Friday, May 29, 2009

The Fantasy of Being...

"You all might be happy being asexual, but I hate it! I want to change!"

I've seen this statement countless times on AVEN over the years. And I'm never sure how to respond. Where are people getting these ideas: That we're all happy (despite how we may look in the media, a quick perusal of AVEN's "Musings and Rantings" section will prove that wrong), or that being asexual can be changed? Is it not obvious that asexuality is pretty much impossible to change by force of will? And why does it seem so taboo to tell these people to get over it?

As always, there's the definite possibility that I just take things too literally.

Interestingly, if you look on Wrongplanet, the autism-related forum I mentioned in an earlier post, you'll see the same thing:

"You all might be happy having Asperger's/autism, but I hate it! I want to be cured!"

Some people definitely have the impression that if they were neurotypical (NT, not autistic) all their problems would somehow be solved. Sure, all their autistic problems would be solved, but then they'd have new problems. And at least autistic problems come with benefits, like the focus and creative thinking you might need in order to solve them. These aforementioned asexual people seem to have the same fantasy with a different name-- being sexual would solve your asexual problems, but then you'd have new problems. Some people on Wrong Planet had these things to say to someone who wanted a "cure" for AS, Asperger's Syndrome:

"I think you overestimate the happiness of NTs."

"...They don't recognise that normal behaviour for [someone with] AS is AS behaviour. They consider normal to be NT normal."

"Would it surprise you to know that most NT women your age don't want to be who they are, either? It is true. Young women, in general, lack a positive sense of self.
I might suggest your issue is more the pressures and unrealistic expectations put on young women in this world, than your AS."

"I find the AS bright sides a little forced (and false) too, but it's better to reconcile yourself with yourself than keep waiting for a cure which is never going to come..."

I'm a big fan of cross-pollination (bzzz), and responses to similarly different situations can be used for fresh perspective. I think that being on the autistic spectrum has made it (relatively) easier for me to accept asexuality...I was "abnormal" to begin with, so what was one more thing? I knew the fantasy of being normal was something I had to give up and not regret losing. I think "You overestimate the happiness of NTs" is my favorite response, because as asexuals, we are constantly overestimating the relationship acumen of sexual people. Now, I don't mean this as a jibe at anyone, I only mean: If being more sexual, and that alone, could save your relationship, then why do people at all points on the sexual spectrum have relationship problems? Sexual compatibility doesn't guarantee anything.

This all reminds me of “The Fantasy of Being Thin", a now-classic blog post (as far as blog posts can become classic) by Kate Harding. It’s about how rather than holding out for the day when you will (probably not) become thin, you should accept your body as it is right now. If you did lose weight, Harding says, you wouldn’t be any more adventurous, happier, or sexier than you are now. You’ll still be you. The fantasy of being sexual is really the same as the fantasy of being thin or being neurotypical (Or being popular, rich, powerful, or whatever). I suppose we all have our fantasy of being something else...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sex on Fire!

The blog Feministing used to do a feature called "Feminist Guilty Pleasures", where they discussed such topics as gangsta rap and Easy-Bake Ovens. I thought about doing a similar series on "Asexual Guilty Pleasures", but I'm not too big on the concept of guilt. And the only real reason to be guilty about the song that inspired this post, the Kings of Leon's "Sex on Fire", is because it's a song people have actually heard of (har, har). I just love this song though, I could probably listen to it about 10 times in a row. My all-time favorite song about sex, however, is probably Prince's "Little Red Corvette". Apparently Pixies' "Gigantic", another great song, is about sex, but I can't understand most of the lyrics, so I personally can't say. Some songs about sex and romance I really love, and others are unbearably corny or squicky to me. It's all in the execution.

I'm trying to think of more "asexual guilty pleasures", which I suppose are things that people might not think you'd like, being asexual and all, but you do anyway...anyone want to jump in with theirs?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

At SF Popfest...

...Reminded of the time I had a crush on a guy (who I really didn't like at all) for 5 minutes while looking through his iTunes library.

(Sweet, an excuse to use the "cute swedish boys" tag again! And yep, I told you May posts would be short...)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary, "compassion" means "sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it". I'm mentioning it because it may come in handy when reading the following quote, from Miriam Greenspan's Healing Through the Dark Emotions:

Many spiritual traditions speak of a larger sense of Self connected to the Divine. We can realize this Self as we grow in compassion through the alchemy of the dark emotions. This self sees the larger picture and knows that compassion, the highest form of love, is the greatest healing balm for universal suffering. This kind of love is the Divine at work in the lives of humanity. Compassion is the gold in the accumulated sludge of humankind's sorrows. It is the best medicine for what ails the human family. (241, emphasis mine)

Now, this seemed asexually relevant because most asexuals will, at some point, run into some person who will say that we're missing out on the "ultimate expression of love" (ie, sex) and therefore are not quite fully evolved. I always thought this was pretty ridiculous, because aren't there as many expressions of love as there are people? Anyway, I thought it was refreshing to come across these thoughts on compassion; now you have a renowned psychotherapist backing you up against those "supreme act of love" people. And goodness knows compassion is what the world needs more of (although I'll settle for making love and not war).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

"Throw Down an Ace!"

Meetup was today! 5 of us met at the Dolores Park Cafe. It was a relatively hot day for San Francisco, so we enjoyed the lemonade, smoothies, and enormous fan. We also managed to get "the big table", which is always an accomplishment for any group. I gave out the prizes I'd promised, which were "Ace" energy drinks, and we talked Pride Parade banner designs. Then, we had some action of the negative variety, where one of our bunch suffered a fall on the slippery floor and ended up with a sprain. Hoping to have better luck elsewhere, we went over to Dolores Park, where we found we were all "equally talented" at frisbee. Then we walked down Valencia Street and looked in the Good Vibrations store ("This would be a good thing to report on later.") We learned there is actually a vibrator that syncs to your iPod. We ended the day with Indian ice cream and more conversation, this time about such topics as college theses, polyamory, and travel. Apparently, Norway shuts down early.

See you all in June for Pride and related festivities!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Optimism from an Economic Casualty

After my sad story about being kicked out of my house by a crazyperson, I think it's time for a spot of optimism, don't you? Here's some great things about living with my mom and sister:
  • Best of all, to live with people who love me! Okay, it's a little corny, but I love my family and get along with them most of the time. Even if I annoy them, they're genetically programmed not to kill me, which is nice.

  • My own bathroom. BOOYAH.

  • Modern conveniences previously unseen in San Francisco, such as a dishwasher and more than one power outlet in my room.

  • My very own brand-new (okay, 1995) car!

  • Proximity to some cool places, like Target and Yumi Yogurt, and a park that is, apparently, serviced by an honest-to-goodness ice cream truck.

  • Flatter land, enabling easier bicycling.

  • The possibility that my mom will actually feed me sometimes, so I don't have to constantly be wondering what I'm going to eat.

Hmm, I may not want to ever leave...

Monday, May 11, 2009

This Bed's Too Big Without You

As I write this, it's 3:28 am and, always the insomniac, I just can't get to sleep. Earlier in the night, as I was lying in bed staring at the ceiling, I had the idea of writing a blog post about...beds. We'll see if it actually turns out to be an interesting topic. Here goes:

I find it funny how discussions of beds usually have sexual innuendo (did you ever do that thing with your fortune cookies where you added "in bed" to all your fortunes, and it was amusing for some reason?). Call me kinky, but I've never understood the connection between sex and beds. I know that sounds like a bizarre statement, but since a lot of our pop culture seems to involve people rolling around on beds, it seems oddly relevant. I don't want to get too graphic, but trying to move around in any intentional way on the mushy surface of a bed sounds like way more trouble than it's worth to me. If that's not a "You know you're asexual when...", then I don't know what is.

One indicator that I'm not getting any might be the fact that I've always had a tiny twin bed that more than one person would struggle to fit into. Sure, I would like a more luxurious model. But my bedroom has always been too small, and in one case has been an actual closet. The idea of sharing a bed with someone makes the idea of sleep sound even more elusive. And the idea of sharing a twin bed, which I know people do, is something I would just dread. I can handle it for a night or two, but if I ever dated anyone, they would have to understand the fact that I wouldn't want to sleep in the same bed as them all the time. I know I'm hypersensitive, but my bedroom is one of the few environments that I can usually control.

Bed, for me, mostly means the place where sleep evades me. I try to do what the experts say: Not using the computer or exercising late at night, not eating right before bed, not using my bed for other activities (doesn't sex count as another activity?), drinking herbal tea, reading dense and/or boring books (I minored in religious studies) etc. Someone recently told me that even if I was attracted to more people, it would be hard to think about things like romantic relationships when I'm so tired most of the time. To some, my lack of a sex drive might be cause for concern. But to me, my lack of energy and trouble sleeping is my number one medical mystery.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Anatomy of a Fool

So, I thought I'd provide a nice little arc and write about the conclusion of my thanks-to-Craigslist living situation. I sort of got kicked out of the house at the end of April, when the guy who's been living there the longest said that he wanted the rest of us to leave and his friends to move in. Maybe that was for the best, since I wasn't crazy about living there anyway. So, I'll be moving in with my mom and sister this month. (I remember multiple people telling me before that living with family as an adult is a great unsung option, and now I get to see for myself. Maybe all this pressure to live away from your family is just "the man" trying to get you to work more and spend more money, so living with family is actually pretty radical?) Anyway, this would all work out somewhat fine, if not for the fact that the first housemate apparently stole our security deposits to pay his own rent, and the landlord is just as flaky as he is. I really want to see that money again, but maybe, as a person who isn't motivated by money, money really isn't attracted to me, either. That really seems to be the case.

This was an extremely expensive, extremely annoying lesson that is going to make me paranoid about people I don't know for quite some time. Sorry to be a total downer, but I'm not sure what else to say.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

You Don't Have to be Pretty

May is, sadly, turning out to be an unusually hectic month for me. I'll still post on my schedule, but the posts will probably be shorter until June. Anyway, I'd wanted to share this blog post, called "You Don't Have to be Pretty" for a long time now. Since we were talking about beauty recently, now seems as good a time as any. Sometimes I do feel like I'm not doing my proper duty as a young woman by not trying to be sexy. But, I think that's just one more gift of the asexual community. No one, regardless of orientation, has to be sexy, unless they want to be. Hey hey! So, how do your favorite outfits make you feel?

The "You Don't Have to be Pretty" post also reminds me of an awesome poem called "God Says Yes to Me", which, according to my mom, every girl should read. Guys, you'll like it, too.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Call It Ours

I totally adore this song, "Call it Ours" by the Legends. Guess where they're from? Sweden. Yeah, these Swedish people and their ace, ace (as the Europeans say) indiepop, how do they do it? Anyway, these are the only lyrics I can understand: "We could have whatever we need/ We could call it ours." Not a lot, but they still encapsulate the way I'd like to think about relationships.