Sounds Fake But Okay

Ep 149: ACE by Angela Chen

September 13, 2020 Sounds Fake But Okay
Sounds Fake But Okay
Ep 149: ACE by Angela Chen
Chapters
Sounds Fake But Okay
Ep 149: ACE by Angela Chen
Sep 13, 2020
Sounds Fake But Okay

Hey what's up hello! This week we are joined by Angela Chen to discuss her new book ACE: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex.   

Order ACE now: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/625230/ace-by-angela-chen/   
Follow Angela Chen: @chengela 

Episode Transcript: https://www.soundsfakepod.com/transcripts/ace-feat-angela-chen 

Donate to the podcast: patreon.com/soundsfakepod    

Twitter/Instagram: @soundsfakepod   
 
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/hddwsn   

Discord: https://discord.gg/W7VBHMt    

www.soundsfakepod.com

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/soundsfakepod)

Show Notes Transcript

Hey what's up hello! This week we are joined by Angela Chen to discuss her new book ACE: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex.   

Order ACE now: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/625230/ace-by-angela-chen/   
Follow Angela Chen: @chengela 

Episode Transcript: https://www.soundsfakepod.com/transcripts/ace-feat-angela-chen 

Donate to the podcast: patreon.com/soundsfakepod    

Twitter/Instagram: @soundsfakepod   
 
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/hddwsn   

Discord: https://discord.gg/W7VBHMt    

www.soundsfakepod.com

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/soundsfakepod)

SARAH: Hey what’s up hello. Welcome to Sounds Fake But Okay, a podcast where an aro-ace girl (I’m Sarah. That’s me.)

KAYLA:… and a demi-straight girl (that’s me, Kayla)

ANGELA: And I’m Angela, I’m ace and aromantic. 

SARAH: talk about all things to do with love, relationships, sexuality, and pretty much anything else that we just don’t understand.

KAYLA: On today’s episode: ACE by Angela Chen.

ALL: — Sounds fake, but okay.

SARAH: Welcome back to the pod.

KAYLA: M’icrophone. I think I’ve definitely done that one before but we were talking about microphones earlier, so that’s what you get — 

SARAH: We were. We’re just going to brush past it. 

KAYLA: I don’t need to come up with another one, this is my podcast.

SARAH: Yeah, this is fine. Alright. Well, Kayla what are we talking about this week?

KAYLA: Today we are talking to another amazing ace author about another amazing ace book. So today, Angela Chen is on. 

ANGELA: Thank you so much for having me, I’m so excited to be here.

SARAH: Yeah. So you have a book coming out. When this podcast is released, it’ll be coming out on Tuesday, September 15th, right?

ANGELA: That’s right.

SARAH: So, can you just tell us a little bit about yourself and the book and why you decided to write it, to give us a little bit of an intro?

ANGELA: Yeah absolutely. So the book is called ACE and the short answer to why I decided to write it is because I am ace. Around the time when I was figuring that out, I was having this experience that I think a lot of people have which is that I discovered asexuality. The real meaning of asexuality. And I was like, oh this is so interesting — why didn’t I know about this before? I want to talk about it with everyone. And then everyone that I tried to talk about it with, you have to spend a lot of time setting it up. Before you could talk about these topics like consent or feminism, you have to spend 30 minutes being like, okay so there’s this thing called asexuality but it’s not what you think it is. And it’s kind of like, how am I ever going to have these conversations with more than one person at a time in a faster way? For me, it was actually very personal. I felt like understanding my own asexuality, being part of that world, had really helped me understand myself and I wanted other people to be able to see that ace lens. Cause it’s something that enriches everyone’s life whether you’re ace or not.

KAYLA: Yeah, definitely. I think that’s something I’ve felt more and more as we’ve done this podcast, is just how beneficial the ace lens is to people who aren’t even ace. Like recently I’ve been seeing a ton of Tik Toks by women who are talking about how they are attracted to men but not really, and I’m like, “if you would just use the split model of attraction I feel like you would understand yourself so much better.” Anyway, that’s getting ahead of everything, but.

SARAH: I also think that it’s a pretty universal experience for aspec people to be like, “okay I should explain this now.” We have an entire episode of our podcast that we call the Ted Talk episode where we basically just walk through asexuality because it’s exhausting to have to explain everything to people all the time. So having these touchstones can be helpful.

ANGELA: Yeah and I think what was different for me is that I’m a journalist. I’m ace and a journalist but I was a journalist before I realized I was ace. So for me, there was a fence of “I can do something about this” which is how I imagine you two had felt with the podcast. I have the skills, I have the contacts, I don’t have to just be here, feeling vaguely dissatisfied that no one else is talking about this. What can my role be? Although to be honest I feel a little bit conflicted about that at times.

SARAH: Fair enough.

KAYLA: So to kick things off since, obviously people haven’t read the book yet, Angela do you want to give a synopsis of what the book is and the - I don’t want to say the point of it - but I guess, your goal in writing it? You said to give the understanding of asexuality but -

ANGELA: Yeah definitely. Like you said, to help everyone see what the ace lens has to offer. So one part of it is about what is it like to be ace, and I talk about many intersections with race, gender, disability, which I think is really important. And another part of it is about asexuality and relationships. When we talk about what is the role of - what asexuality teaches us about consent - or what does asexuality/aromanticism teach us about the way that we probe different kinds of relationships? What does that teach us about what sex is, how ace/allo mixed couples work together? Yeah, one part of it is for people who don’t know much about asexuality or have a very narrow idea to show them just how broad it is. But the other part of it is how everyone reading it should stop and think “oh, do I experience romantic attraction?” Instead of taking for granted that they do. Or you know, “for me, is aesthetic attraction different from sexual attraction?” Cause there’s all of these granular ways of thinking about things that are still valuable that most people don’t bother to question.

(5:00)

SARAH: And there are things in your book as I was reading it, you know as someone who’s had a podcast about aspec issues for 3 years, and I was learning stuff about the differences between different types of attraction and more granular stuff. Like you know, even for someone who’s been entrenched in this community, there’s always so much to learn from others, and from other people’s experiences. I think it can be on one hand easy sometimes to forget, or on another, easy to forget that the rest of the world doesn’t see it that way. And the rest of the world doesn’t have this context. And so I enjoyed reading about other people’s experiences.

ANGELA: And I think that even within the ace community — which is obviously not perfect — there’s not a perfect understanding of issues like race, there’s not a perfect understanding of where does sexual assault and trauma fit, where does disability fit. So, even if you are ace, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have the broadest view of what the community is or could be. And of course, I include myself in that because there is so much of the community that I don’t know or understand or wasn’t able to include if I do understand and know about those parts.

SARAH: We’re all impacted by our own biases in terms of our own identity. 

KAYLA: I think a large part of the book is one, educating allo people about what asexuality is in general. As Sarah said, especially when you are so entrenched in the community, you might not take the time to think about it more broadly or take a step out of it. And think about sexuality in general or as kind of more of a concept. So I think yeah, there’s really great opportunities in the book like you said to talk about disability and race, but something I wrote this down as I was reading as a note — one of the things that I really enjoyed about it is kind of exploring asexuality — its ability to be radicalized and thinking about how unique and special the asexual identity and lens is. I feel like a lot of asexual people who are maybe coming to terms with their identity or maybe don’t see a lot of pros to their sexuality. But I think your book did this amazing job of talking about what the asexual lens and the asexual way of living can maybe bring to other people and what it can provide to the feminist lens, and gender studies and things like that and how it can revolutionize how everyone thinks about it.

ANGELA: Yeah. And I think that when you’re writing about other people’s stories and your own stories — especially in a book that will hopefully be read about a lot of people — it’s difficult to be really careful and nuanced. I agree that most people when they first encounter asexuality, it can often come from a place of being alienated. “Oh, I thought I was the only one” — and you commiserate over all the ways that compulsory sexuality has affected your life. So I feel like it’s important to have space for that and to also have space for feeling ambivalent about asexuality. I read about how I’m ambivalent, and how I’ve internalized acephobia, but also to look beyond that into the next step. What can a joyful ace life look like? What gifts have I been giving? What is a way of thinking about asexuality that is not a lack? Or you know, missing something. So, there’s a lot of levels of the journey and I thought it was important to include them all. But related to what you were saying, which is that, while the book is about educating allo people, I feel like I’m still conflicted about that. Obviously I’m biased, but I think that the book will be important and useful. But a part of me is also like, “should we spend this much time trying to explain ourselves and defend ourselves to allos?” Especially with all the conversations we’re having now around racial justice in the US. You’ll hear over and over — ”people of color don’t owe white people their labor.” And this is a form of labor. Especially I think about the role that respectability politics plays in the way that I wrote the book. So, stop me from getting too in the weeds or this is off track, but by nature, I think I am a pretty soft-spoken person. But at some point in the book, I think I found myself wanting to be less reasonable. I felt this impulse to be like, “fuck allo people,” and “fuck compulsory sexuality,” and not be just this very polite, polished person that I think I come across as in the book. In a sense, I felt like I couldn’t do that because I think we’re still in the stages where respectability politics does kind of matter. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on it. I feel like we’re still in the stages where asexuality is still so misunderstood and there’s not enough awareness that a book like that wouldn’t be well-received. So I see it almost as laying more groundwork so that people after me can be more aggressive and critique my book and build a broader canon.

(10:00)

SARAH: I think you’re right. I mean, if you look at the asexual community or aspec communities generally, on one hand, it is important that other people understand these identities and be able to view things through this ace lens, but on the other hand, it’s like the whole I don’t feel like giving a Ted Talk every time I explain my sexuality. It shouldn’t be expected of us to have to do this, but at the same time, how else are they going to find out because no one knows about asexuality — broadly. I mean obviously that’s a generalization but you know, people aren’t necessarily seeking out information about asexuality or the split model on their own. So, it’s a weird balancing act of like, I want other people to be made aware of this. But also, I’m tired man.

KAYLA: I feel like this is something I’ve seen come up more recently online, or maybe just because I’m spending more time online in the ace community I’m seeing it more — I don’t know which came first. But, something I’ve noticed is that I feel like I’ve seen people starting to slowly push back against the idea you were talking about of feeling the need to explain ourselves or feeling the need to baby allo people and really educate them in a super polite way. I feel like recently I’ve seen people talk about we shouldn’t be catering aceness towards allos just so they understand and respect us. I’ve seen people talking about how the ace symbol is like cake, and I’ve seen people talking about if we keep having that then allo people are going to see us as juvenile and not going to respect us. It’s a kind of growing pain I keep seeing happening. The aspec community has been pushing for so long to gain visibility and now that we have a little bit, people are starting to wonder, do we really need to focus on visibility or do we live our own lives for a second and not have to worry about what our community looks like to the outside. 

SARAH: And once you have that visibility what do you do with it?

ANGELA: Absolutely. And these are questions that are so important that I think about and of course where does my book fit in with that? Of course, asexuality has more visibility than it was in 2001 but how much has that really brought us? There has obviously been ace organizing but I would like to see more. Does it matter if you’re organizing specifically for asexuality or does it matter more that you’re organizing more around a certain very specific cause? Does it matter you’re organizing around that because you’re asexual? I don’t think I’m getting this across very well, I guess there’s a very nuanced line you have to walk where  I think everyone wants to be understood. And connection is important. And I think that many people who don’t understand — they’re not malicious. Most people I know, they’re not very curious and they would want to learn. But it gets tiring. Where is the line in catering aceness to make it digestible for allos? And where is the line between a true genuine attempt to understand coalition-building? Those are real questions.

SARAH: Everyone has been brainwashed by allonormativity and amatonormativity that it’s like of course they’re not thinking about it this way because society has made them think that this is how it is. And that’s something you get into a lot in the book because there's so much compulsory sexuality and all these things. There’s just hammered into our brains, it takes a lot of unlearning.

(15:00)

ANGELA: Yeah, absolutely. I feel like every day I remember something that was an example of some sort of compulsory sexuality that I just didn’t notice. Just recently I was thinking about His Dark Materials. Did either of you read that?

SARAH: I didn’t, but I know a little bit about it.

KAYLA: I don’t think I did. 

ANGELA: Anyway all that matters is that you have these daemons, which is like your soul, and these animals and they shapeshift, and then what happens if your love puts their hand on the daemon, then they stay the same shape. And adults and daemons are the same shapes. I just never thought about it recently until, like “oh I wonder what happens for ace people?” Do their daemons never settle and does that mean they’re seen as juvenile forever? Of course I didn’t think about that when I was 12 or whatever reading those books. Now more and more examples come to mind. It hits differently once you put on the ace glasses.

KAYLA: So kind of going on with feeling conflicted about how you were writing the book and writing the book and wondering if how much pressure or difficult it was to write it, especially cause there’s so little writing about asexuality or kind of major published in anyway representation if you kind of felt a heavy burden and that made it difficult to write the book?

ANGELA: Yeah, I felt a huge burden. And of course, I’m sure no book is perfect. I’m sure there’s some things I got wrong. Something I think about a lot is that when I was in the proposal phase, meeting with various publishing houses, there was a fairly large publishing house I was interested in but they wanted it to be a book about desire broadly. And they were like, “oh, maybe sexuality can be a chapter in it.” And at the time I wanted to write about asexuality, I wanted a book deal, I wanted to make this project happen, and I was like, okay. And I didn’t end up going through but I just think about that a lot because here I am being like, asexuality is such a huge topic, how am I going to do it justice, how am I going to be respectful and people in these publishing houses are like, “why don’t you make asexuality a chapter in a larger book?” And I think that’s just so emblematic of the tension here. I felt that pressure every day when I was reading the book because no one book can or should be the ace book. There should be a canon of books where we disagree with each other and build upon with each other. And the reality is, I don’t know when the next book about asexuality is going to be published or bought. And so I knew that if people read this one, there might not be another one. And I think that comes through in the book itself. I tried really, really hard to cover a wide variety of ace experience. And I’m glad they did that. I think that’s a responsible thing to do. But if there was a broader ace canon, I think the book would have been narrower, I think the book would have focused more maybe on the topics that particularly interest me. I’m a science reporter, so like disability medicalization has been fascinating, there was so much stuff I couldn’t include because I had to cover my bases and try to make sure I could. So yeah, that pressure has always been there.

SARAH: I imagine in the creation of this, you were working primarily with allo people. Did you have any trouble with that? I know the one publishing house wanted to sideline asexuality but even with the publisher that you ended up going with — did you ever feel like you had to push back on people where their ignorance of aspec issues became an issue?

ANGELA: I don’t think so because my publisher is pretty well-known for doing a lot of stuff around social studies, genders, and social justice. I don’t think that was the case. I think that sometimes we’ll think about how to market the book and I’ll be like, “oh we’ll focus more on the reporting instead of ten myths of asexuality busted.” There would be those types of conversations. Even though I only worked with allos during the period I think they were respectful. I had a good experience that way.

SARAH: You found the right allos to work with. 

ANGELA: Yeah, yeah, the good allos.

KAYLA: I think it’s just — going back to what you were saying — about the asexual canon is really interesting. It’s been a couple years since I did this so I don’t know if it’s been published since then. But I was doing research in college for some of my classes and reading research papers and articles that people had written about asexuality.

SARAH: Kayla, were you in a feminism class?

KAYLA: I was in a feminism class. For people that listen to the podcast regularly, when I was in my feminism class and doing research, I wouldn’t shut up about it.

SARAH: She wouldn’t shut up about it.

(20:00)

KAYLA: And everyone was very annoyed with it. But there were so few major articles about asexuality that I feel like they were struggling with the same thing where you couldn’t focus on one specific subject, you had to cover asexuality broadly. In the articles, they’d always start with, “in 2001 AVEN was started,” blah blah blah, here’s the definition of asexuality. And they weren’t able to do really nuanced studies. Not saying that they weren’t good because of that. Some of them just weren’t good because they were obviously written by allo people who didn’t know what they were doing. But I think it’s just an interesting thing to think about and something that hopefully progresses over time as more things get written and everyone can do exactly what they want without having to worry about everything else.

ANGELA: Yeah, I just wonder what will be necessary for that to happen because you’d think that many people think of asexuality as a subculture - which it is, but think about it only as a subculture. Even though asexuality comes up in so many of these political issues that we talk about, when most people learn about it, and me when I first learned about it when I was a teenager, it’s like, “oh you know, it’s an interesting fact.” But what is there beyond that? Sometimes it feels to me there needs to be a big shift before we start thinking about how asexuality intersects with other things. I think that’s why I use the term “ace lens.” Because that’s how I think about it. You know in journalism, a lot of times — you know they’re often very white — a few publications will hire a race and identity reporter. All the non-reporters I know would be like, okay that’s a start, but race is part of everything. Why don’t you just hire, for example, a black reporter who writes about economics, and they can also tackle the race side of it. It doesn’t need to be a silent thing like that. I wish people would think about sexuality like that too. It’s a lens, not necessarily a topic.

KAYLA: I think it’s very interesting we’re kind of living in the moment where asexuality as a sexuality and identity is growing because it’s easy to look in a history book of a queer history class and say, “in this time period was when gay rights was a huge movement, and in this time period was when homosexuality became a concept.” And you’re able to easily track what happened for it to get to that mainstream point. But we’re in this unique situation where for asexuality, we’re living in that time. Like you said it’s just waiting to see what is it going to take for us to get there.

SARAH: I never thought about it that way, now I’m nervous. 

KAYLA: We’re history, Sarah.

SARAH: Oh nooo.

ANGELA: I really wonder though because I don’t know because back in 2012, The Atlantic or some other big publication published this article called the Third Phase of the Asexual Movement. I don’t remember the exact title but it had the words, “third phase.” And I was like, “third phase?” How can it be in a third phase and people still don’t know what asexuality is? For me, I agree. We are in this era where very very slowly asexuality is becoming known. But to me, it almost doesn’t seem like it’s moving that much aside from Bojack, how much we progress how much we all made in the past ten years or so. And I think another question is, what does progress look like? Cause progress has to be more than having just ace characters. Of course, that’s important for many reasons. 

KAYLA: Yeah, it’s definitely to see and frustrating how slow everything is moving. So kind of switching topics, while you were talking you mentioned that you were interviewing a lot of different people to get different perspectives which led to a lot of the topics that are covered. I’m really curious about the interviewing process because it’s such a big part of your book. I’m curious how many people you interviewed, and what that whole process actually really looked like.

ANGELA: I don’t have the exact numbers but I think I interviewed close to a hundred people. Not all of them made it in the book of course. And some people in the book, they have a little profile of them, some people just have shorter sections. I reached out to just eight people I know, with like, “can you ask other people?” I asked other people who posted on groups, I posted on Reddit, I reached out to various orgs and asked if they’d be willing to ask if people would speak to me. That’s kind of how I went into the sourcing. I think that me being ace definitely helped build trust with my sources. They knew I wasn’t going to ask them dumb 101 questions or offensive, invasive questions. In most cases, I did it over the phone a few times I met them in person. And for me it was really important that I really understood everything they were saying so I actually sent my drafts to people as I was writing the piece and went back and forth like, “is this wording correct, am I understanding you?” which frankly isn’t what you’re supposed to do in a traditional journalism environment. I would never do that in one of the pieces I write for publication. But I just didn’t see the book as a “gotcha” kind of thing. I am critical of some elements of asexual culture. I think there are ways in which we can do better. But all the people who spoke to me were being very honest and vulnerable and taking a big risk and that was important to me. And I hope they enjoyed talking to me. But I think my attempts in talking to them helped me grapple with things too because I don’t think I talked to that many ace people before in my life frankly before doing all of these interviews.

(25:00)

KAYLA: Maybe this is jumping to a different question but I’m curious about what you learned and if there’s anything as you were writing or interviewing that was a huge learning moment for you or changed the way you think about asexuality or the aspec community?

ANGELA: I think that there wasn’t that much I learned in terms of facts. I’d done a lot of research and I’d been a part of the community so it wasn’t like I’d suddenly learned about the split model of attraction. I think what changed things for me was seeing people who were just so unapologetic about being ace. For me, intellectually, of course, I realized there was nothing wrong with being ace and ace is a gift and all of that. Emotionally, you know, there were some times I didn’t feel that way. And part of me was like, oh that’s just how it is. If you are ace, of course, you are going to feel that. But then I would meet these people who were like, “oh I thought it was something cool about me, it was another way I was unique. It was another way of making me stand out. It’s something that I like about myself.” And it sounds so dumb. Of course there exist people who like themselves. But I think really talking to specific people like that and knowing about their lives and the very specific details of their experiences — that really changed me emotionally because it shocked me out of this idea I had in my head, which is related to what we were talking about earlier, which is that ace is a kind of connected by being oppressed, by compulsive sexuality. That’s there but meeting people from whom they just did not care, and they had different personalities than me and they had the trust fall to do that — that was powerful for me.

SARAH: I really appreciated how honest you were in the book about your own experience coming to terms with your asexuality. In this book, you talk about a lot of other people’s experiences but you do go into a decent amount of detail into your own journey. And I appreciated the honesty in being like, it’s still something you struggle with. You wrote a whole book about it, and you’re still like, “well I feel like I need to qualify everything about myself” and that sort of thing. And I appreciated the honesty there because that’s something that is so common in the ace community and aspec community where people are like, “well everyone else is like really happy with it,” and that’s fine. And it’s like, no it’s something that a lot of us still struggle with especially because we were raised with compulsory sexuality and it’s something to unlearn. And it’s difficult to apply to yourself sometimes.

ANGELA: And it can be harder for some people than it is for others. If you happen to be naturally someone who’s a little more shy or a little more anxious like I am, or you might have more trouble than someone who has a self-image of themselves that they’re a rebel anyway. It’s interesting though cause in the book of course because I wrote it, I have a lot of choice in how I present myself. And I think I read about this, but I was seriously tempted to really manage other people’s impressions of me. Even as I was writing about how compulsory sexuality is bad, there was a part of me that’s like, I really want to tell you about how cool I am, and I had to let go of that. And I had to be like, “I want to tell you these things but I’m not going to defend myself even when I’m saying that I shouldn’t have to defend myself.” Another example of that is I read about someone who is aromantic but not asexual and he is a man. And I read a little bit about how intellectually, of course, I know that people can be aromantic and asexual, they can be aromantic and not asexual but there were these gender stereotypes I kind of internalized. So I had this idea that a woman was allo and aromantic was badass and independent but a man, is he really? Or is this a way to justify bad behavior? And talking to him I think that was a surprise. It wasn’t a surprise, but it changed things for me. It made what I knew intellectually to be true to hear about his experience. It was kind of hard for me to write about that. To write about my own prejudices. But I feel like there is no purity. All of us have reactions where we just have to do our best to not go with our reactions but to go with our morals and our ethics. But I worry a little bit about that, about people accusing me of having gendered stereotypes, which I did and probably still do. 

(30:00)

KAYLA: I thought that was honestly one of the biggest points of the book for me where I really identified. That was one of the points in the book that I remembered the most because I had the same thing. I remember specifically a couple points in my journey of learning about asexuality where maybe when Sarah was explaining things or we had a friend — I don’t know that he is aro and not ace — but looking back, I can see how that was a lifestyle he was putting forth. I remember vividly having those same thoughts, “oh well that’s just a guy trying to have sex without feelings” and blah blah whatever, and seeing you write about it, and how you learned from that experience and learned from that interview was really huge, and like Sarah said, I really appreciated how honest you were about that because it allowed me to be honest with myself like, “oh yeah I thought that too and that’s probably not great.” But so did Angela. So we can both learn and be fine.

SARAH: And you showed that aces can have these prejudices too. If there’s an allo reading this book, it’s like, it’s okay, we literally all have this problem, we all have prejudices, there’s nothing that can be done about it. Just try and inform yourself and do better.

ANGELA: And I think it’s really hard for marginalized groups, any marginalized groups really to express their prejudices or express their ambivalence because we’re so used to digging in and defending our ground. So every time we’re like, “maybe I don’t always love being asexual,” or “maybe I have internalized acephobia” — it feels like you’re giving in to people who deny that asexuality doesn’t exist. We should all have the ability to speak honestly about complex conversations but we spend so much time still being like, “it’s not celibacy, it’s not necessarily anything bad, it’s not going to harm your life.” You feel like you don’t get the space to voice your true feelings.

KAYLA: Yeah. I think somewhat similarly but maybe not, and this is something that you covered in your book as well, is the intersection of race and asexuality as well. And obviously asexuality is very white, at least it looks very white from the outside and I think that’s one of the biggest issues in the community right now. Especially because kind of similarly to what you’re saying, our whole community is used to sticking our ground and saying “no we’re a real thing and we’re very progressive, we’re very accepting,” so when we’re faced with the idea of, “oh we’re kind of pretty racist sometimes,” it’s very hard as a community to accept we are not perfect and we have some things to work through. And that’s something I think you covered really well in the book as well.

ANGELA: Yeah, I mean both things can exist. This can be an affirming wonderful community that exists, and sometimes it’s not confirming and wonderful for everyone and people in the community do harm as people in every community do. But, defensiveness really shuts down the ability to hold those ideas together.

SARAH: Sort of similarly as well, I really appreciated that you spent so much time hammering home the idea that sex is in every way, political. I think it’s an incredibly important point and something I hadn’t really considered to a great extent prior to reading this book. Can you just explain the basis of what that means and why you felt it was important to emphasize?

ANGELA: Yeah absolutely. Asexuality, which is centered around not wanting something, so what is this thing that you don’t want? We have to define it. And there’s levels to the idea that sex is political. The first is — sex is totally socially constructed, right? When most people think of sex, they think of heterosexual penis-in-vagina sex. But that doesn’t have to be what sex is. Why is some stuff called “foreplay” and not sex? Around the world, the idea of what sex is is different. Not every culture sees kissing as romantic. We think of sex as this — someone called it “prehistoric,” like it’s this primal thing. Of course it’s filtered through the lens of culture. So that’s one way in which it’s very political. But the other way is, whatever your definition is, even if it’s going with the PIV definition, I don’t think you can separate it from politics. Women, especially, have been shamed and there’s double standards and if you’re straight, if you’re not cis, it’s so connected to what you believe about people’s rights. It’s connected to what you believe about how much desire people should have. It’s not just something that you can do that’s neutral. There’s so many morals of so many kinds attached to sex. All of that is connected to so many ways about so many other things. It’s intersected in people’s frameworks in many different ways. It’s not neutral is what I would say.

(35:00)

SARAH: Yeah and it intersects with identities like race and stuff too, like it’s all connected baby.

KAYLA: I think a common argument I feel like — or a comment from allos especially — like “oh it’s sex, it’s natural, it’s primal” like you were saying and especially for ace people that can be very alienating. And it’s a way that sex is used to prejudice like Sarah was saying, different races, the over-sexualization of black women or to prejudice against so many sexualities. It’s definitely not its own thing all on its own.

ANGELA: Even if it’s natural, that doesn’t mean it’s good. Murder’s probably natural in some sense too, but I think what is ethical is more important to think about than what is natural and what is normal and common. 

SARAH: People have been murdering each other for a long time. Doesn’t mean I recommend it. 

ANGELA: Exactly.

KAYLA: Speaking of the over-sexualization of black women, we before the podcast had mentioned to Angela that we wanted to talk about WAP and I also wanted to share some thoughts that Yasmin Benoit had who is actually in your book, which is awesome. She’s the only other ace person I’ve seen talking about WAP. WAP is a song by Cardi B about lots of sex things. So, kind of given the politics of sexuality and sex and something that you talk a lot about in the book which is very near and dear to my heart cause I did a research project about it in my feminism class, was the empowerment of women through sex and what that means for asexual people if the consent and having sex is good. What does that mean for me? 

SARAH: Is there a question here?

KAYLA: Just talking about WAP. We were interested, given everything you’ve written about, and this deep dive you’ve done into asexuality, what do you think about WAP? From an ace lens, what does it mean at all?

ANGELA: I have so many complicated feelings. The first time I saw it I was like, the video is fun but what is this “wet and gushy?” I didn’t realize I was listening to the clean version and I was like, this stuff doesn’t even grammatically make sense. I also have this thing where if I hear anything long enough I will just kind of warm-up to it, which I guess is a character flaw or something. So I mean I think it’s fun, I think it’s funny, I also think there’s so many layers to how I feel. I feel like there’s so many things happening in the song. So get ready for a close read of WAP.

SARAH: I’m ready.

ANGELA: There’s a part where she’s like, “I want this, I want that” and that’s her speaking about her desire, and I think maybe in some way it plays into the idea that if you want then you’re more feminist and fun than if you don’t. But I agree when people say male rappers have been talking about women for so long, like why shouldn’t they be able to talk about their own desire? I feel fine with that. And then there’s this other part, it’s mostly Megan’s verse, where it’s less about what she wants and it’s more about the power of her pussy basically, you know “bought a new phone, paid a tuition” and I feel like I have more ambivalent thoughts about that. I can see the value of talking frankly about sexuality but the idea that you are so valued for that, you are so powerful because you’re good at sex, I feel more ambivalent about. What I keep thinking about is, ten years ago, before I realized I was ace, I think my opinions would have been pretty much the same. It’s complicated, there’s good parts, there’s bad parts. But now that I am ace, I feel like I almost question myself more. Am I just saying this because I’m ace? Like of course, someone who’s ace would find this objectionable in some ways. Do you ever have an opinion and are like, is it “just because I’m ace?” I don’t think that even makes sense but there’s this voice in my head that I have.

(40:00)

SARAH: It’s not exactly the same for me because — I haven’t even listened to it at all, I’m like “I get the gist,” saw that horrible video of Ben Shapiro just reading the lyrics — and I know what’s happening and a lot of the lyrics make me very uncomfortable. But I’m almost going in the opposite direction where it’s like, I want women to be able to empower themselves however they want to. Women should be able to talk about this. Men do it all the time. So I’m almost in the other direction where I’m like, of course this is good. Then I’m like, well we also need to consider the other side of it. Empowerment is great and talking about this great but it shouldn’t be the only way to empower yourself. Or the only way to talk about sex.

ANGELA: I just sometimes feel like there’s not that much room. If you don’t love WAP, then you are Ben Shapiro. And I’m definitely not Ben Shapiro. So where’s the place where it’s kind of a feminist anthem but also kind of not a feminist anthem. And for me, I wrote this in the book and I like explicit content, I don’t have a problem with it. It just feels imbalanced. But I also don't know how to write a cool song. If I try to write a version of WAP, it would sound like Kidz Bop. I’m not the person to —

SARAH: Kidz WAP if you will.

ANGELA: Yeah, Kidz WAP what a horrible song. 

KAYLA: I think that’s a real thing and a hard thing to work through though. Like maybe I don’t like WAP and maybe it is because I’m ace. That doesn’t invalidate it. Like you said, if you don’t like WAP or some other feminist anthem, then people are just going to shut you down and say that you’re anti-feminist or you hate women or something like that.

SARAH: You’re Ben Shapiro. 

KAYLA: You’re Ben Shapiro. I saw something, I don’t know if it’s similar at all, but it feels similar to me, is people were recently making fun of Melania Trump for not speaking English well and also for dressing very scandalously when she was younger. And then a bunch of women were like, “well now I have to defend Melania Trump because even though I hate her, we can’t be talking about women like this.” And it feels like a kind of similar thing where you’re like, “okay I do want to critique this, but not for the reason you think.” 

ANGELA: Yeah exactly, and you’re like I will defend WAP against Ben Shapiro but if there were no Ben Shapiro, I’d feel more free to say some of my criticisms of it. 

SARAH: Everything’s just so binary. It’s either you love it or you hate it.

KAYLA: Ugh the binary.

SARAH: The binary is canceled. Cancel culture, please come for the binary. 

KAYLA: I do want to read what Yasmin wrote about it because I think it’s really interesting — her lens on it. This was from her stories but she sent screenshots to me when I asked, because.

SARAH: Wow.

KAYLA: Why not. 

SARAH: We have so much weight in the asexual community. We can get Yasmin to send us screenshots. 

KAYLA: Oh yeah, it’s big stuff. So basically some of what she was saying was she didn’t find it any different than Anaconda by Nicki Minaj, and kind of going more into the rap and the music which is interesting but not what we’re talking about. So, she basically was saying that if someone could find chart-topping songs by black women in the last few years that don’t contain lyrics about their genitals or having sex, then she’d be curious to know. So what she said was, “don’t let the media fool you into thinking it’s just cis straight men who cringed at WAP, and it’s anti-feminist for anyone to think that song and video just contributed to the wider issue of hypersexualization of black women in mainstream music. That narrative is just being pushed. The silence of voices of black women who are rightfully tired.” So I think it’s what we were just saying that there’s people who have legitimate concerns with this song but then they’re being shut down because it’s supposed to be this big anthem where rightfully so, black women may be like, “okay I’m tired of being sexualized this much,” even though it is Cardi B’s right to do that if she wishes. It’s very complicated.

ANGELA: I mean we just need an ace Cardi B. This will solve our problems.

KAYLA: God, that’s so true.

SARAH: We gotta find that person. Wow. Sorry, now I’m just thinking about WAP. This is a hard pivot but it was inevitable after talking about WAP. Is there anything that — you actually did mention earlier that there was stuff that didn’t make it in the book that you wanted to talk about. What were those things? What are things that you wish you could have gone into more detail on?

ANGEL: One thing I’m really interested in is the relationship between asexuality, aromanticism and beauty. I think a lot of people who are aro/ace get the “you’re so lucky — if I were aro/ace I would never care about how I looked.” Or I know people who are ace who are physically attractive and other people will say things like, “It’s a shame that you’re ace.” And there’s such loaded phrases. I wanted to explore that. Power and beauty and being aromantic and asexual. And I want to talk about dating more than I did. And I want to talk about — and maybe this is just me trying to burn myself again — write about my own hypocrisy again. I’ve never had an ace partner, explore how even though I am ace, it felt important to me to be sexually desired. What did that mean? Where did that come from? These are some of the topics I wanted to talk about more but didn’t have room for. 

KAYLA: Yeah I hope you do eventually have a place to talk about those. Or someone else. Because I think those are really interesting topics. Especially with beauty with Yasmin on the mind, she posted recently a picture of her modeling and a bunch of trolls were like, “you’re such a tease, what’s the point of you looking like that if you’re going to be asexual, it’s not fair to do that to us.” And it’s just this whole weird thing of like, well she wasn’t doing it for you anyway, get out of here!

SARAH: Literally after looking at that — I am the kind of person I don’t feel comfortable coming across as sexy or whatever — but after reading that post of Yasmin’s I was like, I guess I’m going to have to become a lingerie model too just to piss off all these people.

KAYLA: I know, it’s very complicated.

SARAH: (laughing) Yeah, I’ll do it.

ANGELA: And at the same time, like is it okay — it is okay — there are people who do dress sexy for others including ace people and that’s fine too. Ace experiences don’t need to invalidate each other because so many things feel burgeoning sometimes. People will be like, “this ace person did this” and use it to disprove another ace person.

SARAH: I even struggle with that myself because as a cis white person who is both aro and ace and also a woman — where asexuality is a little bit more accepted than for men — I’m like, you talked about being a gold star ace, obviously gold star aces don’t exist as you said in the book — I’m kind of close to what a gold star ace would be.

KAYLA: Not to brag but.

SARAH: I haven’t ever dated anyone but my identity is easier to explain to people than some other aspec identities. On one hand, I do want to simplify it so that you can understand me but on the other hand I want to make it clear that this is not the only way to be. And just because my identity is easier for you to understand doesn’t mean that you can just stop paying attention and stop trying, and that’s a fun thing to think about.

ANGELA: Yeah the way that almost every ace identity comes with asterisks — for me, I’m in a relationship and I’m not celibate. So of course there’s all of these questions about, “what does that mean” and “how are you ace?” Well, there are people who are sex-repulsed and it goes back to what we were saying. Sometimes it requires a TED Talk and that’s exhausting. And sometimes it doesn’t require a TED Talk but then you kind of feel like you need to give the TED Talk anyway just to cover your bases.

KAYLA: So speaking of dating, you wrote about your past relationships and your current relationships. So, obviously you wrote about it, but I’m curious about what your experience and relationship with dating has been and how your aceness has played into that.

ANGELA: I keep thinking that if I were to be single again I would be very afraid to date. Because each one of my relationships they were like long-distance, or we were Internet friends for a long time and then we basically transitioned from being friends to being romantic partners and now I’m just like, do I have the stamina to find people on the Internet and be friends with them for a year? No, I’m old now. I don’t have time for that. The older I get the more I’m like, the way that it’s typical for most liberal people to date, you know you hang out, you hook up, and you don’t have sex pretty soon in a relationship, that just doesn’t work for a lot of people. And I don’t even mean that it doesn’t work for ace people, it just doesn’t work for a lot of people in general. But it’s so normalized as the way to date and people don’t feel like there’s other ways. There was a professor at Boston University or something who fro extra credit let her students ask someone else out on a traditional date because she wanted to find ways of teaching them to find there were different ways of entering romance. Asking someone out officially is a little different from you know, you hook up at a club or it’s very unclear. So I think about that a lot. Dating really has a set script and I’ve kind of been lucky with it. But it took massive amounts of time and energy and I don’t want to not have to do that anymore but I think the reality is that we’re not quite ready for that if you want to strike an atypical romantic script you will have to put a lot more effort to do that.

(50:00)
SARAH: Dating has such a script that when we were in college the people who lived in our house with us all created a relationship spectrum to explain. People are always like, “I’m talking” or “we’re dating but we’re not exclusive” and we’re like, what does any of that mean? And so we made a whole spectrum and that is the standard script and you don’t necessarily have to follow it but so many people do that that there is a standard.

ANGELA: And maybe most people do this in college and as you get older you get more confident and you’re less afraid of not seeming normal, but especially when you’re younger it’s like I don’t want to create any more trouble for this person. You could just explain to someone that you’re ace, but sometimes that feels like, oh is that too early, do I need to wait, I think there’s so many questions around how to be “normal” around dating that makes things hard.

KAYLA: I think I experienced the same thing. The older I’ve gotten the more time have gone on, I’ve been more openly aspec. And throughout college, that’s something that was a bigger part of my life and towards the end of college when I was dating, I think it became a bigger thing of like, okay now I’m more openly demisexual now it’s a big part of my identity. And I’m dating again, I’m single again, I do have to address this, I can’t just date like normal people, because I tried and I didn’t like it, so I think it’s just this very awkward thing that as much as you want to go with what everyone else is doing, for me at least I physically couldn’t because it’s not what I actually wanted to do.

SARAH: You have to out yourself, then you have to give the TED Talk and then it’s just a whole thing.

KAYLA: One time I was out on a dating profile and I started dating a guy and he immediately told his friends I was demi so the first time I met them they were like, “oh so you’re demisexual what is that?” and it was just like, hello 10 new strangers I guess I’m giving you a TED Talk now and it’s like, why do we all have to do this?!

ANGELA: Yeah and I think that’s why for a while in between relationships I didn’t put that I was asexual on my dating profiles partly because I wanted to trick them. I think that was actually my motivation. In my mind I was like, okay if it’s not going well then it’s not going well, we can just stop seeing each other and we’ll never have to have the ace conversation. If it’s going well, then they’ll like me so much then we can have it then once they already have developed a connection. Which is as I’m talking about it, sounds manipulative and I think it was a little bit, but I just really did not want to have that conversation and I didn’t want to have it over and over again. I think now I’d do it differently. I’d be more open about it but at the time it was like, this just takes so much energy and I’m not going to deal with it if there’s not serious potential for us. 

KAYLA: I think that’s totally fair. Why would you want to put yourself through that.

SARAH: Emotional labor.

ANGELA: Yeah, it’s so much emotional labor. But it’s funny because even with me, sometimes I ask myself, am I out. It’s so stupid, you Google my name and the book will come up, yes. But for instance, my parents don’t know because they don’t really care about my career. And I don’t bring it up that much in conversation. You know we think about “out” as a binary like you’re out or you’re not, but I feel like I’m semi out and I think sometimes with asexuality, I think sometimes people think it’s gratuitous in a way that they don’t think it is if you’re gay. I don’t know if you would agree with that but I’ve talked to people who’ve said that, “I work at a conservative workplace and I don’t want to talk about asexuality to them because they’ll think that I’m literally talking about my sex life, whereas if I talk to them about being gay they’ll realize I’m talking about who I’m partnered with.” I think there’s elements of asexuality that sometimes make it harder to come out.

(55:00)

KAYLA: Correct me if I’m wrong Sarah, but Sarah and I both kind of live with that as well. Obviously, if you look us up there comes an asexual podcast — that’s very obvious. But I think it’s very easy to be straight passing — especially for me because I am also straight, but for Sarah as well because people just assume that you are. And so you have to actively come out to people if you want them to know. There’s no signs that you can be like, “oh I’m going on a date with this girl” and then you’re like, “oh they’re not straight probably.” There’s no casual way to be like, I’m ace, it’s fine.

SARAH: Yeah you have to bring it up. I’ve been told I give off very queer vibes.

KAYLA: You do.

SARAH: So sometimes people assume I’m queer but they’re never going to assume I’m ace because that’s not where people’s brains go and so it has to actively come up. I’m out on the Internet but I’m more out on Twitter than I’m on Facebook because it comes up more on Twitter. It’s a weird thing and technically the podcast is on my resume so sometimes that just comes up.

KAYLA: That’s a thing that’s weird that people at work know about it, and it’s like, we don’t have to talk about it but it’s fine. 

ANGELA: I have a slightly horrifying story about people and being out. So recently my boyfriend was like, “oh my mom asked if we were dating or just friends” and I was like, “what?” and he was like, “Mom we’ve been together for four years” and then she was like, “oh on Instagram I saw that she was writing a book about being asexual” and I was like, “I don’t know how she saw my Instagram, it’s protected but I’m so sorry you have to have this conversation with your mom and it’s just not a conversation I imagine anyone wants to have because it’s not even about you.” So there’s all these complicated parts of it right because people don’t assume and they don’t understand, there’s no casual way, it goes all back to the TED Talk. 

KAYLA: Oh god, that sounds not fun at all.

SARAH: I’m sorry to your boyfriend too.

ANGELA: Hard time.
SARAH: Alright, Kayla do you have any last questions before we wrap up?

KAYLA: I don’t think there’s anything specific. I think generally like do you have anything we didn’t cover that you really want to plug or really want to get into?

ANGELA: No I think this was a lot of fun and we covered a lot, and I think honestly and I say this because I’ve been talking to so many allo journalists but it’s really really nice to talk to fellow aces. Like it’s really nice not to have to be like “so there’s libido, and then there’s attraction” so thank you for having me on.

SARAH: Yeah, of course. We had Alice Osman who is a fiction author who recently wrote a book with an aro/ace protagonist on and she was like, “it’s so great talking to aspec interviewers so I don’t have to do the TED talk” and I’m like, “we’re happy to have ya.” Everyone write a book and come on our podcast.

KAYLA: Truly this was — I think we said this before we started recording — but this style of writing where it’s like, kind of research-y, kind of theoretical, kind of gender studies, is like my shit and what I would like to go back to school for one day if I could do whatever I wanted, so, honestly thank you for writing this book I just love it. 

ANGELA: I’m so glad. The funny thing is, you know people have been giving me feedback and by far I think the most common criticism is that it’s a little too dense.

KAYLA: I loved it.

ANGELA: First of all, if that’s the worst you can say about it, great, let’s stick to “it’s too dense,” the second I’m like, maybe I’m sorry not sorry. I’m also a very theory-oriented person and I guess it was inevitable it would be like that. So I’m glad you appreciate it is what I’m saying.

KAYLA: I have a couple friends who are like that too and I was like, as soon as this book comes out, you’re going to read it, and we’re going to have a nice theoretical talk about it. This has been the fangirl section of the podcast. 

(1:00:00)

SARAH: Good. So September 15th, 2020, that book is out, get it at your local indie bookseller. Don’t do that Amazon shit. Just going to throw that out there.

ANGELA: Bookshop!

SARAH: Yeah, it was excellent. As a person who’s that’s less my shit, I still had a very grand time reading it. Highly recommend to any of our listeners. Kayla, what is our poll for this week.

KAYLA: Oh…

SARAH: Are you going to read this book? Yes or yes?

KAYLA: That’s a good poll. 

SARAH: I think that’s the only poll really.

KAYLA: Probably. Do you have any burning questions that you want to put a poll out on Twitter for, Angela?

ANGELA: I don’t think so. 

KAYLA: This is the struggle we have at the end of every episode. Maybe I’ll think of something spicy in the meantime. 

SARAH: Well, just go to Twitter and find out what our poll is.

KAYLA: Who’s to say. 

SARAH: Kayla, what is your beef and your juice this week? Do you want me to go first?

KAYLA: Yeah, I don’t know why you ask me when you always go first anyway.

SARAH: It’s the script. We can just change it. So because we are recording this a couple weeks ahead of time, I tried to come up with a couple of timeless beef and juice. It’s also just vague. My timeless juice is just the concept of art. I like art. I was thinking about it the other day.

KAYLA: Dude, what the hell? 

SARAH: I think it’s good. My beef is that I miss everyone because it’s month 6 of quarantine and I don’t see people. That’s all.

KAYLA: That’s fair. My beef is that — oh god, I should really start preparing.

SARAH: Yeah you should, especially when we have guests on Kayla.

KAYLA: I know, it’s very rude of me, I’m sorry. My beef is that I’m currently between hobbies I think. If you know me you know every week there’s a new hobby and I’m between hobbies so I’ve been really bored. Animal Crossing is really sadly not doing it for me right now which is a very depressing thing to happen. I want to love it like I used to love it but I feel like it’s going away and it’s like I feel guilty about breaking up with someone.

SARAH: Your poor villagers!

KAYLA: Dude, I don’t know I feel really bad about it. Anyway, that’s my beef I guess. My juice is I’m eating Taco Bell soon. Also our discord is really great. I don’t know, I haven’t been in it recently but I’ve been watching like a stalker and it’s very sweet. 

SARAH: I like how my juice is the concept of art and yours is Taco Bell.

KAYLA: I’m hungry and there’s Taco Bell downstairs. What do you want from me?

SARAH: Well, Angela, we’ve given some examples of really the large spectrum of things you can say for your beef and juice so do you have a beef and juice this week?

ANGELA: Yeah I think mine are closer to Kayla’s. My beef is my own hair. This came up because I’ve been looking at myself as we’ve been doing this video and you know, quarantine, I haven’t cut my hair and all of a sudden I’m like why does it look like that? I don’t like this, and that’s my beef. And my juice is and this sounds like an ad or whatever is that I finally got Spotify Premium and it really changed my life. Cause I do it like running and you’d be at like mile 6, and you’d hear an iHop ad and it would kill any motivation I had. So now I’m like, wow I can skip and I can choose what song and it’s really helping me during this difficult time. 

SARAH: We love Spotify Premium. You can listen to our podcast on Spotify Premium, just going to throw that out there.
KAYLA: Spotify really confused me in how it worked until I got Premium because you weren’t allowed to shuffle or pick songs.

ANGELA: Right!

KAYLA: And this is definitely an ad but it saves you so much money! I used to have to buy complete musical cast albums which is $15 dollars per album — 

SARAH: I used to buy everything on iTunes.

KAYLA: And in a month I’m not going to want to listen to that musical anymore, I’m going to want to listen to a different musical and now I can do whatever I want, and it’s only like whatever amount of money it is I don’t remember it just comes off my credit card. Anyway, this has been our Spotify ad that no one is paying us for.
SARAH: Spotify, sponsor us! Alright, well you can find our poll — our mystery poll, who knows what it’ll be — and tell us about your beef, your juice on our social media @soundsfakepod. We also have a Patreon. Hi, it’s me, Sarah from the future, here to read you our patrons — patreon.com/soundsfakepod. Feel free to support us there. We have a new $2 patron Ariel Laxo, thank you Ariel. Our $5 patrons are Jennifer Smart, Asritha Vinnakota, Austin Le — nope can’t read, Austin Le, Perry Fiero, Dee, Quinn Pollock, Emily Collins, Bookmarvel, Changeling MX, Derrick and Carissa, Simona Sajmon, Jamie Jack, Jessica Shea, Ria Faustino, Daniel Walker, Livvy,

Madeline Askew, Lily, James, Corinne, AliceIsInSpace, Skye Simpson, Brooke Siegel, Ashley W , Savannah Cozart, Harry Haston-Dougan, SOUP, Amanda Kyker, Vishakh, Jacob Weber, Rory, Amberle Istar, and Rachel. Thank you for joining the party, Rachel, we appreciate you. Our $10 patrons are Kevin and Tessa @DirtyUncleKevin, @tessa_m_k, Arcnes who would like to promote the Trevor Project, Benjamin Ybarra who would like to promote Tabletop Games, anonymous who would like to promote Halloween — it’s coming up, spooky Halloween! Sarah McCoy who would like to promote Podcast From Planet Weird, my Aunt Jeannie who would like to promote Christopher’s Haven, Cassandra who would like to promote their modeling Instagram @liddowred, Doug Rice who would like to promote "Native" by Kaitlin Curtice, Maggie Capalbo who would like to promote her dogs Leia, Minnie, and Max, all very good dogs. H. Valdís, Purple Chickadee who would like to promote Initiative: Eau, Barefoot Backpacker who would like to promote the Biggest Book of Yes and also the fact that I heard his voice over the weekend at the lovely little Ace Con we did and he has a very soothing voice, just going to throw that out there. Also Ashlynn Boedecker who used to be a $5 patrol but bumped up to $10, thank you Ashlynn, she can be found @shlynnbo everywhere. Also she mentioned this when we asked her what she wanted to promote, she said she wanted to promote climate change but in a positive manner. I would like to add that climate change is a problem. It is literally yellow out in LA right now. So, I gave you a twofer there Ashlynn, always fun. Our $15 patrons are Nathaniel White - NathanielJWhiteDesigns.com, my mom Julie who would like to promote Free Mom Hugs, Sara Jones who is @eternalloli everywhere, Dia Chappell who would like to promote the Underrealm series by Garret Robinson, Andy A who would like to promote Being in unions and IWW, Martin Chiesel who would like to promote mental health and Dragonfly and who this week would like to promote recording the patrons from your bed, like it’s 2017 again. Yeah cool, back to Sarah from the past.

SARAH: Angela, before we go, where can the people find you?

ANGELA: Twitter’s the best place. My handle is @chengela, I thought it was very clever when I was in college, and I still kind of think it’s clever.

KAYLA: I think it’s pretty good.

SARAH: Yeah, that checks out. Do you have anything you’d like to promote other than your book of course?

ANGELA: No, it’s been all book all the time and I cannot wait until it’s out.

SARAH: Sounds great.

KAYLA: I’m very excited. I pre-ordered my physical copy and I’m very excited to get it. If you’re listening to this on Sunday, I feel like you can still pre-order it and you probably shouldn’t wait til Tuesday probably.

SARAH: I’m also going to order a hard copy just because I want it, so.

KAYLA: Just go buy it.

SARAH: Alright, well thank you so much for joining, Angela, thanks for listening and tune in next Sunday for more of us in your ears. 

KAYLA: And until then, take good care of your cows.