Author: luvtheheaven

Feeling Fortunate For My Circumstances (Even Without Feeling Fortunate For My Asexuality Itself)

As is typical for me I’m late, I but still decided to write something for The Carnival of Aces. The theme this past month was “Asexuality as a Blessing”. Also note that I’ve written this all on my phone and so some odd errors might show up in this. Feel free to point them out to me and I’ll fix them!

As an atheist, to be quite frank, the entire concept of blessings fundamentally clashes with my worldview. However metaphorically, or in a symbolic way, I still can appreciate certain things in life as reminiscent of the concept of a blessing (or, conversely, a curse).

Greta Christina writes from an atheist perspective often very similar to my own, and she discusses feeling fortunate for all the things that believers in a god might frame as a gift they’d been given. I have plenty of those feelings too for all sorts of things in my life, sure. I appreciate the ways things work out for me in my life circumstances in various venues. In fact, even when I did “earn” or do “deserve” certain things, I acknowledge that not everyone who deserves or earns certain good stuff ends up getting it and I can be appreciative of my situation in many many cases.

Continue reading “Feeling Fortunate For My Circumstances (Even Without Feeling Fortunate For My Asexuality Itself)”


Jumping into the Bigger Picture—with Both My Feet, Radical Vulnerability, and Also a Team: Personally Avoiding Ace and Aro Activist Burnout (So Far)

This is a belated submission for the December 2018 Carnival of Aces on the topic of Burnout.

As the call for submissions for this month’s carnival topic explained, a “frenzied pace of activities”

can… be a major source of stress that can put ace activists at risk of experiencing burnout – the state that results when the continued stress of an activity becomes overwhelming, to the point where individuals may find themselves less and less able to continue with it.

In addition, as the Wikipedia article notes,

[o]ccupational burnout is thought to result from long-term, unresolvable, job stress.

But personally don’t feel that close to burning out. On the contrary, I think I successfully keep adding fresh fuel to my fire. I’m energized, fulfilled, and engaged. Most places consider “engagement” to be the opposite of “burnout”.

Continue reading “Jumping into the Bigger Picture—with Both My Feet, Radical Vulnerability, and Also a Team: Personally Avoiding Ace and Aro Activist Burnout (So Far)”

ER’s Luka and Sam: In pursuit of a family

I have so many thoughts about this post that I’ve decided to reblog. I haven’t really done much diving into the “Fandom” part of the title of my “From Fandom to Family” blog lately but today I want to, with a nice mix of “Family” and my aromanticism coming back to the surface.

This blogger below is a fan of the Luka/Abby ship on the show ER, which can be watched on Hulu in the USA (and I’m not sure where else these days- sorry international readers), and so I have access to more easily rewatch episodes if I so choose. I started occasionally watching ER on reruns on TNT when I was under 14 years old, which I recall because the show was rated TV-14 and I was breaking that suggested age guideline, getting sucked into a show that was too adult for me. Once I broke my foot at age 14, I began to watch the reruns religiously until I caught up on the entire series in order, and watched the new airing episodes too, using my VCR to record any/all episodes, re-run or first airing, that I could not watch live. I was addicted.

I also was (albeit slightly less) addicted to the reruns of Judging Amy on the same TV channel which I never did watch new airing episodes live, only via reruns did I watch that series. That show heavily influenced my desire to become a foster and/or adoptive parent one day, a thought that first crossed my mind around age 13 as I was also finally coming to understand just how abusive my mother was at this age of my life. A lot was going on for me at this point.

See these blog posts:

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

and the 3 part series that starts here: Figuring Out My Mother Was an Abuser

I was at an age when I for the very first time was starting to use the internet a little, discover the start of fandom in some ways with (although it was called TV tome back then) and stuff, paying attention to what other people considered the best or worst episodes of a series, those kinds of things.

I also was at the age when I finally was starting to realize other girls my age definitely crushed on attractive guys and actors on tv were universally considered attractive and I, as an aro-spec asexual who didn’t have the framework to understand myself yet assumed I was straight and felt the pressure to figure that part of myself out.

Carter and Luka from this television series ER, alongside Matt and Wilson from the TV series 7th Heaven (which is where my username “luvtheheaven” comes from, loving the family TV show 7th Heaven) were my very first celebrity “crushes” I can recall. I knew I crushed more on the characters than the actors behind them. I knew they were conventionally attractive actors and I had intense feelings toward these characters, so I assumed that was a crush. It was more like an admiration and identification and letting a work of fiction touch me emotionally probably, and maybe being impressed with acting skills even… and fabricating a crush out of that and society’s expectations of me… but I digress.

This blog post is fascinatingly (to my aromantic soul) an analysis of Luka/Sam on the show as a relationship that is not a love story. The author, toralil, writes,

“Love is not really part of the equation when these two manage to convince themselves that they’re a good fit.”

And her opinion on their “I love you”/”me too” episode, Season 10 Episode 3 “Damaged”, is:

“Luka likes to rescue women, but Sam doesn’t really like to be rescued and blows him off when he offers them to move in with him so they’ll feel secure.

“This turns into the most unromantic ‘I love you’-scene ever witnessed on TV. Outside in the ambulance bay Luka explains to Sam that he didn’t ask her to move in to because of what happened, but because he loves her. ‘I love you. I’m in love with you’ he says in a voice that is neither loving nor passionate. He continues to matter-of-factly inform her that he doesn’t want to waste any time and wants her to let him know when she is ready. Sam is totally surprised, not happily surprised, just genuinely surprised: ‘Did you just say that?’

“At the end of the episode extroverted Sam, who never has had any problem expressing her feelings before, tells Luka that ‘what you said earlier, me too’, not bringing herself to say it out loud. Then she seems relieved and happy having made that decision and as Luka starts walking away, Sam runs after him and they kiss.”

In 2014, when I was 24 years old, I vidded both of those 2 Sam/Luka moments and pretty much nothing else in a short part for an ER multi-couples collaboration fanvideo: which you can see just my part (also half about a different ship) embedded here:

I must say I find it so fascinating for this to be analyzed as the most unromantic I love you scene ever on television. I clearly thought I was vidding it romantically here, less than a year into understanding my asexuality and still over a month before writing this blog post: I think I’m… wtfromantic. Or maybe heteroromantic. Or aromantic? Or panromantic? AH I DON’T KNOW.

Because I think to me, the epitome of what I desire is… is something like what Luka, throughout seasons 6-12, desires. And why I don’t really ship Luka/Abby, a ship that I can see this author and many people interpreting as so much more romantic:

“We can see how Luka’s relationship with Abby is all different. She is a pessimist who had never shown any interest in having children and he knows her family history. She never provided him with any vision of an idyllic family future for him to fall in love with. Luka just loved her. For once he took the initiative and made it clear to Abby that he wanted her. He kissed her breathlessly, he said his ‘I do’ and made sure she knew he really wanted this. He took charge instead of just letting things happen to him.

“When Abby becomes pregnant and very uncertain of her maternal capabilities, Luka says all the right things. Not only does he understand Abby this time around, that he has to be patient, otherwise she will run the other way. He has also learned from his time with Sam. He knows he must be clear about wanting Abby first and foremost, the baby second.”

I personally in my life crave a queerplatonic co-parenting partner, I crave a platonic love, I crave a life where I can have a family. I tell people on my online dating profiles and before the first date that I only want to date you if you want kids lmao. Like… I might change my mind one day but seriously. I value other people deeply in my life as friends but I see no point in being significant others, dating, or having commitment or exclusivity of any kind of we aren’t going to be co-parents. I even love plenty of people. In platonic ways.

But yeah I crave the next step of my life, as I turn 29 years old in less than 4 weeks, because I feel some clock ticking on this and idk. It’s all so complicated and intriguing to me. Why can’t two people decide they are a good match for all these reasons aside from love, and love grow out of that? I mean, why can’t they in the fiction I consume and obsess over and adore? That’s where my love for ships like Johnlock on BBC’s Sherlock (but “shipping” in a queerplatonic and pretty canon-based way) comes in, or where a blog post like Blue Ice-Tea’s On Being a Noromo resonates so deeply for me. Where my feels end up being strong for the sentiment:

“For me, being a noromo was a lot like being Agent Mulder. I ‘wanted to believe’ – specifically, I wanted to believe that it was possible for a man and a woman to share a relationship that was intimate, passionate, and affectionate without being sexual.

Except for me it’s more “without being romantic“. (Well, and also being nonsexual, both of these things at once.)

I want to believe it’s possible to not just have such a non-romantic and non-sexual relationship be intimate/emotional/full of platonic love… but also that it could be a pathway to a family. I want to believe it’s not a rare magical unlikelihood that only one aro-spec ace in a million gets to have but that I have a real chance of having it too.

I’m holding on tightly to my dream for now, however difficult it is to feel any hope.

I grew up with parents who weren’t a team btw. My mom is a toxic human being and the thought that my parents were ever in love, ever had sex, ever were close enough to spend time in a room together while smiling even is almost impossible to envision. I grew up wishing for parents that might be more like the Sam and Luka “team” described in this blog post too, and I can’t be sure why and when I started shipping these two. The main reason I think it’s like that I concluded Sam/Luka were one of my ER OTPs though was because I liked both Sam and Luka as characters and I liked the ship better than Luka/Abby for a number of reasons, and I needed to have a Luka OTP. I just had to have an OTP for one of my favorite characters. I also even liked Luka/Carol a lot, probably my first Luka ship when I started watching the show, before Abby was even in the picture.

Check out my Luka/Carol fanvideo haha:

But yeah they also in retrospect, in a vid I edited long before I knew I was aro or ace, seem sorta like friends who care about each other and are trying to force a romance when they don’t really feel it, don’t they…? XD And this blog post below analyzes them in an interesting way too. For sure.

So yeah I have a lot of thoughts and feelings and it’s all so interesting to me, so I wanted to blog to get my thoughts out. Let me know if any of you found this interesting as well. 🙂

Tora on TV and Things

The story about Sam and Luka is one relationship story very well told. So much thought went into this tale and so much depth was given to the characters even though it’s not really a love story, but about a man’s longing for a family.

I’m not a fan of Luka and Sam (played by Goran Visnjic and Linda Cardellini) as a couple and I rather hate seeing them together in season 10, 11 and the first few episodes of season 12. Still, I don’t hate the story as such, I think it is a quite a brilliant one actually, about a man and a woman getting together for all the wrong reasons.

The way the story is so thoroughly written, filmed and acted makes it a gem in relationship storytelling.

Love is not really part of the equation when these two manage to convince themselves that they’re a good…

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My Atheist (etc) Reaction to “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret?”

“I lived in New York for eleven and a half years and I don’t think anybody ever asked me about my religion. I never even thought about it. Now, all of a sudden, it was the big thing in my life.”

Margaret moves to the New Jersey suburbs at age 11 from NYC. Her Christian mother has disowned her parents because they wouldn’t accept her marrying a Jewish man. They had ended up eloping. Margaret’s Jewish father can’t quite stand his mother, and Margaret’s parents think she’s too big an influence on Margaret. This grandmother is written to desperately want Maragaret to choose Judaism as her religion, to date Jewish boys, to be a Jewish girl deep down but Margaret asks the important yet “innocent” seeming questions, like even if she was old enough to have boyfriends, why would she care if they were Jewish?

Continue reading “My Atheist (etc) Reaction to “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret?””

27 [a poem]

When I was little,
I thought about heaven
Grown up, I’d just dwell
On the number 27

My abuser’s birthdate,
Age she became parent
My age when gunshots
Caused deaths most aberrant

The same exact date,
Only three years prior
A girl was strangled,
A murder transpired

Friend of my brother,
She away at college
Thanksgiving evening;
Horror to acknowledge

I didn’t know her.
Then 2017,
Another stranger,
Another graphic scene

November 27th,
My friend had shot his spouse
Spared his dogs and kids;
Did it in their own house

Him suicidal,
His thinking far from clear
Did something evil;
Caused sorrow and tears

Continue reading “27 [a poem]”

Learning to See Experiences Related to Asexuality as Potentially “Poetic”

This is my submission for the October 2018 Carnival of Aces, which had the theme “Poetry”.

I apologize for any autocorrect typos, I wrote this whole thing on my phone. Let me know kindly and I can fix them.

Two years ago, in September 2016, I wrote a prose poem about my asexual experience without really realizing I was writing poetry again. (“Again”, because I hadn’t written any poetry in 4.5 years, since my Creative Writing class my final semester of college ended.) September 2016 was during that blip in time when Imzy existed and I was in the 100 words community, challenged to write exactly 100 words, no more and no less, on a different prompt each week.

The prompt that time was “Clocks” and somehow I ended up writing:

The concept was always framed with a presupposition; there would of course come a point in time when I’d be ready. When that time came, I needed to be armed with knowledge. I must brace for the emotional consequences. Itwas an inevitability.

So I learned. For over a decade of my life, I prepared. I absorbed more information than was really necessary. I planned ahead.

But society was wrong. Maybe all along I’d been a broken clock. I’d felt stuck. I tried to push myself forward.

As it turns out, though, I am the flower doomed to never bloom.

I am still not entirely sure if it counts as a poem. But writing about an asexual experience with metaphors and without ever once using the word asexual seemed poetic somehow to me.

It was a start of something.

A key concept from those hundred words made it into a stanza of my new poem, No “Just” About It that I wrote two years later in September 2018 — just last month (as of the time of me writing this blog post) — and which was published in The Asexual, a literary journal. My second piece of writing to be published in one of the issues of this journal but my first poem.

This poem is kinda… Political. It’s also fun. We’re often our own harshest critics but to me it seems apparent that it’s not very impressive from an artistic standpoint. But I’m glad I decided to write it, and I didn’t let the genre of poetry intimidate me away from something relatively simple like this.

If The Asexual didn’t exist as a platform I never would’ve thought to write poetry with asexual themes so I’m very grateful to Michael Paramo and everyone there who keeps it running.

From 2004 through 2008 when I was ages 14 through 18 and in high school, all four years I participated as part of the literary magazine club after school. We accepted fiction but mainly received poetry and a little bit of art. Once a week after school our club would read aloud as a group, discuss the merits of, and also respectfully criticize each submission. They would be typed up to anonymize each submission ahead of the discussion, no author listed and no handwriting to recognize. We were always keeping in mind the possibility that the author could be one of us in the room so we had to be careful not to be unkind in our criticism. (I don’t think the visual art pieces needed to be discussed; I think maybe they automatically got in.)

Continue reading “Learning to See Experiences Related to Asexuality as Potentially “Poetic””

Specifying My Asexuality With Sex-Aversion

This post was originally going to just be a comment on this other blog post, so please read it first:

“We Don’t Know if Asexuals Do or Don’t Want to Have Sex Because They Are All Queer Cats”

I really appreciated this post and your perspective, Talia, a lot overall. I’m finally posting this comment because queenieofaces’s response post went up and kinda reminded me I had an almost complete draft of a comment.

“Asexuality as a hard limit (or: the cat is dead)”

Talia’s post went up when I had been on vacation with only sporadic internet, but I’d been thinking about this a lot in my spare moments then and started to write this comment while offline since it seemed (and still seems) like a really important post in the ace blogosphere. It also seems related to the two demisexual submissions in the prior month’s (May 2018’s) Carnivals of Aces and all the people who wrote about desiring sex from an ace perspective, and other sentiments I’ve heard here and there recently.

I think Rachel here in the comments unpacked any issues I maybe had with the general framing for this post really well. The way you started it out… As I am myself an ace who doesn’t want sex but would like to find a partner, being reminded that so many people out there could never date the type of asexual who doesn’t have sex, without any validation brought up in the post itself that this is a frustrating situation for us too, was slightly… Idk. It made the post as a whole echo slightly of worse things I’ve seen written around about aces, while this post itself not being that exactly.

This post you wrote indeed made sense and was about another issue entirely, one important about conflating all asexuals as not wanting sex when actually asexuality is extremely varied and we don’t know whether aces do or don’t want sex if all we know about them is that their orientation could be defined with the word “asexual”. Asexual, in this way, is like the word queer in how “broad/vague” it can be. As Sennkestra said in a comment here, people “can have wildly different and even contradictory experiences yet still find shared labels like ‘queer’ useful.” I agree with the statement you made that asexuality is inherently queer, in general, although I think it’s mainly because all experiences of it deviate from expectations and averages of what heterosexual experiences are like. But yes, there’s a clear analogy to draw with the term queer and the term ace in terms of both being such umbrella terms leaving room for people with really varied experiences under the same one label. So I’m… seeing the point you were making with the title of this post. 🙂

When you wrote about the

important difference between “I came to identify as asexual because I don’t want to have sex and asexual people don’t have sex” and “I came to identify as asexual because I don’t want to have sex and that’s a part of the asexual experience.”

I only really understood the difference you were talking about (which I agree is an important difference!) after reading your further explanation. Somehow the statements on their own seemed too similar to me. Or rather, the idea of “that’s a part of the asexual experience” as a statement didn’t seem to be clear enough that it’s only some and not all asexual people who don’t have sex, meanwhile “and asexual people don’t have sex” doesn’t even seem necessarily to be a generalization about the entire definition of asexuality for everyone. I mean… I feel like there is at least one charitable way to read that as meaning closer to “there are enough asexual people who don’t have sex that…” instead of a blanket “exclusive” statement..

So Idk. I guess my point is it’s a really complicated subject and I wanted to tell you I am glad you chose to write about it.

So, as is now being discussed on queenie’s post about asexuality as a hard limit, I did that for years. I treated asexuality as my “good enough” excuse to not want to have sex, forever. I would be like Voodoo in Sirens where asexuality is entirely conflated with not having sex, repeatedly. As an example, see my LGBTQ+ Characters fanvideo collaboration at the 1 min 10 sec mark:

Where I saw what voiceover my vidder friend chose and realized how my friend was endorsing the “I just don’t want sex” message the show gave for what asexuality inherently is, definitely without making it clear that some asexuals are sex-favorable, gray, demi, or otherwise might want sex.

But back in September of 2017, one year ago, i edited my own video using scenes of characters in tv shows I watch which I decided to title a “Tribute to Embracing My Asexuality & Sex-Aversion”:

My first impulse was merely to say it was a tribute to embracing my asexuality – period, full stop. But at this point I’ve been surrounded by the sentiment, the pushback, that asexuality isn’t just “not wanting sex”.

Queenie set up her post with:

In the past few months, I’ve seen a lot of posts in ace communities stating that “asexuality has nothing to do with whether you want or like sex.”

And when I was posting my video I’d also seen plenty of those sentiments, probably already pushed back on Twitter against the sentiment that it has nothing to do with it saying that’s going a little too far even if i get what they’re trying to say.

So no, I didn’t take asexuality out of the title of my vid. My vid showed a tangled journey of figuring out sex wasn’t for me and that asexuality was the orientation that I needed to accept about myself. But I added “sex-aversion” to it. I started identifying as “I’m a sex-averse asexual” in places where i want to make it clear that, in a way that is l tied to my orientation and is a big part of my permanent identity now, i will never be having sex – such as on my online dating profiles! I’m trying to do this so that even if people know some aces do have sex they will see as early on as possible that I’m not one of that category of aces. I’m also hoping it helps sex-favorable aces too by sorta decoupling not wanting sex from being associated with just asexuality, instead linking it to the full phrase “sex-averse asexual” and specifically to sex-aversion.

I think this is a very complicated subject and i was afraid of offending people so I think I delayed posting this comment for months for that reason too. But now that it’s become over a thousand words, I’m posting the comment as a post on my own blog instead of as a comment.

So yeah. Please comment below if anyone reading this has any further thoughts.

TAAP is writing a book… and we need your help!

The Ace and Aro Advocacy Project

We were approached by a publisher several months ago who would like to publish a book on asexuality and aromanticism.  This book would be geared towards people who work with asexual and/or aromantic people in a professional setting — i.e. mental health professionals, doctors, guidance counselors, volunteers/employees at LGBTQ+ centers, etc.

The goal of the book will be to review the various issues aces and aros face and present possible solutions and ways of approaching the issues. Our hope is that professionals can use the book to help improve the quality of care they provide to the asexual and aromantic spectrum people they work with.

We are aiming to make this book representative of a diverse range of experiences, and in order to do that, we need your help! We are looking for people who might be willing to share their experiences; either in the form of direct quotes or…

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Ace and Aro Hospitality Suite is Official at Creating Change 2019

The Ace and Aro Advocacy Project

On May 25th, 2017, thirteen asexual activists sent an email petition to Andy Garcia, the Creating Change 2019 conference director, to include an asexual spectrum hospitality suite as an official part of the event in Detroit, Michigan this coming January.

Hospitality suites at Creating Change are places where people of similar identities can connect with one another, and they often offer resources and light refreshments. Last year, the conference had hospitality suites for elders, trans people, youth, disabled people, bisexual+ people, and people of color.

For the past few years, an “unofficial” asexual hospitality suite has been hosted by asexual activists who were attending the conference. This suite was often bursting at the seams with aces who were attending the conference — despite the fact that it was being hosted in a hotel room and it was not included in the conference program.

Last year, three TAAP members joined the…

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There’s No “Murder-Suicide” Specific Prevention Cause To Join, So Instead…

Content Note: grief, suicide, murder, murder-suicide, stigma, etc. Let me know if I should’ve mentioned anything else.

In about one month I’ll be walking in one of ASFP’s local walks as part of “the fight against suicide” and to support their bold goal to reduce the suicide rate 20% by 2025.

It’s a smaller walk than the Overnight one I participated in June 2017, and donations are optional this time around unlike that time. I’m mainly sharing my story here rather than asking for you all, my blog followers, to actually donate but if you do want to then the link to donate is at the end. I’m hoping for a few donations but not necessarily from people who have never met me… I just also want to get these words out publicly.

As regular readers of my blog might remember, I’ve lost two people close to me to suicide. Both were middle aged men, and both died very near the Thanksgiving holiday in the USA.

But the more recent suicide, the one that transpired only 9 months ago at the end of November 2017, was so much more horrific and far reaching than a pure suicide, and this is not at all meant to downplay how hugely devastating suicides are.

I just feel like I’m lying by omission and doing a huge disservice to the victim and her family if I don’t mention that I’m in my first year of mourning and recovering from the trauma of my close friend and colleague not only killing himself, but him being the perpetrator of a murder-suicide.

I related to many aspects of this article on Survivors of Suicide Loss, and experienced much of this especially throughout the first 5 months of the aftermath:

And yet most of those experiences listed were tainted by the fact that murder of another person was at the core of many of my emotions and thought processes, so much so that mourning the suicide side of all of it became exceptionally complicated.

Continue reading “There’s No “Murder-Suicide” Specific Prevention Cause To Join, So Instead…”