Apparently, there was a very symmetrical intern with blue eyes helping out at our lab this morning and I completely didn't notice. I did notice that he was wearing an interestingly patterned blue shirt. In some ways, this helps reaffirm my asexuality. I had one of those, "I really am different from others" moments. But, perhaps I'm just oblivious. Or maybe I'm a repressed lesbian (as asexuals are often accused of)? I don't think so. I'm not certain yet. But, I'm pretty sure not. I do think the female form is more interesting - less straight lines, more curves. More interesting physiology (literally, pregnancy is weird). However, I tend to prefer men socially (less games to play). I love a good conversation with anybody though. I dunno, musings for today.
P.S. Finals approaching, so posting less often!
Saturday, November 19, 2011
First off, the book is a science fiction novel. But, for those of you who don’t like science fiction, LeGuin mostly uses science fiction as a way to examine people and our relationships. She uses fantastical locations and biology to shed light on who we are as humans. In this book, the entire population of the planet Winter are androgynous. They only engage in sex at specific times, like estrus (menstruation) in women, called kemmer. So, yes, it has a sexual component. But, I think it still has value to our community. Anyway, you can become (i.e. physically transform) either male or female during kemmer and usually people alternate or change genders each time. So, when our main character arrives on the planet (a normal earth male). He is considered by the inhabitants to be a complete pervert, staying in the male sexual state all the time. I just think it is a really interesting and thought-provoking concept. It also brings up issues that our community has to deal with all the time, such as being considered deviations from the “normal” (although almost in reverse) and the “perverse and often baffling” fluidity of our sexuality or lack there of.
Even before you get to the bulk of the novel, my edition of the book has a forward from the author. She states that while she doesn’t predict everyone will become androgynous or that we all ought to be androgrynous, but that “I’m merely observing, in the peculiar, devious, and thought-experimental manner proper to science fiction, that if you look at us at certain odd times of day in certain weathers, we already are.” I think that’s how I’ve come to view a lot of people in my life now. There are heterosexual “women” who are more like heterosexual “men” are supposed to be in the relationship and vice versa. I have a female friend who is dragged to romantic comedies with her husband all the time. I have a male friend, who calls me up just to talk (he does this to everyone, it’s his thing). I think we all encompass some “male” and “female” traits and that even sexuals can be a bit androgynous at times.
The entire book is a look at sexuality and non-sexuality. It focuses on the duality and the complexity of relationships and life. It is truly one of my favorite books. However, it is not very action packed, so if you’re looking for epic space battles and laser fights, you should look elsewhere. This tends to move a bit slower and is all about people, relationships, and society. Ultimately, it is also about a companionship that is more than friendship (but not about sex). [I was going to say “less than lovers”, but realized that’s privileging sex as the ultimate goal and it’s not. Forgive my caveat.] You may also want to keep in mind that it was originally published in 1969, when the LGBT community was just a fledgling and had just begun to fight for rights. I find it a very enjoyable interesting read, especially in light of my new view of myself. I’m currently re-reading it and I’d love to discuss!
On a side note, I find it amusing that many of her books are published by Ace Books.
Friday, November 18, 2011
I collect “true”/close friends like other people collect memorabilia or favorite songs. A deep connection and an intimate friendship have always been amazingly important to me. Anyway, I can always add another person to my collection, but I’m very particular. (I suppose “collection” sounds creepy, oh well.) I don’t add just anyone. Each person is (probably) overanalyzed for compatibility, open-mindedness, etc. People’s oddities and imperfections are often some of the reasons that make them special to me. I just need them to be a high caliber person. They need to be open to thought-experiments. They need to be able to tease me as well as be teased. Of course, there’s always a compatibility and thought wave-length issue to work out. They need to be a person of integrity and honesty. The truth I can handle, lying to my face doesn’t win you bonus points. I hold myself to the same standard, so I don’t think it is that much to ask. Of course, people make mistakes and aren’t always perfect. I just expect that they try to do their best. Once comfortable with a person, I open up more, I allow them into my personal bubble (less afraid of touch misunderstandings), and I would do anything for them (pretty much) if they asked. For me, friendship is like being in love (without sex). I truly value my friends. A friend “break-up” is ridiculously hard on me. I spend weeks crying and months recovering. Friendship, to me is a BIG deal. I am not “just” friends with someone - they become like family, my 仲間 (in Japanese, nakama means friends/comrades/partners, I think it's a good word for it).
"Nothing but heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a friend." - Titus Maccius Plautus
"Nothing but heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a friend." - Titus Maccius Plautus
Thursday, November 17, 2011
I am NOT repressed. I am the social co-chair for my class and have planned picnic lunches, a pub crawl, Halloween candy binge, snowball fight, secret santa gift exchange, etc. I am very active and interested in the people around me. I am interested in having interesting conversations and having a good time (I love to dance). I’m interested in being close to people, but I am mostly uninterested in sex. I don't just see someone attractive/hot and think about what kinds of physical things I'd like to do with them. My current school program is intense, so people don’t consider it that odd if you aren’t dating very much. I only feel obligated to be dating and to have a sex life when I’m at some kind of party or other social occasion. Especially a family event. I feel pressure all around me all the time parents (are you dating anyone right now? when are you going to start making grandchildren?), friends (don’t you just really need to get laid after awhile? You know, the way you look at someone after you’ve had sex. [Insert Name Here] is getting married!), and internally (it’s not “normal” not to be interested in sex or dating, maybe there’s something wrong with me). I honestly don’t see what all the fuss is about, but I guess that’s what makes me nonsexual. I was so glad I finally found a name for what I had been secretly feeling. I’m glad I’m not the only one that feels this way. Even if we’ve never met, it’s good to have company! I have spent a great amount of time learning how to “fake” interest. The problem is, I’ve become really good at it. I know all the right words to say, the right looks and body movements, and I know enough to let other people fill in the gaps that I purposefully leave in my story. I don’t like outright lying to others, so I might say things like “I spent the night”. Which infers to a sexual that I slept with the person, but nothing actually happened.
I think am afraid of using the term “asexual” aloud to describe myself. I'm not entirely sure what it means to me exactly - so how should I know what that should mean to them? I also think it makes them ask a lot of personal/private questions that I wouldn't want to answer unless they are good friends. I also think that maybe I'd just be I hear a lot of people don’t believe asexuals when they come out. Maybe it’s because I’m from California, but I believe that it’s an essential mind set that they will have a hard time getting over. It seems to be so ingrained into our society that we should all be thinking about sex all the time. Also, in some ways, I’m fascinated by how someone else can think sex is so fascinating. So, I’m sure the opposite must be true – they must find it interesting that I’m not interested. I’ve looked up the worst websites, weird fetishes, BS&M, etc. My friends would probably have no doubt that I was sexual after seeing that history in my browser. I’ve even written sexual fanfiction. Reasonably well received, I might add. Although, most likely because I add a lot more plot and character development than a typical story from the genre. I understand that sex is very important to sexuals and I understand it is a driving force for them, but I don’t understand the fuss. (It feels good. Check. Done.) Sex is okay, but sharing confidences, learning what people really think, and hypothesizing about a million different things has always been way more satisfying for me than anything physical. I ask others about their relationships and share in their discussions as best I can (some things about relationships and intimacy are universal). I try to practice the art of good conversation, but sometimes it is hard to lead the conversation in a productive direction since sex is a preoccupation for most.
I guess I prefer brain-boners to real boners.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
A good friend and I shared a moment of consolation and comfort. We knew each other’s pain. We hugged each other for a long time. Or maybe it wasn’t. I didn’t truly pay attention to the time. (No alcohol was involved in the making of this moment.) It was really cathartic, and I sort of wish the moment could have lasted a bit longer. The intimacy of sharing and understanding one anther’s pain is rare. I hope we get to be better friends. Even if not, it makes a great memory.
I want more perfect moments. Cheers!
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
I have the deep, hidden desire to be intimate with people (sexuals, get your mind out of the gutter!) - hug, lean, sprawl, nap, etc. But, I’m always afraid it will be misconstrued as sexual interest especially with the opposite sex, so I generally have a very strict personal bubble to prevent that. Although, I do tend to relax it when I’ve been drinking. I have spent a lot of time trying to be normal. I’ve been in a lot of short term heterosexual relationships, but I’m always afraid of giving the wrong signals and I think sexual people can sense that there is no connection and things just fade. I liked them, really, I did. Just not in a sexual way. I think we could have been great “friends”, but that’s just not what they were interested in.
I’ve always placed a lot of emphasis on friendship. I sometimes wish I could be freer with my affections, though. I think with even a couple amazingly good friends, I would be satisfied. But, that kind of friend seems really hard to come by – I’ve got a small group, but I am going to school far away now and I’m afraid that I’m losing those connections.
I often get jealous of my friends’ time with their significant others. Also, when my friends spend time with people who I consider of a lower caliber of person, I sometimes get upset (at them, then at myself for being so petty).
I could spend all night with a friend (guy or gal) having an interesting, intimate conversation and feel great/complete/satisfied as I imagine others do after a night with a lover.
Monday, November 14, 2011
After talking with a reasonably symmetric (ie. attractive, or so I’m told) classmate of mine, about this really awkward first date he went on, I had an asexual fantasy. I have always wanted to get to know him better, so I imagined us set up on a blind date with each other, but we didn’t know it. We see each other at the meeting place and say hello and we discover that we’ve been set up with each other, oops! Neither of us is interested in each other in that way, so we have a good laugh. We wind up having a great time and talk late into the evening. At the end of the night, we discuss telling people outrageous stories of how awful the supposed blind date was to our friends. When I see him in class next time, I send him a little smirk and he winks back. We pretty much go back to life as usual, except more friendly. Maybe we talk more in class or invite each other to parties more. Who knows? Maybe nothing. Then again, it never happened and is unlikely to actually occur, so the point is moot, really. It was a nice thought experiment.
I need more interesting conversations.