Category: aromanticsm

“Kissing, Hand Holding, Bed Sharing, etc!” – the May 2017 Carnival of Aces – Call for Submissions

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. 😉

(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: 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 is the fourth time that I am hosting the carnival. I hosted in 2014 and 2015, and it’s been a while but I’m excited to host yet again. I decided to make the topic Kissing, Hand Holding, Bed Sharing, etc!.

The topic is meant to be broad. You are not limited to one of those 3 things just mentioned.

A bunch of ideas on what people might write about:

  • A narrative of your personal experience(s) with something like kissing, hand-holding, sharing a bed for any reason, or other things that came to mind when I listed those things
  • A delineation of where specific actions fit, categorically, in your mind/experience/gut feeling. Is marriage inherently romantic? Is hugging something that fits in different categories depending on other factors? Does making-out kissing feel sexual to you?
  • A personal outline of specific positive desires and/or what you wish to avoid in your future that you feel are affected by your romantic and/or sexual orientation
  • Does your perception of certain activities influence your label/add to your reasons for identifying as grey-aro or grey-ace, or why you chose just “asexual” and not grey kind of a thing? How? Or contrarily, does the way you feel about something like “going on dates” or even “having sex”, an action or experience, influence how or why you identify?
  • Is there something that you love/appreciate, or hate/are frustrated by, in terms of how a specific action or set of actions are discussed in ace spaces?
  • What do you think of how these types of behaviors are used in works of fiction? “There Is Only One Bed” is a common trope on TV shows, for instance, or as Sara K. mentioned & linked to in her review here, a couple of us were discussing in a comment thread in March how sometimes writers seem to “consider the dividing line between ‘romantic’ and ‘aromantic’ to be enjoying kissing and hand-holding.” – How do you, the blogger in this Carnival, feel about that?
  • How does touch-aversion, sex-repulsion, or other aspects of your experience intersect with any of these types of scenarios?
  • Talk to me about consent in contexts it’s usually not talked about in!
  • Tell me how you define that nebulous word “cuddling”. When you say you do or don’t like cuddling, what action(s) are you referring to?
  • Are there certain actions that onlookers insist “Seem” or “must be” sexual, or romantic, but to you feel entirely non-sexual or non-romantic?
  • Anything else that this topic inspires in you! I want to know what you have to say!

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 pemk7@aol.com . The deadline is the end of the day Wednesday, May 31st!  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. You can also contact me via my tumblr, which is luvtheheaven.tumblr.com – links don’t send in “Asks” though. I do receive submissions and messages but in my opinion, email is easier, and comments here are easiest.

Thanks!

Me & wanting a future as a parent, an update

This post was written for the April 2017 Carnival of Aces, which is themed around Asexuality, Aromanticism and Parenthood. The call for submissions was here – and please check out the round up post containing all of the submitted entries! http://abnormaldiversity.blogspot.com/2017/05/aromanticism-asexuality-and-parenthood.html


Over on Asexual Activities, back in January (2017, so only a few months ago), 34 different people (including me) answered the theme on Having Children, plus one person replied to another person’s thought that being single meant they couldn’t adopt/foster and encouraged them to consider that that may not be true where they live. About 11 to 16 of the responses seemed to be “I don’t want children”, depending on how you count the “maybe one day” sentiments, meaning it actually is approximately 50/50. See all the different themes here: http://www.asexualactivities.com/tags, and click through to find the answers on asexual people’s perspectives on kids.  Which submission is mine should be pretty obvious if you read my blog regularly, or even if you just read to the end of this blog post.

About a year ago, in May 2016, aceadmiral started a conversation on tumblr also related to aces and having children, and there are two (– I think only two? Not 100% sure) different branches of the reblog chain/thread that are worth reading. If you’re interested in the topic of this Carnival, I highly recommend you click the “Read More” links, read the other linked things within the responses, there is so much that is interesting over there.

  1. https://aceadmiral.tumblr.com/post/144126451728/christian-ace-nerd-aceadmiral
  2. https://aceadmiral.tumblr.com/post/144128006058/tristifere-aceadmiral-luvtheheaven (yes I myself talked quite a bit in this one)

I have so many thoughts on this topic, honestly, but it’s hard for me to currently talk about. Nothing has really changed about what I desire since a-year-and-a-half ago when I wrote on Being an Aro Ace and Desiring (Foster and/or Adoptive) Parenthood, but also so much has changed since then in my life and in how feasible this desire seems!

Continue reading “Me & wanting a future as a parent, an update”

Asexuality, Shame, and the Importance of Ace Pride

This post was written for the March 2017 Carnival of Aces, which is themed around Ace Pride. The call for submissions was here – and the round up post containing all of the submitted entries is here: http://purrplelace.tumblr.com/post/159167437413/march-2017-carnival-of-aces-round-up


We’ll get to Ace Pride by the end of this post. First, I need to talk about Ace Shame.

[Content note: Heavy discussion of anti-ace sentiments, invalidation, shame, negative emotions, etc. Some NSFW text. Unhappy ace/allo sexual relationship dynamics also touched upon. It’s a bit of a rambling mess too.]


shame: n. A painful emotion caused by the belief that one is, or is perceived by others to be, inferior or unworthy of affection or respect because of one’s actions, thoughts, circumstances, or experiences.

  • What is there to be proud of? Isn’t asexuality nothing?

pride: n. a feeling of honour and self-respect; a sense of personal worth

  • “Are you sure you’re not repressed? because you grew up Catholic?”
  • “Everyone masturbates – and the few who say they don’t? are lying.”
  • What do you fantasize about though?
  • Everyone is turned on by some type of person.
  • “Maybe you should talk to a doctor about your hormone levels.”
  • “WAIT — you’re 22 and you’ve never been kissed??”
  • The 40 Year Old Virgin is a great movie, made me cry. I’m so happy that he finally lost his virginity at the end.
  • “It’s natural and healthy to have sexual thoughts and desires”.
  • You’re betraying feminists if you fight Flibanserin (Addyi) being on the market.
  • Who do you have a crush on?”
  • “You should watch this tv show, if for no other reason than the eye candy, you know what I mean? 😉 “
  • “Philosophical or psychological hypothesis: What if all human desires are, deep down, influenced by sex because it’s instinctual that we need to want sex in order for our species to survive? I mean it’s probably true, it just makes sense.”
  • My mom: “You don’t have to get Confirmed Catholic if you really don’t want to however… You might want to belong to a church for when you get married?”
  • “A soulmate is your other half,  the person who completes you, everyone is waiting to find theirs unless they are so lucky to have already found them.”
  • lust can be such a powerful feeling that it motivates people to cheat with a stranger they just met
  • without ‘passion’ in that marriage can you blame that miserable spouse for cheating?”
  • OK Cupid question: “How many dates will you want to go on before you’re ready for sex? One? Three? 12?” (See the 100 words prose poem thing I wrote, which I just tonight posted about this topic.)
  • Check a box: “Which of the three fits you best: straight,  gay,  or bi?”
  • “Have you tried having sex with both men and women and didn’t like it? Only men? You probably just didn’t give being lesbian enough of a chance.”
  • “Ok interesting.  But. Are you absolutely sure you haven’t just not met the right person yet? You don’t want to close yourself off to that possibility too young”  (said to me when I’m 24.)
  • Me before I accepted I’m ace: “I… this first kiss to you feels just as lackluster as the other time I tried kissing a different person last year. I need to admit something… I’m starting to worry I might be asexual, unfortunately. I like you a lot as a person already, so maybe I’ll turn out to be demisexual? Over time? (If we… fall in love or something?)”
  • It’s the standard narrative.  Boy meets girl.  One is too traumatized or just mistrustful of the world. Let’s say it’s the girl this time. The guy loves her hard enough, for long enough… that she learns to love him back with time. Or she suddenly has a revelation that the love of her life has been there all along. He might be suddenly attractive to her too. Like Lois and Clark in versions of their story where you see them before they get together. And wow.  They feel all the feelings. They have a magical kiss or even the best sex ever by the end of the story. Happily ever after. It wouldn’t be a happy ending without getting together romantically.
  • “Are you sure you’re not aroused right now?” – when I tried sex with my boyfriend.
  • “I’ve never met anyone who’s asexual before. (That can’t be real.)”
  • “Oh, that explains a lot about our conversations these past years. I always just thought maybe you were a bit prudish.”
  • Isn’t the idea of being proud to be ace arrogant, elitist, and saying you’re better than people who have sexual desires, shaming them for that, and that’s not cool?
  • “You’re lucky you’re ace. I wish I was ace. You have it so easy.”

Sorry I decided to write such a downer of a post for such a seemingly happy theme.  I kind of went a pretty… different direction than the other entries. At first I wondered if I was completely going off topic but now I realize… My post is basically a long answer to (Purr)ple(L)ace’s final bullet point in the suggested topics:

How do displays of pride (in whatever forms you choose to show it) help you deal with any negative aspects of being ace? How do they help you love/accept yourself and your asexuality more?

Continue reading “Asexuality, Shame, and the Importance of Ace Pride”

Tumblr Aro Asks meme, my answers (part 4 of 4)

As I said here in part 1, and also part 2 and part 3, I’m gonna answer all of these, in a 4 part series of answers. Cross-posted to tumblr.

This is part 4 of 4.

Onto the final chunk of questions… some of these are much more fun than the previous parts.

13. do you headcanon any characters as arospec?

Continue reading “Tumblr Aro Asks meme, my answers (part 4 of 4)”

Tumblr Aro Asks meme, my answers (part 3 of 4)

As I said here in part 1, and also part 2, I’m gonna answer all of these, in a 4 part series of answers. Cross-posted to tumblr.

This is part 3 of 4.

(And as it turns out… I didn’t just “kind of” fail to finish these in time for Aro Spec Awareness Week… lmao. I completely totally am insanely late finishing up. However I want to post the final 2 parts before I post my March Carnival of Aces post, so I’m kicking this into high gear really quickly.)

As I explained before, I’m answering many of these with long paragraph answers, rather than just 1 word, because I feel like sometimes long answers are necessary, and I have a lot to say.

That being said, we’re finally at the parts where I plan to give some… shorter answers.

4. what’s your stance on romantic attraction?

Continue reading “Tumblr Aro Asks meme, my answers (part 3 of 4)”

Tumblr Aro Asks meme, my answers (part 2 of 4)

As I said here in part 1, I’m gonna answer all of these, in a 4 part series of answers. Cross-posted to tumblr.

This is part 2 of 4.

(I’m sorry I kind of failed to finish these in time for Aro Spec Awareness Week, whoops.)

I’m gonna answer some of these with long paragraph answers, rather than just 1 word, because I feel like sometimes long answers are necessary? 😄


3. do you have any squishes?

One year ago for the February 2016 Carnival of Aces I wrote a blog post titled I Don’t (Meaningfully) Experience Platonic Attraction. I still am kind of confused by the concept of squishes.

I feel like when I was in elementary, middle, and high school and had crushes on approx. 3 guys, a decision to pick them to have a crush on really when I knew I had to be crushing on someone, I picked each of them because I had some form of a squish on them, I guess. But I mainly had a practical desire to get to know them better and have them see me as a friend/like me rather than a “attraction” per say? Idk but it turned into definite crush like feelings and for all I know I created asexual yet romantic rather than platonic attraction for them by nature of my trains of thought!

In the past year since writing that post I have felt major squish-like feelings I guess, towards mainly select new members of local non-religious meetup groups I’ve attended. There were women/girls I bonded with over fandom and even got the chance to speak with one on one before leaving, but I’ve only seen them once each, for a few hours, so it’s not like we can count as friends yet, hence my squish feelings. It’s like it’s only a crush/friend-crush if it’s… not quite requited, right? The one of these who is closer to my own age, she… I felt so much when we parted ways on the metro like this could’ve been the end of a really successful first date, I was like… I had butterflies but I knew she was almost definitely straight and what we had was just budding potential friendship but I was instantly reminded of Coyote’s friendship flirting blog post and was in the moment just… mentally noting how overcome with happy emotions I was. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen each other since though and I think that was… 3 months ago, so idk. We did message a little in the days after meeting, about the Gilmore Girls revival,which she saw after meeting me, and some of my feelings of bonding with her were less strong in those days because she’s on a totally different wavelength than me there, but idk. I still “really like” her, in whatever way that can be. I imagine if we see each other again I’ll make a “targeted effort” (as described in Coyote’s post) to see if, say, I can sit near her and chat with her.

And also there is this one guy who I basically feel that way about too, although it’s different because it is requited, it’s just still… relatively limited, I suppose, since I’ve only spoken to him in large group contexts and very brief one-on-one moments when like, departing from said groups. So there’s still that longing for more emotional intimacy, perhaps. He’s… too nice to me? That doesn’t make sense really, but it’s sort of how I feel. I think he’s a really amazing person and can’t understand why he would treat me with so much… respect I guess, I feel inadequate in his presence but not really because he is so reassuring and idk how to describe it, but I am reminded of when I had “crushes” on guys before I knew I was asexual. He’s married with children and I like his wife too although I’ve barely met her, and I don’t feel envy/jealousy at all, I don’t think it’s romantic attraction at all, and I’m satisfied with our friendship as it currently is, but I just feel strong feelings that are hard to pin down when it comes to this person.

Speaking of craving more emotional intimacy and that kind of squish… I’ve totally had it for extended family members too. Even quite recently. It’s… hard to pin down but I feel like I don’t meaningfully separate out my you know, blood relations from marriage family relations from non-related acquaintances, the same set of feelings is possible for any/all of them?

I think this is the only answer I’m posting tonight, because it’s so long!

Tumblr Aro Asks meme, my answers (part 1 of 4)

Happy Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week, everybody! I know the week started on Sunday and it’s already almost Saturday… 😄

Before this week over, I’m gonna answer all of these, in a 4 part series of answers. Cross-posted to tumblr.

This is part 1 of 4. Part 2 is here.

I’m gonna answer these with long paragraph answers, rather than just 1 word, because I feel like long answers are necessary? 😄

1. where are you on the aromantic spectrum?

Don’t know! Lol I’m gray aro. I’m wtfromantic and quoiromantic (I see these words as synonyms.) I’m bi/pan in terms of who I’d consider as a queerplatonic partner/who I’d “date”. Meaning gender isn’t a factor there for me. I think it’s related to the fact that I’m actually completely aro in many ways. Similarly I don’t identify as polyamorous however I do feel quite a lot of affinity for “non-monogamy” or rather… I’m not monogamous exactly either.  I usually feel completely devoid of any form of attraction to people: sexual, aesthetic, sensual, romantic… And I think it’s all a part of me being a 100% Asexual person with no grayness there at all. I think the way sexual orientation and romantic orientation are tied together for most people, being heterosexual also means heteroromantic and separating the two is tricky for your average straight person…  I am in some ways that kind of aroace. However I am way more “romantic”, for lack of a better word, than a lot of aros. I am a shipper in fandom. I did try dating prior to understanding my orientation and…

2. do you have a qpp/qpps?

…well, also, yes I have an amazing queerplatonic partner. We’re basically dating, a romantic relationship minus the romantic feelings. We’re both aro ace (however we do experience these orientations in different ways – My queerplatonic partner and I were talking this week about this stuff, aromantic awareness week brought some of it up, and he mentioned “I’d say I feel [asthetic and sexual] attraction, but not much desire to take that anywhere”).

Our relationship feels like “best friends as adults”, in a way most adults our age (I’m 27, he’s 28) don’t have. Our relationship feels like a practical decision to be committed to each other, to plan for our futures jointly but to do so mainly because we already have similar plans for our futures and if those plans were to change we would revert back to a typical friendship, albeit possibly a better friendship than a lot of people are lucky enough to have but I’d consider him equal to a few other very close friends I have, if not for our current commitment to each other to be queerplatonic partners. Also because we are together we are going to like, prioritize each other in certain situations, meet each other’s extended families, be automatic “plus one” options if going to an event kind of a thing. So again basically we look like a romantic relationship and act like one in big ways but we don’t feel like one on the inside, we don’t kiss (neither of us has ever liked kissing) or hold hands or feel butterflies. We don’t feel feelings that are different than deep, companionate love.

My qpp told me in a message this week: “I like what we have, and I don’t really have any expectations or visions of what our relationship is supposed to be Like ‘oh we need to be more romantic’ or something” and I think that sums us up well.

Why “Romantic Orientation Does Not Apply” Does Not Cut It (For Me)

This is my second submission for the August 2016 Carnival of Aces, which was themed around Naming It. And yes, it’s September 1st now, so I’m late. I apologize. Please enjoy the post below!


Sure, people don’t have to apply* the split-attraction model to themselves if they don’t want to. That’s what the vast majority of supporters of this model say – only use it if you want to. If it feels right.

And if I’m having a lot of trouble coming up with any identity label that feels right to me other than just “asexual”, then maybe I should consider myself to simply be asexual, end of story. Maybe I should not apply the split attraction model to myself. Maybe that’d be the easiest, simplest solution. Maybe that’s all I need to do.

But there are a lot of reasons that it makes sense for me to want to apply it to myself.

One of the main reasons is that I am a member of a group (the online ace blogging community, specifically) where most people seem to apply a romantic orientation to themselves, and if they don’t actively claim one, with time they tend to eventually accept that they are aromantic – by default, by nature of not dating, etc.

Another reason I feel like I need a romantic orientation is because, while I know I am cisgender (female), I need to clarify exactly why I’m not “het” in the way the “aces aren’t LGBT” discourse on tumblr lately has been going, talking about “cishet aces” to… at their most generous, only mean the heteroromantic aces. Because at this point in my introspection, one thing I do know deep down is that I’m not heteroromantic.

Now “not wanting to be marked as cishet” is not just me trying to be “a special snowflake”, although I’ve let that cross my mind. No. That’s unfair to me and so so many other aces.

Continue reading “Why “Romantic Orientation Does Not Apply” Does Not Cut It (For Me)”

How to Positively Represent Asexuality within Humorous Fiction: Part 2, “Options that can be funny without being hurtful!”

The following is part 2 and the conclusion of my two part submission for the July 2016 Carnival of Aces which was titled “Make ’em Laugh” (and which is more broadly themed around humor). Check out the Carnival of Aces Masterpost here for more information on what The Carnival of Aces is.


As I said in part 1, there are many ways, both positive and negative, that humor can be utilized in ways that directly affect your asexual characters and how your readers/audience members are likely to perceive them.

Part 1 was about what to avoid.

The good news: there are other options for how to use humor around asexual characters in fiction. Ways that I believe are less harmful, possibly not harmful at all! Even better yet: Ways that in the long run could be helpful to everyone for expanding our understanding of the world, and all the variation of human experience. A way that lets aces feel represented… without also hurting them at the same time.

The most obvious option:

  1. Instead of making asexuality part of the joke, just let the asexual character be in jokes that are not at all related to asexuality.

Continue reading “How to Positively Represent Asexuality within Humorous Fiction: Part 2, “Options that can be funny without being hurtful!””

How to Positively Represent Asexuality within Humorous Fiction: Part 1, “What to Avoid”

The following is part 1 of my  two part submission for the July 2016 Carnival of Aces which was titled “Make ’em Laugh” (and which is more broadly themed around humor). Check out the Carnival of Aces Masterpost here for more information on what The Carnival of Aces is.


There are many ways, both positive and negative, that humor can be utilized in ways that directly affect your asexual characters and how your readers/audience members are likely to perceive them.

Here in part 1, I will list examples of things to avoid when using humor in relation to an ace-spectrum character.

  1. There is a character who is asexual and the other characters make fun of him (or her, or them).

This is not ideal representation because it implies that “someone being asexual” is, in and of itself, a funny thing. It shows no respect for asexuality, nor respect for all of the people in real life who happen to actually be asexual. Perhaps to many people reading this blog post of mine right now it is fairly obvious that this can be one of the worst types of asexual representation, but unfortunately I think it does need to be spelled out because it’s clearly not obvious to some creators.

As someone who is speaking from a United States perspective and who has consumed mainly American fiction, with a side of some stuff from the UK and some television from Canada too… and then has engaged with the social justice communities online… I’ve noticed that most minorities (specifically meaning minorities-in-the-USA) have to face a particular issue when it comes to representation.

Even when a creator thinks “hey, I’m (finally) representing your group; you should be grateful”, the audience members/readers/content consumers who belong to that-particular-marginalized group realize that the character who represents them is being laughed at for being in a minority or marginalized group. It is a common issue for characters who belong to minority religions and/or characters who are ethnically Jewish, for characters who are members of certain (most non-white) races, sometimes for disabled characters, and yes, for all types of Queer characters. See the TV Tropes article on the “Queer People Are Funny” trope. (That site includes instances of the tropes in multiple fictional mediums by the way – not just television.) There is also a whole “Queer as Tropes” page for more options, such as overly exaggerated flamboyance in gay male characters.

When asexuality becomes another type of queerness that is deemed inherently funny, this can be harmful to asexual people in real life. Asexual people who have not yet heard of asexuality might never even think to consider that they might be ace, because it’s not being presented as a valid orientation for a person to be. It can make a viewer who does realize they are asexual feel attacked. It makes the asexual character the one you’re not supposed to relate to, and encourages the general (non-ace) audience to not even sympathize with their pain at being bullied or treated unfairly. The asexual character’s asexuality is exaggerated or stereotyped too because the writer didn’t respect the need for careful/realistic portrayals and spent no time on research.

Continue reading “How to Positively Represent Asexuality within Humorous Fiction: Part 1, “What to Avoid””