During Asexual Awareness Week, I’m featuring four asexual Sims from stories on this blog. Today, I have a conversation with onezero Adams, from Goofy Love and New World Symphony, who is a romantic asexual.
If you’d like to learn more about asexuality, please visit the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network, AVEN.
CT: onezero! Thanks so much for agreeing to do this! What can you share with us about the way that identifying as an asexual has shaped who you are?
onezero: I have all sorts of labels. Some of them are ones that others have put on me: alien, insane, other. Other labels are ones that I choose: artist, asexual, friend. All of these labels form freedom: the ones that others give me automatically put me outside of the boundaries of expected behavior and norms. And the ones that I choose open up space that I can walk through to see things in my own way and to respond in the ways that feel natural to me. So, labels aren’t bad, when they let us see more clearly. And even when they’re used to hold us apart, for me, that’s not a bad thing. That’s liberating.
CT: Have you felt constrained by the labels that have been placed on you?
onezero: Me? No. But I feel that others are constrained when they learn the labels that I’ve been given. Not everyone is comfortable with an insane asexual alien artist for a friend!
CT: I am!
onezero: This I know.
CT: So, like me, you’re romantic. Can you share with us how that plays out for you?
onezero: I’m panromantic. I fall in love with everything! Look at that sky! Oh, I love it. You know that feeling of waterfalls rushing inside of you, only the water flows up? That’s my feeling of falling in love! See that flower? How does the orange of the petal make you feel?
CT: It kind of clutches at my heart. Then when I breathe into the color, my heart relaxes, and I’m flooded with something that feels like gratitude and love.
onezero: Me, too. That’s falling in love. Are you also panromantic?
CT: I think so. In fact, yes. And “pan” as in really “pan”–everything. Like pantheism and the Greek God Pan. Pagan pan.
onezero: See that cute rock over there, right?
CT: [chucking] Oh, yes! That is one cute stone!
What was it like for you, growing up at Cradle Rock? Did you always know that you were asexual?
onezero: Well, you know, my conception was asexual, in the biological meaning of the world. It all takes place in a test tube, and then, through a surgical procedure involving a spatula, the embryo is placed inside the host, in my case, in my dad, Chandler Adams. I suspect since I came to be in a way that didn’t involve human-typical sexual reproduction, I don’t have the same procreative instincts as most. I must admit, I do always find it rather racy whenever I see a spatula stirring an egg!
But Cradle Rock is my home. Whenever the world seemed to greet me harshly, I knew I could return to Cradle Rock and my family to be wholly accepted.
And, like I said, with all the things that are different about me, being asexual is just one more in the long list!
What about for you?
CT: That’s an interesting question, onez. I guess I’ve felt similar. I mean, I’ve always felt different, ever since I was a little child. Everything about me felt different. The way I think. What I see and notice. How I talk. The way I relate to others. So it sort of just seemed to me that my style of not getting certain jokes, and not liking certain types of attention, not liking to wear make-up, high heels, or clothes that people called “sexy,” was just more of being different. Not a big deal.
onezero: It is a big deal, and it’s not a big deal. It’s not a big deal when we realize that everybody is an individual. Everybody’s got ways of being different, and so our own differences, really, just connect us to everybody, for they’re simply how we, in particular, express our own individuality, just like everyone else does through their own unique differences. It is a big deal when we feel pressured–especially subtly or in ways that are not explicit–to be something else, to fit norms that just don’t fit.
You asked about growing up. Well, growing up at home was fine, for no one ever pressured me. But school was awful, and meeting strangers was often very hard, especially when they were afraid of me because I’m an alien, and even more so when they were attracted to me because I was an alien. You know, Cathy, you can fake it: most everything about you that is different, you can, if you want to, hide or push aside so that, if you wanted, you could fit in and escape notice. I’m not saying that’s easier, for that has its own hardship when a person hides who they truly are to fit in. I’m just saying that having blue skin in a world with earth-colored skin tones poses continual challenge.
When I was declared “insane” at the start of high school, I felt relieved, after I thought about it. If I was going to be pronounced deviant, then let me just embrace it and never even think of or consider fitting in.
CT: My own experience was so different. As you say, all of my differences are ones that aren’t always visibly apparent. In terms of my sexuality, I did try to fit in with what was perceived as “normal.” I came of age in the 1970s, on the heels of the sexual revolution. It was considered part of being a free and liberated woman of the time to embrace sexuality. I was just a kid and teen during this time, but these message were all around.
In my family, only two women were unmarried, both of them were great aunts that the family considered “damaged.” One had mental illness, and the other, a nurse, was an alcoholic and prescription drug addict. I loved them both deeply and felt drawn to them. I identified with them. Somehow, at a young age, I always suspected that I would not marry. I didn’t think anyone would want to marry me. This was a secret source of fear and shame, since my family seemed so ashamed of and looked down on my two unmarried great aunts.
So, in my junior year of high school, when I had my first boyfriend, the overwhelming feeling was one of relief: somebody chose me! Maybe I wasn’t “damaged” like my great aunts. Being a romantic, I fell in love with my first boyfriend. I knew I didn’t want to marry him, but it hurt so much when we broke off that I decided I’d only date someone if I were willing to marry that person. I had two boyfriends in college before I met Jim. And I had a brief period where I experimented with fooling around casually a bit. It was college in the late 70’s–it seemed the thing to do.
I’ve been really lucky to be with Jim. We fell in love the night we met–we both felt aesthetic, spiritual, personal, emotional, and intellectual attraction for each other. Our connection is fluid, and it works. We’ve been together for 37 years–on the outside, we probably look like a pretty typical couple of old hippies. As a couple, we are two individuals who each are different from the norm in scores of ways, and so our differences align, and we work.
onezero: I’m sure that has both its gifts and challenges, as any type of configuration does.
CT: Do you ever wish you were part of a couple, onez?
onezero: Oh, no! But I would love to be part of a polyamorous committed friendship. I’d be the cuddling partner! And the one to recite love poetry and sing the songs and paint flowers on faces.
CT: Hmmm… I don’t think the Sims is set up for that. Maybe I can find you a mod.
Anything else you want to share, onezero?
onezero: You and me both show that there are all sorts of ways to be. When a person says, “I’m asexual,” it doesn’t mean that automatically this explains everything about who they are. It only tells us that the person is not generally sexually attracted to other people. But can that person have crushes, feel flirty, fall in love, and be in loving friendships and partnerships? Of course! There are all sorts of ways of being. This is true for every label.