Sunday, August 31, 2008

Subcultures of One

The question ending my last post got me thinking about a topic that's of great interest to me: The internet as it relates to the rise of "Subcultures of One". I have to say, I have a good amount of experience with this phenomenon. Around my 18th birthday, I had a transformative experience involving what was then called "underground" hip-hop. I began a deep and sincere love of hip-hop and its culture of self-expression against the odds. While I was the only person I knew who was as into it, that didn't stop me from learning all the words to "Bombs Over Baghdad" or spreading the gospel on our college radio station. In the beginning, what helped me learn was incessantly listening to the music on internet radio. While my appreciation for hip-hop remains strong, I've gotten very into indiepop music since then, as you probably can tell from my other posts. My education started by downloading songs online, and continues with the active "Indiepop List" list-serv. I also love indiepop's culture of DIY ideals and mixing sweet dorkiness with punk-rock defiance to cultural norms. And if it's possible, even fewer people that I know have any association with indiepop. No one knows what "Pastels badges" are or what popsongs your "new boyfriend is too stupid to know about". Hell, no one else I know would ever write "pop songs" as "popsongs".

And then, asexuality came into my life. Like my exploration of indiepop and hip-hop, my discovery of asexuality was heavily aided by the internet. But oddly enough, I've probably interacted with more asexuals (thanks to meetups!) than I have with hip-hoppers or indiepoppers. I know I'm rare, though. Most aces still feel like the only ones they know-- like they're subcultures of one. And while that can be a relatively safe place, I think it's also important (perhaps vital!) to convene with like-minded, real-world folks every once in awhile. Especially in the case of asexuality. While it could be problematic to have a partner who paints over your lovingly sprayed graffiti, or who thinks The Jesus and Mary Chain is a product of Satan, you'll definitely want someone who has some overlap with you in how you view sex. The internet can be so tantalizing-- showing you so many people and cultures that you can relate to-- but it can also frustrate. What's the use of having internet asexuals if no one outside the 'net believes or reaffirms you? "All told", it can be very difficult to have an identity partially forged from the smithy of the internet.

But, it really isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sure, in a previous time period, we would probably just do and like whatever our friends did and liked. But what's the adventure in that? My disparate musical subcultures have given more to me than I could have imagined. Maybe it's strange, but music gives my life meaning. It gives me something to love deeply in a world where I often don't understand the love that I'm being told is most important. It also inspires me to be creative and to express myself-- I'm lucky enough to love a lot of music in which enthusiasm is more important than snazzy production. And asexuality has been the same. It's inspired me to work for a common good; to help people better understand themselves and show them that they're not alone. Secretly, I thought it was kind of cool to like music that my friends didn't know about. I felt good about my ability to "put people on to new shit", as they say, and liked nothing more than to share my discoveries. I have to admit, I haven't been able to capture this feeling yet about my obscure sexuality. But even if you have, at some point, you will probably want to meet real-life asexuals. The structure might not exist yet. But the fact that we actually went online and did the research speaks well of the possibilities. We're not content to act heterosexual because our friends are; we're enterprising. We seek answers. And that bodes well.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sorry for Laughing

About time for a song here, maties.
I wrote about "Sorry to Embarrass You", so I might as well discuss its spiritual brother, "Sorry for Laughing", by Josef K, a Scottish post-punk-pop band from the early '80s. They were on the legendary Postcard record label along with Orange Juice, which I (sort of) wrote about here. "Sorry for Laughing" is really the only Josef K song in which I can understand most of the lyrics. At any rate, the internet comes to my aid for this one, although people seem to have slightly different interpretations:

"Sorry for Laughing"
by Josef K, 1980
[Lyrics from]

It took ten years to realize
Why the angels start to cry
When you roll on down the lane
Your happy smile, your funny name

I'm not being mean, so don't take it hard
When I ask you to run round the yard

It’s so hopeless to close the blinds
You know I’d help you if I could, but both my arms are made of wood

Just don't mean the things that I say
It's only 'cause you're made that way

Sorry for laughing
There's too much happening
Sorry for laughing
There's too much happening

When we grooved on into town
Charles Atlas stopped to frown
'Cause he's not made like me and you
Just can't do the things we do

You know it’s times like these you have to pay
So sorry to turn on that way

Experience the song for yourself (via Youtube) here! (OMG cute '80s Scottish boys!)

What can I say about such a great, enigmatic song? Well, most songs seem to convey strong feelings about relationships. But "Sorry for Laughing", like "Sorry to Embarrass You", expresses an ambivalence that in my experience, is rare in the world of music. (But common among asexuals.) Since it's hard to find a song (well, besides "The Way I Am") that explicitly deals with asexual issues, we'll have to make do with lines like "both my arms are made of wood". (And maybe this song seemed vaguely asexy to me because I always thought the preceding line was "I would hold you if I could".)

There's another Josef K track called "Heart of Song", in which the only lyrics I can make out are:

There are so many pathways that lead to the heart.
Records and letters are one place to start.

And they continue to emphatically state, "There are so many pathways that lead to the heart!" I really like that.

I was also fascinated to discover that the person who added the "Sorry for Laughing" lyrics to is 4 years younger than me. Does anyone else remotely around my age listen to this music?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Because It Was There

I'd like to coin the term "mountainsexual". This one's for people who may or may not actually be asexual, but they have an interest that is so all-consuming that sex becomes irrelevant. Sure, it's a funny word, but I want to explore the idea behind it.

An AVEN member got me thinking about Chris McCandless, the real-life subject of the book (by Jon Krakauer) and movie Into the Wild. Chris literally gave up everything to realize his dream of living alone in the Alaska wilderness. Some parts of the story definitely imply that Chris was disinterested in sex. But we'll never know why, as his drive to go to Alaska obviously eclipsed all else.

Mountainsexuals also appeared in another Krakauer book, Into Thin Air. Maybe I just have a dirty mind, but people's quotes about mountain climbing sound like accounts of sexual desire cranked to 11, or romantic love in its most passionate throwes. Krakauer says that "attempting to climb Everest is an intrinsically illogical act-- a triumph of desire over sensibility." (Introduction). Check out some other quotes he uses in the book:

The more improbable the situation and the greater the demands made on [the climber], the more sweetly the blood flows later in release from all that tension. --A. Alvarez (95)

But I couldn't say no. For in my heart, I needed to go, and the pull of Everest was stronger for me than any force on earth. --Tenzing Norgay (115)

How much of the appeal of mountaineering lies in its simpllification of interpersonal relationships, its reduction of friendship to smooth interaction (like war), its substitution of an Other (the mountain, the challenge), for the relationship itself? --David Roberts (188)

When I read Roberts' quote and its paralleling of mountaineering to war, I couldn't help but think of that old article in The Sexually Opressed. In the article on asexual women, there was one footnote on asexual men, in which combat, and Vietnam in particular, was called "an escape hatch" for men who "wanted nothing to do with any kind of sex". I found that pretty dern interesting.

Comparing mountaineering to sexuality might seem like a stretch. But if one asexual goal is to broaden the idea of what excites us most, I think the experiences of people like mountainsexuals could be cool to explore. They are also my response to the "You're missing out!" people. Some folks, when confronted with an asexual, suddenly get defensive and make sex out to be the most important thing in the world. But if Mount Everest is what turns your gears beyond all else, who's really going to argue with that? Nikola Tesla, rumored to be ace by some, was probably a mountainsexual too, but with electrical currents instead of peaks.

"All told" (as Krakauer loves to say), I might still be sick, as my brain feels like a Swiss cheese. It might be up to you to decide how much sense this all makes...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

My Face Hurts

Wow, being sick and being in weddings really takes up a lot of time! This weekend was my first time being "in" a wedding. Even though I was a little nervous about properly fulfilling my bridesmaids' duties, I have to say, I was most apprehensive about the bachelorette party. I was prepared to lie my way through "I Never" or something else equally embarrassing, but it was actually quite fun. Going out with a big group of girls is definitely something I don't do enough, and that I miss from college. Even though there were many penis-themed accessories in attendance, that's not nearly enough to make me uncomfortable. And really, at this point in my life, "What do you do?" is a much more terrifying question than "Do you have a boyfriend?" or whatever other love-life inquisitions people could cook up.

Also-- If you're like me and still can't figure out how to watch TV shows illegally online, you may want to know that the second season of Dexter is finally available on DVD. I've seen the first 3 episodes, and it's not giving much away to say that it's already obvious that sex is going to be introduced. Which is fine, but it doesn't seem like the most realistic set-up. Pardon my ignorance, but what are British people doing in Miami?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Scrabble in the Future

I just finished reading The Handmaid's Tale, a really terrifying book about a near-future totalitarian regime in which women are basically slaves and they aren't allowed to read or write. While I've said before that people should be able to separate sex and love, this is a society where that's been done to a ridiculous extreme-- to the point of eliminating love altogether. Yikes! Even though it's scary, it's a great book and I read the whole thing in 2 days, which is very rare for me. It has a lot to say about sexual politics, but after I wrote an entry about asexuals liking Scrabble, I just had to post this quote from the book. In it, the handmaid/narrator is summoned by the master of the household. They're alone together, which is against the law:

What had I been expecting, behind that closed door, the first time? Something unspeakable, down on all fours perhaps, perversions, whips, mutilations? At the very least some minor sexual manipulation, some bygone peccadillo now denied him, prohibited by law and punishable by amputation. To be asked to play Scrabble, instead, as if we were an old married couple, or two children, seemed kinky in the extreme, a violation in its own way.

It's funny how things depend on the situation...and I hope this was a silly-enough silly post!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Famous Aces? Temple Grandin

First of all, thanks to Lia for this idea.

Although she's billed as "arguably the world's most successful woman with autism", I'm not sure how famous Temple Grandin really is. Have you heard of her? One of her claims to fame-- an invention to make cattle less panicked as they're slaughtered-- kind of freaks me out, to be honest. She wrote a book called Animals in Translation that is fairly well-known. Grandin also seems to have done a good deal of writing and speaking on various autistic issues. Thanks to an intrepid reader of this blog, I found a 2-page essay that Grandin wrote for the book Asperger's and Girls. The introduction to her essay claims that "...Temple's story should caution us all against automatically conforming to society's relationship standards." It's all about how she finds her career to be more fulfilling than romantic relationships. It's so short that I'm tempted to scan the whole thing. But that might not be legal, so I'll quote some portions:

I was asked to explain in this paper why I was never interested in dating. During my teenage years I never became boy crazy. My good friend Carol swooned over the Beatles and howled with delight when the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. I thought they were cute, but I did not have the emotional reaction that the other girls had. They were experiencing something I did not experience. (148)

and among other interesting passages:

I have been reasonably happy even though I am totally celibate...My lifestyle is not for everyone with Asperger's. It was easier for me because the brain circuits that made my friend Carol swoon over the Beatles are just not hooked up in me. (150)

It's not clear whether Grandin is actually asexual (ie, "someone who does not experience sexual attraction"), or just finds a lot of things more interesting than sex. After all, there's only so much time in a day. I do think the passages I quoted are fairly apt descriptions of many peoples' asexual experiences. Although it's certainly possible, I'd have a hard time believing that Grandin has never heard the term "asexual". Maybe she just prefers "celibate". But out of all the current potential famous aces, Grandin, from what she's said, sounds the closest to being one of us. It's probably horribly pushy of me, but I do hope she says the word at some point...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants: 2

I just read a really interesting movie review. It's for "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants: 2", a movie I recently saw that's currently in theaters. I enjoyed the first "Sisterhood" movie, but I didn't like the second one as much. Always one to harp on a detail, I was aggravated by the fact that the characters weren't able to voice the words "condom", "period", or, God-forbid, "emergency contraception". It also seemed more unrealistic and choppy than the first film. But Jessica Reaves of the Chicago Tribune says:

In the current popular culture, female friendships—at any age—are generally considered secondary to life's "important" relationships, the romantic bonds between men and women. Nowhere is this depressing trend more evident than in Hollywood, where story lines putatively about women's friendships tend toward the saccharine ("Mona Lisa Smile"), the malicious ("Mean Girls") or the boy-crazy (take your pick). Which is why it's such a pleasure (and a relief) to encounter movies such as " The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2." Like the first "Pants" movie, it presents its heroines' relationships as complicated, challenging and particularly rewarding, and not simply as a vehicle for finding the perfect boyfriend.


Nothing about this movie feels revolutionary, but don't let its easy charm fool you. Like its predecessor, "Sisterhood 2" is based on two radical ideas: namely, that young women's stories are about more than the pursuit of men, and that happiness isn't something someone else gives you—it's something you have to find for yourself.

I find it immensely sad that this is a "radical" idea. I wish I could say with certainty that it's only radical at the box office, but I'm not sure if that's the case. And how radical was it really, when 3 out of the 4 characters have life-changing experiences involving men? In Carmen [America Ferrara]'s storyline, a handsome British boy appears out of the wings of a theater and inspires her to achieve her true potential. As usual, women are steadfast companions, but men are catalysts for change. And that's an old chestnut. Can't we please be radical once we've started being radical?

I remember quoting another blog in my post on buddy movies. The author said that we should go see "Baby Mama", even if we think we'll hate the movie, because we need to show Hollywood that female-fronted films can make money.
But I'm conflicted about the idea of sacrificing $10.50 for a movie I may not enjoy, or telling others to do so. I want to see more movies like "Sisterhood", but if a movie doesn't "feel revolutionary", is anyone (besides chronic overthinkers) going to get that it is?

And in other pseudo-news, happy belated birthday to Asexy Beast! I started this blog on August 11th, 2007. Thank you all so much for coming this far with keep reading, and I'll keep writing! (And of course, it works the other way, too. I'm nothing short of thrilled to be reading so many fellow asexy blogs. Keep writing!)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sense and Sensitivity

Every time we kiss, it's like an inside joke I always miss.
--Black Kids, "I've Underestimated My Charm (Again)"

One of Willendork's recent posts has inspired me to make my own post about asexuality and autism. Hopefully it will be illuminating. If you're looking for an epic post, you've got it. But never fear, pop culture will return very shortly.

The reason why I'm interested in the topic (and would like to think I have special insight into it) is because I'm on the autistic spectrum myself. I'm not sure how to write persuasively about autistic issues without telling you this. Much like ye olde spectrum of sexuality, the autistic spectrum (I've heard it called a "nebula", which is pretty apt) covers an extremely wide range of people. There are those with Asperger's or Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NLD) who can pass for normal, and there are those with "classic" autism who are nonverbal or have a hard time doing most things independently. I feel weird calling myself autistic, since the world usually connotes a person that I don't really resemble. But I do have a diagnosis (NLD) that places me there, whether it sounds good or not. I was in denial for years about being "different" in this way. Maybe that's why I came around to asexuality rather quickly; I had already resigned myself to being "different" by that time. I think I've "come out" as autistic twice in my life. (Now I guess I'm coming out to everyone, which is pretty scary!) I hardly ever do it because it's 100 times harder to explain than asexuality. For instance, I've only met one other person with an NLD diagnosis in my life. Like asexuality, most professionals are still in the dark ages when it comes to the autistic spectrum, let alone laypeople.

Defining the terms for this post is difficult. But for the sake of manufactured simplicity, I'm going to call everyone on the autistic spectrum, including myself, "autistic", even though they might refer to themselves as being Aspies (people with Aspergers) or something else. Now, here are some statements:
-Most asexual people are neurotypical (NT; not autistic)
-Many if not most autistic people are sexual
-But there is a significant number of autistic asexuals. Very relevant linkage:
the Tantra, Intimacy, and Asperger's Syndrome Project did a survey in which 8% of the respondents identified their orientation as asexual. Also, check out this poll on, a forum for autistic folks. 30% of the women surveyed "feel asexual all the time" and 52% more "feel asexual sometimes". In an AVEN survey, 8% of asexuals respondants had been officially diagnosed with Asperger's. (I've been told that the number of Aspies is about 1% of the general population.) 8% more of the respondents were self-diagnosed, and those people are usually found to be correct. All things considered, these are very large numbers.

I think it's interesting that there are many facets of autism that might increase the likelihood of one's asexuality. However, autism cannot be the cause, because asexual autistics are still in the minority. But it's interesting to note some features of autism that might make people averse to being sexual:

-A dislike of touch. Many autistic folks don't like to be touched at all, and some only like to be touched in certain ways (for example, they can tolerate pressured touch but not light touch).
-Most autistic people also have a hypersensitivity across all or some of their senses. This includes touch. Many sensations that are un-noticable to NTs will drive autistics crazy.
-Autistic people generally have little understanding and instinct towards nonverbal communication. Sex, as far as I can tell, is primarily nonverbal. We often don't understand social rituals like dating or flirting. We often can't tell if someone is interested in or attracted to us.
-Add that to the daily difficulty that most autistics experience securing their basic needs, and sex might start to seem like more trouble than it's worth.

But this whole exploration hinges on the way you view autism. If you view autism as a disease, then the idea that it could influence an orientation is bizarre at best and reflects poorly on all of us. But many people, including myself, don't think autism is a disease-- it's just a brain working in a very different way. It's a disability only because autistics live in a world that is at constant odds with the way our brains work. Add that to the fact that autism can give you strengths, like focus, attention to detail, verbal skill, logic, and creativity. Autistic people can "think outside the box" like none other, but we usually aren't welcomed into the box to begin with.

I think asexuals might be hesitant to discuss autism, because of Joy Davidson's (and presumably, others') claims that "we all just have Asperger's." What's implicit here is that if you have Asperger's, you should just be quiet and go away. As if by calling people autistic, you could shut them up. Statements like that are only persuasive if you have no idea what Asperger's is. If you do know, it's utterly ridiculous and completely undercuts whatever credibility she had. There's also the whole issue of "desexualizing people with disabilities". But something like blindless or paralysis lacks the cognitive features that autism has. Physical disabilities may not affect your personality much, whereas autism can't be divorced from it. But sexualizing disabled people makes just as little sense as desexualizing them. A presumed heterosexuality should not be projected onto disabled people; I feel that does more harm than good.

Autistic people also need to discuss asexuality. Lots of autistics have no idea what asexuality is, and I've heard many misconceptions and damaging statements about asexuality from autistic people. I'm shocked at some of the ignorance I see on Wrongplanet, the same forum where a huge percentage of women said they felt asexual. Maybe it's a case of disenfranchised people trying to feel better than others, but I've never understood the logic of that.

I'm not sure how to end this, except to say that I hope I clarified the asexuality/autism connection a little. I think that our struggles, like most struggles, connect and relate. We seem to be at similar stages in our movements, and could learn a lot from one another. Let's face it, the world doesn't really understand asexuality or autism either, yet. So it would behoove neuroqueers and regular queers to stick together. Is that such a crazy idea?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Paranoid Ilyoid

Also sort of related to the Tyra show:

Filming for "Asexuality, the Making of a Movement" is apparently ongoing. I was recently asked if I wanted to appear in some footage with David about the pros and cons of asexual exposure (har, har) in the media. For a day or so, I thought about how I was going to reply to the e-mail. Then David called me, and I was all, "Ehn...errr....ahhh..."

I said before that I didn't want to be in the movie anymore, but I feel kind of like an idiot not being willing to back up my views in person. I communicate best by writing, but it's powerful to have a face attached to a voice. I'm guessing that David doesn't want to be seen to be the only asexual in San Francisco, and without me in the film, it'll probably seem that way.

But visibility can bring up interesting questions about personal boundaries. I'm a very paranoid person and at this point in my life, my confidence is low. If I didn't have some photography experience myself, I'd probably still be thinking that the camera was a soul-stealing device. Maybe there's a reason I majored in theater instead of film. I love movies, and it's tempting to be involved in them. But saying lines is very different from representing your own personal beliefs. And since I do that so much better in writing, I can be unwilling to do anything different. I wouldn't call myself a control freak by any means, but I'm afraid of representations of myself that I can't control. While a movie would probably reach more new people than this blog, I'm uncomfortable with the risk. I suppose perfectionism rears its head in all sorts of places...

Friday, August 8, 2008

News: Tyra Banks Show?

I learned from the Announcements section of AVEN that the Tyra Banks Show (that's a daytime talk show headed by that lady from America's Next Top Model) wants to do a feature on asexuality.

My immediate gut reaction was, "NOOO, MONTEL! NOOO!"

But my eternally hopeful self is thinking that maybe this won't be so bad. Although I've always found Tyra kind of forced as a host, her show did win an Emmy this year. She's had shows dealing with race that seem fairly controversial for daytime TV, and I respect her for doing that. She also did a show (although I didn't see it) about transwomen that was sympathetic. However, the transwomen profiled were from the film Trantasia, in which these women are competing in a pageant in order to get a gig as a Vegas showgirl. So while Tyra may have been supportive of these particular outsiders, they come from a common background of participation in entertainment sold by beauty and sex appeal. Modeling, which was and is Tyra's major avocation, is all about using sexuality to enhance the image of products. Will she really relate to people who eschew sex althogether?

Maybe I'm overemphasizing Tyra's involvement in this, and she's just reading cue cards written by a crack team of Anthony Bogaert's research minions. I really don't know, and I remain highly skeptical of any publicity that isn't controlled by asexuals themselves. I think that we have to be careful of letting people with no stake in our issues write our stories, which is why I'm adamant about generating all this content here.

If it hasn't become painfully apparent, I'm not a member of the "any press is good press" school. But if a major TV show wants to cover you, how are you supposed to say "no" without looking like you're afraid or have nothing to talk about? And even though we've gotten national press, most people still have no idea what asexuality is (or worse, they have major misconceptions). Would it even be wise to say no? Mass media is the best way to educate large numbers of people quickly-- if it's done right. Once we're known, we can't be unknown. But myths and stereotypes seem harder to undo than blank slates. If the only thing you knew about asexuality was the Montel show, would you have a negative impression? I honestly can't say, because I can't imagine not knowing what I now know. But I'm pretty sure it would leave you with more questions than answers.

So, what do you think? Will Tyra's attempt be better than others have been?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Revenge of the Finger-Guns

Body image as it relates to asexuality is something I've been meaning to write about for a while. It's something I'd be fascinated to see a study about, but I can't expect that to happen any time soon. As far as my own situation is concerned, I've noticed that in addition to an uncommon sexuality, I also have an uncommon body image. While I'm not exactly making finger-guns every morning in the mirror, I've realized that my body image is much more neutral than many of my peers' seem to be. In fact, I rarely think about my body at all, except when I'm pushing it's limits, such as trying to run more than a quarter-mile at one time. While I'm generally at peace with my body, I don't like to "flaunt it". I always enjoy compliments about what I'm wearing, but I'm uncomfortable exposing the body underneath. When most of my friends would wear heels and miniskirts to clubs, I would wear jeans and sneakers; who was I trying to attract, anyway? (Besides, when you're 5'4", everything's at least to your knees.) I don't care if people think I'm sexy or if they approve of my body. I've been told by many women that one reason why they seek sexual relationships is because it makes them "feel sexy" or "feel beautiful". But I've never understood what's so desirable about "feeling sexy" in the first place. I feel like I can look good whether anyone else notices or not.

And I wonder why this is. Sure, it could be because I'm asexual, and I'm not trying to reel people in with my abs of steel. But it could also be that body issues are just one of those randomly-distributed neurosis that I just happened not to get. Maybe it's because when that woman on television tells me about my "unsightly body fat", I am offended instead of in agreement. Maybe I've just accepted the fact that no matter how little I eat, I'll never have a "perfect" body, and learning to appreciate my given body is cheaper than liposuction. At a size 12, I'm a few inches past the ability to discuss your body problems in public; that's an opportunity usually reserved for the very thin. Since I've been the same size since I was in middle school, maybe I just got out of practice lamenting my body. So, there could be many reasons for my body positivity (or perhaps, indifference). However, a perusal of AVEN will show that there are many aces who aren't satisfied with the way they look. In many cases, it seems like people would like to look more androgynous, and I've heard women comment that they don't like their breasts. (If you're not planning on ever having biological kids, what's the point?) Or people would like to look plainer, so they don't attract sexual attention from people (would it be insensitive to wish I had this problem?). So I would theorize that while aces are by no means immune to body issues, ours tend to be different from what the mainstream might worry about.

If this wasn't enough body talk for you, Glad to Be A has written an interesting recent post on the topic...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Touching You, Appropriately

Go here to watch the latest installment of Shortland Street. In it, Gerald tells us that he wasn't abused, he's happy being himself, and that it's tough noogies if you don't like it. Rage on, my man! He vehemently tells his parents something like, "I'm not the only one! There's hordes of us!", and that just made me smile. (It's so bizarre how something you know well yourself becomes revalotory when you hear someone else saying it.) What a great thing for the younguns to hear, right?

Also, I finally set up the August meetup. I feel bad that it's so late. I decided that because of the delay, I would try to get over the (self-imposed) pressure to create a novel activity, and just meet at the 3 Dollar Bill like we've done in the past a few times. They have the world's most amazing french toast, so really, how wrong could you go? It'll be August 16, Saturday, at 4pm. However, you get two meetups for the price of one; September's is going to be on the 6th (or 7th?) It will definitely be one of those.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Things Asexuals Like: Teetotaling

According to an unscientific poll, 53% of the AVEN population doesn't drink alcohol. Even though there are many underage folks on AVEN, I still found this surprising. Much like Scrabble, I am yet again an exception to things that asexuals like. Although I do drink, I was often the token sober person on many a college party-going excursion. We all know that alcohol lowers your inhibitions, and maybe aces are wise to the fact that most of us have inhibitions for a reason. It's odd that a malty beverage could be so closely related to sex, but it is. I remember someone telling me once, with some awe, that they had "sober sex" last night, with the implication being that they mostly had drunk sex. And I don't think that's too uncommon. In "He's Just Not That Into You", there's a whole chapter about men who will only have sex with you when drunk (if you were wondering, they're actually not that into you). However, drinking 'til she's cute is usually a lost cause for asexuals. I'm probably not alone among asexuals when I admit that my stomach gives out before those pesky "inhibitions" do. Unlike some sexual people, my "drunk enough to make out with you" threshold is probably a few sips away from alcohol poisining.

[Above: Most aces probably aren't, although I personally can't think of anything better than a Guinness AND a tortoise...]

Why do I bother drinking at all? Probably because it's the one thing I can do. I'm not going to get my kicks from having sex with random, inappropriate people. Drugs are for people with better networking skills, cigarettes are too expensive, I'm scared of heights, and I'm not aware of the existance of a fight club. So an innocent beer it is! Now, don't get the impression that aces are somehow not as fun as other people just because we're unlikely to lead a rousing chorus of "Don't Stop Believing" at your local bar. We may not be big drinkers, but we can still freebase cocaine with the best of them.