"Pleasing Things: Someone has torn up a letter and thrown it away.
Picking up the pieces, one finds that many of them can be fitted together."
I own a small bookstore near Seattle
Anonymous said: okay, weird question that'll blow your mind: so if the nights watch have to wear all black everything, does that includes undies?
Actually It’s good that you ask, anon, because I’ve been thinking about that matter too and came to the conclusion that yes, even the undies are black.
(All of this is headcanon)
It’s part of the uniform. And I like to imagine that at the beginning of the NW’s establishment they were stricter in members being outfitted properly, so ALL of the clothing had to be black.
But nowadays, with the crumbling force and scant money - and the fact that many of the black brothers are criminals or from poor/peasant families - they eased up a bit on it. I imagine it’s cheaper and easier to maintain the undergarments people brought with them than to dye/buy the right material for clothing no one sees anyway as long as the outward uniform is properly meeting the NW standards (the one you are given (uniform as in “does-not-fit-anyone-properly” unless you’re from a wealthy family or even a lordling so you bring your own blacks made from finer materials (i.e. see Waymar Royce in the prologue in AGOT or the fact that all of the clothes Sam brought with him were useless because they weren’t black).
But then again questions arise: Where/how does the whole washing procedure take place? It’s safe to say it’s a task done by the stewards who also do the sewing/production and maintenance of clothes. But in what dimensions? There is a bathhouse at Castle Black so I assume there also is a laundry? How is the washing organized? (On what weekdays do they gather the clothes from the barracks? When do they wash the undergarments and when the coats? [I have no idea how this works in RL so it’ll be great if someone liked to fill me in]) How do they tell them apart? (name badges on their undies? How many of the brother’s actually can read/write??)
Still, any new garment handed out by the NW should be black. So if you’ve lost or tore your undies beyond repair the new ones should be black - operating under the assumption that even the undergarment colour is strictly regulated and the NW has the financial capacities to afford the production.
This calls for fan-art of Jon Snow wearing black
lacy panties, people.
I went to a church in my new town this week. I’m not religious but I need to force myself to do social events, and this is a UCC so they’re pro-gay which is my main requirement. And it was mostly a lovely experience - nice people, great music.
But there was this odd moment
let’s start a “queer kids identifying with monsters and villains because we grew up watching queercoded bad guys in every show and movie” club
like this is a thing that i think a lot of queer people do without realising even before they know they’re queer. i think the formula is that if you ever loved a villain chances are you’re most likely not straight. bc when i try to explain the love of villains to straight people they dont fully get it
Clive Barker said this was why he wrote sympathetic monsters, and why he thought gay people responded to them, because they had been treated like monsters all their lives. (This was in the 1980s.)
So I read tristifere’s post about being bi and sex-repulsed, and how one kind of prevented her from figuring out the other. And since that bi-ace collaboration thing seems to have died a slow internet death (which is a pity, because I think that there are a lot of places where they intersect, and I’m obviously not the only one who thinks so) I thought I’d take the opportunity to chime in with my own two cents.
As tristifere mentions, the intersection of bisexuality and asexuality is especially interesting in that you have the intersection of two orientations that are often considered polar opposites. Bi people are often heavily sexualised; many biphobic stereotypes are rooted in this. Merely being bi is seen as sufficient evidence to provoke slut-shaming, regardless of actual sexual behaviour. Bi women are ‘sexually available to men’ and thus any sexual abuse they encounter at the hands of men is their own fault. Bisexuality is automatically equated to willingness to have threesomes, to cheating, to the transfer of STDS. To people who view us like this, being bi and ace-spectrum is basically oxymoronic.
For her, this directly impacted on a reluctance to identify as bi. For me, being ace-spectrum impacted my self-identification as bi in much more subtle ways, but it certainly did so. I suspect that one reason for this is that I identified as bi quite a while before identifying on the ace-spectrum, whereas she was asexual first and biromantic later.
A little bit of personal information for context: I’m biromantic and gray-ace/demi. (I use the two terms vaguely interchangeably, but also I think I fit the criteria for both even if one doesn’t view demi as a subset of gray, which I do, so.)
I first encountered the asexual community from a newspaper article I read at about 14, at which point I mistakenly equated it with aromanticism, and spent a little while hesitantly identifying as ‘asexual’. Society was telling me that I needed to view one gender differently from the other (yes, I know, gender isn’t a binary. 14 year old Fox didn’t know that); ideally, viewing boys in a way I didn’t view girls. I didn’t view either gender in a different way. I (probably) had crushes on a few people of various genders, but since I needed to feel something special for boys I didn’t for girls, these went unacknowledged. Of course, not understanding why everyone was suddenly so obsessed with sex and sex jokes and drawing dicks on things didn’t exactly help.
Then I got a boyfriend, acknowledged my crush on him, and boom! Just like that, I’d been straight all along! (Straight meaning heterosexual heteroromantic, obviously.)
I’m going to skip the details of that relationship. Suffice it to say that I thought I was allosexual and a ‘late bloomer’ for a while. We had sex, eventually, I enjoyed the sex even if I very rarely initiated it. Looking back I’m pretty sure I was confusing arousal for attraction, but that’s a big long complicated topic that can be talked about some other time.
Anyway. A few years into that relationship, I started to realise that maybe I wasn’t exactly straight after all. That’s where my ace-spectrum-ness came into play again.
So having confided my confusion about my sexuality to my then-boyfriend, he suggested that I should go and kiss some girls and see what I thought about it. But the idea didn’t appeal to me in the slightest, though I nodded and smiled and had absolutely no intention of acting on it. Like how do you explain to someone that you’re pretty sure you’re attracted to girls, you just have absolutely no desire to get physically intimate with any girls you know and definitely not with some random stranger? How do you explain that no, all his suggested threesome fantasies sound really unappealing unless you substitute in some hypothetical person whom you can’t actually visualise in your head at all except for knowing that you’d be really close to her? But you’re still pretty sure you’re probably maybe bi.
How do you explain that you actively seek out femslash fic (but skim over half the sex scenes), that you actively seek out queer media, that you fucking started watching Glee of all shows literally just because you heard they had a lesbian couple, that you really emphasise with everything you read about girls discovering they like girls – except for when you don’t, like that one book where she starts watching movies for the lesbian sex scenes when she’s like 13.
One of the things that stuck with me is Khaos Komix (written by Tab of Shades of A fame) which was a WIP at the time and which I rapidly archive binged and then loyally followed. I (naturally) especially cared about the Amber and Nay stories. Khaos has a short NSFW side-story featuring one of the couples after every two stories; I skipped them on my first read because they’re not essential to the plot (the website has a nice convenient button to let you do so, which is appreciated) but eventually curiosity got the better of me during a reread. I remember looking at this vaguely pornographic comic of two women and being puzzled as to why it wasn’t turning me on. If I was actually bi, surely I’d have had some sort of physical reaction, right?
Remember, at the time I was convinced I was allosexual. This combined with compulsory sexuality – everyone is a sexual being, romantic and sexual attraction must be experienced at the same time, sexual attraction is what really matters – drew out my self-realisation process for much longer than it needed to last.
Internalised bisexual stereotypes intersected with my ace-spectrum-ness, too. Demisexuality manifests itself in me as a sort of ‘serial monogamy’ – I will crush on a person to a kind of embarrassing extent. They will be the only person I’m interested in dating, I will be much more open to touch from them, eventually (a while after we’re dating) sexual attraction is (probably) a thing that happens. Anyone who isn’t that one person – nope, not interested, go away. But if you’re bi, clearly you need to be sexually attracted to multiple genders at the same time, which is incompatible with the above.
My thought process went in a kind of cycle: ‘Everyone is a sexual being. Therefore I am a sexual being. Orientations are centred around sexual attraction – romantic attraction is secondary to this. I believe I am bi. However, I do not feel sexual attraction towards girls. But I feel like I am bi. But as everyone is a sexual being, I must be a sexual being, and therefore must feel sexual attraction towards multiple genders in order to be bi. I only feel sexual attraction towards [ex]. Ergo, I cannot be bi. But I feel like I am bi.’
This also connected to a bunch of internalised biphobia. Most bisexuals weren’t actually bi, you see. They were all monosexuals claiming to be bi to reap the attention of others. As I didn’t usually feel sexual attraction towards women, clearly I’d just convinced myself I must be bi in a desperate bid to gain attention, to make myself feel special. (This train of thought is actually a really common theme with me; I might write something else on it at some point.)
Obviously, very little in life is mono-causal. My initial reluctance/confusion over being bi had other contributing factors. Much of what I have just written were things I felt, but did not articulate; it’s only now, looking back on it with the knowledge that I’m somewhere on the ace spectrum, that all the pieces start falling into place. Hindsight has its own set of biases, though.
The matter is also slightly confused by the fact that my sexuality is one big confusing mess of ‘definitely not allosexual but not entirely asexual either’. For example, upon realising that ‘wait, isn’t this porn supposed to be doing something for me?’, I am sometimes able to force myself to be aroused through sheer force of will. (I feel like I should clarify that I have a pretty small sample set, due to my not actually having any motivation to look for pornography, but.)
But basically, what I’m trying to say is that there definitely is an intersection between having an unidentified ace-spectrum identity and problems with coming to terms with other aspects of one’s orientation complex, and that us non-sex-repulsed members of the community can still have difficulties reconciling the two. Maybe bi ace-spectrum people have a bit more of an issue due to bisexuality being so hyper-sexualised, but I’d imagine this experience isn’t unique just to us bi-(and-pan)-romantics.
Someone asked about this bi/ace crossover at the LGBTQ&A at Dash Con! If that person was you, thedragonandthefox sounds like a great person for you to get in touch with.