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Gingerplume

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About Gingerplume

  • Rank
    Newbie
  • Birthday 07/25/1991

Personal Information

  • Name
    Amber
  • Orientation
    Aro with *very* rare exceptions
  • Gender
    Cis female
  • Pronouns
    She/her/hers
  • Location
    London, UK
  • Occupation
    Finance staff in a museum

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  1. I'm not sure if we're allowed to link stuff like this on here, and you may already be well-versed in the theory side of things and not need this info, but there's a big social media site for the BDSM community which it should be easy to search for- it starts with an F. It's not a perfect place but the newbie-focused discussion boards and groups do have a lot of good info about negotiation and boundaries if you need it. Do you know that this person is already active or interested in that scene? My experience with my local community was that what you're describing- 'casual play'- is actually very common, so if you bite the bullet and bring it up, they may be on your wavelength. If you don't know for sure that they're genuinely into it, though, that's a more complex conversation you're looking at. This is probably obvious too but keep in mind, there are just as many potential pitfalls when doing a romance-free BDSM partnership (boundaries being deliberately crossed, bad communication, one party developing feelings) as there are in vanilla FWB-type relationships. BDSM people aren't necessarily more impervious to those pesky feelings than a vanilla romantic, even if they act like it.
  2. I've been very open lately any time it comes up in conversation (and it has done so a lot at work recently, with two people in the office getting married soonish and two other new colleagues here getting to know everyone) that I don't have the emotional energy for a relationship, I like being alone, I don't find most people compelling in that way, I don't like receiving attention and grand gestures, etc etc, and actually... people do seem to accept it without further questioning. I've had a couple of people misinterpret it as me being shy or ~afraid to love~, but they get set straight (heh) as soon as I realize their wires are crossed. My closest friends are all a-spec themselves so they're totally unmoved. My close family is just my widowed gran and divorced mum, so for the most part I think they think I'm saving myself a lot of heartache. Maybe some of my colleagues privately think I'm closeted-gay or tragically broken or just mean, but as long as they don't hassle me about it, who cares? I never formally 'come out' as anything to anyone anymore because honestly, people forget, or they now know on one level but just carry on assuming things because they're too preprogrammed with the hetero script. I rarely use the terms aromantic, because nobody will know what that is, or asexual, because although I find more people know that one these days, it doesn't actually describe me and I'm not interested in giving acquaintances a whole oreintation dictionary about my personal sexual mores. People generally aren't rude enough to outright ask more about that. It's interesting (read: depressing) to me how saying to people "I'm not really interested in that, I'm too busy with other stuff" usually gets a better response than "I'm [x]sexual". People see the latter as a political thing which highlights difference and might threaten them, and the former as just an odd foible.
  3. I agree with this. Trying to 'edit' one's desires- whether platonic, sexual, romantic, whatever- to adhere to a political ideal usually doesn't work out. For one thing, interpersonal relations are a reflex for most humans; we're social animals and trying to limit one's social drives is kind of like trying to suffocate yourself by holding your breath- you'll gasp involuntarily sooner or later. For another, not everyone agrees on the same things even being a subversive act (think of the eternal "is choosing to be a mother and housewife antifeminist or not" argument). And for a final thing, even if you (general you) do find yourself fitting happily into a lifestyle which fully subverts allo systems- for the most part, who's gonna know? Marriage is a huge institution that exists in one form or another across the entire globe. Even if someone becomes newsworthy for an unusual living situation and doing activism around it, 90% of the world is just never gonna hear about their acts of subversion. Most people will see a QP pair frolicking in the street and might think 'couple' or 'friends' or 'siblings', and won't think or talk about it again. It seems to me that change in how society sees major systems like marriage comes about slowly through more and more people tiring of the status quo and exercising their right to do something different and ask for what they need to be happy. Just living authentically is active and subversive enough, because it gives other people implicit permission to do the same, and that exposes a wider and wider amount of the world to the alternatives as time goes by- inevitably leading to some change.
  4. This is such an interesting thread. Personally, I don't quite experience instant sexual attraction, but close to it. I need to see/hear someone 'in motion' a little bit to provoke my interest. Spending an hour or two 'with' someone (whether that's literally in conversation/activities with them as themselves, or watching someone performing on a stage or screen- I work on-off in theatre) is usually enough to know whether I have a desire for them on a physical level. Sometimes I need a day or two to sort of stew on it, but often I'll know after that first meeting. What exactly attracts me to someone is a question I wrestle with 24/7. I tend to just throw up my hands and call it 'charisma'. I don't have a type as such; it's all in the way someone just *is*. It's a particular attitude and sense of humour, combined with a particular expressiveness of features. Sexual attraction itself, for me, feels like being hungry/greedy for a specific food. It's distracting, you keep thinking of the act and you can almost taste/feel it. You want to skip out on whatever you're supposed to be doing and indulge in it regardless of whether it's entirely healthy. There are, uh, physiological arousal reactions which I won't trouble you all with graphic details of, though I will say at its most intense I've felt brief headaches from it! (But I suspect that's just a stress/frustration response I have due to being a naturally stressy person, and not necessarily a common experience.) Actions I categorise as sexual are overt sex acts, any kind of physical contact in states of undress or intimate settings like a bed, and kissing anywhere other than cheek/nose/forehead. These are the things I feel compulsion to do with people I'm sexually attracted to. I categorise 'safe for work' contact, like kissing, cuddling on the couch or holding hands in the street, as tokens of romantic attraction- and I virtually never feel an urge to do these. If I was going to imagine or do those it would be because my sex partner wanted them on a sensual level, not because they're part of my desires. Sensual attraction for me is moot- I don't want to do sensual things with people I'm not sexually into. The emotional level is a bit less clear-cut. I need to spend non-sex time with sexual partners as a trust- and bond-maintaining thing, just like you need to spend time and do fun stuff with any close friend. In a fully romantic relationship, I feel like those bonding acts are usually used as an unspoken method of escalating the relationship towards spending more and more time together and eventually life-combining. For me, they're maintenance, not escalation. That's something I just need to be very communicative about with partners.
  5. When I was about 13, I actually made a schoolfriend cry because I was so vehement that I would never get married. I never said that she shouldn't, just that I didn't want to! She was just that upset by the thought of me being forever alone and unloved and tragic. We were at a church school and she was a big believer, so the possibility that there were other ways to be outside of hetero-mono-romo-wedlock weren't quite on her radar. I laughed at her, which I guess was a little unkind, but it was pretty funny. Now she's married with a mortgage and a dog, so I don't think I did any lasting corruptive damage.
  6. So many reasons, some of which have already been covered here. Overpopulation, cost, passing on hereditary health problems, can't see myself being close enough with someone to raise a kid with them healthily... I also have serious phobia issues around pregnancy and birth; just sitting too near a pregnant woman on the train can put me into a cold sweat and nausea, so who knows how that would play out if I had to do it myself. I also just... outright don't like kids, awful as it may sound. I find them very frustrating and nonsensical. They're needy and tactile. And sure, that's not their fault! It's not like they do it to piss me off. They're just tiny and vulnerable and need intense care. But in much the same way that I wouldn't buy an exotic pet I didn't have the physical resources to care for right, I'm not gonna create a tiny human that I don't have the patience and calmness to deal with. I know people say "oh but it's different when it's your own", but combined with all the above concerns, that's just not incentive enough for me. If, through some absolutely wild happenstances, I ever found myself willing and able to care full-time long-term for a child, I'd rather adopt one in need. The care system here is grim, and older and nonwhite care kids are stigmatised as hell and left at the bottom of the heap when would-be parents come calling.
  7. I'm normally a fire and dragon trainer but my spirit pokey is indisputably Pyukumuku. A gross lil bean with a good right hook that just wants to eat in peace? How could I resist. Those eyes have seen things. Terrible things.
  8. At nearly 26, I don't think I've ever had a squish. It's still not fully clear to me how they differ from simply wanting to be friends with someone. It sounds to me like a squish is defined by a sensual attraction on top off the wish for platonic friendship, but without any romantic or sexual elements? I don't like being sensual/tactile with people without sexual attraction to them, so maybe that's why it's lost on me.
  9. I have hella astigmatism in both eyes and really can't cope without glasses. Without them I tend to see everything slightly double, and can't read writing that isn't right up against my nose or pick out people's facial features unless we're stood together at conversation distance. The only times I take them off is to shower and sleep. I even shelled out last summer for prescription sunglasses as well as new regular specs, because I really don't want it to get much worse. I got glasses about 14 years ago and used to hate them but now I think they make my round face look a bit more defined and pleasing. I'm super squeamish about eyes, so I can't do contact lenses and laser correction is just my idea of nightmare fuel.
  10. The bad news is I don't have any insight, but the good news is I feel a lot of the same way and it sounds like we are in similar 'questioning' stages so you can at least rest assured you aren't alone! I too only find people attractive very occasionally and class myself as grey-asexual because of it. It's frustrating to me because it should be so easy for people in my situation to do the FWB thing and live the best of th worlds, but nope, my brain gotta be ultra-picky like that.
  11. I'm pretty touch-averse, even with platonic friends or family. I don't like anything that feels too... encircling, if that makes sense? I don't even like to be hugged when I'm upset, though I will do it (awkwardly, with too much space between bodies) if a friend is sad. I don't mind short kisses in a sexual context but 'making out' for more than a couple of seconds feels boring at best and smothering/oppressive at worst. I also find that the lighter the touch, the more irritating it feels. Anyone else get this? Brushing legs with a stranger on the bus makes me want to scream. I've mildly offended co-workers many times by whipping my hand back at the speed of light if we reach for the same thing and brush fingers. I do believe my aversion to kissing and cuddling is an a-spec thing, but the sensory trouble with platonic touch I think is just me being wired up unusually.
  12. Cheers folks. That's a fair point about the retirement home! I'll remember that one. Untamed Heart, it sounds like we're in a similar situation. It might happen... But it might not, so we've gotta look out for number one.
  13. I started learning German in high school, took private classes for a while when my college cancelled the classes, and nowadays I self-teach by listening to German radio, reading news articles, talking pidgin German with my friend from Cologne, that kind of thing. I feel for anyone that has to learn English from scratch because this is one crazy language. My French is so terrible a baker in Paris once gave me several extra pastries for free when I mangled a request for a croissant. I think she was worried I'd starve if left to fend for myself.
  14. Thanks! I'm very much open to ice cream. Is that the equivalent here of Aven's cake?
  15. Hello party people. I'm stoked and sorta nervous to be here- I'm working through the realisation that I'm somewhat asexual and quite a lot aromantic, and wondering where to go from there. I've had a few epiphany moments in life. There was the high school girlfriend who I fancied in that teenage way but had no idea how to treat emotionally, the LDR guy I thought I loved but couldn't bear to so much as cuddle with whenever we met up, the man I met through work who I love as a friend and find very sexually attractive but have no desire to 'date', the disheartening online dating spree where every flirt left me colder than the last, and the two ace friends who recently became a couple who I adore and adore together but I just can't comprehend how they can cuddle 24/7. It's only now at 25 that I realise it's time to accept I'm not just picky or shy; I'm fundamentally different from all my friends who are either serial daters or moving in with their beaus and getting rings on their fingers. It's a little scary facing the prospect of being mostly solo forever- no conquests to give you social status, no steady partner to bolster you emotionally and financially, no spawn to look after you in your old age. I'm glad I found this place (through Aven) to remind me I'm not the only one.
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