Saturday, September 29, 2018


Sticker with an American flag logo, and the text "I Voted From China." Image source.
I voted! Mailed my absentee ballot, all the way from China. If you need an absentee ballot for the November elections, there is still time to register and get one. Check out these sites for information:
Vote From Abroad
Absentee and Early Voting

Also, I am donating to the Voting Rights Project, to help ALL AMERICANS be able to exercise our right to vote. If you have money, consider donating~


[content note for sexual assault in this section of the blog post]

So... I haven't said much about what's going on with the Supreme Court this week. I just stuck to my already-scheduled blog posts, because this whole thing is just too emotionally difficult.

Three things I have to say though:

First, Dr. Ford is a hero.

Second, because of all this, I now realize that if I had been sexually assaulted in college, I 100% would not have known it was sexual assault, I 100% would have blamed myself, I 100% would have felt guilty over not "protecting my purity." In college there was this fraternity house I used to hang out at a lot, because a bunch of my friends were brothers, and I just keep thinking about this one time when I was going home really late at night and I wondered if I should just go to the fraternity house and sleep on the couch in their common room, because my own dorm was all the way on the other side of campus.

But I decided no, because... ugh, because I was attracted to some of the boys in the fraternity, and I had been "lusting" recently when I was there... and I thought that if "something happened" it would be because I let myself fall asleep there, and when I'm sleepy I'm less able to "fight temptation" and I might just "let" it happen... and I would lose my purity and it would be my fault. So no, I didn't go to the fraternity house that night.

It never, ever crossed my mind that, if I sleep on the common room couch, and wake up and there's a boy on top of me, touching me, then that's sexual assault and the boy is doing a bad thing and he should be reported and he should be punished. Nope. All I thought about was, I'm attracted to some of the boys here, and I choose to fall asleep- it means on some level, I want *something* to happen. And that's what I get for being so careless with my purity.

Ugh, thank goddess that never happened to me. Purity culture is a hell of a drug.

Third, let's donate to support survivors of sexual assault. You can donate to RAINN, or if you know of other organizations that work to protect women's rights or fight against sexual assault, leave a comment on this post~


And VOTE! Everyone, vote!

Here, listen to the song "Work" by Rihanna, but sing "vote" instead of "work":

Friday, September 28, 2018

I Still Don't Know What They Meant By "Lust"

Very 90's style of graphic design, image text says "Why open your legs when you can open the Bible? I only bust it open for Jesus." Has a picture of some guy ... laying around trying to be cool? Image source.
So I saw the above image on twitter a few months ago, and it's been bothering me.

There were a bunch of replies on twitter, laughing about how ridiculous this is, and how apparently "bust it open" means opening one's legs in order to have sex... everyone is giggling about it, but I feel left out because if I had seen this back when I believed in all that "sexual purity" stuff, I wouldn't have really *got* how ridiculous it was.

Back then, in high school and college, I was vaguely aware that "open your legs" was somehow related to sex, but I had no idea how. And I had no awareness that it was something that a lot of people were actually interested in doing. But I did read the bible every day and that was really really important to me. What I'm trying to say is, "Why open your legs when you can open the Bible?" sounds like the sort of thing you would say if you're asexual but don't even know what asexuality is, and therefore have no real understanding of the fact that most people desire sex.

I see people laughing about it on twitter, and I feel left out because I know that back then, I wouldn't have gotten the joke.

And you know what? Christian purity-culture advocates made sure I wouldn't get the joke. I had no idea that the vast majority of people experience attraction differently than I do (specifically, they have sexual attraction and I don't), and of course I wasn't allowed to find out. It was dangerous "temptation" to learn about one's own desires, or to spend time thinking about anything related to sex.

So I thought everyone experiences attraction the same way I do.

My lack of knowledge and lack of desire made me "good" and "pure", according to that ideology. Or, mostly pure. I was sure I was dirty because I have SO MUCH romantic attraction, which means I'm not "guarding my heart", and I was sure my sensual attraction was "lust" which is pretty much the most dirty sinful thing ever, right? Because I couldn't force myself to be "perfect" and never have attraction at all, I was "cheating on my future husband." But no, of course I never even thought about having sex. Of course! Everyone knows women aren't really interested in sex.

(At least, that was what they taught in church.)


This month's theme for the Carnival of Aces is "Asexuality Before AVEN," so I'm thinking about my life before I knew I was asexual, and about how things would be different now if I didn't have the language and concepts from the asexual community. Basically, I wouldn't HAVE A CLUE about SO MANY things related to attraction and sex. Because I would still be stuck thinking everyone experienced attraction the same way, and trying to force the evidence (my own feelings and what I saw other people doing) to fit into that paradigm.

The Christian teaching I received about sex assumed everyone was straight, and that all men feel a certain way about sex and romance, and all women feel a certain way about sex and romance. They informed me of what desires I had, or would have when I was older, or would have if I kissed a boy and "one thing led to another", or would have if I followed all the rules and didn't have sex until marriage. And I believed them! Can you imagine? I believed that other people were experts on my feelings- on desires I supposedly had, which I had never felt before.

Even in something as simplistic and cheesy as the kid-friendly answer to where babies come from- "when a man and a woman love each other very much ..."- even in that, there's the assumption that intimate love necessarily, automatically leads to sex. Not very ace-friendly. Over here in reality, when I tried to have sex for the first time, I loved my partner so much (and still do! we are married now!) but we literally could not figure out how to do penis-in-vagina sex that first time. We had to give up and try again another day.

And since then it's gotten better, but only because I've been doing a ton of research- reading sex-ed resources, reading erotica, masturbating, using sex toys, completely rethinking all my beliefs about male pleasure and my "wifely duty"... I have done A LOT OF WORK, because I do want to have sex with my husband. (Some asexuals want to have sex and some don't.) Nothing about this has been intuitive or natural. (Or rather, I have romantic and sensual attraction, so that part is intuitive and natural, but anything related to genitals is just ... why are we doing this...?)


So in church they taught us that men feel like this and women feel like that. Without the asexual community, I never would have realized I don't "feel like that." It never would have occurred to me that not "feeling like that" was an option.

They used big, vague words like "crush" and "attraction" and "sex" and "desire" and "temptation" and "act on it" and "sexual sin" and "lust", and never explicitly defined any of them. Just assumed that everyone experiences attraction in the same way, so everyone who says they are "struggling with lust" means the same thing.

(And they also lumped all "sexual sin" in together, talked about it as if it was the same thing. From completely harmless things like masturbating, to sexual assault. How messed up is that.)

And now that I know I'm asexual, I realize that I definitely did not mean the same thing they meant when I said "lust." But I still don't know what they actually meant.

I remember back then, I used to talk as if everyone else was straight and experienced attraction the same way I did. "You know when you like a boy, and you feel [some specific thing I felt]..." I didn't stop to define terms or check if other people understood what I was talking about. I didn't realize I was making huge assumptions about how other people experience attraction. How could I? How could I have known I should take those things into consideration, when Christian role models in my life all told me "this is how you feel" as if all women feel the same way?

No, it wasn't until I found the concept of asexuality that I learned that people don't all "feel the same way." Everyone is unique, and the asexual community has given me the language to talk about my feelings and desires and discover how they may be the same or different from other people.

It really helps, knowing that I'm different and I don't have to think up some convoluted way to convince myself that actually yes I do feel those things that everybody supposedly feels. I wish I had  known that a long time ago. Back when I was "good" and "pure", I didn't have a clue.


Miss me with your "we are all sexually broken" hot takes. I'm asexual.
The First Time I Heard Of Asexuality ...
A Post About Masturbation


This post is part of the September 2018 Carnival of Aces. This month's theme is "Asexuality Before AVEN."

Thursday, September 27, 2018


A white cat with a strawberry on its head. Image source.
1. The Problem With Rape Kits (posted March 8) [content note: rape] Oof, this is hard to read.

2. Battle lines form over social justice: Is it gospel or heresy? (posted September 6) "Statements that dismiss social justice send a message that the ongoing marginalization many minorities still experience and struggle against is of no concern to their fellow Christians. Or to God."

3. The New Hip Churches are Fooling Google. They Pop Up as “Gay-friendly” — it’s a Hoax. (posted September 17) "Ask the lead pastor “Do you perform weddings for gay couples?” If the answer isn’t, simply, “yes,” … if it begins with a lengthy prelude like “Now that’s complicated issue, let’s step back for minute to unpack it,” you have your answer: NO."

4. Pando, the Word’s Heaviest Organism, is an Ever-Growing Witness of an Ancient Earth (posted September 18) Cool!

5. Pixar Theory: How Dante being an Alebrije EXPLAINS everything! (posted September 6) "It resolves every single piece of plot convenience in the entire film."

6. Is it a Sin to Take Showers? (posted September 23) "[INITIATE YOUTH PASTOR VOICE] But teens lemme get real with you. Isn’t that how sin works, amen?"

7. Pastor: Christians Should Skip the Weddings of Couples That Had Premarital Sex (posted September 25) Well would you look at that. John Piper seems to think everyone's unmarried sex life is his business. This is my surprised face.

8. Somebody DIED, Pat Robertson (posted September 15) "The mind boggles at just how lacking in compassion someone must be to think that any god would rather spare some business buildings than a dozen lives and thousands of homes." And THIS is why I don't pray any more.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Don't ever tell me it was a good thing. Don't ever tell me it was God's plan.

Image text: "If this is God's plan, God is a terrible planner." Image source.
Note from Perfect Number: So I wrote this post a long time ago, but I didn't publish it back then because the whole situation sucked and I didn't want to talk about it. And it felt too personal to publish something with such strong negative emotions. Luckily, my life is much better now and I don't have those particular emotions about it, so it feels less "personal" to publish it now.

And on Monday I published my review of VeggieTales "The Ballad of Little Joe", which was a story about being disgustingly optimistic when bad, unjust things happen to us, believing those things are "God's plan" and we just need to accept the situation and trust God.

My story here is sort of the "other side" of the story we saw in "The Ballad of Little Joe."


[content note: this is an angry post about losing my job, and Christian platitudes]

A while ago, I lost my job. And I didn't really tell many people about it, because I was afraid there would be people who wouldn't believe me- and if someone doesn't believe me, they don't deserve to hear any details about my life. And if I have to do the work of offering evidence and then waiting for whoever's listening decide if it's my fault or not, decide if they're going to be on my side or not, that's more emotional trauma that I'm not willing to put myself through.

So what happened is, the company illegally broke the contract, it came out of nowhere, and they said a bunch of lies about me. But now I'm at a different job, a much better job, and I have a higher salary now.

And I stay out of Christian culture as much as I can nowadays, so fortunately I haven't had anyone say any ****ed up stuff about how this is God's plan and everything worked out so it's all good.

See, there are Christians who would look at my old job and my current job, look at the amount of money, and say that I'm in a better situation now, so actually this was a good thing that happened to me. And God did it.

And just ignore everything in between. As if that doesn't matter. As if, because I have a better salary now, everything is fine.

I am not fine.

You think I'm ****ing fine? You think there are no long-term consequences when people that I trusted suddenly turn evil? You believe in a God who thinks that emotional damage isn't a real thing- or at least, its effects can be totally negated by a big number on a paycheck?

F*** that God.

I am not fine. Now I can't trust anyone who works in HR- are all HR people secretly evil? They act nice, but are they suddenly going to screw me over? And I feel scared I'll lose my job again- everything seems fine, but I thought everything seemed fine last time too.

Any time I'm at work and somebody says, "come here, we're having a meeting," I feel nervous.

If you think this is something that God wanted to happen to me, and it's all good because I have more money, then **** you.

I'm an immigrant. I have a residence permit which allows me to be in China legally. But that's dependent on having a job. When I lost my job, I had a few months before my residence permit would expire, and that meant I only had that much time to find a new job and navigate the sea of bureaucracy that is China- and if I'm not able to get a new residence permit in time, I have to leave the country.

A loving God does not do that to people.

It "all worked out", okay, sure, it "all worked out." I did find a better job and get a new residence permit. And Christians would tell me I should have trusted God instead of being so worried- see, it "all worked out", and that means I was wrong to be worried. Well f*** that. As if it's totally fine for God to just throw someone into an overwhelmingly stressful situation, because God knows it's going to "all work out" and there's not *actually* any danger of getting kicked out of China. Like God is allowed to just do anything they want to people, and then we're the ones who are wrong for having a completely reasonable emotional reaction to what is objectively a very stressful situation.

God knows it will "all work out" so any worry and stress we suffer is our fault, we're the ones in the wrong for not "trusting God"- yeah, f*** that. It's like threatening someone and then laughing at them because haha, what are they so scared about, they should have known you didn't really mean it. That's what all this "trust God" crap is about.

It's like hiding your friend's phone and then watching them panic about it for a few hours. You let them think it got stolen, and then after a while you give it back. See, everything is fine. You knew all along it wasn't stolen and there was nothing to worry about. Therefore you did nothing wrong and your friend was wrong to be worried.

Well, Christians would say, this is God's way of helping you leave a job that wasn't good for you and end up in a better situation. Okay, if that's true, then God really sucks at this. Why can't God just COMMUNICATE? Why can't God tell me "hey you could totally look for a better job"? Does God seriously think the best way to move me from job A to job B is to have a bunch of people that I thought cared about me suddenly turn evil and say a lot of nasty lies about me?

F*** that God. Seriously. F*** that God.

Does God seriously think that having me all worried about GETTING F***ING DEPORTED is a perfectly reasonable way to "help" me change to a better job? **** that.

It's like if you're just standing around and somebody comes up and starts hitting you, hitting you, over and over and you try to get away from them and they keep hitting you over and over, and then you see a huge truck drive past, right where you had been standing... See, this random hitting person saved your life. If they had just let you stand there, you would have been hit by a truck. You would have died. And so, even though they hit you and it hurt, they did nothing wrong because your current situation is better than what it would have been if they had not intervened at all. That is, apparently, the standard we hold God to- no matter how much pain God puts you through, as long as you end up better off than you were before, God did nothing wrong. **** that.

And I keep reasurring myself, it's okay to be angry at the people at my old job who did this. It's okay to hate them. It's okay to never forgive them. (I plan on never interacting with them ever again- if I were going to actually do something to them, then I would need to spend a lot of time seriously thinking about the difference between justice and revenge- because I believe in justice but not revenge. But I'm not going to do anything to them. Just hate them by myself, that's all.)

And you know who else can **** off? Christians who want to tell me I need to forgive, or some crap like that. **** you, and stop policing people's emotions. With an extra special "**** you" to the Christians who are like "there's a lot of misunderstanding about what 'forgiveness' means, it doesn't mean deciding what happened was okay, it doesn't mean reconciling, it means [word salad about doing it to benefit yourself]." No. "Forgiveness", as I was taught, was about policing emotions, rules about what I'm allowed or not allowed to feel when someone hurts me, and I'm not interested in reclaiming that word. And it's useless to claim a word doesn't *really* mean what most people understand it to mean. They only do that because they believe forgiveness is required by God, so then they try to change the meaning of "forgiveness" so it's not such an emotionally unhealthy thing to require from people. Yeah, how about instead you just leave me alone.

And then there are Christians who are like, "well maybe God was trying to teach you something." Well maybe **** you. If God was "trying to teach me something", God failed, and that's not my f***ing fault. In that ideology, God causes bad things to happen to people, intending that they will learn some kind of deep life lesson- and then if I end up all angry instead of learning said life lesson, it's my fault, God did nothing wrong. COME ON!

How are people getting away with this "maybe God was trying to teach you something" crap? Spinning it like "God did this thing to you, and it was for good reasons, you're the one who is in the wrong for not seeing that," when, if it really was true that "God was trying to teach me something," that would mean God really really ****ed up, because I didn't learn some nice lesson, instead I have anxiety about my job, and have a hard time trusting people. YEAH GOOD JOB GOD.

**** all that. **** those nice platitudes about God causing bad things to happen to me because of some mysterious good reason. **** all the Christians who are so attached to their "God has a plan" ideology that they don't care about my emotional health- claiming that the trauma I went through doesn't matter because I have more money now, or that I'm the one who did something wrong by not "trusting God."

I'm an optimist, okay? I can compare my current situation to my old job and see things that are better now, and choose to focus on those things. That's good, that's a strategy that people use to cope with bad things that happen to them. But that doesn't mean, in a literal sense, that what happened to me actually was a good thing. If you start claiming that, that's when you get into ideas that are really really damaging.

If "my life is better now because of events that were directly or indirectly caused by this thing happening" means that the thing was A Good Thing, then the only way that I can claim that losing my job was A Bad Thing is if my life completely and totally sucks forever after. And I do not want my life to completely and totally suck, so I'm making the best of the situation I'm in, always working toward a better future. And I will not let anyone use my success as evidence that what happened wasn't actually bad, that God did it to me on purpose in order to help me get the good things I have now. F*** all of that.


How Suffering Did NOT Bring Me Closer To God
God of Bad Snaps

Monday, September 24, 2018

Perfect Number Watches VeggieTales "The Ballad of Little Joe" (2003)


Follow-up post: Don't ever tell me it was a good thing. Don't ever tell me it was God's plan.


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