Welcome to the next of our Asexual Awareness Week events! Today, we’re interviewing author Elyse Springer, who is also the owner of the Just Love Romance blog. We asked her some personal questions about asexuality and about the stories she wants to tell, and she kindly answered to all of them. We hope you enjoy this as much as we enjoyed asking the questions!
We want to welcome you to From Top to Bottom Reviews and thank you for agreeing to this interview. And we’re very happy to have you here during Asexual Awareness Week. We know some of the questions we’re asking can be a bit personal, but please don’t feel obligated to answer if you don’t want to.
Are you ready? Let’s go, then!
When did you first hear about asexuality?
I think I first heard the term through a blogging site like LiveJournal or tumblr back in 2010 or so. Fandom has always been an incredible resource for self-discovery and for finding community and acceptance, and I think I first heard the term in a fanfiction!
How long did it take you to realise you’re asexual? How did you know?
I’ve always known that I was “different”… in college, a boyfriend called me a “frigid bitch” for not wanting to have sex. I just through there was something wrong with me. When I learned about asexuality, I didn’t accept it right away. I didn’t want to be asexual, because I didn’t want to be different! It wasn’t until 2014 or so that I realized I was, in fact, ace.
What would you like to see in terms of ace representation?
I want to see more media where characters are asexual, and where that’s portrayed as 100% valid. We just saw this in the Archie comics, where Jughead came out as ace. But I want to see movies and books where people are like, “Yeah, I don’t have any interest in having sex” and that’s it. NO BIG DEAL! I don’t need representation with trumpets and banners and Lots of Drama, I just want to know that we exist in mainstream media.
You’re an author: is there a story you really want to tell? If there is, can you tell us a bit about it?
I have a book coming out in April called Thaw, in which the main character is a librarian named Abby who happens to be asexual. She ends up being romantically attracted to a woman named Gabrielle, who is allosexual. And that’s a story I needed to tell, because relationships aren’t about two perfectly-matched people coming together… they require work, compromise, and self-discovery.
If people would just learn one thing about asexuality today, what would you like that thing to be?
That there is no “one way” to be asexual. Asexuality is a spectrum, and every person defines asexuality in their own way.
And finally, what would you tell someone that’s struggling with their own asexuality? Maybe they’re wondering where they fit in the spectrum, or maybe they’ve just realized they do fit but don’t really know where that leaves them now.
If you want to use the word asexual to describe yourself, then you are asexual. You don’t need permission. You don’t need to fit any definition. Asexuality differs from person to person, from gray-ace folks (who do, sometimes, experience sexual attraction) to sex-repulsed ace-aromantics, who are averse to sex, and don’t experience sexual OR romantic attraction! And your identity can be fluid, or may not, as you grow and change and have new life experiences. You’re still valid. Your identity is still valid. And we accept you as you are!
That’s it for today. Again, thank you so much for being here with us! We hope you had a good time!
About the Author:
Elyse is an author and world-traveler, whose unique life experiences have helped to shape the stories that she wants to tell. She writes romances with LGBTQ+ characters and relationships, and believes that every person deserves a Happily Ever After. When she’s not staring futilely at her computer screen, El spends her time adding stamps to her passport, catching up on her terrifying TBR list, and learning to be a better adult.
If you want to know more about asexuality or have questions, we’d advice you to check out AVEN. The Asexual Visibility and Education Network, which we found really helpful.
You can find our post from yesterday, where Laura and I talked about our experiences with Asexuality, here.