Decoupling Sin from Sex, Dating Sims, Discourse, & Being a Chinese Ace ft. Satan
The other half of Aces Playing at Attraction, Satan, shares their experience as a Chinese, femme-presenting Ace. We discuss everything from decoupling sex & sin, dating sims, genderqueerness, birth control, asexual discourse, and so much more!
Follow Satan on Twitch, Twitter, and Tumblr.
Parziivale is on Etsy and Twitter.
Courtney: Hello, everyone, and welcome back to The Ace Couple Podcast. My name is Courtney, I am here with Royce, and together we are The Ace Couple. But what’s this? We have a third speaker on the podcast today. A quite devilish one, may I say, for today we are interviewing none other than Satan themself! Please, Satan, introduce yourself to the people.
Satan: Hi, I’m Satan. I’m here to tempt you to do evil things, I guess? And also I stream with Sharky, who was on here before, three times a week on the Aces Playing at Attraction channel. So that’s me.
Satan: Who’s ready to sin?
Courtney: Let’s sin! Let’s be ace and do crimes.
Courtney: So Satan, we’re so happy to have you here today. We’re just gonna have a little fun, have a little conversation. I think most of the people listening are– will be familiar with Sharky. As you said, a few weeks back, a couple months at this point perhaps–
Courtney: We interviewed Sharky, and that was a very Christian, religious trauma kind of episode. So I think we need to balance it out with a little– [Satan laughs] a little Satan in our life. So what can you tell us, or what do you want to tell us, about your Ace identity? Whether that be how you identify now or what your journey kind of was.
Satan: Yeah, sure. I guess to start, hi, I’m Chinese. I am ace. I have not figured out where on the spectrum, if it’s demi or gray or just like the none end of the spectrum. And I basically came across asexuality by being a – what’s that – a tumblerina? I think someone had just reblogged some asexuality-related post, I was “Hey! That’s– that’s me. That’s me.” I don’t remember exactly what the post was, but then I think I clicked through because I believe it came from one of the larger ace Tumblr blogs. And so, I just kind of clicked through and looked at some of the other posts. And I went, “Oh, that’s neat! Cool.”
Courtney: It just clicked. I have never heard anyone say tumblrina before. Did you make that up? Or is that a thing people say?
Satan: Oh, it’s a– it’s a Tumblr term.
Satan: I guess only the tumblerinas will know. Well, no– [laughs]
Satan: But, yeah. Yeah, it’s – I guess – just a person on tumblr. [laughs] But you know, stuff goes around on Tumblr, and up to that point I dated online– Like dating someone that you know through, like, an online game that you’ve never met in person kind of thing. Which did not matter because, what’s physical attraction? [laughs]
Courtney: That’s a really good point.
Satan: Yes, I dated two people. Quote unquote, I guess, dated. It’s sort of fuzzy how much to count that. And then dated two people in real life before I realized I was ace. And then I haven’t dated anyone since. Which is not, like, a purposeful– like, “Oh I’m not going to date anymore because I’m ace.” But just very– like, that very freeing– like, “Well, it’s okay if I don’t date!”
Courtney: Oh, absolutely. And when you see something that just kind of clicks– I find it most fascinating that you sort of took that first step in understanding this about yourself on Tumblr, because that’s a really common experience for a lot of aces. I’ve never been on Tumblr myself, Royce hasn’t, but I know a lot of people have. But to juxtapose that with the fact that you famously are friends with and stream with Sharky, who is also ace, you two actually met in real life though. This wasn’t like an internet ace connection. So I think that’s interesting that both, the real world and the internet, have been so important in, like, finding your place within the Ace community, so to speak.
Satan: Yeah, funnily enough, I don’t know if I have just an ace magnet built into me or something. Might have mentioned my roommate Mango on the stream before. My roommate is also ace but we did not– we’d moved in as strangers with this, like, service, like, roommate matching service thing. And I had just mentioned one day that I was like ace, or demi, or whatever. And she’s like, “Oh! I’m greyace!” And I had, like, had other friends in college who just kind of turned out to be ace.
Courtney: It’s that A-dar. What can I say?
Royce: Well, what was the algorithm in that roommate matching service? [Courtney laughs]
Royce: What did it key onto?
Satan: I don’t really know because it was very random. We had– Like, before we moved in together there was, like, there was a survey thing. But then there was like a little meet on Google Hangout or whatever, and like, introduce yourselves, and “Do you think that you’re going to get along okay?” Kind of thing. And all of the questions were, like, pretty superficial. I think they didn’t even ask about, like, political leanings. Which– this was back in like 2017, so you’d think that should have probably been a pretty important thing, but it wasn’t really touched upon as a thing to match roommates upon. Which maybe it was a mistake on their part, but we lucked out. Because we also have really similar political leanings, and aesthetically and stuff we just got really lucky on that.
Satan: I do think that, for what it’s worth, Tumblr– because I realized my sexuality through seeing this Tumblr post, but I think it had been reblogged by someone I knew in real life, who is also ace. So I think it’s a little bit of a mixture because on Tumblr, people, you know, reblog whatever. I know the Twitter/Tumblr stuff is going on right now, I’m not sure what states they will be in by the time this comes out. But–
Courtney: Who knows?
Satan: Yeah. So, Tumblr is very like, reblog whatever. People, like, post whatever fandom stuff they like or whatever chaotic jokes and stuff like that. Whatever. And it’s just sort of like, “Hi, you’re going to deal with that.” And so it’s a topic that probably wouldn’t have come up in person, especially because I wasn’t that close with this person. I think this was like, a friend of a friend that I had just talked to a few times, was friendly with. I wasn’t, like, super close with. But yeah. So, if nothing else it was like, “Oh, I already knew an ace person but I didn’t know I was ace.” But that’s just how that works out, I guess. I have also had other friends end up realizing that they’re ace. And I go, “Oh, by the way I have an ace stream if you want to check it out.” But where I, like, hadn’t really talked with them about it because it’s just not necessarily a thing that will not always come up with friends, right? But yeah, I just have ended up accidentally meeting a lot of ace people in my life somehow, I guess.
Courtney: I think for people who are actually out or are willing to have conversations like that with people, I would suspect it is more common than you think that you have attracted friends that have similar facets of their identity, even if they aren’t necessarily out or spoken. Because, I mean Royce and I, we did meet online, we knew right from the get-go that we were both aces and that was a big part of why we even started talking, since we were long distance at first. But the sheer number of people that I have met in my real life who have come out as ace to me after they saw that I was out and doing a bunch of ace activism publicly is really mind boggling. And I don’t think I would have ever known these things about most of these people if I wasn’t sort of as public about things as I am. So that’s a really interesting state about, just, ace affairs. I know there was a UK study in 2018 that did say that aces are least likely to be out. So, I would imagine that’s probably the case in the US, where we are, also. But once– once you sort open that door that leads to a lot of revelations.
Satan: Yeah, I– This was also– You know, I met Sharky in college and I was the one who like, mentioned asexuality and he then looked into it more and I think especially, you know, in college a lot of people didn’t realize that was an option. Didn’t know about it. Especially if, like, if I said the word demisexual I immediately would foll– I wouldn’t even wait for a question, I would immediately follow it up with an explanation because I already knew. Like, if you are not on Tumblr, and even if you are, there’s like a decent chance that of college students – especially, I studied software engineering, so within like the heavily white male dominated tech space – Yeah, most of them haven’t heard of this. And so I think there’s also some number that just were unfamiliar with it.
Courtney: Yeah, absolutely. It’s interesting. I am now thinking of all of the people who I haven’t had a personal conversation with, like, they were perhaps high school friends and I have literally not even had a conversation with them, in you know, 12, 15 years. And the number of people that have just, like, started following our podcast, or following me on other social media and have commented like, “Hey, I’m also ace.” Or I’ve seen their posts and they’ve said, “I’m also ace.” So it’s like, “Huh! Amazing how queer people find each other.” Even before they know themselves sometimes.
Courtney: And some of those stories are honestly quite funny, and I sometimes find myself wondering whether or not I want to potentially open a can of worms by reaching out to any of these folks. Like, one of these people was, like, my best frenemy from high school. Like, we were friends, but there was also a very weird, like, kind of competitive tension there. And now, like, so many years removed, it’s like okay, you know, she’s also ace. I think we had a lot of personality traits in common that maybe we didn’t necessarily at the time know how to identify or know what to do with. And it’s like, that’s really interesting! I want to know what happened there but at the same time… hmm. Also someone who came out as ace online, who was a friend of mine around the time we turned 18, I– like, distinctly remember her trying to pull me along on like a tour of sex shops in our town. [Satan laughs] She was like, “We’re gonna go to the sex shops.” And I was like, “I want no part of that.” And she’s like, “Come on! I just wanted to see some things.” And I remember being, like, hauled around from like sex shop to sex shop. And I was deeply uncomfortable, and I hated every minute of it. But now so many years later to find out like, oh, she’s also ace. I’m like, “What was going on in your head at that time?”
Royce: Yeah. Was that a: “I’m really curious but I’m afraid to look at things alone”?
Courtney: I don’t know! Or was it just sort of trying to figure out, you know, aspects of their own Identity? Or was this a: “I am on the sex favorable side of the spectrum but I’m not feeling this with actual people. So now I want to explore, like, toys and things.” I honestly have no idea and I’m so, like, morbidly curious, but it’s also like–
Royce: Maybe it was a: “I don’t know much about that but I bet Courtney’s an expert. She’ll be able to explain everything in this store.”
Satan: I mean, I can only speak to myself, but I feel like because I’m somewhat sex-favorable, sex-neutral – probably more towards the neutral side, I just don’t really care – but like, there’s the, like– Okay, well, the culture is fascinated with this and if I subtract, like, oh, like, scandalous whatever, then what’s left? Okay, what makes this interesting? Can I figure out what’s interesting? And I think there is like, quite a few aces that are into kink, are into, like, who do sex work et cetera. And it’s just sort of like–
Courtney: Oh, absolutely.
Satan: We just– we turned it into a neutral thing. We took out all of the, like, cultural connotations, but it’s still an activity, I guess. And lots of people seem to like this activity, you know? Lots of people like multiple activities, maybe we can still explore something there or not, depending how favorable or neutral you are, you know?
Courtney: Oh absolutely. And that that was one thing we recently had a conversation on the podcast with Evie Lupine, who is asexual, and a kink educator. And that was so interesting because I find myself as an ace who is definitely more on the repulsed side of things, like, very firmly. So, I do have fascinations with certain elements of kink, and I think I kind of always have, even going back to childhood. But to me, there is never even remotely been a sexual connotation to any of it.
Courtney: And for me, one of my biggest hang-ups – because of course, there are sex-favorable aces and there’re aces who, you know, really enjoy having sex and to them asexuality is just “I don’t have the attraction to specific people, but I do enjoy the act of sex.” But that’s not the case for me. But I do find a lot of, like, kinky aces in talking about it – at least the ones who are public and openly talking about it that I’ve found – are on the favorable side of things. So they had– they come at it from that place of sex favorability and I still can’t relate to that element of it. So I almost really want more out there about, like, “I am sex repulsed but kinky. And here’s what that means.” Because that’s a very fascinating intersection for me.
Royce: Yeah, I think a lot of those things don’t get talked about in depth unless you really go looking for it, because a lot of times it’s just people shouting over each other “But aces do have sex” or “Aces don’t have sex” and all of that.
Satan: Oh god, that old discourse. It’s okay for aces to have sex. It’s also okay if you’re ace and don’t have sex. Both of these are valid ways of being aces. It’s a spectrum for a reason.
Courtney: Oh yeah, absolutely.
Royce: But yeah, I also I never know whether to say sex-neutral or favorable. And I feel like I need to get into linguistics, just to try to, like, break down what that actually means.
Courtney: It’s got to be so personal to every individual person too. I mean, we talk about it as if it’s like, “These are the three main camps you can be in. There might be a gray area between them.” But that means different people have different connotations and associations with different words. So, on a personal level it’s so much more diverse and complex and muddier.
Royce: Right. And my experience gets a little muddy too. Because sometimes, looking back – particularly when I was like a teenager, early 20-something, when I was trying to date more and I was trying to explore more – so many like social anxiety responses or masking behaviors or just like socially induced habits just bled so heavily into interaction, that it can kind of be difficult to pull apart in, like, a pure state what was I actually inclined to do and how much of this was coping with societal expectations, or trying to find something that I could do that I was more comfortable with to avoid, like, an anxiety response or something like that. That’s something I’ve had to go back and forth on a lot in thinking about all of this.
Courtney: Yeah. Do I like this option or is this just the option that gives me the least amount of anxiety?
Satan: Yeah, there’s also the added confusion of like sex-positivity is different from sex-favorable, but people conflate the two terms sometimes. And then, like, sex-repulsed is not the same thing as sex-negative. And that just gets very confusing because even within the ace community we conflate the term sometimes.
Courtney: I think it’s just that people like to believe that definitions are simple, and that vocabulary is simple, and that there is a right and a wrong definition of something. But all of language itself is so fluid. For as much as we talk about, you know, labels and identities being fluid, words are also very fluid and nobody wants to acknowledge that. A lot of times. Because people will be like, “This is the definition! Words are simple! This is what it means! Words have meaning!” But it’s like, oh man, that is just not how words work.
Satan: There are some things where I’m like, “No, words have meanings, and if you twist the meaning the word loses its point.” I’ve seen gaslighting and grooming being used in situations that are like, “This person lied to me.” That’s like– that’s bad, but that’s not gaslighting. “Oh, this person talked to a minor ever.” You know, depending what they were saying that could be bad, but that’s not the definition of grooming. So I’m like, I do, I do think there are words that have meanings, and we shouldn’t distort and dilute those meanings, but this depends on, like, a set meaning in the first place, you know? If the one where it’s going to get diluted, okay, fine, language changes but we should probably have a word for that other thing that it originally meant because it’s still important–
Courtney: Oh, yeah.
Satan: –thing to be able to talk about.
Courtney: Yeah. Like what you’re describing is– like, especially when people use, like, words to intentionally over-exaggerate them for the sake of pushing a bigoted agenda. Like, we’ve definitely talked before about, like, “Aces are groomers.” And of course you know, “Gay and trans people are groomers.” Like, that’s kind of the word of the year for the bigots, right? So, like, we know that they are intentionally, willfully, using a different definition to push an agenda. And I do see that as very different than someone who has their own personal labels, their own personal experience, and certain words that just mean certain things to them in the context of their very complicated and nuanced life.
Satan: Words are hard, y’all.
Courtney: Words are hard! You know, that’s actually funny. I mean maybe that’s sort of a good introduction to what we hope will be a future episode, but Royce and I for months have been talking about doing potentially a series of episodes called Words Are Hard, and talk about, like, queer language, ace language. Disability language is another one we have a lot of conversations about.
Royce: And why we can’t all seem to stop fighting about all of it, all the time.
Satan: Yeah, I mean, I know when BIPOC started floating around a lot more, and at first I had seen a definition that was like, Black and Indigenous People of Color. So, specifically, the Black and Indigenous ones. And then I started seeing around Black, Indigenous and People of Color. And it was like, wait, that’s just POC, but there are different people using it, and the different context, or like the different meaning. It’s like wait, you just made this more confusing, guys… Guys.
Courtney: Yeah. And– and I mean different countries even have their own different variations of that. I mean in the UK, I hear BAME, B-A-M-E. Oh, I hope I’m not mistaken. I think that’s Black And Minority Ethnicities. I might be wrong on that. I haven’t seen that one in a while, but now I’ve seen people start using BIMPOC for Black Indigenous Mixed People of Color, and that– that’s been odd to me as a mixed person. I’m not sure how I feel about that for a few complicated reasons.
Satan: Mixed is interesting, because you can be– Like, mixed is so broad, because I would assume – like, and I mean I’m not mixed, so you know, this is not to make any broad sweeping statements – but at least in my perception, like, your experience being mixed is going to be very different from like white-passing half-Asian mix or something, versus like Black and Hispanic mix. Those are all different things. There’s Black and Asian. Like those are such different experiences, and there will be some kind of overlap, but in terms of how societally you get treated… uh, that’s interesting.
Courtney: It’s a very, very weird one. Because when I talk about my experiences as a mixed person, I’ve started, more and more, leaning into racially ambiguous or ethnically ambiguous. For a while I was so uncomfortable with that because that’s what everybody called me. But now I’ve kind of gotten to a point where I’m like, “Yep, that’s how people treat me.” Because you are ambiguous and I don’t know how to treat you. So I’m going to ask you what you are and I’m going to call you exotic. And it’s almost as if people don’t know how to treat me because they don’t know what race I am. And it’s like, the fact that you have to ask is the problem, my friend.
Courtney: But it’s very difficult to talk about issues of, like, personal racism that I’ve experienced. Because I’ve definitely experienced, like, firsthand racism in a lot of cases, but I don’t have, like, the actual cultural ethnicity behind me to be able to say, like, “This is the culture I come from and this is what I am proud of.” So I don’t have that aspect, but a lot of people talk about race as the cultural side of things and the community that you grew up in. And people don’t always like to talk about what race means insofar as how people interface with you.
Satan: It’s very, I think, dependent, right. Because especially, you know, there’s the culture and everything, but there’s also the context of like, where you experienced this culture, like how you experience this culture, etc. Like, I’m Chinese, I do not have a ton of like, very close association with, like, Chinese culture. My parents gave me some exposure, but it’s sort of like an Americanized version. And like, diaspora culture is sort of separate from– like, if you experience, say like, a particular holiday or festival or something, as a minority in the US, it’s going to be different from celebrating that within the country it came from as well.
Satan: And I think– Well, I don’t spend necessarily this much time on, like, cultural practices and stuff because I just didn’t grow up with it as much. Or what I did, it was like shoved down my throat, so I kind of was like, “No, no, no, I don’t want this,” when I was a kid. And now coming back to it, sort of, I’ve talked with friends about, like, oh, Chinese mythology and stuff, and I’m like, “I know absolutely nothing about that. I have nothing to contribute here. Tell me more.” But you know, what I do have, I have the experience of my neighbor asking my mom how many times a week she makes egg rolls. [Courntey sighs] Which… none? None. That’s not a common– If you asked how many times a week she makes rice, I’d be like, all right, fine. No, this neighbor asked how many times a week she makes egg rolls. It’s just such a kind of ameri– like relatively americanized food in the first place.
Courtney: Oh, yes, egg rolls, a staple of every Chinese-American diet.
Satan: So it was– It’s those kinds of things. I’m like, well, I’m Chinese, but I mean, a lot of that also comes from the like– or not comes from, but is experienced in terms of the like, being called this slur or like having that kind of comment said to my parents. Or this or that, that like, you would never experience in mainland China.
Satan: If– if my parents had never moved to America, that would never have been a factor.
Royce: Yeah. Part of the– to go back to some of the acronyms that were being used earlier. The intention behind the grouping of certain people, focusing more on, like, BIPOC being used a lot in America at least, the intent is to group people who have a similar experience within the area of the world that that is being said.
Royce: Because you mentioned Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Like Indigenous separated from the People of Color moniker. There are very white Indigenous people in Europe, particularly in Northern Europe. And I mean those Indigenous people have their own issues with the governments and, like, land disputes and, like, things that Indigenous people all over the world have issues with. But if they started using the BIPOC label, like, that would not fly.
Courtney: Yeah, because there’s also colorism as well. And even amongst, you know, minority races, like there– there are still, like, global anti-Blackness, for example, even within other minority ethnicities. So they– it’s so complicated because, Satan, you mentioned, like, being called slurs at one point. It’s– The reason why I feel for me it’s difficult to talk about my experience sometimes is because I did not grow up on a reservation, I did not– I’ve never been enrolled in a First Nation. I know what nation I– my ancestors are from, I at least have that, but that doesn’t mean I know anything about that specific culture and I wasn’t exposed to it. However, I grew up in South Dakota where when I was a minor, there was a period of time where South Dakota had the, like, highest rates of incarcerated indigenous minors in the country. And I had a lot of really racist run-ins with police officers and some of them, you know, just based on my facial features did very much perceive me as an Indigenous minor, and I have been called slurs. And I mean, the– the slur of choice at the time and place I grew up in, looking the way I did, was Prairie N-word. And I got called that, and I got called that by a cop.
Courtney: So it’s like, I have that experience, but it’s really hard for me to sit here and be like, “Yes, I am a Native American,” when I don’t actually– like, I don’t want to be in any way subtracting from the experience of people who are enrolled, who have grown up on reservations, because that’s a completely different set of, you know, societal issues that I did not have first-hand experience with. And I think that’s kind of just the scarcity of the fact that these stories don’t get told. They don’t get widespread enough, they don’t get enough allyship or support. So nobody really wants to, like, give anybody the wrong idea of what it means to be this thing. And I mean that kind of parallels the queer community in a lot of cases.
Satan: Ah, yes, because [sarcastically] if you’re this one thing, you must have XYZ qualifications otherwise we’re going to take away your ID card.
Satan: You’re not allowed to call yourself queer if you haven’t had A, B, C, D particular experiences. Never mind that like, depending where you are– Like, I have a friend who’s bi but she grew up in a very liberal area and she is like, “No one gets thrown out of their home anymore for being like XYZ queer identity.” And I’m like, I have a friend personally from college who was homeless for a while because she was thrown out of her family for being trans, so take that back…? Uh, what? But like she’s never had that experience of that kind of discrimination. Does that make her not bi? No. Absolutely not. She’s still bi. She just doesn’t have that experience. And apparently, no one she knew had that experience or was at risk of that kind of experience. Which, I mean– Yeah, and her perception is wrong because that still happens unfortunately, and I wish it didn’t happen. But, you know, that doesn’t take away from her being bi.
Courtney: No, not at all.
Satan: So you can’t say, like, “Oh, you have to experience XYZ particular discriminations to be considered queer.”
Courtney: Oh yeah. Aces hear that a lot. I mean, now we’re talking ‘oppression Olympics’.
Satan: If your experience matches the label, that’s the qualification. The end, we’re done. We’re done, we don’t need the whole checklist. You’re not applying for citizenship somewhere, okay? Please.
Royce: Courtney, did we make a joke at one point in time about circumventing all the gatekeeping by printing and laminating queer cards?
Courtney: That was you on our very first podcast episode, you said, “If I had to present my credentials, I am a card-carrying member of the LGBT community.” And I was just like, “They gave you a card?!” And no, at one point I was just reviewing that transcript and I asked you that, I was like, “Who gave you that card, and can I have one?” And you were like, “That’s the thing! Nobody gives you a card, you have to make your own!” You got very riled up about it, it was very cute.
Satan: It does remind me of, I think, a tweet I had responded to from you guys being like ‘card-carrying member’. And I’m like, should I co-design a queer ID? I kind of want one.
Satan: There are some, like, for sale on Etsy. Because I was looking it up afterwards. Like–
Courtney: [laughs] Of course there are.
Satan: Surely other people have made this. That’s not going to be the design that I would like but, you know? And I mean, honestly, we all have different experiences and what-not, you might fall under multiple areas of the queer umbrella, everyone can make their own queer ID design. It doesn’t have to be a standard design, you can just have a card. And if you really don’t want to design one, it can be an index card. I think that seems fair.
Courtney: Yeah, actually I recently got some stickers in the mail from an ace artist. I believe disabled ace artist, no less. Because I did some Ace Week shopping and some Disabled Ace Day shopping.. But I got some stickers in the mail and one of them is just like a beautiful adaptation of the Ace Pride flag and it does just say queer over the top. And it honestly is a rectangle and it is about the size of a business card, I bet I could just stick that in my wallet to be carrying that around.
Royce: You also got a handful of spite daggers.
Courtney: Yes, there are daggers that say ‘spite’ on it, which is really quite lovely.
Satan: Hold on. I need this link later. I used to joke that I was purely fueled by spite.
Courtney: Oh absolutely.
Satan: Because of sexist and other comments that would be just said in class, you know, being in Tech. I was like, you know, just because of this, just as a fuck you, I’m going to be really really success– I’m going to be more successful than that person in particular. Fuck you.
Courtney: Yes! Yeah. Actually we will– will put links in the podcast description as per usual if the listeners want to also find this, but I did just go back to find the shop itself. It was an Etsy shop called Parziivale. I hope I said that right, P-A-R-Z-I-I-V-A-L-E. And yeah, well, we’ll link their Twitter and all that too. This is an Asian-American aroace disabled artist. So, all the things that we love. That just has– Like there’s also, one of the stickers I got just has, like, ‘officially fucking tired’ and I was like, “Yes, that’s– that– that’s me. I am officially fucking tired.”
Satan: Oh no, do I also need a tiredness ID card?
Courtney: I feel like there are a lot of little things from this particular shop that you’d like, so we’ll make sure you get the link.
Satan: Thank you. Oh, but on the subject of race, I will say it’s like a bizarre in-between to grow up in a family and whatnot that is not religious whatsoever, but still has the, like, “You must not have sex” standpoint.
Courtney: That does happen.
Satan: Because that was my parents.
Satan: I don’t think that’s a unique experience. I think there are a lot of people who, like, their families aren’t religious, but there’s still that sort of conservative mindset.
Satan: Which– I guess partially, my parents are from Hong Kong, which is the exact part of China that was colonized by the British. Thanks UK, again.
Courtney: Dammit UK.
Satan: Sorry, British people out there who do not support that. But I assume some of it is like that British cultural viewpoint mixed in with the Chinese viewpoint that, like, my mom is very, very like, “You cannot talk about it. We are not acknowledging this exists.” I was 19, I think, when I brought a boyfriend home and my mom for some unrelated reason was like, “Remember not to share any food or drinks with your friends. It’s because you don’t know what germs” blah blah blah. And I was like, “Well, what about my boyfriend? Because anyway, we kiss.” And she’s like, [voice raising] “You know what kissing is!?” It was like, I’m 19!
Courtney: “I’m 19!” Yes.
Satan: I have watched a Disney movie in my life. Yes, I have watched a Disney princess movie. Fortunately, I’m not in a coma or else I guess then I’d really have to learn what kissing is, according to Disney.
Courtney: Right! I’m pretty sure kissing was– I don’t know what the first movie I ever watched was, but I’m– It’s a pretty safe bet to say that the first movie I ever watched had a kiss in it.
Satan: Yeah. Like you just– Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty, and Beauty and the Beast, and all these Disney Princess movies are already going to push allonormativity at you I guess.
Satan: But like, my mom is just like, “You know what kissing?” I’m 19. Yes. Yeah, at 19 I didn’t know what kissing was… Of course I did.
Courtney: But the real question is, had you had a kiss by age 19?
Satan: Well, considering the context of me being like, “Well, I get like sharing food and treats but, like, if I’m potentially sharing spit with this person anyway, in the form of just mouth directly touching, is that okay?” And she was horrified, she’s like– This is the degree where she was like, just unwilling to talk about kissing, sex, or anything like– oh, was I supposed to get the talk from my parents? Absolutely not. The extent of sex education that I got from my mom was – I think in senior year high school – like, “Oh, you’re really ambitious, aren’t you? Like you want to achieve these things with career and stuff, right? Okay. Don’t have sex, you’ll get pregnant. You’ll have to drop everything and you’ll never achieve anything in life.” I was just like, what? I–
Courtney: Yep. That’s how pregnancy works.
Satan: Hold on… There’s a chance that that can happen, sure. But there are ways to prevent pregnancy.
Satan: Like, this was not like a topic of conversation among my parents. Yeah, so it’s just– I have not come out to my parents and I probably never will because it’s sort of a like– Well if you are not going to acknowledge that sex exists or that sexual attraction exist or anything, how am I supposed to tell you that I don’t experience it?
Courtney: Mh… Mm-hmm. Yeah, that– that does kind of remind me of a line from Koisenu Futari, which we just recently covered, where the mother, when her aroace daughter is coming out, was like, “Oh, how dare you say that word, sex?” And she’s like, “Mom, you’re constantly telling me to have children and get pregnant that involves sex.”
Courtney: What is this cognitive dissonance?
Satan: I did tell my parents, from even before realizing I was ace, like I just knew when I was a kid, I do not want to be a mom. This is not a thing I intend to ever do. I just don’t want to be a parent. And then I got my tubes tied and I haven’t told my parents that either.
Satan: But now I’m telling the internet, I guess.
Courtney: Fascinating! Was that a tremendous relief for you? I know some people who have just been like, “Oh my gosh, the weight of the world has been taken off my shoulders,” after getting that done.
Satan: Not part– It was sort of surreal for me. Because I also, you know, haven’t had sex in many many years. It’s not like this was an immediate, like, “I need to get this taken care of right now.” Though I am glad, because then not long afterwards was the leak about overturning Roe v. Wade.
Courtney: Oh yeah.
Satan: So then I was like, “Well, I’m glad I did that before this came out.” But like it’s not immediately relevant, but in that sort of ‘just in case’ because rape is a thing. It just, it feels more reassuring to me to have that done, just– just in case.
Courtney: Yeah, for the peace of mind. Absolutely.
Satan: But then, of course, every time I get any kind of birth control, they’re like, “All right, you’re all set now, have fun with that!” and I’m like, I will live my life exactly the same way I did before because I haven’t changed anything. But you know what? I’m glad that these things are giving me hormonal regulation. Thanks.
Courtney: Oh yes, the hormonal regulation. So yeah, I guess I haven’t gotten any comments like that because I do have just, with all of– with all of my various medical melodies, I have frequently throughout my life had just, like, irregular menstrual issues. And at one point a doctor did suggest that I get an IUD, and I was like, “Well, is that going to help all of these issues?” And they’re like, “Yeah, absolutely.” I was like, “Great.” And then they– of course they wanted to pregnancy test me before they put it in. I was like, “That’s genuinely not necessary right now.” And they’re like, “Oh, but you’re married, like you’re sexually active.” And I was like, “I do– I promise you, I am not pregnant right now.” And– And of course, in our medical system they would not believe me. So I had to take the pregnancy test anyway, but would you freakin believe it? When I– Maybe this is too much information, it’s kind of funny. It wasn’t funny in the moment. But when I had that damn thing put in me, my body was like, “Time to go into full labor now!” I started literally having labor contractions. And– and they were like, this is very rare, but it can happen sometimes. That was like so much pain, I was about to pass out.
Satan: Oh, no.
Courtney: And like, I didn’t think I needed anyone to drive me to that thing, but I had to get home from that. And just like, I was out the entire day. I was like, “Well, that was deeply unpleasant. I’m glad I’m not ever going to actually have a baby.”
Satan: Bodies are very, very strange things.
Courtney: They are. They did not tell me that inducing false labor was a potential, very rare, risk of getting that thing put in, but it was very, very uncomfortable. I do not recommend.
Satan: I have one now, actually, in addition to having my tubes tied, because I just like the extra hormonal regulation, you know? It’s great. Not having periods is great.
Courtney: It is, yes.
Satan: So I was like, “Yes, my tubes are tied, but can I still have this, please?” And I think the time that I got my– well, actually was technically tubes removed. Because I guess that’s the standard now to prevent ovarian cancer or something. It’s like, better. But it was just like– but you have an IUD. Mm-hmm. And it’s working fine. Mm–hmm. So you want your tubes tied because…? Because I want to. But I mean, same in reverse they’re like, “Oh okay, okay.” And I– At this point, I was just, when I got it replaced, I was like, I’m not even going to bother mentioning that my tubes are tied because that’s just potentially extra resistance from them. So if they don’t see it in their own notes from the office that also gave me that procedure, that’s on them. And in the meantime, can I please get this replaced? And yes, that means I have double birth control protection for all the zero sex I’m having. That’s fine.
Satan: What about it?
Courtney: I mean, the things we must omit to doctors in order to just have a reasonable time getting medical care it’s really baffling. So let’s see. That– that was a whole lot. I’m trying to make sure we didn’t miss– miss anything I wanted to go into any further there. But yeah. So I– I suppose, I guess also thinking to your mother, that– that is such a far cry from what I experienced with my family. Like when I had a boyfriend at one point, we did not even– like, not even a peck of a kiss for like three months after dating pretty steadily and regularly and seriously. But like, every time he would drop me, like, back off at home there is a period of time where my mother would just like, give me the grin. Like, did you do it? Did you? Did you get–? Did he kiss you? And I wasn’t particularly interested in kissing, but I knew that that was like the next step that was supposed to happen. But I was like, no, not yet.
Courtney: And then when I got a different partner later down the road, my mom outright sat him down and asked, “Are you a tits man or an ass man?” While I was right there and that was not good. I don’t know. I, still to this day, have no idea why on Earth she would have done that.
Satan: Yeah, that’s the exact opposite. I think, if my mom had her way, none of us would acknowledge that we have bodies.
Satan: I don’t think I’m supposed to acknowledge that I have a body. At one point, there was, like, a pair of shoes I wanted to buy. Like heels that were black with, like, white stripes, something like that. It’s– it’s hard to explain just without, like, a picture. But anyway, those pair of shoes, they were heels, my mom looked at them, she’s like, “Those shoes are too sexy.” And I’m like, “They are shoes! What– I– Shoes are sexy? I– I don’t understand.”
Courtney: I mean, to some people…
Satan: Was I not supposed to have shoes? Was I– I think at one point I wore, like, literally just a t-shirt but I think the neckline of the T-shirt was more like a scoop thing. This is a t-shirt bought by my own mother but I wore it one day just around the house and she was like, “Oh, that shirt’s too sexy! You gotta cover up!” And I was like, “For who?! What–?” So my parents don’t know the majority of my closet at this point, either, I guess. Because if you have, like, a tank top that’s too sexy, sleeveless dress in any way too sexy. Crop top absolutely not. Shorts, probably not good. Like, I think my mom– again with absolutely no, like, religiousness to it, would prefer that I wear, like, the nun full covered dress thing.
Satan: This isn’t a religious thing. She just doesn’t like bodies, I guess.
Courtney: See, when I was, like, shopping for a prom dress– And the thing is, I bought my own prom dress. I actually worked at the bridal store where I bought my prom dress. So I wanted to have a full ball gown that, like, flared out starting at the waist, and just like, really big floofy, like overly dramatic nonsense. But my mother and my grandmother insisted – and I did eventually concede and I got the dress that they wanted me to get even though it was my money, but they insisted – “You are young, you are sexy, you have boobs, you have a small waist, you can fit into a size 2 as long as we alter it to make the bust large enough for you.” They’re like, “You are going to get a sexier dress.” So I ended up in a dress that was like, v-neck, ridiculously tight fitting, had a slit like, almost all the way up to the hip on one side. And I was like, I wouldn’t have even tried on that dress if it weren’t for them pushing me to do it.
Satan: The prom dress I got, I think, was probably closer to what you wanted. Because I had like, a black ball-gown-y, like, floofy, multiple tiers skirt going outwards.
Courtney: Yes, that’s what I was going for.
Satan: With, like, this sweetheart neckline and little corset tie in the back.
Courtney: [whispering] Yeah.
Satan: I don’t remember exactly, but I have a feeling my mom told me that was too sexy too. And I just– I don’t know. I also just think that, like, clothes aren’t sexual, please stop. In the same way that, like, Yasmin Benoit gets all the hate of like, “Oh well, if you’re asexual, like, why are you a lingerie model?” Blah, blah blah. And it’s just like because they’re clothes, and it’s her job. And if you’re reading any further into that, that’s on you because my body is just a body. I don’t know, we all have one, I think. Unless you’re a ghost, sorry, to any ghosts out there. But otherwise we all have a body. I don’t know. My body is just a body. That person’s body is a body. If you’re reading more into that, that’s on you.
Courtney: Yeah, that’s kind of how I have to think about it just to live because with the figure that I was naturally born with, like, it is impossible to hide my breasts and it is very difficult to clothe the body in the shape that I have. So it’s like things that are very low-cut and like v-neck seem really saucy, and really sexual to someone who doesn’t know any better. But it’s like, honestly, this is just the most comfortable thing for me to possibly wear. Like, I cannot wear a button-up.
Satan: My roommate has the exact same issue. I have less of that issue. But I don’t know, it’s still just bodies. It’s just bodies, leave me alone!
Courtney: Just a body.
Satan: Just want to be comfy or like, look fashionable in the way that I like. And if you want to read any more into how I’m dressing, like, that’s a you problem. And– yes, I wear a lot of goth clothing for being Satan, I guess.
Courtney: Ace goths represent.
Satan: I feel like there’s quite a few of us out there.
Courtney: There really are.
Satan: I’ve sort of discussed with some of my friends before, like I think a lot of queer culture also has a lot of overlap with counterculture. Because if you are a queer, you are also sort of being considered counterculture already, you might as well dive all in. You’re no longer trying to fit the mold, then just abandon the mold. And then people really feel freed up to embrace whatever aesthetic and culture and all that they like. And you know, that’s great. Proportionally, I know a lot more poly[amorous] queer people, than poly[amorous] straight people or non-queer people rather. Because if you’re already in like a societally accepted hetero relationship and you, yourself, are not questioning and you very much want to fit that mold you’re not going to touch poly[amory] with a 10-foot stick. But if society already thinks you’re deviant, and this is a thing that maybe appeals to you…? Okay.
Courtney: Yeah, why not!
Courtney: They’re going to look at you weird already. So, might as well enjoy your life.
Satan: If they’re gonna look at you either way, embrace whatever the fuck you want.
Courtney: Yes, absolutely. So I’d be curious to hear from you what your thoughts are on just the intersection of your racial experience and asexuality. Are there any specific sort of stories or things you’ve gleaned about being a Chinese-American ace?
Satan: So there’s all the stuff with my family, and then I think there’s– there’s like, the weird fetishization of Asian bodies. Where like, Asian women are supposed to be– what’s it, like, soft and demure, and sweet, and passive. But like really good in bed and submissive, and all. And this is just like, okay. So, first of all, ew, racist.
Satan: But also if submissiveness is already considered to be, like, the thing and you’re already, like, not supposed to be, like, super sexual, out there, whatever, then I guess in this weird way it’s like– okay, well, I guess I fit that part, but it’s getting fetishized for that. And ew… Ew, don’t fetishize people for not wanting sex with you. That’s weird. That’s– that’s very uncomfortable. But like, in that way, you’re not supposed to be overtly sexual, so it’s just like, “Um, that doesn’t– That shouldn’t be the sexy thing, hold on a sec.” Which I know– Like, I had been thinking about this with the shootings of– I think it was three different Asian spas a few years back.
Courtney: Oh, in Texas. Yes.
Satan: Was it Texas? I think it was… I want to say it was Atlanta or Florida, or something.
Courtney: Hmm. I could– I could be wrong about that.
Satan: Anyway. The the guy was like this white guy who just saw these Asian spas around, assumed that they were like sex parlor spas, the happy ending or whatever, and went in and shot them up for being sexual temptations to him. And it’s like, “Okay… I’m not a sexual temptation for existing just cuz I’m an Asian woman. I just– Because you–” Like, someone’s not like a danger to society that you need to rid of– Like, you can’t kill people. Well in general, you can’t kill people, you shouldn’t do that. But especially for, like, being a sexual temptation to them just because of existing as a particular race and occupation.
Courtney: Disgusting. And I looked it up, you are absolutely right. It was Atlanta. So I had that wrong.
Courtney: I wonder if around that same period of time– Because I was talking to a lot of my friends that were sort of in the South, who are a little more physically close to that location around that time. And I wonder if around that string of shootings in Atlanta, if there was maybe a more one-off attack that also happened in Texas around that time.
Satan: Very possible.
Courtney: Because I just remember being at a loss that I didn’t even know what I could possibly do for the community, to help.
Satan: Very possibly. I mean, this is also within the context of all the Stop Asian Hate, which–
Satan: Yeah. I– That’s– that’s pretty straightforward, I guess.
Courtney: One of those other acronyms, AAPI was one.
Satan: Which AAPI is interesting, because that’s so broad and there’s so much intra-community, like, difference and hostility. Like, like the Asian countries are not a monolith.
Courtney: Of course not.
Satan: China, and Korea, and Japan have some history. And we really can’t talk about them all together. That’s another of the, like, once you’re in the US, if you’re East Asian, you’re East Asian and everyone’s going to treat you as the same. Like, “Oh, what are you? Which kind of Asian are you?” But like if– Within those countries themselves, they’re not the same. But within the US, you’re going to have much more overlap of experience. And then probably get along a bit better because of that overlap of experience. Where it’s like, I’m not Korean. I don’t have the Korean, like, culture and history, and practices, and whatnot. But you know what I do have? Probably some similar experiences of having this or that racist phrase or slurs yelled at me.
Satan: Or people telling me that my food is weird, or something. But I guess, back to asexuality the fetishization was probably that which– I guess is not directly asexuality, but that weird like, okay, well, whether I’m ace or not, apparently I’m supposed to be submissive and let, I guess, guys – because of course, most of this, like, is coming from straight men – do whatever they want to me. And if I protest that’s part of the kink, I guess? Which is disturbing.
Courtney: Yeah. Which– depending on, you know, the type of fetishization, there’s obviously just widespread societal compulsory sexuality just as a rule. But you also hear about how, you know, certain races or certain intersections might be hyper-sexualized, and some might be desexualized and those add so much more complications and nuance. But it almost sounds like what you’re describing is like, sort of both are happening– happening simultaneously?
Satan: A little bit. I mean, I assume that it’s that fucked up, “Oh, she doesn’t want it, but she likes it,” assumption or something. On the topic of desexualisation. I mean, I know that Asian men desexualisation is a huge topic, and I can’t speak in depth at all to experiences of asexuality and desexualization of Asian men, but that’s also a thing.
Courtney:That’s something I always think every time there’s just sort of a broad sweeping statement of, like, just in general Ace men, like, men are supposed to be hyper sexual and everyone thinks men are hyper-sexualized. And I always think, like, not all men. And– and some men are– sort of have that imposed on them in a very different way that is informed by race than, you know, your average, like, white ace man, for example.
Satan: I mean Asian men also get the, like, demasculinizing in general. Of like, “Oh, Asian men look like girls,” or Asian beauty standards of men look like women. And it’s like, okay, I– you think that because you are imposing your beauty standard upon a culture that does not fit that. Because I know there’s the criticisms of, like, anime or Kpop guys that are like, “Oh, they look like girls.” No, they don’t. But if that’s how you read them, that’s your problem. Maybe you should examine that. Where I think, sexuality-wise, there’s more of an assumption of, “Oh, are they gay? Are they queer? Is there something wrong with them?” Kind of thing. It’s like, no. No, they just are men under a different beauty standard. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just a different beauty standard that’s not the Western beauty standard.
Courtney: And I – as someone who just has, like, almost no concept of aesthetic attraction whatsoever – I only understand it on a very, like, academic level. Just– These are the facts that I understand that the average person experiences things this way, or…
Royce: Like someone described what an aesthetically pleasing face looks like, and you were like taking notes?
Satan: Oh my God. My last boyfriend, I literally asked him like, “What makes a butt, like, a good butt?” [Courtney laughs] “What makes for an appealing ass? Like, can you explain this?” He literally had to sit down and, like, explain to me what aspects of a butt make it an attractive butt. I was like, “Oh, okay. Okay.”
Courtney: What ass-pects…?
Satan: Yes. Which– I guess women also can be attracted to butts.
Satan: ’Cause everyone has one. generally speaking.
Courtney: If there’s one thing my grandmother taught me, it was that male ballerinas have fantastic butts. She would never shut up about that.
Satan: Oh my God, I recently was looking through my Tumblr flagged posts because I was just curious. Sometimes I look through it because their flagging system is incorrect. So I’ve had, like, a picture of mochi with a strawberry inside flagged as potentially, like, sensitive adult content. And I’m like, that’s a mochi.
Courtney: Ooh… Oh my.
Satan: But I guess it looks too much like a boob.
Royce: I feel like in this current Twitter hellscape, I’ve seen a lot of articles about, like, someone was trying to celebrate a big important rocket launch and that got flagged. And of course, like, most of Twitter’s gone, so they, like, couldn’t get their original post fixed and approved in any timely manner. I think another one was something astronomy based, for some reason a really good photograph of a shooting star triggered something in the algorithm.
Courtney: What? Is the logic that the rocket’s like phallic or…?
Royce: See, looking at some of these images I couldn’t tell if it was just a really bad algorithm or if I’m too ace to notice.
Courtney: Maybe both.
Satan: Well, so, the thing I was trying to get to with the Tumblr flagged post was that there was, like, a ballet blog that I used to follow. I unfollowed them, I think, because – if I’m remembering the one right, I unfollowed a couple of them – I think I unfollowed that particular one, because they made some statement like, “Oh, People Of Color don’t belong in ballet because it’s all about uniformity.” I went, “Oh, no.” [Courtney groans] But some posts I had reblogged from them before. All of that had been flagged because it was just a ballarino doing like a handstand, doing the splits over his head. And that’s not even one where, like, his junk is peeking out or anything. Because, you know, very skin-tight some pictures I think they had posted were more like, “Oh, that’s– that’s strong.” But like that one wasn’t at all. He was just doing a handstand with splits and I guess was shirtless and wearing tights. And I guess that was like, “Oh no, that’s sexual.” And I’m like, that’s not sexual. That’s his job.
Courtney: Oh my gosh. That is his job! He gets paid to do that.
Satan: I guess in the dance, it is often a sexy thing, but also– I mean I dance, you’ve done dance stuff, and I don’t think either of us meant that in a, like, “Oh, have sex with me,” kind of way.
Courtney: No!! Not even a little bit.
Satan: I like dance, dance is fun. It gives me endorphins for exercise.
Courtney: Yeah. Oh my gosh. And the constant, like, barrage of racism in dance communities too. [Satan groans] When– when I was still teaching dance – just right up until the pandemic, essentially, I taught dance for about 15 years – but the number of, like, fights I would get in with more old-school ballet teachers about things like, you know, Black dancers being able to wear shoes that match their skin…
Satan: And are they supposed to match–? Was that–? I guess that was it. I don’t know what that’s like.
Courtney: It was awful. And like, things like hiplet, like hip-hop ballet, that– that came out, and was, like, really empowering for a lot of different dancers and all these snooty old ballet teachers being like, “This isn’t proper ballet. This is an insult to the genre.” It’s like, okay…
Satan: This is how genres evolve. [sarcastically] Wow… scary! Oops, sorry, evolution is scary for some people too, I guess.
Courtney: Yeah. In just dance being sexual also, that– that was one thing that I always did find myself a little bit out of my element in some conversations with other dance teachers. Because there was always a constant question about– especially, I mean, after Dance Moms came out and became like, where competition dance team sort of entered the mainstream purview and the average person, like, had at least their idea of what that looks like from the reality show. Then there were a lot of conversations in these circles about, you know, are we over sexualizing children? And what are age appropriate costumes? And you know, should an eight-year-old be allowed to wear a two-piece dance costume that looks like it could be, you know, a swimming suit? It’s not any more revealing than they would be wearing to the pool, but in this context, when they’re dancing in it, does this make it sexual?
Courtney: And I always did find myself very, very confused at some of those conversations. Because of course, growing up as an ace who did dance, I’m aware of, you know, how sometimes you do get overly sexualized as a young girl before you are even a woman, and how uncomfortable that is. But certain parts of it were like– To me, I was like, are people actually perceiving this sexually at all ever? Like, are they looking at that child in that costume and they are thinking, “This is sexual”? And so, there were certain parts of that where I really had to try to listen to a lot of different people as they were talking to try to figure out, like, what exactly their association was and what made something sexual versus the other.
Satan: No, there were definitely moves that– You’ve been in like high school or something, I would be doing this or that move and it’s like, “Oh, that’s– you can’t do this facing the audience because that’s too sexual.” And I literally did not comprehend and I just went, “Okay. If you say so.” I guess that’s too sexual. We cannot do this move facing this way because… reasons. I guess, in that ace, like, perception way also, there’s maybe a degree of– because I don’t see this as sexual, because I’m not really pursuing anything in particular as especially sexual. Like, modesty? Okay, I guess modesty is XYZ combination of factors that we are supposed to follow, because reasons. But I don’t– I don’t really get it. I never really saw this thing as sexual because my legs are just moving this way, but I guess that’s sexy. I guess this is sexualizing. Oops. Sorry. Didn’t mean it that way. I didn’t think of it that way. But I think in terms of kids, ’cause I guess with that very sexualizing perception, there’s also a, like, ideally no adult, no matter what the kid is wearing goes, “Mm, sexy.”
Satan: Ideally that doesn’t happen at all!
Satan: And to some degree, there’s no– if some adults are going to do that, unfortunately, they’re just gonna do that. And, of course, we don’t want to encourage them. But in a little bit of a way of, like, well if they can read anything as sexual, are kids just not allowed to do anything?
Courtney: Right? Because I even in many cases equated, like, the costume conversations with, like, school dress codes. We’re like, we know how unfair and sexist that is, you know, girls can’t show their shoulders because they’re going to distract the boys. And here are these girls saying like if they’re distracted, that’s their problem. Not mine.
Courtney: So it’s, it is very much like, yes, we do want to protect children, you know, we do not want to sexualize children. But who is sexualizing the children? And–
Courtney: What– what is the line of protecting the child versus potentially making a child internalize certain things like guilt around what they’re wearing? Because it can get very almost victim-blame-y very fast.
Satan: Oh sure.
Courtney: If you follow that train of thought too far down the tracks.
Satan: Yeah. I mean, a lot of sexualization is sort of the– “Well, this person was XYZ, sexy this way,” but if they were not doing the sex then they were not doing the sex, and that’s therefore not their problem if you interpreted ‘sexy’ out of ‘not sex’.
Courtney: Yes, very, very odd. I miss my students dearly and I miss choreographing dearly. The one thing I do not miss is the constant discourse in dance teacher circles about things like that.
Satan: I know. I think I had gone through your transcript of the drag thing, it was like, “Add more sex appeal!” I swear, I do not know how to add sex appeal, if I am adding sex appeal it is by accident. If I am – quote-unquote – sexy, okay, not necessarily opposed, but that’s by accident. And I’m just doing what I wanted to.
Courtney: Yeah! I mean, for me, it’s like I can act, if you give me, like, a character with traits and mannerisms. Like, I can act that out. But I cannot for the life of me perceive what someone in an audience views as sexy–
Courtney: –on me.
Satan: I understand in an objective way that XYZ thing is perceived as sexual. So, I guess – because we do voice act stuff on the stream – if I’m supposed to be like this very sexualized character, whatever, I’m supposed to be very sultry or something, okay, then that has XYZ characteristics to their voice. Alright. We do kind of silly voices so that doesn’t always apply anyway. But like, for all intents and purposes, like okay. Okay, presumably the character should sound in these particular ways because it’s supposed to exude this kind of personality, but I don’t know. I’m doing the math backwards. I am reverse engineering sexiness.
Courtney: Reverse engineering! And well, that’s why it’s called Aces Playing At Attraction.
Satan: Exactly. We don’t know what we’re doing. We’re playing.
Courtney: The attraction isn’t real. It’s a facsimile of the thing.
Satan: We’re playing. We don’t know! This is a game and fortunately, in this case, it is a game and not real life. You probably shouldn’t do that to people in real life.
Courtney: Yeah. For you, what do you think the appeal is of playing at attraction as an ace? Because obviously, you know, you and Sharky do your stream, Royce and I have played dating simulators even long before finding your stream, and we’ve just talked to so many other aces who do enjoy playing games that have some level of, like, potentially a romantic element or something relationship related. So I’m curious to hear what your thoughts are on why we do that.
Satan: I don’t have an exact answer. I think part of– Because I also know several ace people who like dating sims and stuff and I think, okay cool. And I guess in the same way, like, you can be ace and enjoy, like, a romance novel or something. And I know we can watch romantic movies and whatnot. If you don’t, that’s also not like anything wrong with anybody. But it’s an option to some people. And I think for at least some of us, for me at least, it’s A, that’s also where a lot of good storytelling happens. There’s like– There’s dating sims that are only around dating, and I actually find those a lot less interesting. But there’s a lot of really good games out there, where basically, because it’s a dating sim, you have a built-in partner or a built-in conflict of, like, how they get together, how– Like, what tears them apart, kind of thing, what external forces. There’s a lot of really good world building that happens in some of these otome games that I like. Because they’re– they’re trying to draw you in. But I mean, there’s other dating sims, what makes this one interesting, what makes it special is a different story telling.
Satan: And then I think there’s also an element of, like, you don’t have the pressure, for one thing. Of like expectations. First of all, if anything gets uncomfortable, you can put it down. You can pick it back up at your own speed. And like, I don’t have to personally experience the attraction because MC is – the main character – MC is experiencing the attraction. It is being described to me. I might relate to it, I might agree with it and go, like, nodding along, like, “That makes sense. Yes, I also like this character. This character is great. This character is fantastic. Maybe I’m falling a little in love with the character a little bit too.” But it’s not all on me. Where it’s like this pre-written role that you are inserting yourself into without, like, being out and the pressure of actually being yourself in a dating situation, which may or may not go as well as a pre-written story and people may react better or worse than a pre-written story, often times worse. Like it’s just– it’s a separate story, it’s outside of yourself.
Satan: Some of these games try to give you more of, like, a self-insert kind of thing. But I also know there are plenty of people who play these games and are like, “That character is that character. And I’m enjoying that character story, but it’s not me.” They’re not self-inserting, they’re just like, “I am reading someone else’s story.” So that’s also a thing which I think also puts it in line with, like, movies and books and stuff where you’re just consuming a story, you’re not necessarily self-inserting even though you can. And I think for games, especially, like, that self-insert narrative kind of thing, is really big to some people. But to some people less so. I know, I think also for a lot of girls who grew up playing games, especially when I was a kid, and most of the game protagonists were guys, like, we don’t necessarily have the habit of self-inserting into every game because most of the characters just were not relatable to us. And we went, “This is character.”
Satan: But I think dating sims also just get a bad rep because people treat it as a joke, but it’s its own genre. It’s essentially kind of like ‘choose your own adventure’ games. Or some of them are like, there are actually no options along the way, you are literally reading a novel with Sprites, at which point it is actually no different than just reading a romance novel, but just with pictures! With pictures and occasionally voices. There’s also like, you can screw up. There’s no consequences to screwing up. I mean, you might hit a bad end but you don’t have, like, real life drama of screwing up that you would have if you, like, screwed up an actual relat– It’s just a very safe, like, playground for – I think – dating and sexual attraction or whatever. And all of that that goes into visual novels and dating sims that like– you’re not hurting a real person, if you screw up. If you say the wrong thing, you’re not going to cause any drama, you’re not going to hurt anybody real, you’re just experiencing a story. I think that’s also a factor that I like, because I like to go back and, like, see how different options play out and stuff. And so that’s just an interesting little box that’s contained and no one’s gonna get hurt if I am not interested in them, kind of thing.
Courtney: That is also true. Yeah. We also like to– When we find a game with a good story that we really enjoy, we also like to go through and do all of the different options. Because that’s also just kind of a different way to experience the story with a little added depth. Because if you were just watching a TV show, people are going to say the same thing every time and it’s going to have exactly the same outcome. But with this–
Courtney: It’s like, you have a character and this character might respond differently to different situations. And you can almost learn more about that character than you could from just a single story, a single playthrough, or single TV show. Because you’re actually able to experience, like, well, how do they react in different situations? And how does the landscape of their emotional response change with their surroundings?
Royce: And because one of the main focuses of these games is good storytelling, and very character-driven storytelling, sometimes you get to see very different aspects of the setting or the world that you’re in by going through these very different paths.
Satan: Right. I think for all the shit that people make fun of dating sims and visual novels and stuff, I think actually– like, if you don’t have good love interests as characters, if you don’t have fleshed out characters to date, you’re not going to have a good story. No one’s going to want to play that. There is a lot more good storytelling that happens within that. I was also noting recently– Because these games have different routes and different paths sometimes, and then you’ll find out different information or more backstory, sometimes the games have like a true end, that’s, you know, that ties everything together et cetera. But sometimes like you play one route, and you get some information and then you play a completely different character story, but some of those characters come back and some of those elements that you found out come back, and you’re in a completely different route, but the world’s still the same.
Satan: And it adds so much context that you’re not going to dig into from just one round of like, “Oh, this is the bad guy in a different route. I know he’s not trustworthy.” But your character doesn’t know that. It just adds to the storytelling. And I think that’s another thing that makes games really interesting as a storytelling medium, is the replaying and how things can change from one playthrough to another. And the information you get is different and maybe there’s no outcome where you can get every single piece of information from a single play. But collectively over the number of times you go through the story and different paths, you get so much more out of all of the paths and all of the information overall, and that just makes it so interesting. Which I guess isn’t really exclusive to aces anyway, but I think yeah, more people should give dating sims and visual novels a chance in general.
Courtney:What are some of your favorite ones?
Satan: Oh man. We’ve been playing ‘Code: Realize’ on the stream and I really love that one because that world is– If you– I’ll just describe the basic premise of the game, and it’s just like, “This is a dating sim?” Basically you are in steampunk Victorian era London. Your main character, that you play as, she has poisonous skin so anything that she touches turns to, like, acidic mush. And she has been basically essentially asleep, quote-unquote, for years inside this mansion and she’s just waiting for her father to come back. And then some stuff happens, and she’s off on a quest to try to find her father. Also, your love interests are Arsène Lupin, Victor Frankenstein, Abraham Van Helsing, the Count Saint-Germain, and Impey Barbicane with references to, like, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. And there’s various other famous literary characters that show up. And there’s like a terrorist conspiracy plot going on where essentially, like, a secret CIA-like organization connected to the government is trying to kidnap you for a terrorist plot. People go all the time, “That’s a dating sim?”
Courtney: [laughs] Yeah.
Satan: Yes, yes. Oh, and another goal is that you’re trying to solve your poisonous skin, so that maybe you could, like, eat food without it dissolving in your mouth. So ‘Code: Realize’ is a really, really good one because of all that surrounding, like, world-building and storytelling. And I really like it in terms of asexuality, because when your skin is poison, there is no sex happening. [Courtney laughs] Definitely no sex happening. It’s not even a possibility. There is no– not a chance. You want to kiss you? Can’t kiss, no. Nothing. Sorry, you better try to find the solution. And one thing I like is that at least in the base original game, ‘Guardian of Rebirth’, not every route, like, not every happy ending even solves that. There are some where you just continue, you cannot touch, but it’s a happy ending because sex and kissing and everything is not the end-all be-all to their relationship. And I think that’s really nice. So that’s a top one. Another one we played on the stream that I really liked is ‘Arcade Spirits’, who– Twoflower is one of the writers that has popped into our stream several times. He’s also ace, you know.
Satan: Make sure to check out another ace creator. Support. All that.
Courtney: Yeah, we’re actually playing that one right now so we haven’t– we haven’t seen the ending so I can’t speak too heavily to it. But we’ve been enjoying that so far and ‘Arcade Spirits’ is up on our Marketplace, on our website. So anybody who is interested in games and gaming, you can find that right there. As well as some– with some other game developers. We have several ace created games on there at this point actually, and we’re really excited to play through them all.
Satan: Yeah. That one also, I think Flower went out of his way to make sure that if you choose– Because they put like ace/aro sort of combined in the first one as like a potential route, where you don’t date anybody, that still is a complete story. There’s still a complete storyline to happen that does not depend on having a romantic relationship. I do personally like, also, games that are like, look if you don’t get into any route we’re just going to give you a bad end and your character is going to die.
Courtney: If you do not date, you will die.
Satan: Date or die! But in the way that– It’s set up that way for a lot of games, I think, because the story hinges so much on your relationship with a particular character and what’s happening in their life, or like your combined life, that you cannot proceed if there’s no story to keep going on. That interaction is the key crux of it, so there’s no story to continue on on your own. So I will defend games like that because I know not everyone likes that either. I think there’s– I don’t know there’s a lot of really good ones out there. Yeah, ‘Code: Realize’ was a really good one. And then I personally just really like a lot of the ones made by that company, Otomate, it’s– there’s the one I’ve been talking about a lot on the stream is ‘Obey Me!’ which is about dating the seven demon lords of Hell, like Lucifer, and Beelzebub, and Satan, but not me Satan, but like a little bit me, apparently. Because–
Courtney: The other Satan.
Satan: He is really into books, cats, and is The Avatar of Wrath. And I don’t know, I just described myself.
Courtney: So– so, you can actually play this game and– and date Satan.
Satan: It’s not me, but it is–
Courtney: Is kind of.
Satan: I have less daddy issues than him.
Courtney: Fair, fair. That’s–
Satan: I think that one doesn’t have routes because it’s a mobile game. It’s a gacha game. So anyone who’s susceptible to gambling addictions be aware. But that one did have some good storytelling. Especially in season, like, one… two, I will also say maybe three. They’re up to four now. They have advanced very regularly, maybe a bit more regularly than they should. They did also a good job, especially for a mobile game where there’s no splitting off routes or fleshing out their various characters. There’s currently 11 dateable characters. And for being a mobile gacha game that doesn’t split off routes, you actually get like a decent amount of information and like fleshing out and diving into each character. So I think that’s really cool. And apparently that game in particular inspired a lot of people to, like, after years of dropping it, get back into fanart and fanfic and stuff, which I think is cool. Because there’s just a lot of fun world-building there.
Satan: And sometimes– sometimes there is the, like, extra demonology research. That came also surprisingly for being a game that is technically rated like 20+, and that is not really intended for kids to play. That one actually has sometimes in the side stories – where you’re supposed to be able to, like, have these more romantic one-on-one interactions with the character – sometimes there was, like, sort of an ace and aro option where– especially ace options, where you’re like, cuddle together, and then there’s like a more suggestive option. But if you say no to that, sometimes they just continue along with a very, like, sweet heartfelt romantic thing without the sexualizing of the scene. And I think that’s really cool because it makes it a bit more ace inclusive if you’re repulsed. That just because you’re in this fictional dating situation, you can still opt for the not sexualized answer and still have, like, a valid complete scene in which it’s not like, “Oh, now I hope you’re ready not to get any sleep tonight.” And sometimes that’s actually a much more sweet scene, because they’re just confessing their feelings and saying how much they like spending time with you and things like that. So I think that’s really nice.
Satan: Especially because there have been other ones that I’ve played that they very much are, “The point of this game is that you, as a player probably want to get into a sex scene with that character.” And I’m like, “No, I don’t. Actually, I really don’t.” So ‘Obey Me!’ is one that I like. It has some problems, but that also is a game that went out of its way to be more, like, queer inclusive, so– The vast majority, especially Japanese made games, have, like, a built-in MC character that you are supposed to play as and that is supposed to represent you. It’s meant to be a self-insert, and then she’s going to be shown on the cards as a pale skinned brown haired woman. Like, almost inevitably, not always brown-haired, almost always brown-haired or somewhat dark haired, almost definitely pale. Always a woman. Whenever they put a character, unless it’s specifically meant to be gay romance kind of game, it is always going to to be a woman.
Courtney: That is true.
Satan: So ‘Obey me!’ doesn’t do that. They actually represent MC as like a little pink sheep. [Courtney laughs] So you can fill out whatever you want, you can be whatever gender you want, your character can look however you imagine. I think they made a manga of it, and in that one MC – because they still didn’t want to enforce any kind of canonical MC look – they’re just like MC has amnesia and also they are transformed into a sheep, and they remember that they are definitely not supposed to be a sheep. What kind of magical nonsense is this? Something went wrong when they got dragged down to the devil dome for the storyline. But, you know, they’re– they’re a sheep now and that’s– that’s what they look like, canonically, I guess. Because they just really wanted to keep it open to whatever interpretation. So that, you know, they’re not excluding gay men or anyone else who also want to play aside from straight women. Which is not to say that there is no homophobia in the fandom, but at least the game itself is like, “No, you are welcome here.”
Courtney: That’s always good. We always need more inclusive representation in just, like, all areas of media, just all of them.
Satan: Also, you know, on the other hand, within Western media– in Western made dating sims, there has been much more of a trend of like, okay, we’re going to have – even if it’s a dating sim targeted at women – we’re going to have like one or two romanceable options who are also women and your MC doesn’t have to look like anything. You can customize them, you can choose their, like, their appearance and everything. I actually prefer the ‘Obey me!’ way in some senses, because even if you can customize your character in the western ones, it is just literally impossible to make a character that looks perfectly like you. I personally like that you can leave it up to your imagination. That’s not for everybody. But for me, I think that’s really freeing. Because I can’t necessarily make a character that looks just like me, or just how I want them to, even with the customization options. But I do think there is a very good trend in western dating sims, actually, to have like a range of genders and it’s not targeted, like, oh, this dating sim is for men, this dating sim is for women. There’s– there’s increased understanding in that space, I think, that you don’t know who’s going to be playing this and you don’t want to imply anything that is going to turn them off or break them out of the story. Which is really cool.
Courtney: Yeah, I’ve definitely in recent years seen more and more options to have, for example, they/them pronouns that you can sort of select at the beginning of the game what your character’s pronouns are, which is definitely a step in the right direction. I think it will be a long time before we have, like, a wide range of neo-pronouns, for example.
Satan: Yeah, I think Twoflower had actually tweeted at some point in the development of the latest ‘Arcade Spirits’ game, the ‘Arcade Spirits’ 2. I think it’s the ‘New Challenger’. I can never remember if it’s Challenger or Challengers, anyway. He actually I think had tweeted at one point, like, “I just added custom pronouns and, like, all of these extra pronoun options to the game and it took me about 20 minutes and a bag of chips and a soda.”
Courtney: Wow, that is not bad.
Satan: Just do that. Because coding-wise, for visual novels especially, I think it is very open and possible. I too have started and then sort of abandoned a dating sim project, where I went to go code in the pronouns and we wanted to make sure that there were multiple proton options. And it was like, alright, so here’s a she/her, they/them, he/him, you know what? Yeah, we can– We can have a custom thing and just fill in pronouns and this is the data structure I’m going to use to have like– Okay, he and she and they line up in this box, and then if you have a custom pronoun that you want to enter, it just has to follow this format, so that I know which form of it to use in a certain sentence. Yeah, okay, we’re done. That’s it. We’re done. That– that’s not that hard actually. I think for some other types of games that might be harder, but I mean for visual novels you’re just filling in sentences. Like there’s nothing that hard about it, I think.
Courtney: Yeah, I have very little concept of how easy or difficult it is to do game stuff, because that’s all Royce’s area.
Satan: All right, before this becomes a deep dive on the technical mechanics of programming in pronouns, I guess, other topics. Oh, related to ‘Obey me!’ but not exactly about ‘Obey me!’. In fact, not really about ‘Obey me!’ at all. I do also just want to put out there that I would like the allos to stop using sin as a synonym for sex. Like, we’re literally an ace stream channel, right? And we made a Discord, and you know, there’s a few allo people in our audience that joined. I love them. They’re great. I will say, because I was naming the different channels and I have a channel titled Satan’s sinning space, and immediately our allo friends jumped in and went, “Ooh, sinning? Sinning!” And I went, “No, not that kind, guys. I love you guys but not like that.” I love you guys, but sin, as a concept, can encompass so much more than just sex.
Satan: And in fact, I would like to separate sex from sin because that implies that sex is inherently bad in some way. And like, I know a lot of the ‘Obey me!’ fandom– Because it comes from this culture of like Christianity and purity culture and everything, one of the datable characters is an angel and there is a lot of spilled ink fantasizing about “the angel character falls because he wants to have sex with the MC.” [Courtney groans] And like, in the– in the story itself, there are– He’s a very morally gray kind of character that is– He wants good, he’s very good, but he’s not necessarily like rule-following-good. Where like, the– He already has a complicated relationship with, like, the structures of in-game Heaven and, like, following the rules and there are things he may disagree with. He was friends with Lucifer before the fall. And if all of that is already given to you, why do you think the reason for him falling is going to be sex? Come on!
Satan: To me that just feels a little narcissistic almost. Because it’s like, there’s so many other interesting things in terms of, like, sin and disobedience and civil disobedience, and those kinds of things. Like, why do we have to focus on sex as sinning? Can we talk about, like, the six other deadly sins? For that matter, lust wasn’t originally supposed to just about the sex. It was supposed to just be desire and wanting, and wanting too many things. It has a lot of overlap with greed. It didn’t have to just be sex! But now lust and sin and all those words are just sex-related. I’ve been ranting about this on stream before too, I think. But I went to, like, a Satanism themed concert thing a while back that they’re like, “Oh, we’re embracing Satan and the sin. Who’s ready for a satanic orgy? Who wants a satanic orgy?” [Courtney groans] I was like, “What if I don’t want the satanic orgy? What if I want to worship Satan and not be in an orgy? Can that be okay?”
Satan: Can I reject societal expectations and Christian Puritanical culture in our society without having to be like, “I love sex!” Because that’s just– It doesn’t have to be the case for everyone to love sex, and you can still reject those things because they are still oppressive in various ways. And it’s just– Okay, you flipped the coin, but it’s the same coin, guys. You’re not– you’re just keeping the same structure, but being a rebel within it. We have to actually, like, take away that structure or else it’s not going to change.
Courtney: Satan, Amen. [laughs] No, you’re absolutely right. Because yeah, I mean, the idea that sex is synonymous with sin, whether or not you’re taking it from the conservative angle as that as a bad thing, or if you’re taking it from the rebellious angle of like, yes more sinning, I think that does need to be just all together decoupled. But to your anecdote too, when you’re saying, “Oh, you know, I want to remove sex from sinning as a correlation in general,” I also for me, I just want to remove sex from me, period. I don’t want people to perceive me sexually. I don’t want people to question my sexual history or view me as a potential and sexual being. Like, I just– I just don’t want that to be an assumption, whether you think that’s a good or a bad thing at all. I just don’t want you to go there. So– And you have a space that’s like, “Oh, Satan’s sinning space.” It’s like this is Satan’s sinning space. So tell me what– what sins is Satan excited about?
Satan: Overthrowing God.
Satan: Like Satan– To be clear, the Fallen Angels that became Demons didn’t fall because they have sex! [Courtney laughs] They fell because they went, “Fuck you, God. I can do this better.” To be clear, the sin of the Demons and Fallen, that was Civil War. That was not sex, guys. Civil disobedience and rebellion, and like, political activism was the sin. Okay? It wasn’t sex. It had nothing to do with sex. But a lot of, I guess– I know this is– this just in general of a lot of American atheism especially is actually just angry ex Christians. And it’s like, I was not raised Christian, I went to church up until about age 6 or 7 and then my parents just kind of got too busy to continue bothering bring us to church.
Satan: And then by the time I hit High School, I think, my mom lamented, “Oh, it’s a shame we didn’t keep going to church so that you would have more friends.” I have lots of friends now, just not within that society and that community. And, you know, I think that’s maybe for the better, because I became more me. But like it’s– it’s the whole– Like, a lot of atheism is like they skirt around trying to call out Christianity specifically, but so much of the atheism is rooted in this very Evangelical Christian mindset, that like– Their idea of rebelling against these Christian structures is, “Well, we’re going to have a lot of sex.” And I’m like, actually the way to dismantle caring about how much sex you are or are not having is by not caring how much sex someone is or is not having.
Satan: If your sex-favorable and ace, great. You can go have a lot of sex and that’s fine. And if you’re sex-repulsed and ace, you can have no sex and that’s also fine. It is literally not my business. And I think that’s the thing that has been in ace discourse the last– recently as well as the– Like guys, there’s nothing wrong with not having sex and being ace. Like, that’s not a bad representation of being ace, I know that was the thing that you got yelled at for. Is just– it’s– it’s– you’re still caring how much sex someone is or is not having. And ultimately you should just not, because it’s a– very much like that is not my business. If I am not the partner or partners in question, it is not my business what sex someone is having. And pushing this idea of, “Well, we should have a lot of sex to counteract,” is not the solution.
Courtney: Yeah, that’s why I’ve started almost– Like, I don’t inherently assume that people have intentions that are aligned with mine if they say they are sex positive, which is– Has become very controversial to say, because the certain things that have been lumped into sex positivity, like, you know, consent and proper sex education are all things that I think are great, and I love, and I’m in favor of, and I advocate for very frequently. But there definitely are some people who call themselves sex-positive but part of their brand of sex positivity does involve seeking more sex or having sex with more partners or, you know, having a wider variety of types of sex. And, like, it is inherently positive to them to seek out more. And to me, I can’t get behind that. I don’t think more sex is positive. If anything, I am more like – if we’re talking about quantity, either number of times, or number of partners, well, however you want to quantify it – like, to me, I am way more in favorable to, like, sex neutrality. Like, I just want it to be a neutral fact, like, the amount of sex you’re having, or the number of partners you have, or the type of sex you’re having. To me, I just want that to be such a neutral fact that nobody cares about if it’s too much, nobody cares that it’s too little. I just want it to be a fact.
Satan: Exactly. And I guess it’s sort of similar to the abortion conversation that way, where, like, the quote unquote, pro-life/anti-choice people are like, “Oh, you’re all murderers.” And plenty of people who are pro-choice have never had an abortion in their lives, and there can be pro-choice men, but you know what? That’s– The answer isn’t, “Oh, we’re going to have lots of abortions.” to counter. It’s– it’s just– it’s choice. The thing we’re supporting should be people’s right to do what they want, as long as it’s not hurting people. Like, if someone wants to have abortion, if someone wants to have sex, if someone wants to not have sex, all of those things should be okay. It’s just a question of their own life. That’s not my life so why do I need an opinion on it? Kind of thing. I am not going to judge anyone for saying that they’re sex-repulsed, because that’s just– you’re sex repulsed! And that’s– that’s your life. Literally does not concern me. It literally has nothing to do with my life. So we don’t need to pressure anyone to have more sex to counteract. The– because it just creates a different kind of pressure.
Satan: You’re effectively still pushing compulsory sexuality if you say like, “No, no, no. Aces can and do still have sex.” I’ve had sex. That doesn’t mean anything. It is a thing I have done. You know what else I have done? Gone rock climbing, gone on a wine tour. These are just activities. Nothing here is a moral statement in any direction. And if you have zero sex or if you have sex three times a day, it doesn’t matter. It’s not my business! And like that doesn’t– there’s no moralizing to do there. You’re not a better person for having sex because the church says you shouldn’t, you’re a better person for leaving other people alone over it.
Courtney: Yeah. And I think a big issue and the– Well, I guess the big reason why the– the latest wave of discourse about, like, sex favorable versus sex repulsed aces – which I wish didn’t have to be a thing – was less so, right now at this period of time with the landscape of the current discourse, it wasn’t really anyone saying that either side is not valid. I know there have been certain times throughout history and throughout the evolution of the discourse where both sides, at one point or another, have been favored over the other in the land– the discourse landscape. So I know that people who have sort of been around in the community long enough often have faced erasure like that or have faced gatekeeping like that. And I think a lot of those past memories and traumas get stirred up, right? So any time something doesn’t reflect your experience, there’s still sort of this knee-jerk concern that will come up again. And it very well might and it shouldn’t.
Courtney: But I think a lot of people recently didn’t necessarily realize that the discourse kind of started as, like, how we in the community talk to each other. We weren’t even really trying to say, like, how should we talk to allos, how should we educate about asexuality. The conversation really didn’t start that way for this latest wave. The conversation kind of started as a sex-repulsed ace saying, “Every time I talk about being sex-repulsed a bunch of aces just immediately start talking about how ‘But aces can have sex! But aces do have sex!’” And I’ve experienced that a lot. That– that does very much happen right now. And I do think it’s sort of an overcorrection from an earlier era where people were, you know, saying like, “Well, are you really ace enough if you have– if you like sex, if you have a lot of sex?” Which is a baloney conversation. Like, we’re throwing that out. That’s– that should not have ever been a thing. Let’s get that very clear.
Courtney: But I think there is something to be said about how a lot of people in the Ace community don’t really know how to talk to each other either. Because I think that by immediately jumping to seeing someone else’s experience and saying, “But that’s not mine, that’s not everybody’s,” is not really how people build community. It’s not really how you get to know someone on a more personal level and learn how to support them. Because you’re sort of not really acknowledging their hurt in what they said, before you try to insert a different narrative. And I know a lot of people do think, you know, we’re helping because we’re trying to make sure that the allos don’t get the wrong idea. Like, “I don’t want someone seeing this and thinking all aces are sex-repulsed.”
Courtney: And it’s like, short of anyone literally saying, “All aces are sex-repulsed,” I don’t think we need to be correcting each other. Because there are some people who are just going to have the wrong idea of asexuality regardless. There are always going to be the bigots. There’re always going to be the people who don’t care enough to learn. And honestly, that is not a concern of ours. And I think treating each other in our own community with respect, and acknowledging everybody’s unique experiences, and our unique intersections, and our personal hurts and traumas, I think is way more valuable than fearing that we’re going to give someone the wrong idea by omitting certain aspects. Because no– no Twitter post, no Twitter thread is going to accommodate every single situation. We are just way too diverse of a community for that to even be fathomable as a possibility.
Satan: Yeah. And it’s absurd to say like, “Oh, you’re going to give people the wrong idea,” when someone’s just talking about their own personal experiences.
Satan: Just like– As I said, I am sort of sex-neutral sex-favorable somewhere in there I think it feels good whatever, but like– So, I don’t necessarily go, “Oh, exactly me!” When I see some of the ace memes that are more sex-repulsed, but I can still make those jokes! That’s okay. Because it’s an experience that I am adjacent enough to that I’m like, “Yeah, I get it.” It’s not exactly me but you’re not bad representation of me or– Because to speak over someone and say, “Well, some aces do have sex,” when they’re just talking about their experience being sex-repulsed, and saying like, “Well, the allos are going to get the wrong idea.” Well, you’re essentially telling them that the allos are going to think that all aces are like them, and you know what? Some are. That’s not actually wrong, some are and that’s also important and okay. Let people live their lives!
Courtney: Oh, exactly. Because from what I gleaned from several of the people on the side of the discourse from this latest wave being, you know, the sex-favorable side of things, where– Of course, I think, in a different context would have been saying, like, nothing incorrect at all. They were speaking very important truth saying, you know, sometimes we might have a relationship with an allo partner and they will, you know, ignore, erase, or not respect aspects of our asexuality, if we are sex-favorable or if we are sex-neutral. And that is very much an issue that a lot of aces do face, and that can be a really big hindrance toward developing an emotional relationship with somebody if they don’t really understand and respect a fundamental aspect of your identity. Of course that’s an issue.
Courtney: But from where I was sitting with that discourse, that was almost kind of changing the topic. Because it did seem to me that we’re talking about how aces talk to each other, and the response, when an ace shares an experience, and how a bunch of other aces are really quick to say, like, “But actually–” or “Um actually–” And now we’re changing the conversation to other people outside of our community and how we establish relationships with them, and why it’s important to have this education. It’s like, it is important to have that education, you are absolutely right, but I don’t think it’s related to the original point.
Royce: Yeah, the impression that I got from, like, the original tweet or series of tweets that sparked this was that an ace person was sort of lamenting about how they can’t tell a personal story without someone else coming out of the woodworks to jump in and center themselves. And you know, when enough people do that, you can end up crowding a person out of their own online space, or to a certain extent, like, crowding them out of their own public identity. Like, it’s a form of silencing and then, of course, the discussion around this kind of ended up doing that very thing where a lot of ace voices would shout over the top of others and, you know, point proven.
Courtney: Point proven, yeah. Because I– Very much I’ve seen that too. And it’s like that– that also just kind of comes back to the, like, I don’t want anyone to assume that I, as an ace, might have sex or might like sex. Because I just don’t want that association whatsoever. And that’s okay if other aces do, we don’t all have to have the same desires for how people perceive us. But I am just personally myself going to be, like, low-key pretty disappointed if we ever get to a point where everybody assumes that aces can and do and enjoy sex, because– And I don’t think we’ll get there. I think we’re already too fractured of a community, by– by discourse and education, and we have a lot of diversity that gets very unequal amounts of the spotlight and the conversation. But yeah, if I’m like, “Hey, I am sex-repulsed and I don’t like this, and I don’t want to have any association with this,” and they’re like, “But that’s not what being asexuality means! Because some aces do have sex!” And I’m like, “Uh… look–”
Satan: Yes, tying back to the prior racism discussion, right? There’s a stereotype that Asians are good at math, and you know what? I am good at math, and I became a software engineer, and I’m in Tech and all of those things, you know what? Not all Asians are! And it’s– it’s the same kind of thing of like, well, but there still are those of us who are. Someone’s not going to become less– It’s one of those inherent things, but it’s more invisible because it’s– queerness and asexuality is just not visible on the surface of my skin and in the shape of my face, but like if you have– if you’re sex-repulsed or sex-favorable that doesn’t change. And shouting over each other isn’t going to make that better and you’re just telling people, “Oh, you’re being ace wrong.” No, they’re not. They’re being ace in their own way.
Courtney: Yeah. And that actually kinda goes back to our conversation about definitions and people having very rigid thoughts about what definitions of words are. Because there’s definitely the discourse of like asexuality is just about attraction, it is not about desire. It’s true for some people. For me, yeah, I am sex-repulsed, but that is a fundamental part of my asexuality.
Courtney: And it is– it has gotten to the point where it is almost offensive when I say like, “I am sex-repulsed because I’m asexual,” and someone’s like, “Actually asexuality has nothing to do with sex-repulsion.”
Satan: Yes it does.
Courtney: “Your sex repulsion is completely removed from asexuality, because allos can also be sex-repulsed, and some aces do like sex.” I’m like, no to me it is all the same. I don’t have the desire. I don’t have the attraction. There is an element of repulsion. I am averse. It is all there and it is all exactly the same thing. And I am not going to separate those things, because for me and my experience, they are the same. And I will never sit here and say that this is a universal experience, but when I do say this is my experience and how I experience things, I would like that to be respected.
Satan: Yeah, and I think the point about words is very relevant. Because I have seen what is a valid point of, “Well, what are sex-repulsed aces that are not gray, not demi, none of that, but just all the way end of spectrum sex-repulsed aces supposed to call themselves?” If ace is diluted as a term that also means the whole umbrella. And I think that’s fair. I have also seen people then saying, “Well, then ace shouldn’t refer to the rest of the spectrum and those people aren’t really ace, and I don’t want to be lumped in with them.” And that’s not fair.
Courtney: No! Like, I’m not going to sit here and be like, “I am more ace than demisexuals–
Courtney: –because they sometimes do experience attraction in certain situations.”
Courtney: Like, no, it doesn’t! Like I have had so many conversations with people who are demisexual, or they’re graysexual or they’re not even in the gray area in terms of attraction, but they do enjoy, like, the physical sensation of sex. I don’t think I’m more ace than them, and I have never made that claim. Because when I sit down and have a personal, like, heart-to-heart conversation with them, a lot of the societal pressures we face are very similar. Or even if we experience them differently, I can identify that they all come from the same place, they come from the same area of compulsory sexuality and allonormativity and amatonormativity. I can identify those all coming from the same thing. So to me, it’s like we are all in this together. And we need a community where we can actually sit down and have heart-to-heart’s and really hear and listen to each other.
Satan: Exactly. So I think it’s fair to say that there should be another term for specifying, because I understand people feeling like lost or like they’re losing something if the label is large enough as an umbrella to encompass all these other people who don’t share their experience. The– I mean that’s where microlabels are helpful, and demisexuality and greyasexuality or microlabels and there’s further microlabels. I think as it aegosexuality and the dating sim conversation also really go hand-in-hand together.
Courtney: Oh absolutely.
Satan: But like– I think it’s fair to say that the people at the end of the spectrum, sex-repulsed absolutely no attraction ever in their lives, should have a term. And they felt like asexual should be it, but now asexual means all these other things as well, and they feel lost that there is no term for them. I think that’s fair. There should be a term, you just can’t tell other ace people that they’re not ace because they’re not your kind of ace, and you want this label all to yourself. That’s the part where I’m like, okay you’ve gone too far. But the people who are shouting over sex-repulsed people saying, “Well, the allos are going to get the wrong idea about us,” is also too far. Because all of this is an umbrella and you can stand in different spots under the umbrella, and hopefully it keeps all of us dry.
Courtney: Oh, yeah. And I think where I’ve kind of landed on that, at least at this point in time, is that I don’t even personally feel that strongly about having those words. I’m happy for people who have microlables that work really well for them, and to have– especially in instances, I think some of the biggest value of microlabels is that sometimes that’s how people understand that they’re even under the ace umbrella to begin with. Because they’ll see a definition of a certain microlabel that just fits them and just clicks. And I think they’re incredibly valuable for that reason. For me, like, I don’t mind sharing the label of asexual. And I– Honestly, I feel like if we could just get better about talking to each other– Maybe this is too tall of an order and it’s just never going to happen and I’m a dreamer, but to me, I think if we can get better about talking to each other we don’t even need to separate them out into so many labels all the time.
Courtney: Because short of someone saying like, “Sex repulsion is inherent to asexuality,” – which is factually wrong and I think that warrants a correction, because that’s a broad sweeping statement, and that’s– that’s worth saying like, “Well, actually that’s not true.” But if someone says, you know, “I am ace and sex repulsion is inherent to my asexuality, this is how my sexuality manifests,” I don’t think you need any different words to distinguish that. I think people just need to just respect that. Because yeah, I don’t know, I don’t think that necessarily warrants a correction of like, “Oh, but some– some aces aren’t sex-repulsed.” Because I don’t think that initial statement said otherwise. It’s just when people try to pull those things away, like when– right, for me, when they say like, “Sex repulsion has nothing to do with asexuality.” I’m left being like, well, I don’t know what to tell you, because I’m not saying it is for everybody’s asexuality. But to say it’s not for anybody’s seems wrong.
Satan: Yeah, I saw a very good comparison for gender dysphoria and trans people, where there are trans people who don’t experience gender dysphoria, and there are trans people for whom gender dysphoria is a huge factor in identifying as trans. And whatever transition or not transition that people then pursue, but that doesn’t mean that people who don’t experience the gender dysphoria are not trans. It just– But it’s not like that can be taken away from the trans people who do experience gender dysphoria. It just can’t be the definition label. And again with the definitions… is things are so broad and they change.
Satan:And I do think labels can be helpful in a lot of ways, but I think of labels very much as like a sticker and name tag that you put on yourself and you can take it off of yourself. Or you might not wear that one in front in certain contexts. But you know, it’s a tool not a box. It’s supposed to help you, and if a label doesn’t service you, then it doesn’t service you. And you know, sometimes it is more helpful for people, and sometimes those micro labels are more helpful for people. But I think, ideally just asexuality as an umbrella can be hopefully an umbrella that encompasses all of these different things. And I think it would be fair if people felt better with a microlabel, for those who want to identify very very, very specifically, which some people do.
Satan: And I think that’s understandable. I think it’d be fair. But you know, there has to be one that someone comes up with and that takes off enough amongst the rest of the community that feels the same way that that becomes the term for that section of people. And I guess right now, there isn’t one for that particular group, which is a shame. And I think that’s the one thing that I’m like, I do understand and I sympathize and relate, and I hope you guys come up with something. I’m not part of that group. So I’m not coming up with anything, of course, it’s not my place to speak into that section of deciding what the label– microlabel should be. But I just don’t want those people to be the ones defining asexuality as excluding anyone else. But at the same time if you’re fighting so hard against those people saying, “Well, we belong here too and we don’t want the allos getting the wrong idea.” You can’t then eject them from asexuality. That’s also not fair.
Courtney: Yeah, and I’ve seen so many different microlabels. And some I’ve maybe only found one person that I’ve ever had a conversation with that identifies with it, whereas some other ones might have like a much more developed, I guess – I almost said following, but that sounds like the wrong word – people who have adopted that label, where you’ll sort of start to see the little, like, budding communities of multiple people using the same word. So, I know I have seen some words that have been sort of thrown out as things that might encompass sex repulsion and other different things. To me, they don’t work. I know some people have an inclination for microlabels, I don’t. I don’t think I would adopt one even if one got more widespread usage.
Satan: It’s also fair.
Courtney: I wish I could think of them off the top of my head because I know there are a couple but it’s– it’s starting to get late and my brain can’t remember. But if you’re listening to this on YouTube, you can add some in the comments for me, because I know they exist. I’ve seen them. On– on a less brain foggy day, I could maybe pull it out of thin air. But to me, it’s just I don’t feel the need for it, and I would hope that since I don’t feel the need for it people don’t feel the need to correct me on the language I use for myself. But I do really, really like the gender dysphoria example. Because that is something where we have progressed in more widespread understanding that it isn’t necessarily inherent to the trans experience. Save for, you know, transmedicalists and other people who do just have their own type of bigotry. But I, at least, feel like more people are starting to understand that there are more nuances to that discussion. So we can just hope to press that forward. But before we do wrap up here, was there anything you wanted to talk about in way of your gender identity, or journey, or…
Satan: My gender is a big black hole question mark. Yeah, so I go by they/she, I guess, I probably should have included my pronouns at the beginning and not at the end. I go by they/she and half of that is honestly just a challenge to other people because I present quite femme, I look for all intents and purposes like a woman, I have no intentions of changing that. I was born a woman and that it’s essentially how I like to look. But I also– there’s something distinctly queer to my gender identity I guess, or gender in general. That like– The number of cis friends versus the number of trans friends I think is disproportionate to the average cis person, perhaps. Because there is a lot that I relate to, or it’s that very– Like, presentation is not gender, even though those are also closely tied together.
Satan: Where I have described my gender as gender-void, if instead of the definition that you can look up, where there is a void where your gender is, my void is a black hole. It is destructive. And will consume you. I don’t know. I’ve also jokingly said that my gender is Goth, because it’s in that very counterculture way of– Gender identity also is very tied up with societal interpretations of gender that don’t really fit, I guess. Like, I would never say that I’m a boy or a man. I don’t feel that I am a man, but I have also been in situations with a bunch of other women and come away going. “Oh God. That was, that was– that– I don’t think I’m a woman. I don’t think I’m a woman! Oh, God.” I’ve– For a while I was playing with demigirl, but I don’t really like that for myself either exactly. Totally valid for people who are demigirls out there, by the way, shout out to you. Also, the demiboys out there. Where– I just, I don’t know. Like a little bit agender, a little bit genderfluid, a little bit just– Just destruction. Is spite a gender? Is Hell a gender? Maybe my gender can be demon.
Courtney: I like the idea of spite being a gender.
Satan: My gender is Satan. I don’t know what else to say there. My gender is fuck you… Unless you’re a perfectly nice person to me, in which case I will try to be perfectly nice and like polite to you. But at large my gender is Fuck you. My gender is Satan. My gender is the darkness. At risk of sounding extremely edgy. But I don’t know. Just that very, I guess, counterculture thing and maybe that’s also just that I don’t feel gender inherently in me. I don’t know. But I did get some great tips from one of my trans friends on going the reverse– Trans women friends, on going the reverse direction trying to lower my voice. And I feel like that’s really nice for me. So yeah, I don’t really have a good label to stick on that, which I guess is– Again the labels are fuzzy. They are tools. It varies drastically. But gender’s a thing that exists. Maybe?
Courtney: Honestly, I almost love your description of that whole gender situation better than any label you could possibly produce. Regardless of how much of a spectrum or how precise it is. Because when we talk about any of these big concepts in the queer community, whether it be gender or whether it be love, like what is love? What is– What is the difference between sexual and sensual attraction? Everyone’s going to have their own internal feeling and some people are going to be able to identify their feelings better than others might. But to me, it’s all very, very abstract concepts and very personal concepts.
Courtney: And when I think of things like love, like, how are you going to describe and identify the difference between platonic love and romantic love? Some people can’t really tell the difference. Some people have a very clear idea of what that means, but I defy anybody to, like, define it perfectly either way. And that’s why we have things like poetry and music. Like the number of poems and songs that have been written about love, because people just have an emotion that a single word doesn’t really fit…?
Courtney: And that’s where people get creative and more expressive. So I almost see that the same way with you saying my gender is a void.
Satan: My– my gender is the thing that it is, it exists. It’s there. I wouldn’t say that I’d have no gender. It just is. It’s– it’s own little thing on the side going [gnawing noises].
Courtney: Is that the sound your gender makes?
Satan: Some days? Some days. Some days it’s a vicious growling and some days it’s a petulant child in a corner going, “Leave me alone!” I don’t know, aren’t we all on this stupid space rock just floating and existing and… I don’t know. There’s a lot of buckets and I don’t think they should be buckets. I think a lot of things should be spectrums. I mean gender is a spectrum and I think rather than a spectrum that we usually think of is, you know, a line from point A to point B that– that– It can be a whole little Universe. It could be a whole 3D space, a very big one. And same for sexuality and honestly asexuality can kind of be the same, with all of the, like, sex-favorable, sex-positive, sex-negative. And also how much sexual attraction you do or don’t experience. Like, all of that. Spectrum we tend to think of as a line. And it’s not a line, it’s a whole graph. And I– maybe you’re somewhere on the graph. Good luck.
Courtney: Good luck. That is excellent.
Satan: Maybe this section– Quadrant A, quadrant one has a microlabel, quadrant 3 maybe doesn’t have a microlabel. Sorry quadrant 3, let us know when you come up with your microlabel. This section of quadrant one specifically, the log graph on the section quadrant one, is this other micro-microlabel. You know, cool. Good for anyone on that label. If it suits them, good. Maybe they don’t identify themselves by that logarithm. And that’s also good.
Courtney: It’s all great. I just love people. I think people are so interesting and they’re all so different and they are all so unique. But then I also hate people, which is a real problem for me.
Satan: Loving people with caveats. Loving people (asterisk).
Courtney: Asterisk, yes. I do want to ask if there’s more you can share about it, because you mentioned going by they/she almost as a challenge. Can you tell us a little more about that mindset? That challenge.
Satan: I– In the way that it’s ‘fuck you’, I guess. Because I go about my life in– you know, I have long hair, I have boobs, whatnot, I’m not trying to cover those up necessarily, that I have them, of course most people perceive me as a woman, especially if I don’t dive into the depth of all of this. So a lot of people automatically – and I’ve been guilty of this too – go to ‘she’, she she she she she. And a lot of times, even after introducing myself as they/she, if I give ‘she’ as an option in that listing, it’s sort of that– ‘give an inch, take a mile’. And so I very briefly was like, [tentatively] she/they? And then I quickly realized that people do not take my she/they as she/they, they take it as she/her. They will take she/her and they will run with she/her. They will drop that ‘they’. So I kind of put ‘they’ in front as a challenge almost of, like, “This is the first thing I said, are you going to prioritize it? Because I put it right in your face.” And so challenging sort of in that way of like, “Are you still going to dare to drop the ‘they’ from it when it’s in front?” A lot of people still do! A lot of people still do. I think it helps a little bit, but not that much. I guess– I guess to me pronouns is less important to me personally. My– my name in the world that is not Satan–
Courtney: You have another name that’s not Satan?! Your coworkers aren’t calling you Satan?!
Satan: [laughs] No, but in the world that is not me being Satan, in the stream, where people know my birth certificate name– I hate that name. It is, one, pretty gendered. Two, for some reason – well, I know the reason – but it means by, like, the grace of God or something, or God’s grace… something religious. To where my mom has actually gotten questions like, “Are you religious?” And it’s like, no. And I’ve never looked at someone’s name and automatically assumed that they were religious. But I guess that’s a thing that people do. Anyway, combination of these things and just, lastly – and this is why I have the name that I do – is my mom named me after my grandmother who passed away while she was pregnant with me, that I never met and she never told me any stories about, so I have absolutely no reason to be even sad about this grandmother’s passing or anything.
Satan: Yeah, I’m named– Chinese name after that grandmother and then they just took the nearest English name when I was born. So actually my– I’m the only one in my family who was born in the US, the rest of– my parents and my brother immigrated here. So all of them have their Chinese name and then an English name that they chose. I didn’t get to choose mine. I was born here. My parents just went, “This is your Chinese name. We’ll just pick an English name off of that.” So I do not like my given name. I don’t think it suits me. I don’t really like it. Half the people that I have dated in real life were – or half the people I have dated, I guess, in general – are white. And so, I had a sort of pause of like, “Wait, if I ever got married to one of those people, I would just have a very white sounding name.” And being like, “Okay, wait, I don’t– I don’t want that.”
Satan: I like my last name where it is. Granted, it’s near the end of the alphabet and that kind of sucks when things go in alphabetical order, but that kind of sucks. But otherwise, I like it and I would not want to change that part, but I don’t like my first, like, given name and that’s the part that I’d change. And so at the very least, if people don’t pay attention to the they/she, I’ve started going by like a nickname that is a very neutral one. I just went with the first initial because I think It sounds way better to my ears. I like it a lot better. I don’t know if I would go with that as, like, a permanent name kind of thing. Like, I don’t think I would bother getting a name change officially for it. But just the letter it’s good with me. And I mean some people struggle with that, and to be fair some people have known me a very long time and people have known me for eight years under a certain name, may not switch so easily. But I think that part is more important to me than the pronouns. So I guess, for those purposes my– maybe my pronoun is also my first initial.
Courtney: Hey, might as well.
Satan: But the they/she is a challenge in the sense of like, “Are you going to acknowledge the ‘they’? I put it in your face. It’s not a second thought, it’s the first thought. So you’re going to have to like, really jump over that ‘they’ to get to ‘she’.” And a lot of people still use ‘she’, even with that, which is the unfortunate side of it. You know, some part– some people are more conscious about it than others, but that’s the challenge I am issuing to people, I guess.
Courtney: I like it. Well, Satan. Where can all our lovely pod people find you outside of this episode?
Satan: Well, I am on the Aces Playing At Attraction stream with Sharky on twitch.tv. That’s twitch.tv/acesplayingatattraction. While Twitter exists, we are also the AcesPlayingAtAttraction Twitter account, which – because that didn’t fit within Twitter’s character limit – is @at_aces. We also have acesplayingatattraction as a Tumblr account for what that’s worth. And we have a Discord that I invite people via the stream pretty carefully, because I worry about trolls and stuff. But if you pop by, and you seem nice, you might get an invite. Make that sound like such a secret society kind of thing. Sorry, it’s not. I just am protective about things.
Courtney: And then you can see Satan’s sinning space!
Satan: The sinning space, which is not about sex. Yes. [Courtney laughs] And which has actually turned mostly into– I have cats and I like cats, and so people just post their cat pics or, in your case, snake pics, which I really appreciate. I like the snake pics too. You can post other animals. It was also going to be a US politics ranting space, but it hasn’t really been that.
Royce: The people chose cats instead. [Courtney laughs]
Satan: Yeah, they did.
Courtney: You know–
Satan: That’s it!
Satan: Cats should rule the country.
Courtney: [laughs] That is fair. Well, thank you so much for being on today. We always love having a conversation with you. I also– I’m going to be so curious to see what our listeners think because the Sharky episode was, you know, like, “Oh, yes, I am still Christian. There is some Christian trauma when you grow up that way, but I am still a Christian guy.” And then Satan comes on in and is like, “Overthrow God!” [laughs]
Satan: I didn’t grow up Christian, but I grew up in a Christian society and I didn’t like it.
Courtney: Fair enough! [laughs]
Satan: That’s the thing, right? Within the US, you can grow up in a Christian society even if you’re not Christian. You take on a lot of those attitudes even if you yourself are not Christian.
Courtney: 100% yes, that is very much a thing. So everyone make sure to find the Aces Playing At Attraction in your social media of choice, pop into the stream, tell them hi. Tell them The Ace Couple sent you. And then do all the things you’re supposed to do. Are you on a podcast platform? Maybe follow us. Maybe– maybe give us a rating and a review, if you’re on one of those platforms that have those things. We’d appreciate if it’s good. And comments on YouTube, if you’re listening on YouTube, give us a like, comment, subscribe, all that fun jazz, all those things you’re supposed to do and tell people to do, when you do content. Am I– Am I a good podcaster yet?
Satan: You’re an excellent podcaster.
Courtney: Thank you, Satan!
Satan: Thank you for having me. And overthrow God.
Courtney: Overthrow God.