Components of Resilience: Tenacity

In June 2015, for the Carnival of Aces I hosted on mental health, I wrote about resilience.  This year’s June Carnival of Aces is about Resiliency. I find it pretty awesome that discussion of mental health and wellness has not only not faded into the background, but that we’re officially returning to spotlight this topic one year later.

Note: This post briefly mentions transphobic bigotry, hate crimes, the mass murders in Orlando, using survivors as rhetorical devices, and abuse. These are mostly contained in a single paragraph (you’ll spot it), and I don’t go into detail.


In my post last year, I gave an overview of a working concept of resiliency passed on to my by my therapist. Because, while “ability to bounce back” is a good nutshell definition, it’s not very practical when it comes to actually attempting to build up your own resilience. For that, you need to break it down into smaller components—and then from there, into concrete steps you can take to work on strengthening yourself in those areas.

Personally, I like to think of it in terms of video games, but that can potentially be confusing because some games use “resilience” as a simple, single stat. It’s actually more like a meta-stat, like how in Diablo III, Toughness is a calculation of your combined Vitality & Life (HP), Armor, Resistances, and any passive damage reduction you have to estimate the average amount of damage the player would have to take in one hit to go from full health to zero. There are lots of variables that this doesn’t take into account, but it’s just there to give players a basic idea of where they’re at. Continue reading

Spotted on The Flash tonight

Logo of "Ace Chemical" with purple lettering, bordered in gray, with a black spade, all on a white background.

“Ace Chemical” in ace colors with a black spade in the logo.

I saw this on The Flash tonight and had to pause and go back to check that it was real. It was really dark so I upped the brightness and contrast so people could see it better. Sorry it’s so small, I unfortunately don’t have a larger screenshot of it. Pretty neat!

Comments on survey design

Because this survey (on “sexual and asexual relationship dynamics” from Ball State University) did not have any option to leave comments on the design of the survey and what the questions were supposed to mean at the end, I’m going to just leave my comments here. I started copying and pasting questions into Notepad somewhere in the middle of the survey, so these are only some of the issues I had with this survey. I surely have forgotten others. At the end, I will mention the way the survey handled consent, but I’m mostly not focusing on that.

I want to preface this by saying that I am really annoyed by MOST surveys, I just don’t typically have the time to comment on them like this, and when there is an option to share comments about the survey within the survey itself, there is usually no need to share those comments publicly. This survey is not even remotely exceptional or surprising. More discussion of asexuals’ responses to academic surveys can be found in a fairly recent Asexual Agenda question of the week. I hope that people who research asexuality consider these problems when designing surveys in the future. Honestly, these are mostly problems that testing with a focus group could have helped iron out. It is very frustrating that these issues don’t ever seem to be corrected before the surveys are sent out.

Continue reading

2015 isn’t done with me yet, I guess

I’m going to be pretty scarce for a little while, here—I’m sure some of you have noticed me going quiet/mostly offline already. I had a bunch of plans/projects I wanted to work on, but right now I’m too sick to manage much beyond sitting around staring blankly at nothing. This courtesy of a gigantic family gathering I didn’t even attend, of course—a gift from C’s family that she brought home to me, after I got back from going to see my own family.

December was kind of just a bunch of crap piling up on me all at once—multiple family visits, drama, fights, symptom flare-ups, oddly extreme (but comparatively mild considering) weather that was still enough to do some property damage, and ended up messing up travel plans. And now a bad cold. I’ve never been drunk enough to have a hangover, but that seems like a good enough metaphor. Can’t really get into the swing of the new year because I’m still busy recovering from the last one. It’s been one thing after another nonstop.

Frustrating, but oh well. Not much I can do but rest. I’ll be back at some point in the next couple of weeks, I expect.

In the meantime, I’d like you all to know that the combined force of so many aces recommending it has finally gotten me into Steven Universe, which is just the perfect blend of sweet and gay to get me through this. Thank you, ace community!

Updating the Map: Romantic Attraction and Friendship vs. Romance

This post is for the October 2015 Carnival of Aces. The theme is aromanticism and the aromantic spectrum. Cross-posted to The Asexual Agenda.

Until relatively recently, I never considered whether I might be on the aromantic spectrum. It was patently obvious to me that I’ve experienced whatever feeling it is that people refer to as “romantic attraction.” It didn’t really matter that I’ve only had that happen (with complete certainty) once—if it happened once, then surely it could happen again. The potential was all that mattered. Except as the years went on, and I tried very unsuccessfully to find someone (else—I’ve been polyamorously partnered for the past seven years) to date, it’s started to seem less and less like that potential feeling is accessible. So after much consideration, I’ve started identifying as greyromantic. Continue reading

Guest Post: Interview with C on Aromanticism and Relationships

Back in 2012, I had my partner C* do an interview with me, because I had been getting requests from non-asexual partners of asexual people for advice and I thought her perspective would be helpful. Since then, we’ve been through a lot, including becoming totally celibate and far less romantic. In the past year, she’s started to identify as aromantic. So I thought it was worth revisiting.

For context, she is bisexual and trans. We’ve been together for seven years, minus a short breakup, and have been polyamorous from the start. Right now we’re sort-of viewing our relationship as basically a queerplatonic type of thing. These questions were mostly submitted to me by readers, although I tacked on an extra question at the end today based on an interesting comment C made last night.

I’d like to thank everyone who submitted questions! There was one she really had no idea how to answer at all, so that one has been taken out. Sorry! But she really tried her best with all of the rest, and I hope you enjoy her perspective. If you have further questions for her, she’s open to answering them in the comments. :)

(* C stands for “Cupcake” which is her original chosen pseudonym on this blog. She may comment here using that name, or she may choose something else again. She doesn’t tend to stick with the same pseudonym, but generally they all start with C.) Continue reading

Question for Spanish-speaking aces

Because I know several of you read my blog, and I’m doing asexuality 101 work in an area heavily dominated by Spanish-speakers…

Is there a word for “queerplatonic” in Spanish? Or an equivalent/similar concept?

I got asked that question yesterday, by someone who heard the concept and really identified with it immediately.

It would be really really helpful if someone could point me to some good, ideally not-problematic Spanish ace/aro 101 stuff that I could pass on to people. My Spanish-speaking skills are pretty rudimentary, and nowhere near good enough for me to be able to vet these to make sure that they aren’t saying anything that might feel stigmatizing for ace survivors, or things like that. So I’d really appreciate it!

And hey, if anyone is up for translating some stuff? That would be super awesome, please get in touch!