14 thoughts on “Btw (Freebie, obvs)

  1. Huh. Well, I thought the genderqueer thing was implied by the last post, so no surprise there for me, not that my opinion is super-relevant. Sorry you felt you had to come out this way, though. The internet’s pretty shitty a lot of the time, mainly because people are often shitty, and I’ve always thought you were a thoughtful, reasonable person who didn’t deserve any of the shit you get from anonymous (or not anonymous) assholes just because you have opinions.

    As to the asexual part, and your personal life is of course your own business and I don’t want to put you on the spot (“Explain yourself!”), so feel free of course to ignore this/delete this, but how does the asexual thing actually work, given that you’re in a relationship and have a kid (i.e. have had sex at least once)? Like, you’re attracted to specific people but not genders in general? Not “attracted” to anyone as far as sex goes, and there’s not much difference between having sex and going to the gym? Something else entirely that I haven’t even considered? I’ve never actually “met” anyone (online) who identified as asexual, sorry, so my question might be dumb, or just poorly timed given that you seem like you’re pretty upset and, like you said, you’re still figuring things out and you certainly shouldn’t be called upon to be a representative for an entire “category” of people.

    • Yeah, well. Identity politics are a bitch.

      There’s not too much I can say without violating the privacy of my partner and my kid, but I can say that demisexuals or greysexual (which is the closest to how I feel) is a subset of asexual, and there is actually a surprising amount of nuance to the label “asexual”.

      Here’s a breakdown that I like, if you’re interested.

      • Thank you, that link is very helpful in educating myself; there is more nuance than I thought. I totally understand and agree with not wanting to broadcast your personal relationships on the internet.

        • I used to be in a relationship with someone who was asexual and neutrois. Our relationship was very satisfying for me, during the time before I transitioned and they lost interest.

          I shouldn’t go into specifics, but I learned a lot from them, and realized that basically all my and everyone else’s concerns about asexual people were invalid. It wasn’t a phase, they didn’t feel they were missing out, they didn’t just need to “meet the right person,” and they could be extremely affectionate, because sexuality and romantic attraction are two different things. They weren’t the same as other asexual people, let alone graysexual or demisexual people, but they knew very well what they were. And they were frustrated with being erased, and with both “sex-positive” and “family values” people being squicked out by their very existence.

          IIRC, they liked asexuality dot org as a resource for explaining theirself. It was simple to understand them once I actually listened, and took their statements at face value instead of trying to figure out how to fit them into my previous worldview.

          BTW, the thing about “you’re attracted to specific people but not genders in general”

          That’s called pansexuality (or being panromantic depending on whether or not sexuality is involved). It’s my experience. For gay and straight people, their partner’s gender is very important. For me, it’s a non-issue. This doesn’t mean that I don’t have preferences; they just largely don’t involve gender.

      • I think I heard someone say, once, that all politics are identity politics. It’s just that some people’s identities are noncontroversial, and so their rights as a person are taken for granted. And they don’t get interrogated about what they are.

        Congrats on coming out, I’m sorry it wasn’t under better circumstances, and have some internet hugs and oatmeal cookies if you want. >_>b

    • I can only speak for myself, but as someone who identifies as Ace, let me tell you that sexual attraction is not the same thing as sexual desire. Asexuality is not feeling sexual attraction. Sexual desire = arousal, which is that physical feeling you get in your genitals. Sexual attraction is getting sexual desire from someone. It does not mean that you want to act on it, necessarily. Being Ace says absolutely nothing about a person’s sex life or lack thereof.

      I am often at conflict with the Ace narrative, because while I appreciate and understand that many Aces do not want sex at all, this is not in any way true at all for me. In that respect, I am demisexual, I only want a sexual relationship with someone I know well and have an emotional attachment to. But, my Aceness still overrides much of that. I still have never felt sexual attraction, even for my partner. Yet, I still want sex with him. Perhaps not for the reason allosexuals do, I don’t know, but for me, it’s about closeness and intimacy, as well as feeling good.

      Many Aces have sex for their own reasons. Having a baby is obviously one of those, but note that I know nothing about wundergeek’s life and am not speaking for them at all. You might like this comic that explains a lot of the myths surrounding asexuality: http://adriofthedead.tumblr.com/post/101034804659/adriofthedead-okay-i-realize-this

  2. Go team genderqueer but not really understanding it yet!

    I recently was hit by a giant truck of being much more male than expected, and am in the process of working out what it means beyond buying more pants so I feel the not knowing what it means.

    Hopefully we will both work ourselves out in style. 🙂

    • Hi, newly out femme genderqueer male here. Congrats on coming out, and condolences that it wasn’t on your own terms. I’m in a similar situation with trying to figure what it means to be me and how it may change my relationship with my husband. Good luck to us both!

  3. One of us, one of us! 😀 Sorry that your coming out wasn’t on the terms you would have preferred, but I hope to offer whatever support I can.

  4. Um, it occurs to me I should ask: What pronouns do you prefer? It’s okay if you aren’t sure yet, or don’t feel comfortable saying.

  5. I don’t how to phrase this without sounding rude, but it is a genuine question, honest! How would you respond to those who say that coming out as asexual may make you biased in that you write extensively on sexuality in media?

    • What I write about isn’t sexuality – it’s about sexualized depictions – which are TWO ENTIRELY DIFFERENT THINGS.

      Fictional characters don’t have sexuality other than what is assigned to them by their creator. They don’t have feelings that can be invalidated by a scholarly dissection of their presentation of gender, their relationships, or otherwise. And often, sexualized depictions of women are just the vehicle for a host of reductive stereotypes that have nothing to do with sex or sexuality.

      Second, being asexual doesn’t mean that I’m an alien from another planet incapable of understanding sex and sexuality. That’s a fundamental misunderstanding of what asexuality is.

    • In the hopes that you are being genuinely honest, I’ll answer your question. I may have a different opinion than wundergeek, of course.

      In figuring out that we are asexual, Aces have spent a lot more time than allosexuals on figuring out who we are and what sex actually means for us. Basically, we’ve thought about it more than you, which makes us experts. Shocking, I know. You might be surprised how little allos actually know about sex, sexuality, arousal, and libido.

      True, wundergeek writes about sexuality in media, but much of that comes in the form of plain old sexism. We can be Ace and talk about sexism. My aceness has nothing to do with how other people treat and objectify women in our culture. I can still critique harmful tropes and attitudes. You see, this whole sexism thing; we can’t get away from it. We’ve been stewing in this toxic culture since we were born. I don’t have to be allosexual to know allosexuals think. It’s the dominant narrative! Of course I know everything about you! Just as women are required to identify with men (because men are dominant in media), POC are required to identify with white people, and LGBTQIA are required to identify with the cishetero narrative. Trust me, we aren’t biased. We’ve been seeing things your way and internalized them for so long that it’s difficult to realize that we can think differently. We weren’t born knowing we were Ace. We were assumed to be allosexual, just as every child is assigned a gender based on their sex, and assumed to be hetero until proven otherwise.

      But the people who would actually ask this question most likely would ask in bad faith and not pay attention to the answer anyway.

  6. I’m sorry you feel like you need to come out this way (or at all if you wish it to remain private). You’re a beautiful soul and I hope you’re able to come to terms wit your identity. Please know that you’ve got people who are supporting you and wishing you well. /hugs

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