YASP: Episode 4

In this episode, with Felix as a special guest, we have a bit of a rant about Xbox Game Studios, Windows, Fluent Design principles, ducks and how the last year’s treated us. Enjoy!

Leo's Bangers

Hi! I’ve got a playlist now. It’s called Leo’s Bangers. I’ll put songs on it. Feel free to follow, if you’d like.

Out of the Deck

Who am I?

It’s one of many questions we’ve asked ourselves at least once.

Who am I? Where do I fit in? Where do I belong?

I’ve found myself asking those questions a lot more since I’ve been at Warwick.

When I was younger, I struggled a lot with belonging. I struggled a lot with finding things in common with people, making and keeping friends and sticking to social groups. Obviously, as I’ve made the transition from college to University, I’ve improved a lot by making acquaintances and friends.

If you know me at all, you know how much I don’t like the emphasis some people place on labels. Sometimes, we can be so staunchly set in our ways, we cling to labels which may have reflected who we were while not acknowledging we’ve grown, developed and improved. In the past, I’ve invested so much time and energy into trying to find who I am, while I forgot to appreciate the gift that was the present.

Labels, however, have undeniable value. They help us reflect on who we are and where we are at a point in time. They help us quantify and they help us understand. Condensing the complexity of our personalities into a few simple, short phrases makes us able to appreciate each other, and ourselves, better.

I’ve been struggling a lot recently, with work, with university, with family. However, I’ve been fighting the biggest battle with myself. Being at university has taught me a lot about myself and how to interact with others, and I find I’m discovering new things every day.

When I was younger, at about 11 or 12, I remember crying to my mother about how I struggled to find anyone attractive. I thought I would grow up without a partner of any kind, that I’d have no children and no family of my own.

I’d had the importance of family hammered into me at a young age. I grew up around my grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews and nieces, and I wanted to add to that family. 12 year old me felt a creeping existential dread I forced to the back of my mind. I could always adopt if I really wanted children, I thought, but then again, I shouldn’t be thinking this far ahead. Maybe someone you really like will come along and change your mind. Maybe you’re just socially awkward.

As I grew older, those feelings stuck with me, nagged at me. However, I slowly came to terms with them. I didn’t really care much for the sex in video games, on television, music, adverts and other media. Neither did I engage with it at secondary school or college. I thought not wanting sex in college would bring back my fear of growing old alone, but I kept my head down, focussed on my studies and paid my lack of attraction little thought.

One the first friends I made after stepping foot on campus, and one who hopefully remain a friend for life, was Adam. I care deeply for him. He’s asexual. I’d never met a real asexual before, although I’d heard a lot about them. However, I initially didn’t think much of it. Some people are gay, some bisexual, and some are simply ace.

However, as time went on, I saw Adam was somewhat similar to me. He was somewhat socially awkward but incredibly handsome, with a nice butt. I’d been struggling to figure out my sexuality and romantic attraction, but Adam had at least half of that down. He seemed to have his shit together, and I liked him for that.

Once I realised that Adam and I weren’t that different, I made sure to pick his brain. Our conversations often went something like this.

What’s it like being asexual?


Have you ever felt any sort of sexual attraction?

I don’t think so?

Have you been attracted to anyone at all?

Maybe one or two people, I guess.

How did you figure out that you can’t feel sexual attraction?

I didn’t really know it was a thing, to be honest. I had a discussion with one of my friends, and I told him I wasn’t attracted sexually to anyone. He asked whether I was ace, and I didn’t know what that was. I did a little reading around it, and I asked him to explain it to me. After turning it over in my mind, considering whether I felt comfortable identifying as asexual, and I eventually thought it was the label that was right for me.

Do you eat garlic bread all day when you’re ace?

100 percent. Can verify.

Are you an axolotl?

Erm, I don’t know. Am I?

He always finds some way to make me laugh. Adam has that wit, that dry humour. I’m someone who focusses on presentation, delivering jokes which pack a punchline. However, Adam, a soft-spoken person of few words, always elicits a chuckle with his quiet comedy.

Those answers resonated with me. After a lot of soul-searching since the start of the year, I think I’m ready to come out of the deck. (Aces are in decks. I think I’m asexual. Get it? No?) I like garlic bread more than girls, but that doesn’t mean I’m repulsed by the horizontal hokey-pokey. I’m possibly sex positive, or at least indifferent. I know I enjoy kink, but I’m not going into that because I don’t think anyone wants to know.

I’ll be open. Since coming to Warwick, I’ve almost had sex. When it finally came to that moment, I just didn’t actively want it at all. I felt no sexual feelings towards them; no arousal, no desire. It definitely wasn’t because I wasn’t attracted or they weren’t attractive, but just because… it felt out of place.

Coming to terms with everything has been incredibly confusing and frustrating. I’ve felt overwhelmed, I haven’t been taking care of myself or completing any coursework because of this mini-identity crisis. I have cried a few times, trying really hard to understand how I feel about myself and how I feel about others. I feel a little angry at myself, for whatever reason.

I’ve been struggling to process it, and I haven’t figured it all out yet. I haven’t figured out whether I really can’t be sexually attracted to people, or whether I’m greysexual, demisexual or just something else entirely. However, right now, I feel most comfortable with calling myself asexual. Once I figure myself out a bit more, I’ll write an entry into The Handbook on how best to come to terms with yourself.

In many ways, I’m still that scared 11 year old boy. I didn’t have all the answers then, I don’t now and I probably never will. However, I’m taking one step at a time, dealing with each day as it comes.

YASP: Episode 3

I’m back for another episode of YASP with Michal. We bounce from topic to topic, discussing food, good books and the University experience. Enjoy!

YASP: Episode 2

Hi, again! YASP is in full swing. In this episode, I answer a few questions about my setup and my choice of AWS versus Anchor, and also unbox some headphones. (This all seems so silly and I am so sorry to anyone who listens to this.) Also, here’s my source for Citi downgrading Spotify’s stock after Apple’s announcement.