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Casey
(also on tumblr)

Right folks, you're getting a rant. Sit down and hold tight or scroll the fuck past.

It's really bloody hard being asexual. But this is not a post about the inappropriate questions that are asked, or where asexuals fit in the queer community, or the politics of unconsummated marriage or any of that other big stuff. No, this is a post about the realities of how other people act when you are in an asexual relationship. This is a rant mostly about the shit way asexuality & celibacy are treated; about how if you’re open about it, it is not treated as a “real” relationship, and if you lie about it you end up having a panic attack during a drinking game in a caravan park because someone noticed you didn’t drink on a particular question. Yeah, fuck.

The world revolves around sex, and I figure this is where the majority of bullshit aimed at asexuality comes from.

My rant is structured as follows, and for your convenience, titles are inspired by the stupid things people have said to me:

a) I don’t get it, you can’t have a relationship without sex
b) I’m gonna assume you’re having sex and make you feel uncomfortable
c) TV says people always have sex. Therefore, you’re wrong.
d) What does this have to do with sexuality? Why aren’t you “just” friends?
e) Wait, what even is “sex”? (AKA conclusion that really just asks more questions)


a) I'm not "out" to the majority of people.

I'll chat about the fact that my attraction is non-gender specific because people "get" the concept of bisexuality even if they belittle it or don't understand the role of gender & sexuality or just think I'm just saying it to be look cool or please my children-loving-parents or whatever.

Telling people I'm bisexual(ish) is comparatively easy. I've even told a friend or two that I might be genderqueer (and ain't that a can of worms). But telling people you're asexual? They don't get it. The general populous cannot conceive of a world where you can have a meaningful relationship without sex.

This post is not going into the hows and whys because tbh it’s different for everyone and it’s not exactly your business. The fact is that I feel the warm and fuzzies for someone and want to be with them and they want to be with me. That should be it, right? Full stop? The point is that I'm not "out" as asexual because no one knows what the fuck it means. It means that I have to sit down and explain every fucking time that I really don't want to be sitting down and explaining about sex because it gives me the fucking creeps. I just want to be in a world where I can say, “I’m with someone” and that is it, no one asks about the inner workings of the relationship and what happens in bed. But that’s quite the fantasy.

I really have no idea why it’s ok to grill gays on whose bottom and ask asexuals about masturbation and bisexuals about threesomes and trans people about their genitalia, but somehow no one asks a straight cis person upon meeting them, “So what kinks are you into?” and expect in a response a list of sex toys and games and their BDSM resumé along with pictorial representations. Can you imagine? And then of course the follow up, “But you’re straight, aren’t you? So tell me about how you have sex.” Does that sound mean? Yes, but it would also be playing even. I really don’t understand how if you deviate from the heteronormative, you are expected to accept this crap but no one dares to dish it back in return.

ANYWAY, sometimes labels are needed to explain myself, and I don’t want it to be my job to justify their existence. If I need to, I want to say “Actually, I’m asexual” to prevent unnecessary sexual discussion in the same way you can say, “Actually, I’m gay” and people know to switch pronouns.

b) Because I'm not "out", people assume that, being in a relationship, I'm having sex. It means that I get all those crude comments from mates like everyone else about how my partner and I are at it like bunnies. Fine. Apart from the fact that sex is a massive fucking trigger for me.

How do you explain that? I can shrug off a joke or two, and assumptions are natural, I get it, but sometimes when it goes too far, how can you say to a good friend, “Look, can we not?” without them taking the piss out of you even more? You can’t. You suck it the fuck up, and then you go home, or for a really long fucking walk, and have dysphoria from hell. This is why I sometimes lie; it makes these types of conversations go quicker.

I was viewing a houseshare today and I asked the landlady what the policy was if friends or my partner wanted to stay over, if they can kip on the floor or something, and her shock was immediate, “Partner? No. No. Not under my roof!” Not what under your roof? CUDDLING?! “If you were married it might be different.” I CAN’T GET FUCKING MARRIED (thanks for the reminder and thanks for assuming based on my appearance that my partner was male; isn’t that just the cherry on top of the injustice cupcake?). Honestly, this is what prompted me to post this today because it’s just been slapped in my face how everyone, even a middle-aged Christian landlady, thinks of sex first and commitment second. I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t be forced to be separated from my partner for a whole year, and she made it seem like I’d be using the room just to shack up in.

c) And don’t think it’s just in the real world folks.

You know, I was really excited what they were doing with Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory. They put someone with no interest in sex in a relationship and I thought, hey, maybe people will be less ignorant of asexuality now... Oh wait, no, my mistake, I forgot that LIFE’S A BITCH.

Fandom is probably the most accepting place, especially since the Ace!Sherlock interpretation (sparked mostly by Series 2 of Sherlock by the Moffat/Gatiss team) has become popular. Fanfic writers have written hundreds of stories now where Sherlock is asexual and/or in a relationship with another character, and folks, that’s probably the most that anyone has ever written about asexuality. There, right there, on Archive of our fucking Own. If I had the time, I’d make every ignorant person read five random fics from the Asexuality tag and make them see how different they all are and how they represent the greyscale of asexuality and the variety of ways a relationship can be managed.

But even fandom can fuck it up. Someone I follow on tumblr, a fan, mentioned being asexual in passing. People jumped onto it like the last lifeboat of Titanic. They got the masturbation question. They also got a bunch of people saying, “me too! It’s ok!”. Another said that they couldn’t have a proper relationship. They basically spent the evening answering all the asexuality bullshit that ended up in their ask box until they called it quits and said they didn’t want to talk about it anymore. They weren’t sure of this stuff yet themself, but their followers were on them like hounds.

But the worst part? I took part in this wankfest.

Yep, I’d had enough of the negativity and wrote a message in that ask box about how it’s possible to have a healthy relationship and that I, being a few years older could vouch, it is ok, look at me. It was meant to be comforting. It was taken (I hope) as comforting. But, fuck, did I make a mistake. I did it ANONYMOUSLY. I am so sorry to that person. I am sorry because all the comfort that I had intended with my message was contradicted with the fact that I was too ashamed to attach my name. “I’m not out,” I told myself, “Neither is my partner. We’re both in fandom. Someone could see this.” And I’m not angry at myself because I wasn’t ready to come out (no one should ever feel pressured to come out about anything) but because I had effectively just told someone struggling with their sexuality that it’s fine as long as no one knows about it. That’s the opposite of fucking comforting.

I tell myself that visibility (and therefore a step towards social acceptance) is only a matter of time. Do we have dibs on when the first visible asexual relationship will be on a mainstream TV show? And I don’t mean with an asterisk next to it because one of them is a cyborg, or because they just don’t have sex on screen, I mean, REAL PEOPLE (because that’s who we are – shocker, I know) in REAL RELATIONSHIPS (because that’s possible – another shocker) and for them to be, dare I say it, HAPPY? PROUD?

d) Proud. That’s a fucking big word. I’m not proud.

I am proud of my partner so much, so fucking much, that even when they wake up and complain about bed hair, I still think they’re fantastic and would happily parade them around town on my arm if I didn’t think I’d be punched in the face for dragging them out of the house before the completion of their morning routine.

But I am not proud that we don’t have sex. Sometimes, after a bad day, I will wonder why we’re not just friends. “Because what’s the difference really?” my hyper-aware, culture-loving, I-just-want-to-be-socially-acceptable side of my brain offers, “Why don’t I just never have a relationship?” Because the world has taught me it is only love if you want to have sex with them. And at no point has anyone told me otherwise.

I had to work it out on my own that my body image issues, my health problems, my sexual passivity and whatever else has combined to produce my grey-A status of “asexual under further notice” has NOTHING TO DO WITH FALLING IN LOVE, or dating, or not wanting to be alone. It just makes it a hellalot more complicated.

But it’s impossible to be proud about a relationship when you are told over and over again by society that you are doing something wrong.

Funnily enough, I’ve never felt this way about my fangirling or writing or lesbianism which I know some people have. I was probably happier than I ever had been when I decided I was a Lesbian – a nice, solid label everyone understood without explanation – a respected label even, especially at my artsy university. Fuck, I miss being a lesbian instead of – how did CN Lester put it? – “a big of mess of unique”. Yeah, that. Until everyone accepts that they have a complicated identity and therefore so does everyone else, we are going to be stuck in this horrid climate of “you’re a freak” if you’re not in the majority.

e) We all are different, and most of the time I can accept my part and move on, but sometimes I feel like I got dealt the hand that’s the hardest tactically to play:

Why can’t I be honest about my relationship with my friends like they are with me?

What is so shaming about not having sex? It used to be the polar opposite but Western society is now over-sexualised and I’m not sure if we can go back. Sex is everywhere. Try hiding from a reference all day, I dare you.

Why, when so many people have different types of relationships, do we only focus only one thing? And FYI that one thing is awfully specific: “We exist in a culture where sex as an activity is framed not just as exclusively heterosexual, but exclusively as penis-penetrating-a-vagina” (ivyblossom; always the best with words)

And, on a selfish note, if “asexuality” as a term is not yet embedded in the culture I inhabit, is it my job to explain it? And how the hell can I explain it so much and so often without triggering? Fuck knows the only reason I can write all this now is because I’m so fucking angry with it all. As I said, the world revolves around sex, and really, until this stops being the expectation, asexuals are always going to be classed as freaks.

Really, all I’m asking is that my partner and I are accepted. I want people to understand that we don’t have sex, but without the explanation and justification of the details, and for us to be treated as you would any other couple. It’s this simple courtesy that is missing. I pray for the day when someone’s talking about sex and I say, “Actually, I’m in an asexual relationship”, and they will just shrug their shoulders because they are familiar with the signifier (sign/word) and understand the signified (meaning), and the conversation will continue as easily as switching pronouns is now.

And we all live happily ever after. Like fuck we will.
 
 
Mood: angryangry
 
 
Casey
13 May 2013 @ 07:19 pm
So, fandom has moved on and therefore I move on with it. I'll still be using LJ sporadically but if you want to follow any fandom squeee you can now do so on tumblr.

Confusingly, I also have a separate graphic design tumblr and reading blog.

See you around!
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Mood: blahblah
 
 
Casey
07 February 2013 @ 02:29 pm
If you've been living under a rock, there was a step closer to same-sex marriage yesterday. (P.S. Note how even the BBC call it "gay marriage". Note that it's same-sex marriage, not all-inclusive marriage.) Well, I just had to get this out somewhere because it's got to the point where I honestly don't know if people understand the OBVIOUS.


Obvious Point #1: It’s generally accepted that there are two ‘types’ of marriage ceremonies: RELIGIOUS and CIVIL. I’m talking about civil marriage between two people which many believe to be a basic civil right.

Personally, I believe it should be up to each individual religious institution whether to permit religious ceremonies but I know that many disagree, hence why this post will not use the word “church” or “Bible” because quite frankly, it is irrelevant to civil marriages. Therefore:

Obvious Point #2: A civil marriage ceremony is controlled by the STATE. It should be SEPARATE from any religious conflicts.

Now, I’m not picky about gender; I could end up with either a male or female partner or someone who identifies as neither or both.

Obvious Point #3: From a legal standpoint, marriage and civil partnerships are the SAME COMMITMENT; it is two adults making a public declaration to support each other through life. It is ridiculous that it has two different names dependent on binary gender.

Obvious Point #4: From a legal standpoint, marriage and civil partnerships are NOT THE SAME.
If this seems oxymoronic to point #2, that’s because it is (especially the ‘moronic’ part). You only have to open your eyes to the discrimination many face because civil partnerships are often not recognised as being equal to marriage, especially abroad.

Obvious Point #5: Marriage is a CONCEPT. No child is going to say, “My daddies are civil partnered.” They will say MARRIED because that is what the word “marriage” signifies (a life together); “civil partnership” is a term without meaning.

This is a point of simple semiology; the word “marriage” implies everything that needs to be implied about a couple. This word is currently reserved only for heterosexual use; that seems a tad discriminatory, yes?

Obvious Point #6: SHIT CHANGES: “But marriage has always been between a man and a woman” Oh so I suppose that we should also still have slavery? Burn people at stakes? We’ve spent the last couple of centuries trying to make humanity a fair and equal race, why stop the improvement with outdated ideas?

Obvious Point #7: “My religious text says...” RELIGION IS A POINT OF VIEW. EVERYONE HAS DIFFERENT POINTS OF VIEW. Religion is a great thing but yours isn’t everyone’s thing because everyone is different.

And, er, I mentioned marriage is a state matter already didn’t I? Now, I’ve saved the best to last, promise:

Obvious Point #8: HOW DOES LETTING PEOPLE GET MARRIED AFFECT YOUR LIFE?

No, really. Let’s think about it.

That couple nextdoor? Moved in two years ago, one’s a doctor, one’s a teacher, they offer you cake when they make a batch and occasionally you can hear them playing piano: They have a separate life from you. You disagree about some things but you are neighbours and you know how to get along. Does it matter if they have a “civil partnership”? Does it matter if they are “married”? Does it matter if they are gay? Asexual? Polyamourous? Blonde? Transgendered? In a wheelchair? NO!!! It may matter a hellalot to them and if they want to talk about it with you, then they might, but they live an entirely separate life and you have no right to tell them how to live it.

I honestly don’t understand why I am not allowed to get married to whoever I want to spend my life with. It is a legal contract between two consenting adults. Why does everyone have an opinion on whether it is “right” or not? I, just, PLEASE, I DON’T UNDERSTAND.
 
 
Casey
06 October 2012 @ 09:15 pm
spoilersCollapse )
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Mood: excitedexcited
 
 
Casey
19 July 2012 @ 10:05 pm


Bright Eyes ♥
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Mood: mellowmellow
 
 
Casey
13 July 2012 @ 07:07 pm
I finally got round to doing some photography edits. The majority of these are from Snowdonia last year.


Looking Out Over The Bay
by ~vands88 on deviantART


You can see them all in my gallery.
 
 
Mood: relaxedrelaxed
 
 
Casey
01 July 2012 @ 10:26 pm
Hey, to save cluttering up this blog with artsy stuff, can you regulars just check geeky_ness every week for new Suits icons? I'm aiming to do this whole series and if I succeed...well, that would be a lot of posts on your timeline. Ta! x

[26] Suits Icons (2x03)
[02] Suits Desktop Wallpapers & Large Graphics (2x02 & 2x03)


PREVIEW:


MORE HERE @ geeky_ness
 
 
Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
 
 
Casey
(reposting from my tumblr: learnfromthewintertrees)

I found this book tremendously useful so I’ve decided to write a chapter-by-chapter synopsis as it were. The reason why I am so thankful for this book is because the chapter, George Orwell: Some Personal Connections and Atwood wise words of, “I suppose that’s what happens to ustopian societies when they die: they don’t go to Heaven, they become thesis topics” has inspired a new ending for my dystopian novel. I was more or less stuck for an ending before I read this book and now I realise that a reflection on the ustopia in the New World seems like the only possible satisfying ending.

I appreciate how Atwood addresses the “what is science fiction?” issue because a book on SF without knowing the author’s own definition of the term would have been rather senseless. I did not realise until reading this book how thoroughly educated Atwood is, not only in literature but also in history and mythology. The book not only draws on her own work but references from a (both historically and stylistically) wide range of SF authors.

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Mood: geekygeeky
 
 
Casey
26 June 2012 @ 05:07 pm
Yes, more. Also, pineapples.

[32] Suits Icons (2x02)


PREVIEW:


MORE HERE @ geeky_ness
 
 
Mood: relaxedrelaxed
 
 
Casey
21 June 2012 @ 11:36 pm
Hey folks, it's time!

You can buy my design "Discover Fanfiction Today" for the next 24 hours on Qwertee for £8/€10/$12.



(and if you're wondering: yes, they did change the colour)
 
 
Mood: excitedexcited