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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

asexual pan and seriously lacking gaydar or any other kind of dar

click pic for
"37 Cats Inside Things That Are Much Too Small"
I've either broken my Pinky statcounter or you guys have successfully graduated to hardcore lurkers like I've taught you. Blogger says I'm getting steady traffic and shows legitimate referrals, statcounter says "What people? I didn't see any people." But as much as I've messed around with it, it's very possible I've corrupted the config. I could reset, but then all previous data is unrecoverable, so one of these days I might just add another one to pick up from now-ish and see if that works. Still feeling too lazy to do more than muse on it right now, though.

I'm crashing through a depressive cycle this week, which I was expecting because I was a bit euphoric for awhile again through December, so I'm doing all the usual routine stuff that keeps me functional while it passes, like house chores and research. I have a hard time watching TV when I'm like this, so I have ventured into a friend's RP forum for a good story to help distract me through this, and I'm loving it. In case you're new to me and would like more info about my head stuff, I'll put it at the bottom of this post, which you're welcome to skip down to if you don't want to read this next bit.

One of my distractions is writing through the aspie chaos in my head on weeks like this because focusing on a writing prompt helps my mood stay more balanced, so here we go, a whole buncha sex stuffs, lol. Close your eyes if you're easily miffed by discussions that challenge your belief system, whatever it is. I'll tell you when you can open them back up.

~~~~~~

One of the more amusing things I've run into in the last week was a trans friend wanting to know in a protected status update why asexuals were making a big deal planting their flag if they don't even want sex, because it can only be an attention-seeking thing, surely.

I've known since puberty that I'm pan (there was no word for it back then) and since high school that I prefer androgyny, although I do also really like strong male and female figures as well. I came out pangender asexual on a public blog in 2008, before it was fashionable for regular people in mainstream lives outside of entertainment to do that. That blog (one of so many I've had) is gone now, so I can't link to it, although several people in my life are aware and are fine with it. I don't bring it up much, although I have written about it here and there.

6-15-15 Khanlock One of the most popular posts I've ever created, and I never mention sexuality in any form.

6-14-15 5 ways people push my asexuality button

5-11-15 shipping asexuality isn't as boring as people think, certainly not Moffat, and I'll prove it

11-8-13 Brain Sex, Robot Style

11-20-12 Lexx and psychological health, perhaps

8-19-12 sex is wrong, or coming out of the pandimensional closet

7-1-08 self stim (this is an ongoing debate I have with my psychologist over aspie-autie kids having no self awareness during compulsive erogenous neuro stim, which I'm sure parents of autism spectrum children have a little difficulty understanding) (The book I'm working on, Existential Aspie, will have a LOT of autie kid POV in it that I don't usually see out in public, based on my personal experiences.)

I've also written about sex in relation to spinal injury at TMI time, but you'll thank me on my spaz (spoonie) blog.

Plus I've also had fun mocking the whole subject of sex in some of my silly surveys through the years at Surveypalooza.

For anyone in the world looking at that list and the length of this post thinking I must be one of those people who yaps about their sex stuff, rest assured this was very much me most of my life. For those of you who've not yet seen The Abominable Bride, I must put the word "spoilers" here, but seriously, not really much of a spoiler. But yeah, this is me at parties, on dates, through two marriages...

I'd love to source this for you at 5 a.m. because I grabbed it with my phone, but that was 2 days ago and the original tweet is already so buried in the twitter feeds that it would take at least an hour and I'm not feeling that patient.
My issues started early, about the time I hit puberty. I'd been sent to school in dresses for years and fought for my first pair of jeans around fifth grade, which my mom was strongly against until a friend of hers, who had five boys and wasn't that terribly feminine herself, shrugged it off, and they went through a stack of rejects in an outlet dump and brought home bargains, one with a twisted leg, one with a leg shorter than the other. I was ecstatic simply because I'd won. After that my mom got hold of someone's hand-me-down flare leg jeans and I spent a glorious year getting my jeans caught in my bike chain over and over like normal kids were supposed to until the jeans were too shredded to wear.

Being allowed to wear jeans didn't solve my problem, of course. I still had to be a girl. I really didn't care that I was actually a girl, I just hated being continually reminded I wasn't girl enough. I didn't sit right or move right or stand right or behave right, and then when I took things too far it was nice girls don't do that, like shave my legs above my knees. A kid at school actually made fun of my knees having bangs in P.E. Top that one, I dare ya. I wolfed out when I hit puberty, despite being a girl. (Irony has brought a patchy alopecia into my life, and I very rarely need to shave my legs any more.)

I liked being an action figure, along with being the secret genius behind the schemes my friend and I pulled off. I liked running cross country and jumping over fences and out of trees (and off the roof), and tried a few times to jump my bike over things, resulting in some impressive scrapings up and nearly ruining my bike. I liked that boys got to look cool and be cool running around and hated that I was expected to stand around looking demure. I studied how the fastest boys naturally ran differently from girls and taught myself how to move the same way. Same thing with throwing. I practiced throwing rocks and balls over our barn roof after school for days until I could mimic the way the boys at school threw stuff. There was no way I would ever be caught "throwing like a girl". It was bad enough that 'girl' was derogatory, it was worse to not overcome it and just accept it as my fate. All this before I was even twelve, and all my mom could go on about was her exasperation with me. We fought constantly (passive-aggressively, I wasn't allowed to yell at her without severe consequences), and the root of it all was my refusal to be gender typed.

So, yeah, it's a big deal to stand up for being asexual pangender, because I was treatly poorly over being my natural self. It has nothing to do with accepting who I have sex with and whether I sin, but about standing up to a demanding society shoving me down into a tiny little box and not allowing me to shine in my natural capacity with the instincts I was born with. While other girls were fighting to wear hip huggers to school, I was fighting to let my God-given hair grow out on my legs that no one ever saw except in P.E., and I was such a joke already that it wouldn't have made a difference. Believe me, I've investigated every which way hairy legs and nylons could possibly have anything to do with my status as a human being, and that is the tiniest tip of the asexuality iceberg that was my problems growing up in an ultra conservative household. You'd think asexuality would be a plus in a setting like that. It wasn't. I caught all my mother's repressed sexual issues head on and flung them back with vehemence. I look back now and feel quite sorry for her feeling so stuck and frustrated with her own stuff and never being able to verbalize it.

What no one knew at the time was that I come from genetic stock heavily leaning into polycystic ovarian syndrome, and along with extremely heavy periods, I grew an impressive amount of body hair for awhile and developed a fairly aggressive personality. A doctor confirmed in my 30s that I was making way too much testosterone and put me on hormone therapy to help control and regulate that and several other symptoms. (This is coming to light as a fairly common condition.) These are not things I chose. I've always been able to feel the duality in my brain chemicals. I feel very 'boy' sometimes along with the girl. If my brain chemicals are prompting things in my body I have no control over, and these things are in turn prompting behaviors like acting out and aggression, how in the world have I chosen this? As I have learned more about myself, I have come to realize that no one chooses their sexuality. We are caught in waves of hormones and chemicals, and we all do the best we can with what's going on in our brains and bodies. I see no shame in this, and no reason to 'choose' against who we are in order to appease a larger society of anxious and guilt-ridden believers who would rather turn their backs than forgive what they don't yet understand. People remind me of chickens sometimes, the really bossy ones pecking to death those who don't fall into step, out of sheer orneriness. How is continually picking on someone any different? You either love people or you don't. Actions speak louder than words. If there really is a God, and he really does promise a heaven, no wonder so many turn away when they're nearly picked to death for something they can't help and didn't choose.

My second best friend in high school was gay, and the treatment he went through got pretty ugly. A friend of his actually had to leave school out of fear for his life. Anyway, I had no problem being seen with him all over school, so he took me on my only date in high school to convince his mom everything was cool. She dropped us off at a movie, we never kissed, went back to his house, he showed me his bedroom, huge Marilyn Monroe poster on his wall, and he told me I had great lips and should be wearing lipstick. I still think that's a pretty awesome compliment.

Since many of my friends are gay, trans, alt, and whatever (I'm finding out there are a LOT of orientations out there), I barely even think about this stuff. I can swim in sex and never blink an eye, I am that asexual. Once in awhile my head turns, yes, but I miss unbelievable amounts of subtext and even blatant sex references in convos while at the same time I see it all around me much like a botanist would a forest. I grew up on a farm and know quite a lot about sexual anatomy and birthing and then wound up in nursing school for awhile, and I'm not squeamish at all, just terribly inexperienced with the social exchange that must accompany actual coupling up. I imagine I'd make a really good whorehouse madam or brothel priestess, sort of above it all and running things.

As for sex, I actually like it quite a lot, I just don't feel the need to share it with other people, and my asperger's makes it difficult for me to get past all the extra sensory overload anyway. Ever wonder why alcohol and sex go together? The entire human race would probably have died out long ago if it weren't for rape and alcohol. Yes, I actually believe that. I don't think most of the world has a clue what normal sex really is to begin with, especially belief systems that squelch women and children into third class citizenry, whether it's obvious or not. I grew up pretty third class right here in the United States. No one ever asked me growing up whether I had fallen in love with anyone. That just wasn't even a thing. The only reason I don't make a bigger deal of it is because I've met so many people who've actually been held hostage or have been owned either by default (family) or purchase (seriously, child trafficking) specifically for sex. Yes, right here in the United States. I've seen ultra conservative right wing Christians wink past the obvious under their noses to debate whether a divorced person can remarry without it being adultery, and I just walk away. Righteous people exasperate me.

Anyway, so I rarely find myself discussing the actual rights and wrongs of anything sex, but here we go. I grew up conservative, so naturally I start with the 'legalism' of faith. I'm not against faith, I'm just tired of it being used as a weapon or a shield.

The problem with debating about the natural order of nature being the correct way for things to work, especially if we are assuming a deity setting it all up, is running into little monkey wrenches like finding out male otters will steal harbor seal pups away and pleasure themselves on them to death, or that crabs will mate with so much gusto they kill off females that don't fight to get free. The instinct to mate is only that, a blind driven compulsion. The object of the mating, ideally, results in healthy offspring, but as we share more and more to the internet, we see a growing number of cats and squirrels doing sex trains, hunters having to get out of the way of elk or deer attempting to mate with their vehicles, the odd horse here or there rearing onto a police officer or rodeo clown for sex, dolphins happily pinning humans down, and I'll go so far as to say I actually saw a spider mate with a dead spider hanging limply in an old web, which is arachno-necrophilia. If natural sex has a directive for what is morally correct versus what is sinful, I'm not seeing it expressed so much as mowed over in the world around me, and I'm sorry, I can't blame all that on a fallen angel. And we must admit humans have been overseeing all kinds of breeding programs throughout human history, from cattle to fruit flies, and everything else on down to plant life. Anything that has DNA has been interfered with sexually by humans out of experimentation and the incentive for financial gain, which increases power, not to mention the food supply.

I saw this going around facebook yesterday (originally posted last summer), someone else doing research on why homosexuality is natural and important across the animal kingdom, and I agree it comes in pretty handy. (I'm not going to copy it here, sorry.) Case in point, my step daughter's mom has absolutely no natural mothering instinct just because she's a woman and gave birth. I grew up on a farm, we had farm animals like that, too, particularly noticeable among very young first time mothers, everything from cats to sheep and goats. If a first time birth is scary and too overwhelming, the mom rejects the babies and it's up to the kindness of strangers to make sure they stay alive and survive.

The Kindness of Strangers is a popular title when you run a search on it, but my first experience with the idea was a very thick textbook style research on orphanages being what saved quite a bit of old England during the dark ages, because so many people dropped babies and children off at churches that half the population could have died out if someone else hadn't raised the children. One of the concerns the priests had back then was that the children eventually wound up in brothels and it would be a sin for a father to be having sex with a prostitute daughter, even unawares. My mind was blown over this particular after so much else had been dismissed as not sinful, like an entire society making it impossible for parents to raise their own children in the first place between so many hard laws and taxing the people nearly to death (church and state were co-complicit in this). Humans have a long history of males raising children through rough patches. Whether the males were gay or not is kind of beside the point. Monks around the world have been taking in children as long as religions have existed. Those with nurturing instincts gravitate toward nurturing. Simple concept. We see this with pets, too, and with other animals both on the farm and in natural settings.

I once watched, in my own backyard, a bluejay swipe a baby bird out of nest, carry it to the ground, and viciously drill its beak through the baby's head. What got really interesting was not only the distraught parents darting around, but the anxious cowbird couple that hovered around the ground within inches trying to stop this from happening with their efforts to distract the bluejay. That baby bird had two sets of parents. Why does this happen in nature? Because there are killers out there. Because life is really hard and sometimes it takes a whole crowd of people to make sure babies survive. Perhaps human societies formed out of this very need. Perhaps the origin of society lies within the nurturing instincts of both male and female strangers feeling upset that babies get killed, and cooperating to keep babies alive.

I've mentioned I have a sociology degree, right? I was originally going for an anthropology degree but my college only supported a minor at the time, despite housing one of the most famous archaeologists in the world. I blame the bible belt. Sorry, got way off track. But my point is that sex hormones working properly enough to get babies born doesn't mean we're working properly as people. Pretending to fit into gender roles because a belief system requires it doesn't assure the proper survival of humanity. If anything, it encourages secret taboo behaviors that can't be talked about without severe repercussions. Trying to make people fit into standardized molds of any kind has a tendency to backfire into years of therapy at the very least, rampant public shootings at the very worst. A healthy sense of self within an accepting group creates an optimally functioning member of society, does it not? This is really basic stuff, not quite sure why it's still so hard for so many people to grasp. Oh, yeah, religion and politics. That.

What is often missed in gay debates are some of the secrets and problems that create conflict for a few caught in the middle of it. Gender reassignment isn't always a prerogative. Sometimes babies are born intersexed and a gender assignment must be made, creating conflict later as the brain matures into the 'wrong' hormones. Once in awhile an accident happens with circumcision and a boy is brought up as a girl. And sometimes a distressed parent with severe depression (and quite possibly other mental illness) just ignores the baby's gender and raises it oppositely. I met a guy that happened to. All his young child photos are in dresses, and he seems to be a girl. Somewhere in grade school his gender suddenly flipped because it became obvious, and he's dealt with that the rest of his life, plus being suddenly rejected by the parent who did that to him. He's not alone. Babies are like dollies for people in emotional pain. Likewise, how many girls are there who feel the fail when their parents really wanted a boy? Or passed themselves off as boys or men so they could do something females weren't allowed? I could go on and on. Gender issues aren't always about the individual being different, and they're not always rooted in the individual. Society creates gender problems before people are even born into their genders. Then entire lives are spent teaching children to hide things and perform for society.

In case you still haven't seen The Abominable Bride, the speech Sherlock gave near the end on women's suffrage was spot on, and in our own day and time, I would extend these thoughts to everyone on the planet. Here, go buy it right now.

The gay debate is not a simple one. There can be no black and white right or wrong or stamps of religious and political approval or disapproval if we don't have the whole story on each case. To deem any one person at fault for something beyond their control (so many maladies in this world are beyond our control, are they not?), and then to ostracize and lump individuals into a generic group and then make the entire group outcast from society in one fell swoop is as heartless as throwing unwanted pets out of moving vehicles onto highways. I say it this way because most people I've met would sooner have a tender heart for a derelict, abandoned, and abused animal than they would a mistreated and shunned fellow human being. We don't judge animals so harshly, and we are so much faster to stand up for their neglect and abuse, but that doesn't restore my faith in humanity as long as I'm still seeing humanity abuse, berate, and neglect whole chunks of its own over misconstrued opinions and ideologies. No wonder human trafficking thrives in all countries around the world, even under the very noses of the most adamantly religious and faithful- we so easily throw out our own.

There has always been a thriving underground of human trafficking and sex slavery beneath every civilization, and anyone studying human religious and political history and social psychology knows this. Perhaps the initial reason it wasn't ok for gays to come out was because once they did, they could no longer be secretly shuffled through an underground ring of perverted religion and politics, opening up many cans of worms, as it were. It's ok to see cabaret and S&M openly expressed in the entertainment industry going way back (war and sex seem to be market buddies), but it's not ok to admit it's real and all around us, and that accepting each other the way we are will save lives.

The answer between my trans friend and I wound up being how ridiculous all sexuality issues are in the first place, and we left it at that. It's not a competition for attention any more than any other sexual issue. It's people openly standing up for who they are, just like all the rest.

And yes, let's all facepalm and have a good laugh imagining Sheldon Cooper incorporating asexuality into his Fun With Flags series.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You can open your eyes now.

In case you skipped down for my head stuff-

On top of autism spectrum, I do have a 'mood disorder' diagnosis, although it's never been formally called bipolar, and this last fall I got 'adjustment reaction disorder' from my psychologist after I told him I finally processed through my friend's murder and my mom's death, since both of them happened years ago. Emotional shutdown can be pretty serious, but you guys know that because I'm always talking about it. I keep a standby team of touch base friends within reach, and about once a week someone is making sure I'm doing ok. As long as they see me out in public tweeting or facebook sharing or blogging, they know I'm not going down the rabbit hole. One of my constant goals is holding my weight steady and keeping a regular sleep schedule, both of which are high priority when I check in with my psychiatrist every 6 months. He literally counts pills. I'm allowed half a xanax 3X a day and that's it. I'm mostly otherwise managing to handle my anxiety disorder with diet, which I believe is directly related to diabetes and glucose spikes. As long as I can continue to self monitor and report in regularly, I'm allowed to stay off other head meds. It also helps that @bonenado oversees everything in my life and that I trust him to notice when I go off track and help me get back in routine. He's pretty cool about it, we laugh a lot.

~I'm kidding~

Off the subject, I have discovered Black Diamond Premium Reserve cheddar, aged 2 years. I'm the sort of person who will skimp on everything else in my life to spend $20 a pound on very hard to find cheeses, like aged gouda, so if you guys can find this one, it's totally worth it, even smoother and sharper than Cabot's Seriously Sharp. (Black Diamond is Canada based, Cabot is Vermont based.) I actually found it in the fancy cheese section in my local Walmart, so there you go. Good luck. It is absolutely wonderful with morning coffee.

Let's see, what can I find to get me out of here now and moving on into my day...

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