Thoughts and musings of an asexual violin lover who has a passion for Victoriana, Britain, and all loverly awesome things, including Sherlock Holmes and Benedict Cumberbatch.
My 30 Day Asexual Challenge
My massive Sherlock fanfic, A Scandal in Britain
Finishing this up finally… Going to put a link to this in my side-bar so it doesn’t get lost in my avalanche of Sherlock quotes and pretty Victorian ladies!
25. What is the worst argument you’ve heard against asexuality?
I haven’t really heard an argument against asexuality, per se. It’s more people wondering if you are a repressed homosexual, were abused as a kid, are frigid, or whatever. Sometimes I wonder if asexuality were more visible, if one of the most popular arguments against homosexuality - people can’t reproduce in same-sex romantic relationships; therefore, they’re unnatural - would also apply to asexuality. If we don’t reproduce in our romantic relationships, does that mean ours are unnatural, too? Maybe if more people took asexuality seriously, they’d then realize that argument against homosexuality is a load of bollocks. Because they can’t say it doesn’t apply to gay people and not to aces, too. But on second thought I guess it probably wouldn’t change their minds, because those same people don’t have a problem with post-menopausal women dating. Well, whatever. You can’t argue with illogical thoughts…
26. Who is your biggest ally?
27. What is your favorite types of cake?
Death by chocolate cake is always nice.
28. What is your favorite type of pie? (Or, is pie an acceptable replacement for cake?)
Don’t really have a favorite type of pie…
29. Where did you first learn about asexuality?
I already answered this. I think this questionnaire is kinda running out of steam. Anyway, it was via a Google search and then AVEN.
30. Tell us anything about asexuality that you want to end with.
Asexuals have nothing to be ashamed about. We are not immature. We are not freaks. We are not defective. We’re human beings, and therefore worthy of respect and honor and love. If you find yourself dreaming of someday finding someone to share your life with…don’t ever close off that door; remember that stranger relationships and stranger things have happened. I also think it’s important to embrace the possibility that someday you may find yourself dropping the asexual label and embracing a new one. Maybe someday you’ll find yourself identifying as demisexual. Maybe someday you’ll find yourself identifying as gay. Maybe someday you’ll find yourself identifying as straight. And you know what? That will be okay. There are no boxes. Labels are merely conveniences, tools to help you as you travel along on the road to self-awareness, acceptance, and love.
My final bit of advice is to hang out on Tumblr, watch Sherlock, and have some fun.
16. Your favorite “asexual” book (as in, sex and/or romance are not the main focus).
Probably The Complete Sherlock Holmes. I never realized this before, but sex and romance are hugely important parts of all of my other favorite books. Services for weddings are even included in the Book of Common Prayer. Hmm.
17. Your favorite “asexual” movie.
There are asexual movies…? Um…
*comes up with absolutely nothing*
18. Tell us a funny joke about asexuality.
*googles asexual jokes*
*finds none of them very funny*
I’m not the world’s biggest Steve Thompson fan (SOO-LIN. LIVED ABOVE. THE DROP-POINT. OF THE ORGANIZATION. SHE WAS. TRYING. DESPERATELY. TO ESCAPE. THE F*CK), but this exchange is pretty awesome…
Sherlock: I need to get some air. We’re going out tonight.
John: Actually I’ve got a date.
John: It’s where two people who like each other go out and have fun.
Sherlock (puzzled): That’s what I was suggesting.
Does that qualify as a joke? No?
19. What do relationships mean to you?
(Are we talking about romantic relationships?) I’m only just beginning to learn. I used to think that relationships automatically meant sex and that therefore I was doomed to never have one. But thanks to the Internet I’m starting to see that’s a narrow vision. I’m totally open to having a boyfriend or girlfriend now because I’m realizing that there are people out there who also don’t want sex. I’ll just somehow have to A) find them, and then B) actually like them. Tall order, but whatever.
20. Tell us about your partner(s). If you are not in a relationship, tell us about your best friend(s).
My partner is Benedict Cumberbatch. You may or may not have heard of him, he’s an up-and-coming British actor…? We’re very happy with each other.
Probably because he doesn’t know I exist.
21. Your favorite asexual quote.
Once a long long time ago I met a psychic. She was a very interesting lady; she was definitely tapped into something, although I’m not quite sure what exactly that something was. Without knowing anything about me, she told me that it was of vital importance that I write every day. At the time I was in the middle of a personal crisis about whether I should continue writing professionally or not, and she was 100% right. She also told me that I would be alone but never lonely. This was way back before I knew about asexuality, back when I just assumed it would take a particular person for me to find someone attractive. I don’t know if that’s what she meant, but… Anyway, point of that story being, I rather like the phrase “alone but never lonely.” There’s a kind of poetry in it.
10. What have other people said about your asexuality?
Nobody really knows about it… I’ve only come out to one person who I didn’t know would react. (See following!) :D
11. If you’re out, talk about the most accepting person you’ve come out to. If you’re not out, talk about what you would hope a coming out experience would be like.
I already basically told the story here. Oh, dear anonymous gay guy, you were sweet to me. Thank you. It was a simple thing on your part, but geez it meant a lot to me anyway. May you find the partner of your dreams, if you so desire him. Actually, may you find the husband of your dreams. And if you’re too tired or bored to look…I’m single and asexually-ready-to-mingle! ;)
12. Your favorite asexual Tumblr site.
Um, I don’t really follow too many. Asexy Quotes is certainly interesting, though. And it seems like a lot of the Sherlock tumblrs I like are run by asexuals or demisexuals or pansexuals or [fill-in-the-blank]sexuals. Don’t know if it’s Tumblr that attracts them, or Sherlock. Maybe both.
13. Your favorite asexual website.
Um, I guess AVEN because it was the one that first taught me the basics about asexuality? I don’t really visit it all that often though.
14. Tell us about a time you met another asexual, whether in real life or online.
I wish I could meet another asexual in real life! Um, haven’t really met any online, either. So if you are one, feel free to say hi in my ask box so I can edit this question and describe our awesome meeting! ;)
15. Your favorite asexual character/celebrity/person.
Sherlock Holmes. And there are asexual celebrities? Really? :/
7) Who’s your favorite Doctor? Or do you have a favorite asexual character?
I don’t watch Doctor Who because I know I’d get addicted to it, and to be honest I waste too much time on the Sherlock fandom as it is, so yeah. I’ve drawn a line in the sand, and Doctor Who is on the other side of that line and therefore forbidden to me. So my favorite asexual character? Sherlock Holmes, duh. I loved him from the first time I read him at the age of eleven. I didn’t really start seriously thinking about Holmes as being asexual until contemporary BBC Sherlock came out. And then people started throwing around the word “asexual” to describe him and I got kind of giddy. We have a well-rounded character who doesn’t need sex to survive and prosper! Weeeee! I know some people have said “I don’t like the fact that his asexuality is linked to his being so screwed up and damaged and unable to love,” etc., etc., and yeah, I can understand and respect that viewpoint. But personally I think his asexuality is a totally separate issue, that he’d still be messed up if he was gay or straight. Let me put it this way: I don’t think the writers meant for his asexuality to be perceived as the cause of his (supposed) heartlessness, and any viewer who thinks so hasn’t delved deep enough into the character. I think his brilliance and his uniqueness and his independence, and very possibly his dysfunctional upbringing, are much bigger contributors to that than his asexuality (or demisexuality). I suppose people are still going to say “but it’s the principal of the thing, I’m just tired of seeing asexuals portrayed as screwed up!” But in this show, I don’t know what Moftiss could have done much differently; they had to stick somewhat close to Doyle’s original. They’re not writing an asexual character; they’re writing Doyle’s character, who incidentally happens to be asexual. For me, all the worry about the principal of the thing goes out the window when I see a well-rounded non-dorky asexual. I’m just so happy to see one. And I’m sure that eventually someday in some show we’ll get a portrayal of a character who can love freely and who treasures human connection, who is asexual, too.
8) Do you believe there should be asexual pride?
Let me say this: I believe there should be a total lack of asexual shame. We are not damaged. We are not immature. We are not missing out. The thought we put into discovering our sexuality should not be dismissed or belittled. Ever. But I get uncomfortable with the word pride. It insinuates that one sexuality is better than another. And that obviously isn’t true.
9) What does being asexual mean to you?
Geez, this is an open-ended question. Umm…. For me one thing in particular sticks out: it means having to uncover new societal scaffolding to build certain kinds of relationships on, because if I show an interest in another person’s personality or soul (ESPECIALLY if it’s someone of the opposite gender), I’m painfully aware that s/he’s going to assume I’m interested in him/her sexually and just….argh, no no NO. At the same time, you don’t want to come out too early, say a couple of weeks into the relationship, and say “hey, it might seem like I’m crushing on you, but actually I’m asexual and have no desire to ever have sex with you! just so we’re clear on that!” I’ve never tried that tack, but I can only assume it would be met with this expression: O_O So anyway, being asexual means treading in new relationship territory and striking out on our own paths. Most people have scripts to follow in their romantic relationships: they see someone they find attractive, they develop a crush, they read their prospective mate’s social cues to see if they’re interested in them, they flirt, they go out on a date. All of this preliminary stuff is laid rather neatly out for them, even if it gets more complicated later on. But romantic asexuals don’t have a script like that. We’re on our own. When do we bring up our sexuality? Do we hint at it first (“I consider myself married to my work”)? Do we need to constantly monitor ourselves to make sure we’re not flirting, or is some flirting okay? Do we just assume that all sexuals won’t be interested in us because we’re not interested in them sexually? There are lots of questions, and it’s very confusing. As if the subject of human relationships wasn’t complicated enough!
Onward with installment 2 of this challenge…
4) Do you identify as a part of the queer community? What communities do you identify with?
For a variety of reasons, I live a pretty insular life. So insular that I don’t even know the technical definition of a queer community (if there even is a definition). I also know that some asexuals don’t feel welcome there, so… No, I don’t identify with the queer community. Although I’m passionate about gay and lesbian and transgender rights and all that kind of thing, even if sometimes I don’t know the correct terminology to use. (But I’m learning!)
I don’t feel like I’m a part of any community. I’ve never signed up with AVEN, it’s a bit too big for my tastes, although I do glance through the boards occasionally. I hope eventually to be in an actual metro area when I can hopefully reach out to other aces. That would be lovely.
I’m part of the Sherlock community. If that counts. lol
5) Tell the story of the first person you came out to.
I don’t even remember who I came out to first! I had floated the idea with my mom before I actually knew there really was such a thing as asexuality, so when I finally did find out asexuality was real, it wasn’t like this huge bombshell for her. Besides, she’s so accepting and loving, it wasn’t a particularly big deal for either of us. She went through a short time when she said she’d miss the grandkids, but I’m totally open to adopting in the future, and now she’s fine with that. She knows I couldn’t handle being pregnant without going crazy. Heck, I can hardly stand the periods. Nine months of my body doing crazy shit, capped off with the worst pain of my life…yeah. Couldn’t handle that.
The first friend I told who-I-didn’t-know-how-he’d-react was actually super sweet about it. I was so relieved. To feel that kind of acceptance made me want to cry a bit. It’s definitely given me the courage to come out to others down the road. He’s a gay guy who embraces his orientation and isn’t ashamed of it one bit, but who is also perpetually single. (Which is interesting to me…eventually when the time is right, I’d love to have a conversation with him about that. Does he want to date but feels insecure about himself? Or is it that few guys are actually attractive to him? Is he demi? Maybe it’s too personal a topic, but it interests me, and I’m not going to judge. I just feel a writerly curiosity about what makes people tick.) His life experience probably has something to do with his openness to asexuality.
I mentioned to my grandmother once casually that I was never getting married. (We have the kind of relationship that that’s the closest I’m ever going to get to coming out to her.) She stared at me and said, “Oh, yes, you will,” and I said, “Actually, no, I’m not,” and she said, “Yes, you will” and I just sighed and dropped it. That ruffled her feathers, that I would be so positive about something like that. I wonder if she thinks I’m a lesbian. She was married at my age. I haven’t even gone on a date.
6) Have you faced oppression because of your asexuality, whether institutional or societal?
People thinking you’re a nerd, bookish, inept, immature (that’s a big one), defective, kooky, damaged, abused, repressed, prudish… That kind of thing. It’s not really oppression, though, IMO. People aren’t going to shoot me and drag my body around behind a truck just because I’m ace. (I don’t think.)