Explaining Asexuality and Aromanticism

My previous post mentions asexuality quite a lot, and I figured that I’d explain it for those who may not necessarily understand. What I didn’t mention in that post was aromanticism, and I’ve found the two are quite often confused, so I’ll explain that as well.

Asexuality = a lack of sexual feelings, interest or attraction.

Asexuality is known as an umbrella term. Under it are many different forms of asexuality. These include:

  • Grey-A: occasional sexual interest or attraction (this includes many other sexualities like grey-romantic, demiromantic, demisexual or semisexual)
  • Sex-indifferent asexuals: people who don’t partake in sexual activities, but who aren’t disgusted by it.
  • Sex-averse asexuals: people who find the topic of sex unappealing (there are varying levels of this, I’d suggest doing further research if you want to know more)

I personally fall into the category of sex-indifferent asexuals.  I’m okay with talking about sex and stuff, but I would never partake in things like that. However, this does depend on the person. Again,  if you want a more in-depth explanation of this, I’d suggest doing more research.

Aromanticism = a lack of romantic feelings, interest or attraction.

This is very different to asexuality, as it refers to romantic rather than sexual feelings. Obviously, you can be asexual and not aromantic, or the other way round, or you could be both. It all depends on the person. Aromantic is another umbrella term, but I’m personally unsure of what falls under it.

So, just in case you hadn’t guessed by now, I’m aromantic and asexual. And I care a lot about people understanding my community because in the world there is a lot of hate and misunderstanding.

Okay, so another really long and probably boring post.

Signing off – Tam

LGBTQ+ representation in pop culture

Shouldn’t be a problem right? There’s a growing amount of it, accessible to all age groups, genders, countries, available to everyone. Don’t get me wrong, that’s good, but everything tends to be misrepresented. True, here I can only speak from my personal experiences and exposure to the LGBTQ+ community, but from what I’ve seen, the community is shown in an incredibly incorrect way, which can damage the public’s perception of the community.

For some examples:

  • Dumbledore is gay – Good. That’s good, someone with such power and respect has been portrayed as gay, and is still seen as normal. However, once it was seen that Dumbledore didn’t find true love, J.K. Rowling stated:  “He lost his moral compass completely when he fell in love and I think subsequently became very mistrustful of his own judgement in those matters so became quite asexual. He led a celibate and a bookish life.” The link in this quote leads to the Wikipedia page on asexuality. Frankly, it shouldn’t. J.K. Rowling has severely misrepresented an entire part of the LGBTQ+ community. She has stated that Dumbledore was gay, asexual and celibate in the same quote. The gay part is fine, but she has stated this in such a way that makes it seem like asexuality and celibacy are the same. Newsflash, they’re not. In case you didn’t know, asexuality is the lack of sexual feelings or attraction. Celibacy is abstaining from sexual acts by choice. Not the same thing. Celibacy is by choice, something you can control, and asexuality isn’t. Yes, Dumbledore could be gay and asexual. Or he could be gay and celibate. Because asexuality is an umbrella term for varying levels of a lack of sexual interest or feelings, he could well be all three. But it isn’t okay for an author with such a large following to suggest that asexuality is the same as celibacy. As an asexual myself, I find this very disrespectful to my community. Additionally, Rowling stated that he ‘lost his moral compass’ and ‘became very mistrustful of his own judgement’, after which she has stated he became asexual. This is portraying being asexual as something that happens after you lose trust in yourself, and showing it as immoral. No, it isn’t stating that asexuality is bad, it just isn’t portraying it as good or something that is alright to be, if you haven’t gone through such a sort of inner turmoil and heartbreak. I understand that this may be seen as a misunderstanding, and a lack of knowledge on someone’s part, or that I may be overreacting. Believe me, I respect J.K. Rowling more than probably anyone, I enjoy her work, and I would never try to slander her work or views. I simply believe this is because of a lack of information on her part.
  • Speaking of asexuality, where is the representation? There is an asexual character on the Netflix show BoJack Horseman represented in a positive way. Good! Jughead from the original Archie comics was asexual. However, this fact seems to have been ignored by the fans. Apparently, Cole Sprouse (playing Jughead in the Riverdale show) has stated that Jughead will still be asexual, but a very common theme with the fans is ignoring this and portraying him in relationships where he isn’t asexual. That’s not particularly healthy for the asexual community, to see that part of a character’s identity minimised and ignored. Still, two characters. Two characters, in a world where pop culture runs lives.
  • Now, I recently read a book with an asexual protagonist. I can’t remember the title, or the plot, honestly, but I do remember one thing. The main character was asexual. yay, right? Yeah, no. She was asexual because she “hadn’t had a boyfriend in a while, but once she found one, she would be fixed.” Fixed. FIXED. That’s not okay. What she was thinking was abstinence or celibacy. Not asexuality. But then, of course, by the end of the book, she found a boyfriend, was all happy and literally said that she was now fixed. Again, that’s not okay. This is portraying asexuality as a state of mind, which is simply that if you don’t have a partner, or aren’t currently looking for a partner, you are asexual. Not correct.

Anyway, this was a fair bit of a rant, and yes, this probably looks like a massive overreaction, but this is my personal opinion on these topics, according to my experiences.

Signing off – Tam

Karate

So, karate is a thing I do. Have done for 6 years, currently a junior black belt. I do it every Tuesday evening, and I used to do it on Fridays and Saturdays as well. But, I had a class last night, and we did sparring.

Sparring = actual fighting.  Like matches, where people fight each other. Under sparring are a couple of different types; continuous sparring, point sparring, and multiple opponents. These all seem fairly self-explanatory, but I’ll elaborate if for nothing else but the sense of self-entitlement I get when talking about stuff like this.

  • Continuous sparring = Round Robin style sparring, where two people fight, and the winner stays in the round, and the loser is disqualified. The winner then fights the next person in line, with each round ending with the winner staying in, and the loser re-joining the line. Can also be adapted to be several matches going on at once, and after the match ends, everyone finds a new opponent.
  • Point Sparring = Competitive sparring, where points are scored by making clear, controlled, legal strikes against the opponent. The winner is the person with the most points, and making an illegal strike either ends with a penalty or disqualification.
  • Multiple Opponents = Realistic sparring, which is the closest to the sort of fighting you would have to do in an actual situation. You fight multiple opponents, and there are no rules, only survival. Points aren’t scored, you just have to make it to the end of the round. With this, you can fight any number of people, from 2 up.

So naturally, my teacher decided that we should do a warm-up version of continuous, and then point and multiple opponents. In 45 minutes.

So, in 45 minutes, I sparred: 4 continuous rounds, 3 point rounds, and one triple length multiple opponents round. Um.. ow.

Apparently, when sparring against my Sensei, I can actually score several points. I’m pretty sure he was going easy on me, but let’s just pretend that I’m actually good at something.

Also, multiple opponents rounds are not fun and end up with at least 3 kicks to normally illegal areas (lower than the torso), and 5 strikes to the head. But hey, I survived, and that’s what counts, right?

So that was a really boring recount of last night. Sorry for everyone who read that.

Signing off – Tam