Psychology, Asexuality and Aromanticism

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

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

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.

QuoigenderBucky

Originally posted on Tumblr.

Quoigender Bucky who thinks ey might’ve had a gender before Hydra, but doesn’t understand the concept now.

Bucky, who sometimes gets glimpses of gender and thinks maybe ey understands it – and then it washes away and ey’s back to not understanding.

Ey tries dressing differently, looking different, talking differently, referring to emself with any gendered language ey can find to see what fits, but ey still can’t work out eir gender.

Quoigender Bucky, who goes to Steve, frustrated and confused, and Steve tells em that it’s okay to be confused – that ey doesn’t need all the answers for any of what Hydra did to em, but especially not for this.

Ey disagrees until ey finds out about terms like agender and quoigender and nonbinary and reads other people’s stories and sees that ey’s not alone.

Quoigender Bucky, who changes eir presentation at the drop of a hat, but gets a real kick from wearing a mixture of the Winter Soldier’s gear and a skirt when testifying in front of Congress.

Quoigender Bucky, who still gets frustrated at eir confusion over gender sometimes, but knows that, sometimes, no answer is an answer in itself.