Blog Overhaul

Published 24/09/2015 by maralaurey

It’s been a very long time since I’ve used this blog, partially because I’ve been a busy bunny and partially because I’ve had a serious case of (general) writer’s block for about six months, and then a less severe case of not-wanting-to-write-about-writing writer’s block for… goodness knows how long.  I am hoping that I’m through with both of those, so I’m bringing this blog back!

However, it’s going to be a little different from before (and not just because most of my posts were for the TCWT blog chain, and TCWT has alas been lost to the sands of time). The majority of posts will most likely be related to asexuality, aromanticism, and/or being non binary. The first few posts are just going to be old things from my Tumblr blog about those topics. I am hoping, though, to keep a bit of the writer-y stuff, so there’ll probably be the odd post of poetry or about how I still can’t write endings.

Hopefully, this blog will go back to being a great place for me to write and chat to people and think about things that I never otherwise would — and hopefully it will be useful to other people too!

What Does… Oh

Published 07/02/2016 by maralaurey

Originally posted on Tumblr but reposted here for archiving. Please note that my personal identification has changed since I wrote this post (check my about for more information).

This is a post for the February 2015 Carnival of Aces on Cross-Community Connections.

I’m an old hand at identity crises by this point, so you might assume that my recent adventures into the land of gender would be reasonably easy. You might also assume that, after asking the same question (‘what does ___ feel like’) twice already, and getting so annoyed by the vague answers that I actually created a survey to get more concrete answers*, I should be able to spot what I’m asking myself straight away, as the title of this post suggests.

Alas, your assumptions (which have also been mine, and will probably be mine again at some point in my life) are incorrect. I asked myself ‘what does gender identity feel like’, and, instead of quickly answering myself with the prerequisite ‘you know it if you feel it’, I wandered around the internet looking for an answer. Although a lot of people have been very sweet in sharing their own experiences with me (which I entirely appreciate), I still haven’t found an answer to satisfy me. Just as I haven’t found an answer for what sexual attraction feels like or what romantic attraction feels like. In fact, if anything, I’m more confused about gender identity.

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Which is Better? There’s Only One Way to Find Out…

Published 31/01/2016 by maralaurey

Originally posted on Tumblr but reposted here for archiving. Please note that my views may have changed since it was first written.

I’ve been thinking about this post quite a lot recently. In short, it’s about what part of your identity you see as the important bit – your sexual orientation or your romantic orientation.

I read this post when I thought I was alloromantic, and I vaguely remember deciding I was part of the group who saw their romantic orientation as more important. That’s a load of rubbish (or possibly just a load of internalised acephobia) – I prioritised my asexuality, because that was the bit that was going to affect my life. The fact that it’s taken me so long to even question my romantic orientation surely proves that all I ever thought about was my asexuality; I just liked to pretend that I was ‘normal’ because I’d managed to get lost in the ‘we may be asexual but we can still love so we’re not weird please love us’ rhetoric.

Now, however, I’m not sure which group I fit in. Or rather, I know which group I fit in, but it wasn’t the one I was expecting – I’m still in the sexuality over romanticism group. I still reblog more ace-related stuff, I still have an (admittedly lovely) ace icon,and if two different people shouted for an ace and an aro respectively, I’d almost certainly turn towards the person who wanted an ace. The only time I ever relate more with aromanticism is when I’m in an overly-romantic ace space (or when I talk to my friends about the ace characters they’re writing  and feel horridly certain that they’ll be romantic even though I haven’t asked).

I’ve been trying to work out why that is, and I can’t quite put my finger on it. It could be (almost certainly is) arophobia, just like how I thought I would prioritise my romantic orientation because of acephobia. However, somehow that explanation just doesn’t sit quite right with me. It’s similarly possible that being a hopeless romantic for eighteen years of life has made it hard for me to relate to aros who’ve known they’re aro since the dawn of time. I think that’s likely a part of it, but not all of it. Although I still use greyromantic rather than greyaromantic, the more terrible love-story films I watch (such as the sickening Love Actually), the more distanced from romantic society I feel.

It could also be that I’m not ‘fully’ aromantic – or that I’m still not entirely sure what labels to even give my romantic orientation. It could be that there’s more of an asexual community on tumblr than an aro one, and my confidence in my orientation feeds off that community.

Talking of community, actually, has made me feel like I’ve hit the nail on the head, and can wrap all those theories into one. There have been a lot of people in the aromantic tags recently talking about how asexuality and aromanticism aren’t the same thing, and that allosexual aros exist, and the idea always makes me a little bit uncomfortable to think about because I’m sex averse and want to see the aro tags as a safe and sex-less place.I identify more with asexuality than aromanticism because I’m sex-averse but a hopeless romantic who’s not entirely aro, and so I feel more comfortable in a completely nonsexual community than a nonromantic one, therefore I feel more comfortable in the ace community than the aro one (because I can deal with romance a lot more than sex, at least for now). That leads me to feel more comfortable in my asexual identity than my aromantic one because I don’t spend as much time in the aro community because it doesn’t feel as safe, and that makes me identify more with asexuality, basically just creating a giant and unending loop of wanting to run away from sexual people but not being quite as scared of romantic people (or even hanging onto them like a child as a form of arophobia).

And if none of my rambling made sense to you – don’t worry, barely makes sense to me either.

Representation: Who Gives a Fuck?

Published 24/01/2016 by maralaurey

Originally posted on Tumblr but reposted here for archiving. Please note that my views may have changed since this was first written.

If you follow me (and maybe even if you don’t), you might have seen a bit of an argument ensuing yesterday about aro representation, among other things. I’ve also seen a lot of other stuff about representation recently, and I felt like talking about it. Under the cut because it got long and angry and a little bit sweary.

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That One House Episode

Published 17/01/2016 by maralaurey

Originally posted on Tumblr but reposted here for archiving. Please note that my views have changed since this was first written.

I know, I’m behind the times as always, but I’ve been watching a lot of House lately and it occurred to me that 1) I have watched The Episode and 2) that I watched it before I really knew what asexuality was and so might therefore be able to give a new perspective on how much damage it actually did to the community.

(Disclaimer: I don’t have the best memory in the world and my views on life have obviously changed since I watched it, so I don’t know how much of what I’m about to say is the truth and how much is either remembered wrong or coloured by new experiences).

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Allosexual Understanding

Published 03/01/2016 by maralaurey

Originally posted on Tumblr but reposted here for archiving. Please note that my views may have changed since this was first posted.

(When referring to sexuals or allos in this post, I generally mean alloromantic allosexuals, as I unfortunately don’t have the understanding or the space to go into aro/allo responses to asexuality.)

I’ve been watching a lot of videos of old asexuality conferences on YouTube recently (what can I say, it’s my preferred method of procrastination), and I came across this one. It’s pretty long so I’ll give you a quick run-down: sexual folks don’t get us – until suddenly, they do.

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Psychology, Asexuality and Aromanticism

Published 27/12/2015 by maralaurey

Originally posted on Tumblr but reposted here for archiving. Please note that my views may have changed since this was first posted.

Alternate title: I should pay more attention in class

I had two psychology lessons today (I know; I’m blessed), and instead of thinking about what we were actually being taught, I let my mind wander to ways in which it could all be used and abused to explain aro and ace folks. There are definitely people in this community who are more knowledgeable about this sort of stuff, but I figured I’d talk about it anyway since I missed half my lesson(s) for it. Under the cut because I do love a psychological rant (like this one).

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Being Asexual

Published 20/12/2015 by maralaurey

Originally posted on Tumblr but reposted here for archiving. Please note that my views may have changed since this was first posted.

[cw: internalised arophobia and acephobia]

Okay so there are just two hours left of Asexual Awareness Week where I live, and I really feel like I should post something because I haven’t been as active as I should have been, especially today. I’ve seen a lot of people talking about how they came to identify as asexual, coming out experiences, etc. However, since I’ve already talked about how I ended up realising I’m asexual here (in my ‘asexuality challenge’ tag if you’re curious), I thought I’d talk about what being asexual means to me. In a very round-about way. I apologise for the rambling. Under the cut because of the rambling and also because it’s not the happiest story and past-me was not very nice.

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A Book-Worm’s Guide to Normal

Published 06/12/2015 by maralaurey

Originally posted on Tumblr but reposted here for archiving. Please note that my views may have changed since this was first written.

As the title suggests, I was an avid reader when I was little. They used to ‘challenge’ us to read six books over summer, and I’d read six books in a week. So instead of learning about the world by going out there and trying things for myself, I learnt about things from books.

I learnt that girls meet guys and stare at them. Stare at his lips, or his face, or his height, or how slim he is – if you like a guy, you look at him. What I got from that, as an asexual, was that girls like pretty guys.

It always kind of niggled at me that the girls always stared at the guy’s lips, but it never clicked that I was different to the girls I read about because, hey, I though boys looked pretty sometimes, right? So how could I be different?

This is one of the reasons why I’m so up for separating types of attraction (even if, in recent reflection, I’ve found that it’s a bit more complicated than that for me) – YA books write sexual attraction in almost entirely the same way as I experienced aesthetic attraction, so I never realised that there was a difference between sexual attraction and thinking someone looked pretty.

It was kind of confusing, as I’m sure you can imagine.

I could go on about censorship of YA novels and how they should be more sexually explicit, but I think YA probably isn’t the only genre with this problem – I think adult genres don’t make a clear enough distinction between sexual and aesthetic attraction, either. And that’s probably because most of the English-speaking world thinks of them as the same thing.

Maybe to write an asexual character, you don’t have to attempt to portray a ‘lack’ of something. Maybe you just need to portray the thing we’re lacking first.

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