How Leonardo DiCaprio’s Obnoxious Face Made Me (realise I’m) Asexual

I was watching Titanic with some friends, because one of them, bless his heart, hadn’t seen it before. There was much collective swooning about Leonardo DiCaprio in his “younger, hotter days”. I thought he was kinda meh; in fact somewhat obnoxious-looking?

This got me thinking about how I always feel quite stressed when the subject of hot people comes up. I cannot figure out what makes a person hot or not hot. People always talk about these things like they are very universal (“who can resist Leonardo DiCaprio in his younger, hotter days?”) and I don’t get it at all. Is it hyperbole or am I really outlying? Like, really? Lots of people put up posters of this guy in their bedrooms? I cannot even think of any celebrities that I find “hot”, never mind this particular guy.

It occurred to me that when people say things like “isn’t he hot??!¡” and “hey look at that cute guy!” they might be making normal conversation and not giving me the pop quiz it feels like to me. I frequently feel very pressured to either agree or admit to being weird (“what?? you don’t think he’s hot???!?”). I’m always like, “oh, yes! Um! His.. face! Is nice! Yes!! I agree!1! I too am a human person with feelings!!” And then I spend WAY too long afterwards thinking about whether or not I think that person is hot and talking myself into it like, yeah I guess I get it? His face is symmetrical and his hair is nice? I guess? And so I try to figure out the pattern and then next time I will point out similar looking people, and to my eternal frustration other people will be like, huh he’s okay. I am just a robot trying to blend in, man.

I always thought that everyone felt like this, and were all just pretending to agree with each other on these things as part of the social script. Whenever I bring this up people assure me that maybe I just have different tastes, and need to stop stressing out about having my own opinions. Maybe I DO need to chill about having unpopular opinions, because I also feel this way about things like (gasp) thinking Lang Leav is unobjectionable. In the case of movie stars, I also think it might have to do with my general poor facial recognition abilities. I do very badly on face recognition tests, not badly enough to have actual face-blindness, but quite far below average. There aren’t that many celebrities I can even recognise, because they all kind of look similar to me? It might also be cultural displacement, from having these cultural icons not actually be from my local culture. Leonardo DiCaprio is famous but not THAT famous here, and I also didn’t watch that many movies growing up.

BUT it does seem like my hotness radar doesn’t quite work the same way. It’s not that I have different tastes, it’s that I almost never find random strangers attractive. I have no opinion on most people’s attractiveness, and still haven’t quite managed to figure out what people mean when they say that someone is hot. If you are asking my opinion about Some Guy, most likely I hadn’t noticed, and will now take a look, and my honest judgement will be… neutral. That might put me somewhere on the asexual spectrum. I do feel attraction to friends though, and am aware of the word demisexual, but I’m not very committed to putting a super specific label on it. This is further complicated by my fluid sexual orientation gender-wise. Maybe I’m just not that into men at all right now, idk. My experience of attraction fluctuates along both the axes of amount and genders. I like grey-ace, and *vague hand wave*.

I don’t know why people are so pushy about these things. They always talk about “tastes”, another thing that I don’t get (“what do you mean you don’t have a preference, you must have some sort of preference”), but freak out if I fail a bot check and say X person is “okay”. It is no wonder this is a stressful social script. But fine, I will stop trying to blend in for a moment and “have my own opinion”. I THINK THAT LEONARDO DICAPRIO LOOKS OBNOXIOUS, IS WAY OVERRATED, AND HAS DRACO MALFOY HAIR, OKAY????!!!

Footnote: I mainly talked about men here, because a) wew my attraction to women is a whole other strange and wonderful creature, b) it is a lot more predatory and gross and less socially acceptable for men to discuss women as being “hot” or not, so that cuts out a large population, c) beauty standards for women are in some ways more diverse than those for men, d) there are basically no standards and no large pushy population declaring their attraction to the other genders. All these mean that I don’t feel the same pressure to *collective swoon*.

How Leonardo DiCaprio’s Obnoxious Face Made Me (realise I’m) Asexual

Help I’m Gay


So my sexuality is “fluid grey ace *hand wave*”. I don’t really think about it super much, it varies from time to time and is probably somewhere on the ace spectrum but IDK TBH.

Recently I found myself with a crush on a girl in uni, which has never happened before. I have passing attraction to female friends, but not a crush, which got me thinking about stuff. I think that whichever gender I date it will be gay, but I have never really considered the logistics of falling in love with anyone other than a man. Some assorted thoughts:

Legally, if this hypothetical non-dude does not have a different gender marker than me, I will not qualify for a government flat. Getting married and applying for a flat has always been how I envisioned my life going, and what my parents expect to happen. Not having that firstly is a reminder of how much economic discrimination queer couples face, and secondly shakes up my plan.

I will also not be able to get legally married. That doesn’t mean I can’t still get married, and I would like that, I think. But would my relatives come to my wedding?? At the moment I don’t really see the need to come out to my extended family gender-wise, which has been fine. But if I have a non-male partner, I would have to come out about that, possibly only when I send out wedding announcements.

It’s all p annoying. Being genderqueer doesn’t mean that I get to (or want to*) date either binary gender with symmetrical ease, because dating the gender I was assigned at birth would read as “gay”, and that is much harder than the alternative which is normative. If I did change my gender marker, which I have 0 desire of doing, or even start to be read more as male, I would have the reverse problem. And then of course dating a non-binary person would also be uncharted waters, but our wedding will probably be fab af.

*: I find myself extremely repelled from the idea of dating a straight guy and being read/moving through the world as a straight couple, and feel like that’s not something I want, regardless of government benefits

In conclusion. This was an annoying thing to think about, but it is also nice to be able to have these concrete things that I think I will likely do: have a partner, settle down, buy an apartment. I might be overthinking all this, but well. I might not do any of these of course, but it is A path and it is nice to have at least one before me. I did not always have this, and the future was a frightening and impenetrable fog, which was much worse.

Help I’m Gay

How Queer/Trans People Have Sex

Okay not to be weird but I, as a nonbinary transperson without a penis, don’t know how to have sex, and I feel pretty embarrassed admitting that.

I feel like I missed a memo somewhere, and all queer people seem to know, and are super defensive about it. It’s difficult to get a straight (ha) answer out of even Google. The vast majority of things that discuss queer people and sex at the same time have very unhelpful advice along the lines of: STOP ASKING ABOUT IT YOU CREEP, or are just vague and/or condescending. Which is fair because cishets are creepy, and it is very rarely appropriate or relevant to ask people how they have sex, a question that frequently comes from reducing queer identities to sex acts.

But… queer people who would perhaps like to engage in The Sex need to know, and it wasn’t exactly covered in school, and this overcompensation frequently veers into sex-negative territory? There really doesn’t seem to be a lot of sex-positive material centering non-cis people. So here are some things I have been thinking about.

Firstly, inserting a penis into a vagina is not the only way to have “real” sex. Neither is inserting any A into any B, really. So no, a strap-on isn’t necessarily involved in the absence of insertable phallic parts, unless it is. Yes, oral sex is real sex, fingering, grinding, touching, is real sex, anything you think of as sex definitely “counts” as “real sex”, really really.

It is difficult for me to imagine sex outside of the heteronormative binary script, where there must be one each of masculine/feminine, dominant/submissive, penetrator/penetrated, driving/receptive. Trying to fit myself into these binaries is confusing and impossible and makes me want to give up on sex altogether. Outside of that, I suppose that sex is: people sexually touching each other in pleasurable ways.

Here are the few actually helpful resources that I have found so far and you should def check out

The Body Is Not An Apology- 3 Steps Toward Good Sex Beyond the Binary: Having Sex with a Nonbinary Person, Even When that Person is You, on detaching sex from binary roles and expectations.

Everyday Feminism – Your First Time: A Sexual Guide for Non-Binary People Working Through Trauma, what it says on the tin.

How To Have Lesbian Sex a video series by Stevie Boebi who is amazing and inspiringly positive about her vulva and butt stuff. It says lesbian sex but *shrug*, might be instructive to some non-lesbians.

Trans Sex part of the awesome sex-positive sex ed channel sexplanations by clinical sexologist Dr Lindsey Doe.

Nerve Endings: The New Trans Erotic A collection of 30 stories for, by and about trans people

Having Sex As A Trans Lesbian Riley Dennis! Not all of it is strictly applicable to me, but SO helpful. Just exposure to non-cishet sex ed material chips at the cisheteronormative ideas about sex that I have in my head. Both this and the next video very helpfully emphasise that sex is not limited to penetration, a statement that is becoming more and more obvious to me now.

How Do Transgender People Have Sex video with Chase Ross and Stef Sanjati in which they are helpful and also talk a large amount of entertaining rubbish.

See Also: Ash and Jake talk about queer intimacy, Chase and Stef, and Patch and Ryan discuss sexuality changes during transition, Ryan, Landon and Dani talk about sex before and after coming out to a partner.

How Queer/Trans People Have Sex

Non-Binary Bisexuality

Today I had to explain that no, being bisexual doesn’t mean I think there are only two genders. Which is a perfectly fair question that even lots of queer people have, but… I don’t think any cishet has ever had to explain being cishet, and that right there is cishet privilege and I feel a little bit tired.

Now I will explain, for the record, why I, a non-binary person, sometimes describe myself as bisexual. I will do so with a bunch of exclamation marks because why participate in discourse if you aren’t doing it angrily! I kid. You should probably read this slightly friendlier explanation of pretty much the same thing instead. Continue reading “Non-Binary Bisexuality”

Non-Binary Bisexuality

Stop Asking About My Girlfriend

(Edit Oct 2017: man, I had some hang ups about being read as a lesbian. Yes you may ask about my girlfriend! It’s a perfectly reasonable question! I just don’t have one right now :P)

The other day somebody asked if I have a girlfriend. To be fair we had been talking about my coming out experience without being specific about what I was coming out of (my human husk, obviously), and they had made a guess. That IS one step less presumptuous than that one time a total stranger I had just met five minutes ago up and asked “so where’s your girlfriend?”. So… good job?

It’s such a weird question to answer because the short answer is no, but that does not address the several misconceptions inherent in the question, but I also cannot clear those up for the average cishet, or even many queer people, without lengthy explanation. (This may come as a surprise to nobody, but it turns out both my gender and sexuality are slightly endangered species.)

So, here’s the lengthy explanation for anyone who wants to get all up in my business. You could also not care, which would be fair since it’s really not that interesting, in which case just reread the title of this post and you’re done.

“Are you a boy or a girl?” “No.”

Gender labels I identify with: transgender non-binary genderqueer demiflux genderfluid, occasionally demigender. All you really need to know about this is that I mainly use they/them pronouns and do not identify as male or female, and would not like to have binarily gendered terms applied to me without express permission.

“Do you like boys or girls?” “Yes.” Those are not the only options, and neither are they mutually exclusive options.

Sexuality labels I identify with: queer, polysexual as a subset of bisexual, fluid, gay. Some explanation. Polysexual, not to be confused with polyamorous, is defined as attraction to multiple genders. The definition of bisexual that I personally use is attraction to more than one gender, and pansexual is attraction to all genders. Hence pan, poly, and others, are all subsets/more specific forms of bisexual.

Things you may want to know:

  1. I don’t identify as pansexual because attraction to ALL genders just sounds like too much of a commitment; how am I to know that there does not exist some gender I really don’t care for? Seriously though, it is because of fluidity in my sexuality, so I am really only attracted to a few genders at a time, rather than all at once. I used to be exclusively attracted to men, but now am attracted, afaik, to most genders.
  2. There is no word for “fluidity of sexuality”, and the phrase sounds kind of gross
  3. I identify as gay just to mess with people. Not really. Since both my gender and sexuality are fluid, I am occasionally on the more masc. side while being attracted to men, hence gay. The same is true to a smaller extent of “lesbian”. I also use “gay” to mean homosexual attraction to NBs, and thirdly as an umbrella term for myself.
  4. It greatly amuses me that I might be BOTH gay AND lesbian. I’ve got ALL the letters of LGBTQ covered.
  5. I have stopped identifying as biconfused and bifurious, both variations of bicurious, since learning the word polysexual. That was a relief. I also used to describe my sexuality as “no.”
  6. People expect a single word each to cover sexuality and gender, for eg “straight male”, or even one word for both, eg “lesbian”. Clearly “trans nb/gq demiflux genderfluid polysexual” is too long, and as mentioned, abstruse. Family friendly label pairs that amuse me are “queer genderqueer” which sounds redundant and “non-binary bisexual” which sounds like an oxymoron.

Tl;dr: I’m not a lesbian. Don’t ask about my girlfriend.

Some closing thoughts:

Saying “I’m gay/lesbian/bi” is pretty simple. Just about everyone knows what you mean, and you quickly establish yourself as a member of a community. Saying “I’m a trans nonbinary bi woman who’s celibate due to dysphoria and possibly on the ace spectrum”… not so much. You’re lucky to find anyone who understands even half of that, and explaining it requires revealing a ton of personal information. The appeal of “queer” is being able to identify yourself without profiling yourself. It’s welcoming and functional terminology to those who do not have the luxury of simplified language and occupy complicated identities. *That’s* why people use it – there are currently not alternatives to express the same sentiment.


Glumshoe on the word “queer”


Stop Asking About My Girlfriend