Book Review: Rachel Hills, The Sex Myth

There aren’t many books out there that are a) about sex and sexuality, and b) ace-friendly. So when I first came across Australian journalist Rachel Hill’s book The Sex Myth: The Gap Between Our Fantasies and Reality last year, I was pretty excited, but also slightly nervous. (The nervousness I blame on all those anthropology textbooks I had to read for university one semester that told me that sex was inherently what makes us human – and, well, most of what is written about sex in general.)

Turns out that I really didn’t have to worry in this case, because The Sex Myth is one of the most ace-friendly books about sexuality and sexual culture (for lack of a better term) I’ve ever read. So I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on the book here – alongside copious quotes to illustrate why I like this book so much.

The Sex Myth is all about the role that sex plays in our lives and our society – and critiquing the way that sex has become so all-encompassing, so fundamental to our identities and self-worth and ideas of success, that is has become more powerful and more elevated than all other things we do … More Book Review: Rachel Hills, The Sex Myth

Should queer people be part of workplace diversity policies?

Since starting full-time work, I have been thinking a lot about the intersection of queerness/asexuality and the workplace. In my last post I talked more specifically about coming out as ace at work and what that might entail. More recently, I’ve been thinking about a slightly broader question, of whether queer (and I’m using queer as an umbrella for all gender and sexual minorities, including ace folks) people belong in workplace diversity and inclusion policies. Specifically, in more than a purely anti-discrimination sense.

From what I’ve seen and heard so far, the public service where I work is very good at recognising diversity and promoting inclusion, and mostly that encompasses queer people too. There are express statements against marginalising or discriminating against someone on the basis of age, gender, ethnicity or cultural background, religion, sexuality, disability, and probably other things I haven’t listed as well. This is the very basic stuff, the (usually legislated) stuff that say that you can’t get fired because you happen to have a disability, or are seen at a pride march, or wear specific religious or cultural attire, etc.

Beyond anti-discrimination legislation and policy, though, is a further level to inclusion, usually in the form of diversity and inclusion policies and strategies, and this is what I’ve been thinking about more specifically … More Should queer people be part of workplace diversity policies?

Things I Wish I’d Known About Being an Aromantic Ace in a Relationship

It’ll be different to everything you imagined growing up – especially given that you’ve never been in a relationship before. It will even be different to everything you’ve learned by talking to other people in relationships. Loving another person isn’t anything like it is in the movies – it’s quieter and deeper and stronger, and you haven’t experienced anything quite like it before. You might not always know exactly what sets this person apart from everyone else, this relationship apart from the other important relationships in your life. But you know, instinctively, that this is a person you’re in love with, who makes you feel things you didn’t think you ever could or would … More Things I Wish I’d Known About Being an Aromantic Ace in a Relationship

Why are Korra and Asami in a Romantic Relationship?

Yep, spoilers for all of The Legend of Korra in here, in case the title of the post hasn’t scared you off already.

It will surprise no-one that I am a huge fan of The Legend of Korra. Back in the early days of Korra, I used to ask myself which I loved more: the original Avatar: The Last Airbender series, or Korra, and I could never quite make up my mind. Into the third season and then the fourth, any doubts were decisively pushed aside – there was no longer any question about it that (for me, at least) Korra had far exceeded Avatar.

So it will also surprise no-one that I loved the ending of Book 4 of Korra (like the vast majority of the internet and the Korra fandom). Korra decides that she’s finally had enough of the love-triangles and relationship-dramas of Books a 1 and 2 and decides to head off to explore the world with Asami instead? Brilliant! But it took me all of two minutes to realise that the reasons I adored the finale were kind of different to what everyone else was squeeing about. You see, what I was most excited by was the fact that Korra and Asami didn’t kiss … More Why are Korra and Asami in a Romantic Relationship?

The 82nd Edition of the Down Under Feminists’ Carnival

The DUFC is a collection of writing on broadly-defined feminist issues by Australian and New Zealand bloggers. It encompasses everything from political commentary to topics like race, gender, sexual inequality, queer issues, disability, human rights and social justice, sex and relationships, fat politics, feminist theory and more.

Welcome to the 82nd Edition of the Down Under Feminists’ Carnival!

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this edition! I hope you all enjoy. … More The 82nd Edition of the Down Under Feminists’ Carnival

Recent Writings in Other Places

In between digging and travelling, the last few months have also sent a few asexuality-related media and writing opportunities my way. Two have just been published – a piece over at Mamamia which I wrote after being contacted by one of their writers, and a piece for the Observer written by Alex Preston, for which I was interviewed. I also wrote a piece back in June for Role Reboot, which I’ll link to as well, for anyone interested in seeing what I’ve been up to in other spaces … More Recent Writings in Other Places

Doubly Invisible

I’ve been pretty quiet these past few months, for several reasons. One is that I graduated from my degree (as valedictorian) in July, and there was a lot of busy stuff happening prior to that with uni. The other is that I’m currently working on archaeological digs, currently in Turkey, and next month in Italy. I was lucky enough to win a travelling scholarship from my faculty as well, so I’ll be off on research-travel until December. So it’s been a good, but busy and intense few months.

But enough housekeeping notices. I wanted to write today to share some thoughts I’ve been having on being invisibly queer: in my case, being an invisible aromantic ace. It’s something I’ve really been noticing since I started digging here in Turkey. Here, I’m spending a large amount of time with a group of people whom I didn’t know previously, and with whom I live (or camp) and work in close quarters. There is a lot of talking, a lot of discussion, quite a bit of sharing about aspects of our personal and professional lives, as in inevitable in a setting like this.

I have always been an “out” person, even before I knew I was asexual and thought I was a lesbian. At home, most people with whom I spend a lot of time know that I am asexual. It’s not something I hide, but something I am proud of and talk about quite openly. I don’t walk up to random people and blurt out that I’m asexual. But where sexuality or relationships come into the discussion, or someone asks, I will happily jump in. Nothing makes me happier than when someone I am talking to references or makes a joke in which they acknowledge my asexual identity (as long as I’m not the punchline, obviously!) … More Doubly Invisible

Caught In Between

Sometimes, as an asexual person, it feels like I am constantly stuck in between, in some sort of liminal space that doesn’t seem to have a destination on either side. I’m stuck between straight and queer, because although queer has felt right to me for as long as I’ve known of its existence, that idea … More Caught In Between

Fixed and Fluid Sexual Identities (from an ace perspective)

One of the things that interests me about (a)sexual identity and sexual orientation is the models we use to talk about and conceptualise them. I’ve seen two main ways of doing this in the queer community, which have then been transferred over into the ace community as well. First, there’s the ‘born this way’ idea, … More Fixed and Fluid Sexual Identities (from an ace perspective)