Sounds Fake But Okay

Ep 87: What Is Asexuality?

June 16, 2019 Sounds Fake But Okay
Sounds Fake But Okay
Ep 87: What Is Asexuality?
Chapters
Sounds Fake But Okay
Ep 87: What Is Asexuality?
Jun 16, 2019
Sounds Fake But Okay

Hey what's up hello! This week’s episode is very special. It’s a full rundown of what asexuality is. If you are asexual and struggle to give the long talk that explains asexuality to loved ones, you can use this to do the talking for you. If you’ve just learned what asexuality is or if you were sent here by a loved one, hopefully, this episode begins to help you to learn and understand.

Episode transcript: https://www.soundsfakepod.com/transcripts/what-is-asexuality   

Find our list of asexual resources here!

Other episodes referenced:
Ep 9: Different Types of Attraction   
Ep 34: Asexual People are Part of the LGBTQIA+ Community   

Donate to the podcast: patreon.com/soundsfakepod    

Twitter/Instagram: @soundsfakepod    

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/hddwsn    

Discord: https://discord.gg/W7VBHMt    

www.soundsfakepod.com

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/soundsfakepod)

Show Notes Transcript

Hey what's up hello! This week’s episode is very special. It’s a full rundown of what asexuality is. If you are asexual and struggle to give the long talk that explains asexuality to loved ones, you can use this to do the talking for you. If you’ve just learned what asexuality is or if you were sent here by a loved one, hopefully, this episode begins to help you to learn and understand.

Episode transcript: https://www.soundsfakepod.com/transcripts/what-is-asexuality   

Find our list of asexual resources here!

Other episodes referenced:
Ep 9: Different Types of Attraction   
Ep 34: Asexual People are Part of the LGBTQIA+ Community   

Donate to the podcast: patreon.com/soundsfakepod    

Twitter/Instagram: @soundsfakepod    

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/hddwsn    

Discord: https://discord.gg/W7VBHMt    

www.soundsfakepod.com

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/soundsfakepod)

SARAH: Hey, what's up, hello. Welcome to Sounds Fake But Okay, a podcast where an aroace girl, I'm Sarah, that's me.

KAYLA: And a demi straight girl, that's me, Kayla.

SARAH: Talk about all the things to do with love, relationships, sexuality, and pretty much anything else we just don't understand.

KAYLA: On today's episode: asexuality.

BOTH: Sounds fake, but okay.

(Intro Music)

SARAH: Welcome back to the pod.

KAYLA: Pride m’onth. Happy pride month. Still pride month.

SARAH: Happy pride month. This is kind of a special episode. For those of you who are regular listeners, you know we've been preparing to do this for awhile.

KAYLA: Hinting. Preparing.

SARAH: There might be a lot of people listening who have never heard this pod before, who maybe have been sent here by a friend or loved one, or who just are curious about asexuality and want to understand it better. If that's you, hello!

KAYLA: Welcome!

SARAH: Welcome!

KAYLA: Welcome to our voices.

SARAH: Welcome to our voices. This pod is going to be a little bit different for our regular listeners, just because it is a little more formal.

KAYLA: Probably not as fun.

SARAH: Yeah, sorry.

KAYLA: But if you're someone that doesn't like how off-topic we get sometimes, maybe this is the one for you.

SARAH: This is the episode for you. So, this week is going to be what we've been calling our TED Talk on asexuality.

KAYLA: Yes.

SARAH: We're going to lay all the basics out for you and hopefully answer a lot of commonly asked questions.

KAYLA: Get rid of some misconceptions.

SARAH: Yes, absolutely.

KAYLA: So, if you're a regular listener, someone that is asexual, this is probably, I don't know, a lot of stuff you might know. Maybe it will be some new stuff.

SARAH: It might be a fun review. Listen to it anyway.

KAYLA: Yeah. And if you were sent here, maybe by someone who just came out to you. 

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: Or someone mentioned asexuality and you wanted to learn more.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA:  Maybe you're someone who just learned about asexuality and you're questioning.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: And you're on your search journey of what that means.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: Hello!

SARAH: Hello! Welcome.

KAYLA: Welcome. We're going to try to lay things out as basically as we can. The reason we're calling this the TED Talk episode is, I mean, as you may have realized, that asexuality is not a very commonly talked about thing.

SARAH: Yes.

KAYLA: Which is probably why you're here.

SARAH: Yes, and so when aspec people - and we'll explain all the terminology in a minute - but when people who are under the asexual umbrella get asked about it, a lot of times it feels like we have to do a TED Talk to explain the entire sexuality because people don't understand it. So this is that TED Talk.

KAYLA: Yeah, so if you're someone that's asexual, and you don't feel like giving that - totally understandable; it's a lot of work - you can just carry this around.

SARAH: Wonderful.

KAYLA: Throw out the link. Throw it.

SARAH: Do it.

KAYLA: Toss it.

SARAH: Toss it. For those of you who don't know who we are and are like, 'why should we listen to these people?'

KAYLA: Well, good question.

SARAH: Kayla, who are we?

KAYLA: Well, hello. Sarah and I are two friends.

SARAH: We're podcasters.

KAYLA: Podcasters.

SARAH: If you will.

KAYLA: If you will. Some recent college graduates.

SARAH: Yes. We have been pretty entrenched in the asexual community for a solid two years now that we've been doing this pod.

KAYLA: Mm-hmm.

SARAH: We're not experts.

KAYLA: No.

Sarah: On asexuality, but given the small size of the community, no one really is.

KAYLA: Yeah.

SARAH: So, this is just a lot of the information and the knowledge that we have gathered over the past couple years as we were looking into our own sexualities. We both identify with the asexual umbrella in some way, so we have first-hand experience.

KAYLA: Yeah, and I think just doing this, we've kind of gotten experience on explaining what it is.

SARAH: Yes.

KAYLA: To people, so this is something we've done. But yeah, not experts. Just a disclaimer, I guess, in the beginning, is that things that are me and Sarah's experience aren't necessarily universal for all asexual people. Just because maybe, for example, Sarah doesn't want to have kids - and we'll get into this later - but that doesn't necessarily mean that's true for all asexual people.

SARAH: Correct.

KAYLA: As is with any stereotype, but just because we're saying it doesn't make it true for everyone. We're going to try to do general things and get rid of some of those misconceptions, so hopefully that shouldn't be a problem.

SARAH: Yes.

KAYLA: But keep that in mind, and always take us with a grain of salt. We're not, you know...we're some twenty-year-olds, you know?

SARAH: We're more than twenty.

KAYLA: We're in our twenties.

SARAH: Okay.

KAYLA: You know?

SARAH: All right, well, on that note, let's dive in. So, what is asexuality?

KAYLA: Well, how I've explained it in the past is: asexuality is a sexuality just like someone that's straight, someone that's gay, bi, pan, whatever.

SARAH: It is a sexual orientation like any other.

KAYLA: Yes. But it is defined by a lack of sexual attraction. Now, attraction is not the same as sexual desire. It's not the same as your libido.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: It's not the same as that kind of thing.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: It's sexual attraction, so who you're attracted to. If you're gay, you're attracted to people of your same gender. If you're asexual, you're attracted to no one of any gender sexually.

SARAH: One of the confusions around asexuality often comes from people thinking that asexuality is...because the prefix 'a' means no, or a lack of. And so people see asexuality, and they think that it means that it is a lack of sexuality.

KAYLA: Right.

SARAH: In the way that we refer to it, that is not what it means. In the way we're talking about it, we mean it as: it is a sexuality. It just means that-

KAYLA: (interrupting) It's just defined as-

SARAH: (interrupting) It's just defined as: you don't have sexual attraction to other people.

KAYLA: Right.

SARAH: And that is the sexual orientation that an asexual person has.

KAYLA: Right. You know what I just thought of? You know how black is technically the absence of color?

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: But it's still a color.

SARAH: Yes.

KAYLA: It's like that.

SARAH: It's just like that.

KAYLA: Black is technically the lack of color, but we don't see it like that.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: I just came up with that.

SARAH: Perfect. So that's the basic definition of asexual.

KAYLA: Yes.

SARAH: But this sexual orientation is...it gets a little complicated, because it forms an umbrella over a lot of other, more specific aspects of the sexuality. And so, we're going to explain that all, but before we get into that, we're going to explain some of the lingo we're going to use just so that you all understand what we're saying. If we say ace, that's just short for asexual.

KAYLA: Mm-hmm. Ace, as in like, the card.

SARAH: Yeah, like the card. Aspec means asexual spectrum, so we'll often talk about aspec identities, which is just any identity on the asexual spectrum.

KAYLA: We'll get into that more in a bit.

SARAH: Then there's the ace umbrella, which I've mentioned a little bit already.

KAYLA: It's kind of the same thing.

SARAH: It's kind of the same thing. It's just all of the possible orientations underneath this ace umbrella. And then allosexual, or just referring to someone as an allo, is basically the opposite of asexual. So, someone who does feel sexual attraction to other people. Whether they're straight, whether they're gay, pan, bi, whatever it is, they feel sexual attraction. So, most people identify as allos, but most ace people do not.

KAYLA: Right.

SARAH: So, those are the basic terms. We also use the word queer fairly often. When we use the word queer, we're talking about the entire queer community. We don't exclude any part of the community in that.

KAYLA: We basically mean anyone that's not straight or cis, under that term.

SARAH: Cisgender, meaning the gender that the gender they identify as is the gender they were assigned at birth.

KAYLA: Right. Queer is still somewhat a controversial word, I guess.

SARAH: A little bit, yeah.

KAYLA: Some people in the community at large don't like using it.

SARAH: Because it was once used as a slur.

KAYLA: It was a slur at one time, that's kind of been reclaimed, but some people still don't like it, so I guess be cognizant of that if you're not in the community. It is possible that if you say it, someone might be offended.

SARAH: Yes, but a lot of people do use the term because it is a good overarching term. Instead of saying LGBTQIA+, you can just say queer.

KAYLA: And some people just identify as queer as their identity because they don't feel like putting more of a label on it.

SARAH: Correct. But when we say queer, we just mean all of it, essentially.

KAYLA: So, we mentioned as one of our kind of shortened words, aspec is the asexual spectrum.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: So this is something, I think, that is kind of confusing because asexuality can both be seen as - at the same time - as an identity that someone has, 'I am asexual', or a spectrum, both at the same time. So someone can identify as asexual or identify as someone on the asexual spectrum.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: Which is any identity that falls under...it's a subcategory -

SARAH: (interrupting) Yeah, it falls under the umbrella.

KAYLA: - called asexual. Yep. So that's why we also call it an umbrella. So if you think of, you know, a big umbrella that's asexuality, there's also smaller ones that are in kind of the same little sphere.

SARAH: Mm-hmm

KAYLA: And these are sexualities that involve a lack of, or a lower amount of sexual attraction than "normal".

SARAH: Or allosexual.

KAYLA: Or allosexual.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: So these can involve...I'll list off some of the sexualities that can be under this umbrella. So, one would be demisexual, which is what I identify as.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: Which is where someone only experiences sexual attraction once they are romantically attached to someone and bonded.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: It could be graysexual, someone that only experiences sexual attraction rarely.

SARAH: Mm-hmm. And there's also even a spectrum within graysexual.

KAYLA: Right.

SARAH: Gray is basically called that because you're kind of in the gray area where you don't feel sexual attraction often, but you may do on rare occasions.

KAYLA: Mm-hmm.

SARAH: I mean, everyone, even people who are allosexual, will have situations where they're not going to be attracted to everyone who falls under the gender or genders that they are attracted to.

KAYLA: Right.

SARAH: But for graysexual people, it's even rarer.

KAYLA: Right, so it might be like, 'I've only been attracted sexually to two people in my life'.

SARAH: 'And I'm fifty years old'.

KAYLA: 'And I'm fifty'. And those people might be like, 'I think graysexual is the best identity for me'.

SARAH: Yes.

KAYLA: Do you have any other identities you can think of?

SARAH: There are some other, more specific identities, but I think those are the major ones for a basic ground.

KAYLA: Yeah, most common, I think, too.

SARAH: Yeah. If you'd like to learn more about other ones, there are places that you can find information about those, but we're not going to go over all of that in this particular podcast, because we're trying to lay the groundwork here.

KAYLA: Yeah, so those are, I think, the major ones, but the big thing to know is that there's a lot of subcategories of sexualities that go under asexuality.

SARAH: Mm-hmm. And you don't have to memorize all of them right now. There are a lot that I couldn't define off of the top of my head.

KAYLA: Yeah, definitely.

SARAH: And as we mentioned, I've been pretty entrenched in this community. It gets a little complicated, and that can get a little confusing to some people. It can turn some people off. Puns. Turn off.

KAYLA: Good, yes.

SARAH: Nailed it.

KAYLA: I would say, if someone has come to you and told you that they are maybe one of these identities - demisexual, graysexual, a different one that we haven't talked about - it is confusing that there's so many and that they're so specific.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: And some people don't like having identities that specific for themselves, and that's totally fine. What I will say is: I would recommend not turning away from it and saying, 'well, that can't be real, it's so specific. What's the point of having an identity or identifying yourself with a group that is so specific?'

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: Because that might not seem helpful to you, but for some people, having that label and having that identity is very helpful to finding a community and for understanding themselves better. So, it is confusing that there's so many, that they are so niche, so specific.

SARAH: Mm-hmm. It's like how you can have two people who when they're filling out the census, they say that they're white.

KAYLA: Mm-hmm.

SARAH: And one person is like, 'I'm white'. That's the end of it. And then the other person is like, 'I need to take a bunch of DNA tests because I want to know that I'm ten percent German and ten percent Polish, et cetera, et cetera. Some people just want that identification that's more specific, and some people just don't care.

KAYLA: Yeah, it's the same way as some people will be like, 'I don't care about labels. I don't want to label my sexuality'. That's great. That's totally fine for that person, but some people just want more.

SARAH: Yes.

KAYLA: So.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: I would just say: don't be mean about it.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: Just don't be mean about it.

SARAH: This next thing we're going to hit on is something that was, I don't want to say popularized, because I won't say it's an idea that's very popular or well-known, but it's an idea that is kind of specific to the ace community but is broadly applicable to all people.

KAYLA: Yeah. I think it's definitely within the ace community, it's very well-adopted and accepted.

SARAH: It's well-known.

KAYLA: Yeah. Maybe not as well-known in other communities.

SARAH: Yes. So that idea is the split model of attraction, which basically means that sexual attraction and romantic attraction are not the same thing.

KAYLA: Right, so basically, romantic attraction is different from sexual attraction because it is more of an emotional response or attraction.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: It is often the desire for a romantic relationship with someone, or to participate in romantic activities with a person, like going on a date or, you know, holding hands, living your life together. You know, romantic things that are different from just having sex with someone.

SARAH: A lot of people conflate romantic attraction with sexual attraction. But what makes sexual attraction different from romantic attraction?

KAYLA: So, I would say sexual attraction is more based on sex. It's more about -

SARAH: (interrupting) The body. It's more about the physical.

KAYLA: It's more physical. It's the body. It's wanting to do physical, sexual acts with someone.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: More arousing, more erotic.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: Romantic attraction, maybe you would daydream about going on a date with someone, getting married to them.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: Sexual attraction would be more daydreaming about having sex with them.

SARAH: Some sort of sexual activity.

KAYLA: Right. So, it might be confusing, because for you, and for many people, romantic attraction and sexual attraction really go together. It may be hard to separate, well, but I want to do romantic and sexual things with this person, so aren't they the same? And I want to do romantic and sexual things with the same gender.

SARAH: And so for a lot of people, there are blurred lines between romantic and sexual attraction, because if they feel that attraction towards the same people, towards the same gender or genders, they can't register where the line is between them.

KAYLA: Mm-hmm.

SARAH: But for some people, there is a pretty distinct line, and so that's why we talk about them separately.

KAYLA: Right. And even for people that you may feel that they are very closely linked, objectively, they are two separate attractions, and that's where we get the split model of attraction. Even if you don't feel as though they are, they might be very closely linked for you, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But objectively, they are these two categories, and for some people, they feel them more as disparate categories than others.

SARAH: Yes.

KAYLA: And often, for asexual people, this is the case.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: So, for some asexual people, they may be asexual - they don't feel sexual attraction to anyone - but maybe they do feel romantic attraction to a certain gender or genders.

SARAH: Correct. Or it could be the other way around. They could feel no romantic attraction, but they might feel sexual attraction towards a certain gender or genders, and that still falls under the ace umbrella, even though they wouldn't technically be asexual, in that situation.
KAYLA: Right, so often if you look up asexuality, something called aromanticism might come up.

SARAH: Yes.

KAYLA: That's another part of Sarah's identity, but aromanticism is when you're not romantically attracted to anyone.

SARAH: Correct. So, I identify as aromantic asexual, or aroace, and that means that I do not have romantic attraction to any person of any gender or sexual attraction to any person of any gender.

KAYLA: Right, and asexuality and aromanticism don't always go together. In fact, I do think it's a minority of people that identify as both. So it's important not to assume that if you meet an asexual person that they are also aromantic.

SARAH: Correct.

KAYLA: Or if you meet an aromantic person to automatically assume they are asexual, because that's not necessarily true. In fact, it's probably not.

SARAH: And as we said before, this split model of attraction, because it applies to everyone, people can also have differing romantic and sexual attractions, even outside of the ace community and the ace umbrella. So, a person might be homosexual but biromantic, so they might be willing to be in a romantic relationship with someone of a different gender, but they would only be willing to be in a romantic and sexual relationship with someone of the same gender. So, both exist for everyone; it's just that it's more often noted in the ace community.

KAYLA: Right. So in my case, I'm demisexual - I can only feel sexual attraction to someone once I have that romantic attraction - however, I'm also heteroromantic, which means that I'm only ever going to have that romantic attraction to a man.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: So it's a fun little thing.

SARAH: Some people might say that you would be heterosexual demisexual, but that's redundant because since you are heteroromantic, you can only be sexually attracted to people that you're already romantically attracted to. So you don't need to say hetero demisexual, you can just say demisexual.

KAYLA: When I say in the opening of the show that I'm demi straight, it's just an easier way to say that I am heteroromantic and demi.

SARAH: So you may be a bit confused at this moment. There are a lot of reasons you might be confused. One of the reasons might be because we're talking about both attraction and orientation when we're talking here about romantic and sexual attraction/orientation. Why did we do that, Kayla?

KAYLA: For most people, the way they understand their orientation - what they identify as - it comes from what attraction they feel.

SARAH: Correct.

KAYLA: So, someone who feels sexual attraction to the same gender would then perhaps say, 'I want to identify as gay'.

SARAH: They could choose to identify as just queer if they wanted. But for a lot of people who use the more specific identities - so as I mentioned before, for me, I don't experience sexual or romantic attraction towards other people - and so for that reason, the orientation I choose to identify with is aroace.

KAYLA: Right, so it's kind of like the attraction piece is what you feel, and that then dictates the label it goes with.

SARAH: Yes.

KAYLA: It kind of feeds into it.

SARAH: Right. Every person gets to decide what label they choose to identify with, the label they choose to use to indicate to other people as to what their romantic or sexual orientation is. But the attraction -

KAYLA: (interrupting) Is always there.

SARAH: You can't control what that is.

KAYLA: For example, I have been demisexual for, I don't know, forever, I guess.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: But for a long time, even when I realized that that's the type of attraction I was feeling, I didn't label myself that way, because I didn't want to at the time.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: But that didn't change how I felt.

SARAH: Right. It's completely related to when people talk about, like, 'oh, when did you turn gay?' or 'when did you turn ace?' The answer that you're always going to be given is: I didn't turn this way. I was this way all my life, it's just that now I know the terminology, and I've decided to choose this label for myself.

KAYLA: Correct. Same situation.

SARAH: There are a couple other types of attraction in this split model of attraction. We're not going to get into them because we want to just, again, lay the groundwork here. But if you are interested in learning more about them, we do have a podcast episode1 where we go into the split model. Or you can google it.

KAYLA: Google it.

SARAH: Google's fun, too. 

KAYLA: Yeah.

SARAH: We don't want to make you listen to us if you don't want to.

KAYLA: (laughs)

SARAH: So, Kayla.

KAYLA: Yes?

SARAH: Before we dive into our next little segment where we're going to talk about misconceptions, we want to do a quick little recap.

KAYLA: Yes.

SARAH: Because we know that what we just explained was a lot, and it can be very confusing.

KAYLA: Right. It kind of does, for some people, turn everything they've ever known on its head.

SARAH: It does.

KAYLA: A lot of people assume that everyone has some type of attraction.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: So, to learn that some people don't is confusing, and that's understandable.

SARAH: Exactly.

KAYLA: We did just throw a lot of new concepts out.

SARAH: And words.

KAYLA: And words. So, it's okay if you need to re-listen to this a couple times, do you own googling, ask more people - maybe the person who sent you here. Ask them some polite questions that can help you understand.

SARAH: And we'll get into a little bit later questions that you should be careful not to ask.

KAYLA: Right, and we will also get into some resources later that might help you. That's totally fine, and very understandable.

SARAH: Yeah, because even for people who - when they're introduced to people who are gay, or that sort of thing - they can understand it as: okay, if I'm a straight person, this person experiences attraction the same way, just to the same gender as them.

KAYLA: Right.

SARAH: Rather than a different gender. But for asexuality, it can be a little bit harder to grasp sometimes.

KAYLA: It's harder to empathize with, I think, for allosexual people. So, just a quick recap, because we did just do the main, big stuff.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: The important thing is: asexuality is a sexual orientation that is the lack of sexual attraction to anyone.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: And then the split model of attraction. That sexual attraction and romantic attraction are two different things.

SARAH: All right, now that we've done that, let's hit up some misconceptions.

KAYLA: Yes.

SARAH: A major misconception is that asexual people are actually just plants.

KAYLA: Yeah, this is more of just a thing people say, rather than really a misconception, but.

SARAH: Often times, it's kind of a misguided joke, where they're like, 'oh, so are you an asexually reproducing plant?' No. Asexual, asexuality, all of its related terms, like a lot of other terms in the English language, has multiple definitions. It's kind of like the word crane. C-R-A-N-E. Kayla?
KAYLA: Yes?

SARAH: How many definitions are there for the word crane?

KAYLA: We wrote down three.

SARAH: We have three. It's a bird.

KAYLA: Yes.

SARAH: It is construction equipment.

KAYLA: Mm-hmm.

SARAH: And it is a thing you do with your neck, if you're trying to see something.

KAYLA: Yes.

SARAH: Same word, a bunch of different definitions. Same is true for asexuality. Asexually reproducing organisms are one thing, when they don't have to have a mate to reproduce. That is not what we're talking about here. As I mentioned earlier, asexuality can, in some instances, mean - especially in reference to older texts - a lot of times, it is referred to in a sense of not having a sexuality at all, but that is not what we're talking about here. What we're talking about is the sexual identity of not being attracted to other people. Yes, there are multiple meanings for the word, but when we're talking about asexuality in this context, that is what we mean.

KAYLA: Right, and it is often just a joke that people say, but to a lot of asexual people, it is offensive.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: So.

SARAH: So just be careful with your language.

KAYLA: Yes.

SARAH: If you make a mistake, it's okay. Just apologize and move on.

KAYLA: Yeah.

SARAH: Another thing people often get confused about with asexuality is: they don't understand what the difference is between asexuality and celibacy. And they don't fully understand the connection between asexuality and libido, or sex drive. What is the difference?

KAYLA: Right, so asexuality, like any other sexuality, is not an active choice. It may be a choice which label you use, but how you feel about who you're attracted to -

SARAH: (interrupting) The attraction itself is not a choice.

KAYLA: Right. It's not a choice. It's just how you feel, like any other feeling you have.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: Celibacy is a choice. It is the active choice to not have sex. Ever, up until a certain point, it's just a choice. Someone who is celibate may feel attraction to people and just not act on it.
SARAH: And choose not to act on it.

KAYLA: So, it's also not the same as libido, or sex drive, which is basically just kind of someone's desire for sexual activity. So maybe if someone is like, 'I really enjoy having sex, and I want to have it a lot', they would maybe have a high sex drive, or high libido.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: Someone with a low sex drive would be like, 'well, you know, sex is okay. I don't need to have it all the time'. Asexuality is not the same as this.

SARAH: Correct.

KAYLA: It is about attraction, and not your want to have sex.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: This is getting into our next topic. Related to this is something that's called hyposexual desire disorder. I think it's in the DSM still.

SARAH: The psychological book.

KAYLA: Book. It's of disorders to give to people. So, it is - from Google - characterized as a lack or absence of sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity. This is often conflated with asexuality. There's often medications that people push to take to make people want sex more. It is hotly debated.

SARAH: It is a very much contested idea within ace communities. A lot of people think that it is simply being aphobic.

KAYLA: Right.

SARAH: Some people believe that it is a legitimate thing. Regardless of what stance you land at, they're separate ideas.

KAYLA: Right, and it is not conducive to tell someone that comes out to you as asexual that they have this disorder.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: What I would relate it to is when homosexuality used to be considered a psychological disorder and turned into conversion therapy.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: I'm not saying that they are the same, but it's a similar idea. It has a similar effect on people.

SARAH: Asexuality is still in its early stages in terms of the community and its place in the social order, and so in the same way that homosexuality in its earlier stages was in the DSM, asexuality is kind of in that same stage of its development as a community.

KAYLA: Right, and there's definitely more research you could do on that. The important thing I would say, is to understand that they are separate ideas, and that I would recommend not telling someone that they have that if they come out to you as asexual, because that could lead someone to think that they are disordered when really, it may just be that that's their identity.

SARAH: That leads us into our next misconception, which is surrounding sex. The misconception is that all ace people are celibate, and that they don't have sex. Kayla, is that true?

KAYLA: No.

SARAH: It's not.

KAYLA: Some asexual people do have sex, and some do not.

SARAH: Now, after we have just explained, in a fair amount of detail, that asexuality is a lack of sexual attraction, you may be kind of confused by this idea. Here's the thing. Sex itself is an action -

KAYLA: (interrupting) An activity.

SARAH: - an activity that you can do. An activity that you can do with another person, with more than one other person. In the same way that shaking someone's hand or giving someone a hug is just a physical action, so is sex. And so people who don't feel sexual attraction still have the physical capability to have sex.

KAYLA: Right.

SARAH: In most cases, our bodies are able to still work and experience sex in the same way that other people do.

KAYLA: So, it could still be enjoyable because -

SARAH: (interrupting) It can still feel good.

KAYLA: Right, because you still get all the feelings that everyone else does when you're having sex.

SARAH: So, some people who identify as asexual are willing, or even eager, to have sex with other people, and others aren't. The reason is, once again, the queer community's favorite term, spectrum.

KAYLA: Yes.

SARAH: Everything is a spectrum. And so, for people who identify specifically as asexual - not sexually attracted to any other person of any other gender - some of them may be sex-repulsed, which means that they don't want to think about sex, they don't want to talk about sex, they don't want to engage in sex. They want nothing to do with it. Others might be more sex-positive, which means they may be willing to engage in sex. They may be apathetic about it.

KAYLA: Or they may want to.

SARAH: Or they may want to. It's a whole spectrum between sex-repulsed and more sex-positive. Now, someone who is closer to the side of sex-positive, if they have a romantic orientation that is not aromantic, they may be in a romantic relationship with someone, and their partner may not be asexual. And so they may choose to have sex with their partner because they're okay with it and their partner is sexually interested in them. Some people may choose to have sex just because it feels nice, even if they are aromantic. Regardless of the situation, they can still choose to do that.

KAYLA: Right. There's a multitude of reasons for why an asexual person might want to have sex.

SARAH: Maybe to have a child.

KAYLA: Right, there's a lot of reasons that anyone does anything, and so there's a lot of reasons why it might happen. I have heard people say that they feel bad for asexual people that have sex without the attraction because they feel like it's missing something. I think it's just a different experience.

SARAH: It's a different experience, and if you do have a romantic attraction to someone, you still are having a bond with this person, you're just not attracted to their genitals.

KAYLA: Right.

SARAH: (laughs) You're still attracted to them as a person.

KAYLA: Right, and I think, you know, just because someone has sex differently than you doesn't mean it's less enjoyable.

SARAH: And there are plenty of straight people who have sex with someone else when they're not really sexually attracted to that person.

KAYLA: Sure. So I think that's just something to keep in mind and another thing that - maybe don't say that to an asexual person.

SARAH: Mm-hmm. You can have sex with another person regardless of your attraction toward them.

KAYLA: It's just an activity.

SARAH: (laughing) It's just an activity.

KAYLA: You can truly have sex with whoever you want if it's consensual.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: Regardless of your...I could go have sex with a woman right now, consensually, if I wanted to.

SARAH: You could.

KAYLA: Even though I'm not sexually attracted to women. I still could do it.

SARAH: And you could still, as they say, get off on it.

KAYLA: Indeed.

SARAH: Because your body works.

KAYLA: Because my body still works, no matter who's touching it. (laughs)

SARAH: Correct. So, that's important to know. And as I briefly alluded to just a moment ago, some people who identify under the ace umbrella do have kids, or want to have kids. There are plenty of ways to have children in this day and age. You can do it the "traditional" way, where, you know, you get pregnant, you birth a child. Asexual people can do that. Even if they are not sexually attracted to someone, they can still be impregnated by that person, or they can still impregnate another person. You can always adopt. You can do artificial insemination. There are a lot of ways to have a kid in this day and age, and just because an ace person is not sexually - or an aro person is not romantically - interested in having a partner of that sort doesn't mean that they can't have kids.

KAYLA: Right. It's the same thing as...so something, again, that I wouldn't do is say to an asexual person, 'well that's so sad, now you can't have kids'.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: Because that's the same thing as going to a gay couple and being like, 'that's so sad, now you can't have kids', because there are ways to have kids. It doesn't necessarily mean that you don't want kids, just because you don't want to have sex.

SARAH: Yeah, and there are plenty of people who are single parents, who don't have a partner, and who are raising kids on their own. And they're perfectly able to do that. But, little segue from there, some people who are aspec, who are even asexual aromantic, do choose to have a partner of sorts.

KAYLA: Mm-hmm.

SARAH: Even though it's not necessarily a romantic or sexual relationship, you can still have kind of a life partner. These are often called queerplatonic relationships, or QPRs, and in a lot of ways, it functions like a romantic and sexual relationship without the romance and sex.

KAYLA: Right. I often describe it as a friendship that's on another level.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: I would say, if you're thinking about, 'well, there's no romance or sex, so how is it different than a friendship?' Think about it as...so, I'm moving soon.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: I didn't need to get Sarah's permission or talk to Sarah extensively about what's going to happen with us once I move.

SARAH: Yes.

KAYLA: I did have that conversation with my boyfriend because that is a different kind of relationship.

SARAH: It's a different type of relationship.

KAYLA: If Sarah and I were in a QPR, that is a conversation I would have with her because we are partners.

SARAH: Yes. People who are in QPRs may choose to get married for a lot of reasons, because there are a lot of perks of marriage, like taxes.

KAYLA: Tax stuff, medical things.

SARAH: Medical things. So if you are in a QPR, you may choose to get legally married. It's kind of the idea of: if you're married to someone, you're going to go about your relationship differently than if you're just buds with someone.

KAYLA: Right. I don't need to discuss my finances with someone that's my good friend.

SARAH: I have no idea what the state of your finances are.

KAYLA: I don't know yours either.

SARAH: Cool.

KAYLA: But that is something that I would discuss with a partner.

SARAH: Yes.

KAYLA: No matter what kind of partner they are. So, it's basically a friendship that then has -

SARAH: (interrupting) On steroids.

KAYLA: - right, that has the added kind of responsibilities and added bonds of a relationship or a partnership.

SARAH: Yeah. You may be legally married. You may share a bed. You may not share a bed. You may share a house. You probably would share a living space.

KAYLA: Probably.

SARAH: But you get to decide the terms of your QPR.

KAYLA: Mm-hmm.

SARAH: And if you choose to raise children together, you can do that, too.

KAYLA: In addition, QPRs aren't the only thing available to asexual and aromantic people.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: They can have a "normal" relationship. I know plenty of asexual people who are asexual but maybe heteroromantic, who choose to date, and sex just maybe isn't a part of their relationships, or not as big of a part.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: It can be harder for asexual people to date because sex is so important to some people.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: But they can, it's not like just because they aren't sexually attracted to people that that takes away dating from them.

SARAH: Right.

KAYLA: It just makes it different.

SARAH: Right. It's like how we mentioned earlier, just because you're asexual doesn't mean you can't have sex. If you have a romantic partner, you may choose to have sex with them or not. It doesn't change your orientation.

KAYLA: Even asexual people who are sex-repulsed, who don't want to have any sex, they can still have romantic relationships.

SARAH: Absolutely.

KAYLA: It just takes finding the right person, as it does with any relationship.

SARAH: Yeah. You should always discuss things with your partner. (laughs)

KAYLA: Yeah. Think of it as just another, if you have an itemized list of here's what I need in a relationship, that's just another thing.

SARAH: Absolutely. The next little segment is something that you've kind of hit on a little bit already.

KAYLA: Mm-hmm.

SARAH: But it is questions not to ask an asexual person.

KAYLA: Or things not to say.

SARAH: Things not to say to them. Before we dive too deep into this, I know some people are going to listen to this and say, 'well, what do you mean I can't ask them this thing? I would feel comfortable answering this thing. I don't understand why I shouldn't be allowed to be privy to this information'. Here's the thing. If you're talking to a person who identifies as aspec, or just to any person, they may be willing to volunteer this information. But there are certain things that are just very impolite to ask, and it might make them very uncomfortable to be asked.

KAYLA: Yeah. It's just personal things.

SARAH: Yeah. And so, if they volunteer this information to you, or maybe you get to have a much closer relationship with them where you talk about these kinds of things, you can kind of gauge that for yourself, on whether, you know, you think they would be okay with you asking these sorts of questions. But, especially at the beginning, just be thoughtful, and there are a couple of questions that often come to people's minds that we're going to talk about that we recommend that you don't ask or say.

KAYLA: Right. Some of these things I would say no one should say.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: Some of the questions, maybe they do depend on how well you know the person.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: Maybe if you're best friends or dating, this is a question that could come up and they might feel comfortable being asked. So, for all of these things, these are either do not ask or say, or tread lightly.

SARAH: Yeah, and a lot of these things, I would argue, are things you should not ask or say to anyone, regardless of their sexuality, but it may be even more so for aspec people because, you know, if you ask someone who happens to be sex-repulsed specific questions about sex, they're going to get very uncomfortable.

KAYLA: Right.

SARAH: And that's not conducive to a good relationship.

KAYLA: Right. You don't want to make people uncomfortable, period.

SARAH: Right. So Kayla, what are some things not to say or ask of an aspec person?

KAYLA: I think generally just like, 'how could you be asexual? Sex is so great'. Or like, 'how is that even possible? Everyone feels this way'.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: Just, is a bit alienating.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: It doesn't make someone feel great.

SARAH: Say you're a straight person. You know how, if you're a straight man, you know how you don't feel attracted to other men?

KAYLA: Yeah.

SARAH: That's how ace people feel. They don't feel attracted to men.

KAYLA: Yeah.

SARAH: They don't feel attracted to women, either. They don't feel attracted to anyone of any other gender.

KAYLA: Yeah.

SARAH: It's something that, unless you're pansexual, you probably do understand what asexual people feel in this situation.

KAYLA: Mm-hmm.

SARAH: There are just some groups of people of certain genders who you're not attracted to. It's perfectly natural, it's perfectly normal.

KAYLA: So I once explained it to someone with this analogy of ice cream. And this kind of goes into another thing you shouldn't say of like, 'you're missing out'.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: Say that you - this is, in Sarah's case, true - like vanilla ice cream, but you do not like chocolate ice cream.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: Sarah, have you ever felt like you're missing out on chocolate ice cream?

SARAH: I mean, sometimes people make me feel that way, but I don't want to try chocolate ice cream.

KAYLA: Right, so it's the same thing as like, I could go to Sarah and be like, 'well, you're missing out on chocolate ice cream'.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: But she doesn't like it.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: And she doesn't want it, and she doesn't feel bad about it.

SARAH: And you may love chocolate ice cream. And you may think I'm crazy, but I just don't want to eat chocolate ice cream, and that's my prerogative.

KAYLA: And then maybe someone likes vanilla ice cream with sprinkles. And it's like, well, is eating vanilla ice cream without sprinkles then a lesser experience?

SARAH: No! It's just different.

KAYLA: It's like how saying that sex without sexual attraction can still be good.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: It's just different.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: Sprinkles are an added thing.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: For some people, they want it, but it’s still ice cream, dude.

SARAH: Some people like anchovies on their pizza. I could not possibly imagine wanting anchovies on my pizza, but that doesn't mean that that person doesn't want anchovies on their pizza.

KAYLA: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

SARAH: I like my pizza with pepperoni, bacon, and no sauce. You might say, 'Sarah, what?'

KAYLA: Just how it be.

SARAH: That's just how I like it.

KAYLA: Indeed.

SARAH: Another thing that can be problematic is people saying, 'oh, it's just a phase. It'll change when you get older'. Here's the thing. Sexuality is fluid. Some people do find that, over the course of their lives, their sexuality, or the sexual orientation that they choose to identify with, changes. However, you should respect the sexual orientation that a person chooses to identify with at any given time. For a lot of people, their sexual orientation is not going to change. I am a fully grown adult. I still identify as asexual. There are people who are much older than me who still identify as asexual. It's not a phase. A lot of people, when they are young, don't experience sexual attraction, because they're, I don't know, ten years old, and that's just not where they're at in their life yet. For ace people, if they go into teenhood and adulthood, and they still don't feel that sexual attraction, that's just their sexual orientation.

KAYLA: Right. So, sexuality, like Sarah said, is something that could change.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: It's not something I would count on changing.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: I, before, have had people ask me, 'so, has Sarah met anyone? Is she still ace?'

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: That's something I wouldn't ask.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: Because, yes she is.

SARAH: I'm still ace.

KAYLA: Until further notice, unless I give you some big update, Sarah's still ace.

SARAH: Stil ace. A similar, and even more problematic, thing that people can say sometimes is: 'oh, I can fix that', or 'you haven't met the right person yet'. Whew.

KAYLA: And this is something that I think gay women get a lot.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: It's not something that just happens to people that are asexual.

SARAH: Absolutely. I mean, here's the thing. Maybe a person is grayasexual or graysexual. Maybe they will meet a person eventually that they feel sexual attraction to, but again -

BOTH: Don't count on it.

KAYLA: Yeah.

SARAH: And if you're saying like, 'oh, I can fix it', or another common thing people here is, 'oh, you've just never had good sex'. Mm-mm.

KAYLA: Mm-mm. And I'm just going to be bold here and say, if you're someone that's saying that, chances are, you definitely aren't the right person.

SARAH: Yeah, probably not. And there is a big issue in ace communities with what is called corrective rape, where people sexually assault people who identify under the ace umbrella to try to "fix" them. And newsflash, it doesn't work.

KAYLA: Yeah.

SARAH: It just scars them.

KAYLA: Yeah.

SARAH: There's no way to just fix or change someone's sexuality for them. It just doesn't work. Conversion therapy doesn't work. Corrective rape doesn't work. Your sexuality is your sexuality. Full stop.

KAYLA: Yep.

SARAH: Another question that people often ask that you really shouldn't ask is about masturbation.

KAYLA: Probably something I wouldn't ask anyone.

SARAH: I wouldn't ask anyone this. I don't want to know, for starters.

KAYLA: Yeah.

SARAH: But some people, like people who are ace, as they can have sex, they can also masturbate. It's possible. Some people may choose to, some people may not. (laughing) Don't ask them if they do.

KAYLA: And that's the same with people that aren't asexual.

SARAH: You really just shouldn't ask someone that.

KAYLA: You can be straight and you can masturbate, and you can be straight and not masturbate.

SARAH: Exactly.

KAYLA: It is not asexual exclusive.

SARAH: You can be straight and have done it once, and then been like, 'I didn't like that', and then call it a day.

KAYLA: Right.

SARAH: And a person - again, depending on your relationship - they may volunteer that information. They may volunteer that information somewhere down the line. Or maybe you'll get to a point in your relationship where you feel comfortable asking, and they say, 'I don't feel comfortable answering'. That's fine, too. But you shouldn't ask it unless you feel that your relationship is...that you know this person very well, and that they're going to react, at least, okay to it.

KAYLA: Right. But again, probably not something I'd ask anyone.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: But it is something that commonly comes up when people talk about being asexual. That is, for some reason, a question that just immediately jumps out to people.

SARAH: Which I understand why people have that thought, just be thoughtful.

KAYLA: Not all your thoughts need to be out loud.

SARAH: Yeah. This is why we have a brain filter, you know?

KAYLA: Yes.

SARAH: We filter our thoughts. The other major one is what we mentioned before, is when people ask you if it's like a plant. No, not like a plant. Different definition. Homonyms. The last kind of major thing that we're going to talk about is the age old question - and by age old, I mean since the early 2000s when this community was conceived of - is do asexual and aspec people belong in the queer community? The answer is yes. There are a lot of people who will say no. Even people within the queer community will say no, because they feel that asexual people haven't been oppresed enough to be a part of the community. They say that they can be straight passing, so they can go through their whole lives without anyone knowing that they're ace, if they choose. They don't experience the same civil rights issues as people of other sexualities, and for that reason, they want to exclude ace people from the queer community. But here's the deal. You belong, or there is a space for you, in the queer community if you are not both straight - straight meaning heterosexual, heteroromantic - and cisgendered. If you are not both of those things, there is a place for you at the table. You may choose not to identify with the queer community, with the LGBTQIA+ community. That is your prerogative. However, that community should be welcoming to all ace identities. It's still an uphill battle. It's still something that ace communities are struggling with, and the fact that we're not fully accepted in straight communities and we're not fully accepted in queer communities. But the answer is yes, ace people do belong in queer communities because we have a sexual orientation or romantic orientation that is different from what is considered the norm, heterosexuality.

KAYLA: Right, and we have an episode2 that's much more extensive on this topic. All of the episodes we've referenced, I will try to link below.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.
KAYLA: But we do have something much more extensive.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: So, basically, I guess the purpose for that being in this episode is, if you are someone of the queer community and your current opinion is that ace people shouldn't be in that community, I would ask you to reconsider.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: Do some research. Maybe listen to our other episode.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: And if you are straight, I don't know. Just a fun fact.

SARAH: Yeah, or if you think you might be aspec-identifying, know that no matter what anyone else tells you, you have a spot at the queer table.

KAYLA: Right. You don't have to be there. I understand that many asexual people don't feel welcomed by the community and so don't choose to identify as part of that group.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: Which is totally fine.

SARAH: Mm-hmm. But in my mind, you are welcome to take a seat at the table. And if someone wants to fight you and tell you to leave the table, I will fight them.

KAYLA: Mm-hmm.

SARAH: With my fists. Probably not. I'm not a very violent person. But you know. You get the idea. The last kind of thing, or the last couple things I think we want to say on this topic is - it's for everyone, but I think especially for people who may have been sent to this episode from a family member, a friend, a loved one who's trying to help them understand asexuality - and that is that like any other sexuality, just because a person has come out to you as ace doesn't mean they're a different person than they were yesterday. They're the same person, you just know another fact now. And people who are asexual, regardless of whether they have romantic relationships, if they have QPRs, they can still have lots of fulfilling other relationships. Just because a person is ace doesn't mean they don't like people.

KAYLA: It doesn't mean they don't love.

SARAH: It doesn't mean they don't love. I love a lot of things very much. Too much, in fact. I love dogs so much. So much. (laughs)

KAYLA: It's true.

SARAH: And there are other people in my life that I do love in a perfectly platonic way.

KAYLA: Right.

SARAH: It's like how you may love your family members in a perfectly platonic way, and that can be very fulfilling for you. For some people, that may not be enough to fulfill you, but for some people, it might be enough, and platonic relationships can be very fulfilling. And if you haven't had fulfilling platonic relationships in your life, I'm sorry. And I hope you do have some.

KAYLA: And I think just one last, I guess, misconception, is that ace people are doomed to die alone and be alone forever.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: No. I mean, you're going to have friends your whole life.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: My parents are older than me, and they have friends-

SARAH: (interrupting) I would hope your parents are older than you.

KAYLA: They are older than me. And they have friends that they've had for years, and years, and years.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: And they're going to be with them for a long time.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: Just because you don't have a life partner, that is romantic, there are other kinds of life partners.

SARAH: Exactly. And some people do tend to kind of ditch their friends when they get into a romantic relationship, and I don't think that's a very good way to live your life. If I, personally, have people in my life who do that, then I tend to say, 'all right, well, that friendship probably wasn't worth my time, then, if they're not going to continue to appreciate their platonic relationships'. And you can try to encourage people to appreciate their platonic relationships. And if you really do care about a relationship with someone and they seem to be a little too invested, maybe, in their romantic and sexual relationships and are ignoring their platonic relationships because of it, that may be something you want to bring up with them. But platonic relationships, I think, are very important, regardless of your sexual orientation, and they can be very fulfilling. As I'm sure is clear from this long episode where we've broken down everything, there are tons of different ways to experience ace umbrella identities. Every person's experience is different. We cannot speak to all of those experiences. And if you have questions, I urge you to reach out to the aspec people in your life, reach out to us, if you want, reach out to your good friend Google, and ask them questions in a way that is thoughtful and not offensive, I suppose. (laughs) Asking questions is very good. Just be thoughtful about the way you ask them. We also have - on our website, we have built out a resource page3 that basically links you to any and all resources we could find about asexuality. We know that asexuality...it can be hard to find information about it, especially information that's accurate. It's much better than it used to be, but it has not seeped into our mainstream culture in the way that other sexualities have. Our current conception of what asexuality is just hasn't existed as long. So, there's a lot of other places you can look to for more detailed information about what we've just talked about, further explanation about everything we've just talked about. You can find that on our website, soundsfakepod.com. It's under Resources. Hopefully we've made it as navigable as possible.

KAYLA: I did my best.

SARAH: And if you have any other resources that we don't have on that website that you wish we would put there, do let us know. Send us an email, [email protected] Hit us up on any of our social media, @soundsfakepod. And we will totally look into that. Is there anything else you have to add on the TED Talk?

KAYLA: I don't think so. I feel like we covered a lot.

SARAH: Okay, then I will say, for those of you who were just here for the TED Talk, if you choose to leave now, we've hit everything.

KAYLA: Goodbye.

SARAH: Thank you for listening.

KAYLA: We hope we have helped in some way.

SARAH: Mm-hmm. Feel free to message us if you have questions or anything. And if you'd like to stick around for all of our end of pod stuff, you're welcome to. We're about to go into that. All right, Kayla.

KAYLA: (relieved sigh) Yes.

SARAH: What's our poll for this week?

KAYLA: Oh, okay. I thought we were about to be unprofessional again finally.

SARAH: No. We still have a poll to do.

KAYLA: Okay. Helpful? Did we do it? (laughs)

SARAH: I would say, is there anything that you feel we missed?

KAYLA: Mm-hmm.

SARAH: And we can kind of add that as an addendum onto this.

KAYLA: Yep.

SARAH: We keep having a lot of open-ended polls. I'm sorry. We can also have a cow race, just for fun.

KAYLA: Yeah.

SARAH: Okay.

KAYLA: Well, we did that last week.

SARAH: We'll do something just for fun.

KAYLA: Snail race.

SARAH: Snail race. All right, Kayla.

KAYLA: Yes. (relieved sigh)

SARAH: We're back to normal pod mode.

KAYLA: (relieved sigh)

SARAH: What's your beef of the week?

KAYLA: Uh, oh. Well...

SARAH: The problem is that we podded yesterday, and so we did our beef yesterday.

KAYLA: All of my beefs of the week are the same. I'm going to combine my beef and juice of the week -

SARAH: (interrupting) That's my favorite thing to do.

KAYLA: - and just say it's been the past couple hours of us doing this episode.

SARAH: Yes. This was the longest we've ever spent sitting here recording.

KAYLA: And we did prep time, too, of writing out an outline.

SARAH: Yeah, we stopped on multiple occasions to be like, 'wait, we need to add this, we need to reorder things'.

KAYLA: So hopefully it came out okay and we did an okay job.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: So, it was hard, it was stressful, but I do think this also - the juice is that it made me confident that we're doing the right type of podcast.

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

KAYLA: That when people are like, 'I don't like that you get off track', and 'you should have your podcast this way', now I definitely know that what we're doing is right for us because...

SARAH: (interrupting) We outlined all of what we just did, but we didn't script it.

KAYLA: Yeah.

SARAH: And that, in and of itself, was hard enough. (laughs)

KAYLA: Yeah. Doing a more scripted informational podcast just isn't for us.

SARAH: Not our cup of tea. I like listening to podcasts like that.

KAYLA: Yeah, me too.

SARAH: They can be very good.

KAYLA: Yeah, but we don't have the resources or time to be able to do that, so yep.

SARAH: Yep. I can't even think of a beef of the week. I do have a juice of the week.

KAYLA: You had ten beefs of the week that you scrapped yesterday. Just use one of those.

SARAH: I deleted the note.

KAYLA: (laughing) Oh my god.

SARAH: I could undelete it, but I don't want to. Let's stay positive. My juice of the week is rediscovering old songs that you forgot about.

KAYLA: Hmm.

SARAH: Because recently, I have been listening to a lot of musical theater, which is great. I love musical theater. But, I haven't been listening to as much regular music, and so the past day or two, I've been listening to more regular music that I liked in years past. And rediscovering old songs is a fun time.

KAYLA: Mm-hmm.

SARAH: My two songs that I listened to a lot today: Benny and the Jets by Elton John.

KAYLA: I've been listening to a lot of Elton John today.

SARAH: And Talia by King Princess.

KAYLA: Hmm.

SARAH: Good song, very gay.

KAYLA: I had a good, nice moment to Rocket Man today as I left therapy for the last time.

SARAH: I was listening to Rocket Man on the way home with my Chipotle.

KAYLA: Oh my god. I had a nice moment because it's about someone going off, so I had a moment of -

SARAH: (interrupting) Oh, that's nice.

KAYLA: - walking down Main Street with Rocket Man today.

SARAH: Oh, that's nice.

KAYLA: I had a moment.

SARAH: Good. My beef is that Kayla's leaving so soon.

KAYLA: Yeah.

SARAH: That's my beef.

KAYLA: Tomorrow's my last night.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: (whispers) Sad.

SARAH: Sad.

KAYLA: By the time you're listening to this, though, I've been gone for a week.

SARAH: Yeah.

KAYLA: And maybe I'm okay.

SARAH: I hope she's doing well!

KAYLA: Ahh!

SARAH: I hope future Kayla is doing well. Yeah, that's our pod.

KAYLA: I'm going to go take a nap.

(laughing)

SARAH: It's 9 p.m. Just go to bed.

KAYLA: That exhausted me. (laughs)

SARAH: You can find our poll, tell us your beef or your juice on our Twitter @soundsfakepod, soundsfakepod.com. Social media everywhere. If you want to help support us so that we can recover from the past couple hours of podding, you can give us your money on Patreon, patreon.com/soundsfakepod. Our $2 patrons are: Keith McBlane, Roxanne, AliceIsInSpace, anonymous, Nathan Dennison, Mariah Walzer, and Jonathan. Our $5 patrons are: Jennifer Smart, Asritha Vinnakota, Austin Le, Drew Finney, Perry Fiero, Aunt Jeannie, Dee, Benjamin Ybarra, Meagan Rowell, and Quinn Pollock. Our $10 patrons are: Kevin and Tessa, @dirtyunclekevin and @tessa_m_k, Sara Jones, @eternalloli, Arcnes, who would like to promote the Trevor Project. And our $15 patrons are: Nathaniel White, NathanielJWhiteDesigns.com, and anonymous, who has told me that they don't want to promote anything this week.

KAYLA: I think they're missing out on their opportunity.

SARAH: I asked them. All right, thank you for listening. I hope you enjoyed our TED Talk. Share it with your friends and family, please.

KAYLA: Yeah, I hope that at least one person is sent here for information so this wasn't for nothing.

SARAH: Yeah. I mean, I don't think it was for nothing.

KAYLA: Well, no, but you know.

SARAH: I think it's good to put information out into the world.

KAYLA: Right.

SARAH: I think it was sorely needed information that is kind of hard to come by all in one place.

KAYLA: Right, and I think an audio medium isn't the best for a lot of things, but I think if there's one thing that we're really equipped to do, it's this kind of thing.

SARAH: Yeah, and this episode we're going to be fast-tracking this on transcription. So we're going to be prioritizing this episode over others in terms of getting it transcribed so that people who are deaf or hard of hearing can find all of this information on our website under Transcriptions.

KAYLA: Indeed.

SARAH: Yes. So, with that, thank you for listening. Tune in next Sunday for more of us in your ears, but remotely.

KAYLA: Yes, and until then, take good care of your cows, remotely.