Thursday, May 31, 2018


First frame: Darth Vader says "The circle is now complete..." Second frame: Suddenly Darth Vader's head is replaced with Korg's, who says, "But not a real circle, more like a freaky circle." Image source.
1. Biblical Teaching On Divorce: Start With Ezra (posted May 10) "What does the book of Ezra teach us about “the rules” for divorce? It teaches us that men who consider the purity of their rules more important than the lives of women will delude themselves into committing monstrous atrocities."

2. Asexual Intercourse (posted 2014) [content note: explicit description of sex, very NSFW] This is an asexual man writing about his thoughts the first time he had sex, and it all sounds so realistic to me. Other stuff I've read, like sexy fan fiction, has people saying things like "I NEED to have you INSIDE ME" like... is that real? Would anyone actually say something like that? Would anyone feel something like that? Wtf? But this, this asexual description of sex, this feels so real.

3. Will Christians Stand Up for Transgender Inmates? (posted May 30)

4. Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu & Eevee vs. Pokémon Yellow - Graphics Comparison (Switch vs Game Boy) (posted May 30) WOWWWWW they took the trailer for the new pokemon game, "Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu & Eevee", and recreated it in Pokemon Yellow. Wowwwwwww.

5. And my 2018 Reader Survey is still open (until June 9). Thanks so much to those of you who took the time to do the survey~ Love you~

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

On Karaoke and Virtues Morality

People singing at KTV. Image source.
Recently I went to KTV with a bunch of friends. "KTV" is what karaoke places are called in China, and they're wayyy better than what Americans think karaoke is. At KTV, you go with your friends and rent a private room- you choose the size of the room based on how many people you have. There are 2 or 3 microphones, and tables and a booth to sit in. There's a computer screen where you search for songs and pick out the ones you want to sing. At a lot of places, the search function isn't user-friendly for people who may or may not read Chinese and are searching for English songs, but if you can figure out how to use it, you find they have almost any English song you would want.

You know what's a good song for KTV? "You Give Love A Bad Name." (ohhhhhhhhhhhhHHHHHHHHHHHHHH SHOT THROUGH THE HEART! AND YOU'RE TO BLAME honey you give love a BAD NAME!)

Anyway. I left around 1 am but apparently some of my friends stayed til like 2 or 3. And I heard that, toward the end, some of them were upset because "Joanna keeps putting her songs to the front."

See at KTV, when you pick songs, they get put in the playlist of upcoming songs. They go to the end of the list. But there's also an option to move a song right to the top of the list, so it's the next one that will get played. And apparently, one member of the group was abusing this feature and putting all her songs at the top of the list, not giving other people a chance to sing their songs.

All of this leads me to wonder, what's the etiquette for using the "put this song at the top of the list" feature?

Seems like if everybody does it, then it's fine. And if nobody does it, then that would be fine too. But if some people keep doing it, while others don't even know that feature exists, well, that's a problem.

This group of people was almost all international. In my experience when I've gone to KTV with a group of Chinese people, they look out for me- they tell me I should go ahead and pick more songs, they help me navigate the menu, they put a song at the top of the list for me if they feel like I haven't sung enough. In Chinese culture, being kind to "guests" is a really important value. And ideally, I think at KTV the right thing to do is to pay attention to who is singing a lot and who isn't, and if you notice somebody isn't singing any of the songs that come up, then go ask them "Do you want to sing another song? We can put one of yours at the top of the list." But this particular group of people was mostly from western countries where we have a more individualistic culture- where people mainly look out for themselves and wouldn't necessarily notice if someone is feeling left out. And maybe also, being from other countries, we were less familiar with how KTV works and how there is an option to put a song at the top of the list (available to people who are good at navigating Chinese menus!), and in what situations that would be useful. These factors combined to create a situation where one person kept putting her songs at the top of the list, not giving other people a chance to sing, and it took a while for the rest of the group to realize what was happening and know how to handle it.

Last month I wrote a post called From "Virtues Morality" To "Boundaries Morality", about 2 different frameworks for knowing what's "the right thing to do" in a particular situation. So I've been thinking, what's "the right thing to do" if I'm at KTV, I've picked a bunch of songs, but suspiciously none of my songs have been played yet, and I'm wondering if it's because other people are putting their songs at the top of the list.

Let me tell you what I would do under "virtues morality." "Virtues morality" is about learning a bunch of "virtues" and then applying them to real-life situations. The virtues that seem relevant to this situation are "patience" and "put others first." If my songs are on the list but they haven't been played yet, well I just need to "be patient." If other people are putting their songs before mine, well I should let them do it- "put others first" instead of standing up for myself. Haha, "stand up for yourself" is SO NOT a "virtue."

(Note that this is a hypothetical; I'm not saying my friends at KTV actually thought along these lines. This is about what Perfect-Number-8-years-ago would have done.)

So, in this hypothetical, I would sit there, thinking about how unfair it was. Thinking that "the way it's supposed to work" is everyone's songs go to the end of the list and they're played in the order they're selected and nobody uses the "top of the list" function. I would judge the other people for putting their songs at the top; I would feel like I'm so superior and godly because I'm "submitting" to it instead of standing up for myself. I would tell myself that it's okay, I know I need to "do the right thing" and just "be patient." And I would get gradually angrier and angrier as I wait and wait and my songs keep getting pushed back.

Eventually I might get so frustrated about how I'm working so hard to "do the right thing" and it's not working, and I can't take it any more, and I end up yelling at someone in anger.

And then, under "virtues morality," I would feel bad, oh I sinned, my sin was that I broke under the strain of my emotions, I wasn't able to keep "submitting" like I should. Godly people are able to repress that forever. They never reach a breaking point where they finally demand to be treated fairly.

In church I learned to "put others first" and "submit" and "turn the other cheek." They never explicitly said "don't stand up for yourself"- they didn't say it would be a "sin" to speak up and say "hey what about my turn to sing?" Of course a normal person would say that, and that's just fine. But. Wouldn't it be better and more godly to not stand up for myself? As Christians, we're supposed to always strive for perfection- a standard we can never reach. Sure, a regular person- a regular Christian- would say "hey what about my songs?" but if I'm really really really "on fire for God", truly obeying and submitting every single moment of my life, all-in, 100%, all my heart, all my soul, all my strength, all my mind... then I would just let it happen and "trust God" to make it all okay.

After all, it's a sin to want something too much. That would be "making it an idol." Nothing belongs to you anyway, so you need to be okay with your things getting taken away.

That's how it would go under "virtues morality." And I'm struck by how unnecessary it all is- all the negative emotions, the anger, the trying-so-hard-to-just-submit-when-people-treat-me-like-this. It's all unnecessary. In reality, nobody at KTV is actually trying to treat you unfairly. They probably just didn't realize that you weren't getting in the mix and putting your own songs at the top. If you would just communicate about it, there would be no problem at all.

In order to communicate, though, you have to hold the belief that "there are N people in our group, so on average 1 out of every N songs should be a song I picked, and if it seems to be a much lower proportion than that, then I should try to find out why and correct the problem." It requires believing that your needs and your desires have an equal standing with everybody else's. It requires a belief that you should NOT "always put others first."

It's NOT true that "yes it's fine to speak up and ask that I get an equal share, but it's BETTER and MORE GODLY not to." No. Nothing like that. It's not more "moral" to give up your rights. (Unless you're in an unusual circumstance where there really isn't enough for everyone and you feel it makes sense to prioritize other people over yourself.) In fact, living under that kind of ideology is TERRIBLE for one's emotional health.

And here's something I didn't believe under "virtues morality," but I do now: Your emotional health matters.

There's nothing good/healthy/godly about just sitting around accepting it when people don't treat you equally. Don't just sit there and hope that because you're "submitting" and "doing the right thing," the situation will just *magically* correct itself. Stand up for yourself. Politely, nicely, communicate about how you think you're not getting your fair share. You deserve that, and it's right to advocate for it.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Confusing and Weird

Heart-shaped pin with the colors of the asexual flag. Image source.
[content note: this is a post about how I'm asexual but I still want to have sex]

Three big changes happened in my life, all in the past 5 years or so:
  1. I got out of Christian purity culture. This was a really long process, but I'm all the way out now. That is to say, I believe there's nothing inherently wrong with having unmarried sex- and for me it was EXTREMELY healthy.
  2. I discovered I'm asexual.
  3. I got married. To a heterosexual man.
So I have all these confusing thoughts and feelings about sex/ sexuality/ my own desires, going in all sorts of different directions. When I was in purity culture, I had to repress so much, and now I want to do everything, just because I'm so excited about not being scared anymore. I want to try all kinds of sexual things, not because of sexual attraction, not because they sound like appealing things intrinsically, but because I spent so long being terrified and repressed. But at the same time, as an ace I want to help the ace community, I want to educate people about asexuality and the issues that we face, and that involves a lot of talking about how it's okay to not have sex, to not want sex, etc. I spend so much time thinking about that, I almost forget that actually I genuinely am interested in having sex. In queer spaces I emphasize the fact that I'm ace and downplay the fact that I'm straight and married. And I am trying to figure out how to have an understanding of consent that's inclusive of aces. It seems to me that, in a situation where your partner (that you love so much) would break up with you if you don't have sex with them, for some aces it's fine to just have sex even though you're not really into it, but for other aces sex would just be so bad for their mental health that it's just not a good idea, no matter how much they love their partner and want to save the relationship. Is there room for that in feminist discussion of "enthusiastic consent"? And I think about that a lot, but that's not even the situation I'm in; actually I initiate sex more than my husband does. (Though that hasn't always been the case over the course of our relationship.) But when I do, it's not because of sexual attraction or anything along those lines- mostly it's because I'm still stuck in that purity-culture ideology that says men "need" sex and a wife has a "duty" to have sex with her husband.

See? My thoughts on sex are all over the place.

A lot of aces are writing about how it's fine to not have sex. They live a full life without it and don't "miss" it. And intellectually, that all makes sense to me. I don't get why society automatically assumes that sex is a normal part of a romantic relationship. I don't get the connection between emotional intimacy and sex. Nothing about that is intuitive to me.

But. I actually really do want to have sex with my husband. For a lot of reasons- but not the "normal" reasons. I want to do it because for most of my life I wasn't allowed to even *think* about what sex *is.* And because everyone acts like sex is so great and I really want to know why. And because I feel a sense of accomplishment when my husband enjoys it. And for scientific research.

And also for problematic reasons, like the fact that Christian purity culture taught me that all men "need" to have sex frequently and I am a "bad" wife if I don't do it enough. I feel guilt over being a "bad" wife (even though my husband doesn't believe any of that), and a successfully-completed round of sex makes the guilt go away.

Anyway. I just got out of purity culture, just discovered I'm asexual, and just got married- so all my thoughts about sex are extremely complicated. Sex is confusing and weird.


I wrote this post for the Carnival of Aces~ This month's topic is "Nuance & Complexity."

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Thanos Tested

Thanos. Image source.
[content note: spoilers for "Avengers: Infinity War"]

Some time later the stones tested Thanos. A voice said to him, “Thanos!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

The voice said, “Take your daughter, your only daughter, whom you love—Gamora—and go to the planet Vormir. Sacrifice her there on a mountain she will show you.”

Early the next morning Thanos got up. He took with him his infinity gauntlet and his daughter Gamora.

Thanos followed Gamora as she led him to Vormir. As the two of them went on together, Gamora spoke up and said to her father Thanos, “Father?”

“Yes, my daughter?” Thanos replied.

“The soul stone extracts a terrible price,” Gamora said, "How can you pay it?”

Thanos answered, “The universe will provide the soul stone to me, my daughter.” And the two of them went on together.

When they reached the top of the mountain, Thanos stood there and looked out, at the expanse of land all around them and at the steep drop down the side of the cliff. He was silent. Gamora started to laugh. "The soul stone isn't here. The universe has judged you. You asked it for a prize and it told you no."

Thanos turned to face her, and she saw his eyes were moist. "Really? Tears?" she said in disgust.

Then he reached out his hand to pick up his daughter and throw her off the cliff. She cried out, "No! This isn't love!"

But a man with a face like a red skull called out, “Thanos! Thanos!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

“Do not lay a hand on the girl,” he said. “Do not do anything to her. Now I know that you are worthy, because you have not withheld from me your daughter, your only daughter.”

Thanos looked down and found a new shiny stone had appeared in his hand-- the soul stone. He placed it in one of the openings of his gauntlet, and there was a sudden flash of light.

The Red Skull called to Thanos a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the soul stone, that because you have done this and have not withheld your daughter, your only daughter, I will surely bless you and give you all six infinity stones. You will be more powerful than any being who has ever lived, and through you the whole universe will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

Then Thanos and Gamora returned home.


Dr. Strange's Ways Are Higher Than Our Ways

And this fantastic post from Samantha Field:
for Thanos so loved the world

Thursday, May 24, 2018


Two cats hugging. Image source.
1. Why stay in college? Why go to night school? (posted May 1) "Rapture-Christianity taught us, from a young age, that we had no future. That’s a horrible thing to teach a child."

2. for Thanos so loved the world (posted May 22) [content note: spoilers for "Avengers: Infinity War"] "He’s even more merciful than the American evangelical god if you think about it—he’s going to save half of everyone in the universe."

3. Found myself singing "Because Of You" to the Jesus I used to worship. I have so many feelings about this. I don't think I can ever have a "personal relationship" with a god ever again. Because of what He did.

4. Related: I still can't get over how much I see the Incarnation in this scene from "Spiderman: Homecoming," and how that's the Jesus I love. Peter thinks Tony is controlling the Ironman suit remotely- somewhere far away, just sending rules and condemnation, no skin in the game. "If you even cared you'd actually be here" and then the Ironman suit opens and there he is.

5. And if you haven't taken my 2018 Reader Survey yet, go over and do it~ Survey closes on June 9.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Food in Xiamen, China

One more set of photos I'd like to share, from my trip to Xiamen, China. These are photos of food. ^_^

We were on an island, so there was a lot of seafood:

A lot of restaurants had tanks showing off their fish and sea creatures

Small restaurants along the street had big basins with live shellfish:

Also, there were a lot of people on the street selling mangoes. They all carried big styrofoam boxes, which they then used as a stand to sell the mangoes from. They sliced up the mangoes and sold them in cups, with a stick you can use to stab the pieces in order to pick them up and eat them.

Also some of the mangoes were cut into pretty flower shapes:

There were also other tropical fruits you could buy, in addition to mangoes, but I don't seem to have any photos of them.

So basically Xiamen is a land of seafood and mangoes~


Series of posts with photos from my trip to Xiamen:

Taking the Train in China
Xiamen, China
Xiamen, China (part 2)
Churches in Xiamen, China
Food in Xiamen, China


If you want to see more posts like this, consider supporting me on patreon~ When I reach my goal of $20/month, I'll do a series of blog posts about various aspects of life in Shanghai. With lots of photos. ^_^

Friday, May 18, 2018


Spiderman in space in "Avengers: Infinity War." Image source.
1. The Last Slave Ship Survivor Gave an Interview in the 1930s. It Just Surfaced (posted May 3) "Lewis expected to receive compensation for being kidnapped and forced into slavery, and was angry to discover that emancipation didn’t come with the promise of “forty acres and a mule,” or any other kind of reparations."

2. Graphing Physical and Emotional Closeness (posted 2013) WOWWW this is so useful! It's an article, from an asexual perspective, about making a graph to show emotional closeness vs physical closeness in a relationship (ie how emotionally close do you feel as a result of cuddling, kissing, sexual things, etc). Society tends to assume that these things would correlate with each other in just one specific way, but that's not true- the graph can be different from everyone.

And also I would like to add: My graph could also be different for different relationships. Maybe when I hug a certain person, it makes me feel a certain level of emotional closeness, but when I hug a different person, it's different. Really, I have so little experience with romantic relationships (I've only had 3, and my level of buying-into-purity-ideology was WAYYY different for each one) that I can't really say "this is what the graph looks like for me in general", but rather, I can plot specific points from my relationship with Hendrix.

3. Vaginal Intercourse (posted March 13) [content note: NSFW!!! A lot of drawings of genitals here] A sex-ed comic about how to have penis-in-vagina sex. Seems pretty simple and basic, but GEEZ I wish I knew all these things the first time I tried having sex.

4. Taking Freedom: Yes, Black America Fears the Police. Here's Why. (posted April 10) [content note: police brutality] "By calling the police, you are inviting this big system—that, frankly, doesn't like you—into your life."

5. Solomon Had Only One Wife (and Other Things Creationists Say) (posted May 15)

6. And the 2018 Reader Survey is still open (until June 9). Go over and take it if you haven't yet~ Thanks!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Churches in Xiamen, China

I have still more photos to show you from my trip to Xiamen, China. In this post I'll show you some of the churches that are on Gulangyu Island (鼓浪屿).

These churches were marked on the map as tourist attractions. (The whole island is basically tourist attractions.) And it seems like they have congregations and weekly services- they're not just historical sites.

It's important to me to post this because a lot of Americans have a really bizarre incorrect view of Christianity in China. They think Christianity is illegal or something, and churches all have to hide. No, it's not like that. There are lots of churches- you can go online and find information on the churches near you. And of the Chinese people I've talked to about this, most of them don't really know much about Christianity, but they're like "oh my aunt is Christian" like they see it as a pretty normal thing to be.

I get the impression that the government does put restrictions on Christianity, but they vary from place to place and may or may not be enforced. (Because China is a giant bureaucracy...) Seems like they are particularly concerned about Chinese people being influenced by western culture, so you're more likely to get in trouble if you show up with a group of white missionaries trying to start up some Christian thing for Chinese people. And I know that in some places in China, there is real Christian persecution- churches being shut down and stuff like that- but the average Chinese person isn't aware of that. As I said, I get the impression the average Chinese person is aware that some people are Christian, and doesn't really have strong feelings one way or the other on it.

Anyway. Here are some churches in Xiamen. Right there in the open, with no indication that anyone is trying to "ban" Christianity or anything.

First, some photos of a Catholic church:

A statue of Jesus, in front of the Catholic church.

The base of the statue has this inscription: "Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat!" which is apparently a well-known Catholic phrase meaning "Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ commands."

Also outside the Catholic church was this statue of 2 women. I guess it's Mary and an angel?

Here's the Catholic church. It was ABSOLUTELY CRAWLING with couples getting wedding-dress photos taken. See in China, they do photos in a wedding dress a few months before the wedding, sort of like how we do engagement photos in the US. Because Chinese weddings don't have the cultural concept of "THE dress" (ie, this is THE dress, YOUR dress, the special dress you only wear 1 day out of your whole life). Actually, Chinese brides have a whole bunch of outfits they change into throughout the wedding day. One of them is a white dress. But it's not like it's "THE dress."

And here's a second church, Trinity Church (三一堂 sān yī táng). 三 (sān) means 3 and 一 (yī) means 1. 三一 (sān yī) means "trinity." Get it? (Chinese vocabulary is so easy!)
This sign describes the history of Trinity Church. Building started in 1934 and was completed in 1945. And it's still in use as a church. 

Trinity Church

主是好牧人 (The Lord is the good shepherd.)

Trinity Church. See the 3 characters over the doors there: 三一堂

And here's a third church:

Also I took this picture of a Taoist temple, so I'll include it in this post:

Everything in Xiamen is so beautiful~


Series of posts with photos from my trip to Xiamen:

Taking the Train in China
Xiamen, China
Xiamen, China (part 2)
Churches in Xiamen, China
Food in Xiamen, China


If you want to see more posts like this, consider supporting me on patreon~ When I reach my goal of $20/month, I'll do a series of blog posts about various aspects of life in Shanghai. With lots of photos. ^_^

Monday, May 14, 2018

To Learn About Asexuality, Definitely Read "The Invisible Orientation"

Book cover for "The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality." Image source.
Recently I read The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality, by Julie Sondra Decker. It's a good book that gives a broad overview of what asexuality is. I definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about asexuality.

To give you a general idea of what's covered in the book, here is a list of the chapters:
  1. "Part One: Asexuality" (basic definitions, as well as emphasizing the fact that asexuality is a real orientation and shouldn't be dismissed as a medical issue or a phase)
  2. "Part Two: Asexual Experiences" (about how asexuality intersects with other identities- romantic orientation, the queer community, polyamory, race, gender, trans/nonbinary, young/old, autism, disability, etc)
  3. "Part Three: The Many Myths of Asexuality" (refutes an huge list of misconceptions people often have about asexuality- for example, "Have Asexual People Just Not Met the Right Person?")
  4. "Part Four: If You're Asexual (Or Think You Might Be)" (advice about how to figure out if you're ace, coming out, how to handle people's negative reactions, etc)
  5. "Part Five: If Someone You Know Is Asexual (Or Might Be)" (how to support aces, what not to say, in particular how to react if your child comes out as asexual, or your partner)
  6. "Part Six: Other Resources"
I don't have the space here to talk about everything in the book, but I'll point out a few parts I found very insightful. For one thing, on page 64 there was a privilege checklist, which listed privileges that people who experience sexual attraction have, that aces do not have. For example, "Feeling sexual attraction or interest isn't considered a treatable mental illness by mainstream mental health professionals" and "People who are sexually attracted to each other can call their relationship romantic without frequent challenges to the relationship's legitimacy." I had never thought about this in terms of the privileges I don't have because I'm ace. It was really mind-blowing to see all these aspects- many of which DO affect my life- stated so clearly in a big list. Yes, there ARE ways I'm different from non-asexual people. And it is a big deal.

Additionally, there was a privilege checklist on page 65 for cisgender heterosexual people- privileges that aces and L, G, B, and T people do not have. For example, "Cis heterosexual people are not repeatedly told to have sex with people they're not attracted to so they can be 'sure,'" but many LGBT and aces are. So yes, aces do belong in the queer community.

Another interesting part was the list [on page 58] of various types of discrimination that affect asexuals:
  1. Consummation laws
  2. Adoption denial
  3. Employment discrimination and housing discrimination
  4. Discrimination by mental health professionals
  5. Lack of marriage equivalent for non-romantic relationships
  6. Religious pressure/discrimination
  7. "Corrective" rape
  8. Lack of representation in media and sex education
  9. Internalized oppression/self-hate
For example, in the "consummation laws" section, it mentioned situations where an immigrant is married to a citizen of the country where they live, and immigration officials ask a bunch of invasive questions about their sex life to check if the marriage is "real." "[It] is simply considered obvious that every married couple will be having sex if they're really married."

And in the "adoption denial" section, it mentioned a case where a (opposite gender) married couple wanted to adopt children. "Social Services asked them, 'How come you don't have children by yourselves,' and the couple said, 'We are asexual.' And Social Services said 'Well this is not normal, if you are asexual, you are not fit to be married.'"

Basically, there were a lot of examples of discrimination I had never even thought of. Society really does need more awareness and acceptance of asexuality.

I also appreciated the parts that talked about marriage between an asexual and non-asexual partner. (Because that's what I've got going on here...) The book was adamant that incompatibility between their sexual needs should NOT be framed as "the asexual person doesn't want sex enough" but as "we have mis-matched sexual needs." BOTH partners need to "compromise." Don't treat it like it's only the asexual's problem.

Also, the book was very clear that NO ONE should ever be forced to have sex they don't want to have. Even if they're married, that doesn't mean they're required to have sex with their spouse.

But at the same time, the book also said that it's valid for the non-asexual partner to see it as a dealbreaker. They might be unwilling to be in a relationship without sex, and that's fine, and sometimes marriages do break up because of this. (But note this important insight from page 45, about "happy" marriages that break up when one partner comes across the concept of asexuality and realizes they are asexual: "If a critic argues that the relationship was 'happy' when the asexual person felt required to hide and be ashamed of their lack of desire, that critic is suggesting that only one person-- the non-asexual person-- actually has desires that matter in the relationship.")

In my opinion, these 2 concepts- "you never should be forced/coerced into having sex you don't want" and "it's fine to leave a relationship if your partner's not willing to have sex"- exist in tension with each other. I really want to know how other people deal with this contradiction- if an asexual person knows that their partner considers sex a "dealbreaker", how can their decision on whether or not to have sex NOT be considered "coerced"? Sure, the non-ace partner respects the ace partner, would never try to force them to have sex, would never try to guilt them into it, but ... even though the partner is not coercing them, the situation itself is coercing them.

This is why I'm suspicious of a lot of the discussion around "enthusiastic consent"- as if your "yes" is only valid if it would still be "yes" with all the context of the situation removed, only valid if it's motivated by your own "enthusiastic" pleasure in a way that has nothing to do with pleasing your partner. I feel like "enthusiastic consent" is not inclusive of aces- it seems to be saying I'm literally unable to consent to sex, because the reasons I want to have sex aren't the "right" reasons.

Anyway, those are just my own thoughts; the book didn't mention there was any contradiction between "you never should be forced/coerced into having sex you don't want" and "it's fine to leave a relationship if your partner's not willing to have sex." I really would like to hear what other aces have to say about that though. I would assume that the healthiest course of action in that situation would depend on whether the asexual partner is sex-repulsed, neutral, or enjoys sex.

The book "The Invisible Orientation" is a very good introduction to asexuality, covering a wide range of topics, and I very much recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about asexuality. We are often "invisible" because people don't even know that asexuality exists, or they assume that aces don't face any discrimination and therefore awareness is not really that important. Even in the queer community, there are a lot of misconceptions about being ace. We need to promote ace awareness and acceptance, and this book seeks to do just that.

Thursday, May 10, 2018


Lena Waithe at the Met Gala, wearing a giant rainbow flag cape as part of her Catholic-themed outfit. Image source.
1. What does the life of a mother mean to you Governor Bryant? (posted March 29) [content note: anti-choice politics that literally threatens women's lives] "I ask the politicians of Mississippi how sick must a pregnant woman be after 15 weeks to have an abortion in your state because I read your law and I don’t know?"

2. Which House Was Hagrid In? | Harry Potter Theory (posted May 1)

3. James H. Cone, Founder Of Black Liberation Theology, Dies At 79 (posted April 28)

And this post from 2015: Why James H. Cone's Liberation Theology Matters More Than Ever

I recently wrote a blog series reviewing Cone's "The Cross and the Lynching Tree." American Christians should all read this book.

4. Carnival Of Aces: My Story Of Failing At Doing The Straight Thing (posted April 30) "I spend weeks dodging questions from straight relatives about how the day compared to my dream wedding. I don’t tell them the only dream wedding I ever had was my wedding. I don’t tell them the only dream wedding night I was allowed to have according to the things they taught me as a child was a nightmare."

5. Disability in Animation: Finding Nemo (posted 2014) [content note: spoilers for "Finding Nemo"] "At the same time though, it becomes clear that he does think there’s a lot of stuff that Nemo can’t do, and he’s not really letting Nemo figure out for himself what he can and can’t do. Now, that’s not a great attitude, and it’s not necessarily how you should handle a kid’s disability, but it is good that the movie shows it. Because while it may not be the right attitude, it’s a very common one, and the entire rest of the movie is basically spent deconstructing it."

6. Ace Survivors as Rhetorical Devices (part three): The One True Narrative of Sexual Violence Against Aces (posted 2015) [content note: sexual assault] "Other narratives are less politically useful, and so aces who don’t know if their (a)sexuality was influenced by trauma, asexuals who were assaulted as children, aces who were assaulted for reasons entirely unrelated to their asexuality, aces who were assaulted by other aces, aces who have been assaulted multiple times or who have experienced multiple forms of sexual violence, etc. are shoved out of the way."

7. Visiting Disney World is the Modern Version of Making a Medieval Pilgrimage (posted 2016)

8. And the 2018 Reader Survey will be open until June 9~ go ahead and take the survey if you haven't already~ Thanks!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Take the 2018 Reader Survey~

Scene with Spock and Kirk from "Star Trek." Spock is sitting at a computer. Caption: "Go away, I'm blogging." Image source.
Wow this blog is now 6 years old! Can you believe it?

I'd like to thank you all for reading, commenting, and sharing~ So glad I get to meet interesting people through blogging ^_^

I have a survey here where you can tell me what topics you want to see me write about more: 2018 Reader Survey. Please go over there and take the survey! (The survey will be open until June 9.)

Also if you are interested in sending me money on Patreon, the link is here~ $1 patrons get to see pictures of my cat. Highly recommend.

Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Perfect Number Watches VeggieTales (Master Post)

Larry the Cucumber watches "Barbara Manatee." Image source.
In November 2017, I decided to do a rewatch and analysis of all the VeggieTales movies, because they were an important part of my childhood in Christian culture. I've been doing this on Twitter and then using Storify to gather the tweets, and then moving them here to my blog.

Anyway, here are all the episodes I've done so far. This post will be updated as I continue watching more VeggieTales movies.

"Where's God When I'm S-Scared?" (1993)
"God Wants Me To Forgive Them!?!" (1994)
"Are You My Neighbor?" (1995)
"Rack, Shack, & Benny" (1995)
"Dave & the Giant Pickle" (1996)
"The Toy That Saved Christmas" (1996)
"LarryBoy and the Fib From Outer Space" (1997)
"Josh and the Big Wall" (1997)
"Madame Blueberry" (1998)
"LarryBoy and the Rumor Weed" (1999)
"King George and the Ducky" (1999)
"Esther: The Girl Who Became Queen" (2000)
"Lyle the Kindly Viking" (2001)
"Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie" (2002)
"The Star of Christmas" (2002)
"The Wonderful World of Autotainment" (2003)
"The Ballad of Little Joe" (2003)
"An Easter Carol" (2004)
"A Snoodle's Tale" (2004)
"Sumo of the Opera" (2004)
"Duke and the Great Pie War" (2005)
"Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Samson's Hairbrush" (2005)
"Lord of the Beans" (2005)
"Sheerluck Holmes & The Golden Ruler" (2006)
"LarryBoy and the Bad Apple" (2006)
"Gideon: Tuba Warrior" (2006)
"Moe and the Big Exit" (2007)

And a few posts about the morality lessons in VeggieTales overall:
My Thoughts on VeggieTales Thus Far
From "Virtues Morality" To "Boundaries Morality"

Monday, May 7, 2018

Perfect Number Watches VeggieTales "Lyle the Kindly Viking" (2001)

Maybe "King George and the Ducky" comes closest? Because the lesson is that King George's "selfishness" hurt other people (and we are to understand that hurting other people is bad). And because when the "slightly odd wise man" comes and tells King George the story of the rich man who stole the poor man's only sheep, the king is angry because he feels empathy- and that's the turning point of the story.

Actually, I seem to remember I was taught "it's bad to use your money/possessions to 'buy' friends, then they only care about what they can get from you, they don't care about you" which was SO CONFUSING because I was also taught it's good to be generous and give to other people. (Also Jesus' "Parable of the Shrewd Manager" was [and still is] confusing as hell.)


To see all my VeggieTales reviews: Perfect Number Watches VeggieTales (Master Post)