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  • 3 weeks
    Time to Teach

    Clearly I should take a moment to wish you a happy Hearth's Warming Eve before I actually get to the point. May your days be filled with family, friends, and fun, and may they be devoid of frost monsters and the tired political arguments that attract them.

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    1 comments · 16 views
  • 4 weeks
    Thoughts on Feelings

    While I wait for ever-delayed comics, I'd like to talk a bit about something that is at best pretty tangentially related to MLP (and I won't insult you by pretending that the details of such a justification are in any way relevant): it annoys me when people say "That's not love" to dismiss a dysfunctional relationship. It's overly reductive and it obscures the actual problems.

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  • 8 weeks
    Time to Help

    And so we begin what one might reasonably call the last bit of G4.

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    1 comments · 41 views
  • 11 weeks
    On the End: Addendum

    I realized there's another notable moral one could draw from everything that happened with the Elements of Patriotism. It's one you likely won't notice without some thought, a fridge moral if you will; normally I'd say that a moral that takes effort to find is no moral at all, but in this case I feel it's significant enough to break that rule.

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    1 comments · 29 views
  • 12 weeks
    On the End

    Though, like what I said a little over two years ago, that's not exactly true. There's still the Generations comics—people who aren't incessantly complaining about slow shipping already have one of those by now—and of course it's a safe bet that when we get more G5 we'll also get more references to ancient Equestria. But endings are still endings, whether or not they're total.

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    1 comments · 26 views

Reflections upon sexual orientations · 7:35am Mar 14th, 2014

So this one is me being curious. Curious and prone to my mind wandering. And you're almost like a captive audience I can ask questions of, even if it's unlikely many of you will answer.

When a study or a survey (anonymous, of course) asks you your sexual orientation, and provides the normal set of options (heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, maybe asexual, other, and maybe "decline to answer"), how well do you feel the answer you give fits you?

This is kind of two questions. The first is pretty simple: do you answer truthfully, or are you unwilling to give this information even anonymously? And let's count "decline to answer" as not fitting you very well. I'm not sure if anybody would be willing to openly identify that they're unwilling to truthfully identify their orientation, even if there is no obligation to say what orientation you refuse to reveal yourself as, but I might as well ask.

The more important part, though, is whether you find yourself to be solidly within one of the three or four standard categories ("other" is not a category, it's a lack of one). And this is the reason I got on this line of thought, because my answer to this would be a solid "no." I find these categories to be an extreme simplification, and I'm not necessarily content with reducing myself to one of them.

Next, we devolve into my opinions and personal experience and stuff like that. Sorry. Feel free to skip if you don't care.

Now, I could at this point bring up the Kinsey scale and talk about everything being a continuum and all that, but I don't think I could really add anything. I haven't got any information about how people are distributed, so all I'd really be presenting is the abstract potential for people to be in awkward in-between areas, but I'm sure you're all aware of the concept of continua already. Or I could bring up orientations like demisexual that aren't in the normal list (or my spell-checker, apparently), but that's what the "other" choice is for. The issue is, after all, whether most people fit well into one of the categories, not all people, and all the statistics I know say that almost everybody is able to find an acceptable category.

So, instead, I'm going to ramble about how I don't truly get asexuality. This is kind of weird, considering that's the box I check (if it's present at all), but I reserve the right to be something I don't understand. Consider: the wording of these things pretty much universally implies a strong correlation between who you feel sexual attraction to and who you feel romantic attraction to. Maybe that's a good approximation for hetero/homo/bisexual. But from what little I know, I'm not so sure that it holds for asexuality. I hear "asexual" and "aromantic" apart all the time . . . at least, all the time in relation to how often I hear them at all. To be more specific, I think I hear of "asexual and not aromantic" more often than I hear of both of them in combination. I never really hear "aromantic but not asexual," though I imagine it's not the most socially approved orientation. And in my personal experience (that's how I say "introspection"), the correlation is at least not perfect. I'm definitely more aromantic than I am asexual.

So perhaps we should look at the other side: treat "asexual" and "aromantic" as completely independent things. I must confess, I don't have nearly enough anecdotal evidence to even pretend to know anything about how this holds up in the general population. But I can say that I'm pretty sure my aversion to any sort of human physical contact is a major reason I can't imagine myself ever having sex with anybody (habituating myself to hugs is quite enough effort), and it's been my assumption for a while that I am averse to contact because I am so strongly aromantic. (Or maybe I just have undiagnosed Asperger's or something. But that's an entirely separate discussion, which we will probably never have.) So my personal experience doesn't support independence either.

In summary. I really don't know what the deal is with asexuality and aromanticness (aromanticality? aromance?) is. I just know I am them. Or perhaps am the second and have found it more pleasant to convince myself I am the first as well since I'm clearly going to die a virgin no matter what I believe. But I figure it's a good sign that I can say that without having any sudden, soul-crushing revelations.

But that was just the reason why I'm not sure quite what I'm saying when I check that box. The more important fact is that it's halfway a lie. I've only been talking about reality so far. And if you all were fully real to me, that would be where I'd stop. But this is the internet, and you all are ultimately known to me only through written words and pictures of ponies, which is kind of like being fictional. So you get to know that my relationship with fiction is . . . complicated. And frequently in contradiction with my relationship with reality.

In particular, I am totally capable of being romantically attracted to fictional characters. It happens quite frequently. I pay so little attention that I can't even say for sure whether I still have a crush (see footnote) on Dashie, but that doesn't stop me from knowing I at least did at one point. And she's far from the first. Are the characters I get so attached to necessarily female? Maybe. I can't think of any counterexamples, but I don't want to commit to that being a solid rule. Do I sometimes also feel sexual attraction? As of recently, I can give a confident "yes" to that question. Normally I'd say "I think so, but I can't recall any specific examples, just as general feeling that it does occasionally happen a bit." But Elsa . . . I can't be the only one who thinks that snow queen dress is sexy. It wasn't a strong feeling (but when do I ever feel strongly?), and it confused me at first since I've pretty much only grown attached to ponies in the past two and three-quarters years, but it was there and I fully intend to remember it as evidence for as long as I can.

So what am I? Fictoheterosexual? Mythoheterosexual? Heteromythosexual? Mythosexual? Fictiosexual? If I'm going to make up a word, I might as well make sure I don't regret later that I didn't make it different.
. . . Eh, I'll pick a word later. None of those are really calling to me.
Point is, I don't think "asexual" is actually right. It's just right in a certain scope, and I take that as good enough.

Also, what are you doing down here? Don't tell me you honestly have time to read all this. I know that's a lie. Get back to work already; there's got to be something you're supposed to be doing.

Footnote: disclaimer: I do not say "crush" because that word is necessarily the correct one. I can pick apart attraction pretty well . . . so long as we're talking about fictional characters. I'm pretty hopeless when it comes to real people. And, much as I may refer to the side of me that relates to fiction a fictional persona constructed specifically to interact closely with the unreal, apparently he still counts as real. So I couldn't identify my feelings more specifically than "some sort of romantic attraction" if my life depended upon it. I just figure that "crush" is a plausible guess.

tl;dr: Dear Celestia, I am the king of rambling. Just flee now while you still can. It's not safe here.

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Comments ( 1 )

Oh boy, now you've done it.

Leaving aside the "romantic" side of the question for now, you're right that the association is a mess. To explain what I mean, I'm going to construct two subcategories: "would I f:pinkiecrazy: them" and "am I physically attracted to them". The answer to "would I f:pinkiecrazy: them" is always no, and so I find myself in the 'asexual' category. (I mean, seriously. Sex is gross.) But if we based on "am I physically attracted to them", I'd come out straight.

The romantic is just more messy. I've got what I'd call "romantic notions", along the lines of the Romantic Era, but I've never met anyone I'd be remotely interested in doing the typical romantic lovey-dovey goobldygook with.

Though the scopes is a useful thought. Einsteinian physics is always in scope, but it's usually not useful in comparison to Newtonian physics.

Yes, I do have other stuff I'm supposed to be doing. Didn't stop me.

Also, your TLDR came way, way, way to late to be useful.

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