PAX PRIME 2015 & Summoner Yuna Cosplay!!

Hello, everyone!
Hope you’ve all been well! I’m finally on my summer break, which has already been packed with a weekend trip with the family and PAX PRIME 2015!!!

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What is PAX? 
PAX (penny arcade expo) is a video game convention that takes place annually in Texas, Massachusetts, Melbourne, and Washington state. Tons of game developers and companies come to the con with playable demos of their new, unreleased games for attendees to play. PAX Prime is the name of the 4-day convention that takes place on/around Labor Day weekend in downtown Seattle, WA. And by “downtown,” I mean it dominates the convention center, neighboring hotels, theaters – the con is HUGE!! It is gamer paradise.

Last year, I attended PAX as a vendor for Pink Gorilla, a local retro video game shop, and I returned as a vendor for 3 days this year. Selling video games to dedicated gamers is always a blast! ūüôā But this year was the first time I went to PAX¬†for one day as a general attendee, so I had one full day of exploring the con!

At the Con

Oh man, I can’t even keep track of everything I played!! PAX is notorious for its long lines – some of which can easily take a few hours of waiting – but if you plan your day accordingly, you can fill your convention experience with lots of fun game demos! The exhibition hall is filled with glowing screens and loud music from the games and the booths. Here are some pictures of what it looks like!

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The first thing I played was Dark Souls III. After waiting about an 1 1/2 hours in line, I finally got to play the 5-minute demo. . .in which I think I died like 10 times in the same area. To be expected!

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Outside the exhibition hall was this Dark Souls fountain. Photo does not do it justice, but blood spews from the corpse! >:D

While some demos were rather¬†short, Nintendo’s were quite generous. The line for the new Star Fox was always really long, but I heard the demo was 20 minutes long. The new 3DS Zelda Triforce Heroes demo let you and 2 other players work your way through an entire level – or until you ran out of lives. The game is a co-op adventure meant to be played with 3 people, so both hilarity and frustration ensues as you and your friends struggle to help each other through the courses.

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Super Mario Maker was also super fun! You can create and play through various courses, and download courses that other people made. You can also choose which Mario “generation” you want to make your courses in, from old school SNES to WiiU inspired stages and graphics. I tried out the advanced courses and they were quite difficult!

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I also got to play an oculus for the first time!! It was AWESOME!! I need more VR games in my life.

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But lets not forget the fact that you could take a picture with Pikachu at the Pokemon booth ūüôā

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But that’s not all I played! Final Fantasy XV (I believe it was the same demo that was on FF Type-0), Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Mad Max, Assassin’s Creed, Gang Beasts. . .and so much more!! If you love video games, you must attend a PAX!! Tickets sell out super fast, so keep an eye out for updates!

Summoner Yuna cosplay

I was so excited to wear my new Yuna cosplay on my first day of PAX!! I had worked on it all summer and it’s probably my best cosplay I’ve made yet! Someday I’d like to get a professional photo shoot done to show off my work, but here are a couple shots of my cosplay:

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Next time I wear it, I hope to have one of her staffs completed. I didn’t want to carry any props to PAX since it’s a very hands-on con and VERY crowded!!

I also wore my gunner Yuna cosplay on day 2 of PAX:

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To read my tutorial on how I made gunner Yuna, check out my Emerald City Comicon post!

SUMMONER YUNA TUTORIAL

Skirt: The amount of fabric you’ll need depends on (1) your waist size and (2) how deep you want to make the pleats. I got 3 yards of broadcloth for my skirt and used almost all of it. I used Velcro to close up the side since her skirt doesn’t completely close. I painted on the flower design with Tulip Soft fabric paint in petal pink after lightly sketching it with a white colored pencil. I also painted inside the pleats so the design wouldn’t look all choppy while I walked. Though it will take a few coats to get the desired color since it soaks into the fabric pretty quickly, a small bottle should do the trick.

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*The paint appears more of a light pink in person.

Obi: I got a yard of yellow broadcloth – broadcloth was my go-to fabric for this cosplay since it’s sturdy, easy to paint and sew with, and doesn’t look too “costumey.” I simply made a long band to go around my waist and used Velcro to attach it. I found pink fabric in my box of leftover sewing materials to make the pink strip underneath. For the bow, I sewed three rectangles: one big, a smaller one to fit inside, and then a taller, narrower one to wrap around them. I pinched the first two rectangles together to loosely for a bow, hand-stitching down the middle to secure the shape, and then slid the narrower piece over them and stitched that into place. The bow simply attaches to the obi band with safety pins. For all parts of the obi, I doubled up the fabric to make it thicker and more supportive. I also used my yukata’s obi ita (sort of like a rectangular cardboard thing that goes under an obi) for my cosplay to keep my obi nice and smooth.¬†Once again, I used more fabric paint of the same brand to make the leaves and branches. I painted one half of the waistband first, then folded it in half while the paint was still wet to make it symmetrical. . .which was REALLY RISKY!! I don’t recommend doing that, but somehow I didn’t screw it up and it worked out for me haha!

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TOP AND SLEEVES: …I think I got 1 yard of white broadcloth? To measure how long you want the sleeves, use a measuring tape and go from your wrist down to wherever you want the sleeves to fall to see how long you need to cut your fabric. Make sure you make the arm opening wide enough to slide over your elbows (measure the circumference of your upper arm first). It’s ok if it’s loose since you will tighten them with ribbon. I used Rit fabric dye in petal pink to dye the sleeves. READ THE DIRECTIONS AND FOLLOW THEM WORD FOR WORD. Also, if you have never dyed fabric, there are plenty of tutorials on youtube that can assist with the process. The dye appears a bit dark at first, but after giving the sleeves a rinse, the color softens. Given this was my first time dying fabric, I’m quite satisfied with the end result. I had a few moments where the dye would clump up and make little spots on the fabric, but you can easily get rid of them by immediately rinsing them ¬†out and/or brushing them with a paint brush to distribute the dye. I think this may have happened because my water was not hot enough to dissolve the dye powder :/ So again, read the instructions!! And use a test strip of fabric in the same color before actually dying your cosplay!

The top was a lot easier to make since it’s just a long white rectangle you wrap around your neck. Again, just put a measuring tape around your body to see how long you want your fabric. I wore a plain black bikini top underneath.

HIBISCUS:

I used a sheet of red foam and hot glued a pin to the back to attach it to a gold cord, which tied over my obi. I printed out a picture of the hibiscus and taped it to the foam as I cut. I used squeezable fabric paint to make the designs and put two eyelets to make the holes. I cut out a thin white ribbon to my desired length and strung on round beads from an assorted bead bag (also used beads from that bag to tie on the ends of my sleeve ribbons). The longer pieces are actually straws from my university’s dining hall that I painted blue ūüėõ Lastly, I made tassels and tied¬†them to the bottom.

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As for my accessories: I coincidentally owned bracelets and a ring like hers, and the earring and necklace I purchased from eBay.

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Any questions about PAX or my Yuna cosplay? Did you happen to attend PAX? What were some of your favorite games? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! ūüėÄ Thanks for reading~

VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Eternal Sonata

Hello, everyone! Once again, I apologize for my absence, but school is still keeping me busy. . .and I’ve also been trying to finish up this really cool video game in my free time! But now that I completed it, I will rant about it!

Eternal Sonata is a j-rpg for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 developed by tri-Crescendo and published by Namco Bandai Games. I played the Xbox version and, according to online forums, there are some slight differences between the two games. This review will therefore only cover the Xbox 360 version.

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About the Game 

I originally learned about this game through an anime magazine a while back (I think Newtype?) and thought it sounded really cool, but I kinda forgot it existed until earlier this year when I found a used copy of it at GameStop. Basically, the game is about the pianist/composer Frederic Chopin, who is dying of tuberculosis on his deathbed. In his final slumber before his inevitable death, he finds himself in what he believes to be a dream world called Forte. There, he meets a young girl named Polka, who has magical powers¬†– which means she will soon die of illness. Wanting to do something with the limited time she has left in her life, she wishes to speak to the king of Forte, Count Waltz, about mineral powder, as it has fatal side effect and its mining damages the forest. The story takes a twist when Polka and Chopin are mistaken as rebels and are imprisoned. Joined by¬†a duo of thieves, the guardians of the forest, a shepherd, and a trio of rebels, Polka and Chopin find themselves on a magical journey to stop¬†Count Waltz from using the mineral powder¬†to¬†aid his insurrection against Forte’s enemy, Baroque.

With all my level grinding, hunting for items, and getting lost, it took me a little over 35 hours to complete, which isn’t too bad for an rpg. That being said, I missed my opportunity to play through the secret dungeon before the final boss. From what I heard, it can be quite time consuming yet rewarding (more character development, cool boss fights, spiffy items). Since it’s a secret dungeon, it is not on the obvious path in the game, so if you choose to complete it, I would check a walkthrough when you make it to the last part of the game to make sure you don’t miss it like I did.

Review

As a pianist who’s favorite composer is Chopin, this game is perfect for me. The game is divided into 7 chapters (8 if you count the final scene), and you unlock a Chopin piece in each one, along with facts about the song¬†and Chopin’s life. The game incorporates musical elements throughout, such as collecting score pieces (little phrases of music) that you can play with NPCs to receive cool items.

I also really liked the battle system. While you often have several members in your party, you play with three at a time, though the other members gain a reduced amount of experience points from every battle. It’s turn-based and you generally get a few seconds of tactical time before springing into action.

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Of course, you have your items, ability to block, physical attacks, and special attacks. The game also makes use of light and dark attacks, so depending on where you are standing on the battlefield will change your special attack moves, and can also transform the enemies, for better or for worse.

The plot is quite intriguing. It starts off with political drama with the whole mineral powder deal, the impending war between Baroque and Forte, rebellion, and political espionage. The characters are all unique, have their own little lovable quirks, and are honestly just tons of fun.

If the game was able to keep all this up in the last third or quarter of the game, it’d probably be the best game ever. [MODERATE SPOILERS AHEAD]

While the characters are cool, they could be developed so much more. There are so many hints of characters being romantically interested in each other, but it stays at that. It’ll be brought up in a cut scene or two, only to never be brought up again. We never really get much closure to the relationships between characters, and after 35 hours of gameplay, I’d kind of like to know if character A ever gets to be with character B, let alone confesses¬†his/her feelings. Even the bad guys working for Count Waltz are really cool, but we hardly get to see them, except for maybe in an abrupt boss battle (and by abrupt I mean they will literally jump out of the bushes and be all like, “LET’S FIGHT!!”)

The plot gets lost. First, the mineral powder is important. Then it’s whatever the Baroque rebels are up to and we kind of just ignore Count Waltz and his cronies for a while. Then everything is just put on hold because a monster is made with the mineral powder and we gotta stop the monster. I honestly just seems like the characters are being dragged along with whatever is the current issue for the kings and princes of whatever land they’re on – and the issues are interesting, yeah, and if you are just paying attention to whatever is going on in the game at that particular moment, it all seems great. . .but then you can help remember but the incident that¬†happened 10 hours ago and wonder if it’ll ever be revisited. There’s also this whole thing with these little glowing puff balls called agogos and they’re weirdly attracted to Polka, and for some reason Count Waltz seems to care about them, but we never really find out what the whole deal is with these agogo things…? I feel like adding a few more hours to explain it all and make it all connect wouldn’t make the game feel extremely long and would be totally doable. After all, most people are ready to make the time commitment when they play an rpg. I would rather have another 5 hours of gameplay than feel confused. Or they really could have cut or shortened some of the stages for more plot/character development. While most were relevant, a few felt a bit random, like they were¬†trying to add more stages to make the story feel longer.

And most of this gets lost in Chopin’s existential rants about “Is this all a dream or is this reality?”

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I think the creators accidentally made a game about Edgar Allan Poe, not Chopin. The rants only increase throughout the story and you’ll end up feeling just as confused as poor Chopin, maybe even more. It’s extremely melodramatic, which is not unique to Eternal Sonata (don’t get me started on the Final Fantasy games), but I can’t be awed by flowery dialogue and existentialism if I don’t understand what’s going on. By the end of the game, everything just drowns in existential rants. I can’t even spoil the ending for you because I don’t know what happened. I was waiting for this big reveal where we find out if this world is just a dream or if it’s some other dimension between life and death, and how this ties into the war and agogo things. . .but that reveal never happened. Chopin just explodes into a huge rant at the end of the game and you are rewarded with a 45 minute cut scene of I don’t even know what. I could try to explain it, but I don’t want to totally spoil the ending. After playing such a magnificent game for so long, I felt robbed by the ending. I felt like there was a huge chunk of the plot missing.

At first I thought, “Maybe I’m just not smart enough to understand this game.” But then I googled “Eternal Sonata ending” and found tons of forums filled with people all like, “WTF did I just watch?!”

Also, when you finally think it’s over, you are rewarded with an even weirder short of a snail contemplating the shape of life.

From what I’ve heard, the PS3 ending¬†makes a little more sense and adds more backstory throughout the game to tie loose ends together, but it isn’t THAT much clearer. But if you have the option of playing either the Xbox¬†or PS3 versions, it sounds like the PS3 is a better choice.

Overall, the game is amazing and I totally recommend it! Just don’t think too hard when you’re playing it, or you might feel cheated by the lack of plot and character development.

Have you played Eternal Sonata? What did you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

Thanks for reading~

Dangan Ronpa photoshoot!: Junko and Naegi cosplay

Hello, everyone!

It’s been a while since I’ve made a post. School and work have been keeping me very busy x__x And I am actually STILL busy right now (I literally have my homework up in another tab), so I’m gonna make this post quick, but I wanted to share some cosplay photos with you all! As you may remember from one of my previous posts, I attended an anime convention called Sakura-con back in April and cosplayed as Junko Enoshima from a video game/anime called Dangan Ronpa, and my boyfriend Keegan cosplayed as Makoto Naegi from the same series. Here are some of my favorite photos from our photo shoot! All photo credit goes to Zandrew Photography:¬†https://www.facebook.com/zandrewphotography?fref=ts

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About the cosplays

Junko: I bought the skirt and boots at Hot Topic; the choker from Claire’s; the shoelaces, wig, hair clips, and bow pin from eBay. I had the white shirt (not sure where I got it, but it’s just a simple button up shirt). The cardigan is actually a thick black button up shirt I got at a thrift store, and then I altered it to fit my figure and to be the right shape, and I added red buttons. The two white pins were originally white buttons and I drew the designs on with Sharpie, and I used squeezable fabric paint for the white boxy designs on the cardigan. I made the tie by ¬†buying a black tie and a black tie from Daiso, then sewed them together, used squeezable fabric paint for the symbol.

Naegi: Keegan and I worked on this one together! We first bought both the hoodie and black jacket from the thrift store. I added golden buttons onto the black jacket and hot glued a zipper around the hood of the green jacket. He used fabric paint for¬†the symbol on the hood and for the stripes. The hardest part was the hair. I used hair spray and some sort of hair glue to make it stick up and then blow dried it in place. I actually did it at our con’s cosplay repair station upon our arrival, so I don’t know the exact name of the hair products, but it worked super well and stayed up all day long!

Keegan purchased the monokuma doll at the previous year’s Sakura-con.

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Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the photos! ūüôā ¬†If you have any questions or comments about the cosplays, con, photos, or anything, please comment below!

Alt. Fashion post! Spooky in the Summer~

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It’s that time of the year again when the great fireball in the sky burns the strongest. It’s also that time when my Facebook is flooded with “how to be Goth in the summer!” blogs shared by my friends.

That being said, if you are looking for “how to be goth in the summer” articles to find ways to keep cool while wearing black, there are dozens of them out there. While I could write one, too, I feel it’d be a bit redundant since so many other bloggers have done the job.

Instead, I would like to share with you some of my personal favorite outfit pieces and tips to give you some specific ideas on what could be fun to wear in the summer months. As there are many different subgenres of goth, I tried to find clothing that could be used for all or most kinds. This article is catered towards feminine fashion since I am a female and like girly clothing. I don’t mean to single anyone out.

TOPS

What better to wear in the summer than tank tops? You can simply wear a black tank top and goth it up with accessories Рaccessories can add personality to a plain black outfit. I like adding silver skulls, ankhs, and crosses to mine. If you get warm easily, avoid tight chokers and leather.

If you’re looking for something more girly, find one with lace or bows. You can easily find solid colored tank tops literally anywhere that sells clothes, and usually for a pretty cheap price.

Here are two tank tops that I really like for summer. The left is from Dead Threads and the right is from Tripp (corset is just for looks, not functional).

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Too frilly for you? If lace and ribbons aren’t your thing, you can modify a solid tank top to suit your liking. On the right, I got a solid black tank top and hot glued zippers I bought from my local craft store. On the left I have a crop top with crosses from About a Girl. It’s almost 3/4 sleeves, but it’s super lightweight, making it perfect for hot weather.

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Summer is also a great time for flowy materials since they don’t stick to your skin. This flowy shawl-cardigan-thing looks great over tank tops. Not only is it light, but the back has a lace panel. The brand is BCX and I think it’s from either Target or Macy’s. . .some really big store.

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Fishnet tops can also be great summer pieces, but this can depend on its material. A lighter mesh or large netting will work best.

BOTTOMS

Again, plain black shorts and skirts will work. I’ve seen a lot of long, flowy black skirts in stores lately, many of which could be used for an awesome summer outfit. I personally prefer shorter skirts, and summer is a great time for them. Pictured below is my favorite skirt that I own. It’s from Queen of Darkness. I tend to wear it all year round (unless it’s snowing), but unless I wear thick leggings underneath, I tend to freeze my butt off. It’s just a thin satiny skirt with spiderweb lace on top.

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The rockabilly look is a great style to try out in the summer. Hell Bunny sells lots of big, flowy, 50s styles dresses with spooky prints, like skulls, zombie unicorns and bats (again, if solids are your thing, solid black dresses of most styles can be gothified). Dead Threads also sells some fun rockabilly clothing and has a great selection of shorts. Below is a pair of Dead Threads shorts, paired with my favorite pair of matching sunglasses from a gift shop called Poison Apple.

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SHOES

Most of my wardrobe is miniskirts and t-shirts, so I usually survive the summer without much¬†difficulty. However….I love wearing big chunky boots and Creepers. Both are quite uncomfortable in the summer since they don’t let your feet breathe. I usually wear my creepers anyways and let my feet suffer through the heat, but I don’t think that is the best advice to give to you.

For starters, if you absolutely must wear boots, try to find a pair that are a lower-cut to allow your legs to breath.

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Naturally, sandals are the most popular summer shoes. I used to be really against sandals until recently. I never saw ones I liked until I actively looked for a cool pair, and I ended up finding quite a few that I liked.

I actually own the pair below. I found them at a thrift store and they are very comfortable. They may not be my favorite Creepers, but they still got platforms, so I can’t argue too much.

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I don’t own the pair below in black (I have clear glitter), but jelly sandals have become popular again, seemingly among everyone in my town. I got mine on Amazon for under $20. . .and I would not pay any more than that. They are super cute, but SO painful. They are made from rock hard plastic and will hurt your feet after 30 seconds. Buy some sort of padding inserts. You will need them. Trust me.

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This last pair I have featured , I do not own, but I saw in a thrift store and managed to find a picture of them on google. If you’re not into the more childish jelly sandals, these have cool straps with silver rings that could go well with any style.

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Last but not least. . . WEAR SUNSCREEN!! And remember to reapply it! I already fried my skin within the first week of my summer break :/ Black parasols also come in handy and look downright awesome. And don’t forget to protect your eyes with sunglasses!

Do you have any tips or cool summer outfits you’d like to share? Comment below! Keep cool this season~

PRIDE MONTH POST! Asexuality awareness~

June is Pride month! And let me just say, I am so happy at how accepting the United States and many other countries are becoming of same-sex marriage and other important issues under the queer umbrella. Especially in my current hometown of Seattle, there are so many events and support groups for gay, lesbian, and trans people. While we still have a long way to go until everyone is treated equally, I am thrilled to see progress being made.

However, there is one group that is commonly overlooked, and it’s a group that is near and dear to my heart. It’s the sexual orientation I personally identify with. That’s why today I am going to talk about asexuality and why asexuality awareness is so incredibly important.

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As you may or may not know, asexuals generally do not experience sexual desire for anyone or anything. Though most queer communities include asexuality under their umbrella, some do not, as asexual oppression is very different from the oppression other queer groups face.

There is a wide spectrum of asexuality, as clearly demonstrated in this photo:

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I identify as a heteroromantic asexual. While I enjoy having a boyfriend, I do not feel sexual attraction towards my male partners, nor any males period. Yes, I find men attractive and I won’t date a man I see as unattractive. I enjoy cuddling and holding hands. I only like quick little kisses, no tongue, no making out. And, of course, I do not enjoy sex. If you do not desire sex, you will not experience pleasure. And if someone is poking around in sensitive areas and you can’t experience that pain-blocking pleasure? It hurts.¬†And not in a good way.

To give a brief backstory of myself, I didn’t know I was asexual until I was 18. I didn’t even know asexual was a thing. I dated many, many boys in high school, all whom I thought were very attractive. They wanted to have sex with me, but for some reason beyond me, I always refused. I didn’t feel aroused by them. I never fantasized about them or anyone. I thought, “Maybe I’m just too young and innocent.” But even after I moved out of my house for college and dated more “adult” men, I still couldn’t find that desire that my dates had for me. I realized it wasn’t just my age or how “ready” I was. I realized I just don’t like boys like how “normal straight people” do. After doing some research, I learned that this lack of desire is called asexuality.

Now, if you’re like some people, you might think this is pretty cool. No worrying about sex life drama, STDs, pregnancy, parents should be happy that I don’t sleep around. . .but, unfortunately, it’s not easy at all. I can’t say my life would be easier if I wasn’t asexual because I don’t know any other way, but my asexuality made dating seem virtually impossible. Before I knew I was asexual, I would lie to my partners, telling them that I would do it with them someday – I thought, “Maybe if they love me enough, they won’t mind me not having sex and will stick around” – but eventually they would grow tired of waiting and either dump me or cheat on me within a few months, sometimes even less. Once I came out as asexual, I realized it would be best for everyone if I was honest and explained my situation.

This, if anything, made things harder.

One of two issues would usually arise: they would either lose interest in me before giving me a chance, as there is no use for a girl who doesn’t screw. Which, in the long run, is better for me and the potential partner since it spares us both from entering a relationship neither of us will enjoy, but it was still a bit of a shock at first to see so many people lose interest once sex was eliminated. The other issue is¬†they would claim to be okay with it and then use me like a trophy, showing off that their masculinity or whatever was strong enough to get the girl with no sex drive, then lie about sleeping with me to sound like they achieved some impossible goal.

Things took a darker turn. One man didn’t believe asexuality was real. He believed that all the other men just didn’t know how to pleasure me, that he was the one who could “fix” me. He would sexually abuse me, trying to get me to feel pleasure, to “correct” me. After all, it’s a natural instinct for humans to desire sex. A person who does not enjoy sex is broken.

And that’s what he, my exes, society, my friends – even some of my queer friends – got me to believe. While asexuals generally do not face oppression the same way most gays, lesbians, and trans people do, aphobia still exists, and until it doesn’t, asexuals are still oppressed. Aphobia, like homophobia, isn’t a fear of asexuals, but either a hatred or cruel misunderstanding of it. For example, many people would tell me:

-“You just haven’t met the right person”

-“How do you know you’re asexual if you’ve never done it?” (most commonly said by heterosexuals who have never “done it”¬†with someone of the same-sex)

-“You deserved to be cheated on. I would never date someone like you!”

-“How do you have a boyfriend if you don’t have sex? Isn’t that just like having a best friend?”

-“You should just go poly. No one will every be faithful to you, so you might as well be poly since it’s unfair to expect a guy to just stay with you and only you.”

-“All humans have a sex drive. It’s a basic need. You must be mental.”

-“Whether you’re straight, gay, bi – it’s ok, as long as you have someone to love and screw. . .Oh, you’re asexual? You don’t like sex? Wow, you’re messed up!” (This was told to me at a Pride Festival by a gay man)

-“Did your father abuse you as a child? Were you raped? Is that why you are so messed up?”

-“Asexuals don’t exist. You’re just an attention-seeking prude.”

All of these are aphobic remarks that I, and many other asexuals, have been told. I do not have some dark, traumatizing childhood. 90% of my current anxiety/depression is due to my past relationship abuse that happened after I came out as asexual. I am not a prude. I am not a cynic. I don’t judge¬†people who do have sex. I personally am not seeking attention, I’m not looking to be lumped into a queer group because it’s “trendy,” but I do believe my sexual orientation deserves attention to put an end to these remarks.

Aphobia caused me to believe I am a broken, worthless less-than-human being. I believed that I wasn’t worthy of being loved by anyone, and that no one ever would. It’s not the fact that I would probably never have a boyfriend that bothered me, but the fact that because I am “broken,” I deserve to be forced into loneliness and to be frowned upon by society. It creates an overwhelming feeling of unbearable loneliness and self-loathing to think that no matter how good of a person you are, no matter how accomplished or intelligent or beautiful you are, you will never be accepted because you don’t like sex.

After being treated in therapy, I learned to come to terms with my asexuality and to accept myself, but the issues of others accepting me still remains. I’m still plagued with the thoughts of ¬†“what if” – what if my next partner eventually grows tired of me like the others? What if I wasn’t asexual – could I make my future partner(s) happier? Would I have endured the same abuse? I’m not sure if these negative thoughts will ever stop haunting me.

I am currently in a relationship with the first man who accepts and respects my asexuality. Though many people don’t understand our relationship or see it as “just a really good friendship,” we see it as something more. I don’t believe the quality of a relationship should be defined by how frequently people have sex. If people can have sex without love, why can’t I love without having sex?¬†

No one deserves to feel like they are worthless. No one deserves to be cheated on. No one deserves to become a victim of¬†corrective rape/abuse. But I am a victim of it all, and so are many other asexuals. That’s why it is so extremely important to raise awareness of asexuality – to help people get a better understanding of what asexuality is, who asexuals are, the oppression they face, and how to overcome it.

If you have any thoughts or experiences on asexuality, please comment below. Thank you for reading!

WRITING UPDATE!! What Maria is actually gonna do to get her butt in gear!

Hey, everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything since I’m SO incredibly busy studying for final exams and hunting down internships, but I have news to share! It’s pretty short news, but still cool!

In my last writing post, I mentioned that I was going to meet with an editor about my manuscript at a local horror convention called Crypticon. For those who may not remember or are new to my blog, I am an aspiring urban dark fantasy writer.

Both the editor and a test reader – a novelist from her publishing company – gave me extremely helpful feedback on my first chapter. I was really¬†nervous to meet with them at first, but they were both super cool people! I’m really grateful that I was able to work with them, even for just a bit. I plan on working with the editor in the near future for the rest of my manuscript. Meeting her in person made me more confident in my work and made my dream of publishing my work seem more attainable. I’m really excited to get started on the editing process – but first, I must finish my spring quarter!!

Are you a writer who has worked with an editor before? Please share your experiences in the comments! Thanks for reading~

Book Review: “The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy,” by Sam Maggs

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Hello, everyone! I don’t plan on regularly reviewing books, but I know I have a lot of geeky bloggers that follow me, so this book might be of interest to you all.¬†It’s all about being a fangirl of pretty much anything! I originally published the story in the newspaper I write for, but because I really enjoyed the book, I want to share it on my blog, too.

You can read the review in its original format (and articles from other talented writers) here: http://www.dailyuw.com/arts_and_leisure/article_9a5853a8-f85f-11e4-a8a5-6b735d51f965.html

or you can read my review right here:

Fake Geek. Gamer Girl. Poser. Trend follower. All common insults, among many others, that female geeks are bombarded with. After all, a girl who actually plays video games and reads comic books is unheard of, right? Wrong. In her book ‚ÄúThe Fangirl‚Äôs Guide to the Galaxy,‚ÄĚ Sam Maggs sheds light on geek girls, from the various types of fans to the prejudice they face.

So what exactly is a fangirl? A fangirl is a female fan passionate about something usually considered geeky. Though it doesn’t sound too far-fetched, Maggs mentions several occasions where her credibility as a fan came into question by men in geek bars and video game stores, simply because she is a woman. Maggs knows she is not alone and not only hopes to use her book to fight against ever-present sexism, but to help fangirls feel empowered and proud of themselves and their interests.

Maggs speaks to all geeks. She starts off by classifying the different types of geeks, including fans of Star Wars, Harry Potter, anime, comics, Doctor Who, and even young adult novels. She defines common fangirl lingo commonly seen on tumblr and forums and gives survival tips on attending geeky conventions. Along with this, she mentions what conventions include and where to find them, offers suggestions on how to incorporate your fandom into your daily life, such as collecting room decor and choosing a geeky tattoo, and gives great ideas to help geek girls connect with each other, such as TV show viewing parties. Throughout the book, she includes interviews with famous female writers, artists, and actresses to share their thoughts and experiences on being fangirls. Maggs also includes several online resources for geek girls: from meeting friends, to finding fashion, to party planning tips.

Most importantly, Maggs addresses the issue of feminism and how, even in geek media, women are often portrayed as unequal. She defines the terminology that goes along with feminism and related topics, explains how to critically think about the treatment of women in the media, and how to go about calling out misogyny and supporting women in the industry. Maggs points out how important it is to bring awareness of these issues to help create equality for people of all races, genders, and sexual orientations.

Though the book is catered toward female fangirls, it makes a great read for all genders. While males may experience less prejudice for playing video games, the types of geeks and their slang is not exclusive to females. Anyone can benefit from convention tips and brushing up on geek speak. Whether you are a hardcore geek, a new geek, or just a friend or parent of a geek, you will benefit from reading this book. Those unfamiliar with geek culture will finally be able to understand the different types of fans and the things they say. Those who are familiar will find Maggs’s recommendations of media series including strong female characters to be a helpful list of shows and comics to check out. Even if you happen to know every single reference and recommendation in the book, Maggs’s perspective on geek girls and feminism is worth reading.

Are you a fangirl? Do you have any experiences to share? Maybe about a cool convention you attended or a time you were discriminated against due to your gender? Please comment below! Thanks for reading~