ALL of you who submitted.

I tried to choose a broad topic:

Kissing, Hand Holding, Bed Sharing, etc!

and the “etc” was important and part of it too, I swear lol. Feel free to go back to the call for submissions if you’re curious for what I suggested and explained the topic to be.


This month, 10 different people turned in posts, and 1 of those people did their submission in two parts.

One other person claimed not to have enough to say in order to write a post for the Carnival but did write a great paragraph response on their thoughts on the topic and gave me permission to include it here as well. (So you’ve got 12 links to click. )

I’ll (sort of) try to group them by theme:


We’ve got the general replies to thoughts on the whole Carnival.

Lib at is the person who didn’t turn in a post but whose thoughts near the beginning of their A “Catch Up” Post I felt would be good to share with you all. Most of that blog post is unrelated to the Carnival, but near the beginning there is a paragraph that sums up Lib’s feelings on most displays of affection:

https://acubedblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/27/a-catch-up-post/

Isaac at mundo heterogéneo wrote this month about his thoughts on all three things in the title of the theme — kissing, holding hands, and bed sharing:
https://heterogen.wordpress.com/2017/05/31/my-thoughts-on-kissing-holding-hands-and-bed-sharing/

Blue Ice-Tea over at Ace Film Reviews wrote Growing Up Platoniromantic: Kissing, Hand-Holding, Bed-Sharing, etc.

https://acefilmreviews.wordpress.com/2017/05/27/growing-up-platoniromantic-1/

Continue reading ““Kissing, Hand Holding, Bed Sharing, etc!” – the May 2017 Carnival of Aces Round Up of all Submissions”