Month: May 2015

Identity vs. Description, and How Labels Are Used For Both

This was a post written for the May 2015 Carnival of Aces, which was hosted by elainexe and has a topic of “Identity, Labels, and Models”. For more information on this ongoing blogging carnival, check out the main page by clicking here. Consider participating sometime soon, or even hosting a future month’s theme yourself!

The Wikipedia page on “Identity” in a social science context — specifically in psychology, sociology, and anthropology — is fascinating. The idea of what makes something a part of someone’s identity is such a complex one.

In the ace blogosphere and community we tend to discuss identity fairly often. Mainly, most of us in this community prioritize asexuality as an identity, and if it’s not “identity” worthy levels of importance to a person, if it’s more just a description of how they “don’t find [many/any] people sexy” or “don’t care about/want sex”, then they probably aren’t going to bother staying in this community for long, or may not even search for/find the community at all.

Continue reading “Identity vs. Description, and How Labels Are Used For Both”

I was curious, so I chose to have sex! Then, my curiosity was satiated. I decided never to have sex again.

[Content Note: the following blog post is NSFW and contains very explicit descriptions of sexual situations. I also discuss menstruation/ovulation briefly.]

Elizabeth over at Prismatic Entanglements is collecting as many different articles related to the topic of respectfully approaching sex with asexual people as people are willing to write. In order to do my own small part to help, I’m sharing my experiences below. It is a response to this Tentative Revisions post she put up, and I definitely recommend you read onlyfragments’ post which was also written for this purpose as well. She discusses her journey toward where she is now: enjoying a sexual relationship with her girlfriend. It’s a very different post than what I am writing, below.

I’m a 25-year-old woman, and by one of the most common definitions of the term, I am a virgin. However, I have consented to sexual experiences at two different points in my life – about 1 week apart from one another. I was naked with my boyfriend both times, and he was wonderfully respectful of my boundaries. For weeks prior to us taking off our clothes together, we’d had conversations, mainly over texting, where he’d told me his fantasies, and asked me about mine. I’d told him I had never in my life had a sexual fantasy, honestly. I… wasn’t even sure what I was supposed to be fantasizing about. He knew I’d never seen porn but had read some erotic fanfiction. He of course had seen porn. Again most of these conversations were via text, but we did have a few “real life” conversations too about these topics, and others. It was easier, in some ways, to talk about sexual topics via texting, though. It helped with some of the awkwardness and embarassingness.

We’d talked in person about how I wasn’t “into” the making out with tongue we’d been doing since our first week of dating, and how I thought I might be asexual but I was curious to try more things and see if maybe I’d like other things instead. We also talked about what his experience of kissing me/making out with me had been like, and he’d admitted to me that he had “gotten hard” while we had been cuddling… so by the time we were doing sexual things, getting naked together, we continued to have a very healthy approach to the whole situation. He was careful to keep checking in with me, and to stop touching me when I mentioned that it was beginning to feel uncomfortable. He wanted to be able to provide me pleasure. He had already told me, before the day where we first took off our clothes, that he thought he might already be in love with me. I appreciated him so much, was so grateful he cared so much about me, and I cared about him and his happiness too.

Still… despite all of this… I ended up breaking up with him within a few weeks of all of this. I broke up with him because he wanted to lose his virginity in the traditional heteronormative penis-in-vagina (PIV) way, preferably in the forseeable future, and it may have taken me a while but eventually I figured out that I did not want to be that person for him. I decided that I was sure I never wanted to actually have intercourse, or even ever be naked with anyone again.

After what had been months of anguishing over whether or not I was asexual and hoping I wasn’t, I embraced my sexual orientation. I decided I was sex-averse on the same day I decided yes, I was asexual. I kind of equated the two. I’m not sure why, but at the time I didn’t want to officially call myself asexual if I wasn’t sex-averse.

Also on that same day that I officially decided once and for all that I was asexual, I broke up with my wonderful, loving, sweet boyfriend. I wished him only the best, and that he could find a new romantic partner who this time would be much more compatible with him, sexually-speaking.

Allow me to backtrack.

I’m a 25-year-old white cis-woman from the USA, and by many definitions of the word, I am a virgin. I’ve never had penetrative sex with a man. I’ve never had oral sex with anybody. I’ve never been intimate in a physical way with a woman, nor with any non-binary person. I’ve never even experienced an orgasm. I’ve barely tried masturbating.

Continue reading “I was curious, so I chose to have sex! Then, my curiosity was satiated. I decided never to have sex again.”

Figuring Out My Mother Was an Abuser (Part 3 of 3)

Please read part 1: and Part 2: first! 😉 Content note was on part 1, and all three parts are all tied together. I was originally going to just post them as one long post, but then decided breaking them up would make for easier reading.

Around December of my sophomore year in high school, when I was 15-years-old, I had to go in for surgery. At one point, I happened to be alone, and someone — a nurse, perhaps — casually asked me a question that caught me off guard.

Have you ever been abused?

I’m still, to this day, unsure of what they were going for with this question. It could be that since it was an orthopedic procedure and involved broken bones, maybe they wanted to suss out if someone had broken my bone as an act of physical abuse? Allow me to assure you now: the injury truly was not the result of abuse in any way. It was a freak accident. Anyway, I hesitated. Had I ever been abused? They asked me, point blank, and I specifically remember that I paused before answering. At this point, I already knew the answer was yes. By this point, at age 15, I distinctly recall knowing my mother was abusive.

I don’t know when that happened. I don’t know when I got to the point of knowing so much of what she did was actually abuse — to the point of truly considering it, in my own mind, to be abuse. I just knew, in that moment, that it definitely was. I was so much more sure than that day two years prior when I’d tried to garner up the courage to call the hotline.

However, I answered “No”. No I had never been abused. I lied. Because I didn’t want to have to explain what I meant by abuse. Because it wasn’t the type of abuse that “mattered”, the type that these medical professionals — or potentially a social worker/person from Child Protective Services — could do anything about. Because my mother was the person who had brought me into the hospital and she’d be so angry with me if she found out I considered her to be abusive, and nothing good could possibly come from me calling her abusive in this moment. Because clearly the person asking wasn’t expecting me to say yes, given the throwaway way they asked it, not even making eye contact as far as I know. Because after I considered the question for just a single moment, I knew they must have meant physical abuse, and all my mom had ever done to physically injure me were tiny little scratches. Yeah she’d abused me in some physical ways already at that point, and would continue to do more as the emotional abuse escalated more with time and escalated, as it often does, into things that are more physical (I still had a few more years to endure with her). But… she didn’t seem like a physical abuser to me at that point. She might violently throw or break objects. She might trap me in corners with her body. But the only time she’d ever physically injured me it was “by mistake” in the midst of a largely shouted burst of anger — or rather than burst, really usually it was a seemingly never-ending period of intense rage.

So no, had I ever been physically abused? The answer was no.

That wasn’t the day that I figured out my mother was an abuser. That couldn’t have been. That day was a day when I already knew. Rather, that was the day that I officially realized once and for all that at some point along the way I had stopped doubting that “abuse” was the correct term for the emotional torture she would constantly inflict on me. I remember that day, that moment so clearly. My decision to say “no” was huge for me. No I had never been abused. Because it had felt, so completely, like a lie.

I could talk about so many other things regarding my mother and her abusive nature, or about abuse in general. But I will save those topics for another day — probably another month. For now, I just wanted to get out my story of my complicated journey of figuring out, just short of my 16th birthday, that oh yes, I was actually abused throughout the majority of my childhood.

Thank you for bearing with me and reading the whole long thing. 😉

Figuring Out My Mother Was an Abuser (Part 2 of 3)

Please read part 1, first:
And consider the Content Note I put on part 1 as well, as it applies to all 3 parts as a whole.

My dad moved back to the same state as me — Maryland — when I was around 10 years old. He then could visit my brother and me more often. We saw him every weekend from Saturday afternoon or so through Sunday night. We slept in his apartment one night a week. My mom would never do any of the driving — my dad would drive roughly 6 hours every weekend in order to make this happen. Three of the hours were him alone in the car, and the other 3 hours every weekend included us kids. And for us, it was great. Car rides with my dad were so much fun. Car rides with my mother were torture. Going shopping for new clothes with my mom was also torture. My mom taking me to doctors appointments… pretty much anything with her was torture, okay? Going shopping with my dad was so much better. So that’s how things began to play out. My mom didn’t want to do chores like shopping for her kids’ clothes, and my brother and I didn’t want to have to spend hours alone with the woman, and my dad completely understood this, and was happy to spend his limited time visiting with us doing those kinds of tasks. It didn’t matter that my mom was the parent who wasn’t even employed and had the time to do this stuff during the weekdays while he was at his full time job. My dad didn’t complain. He was happy to be spending time with us. And as I’ll address in a later post, he was also a bit trapped in my mom’s sticky web of abuse.

I remember starting to watch ABC Family re-runs of the TV series 7th Heaven on a regular basis at my grandmother’s house after middle school, around when I was 12-years-old. I’d also record the new episodes that aired later at night during the prime time slot on the real channel (the WB) on my grandmother’s VCR. (By the way, for my K-12 school experience, I would leave school in the afternoons on a bus to my grandmother’s house. I went to my grandmother’s after school, every day.) I’d watch that ep the following afternoon, since I usually would be back home at my mom’s in the evenings.

I must’ve been 13 when I saw season 8 episode 9 the day after it aired. I’m not 100% sure it was that exact episode, but age 13 is about right for what I recall, and

This episode ended with a promo from Childhelp USA saying “If you need help or information call Childhelp USA, National Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-4-A-CHILD.” And also showed its website at

I remember sitting alone in my grandmother’s living room, finishing a 7th Heaven episode, and taking note of a phone number for some child abuse hotline. It was probably this one. I remember thinking long and hard about what my mom was doing on a regular basis, and if it was bad enough to count as abuse. I remember considering the fact that what was happening wasn’t really anything compared to the horrific story told in the episode I’d just seen; compared to everything I’d ever heard abuse to be. Cigarette burns and bruises on your arms, or even broken bones. My mother’s brand of abuse wasn’t physical enough, and it certainly wasn’t sexual. It wasn’t even perpetrated by my father, as all abuse supposedly was committed by men. Neglect could be something a mother could do, but abuse? What my mom did probably didn’t count. My mom did too many things right. She said she loved me and my brother. We were always clothed and fed. What I was considering potentially abuse was only my mom yelling at me and my brother a lot. Wasn’t that all it was? I wanted to call the hotline. I really did. I remember picking up the phone, and dialing most of the numbers. I may have dialed them all before quickly hanging up. But I did, ultimately, hang up. I didn’t want to risk saying that I thought my mom might be abusive only to be told my mom wasn’t actually abusive. I couldn’t risk that invalidation. I also was terrified that my grandmother might pick up the phone to make a call and hear me on that call. And then she might tell my mother. And I couldn’t have my mother find out I was accusing her of abuse! She’d be so mad. And that fear — that fear of what my mother might do to punish me for such a betrayal — stopped me from calling the hotline. I wasn’t sure it even was abuse, anyway. Continue reading “Figuring Out My Mother Was an Abuser (Part 2 of 3)”

Figuring Out My Mother Was an Abuser (Part 1 of 3)

[Content Note: The post below, as well as part 2 and part 3, contain discussions of physical and emotional abuse. The focus, as you could probably infer from the title of this post, is on abuse from a parent toward children, but I did include some discussions of spousal abuse as well.]

If there’s anything else I should be adding a content note for, please let me know. I’m not sure. It’s a long post, and a lot of things get brought up. Triggers, Menstruation, just a lot of random things. I use an explicit word at some point so the post is probably NSFW.

I told you all that I wanted to blog about abuse? Well now, here I finally am, doing that.

Growing up in an emotionally abusive environment was… confusing.

I had somehow learned what child abuse was at quite a young age. Continue reading “Figuring Out My Mother Was an Abuser (Part 1 of 3)”