Good morning guys! Please welcome Alyson Pearce on From Top to Bottom Reviews today! We had the pleasure to interview her and hope you enjoy!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m twenty four (the youngest of my siblings) and I’m from a small town in Kentucky. I write both contemporary and historical M/M fiction and in my free time I enjoy playing with my four year old Yorkie.
When did you first hear about asexuality?
I first found out about asexuality through Tumblr. People give Tumblr a lot of flack for not facilitating discussion, and it’s gotten that way, sure, but as a nineteen year old trying to figure things out, it provided me with more information than I was ever given in school. Most places don’t have fantastic sex education programs, but in Kentucky – especially my part of Kentucky – there was nothing outside of “keep your legs closed.” There was no information for people who didn’t necessarily want to open their legs in the first place.
How long did it take you to realise you’re asexual? How did you know?
Pretty much as soon as I learned the term grey-asexual, I knew it fit. I knew that was me. Before, I had always felt different. Growing up, everyone always talked about the guys and girls they thought were hot, and how they wanted to have sex with them, or at least make out with them. But that was never me. Even when I had crushes, sex was never something in my mind. I just enjoyed hanging out with people and getting to know them romantically.
When I was growing up, I chalked it up to the church I was a part of (and no longer am.) Even thinking about sex was a sin, so I always thought I was just doing my best not to sin. But then when I left the church and those feelings still weren’t there, I started to think that maybe something was different. I learned the term asexual, and for the most part, it fit. But then there was one person I found myself really sexually attracted to. I think if I hadn’t had the term grey-asexual, and if I hadn’t known there was a spectrum, I would have been so confused.
How important do you think asexual representation is?
Incredibly important. More than important, it’s vital to the mental health of those who are asexual. It seems like every love story presented in media, whether it be movies, tv, or books, has some element of sex. I mean, I’m guilty of it. My books have sex in them. But it’s equally important that there are books and movies and tv shows that show asexuality in a positive light. I think if asexual individuals could see positive representation of themselves, we wouldn’t spend so long thinking we’re broken.
What would you like to see more of in terms of ace representation? What is something you’re missing from the representation out there?
One of the things I want to see more of is people along the asexual spectrum. People who are demi or grey-ace. People who are sex repulsed, as well as those who can have sex if they choose. Asexuality is such a diverse thing, in regards to how people define myself. I’m a sex-indifferent grey-asexual. Someone else might be sex-repulsed, or demi (only experiencing sexual attraction after establishing an emotional connection.) So more diversity would be great.
As an author: is there a story you really want to tell (or maybe already told)? If there is, can you tell us a bit about it?
One of my MCs in my next contemporary is somewhere on the ace spectrum. If I had to label him, it would be demi-sexual. I’m really looking forward to telling his story, and I think it’s important for it to be told, especially since in society, men are seen as always wanting sex (how many times have we heard the tired joke about men thinking with their dicks?) It’s going to be nice to show that guys can be demi and ace as well.
When picking up a book, is it important to you whether a story with an asexual MC’s is written by someone on the ace-spectrum?
I think it’s fairly important. That’s not to say that non-ace people can’t write asexual people. It would be a little hypocritical of me to say that people can write groups they aren’t a part of. But I feel like there’s less of a chance of dangerous stereotyping if an asexual character is written by an asexual author.
If people would just learn one thing about asexuality today, what would you like that thing to be?
Being asexual can mean different things to different people. I know I talk a lot about the ace spectrum, but that’s because it really is a spectrum. The way I experience asexuality isn’t going to be the same as someone else who experiences asexuality. But I guarantee you, none of us are unfeeling robots who reproduce through mitosis.
Do you identify yourself as someone included in the “Queer-Umbrella”?
Yes. I’m a pan-romantic grey-asexual (a mouthful, I know.) Basically it means that I’m romantically attracted to people without paying much attention to gender, but I don’t typically want to have sex with them.
What would you tell someone who’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 feel like there’s something wrong with you, there isn’t. Asexuality comes in all forms, so if you’re worried that you can’t be on the spectrum because you don’t fit some criteria, don’t worry. You can be.
And that’s it! Thank you so much for participating!
Alyson Pearce is an American transplant currently living in London, where she works full time in publishing and as an author of M/M romances. She fell in love with romances after discovering her grandmother’s library and hasn’t looked back. As a member of the LGBT community, she believes that everyone deserves their chance at a happily ever after. In her spare time, Alyson enjoys cooking, reading, and shouting at contestants on Chopped. The Viscount and the Artist is her first novel.
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.