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”

100 Words of Prose, Prompt: Clocks

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. It was 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 wrote this for the 100 words community on imzy in September 2016. Posts had to be exactly 100 words and the prompt that week was “Clocks”. The post was untitled, I decided to share it here now. Didn’t feel like coming up with a title.)

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? XD


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… XD

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? XD

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.

Please Don’t Extrapolate My Asexual Experiences

This is of course late – yes, it’s already February – but actually this was written for the January 2017 Carnival of Aces, which was themed “Many Ways to Be Ace”. The call for submissions was here, and I’ll update this post with the round up of submissions sometime soon.


I’m an openly asexual person. Not only that but on a surprisngly large number of occasions I’ve been a person’s first and/or main exposure to asexuality, most often either through my use of Tumblr, or through an in-person coming out. 

Continue reading “Please Don’t Extrapolate My Asexual Experiences”

Personal updates. And a grief-fueled rant.

So I’ve had some huge life events lately. It’s been a bit overwhelming and I don’t even know what to tell you guys first. [content note on this post for… heavy talk about all sorts of things that are personal to me, like my grandmother’s death and my mother being abusive so read at your own risk.]

Continue reading “Personal updates. And a grief-fueled rant.”

A Better Understanding of What Typical Heterosexuality Really Is

Sometimes, I am reminded that I really don’t understand what is typical for allosexual people to experience. Sometimes I’m reminded that maybe I think of allosexual people’s experiences in ways that aren’t accurate or fair to how they, in truth, typically experience their drives or attractions?

I feel like I don’t have enough in-depth discussions with my heterosexual and bisexual offline friends about these things to really get what it is they desire, what their thoughts in regards to sex are, what their experiences that make them sure they are not ace are.

I am reminded of this post from Sara K.: In Spite of Growing Up in a Society Full of Allosexuals, The Allosexual Experience Still Doesn’t Make Sense and also this older post of Siggy’s here: A jaded look at sexual attraction.

Now that it’s coming up on my 3 year anniversary of officially coming out as ace to some folks, I realize I’ve talked in fairly great depth with a variety of people about these topics. It’s not like I’ve never engaged in the conversation at all.

Continue reading “A Better Understanding of What Typical Heterosexuality Really Is”

My Abusive Mother Won’t Leave Me Alone (Part 2)

[Content note: discussion of multiple forms of abuse including physical, emotional, child, spousal, etc]


Back in January, I shared my first My Abusive Mother Won’t Leave Me Alone post, complete with a transcription of a voicemail message I received from her.

Allow me to transcribe a couple other messages she’s left more recently, like in August 2016, just for your benefit.

Starting off in a kind of bored tone of voice, her typical “I’m calling because it’s a thing i do but I know you never will reply” thing she does… Also for what it’s worth my dad’s first name has been changed and is listed here as “Joe”, and I’m not sure if she is just a substitute teacher at an elementary school or if she has a different school teacher related job or what, because honestly it’s been almost 7 years since I really knew anything at all concrete about her life and back then she wasn’t working.

So yeah she said:

Hi Emily, it’s me. Look um… Tuesday… (Extra long pause) They were- At work, they were talking about um… how parents don’t read to their children anymore, and… I got a little choked up. ‘Cause I remember… I remember reading to you, in bed, all those times. And then, um, today… Uh… My neighbor – he helps me out all the time – he did this stuff with my dryer and… there’s… Something. I don’t even know what it is but it had ‘Emily’ on it, it’s a metal thing, slowing?(I’m not sure what word she said) it down, and I just… started crying. And just cried, and cried, and cried. And um… you were a really nice kid. You really were. You were a really nice child, when you were young, you were so sweet, and… If there’s any of that left in you… (Her teariness sort of fades off here ish) look me in the eye. Look me in the eye, and tell me it’s okay that- that Joe beat me. And then we can say goodbye! How’s that? Ok. I love you. Bye.

Continue reading “My Abusive Mother Won’t Leave Me Alone (Part 2)”