r/AmITheAsshole? Asexuality Edition #4

Wow, has it really been 10 months since our last r/AmITheAsshole episode? Prepare for another round of judgement!

Featured MarketplACE vendor of the week: AKA Wally


Courtney: Hello everyone and welcome back. My name is Courtney. I am here with my spouse, Royce, and together we are The Ace Couple. And today we are once again judging internet strangers via the subreddit r/AmItheAsshole. We did not read any of these ahead of time, we just keyword searched asexual. So let’s all be surprised together by what we find, shall we? Our first post asks: “Am I the asshole for telling my dad he turned me asexual/lesbian?” Well, I can’t wait to see how this turns out.

Courtney: Op writes: [reading] “My dad is the typical overprotective dad who didn’t let me or my younger sisters wear nice clothes, go on dates, have male friends, have guys on social media or anything else. My mom goes along with whatever he says. It was much harder on my sisters because it turns out I’m asexual/graysexual, with romantic attraction to women. Because I was happy to wear baggy flannels and hang out with the girls, my parents constantly used me as an example to my sisters. It caused a lot of resentment, which still lingers.”

Courtney: [reading] “I finally came out to them after the holidays because, one, I’m finally sure of my identity and, two, my mom started making ‘when are you giving me grandbabies?’ comments now that I’m – quote – old? My mom is struggling, but trying. My dad is not taking it well. He keeps suggesting therapy, sending me weird links, trying to set me up, etc. Last time we talked he started with: ‘I must be a terrible father. Where did I go wrong?’ I snapped. I told him that he shouldn’t be surprised I turned out like this, since he never let me dress or act feminine and yelled at me every time I talked to boys. I told him that it was too late for me and if he wanted to save my sisters, he should let them do normal girl things.” [chuckles] – sorry – [resumes reading] “He hasn’t talked to me since. My mom keeps asking me to apologize and just try therapy, because apparently his spirit is broken.”

Royce: To clarify, this is the oldest sister posting, and did she mention ages?

Courtney: She’s only mentioned ‘my younger sisters,’ So, yeah, I get the impression she’s the oldest.

Royce: Okay.

Courtney: We didn’t get ages, though. A lot of posters will say, like, “This is my age, the other people in the story, this is their age.” So we don’t actually know how old, but old enough to write – quote – old. So by ace standards, I’m gonna say 25. [laughs] Sorry! All right.

Royce: I mean the conservative, “When are you going to give me grandbabies,” comments, I think, happen earlier than that usually.

Courtney: Yeah, all right, we have to finish the post. We can’t keep getting sidetracked like this. Let’s see. So apparently his spirit is broken. [reading] “My sisters are conflicted because they can finally breathe, but he’s completely withdrawn from them now. They don’t want me to back down, though, because they’re afraid of things going back to how they were. I feel guilty because I’m perpetuating the idea that there’s something inherently wrong with people who aren’t cis, het, etc. That we are the way we are because we are damaged or broken. Am I the asshole? Edit, to clarify, I know he didn’t actually make me gay. That’s why I’m asking if I’m the asshole. I knew when I said it that it wasn’t true, but I said it anyway, just to make the harassment stop.”

Royce: I think that one’s kind of funny.

Courtney: It’s kind of funny!

Royce: The thing is, it wasn’t the first response. The father did not accept her coming out.

Courtney: Yes.

Royce: Then he proposed conversion therapy.

Courtney: Yes.

Royce: So, one way or another, the father in this scenario had a lot of work to do, and you can only be so patient with that.

Courtney: Yeah, and I think that’s a great point of this wasn’t the first thing. Like this is someone who has been pushed to the edge. They clearly– It sounds like she didn’t suffer as much under the rules, because she had the gay loophole. Like, “Well, fine! If I can’t talk to boys–” But, like she’s saying, her younger sisters are happy because things are now better for them, because their dad isn’t being as authoritarian right now, it seems. And it might be because he’s having an existential crisis of some sort, but that’s his shit to sort through.

Royce: Yeah, and what’s being described here is something that a lot of aces who have grown up in a very religious environment, like a church-going family sort of environment, have experienced, where they’re like the golden child during the purity culture phase.

Courtney: Yeah.

Royce: And then as soon as they come of age it flips. But I guess, a lot of times where I sit is the person that was causing harm at this whole point was the father in this situation.

Courtney: Yes.

Royce: And to some extent, their– their mother as well, for going along with it. And I don’t really care about his existential crisis all that much. [Courtney laughs] I care about the other people in this scenario, like, not continually being harmed.

Courtney: Yeah, and it sounds like things are better for the younger sisters. The OP is an adult and just clearly wanted this to stop. It sounds– It sounds like the dad backed off a little bit, but the mom is still saying, “Just try therapy.” So the mom is also the asshole here. So the dad is like the biggest asshole, the mother is the secondary, complicit asshole.

Royce: It sounds like the mother was doing some of the same things, but was less outspoken and abrasive about it.

Courtney: Yeah.

Royce: Which– Did this post say that she was trying, that this conversation was ongoing?

Courtney: Yeah, it says mom is struggling, but trying. And the reason why mom is saying just try therapy is because, well, your father’s spirit is broken.

Royce: I think the father should try therapy.

Courtney: Oh, who’s gonna tell him? Who’s gonna tell him that he needs therapy?

Royce: I think it has to be his wife.

Courtney: Yeah, I have the gavel of judgment here. Father is the asshole, mother is also the asshole, all of the kids, including OP, definitely not the asshole. [hits gavel]

Courtney: Because, you know, one– one of my points with comments like this, when you say something that you know isn’t true but you say it for a reason, I kind of think back to a previous Am I the Asshole post, where I might be getting the super specifics wrong because it’s been long enough, but it was something like OP is gay but wants to tell their parents that they’re asexual to get them to stop trying to hook them up with girls or something. And a lot of people were saying, “Yeah, you would be the asshole if you’re doing that because you’re just assuming that aces have it better and they don’t necessarily.”

Courtney: But in a situation like that, when you are still in a household where your parents do have some amount of authority over you, to me, if you aren’t saying it publicly, if you aren’t going on like a big platform and saying, like, aces have it so much better than gay people, or aces aren’t oppressed, if you actually– if you know your family well enough that saying this will actually make your temporary situation better until you can get independent, then my primary concern is the safety of that person, in the individual situation. But that also comes with an asterisk, like, do you actually know that this would make it better for you or not? Or are you making an assumption, because you know every bigot is going to be different. But–

Royce: Yeah, we came out of that discussion thinking: eh we don’t really know if this is going to go the way you think it is. But another thing that we discussed after reading that story was, when you’re talking about speaking to a closed minded or ignorant family member, how much harm can realistically be caused there? Because it is– it’s someone who already fundamentally does not understand queer identity, and it’s– it’s an individual or a small group of individuals, not the national news. You know? It isn’t getting in front of millions of viewers or, you know, changing public opinion.

Courtney: Well, and they aren’t actively attempting to educate themselves either. So it’s not as if there’s a risk of like, oh, you’re going to give them the wrong idea.

Royce: Yeah, they already have the wrong idea.

Courtney: They already have the wrong idea.

Courtney: But yeah, it’s also– There is an element of this that is kind of funny. If you had the right comedic chops and the right timing, like, you could turn this into a stand-up bit. Absolutely there is potential. But overall, OP, I think you’re a badass. It sounds like you’re a badass. Sounds like you’re showing up for your sisters. You’re sticking it to your dad. I like you and let’s be friends. Next story!

Royce: [reading] “Am I the asshole for telling my friend that my sex life has nothing to do with her?”

Courtney: Well, that just sounds factual.

Royce: [reading] “My friend Olivia (a 25 year old woman) has been living at the home of my partner (a 30 year old man) and I (a 26-year-old woman) for about a week– For a few weeks, as she has had some financial problems and was evicted from her own home. That’s fine, she cleans up after herself, she’s respectful of house rules, etc. Anyway, she pulled me aside a couple of days ago and asked me if I’m really dating my partner or if we’re just pretending. I asked her what put that in her head and she said that he and I never do coupley things like kissing or PDA etc. She also brought up the fact that we don’t share a bedroom and asked if everything was okay in our sex life. I am asexual and so is my partner. My friend is not aware of this, as I have not come out to anyone about this, but still it’s a weird question to ask, is it not? Also it’s ludicrous to me that she went to the conclusion of my partner and I being in a fake relationship.

Royce: I said everything was fine and it’s really none of her business. She dropped it, but then yesterday she brought it up again, saying she was concerned because I seemed quite defensive and snappy when she brought up my sex life in the prior conversation. I’m not always aware of my tone of voice. I have alexithymia and autism, so I’m not very good at reading or recognizing emotions in myself, so I could well have come across as defensive without realizing, but I don’t know.

Royce: She then went on saying she wanted to continue the conversation and asking if I was waiting till marriage, and whether or not my religion was forcing that, as she noticed I didn’t seem happy about discussing it with her the last time she tried, so it might be a difficult topic for me.

Royce: I said that she was correct that I didn’t want to talk about it with her because, again, it’s none of her business, so I would appreciate it if she stopped trying to. She told me I was being rude when she was just looking out for me and the least I could do was appreciate her support. She has been a victim of Christian purity culture, so I understand she was trying to help or make sure I was okay, but I don’t appreciate her still trying to talk to me about it after I told her I didn’t want to. Am I the asshole?

Courtney: Um, I mean no, pretty easy no, seems like.

Royce: Yeah. I wasn’t sure how far that interaction was going to go. Olivia is clearly being pushy and intrusive and seems to be justifying that due to past trauma. [Courtney agrees] But I was about to say, I was trying to think of how to resolve this, considering OP does not want to come out and that Olivia is not respecting personal boundaries.

Courtney: Mm-hmm, what was the line about the friend’s assumption about the relationship, like she jumped to.

Royce: Olivia said that she never observes physical intimacy, basically. No– No PDA, no things happening, and the fact that they also had separate bedrooms. She brought up two things: one, is this some kind of fake relationship?

Courtney: Fake relationship, that’s– That’s the thing. That’s– If you weren’t already verging on asshole by being pushy, like, that’s– That’s the line that makes the friend the asshole.

Royce: That one, and also I was skimming some comments and Olivia told OP that OP was being rude by saying this is none of your business. And some people in the comments, they were like, “That line is where I would have snapped.” Being called rude for establishing boundaries.

Courtney: Yeah, because there’s a number of things at play here, right? Like, if the friend keeps pushing and pushing, and pushing, then OP could feel forced to come out. It could feel like this is the only way I could get this person to stop. I don’t know the reason why OP doesn’t want to come out right now, which you don’t need a reason. I don’t know if OP has one or if it’s just a vibe. But there’s this thing that does and can happen, and we don’t necessarily know enough about the friend to know if this is true, but there are some people who are in branches of like sex positive spaces that take sex positivity not to be like have as much or as little sex as you want and they’re like–

Courtney: Sometimes it’s almost an overcorrection of having been a victim of purity culture, where it’s like now it is a good feminist, like, almost moralized thing to have lots of partners or lots of sex with one partner, or, you know, take control over your sexuality. And some of those pockets can get really acephobic really quickly, because then they’ll look at someone who’s like an ace woman, for example, and be like, “Well, you’re not a good feminist if you haven’t embraced your sexuality.” And I don’t know if the friend is like this or not, but the fact that the friend is observing a relationship and just being like, “This is wrong.”

Royce: Yeah, the fact that Olivia is seeing a relationship that doesn’t look the way they think relationships are supposed to look and immediately thinking it’s not a relationship is really narrow minded.

Courtney: Yes.

Royce: Even if they weren’t asexual.

Courtney: Yes.

Royce: There are plenty of people who have separate bedrooms or don’t like physically interacting with each other much in public spaces or in front of other people.

Courtney: Right. So, OP, you are not the asshole, your friend absolutely is. [hits gavel] Next story: [reading] “Am I the asshole for being upset at my friend and her girlfriend? So my friend Nancy and I have been friends for a long time.” Nancy is 15 year old female, looks like her girlfriend, Alice is 16 years old, [resumes reading] “And Nancy and I have been friends for a long time. However, all our friendship has been lately is sending tiktoks or reels, or her talking about her love life. The only time she texts first is if it’s a funny video, screenshots of texts from past drama, or something related to her girlfriend.

Courtney: Nancy has been through a lot. Her ex-girlfriend did a lot to her, so she went to the mental hospital to recover. The reason why I brought this up is because when I found out that she was out, I texted her saying, “Aw, Nancy, I missed you so much!” And she didn’t say I miss you too or anything like that. This hurt me because I did nothing but help her and her girlfriend get together. What I mean is that Nancy got back with her ex at one point and her now girlfriend, Alice, texted me about how sad she was.

Courtney: Alice only texts me for advice on what to do for Nancy, and just now she texted me just to show the promise ring she gave Nancy, that I’ve already seen, and telling me that she got to see Nancy, when both of them posted so many selfies on their stories that it’s impossible to not know that they saw each other. I might be the asshole because I’m aromantic and asexual, mostly because I haven’t had a healthy relationship yet and seeing one makes me a bit upset. I’m also upset that all Nancy and Alice do is talk about themselves or each other instead of treating me like a real friend and not a relationship coach. So am I the asshole? TLDR: My friend Nancy and her girlfriend Alice only see me as a relationship coach and not a friend.”

Courtney: Sounds like everyone’s got a lot going on.

Royce: Yeah. Different people, I think, have different expectations for what these relationships are supposed to be. Friends getting sort of hyper-fixated on partners in their relationship is something that happens a lot. And everyone in this story is also pretty young, so I think this is something where I’m hesitant to call anyone explicitly the asshole of this story. But it seems like there is a break in communication and expectations here.

Courtney: Yeah, I don’t think anyone is the asshole, because the question is kind of like: am I the asshole for being upset? And there were a couple of different allusions to what OP is being upset about. Because the one comment, “I haven’t had a healthy relationship yet and seeing one makes me a bit upset,” that’s good self awareness.

Royce: It’s also something to work on.

Courtney: It’s also something to work on if that is part of where the resentment is coming from. But it’s also very natural to actually be upset when you do feel like, you know, a friend of yours has gotten so involved in a current relationship they’re sort of in that new relationship energy phase where you start to get left out. That is a thing that does happen and that is a thing that we talk about a lot in the Ace and Aro communities. Like, why do people put their romantic relationships on such a pedestal and such a high priority that then everyone else has to take a backseat? Because, for especially those who don’t want or don’t seek that type of relationship, sometimes friendships are the most important relationships to someone and it can feel really, really bad to feel like you care a lot more about a relationship than the other party does.

Courtney: So that is a normal thing to be upset about. But it’s also kind of a normal thing for people to do, especially young people, especially teenagers. So I think without an actual open conversation about, you know, “I feel like we don’t have a real friendship anymore. You don’t talk to me unless it’s about your relationship. Can we– can we make some time just for the two of us to have friend time? Can we make some time to have a conversation that’s about other things?” Without having that conversation and knowing how everyone handles and reacts to that conversation? Right now it just kind of seems like a lot of emotions that you’re never going to inherently be the asshole about just feeling.

Courtney: I also kind of think– And this is just [sighs] elder ace who has the gift of hindsight: promise rings as teenagers is a thing that makes me uncomfy, as someone who was offered more than one promise ring as a teenager. Also, I genuinely do hope that this is a healthy relationship. You say, “I haven’t had a healthy relationship and seeing one makes me a bit upset.” I really genuinely hope that it is. But I will also be the first to say there are a lot of teenage relationships, well, there are a lot of relationships in general, but also there are a lot of teenage relationships that might look healthy to an outsider and are not necessarily. This post isn’t about that. We don’t have enough detail to actually speculate. But I think at the end of the day, based purely on what we’ve been presented with, we have to say no assholes here. [hits gavel]

Royce: Okay, so next up I have: Am I the Asshole for Snapping and Yelling at my Mom? Op says [reading] “Okay, that title might make me sound bad, but hear me out here. I’m a teenage girl, panromantic, asexual. A lot of people in my family, both on my mom’s and dad’s side, seem to find issues with this, mostly due to my age. A lot of the complaints stem from the idea that I’m too young to know and that I should wait and see till I’m older. Personally, I think this concept is stupid, disrespectful. However, I don’t say much in my defense due to not wanting to stir up drama. I usually just say things along the lines of okay, whatever, or not really, and it ends for the time being. I should also mention I have labeled myself as panace for a while now, and this is not new information to anyone in my family, but it is the topic of an annoying amount of debate.

Royce: So, I was in the car with my mom and my sexuality came up due to my class having a Sex-Ed course coming up and she, as usual with this topic, made what I thought was a rude comment about my being asexual. The baseline is that she told me I should never say never when it comes to how I’ll see people in the future. This, combined with a two-year long history of comments like this from both her and other relatives, caused me to burst out. I told her it was rude and saying things like that invalidates the things I genuinely feel and know.

Royce: She rushed to cover, but I was pretty adamant that her talking about my sexuality like it’s a little kid phase hurts me. I feel like an asshole because I just snapped at her and didn’t let her defend herself. I know the more reasonable thing to do would have been to sit down with her and explain in detail what I felt wrong, but frankly, I’ve done that in the past and I always just keep up with the age thing. I hate it and it’s been annoying from the start. So am I the asshole?”

Royce: And my first thought reading that is that what was quoted in here, the never say never or just wait until you’re older, only happens with the assumption of being straight.

Courtney: Yeah, that’s usually the way it goes, huh?

Royce: Yeah.

Courtney: Although, I don’t know OP’s family, so I don’t know. But there are some families, some members from my family, from my past, for example, family members from other aces I’ve spoken to, who have said, like, I did actually grow up in, you know, a queer friendly family for the most part, but they can’t accept asexuality. Like, I have said and I know other aces who have said, if I just, like, came out as gay, my family would have been cool with it. People in my family had gay friends. They were all for the cause, they were allies. But when I came out as asexual they were like, “Eh... But a healthy sex life is a thing that I theoretically want for you in your life, even if I don’t want the details,” kind of a thing. So it’s hard to know if they’re like, “Oh, you’re just young, you will get to the sexual feelings and we will affirm the sexual feelings.” Or if it’s like, “You should probably just be straight.” It could go either way. Both are bad, both are bad. But yeah, what’s your take on the yelling though? Because it seems like the concern and the question of am I the asshole is because I snapped and I yelled.

Royce: I mean, that’s been the common theme of this episode, I think. And in this case there’s another two years of attempts to explain this. And OP is right that the more reasonable thing to do was to sit down and explain in detail, but you’ve already tried that and it didn’t work.

Courtney: I also, in terms of, like, yelling and snapping at someone too– Because I’m not a fan of yelling. I generally think you shouldn’t yell at people, but I do weigh my opinions on that based on the power dynamics to a certain extent. Like, I think a parent to their child has perhaps more of an obligation of patience than the other way around in some situations. You know what I mean? Like I– I don’t think OP’s the asshole here.

Royce: No, I think this is another case of you have been trying for a long time and, yes, this conversation was harsh, but sometimes it takes a harsh lesson for someone to get it.

Courtney: And since we don’t know the specifics of like verbatim what you said–

Royce: It’s hard to know for sure if a line was crossed.

Courtney: Right. And like, if you’re sitting here and genuinely thinking, “I did cross a line, I did lay in too hard here,” then that’s something that you can try to gain self-awareness about and use as a lesson to learn for the future. But if that’s the case, I also want you to have a little patience for yourself here, because it is not okay that this has been going on for so long.

Royce: This also isn’t the end of the relationship or the end of the ongoing conversation. This should have a follow up conversation where you can exercise that patience and try to explain everything.

Courtney: Yeah, but yeah overall, OP, not the asshole. Family is the asshole. You shouldn’t say things like that, let alone for so long, so many years. It is decided. [hits gavel]

Courtney: This next post is entitled: Am I the Asshole for Wanting More Intimacy? So, [reading] “I (25 female) and my boyfriend (24 male) got into it a week ago about intimacy. I can’t remember the last time he wanted to touch me in a romantic way. I crave that type of stimulation because it makes me feel wanted and appreciated in a relationship. I’ve told him all of this and he’s not cheating. I already have been through his phone multiple times. I decay if it’s just me or the way I want to, but it’s been over six months at this point and I’m miserable. Every time I try to talk to him about it, he shuts down and tells me that sex doesn’t need to be the main part of our relationship.

Courtney: I don’t want it to be, but I also don’t see myself with him for much longer if something doesn’t happen. For context, when I say he doesn’t want to touch me in a romantic way, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t hold my hand or hug me, or have some part of him touching me at some point. I’m just so confused because everything else in our relationship we were able to communicate through, and this is one thing where I can’t talk to him about it. He just doesn’t want to have sex with me. And if he’s any type of asexual, that’s fine, but there hasn’t been any indication to the contrary. So IDK, please help me.” Sounds like this should be a Dead Bedrooms post.

Royce: What is this, a crossover episode?

Courtney: What is this, a crossover episode?! What, functionally, is the purpose of ending that with: “If he’s any type of asexual, then it’s fine.”

Royce: It doesn’t sound like it’s fine.

Courtney: It doesn’t sound like it’s actually fine. I do feel like sometimes people who want to be ace affirming, or think that they are ace affirming, just feel the need to throw that in. Just like, “Well, I’d be totally cool with this situation if he identified as asexual.” But whether he’s using the word asexual or not, or whether he feels asexual inside or not, umm, you’re not going to automatically be okay with this. You aren’t automatically going to be happy and fine. I am baffled at how casually she dropped, “I’ve been through his phone multiple times, so I know he’s not cheating.”

Royce: I caught that.

Courtney: So reddit deemed this person not the asshole, by the way. So I kind of want to go through some of the comments, because yeah, one second.

Royce: I saw that, and I also saw that the prevented outbursts online mode was put on this post, due to I think that’s a high volume of traffic. I’ve never seen that before.

Courtney: What is that mode? I don’t know what that is either.

Royce: It says in the tag at the top, Not The A-hole POO Mode.

Courtney: Oh, okay.

Royce: Apparently that is a new feature that allows only trusted community members to comment, generally activated for posts that are getting a– Oh, for getting a high volume of rule-violating comments. Okay.

Royce: There are things about the words in this post. OP is saying that there isn’t physical comment in a romantic way, but are explicitly mentioning sex, not other aspects of– Like they hold hands, they’re physically in contact with each other, they hug those sorts of things. They also at least have the awareness that this might not actually be about sex, if they were able to work through it. Because it says that for them right now– They say in this post, that for them right now sex is something that they want because it makes them feel appreciated in a relationship.

Courtney: Yeah.

Royce: And–

Courtney: So to me, there’s always a question there, like is your partner actually showing you appreciation in other ways and it’s just not registering to you?

Royce: It could be that if they sat down and talked, or went to, I don’t know, like a couples counselor that knew how to navigate this, that they could find some expectations and boundaries for their relationship that worked. Because the, “I already went through his phone multiple times,” there is clearly, like, a core of insecurity here that needs to be worked through.

Courtney: Yeah, that’s, that’s the tough thing sometimes too. Because going through like Dead Bedrooms posts, or talking to allosexual people who have, you know, bedroom issues, people always kind of talk about the issue if you don’t have matching libidos. Which is a thing that can be an in– Like that can be an issue in any relationship asexual, allosexual, a mixed orientation, allo and ace relationship. Like that can be an issue. But then there have also been situations with an asexual person in a relationship with an allosexual where maybe you’re sex neutral, or you’re sex favorable, or you are willing to compromise to try to meet your partner halfway physically, whatever the situation is, where sometimes the allosexual partner is still not happy with that because they think they want the sex but what they really want is to feel desired.

Courtney: And if they don’t feel desired in the way that they think they should feel desired, they’re going to be upset. And resentment can sometimes grow for the ace person. And that’s something that I don’t think we actually talk about enough in the ace community! Because the number of posts and the number of comments or advice that I’ve seen, that’s just like, “Oh, you just need to compromise,” or if you’re sex favorable, or if you’re sex neutral, then you know, just have communication. And I’ve seen really bad advice that’s like, “Settle on a certain number of times to have sex per week or per month.” And that doesn’t always actually address everyone’s root issue.

Courtney: I think people sort of say like– People use sex in relationships for a lot of different reasons. And that doesn’t always get acknowledged. Because there’s– there’s libido, there’s wanting to feel desired, some people actually see it as a love language, and feel like if they aren’t getting sex they don’t feel like they are loved. And there’s very little meaningful conversation to try to actually pinpoint those things and bridge the gap in those. Because then in my experience, and in the experience of other aces I’ve talked to, it always ends up being the ace’s fault, right? Like even if the ace compromises and says like, “I will have sex with you a little more often than I would prefer, but it’s because I love you and you’re telling me this is what you want.” And then the allo person is like, “Well, I still don’t feel like you want it enough!” It always becomes the ace’s fault, right?

Courtney: Because the allonormative society that we live in is going to treat allosexuality as the default. Like wanting sex, having a libido, those are the default, that’s what’s – quote – “normal” right? And if you’re outside of that you’re the weird one. So it’s on you to try to make that compromise and to try to bridge that gap. So that– that’s just a little rant there.

Courtney: But what– I want to hear your take on the– on this line in one of the comments. The commenter says, “I think you need a couples counselor. But also, if your partner is in fact asexual, that’s fine, but he needs to come clean about it and truly he should have told you about this much closer to the onset of your relationship.” How do you feel about that one?

Royce: I mean, we already mentioned in an earlier post that if someone is not at a point where they can come out, that there’s no forcing someone to come out. And this commenter is conveniently ignoring the possibility that they might not have known. Well, one, we don’t know if they’re ace. Even if they are ace, they may not know it yet, or may not have come to terms with it, or may not have known it at the beginning of this relationship. It can be a complicated thing to work through and it can take time.

Royce: There is definitely a gap in communication here and the two of them do need to communicate, but you can’t force someone to come to a conclusion before they’re ready to.

Courtney: And that’s something that we saw a lot of, sort of, going through the Dead Bedrooms subreddit too. Where a lot of people felt like it was some sort of betrayal to find out that their partner was asexual. And it’s like this was something that you needed to tell us, this is a deal breaker, you have broken the contract by not telling me that you’re asexual. Because the default social construct, the default social contract of a relationship like this is that romance and sex are both involved. And I just don’t like the entitlement of that. Because to me here, communication aside, which is a two-way street, so they’re probably both doing something wrong there, the most assholeish thing I have seen here is going through his phone multiple times because you’re worried that the reason why he’s not having sex with you is because he’s cheating.

Royce: And that never gets addressed. There were only, what, three comments?

Courtney: One of the comments still says –

Royce: Two comments.

Courtney: –at the end like, “I understand why you’re doing this, but it’s an invasion of privacy, so cut it out. But you’re not the asshole.”

Royce: Meanwhile, stop going through his phone. Yeah, but going back to that feeling of being deceived if someone comes out as ace in the middle of a relationship, that’s the exact same thing that happens when someone who has been in a long term relationship realizes that they’re gay, or that their gender identity is not cis, or not what was known at the beginning of the relationships.

Courtney: Right, people come out as trans.

Royce: There are often hurt feelings involved in that that aren’t really justified.

Courtney: I just– I can’t get over that, “If he’s any type of asexual, that’s fine.” I just can’t shake the feeling that anyone saying that, while complaining about not having enough sex, doesn’t actually mean that. Even if they think they do. I really, really do not. So I guess to the question, am I the asshole for wanting more intimacy? Based on that question alone, you’re not the asshole, but you are the asshole for other reasons. You asked the wrong question. I don’t have any evidence to suggest that he could also be an asshole, so I’m gonna have to say it’s just you right now. You went through his phone, and you’re saying if he’s asexual it’s fine. No, no, it’s not. Don’t kid yourself and don’t kid us. Stop going through his phone, you asshole. [hits gavel]

Courtney: And that will bring us to this week’s featured marketplace vendor. This week we are spotlighting AKA Wally, who is an asexual and neurodivergent artist with a shop on TeePublic. The great thing about this is, if you find a design that you love, you can get all kinds of different things. You can get it on clothes, you can get it on stickers, prints, all sorts of fun things. The two that I fell in love with that we ordered there is this beautiful, like, light pink and light blue trans color print of a knight riding a unicorn with a lovely little shield with all of the gender symbols and a banner that says Protect Trans Lives. Got a lovely sticker featuring that and also one that says #cronegoals with, like a lovely little Baba Yaga house with chicken feet. Because who doesn’t want to live in such a house? #cronegoals.

Courtney: Looking through the shop now, I don’t think this had happened at the time that we placed those initial orders, but this is really funny and, Royce, you’ll appreciate this. There’s like an Orca’s Revenge Yacht Club. And there are all these prints of whales, and one says, “Sink the rich.” But we’ve got all sorts of fun things. We’ve got sayings, like, fuck borders, riots not diets, stern brunch daddy for all the stern brunch daddies out there. These prints are really fun. A lot of them are very colorful. I am quite a fan and you will be too. So, as always, link in the description for you to check out AKA Wally. And with that, we will talk to you all next time. Goodbye.