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Hiya aces! Welcome to our first issue of 2020! Did you know 2020 marks four years of AVENues? Recently we have had some problems with our email. If you have tried to send us something and not gotten a response, please try again or message one of the staff on AVEN. I did want to note one change to AVENues – we have removed the classifieds section for now, in order to revamp it for future issues. If you are an ace content creator and want to be featured in AVENues, keep an eye out for future submission information! You can also email us for more information (avenues.submissions@gmail.com). Feliz Navidad, próspero año y felicidad! - scarletlatitude, Editor in chief AVENUES IS HIRING! (WELL, IT’S A VOLUNTEER POSITION, BUT YOU GET THE POINT.) WE NEED EDITORS, ARTISTS, WRITERS, EVERYONE! TO JOIN US, PM SCARLETLATITUDE ON AVEN. WE CAN’T WAIT TO HAVE YOU ON OUR TEAM!



Editor in Chief: scarletlatitude Layout: kelico Co-editors: Snao Cone, kelico, Iam9man, Scooter, Silhouettes1, Kikuka, CosinetheCat Creative Team: kelico, scarletlatitude, Kikuka

Content: kimmie, mexicanpotato, scarletlatitude Special thanks: • CustardCream • Milana Lattin • Michael Tannock












F eatured

in this issue


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IF YOU ARE ASEXUAL, IS THERE ANYTHING YOU HAVE WONDERED ABOUT BEING SEXUAL? What does sexual attraction feel like, and how would you describe it to someone who has never felt it? Like if you were explaining it to a group of middle schoolers in a sex ed class assuming that at least some of them had not had attractions yet. - Cierra J. Do you ever wish you did not have the inconvenience of the strong sexual desires? - Anonymous What does sexual attraction feel like? What is the difference between admiring someone’s looks objectively and finding them ‘cute’? - Anonymous Two things I’ve been thinking about. 1) how is sexual attraction not constantly distracting? 2) how do you deal with guilt(?)/messy situations where you are attracted to people who are in a happy, committed, relationship OR aren’t attracted to you/”don’t swing your way ”? - Anonymous What would differentiate romantic and sexual feelings for someone? Is there suddenly a drive to sleep with someone a certain mentality or is it just one the human body and sex drive taking over? - Grace What’s the first thing that crosses your mind when a family member/partner/friend comes out as asexual? - Niki I just can’t imagine that sexual people connect so much more with sex during they everyday life. Persons, situation, clothes, there are so many things you could see something sexual in and apparently many people do so, but it just blows my mind. - Jay Can people really see a random person walking on the street and think, “I want to have sex with him/her/them?” - Anonymous

WHAT DO YOU WISH “THE OTHER SIDE” KNEW ABOUT YOUR ORIENTATION (SEXUAL OR ACE)? I wish they knew how alienating it can feel to be ace spectrum even when you know there’s nothing wrong with being ace. At first, you don’t realize anything is different, until you suddenly feel like something is, and sometimes it isn’t a great feeling. It can feel like all of your friends are in on an inside joke at your expense, and you’re desperately trying to figure out what’s going on. It can create a divide where you don’t feel like you truly belong, and that’s hard. - Cierra J.

Q uestions

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I’m asexual and I am constantly surprised by how much of my life it affects and how little I am aware of this. Being asexual impacts my life goals (ex: not having kids) and my relationship priorities (ex: I sometimes value friendship more than some sexuals I know) and how I think about fictional characters (ex: “he’s an asshole but he’s attractive” just doesn’t work on me). Obviously, these can apply to sexual people as well but my sexual identity comes into play with all of those examples which I don’t think is the same for sexuals. And every once in a while, I’ll realize that it impacts something in a way I hadn’t thought about before. Be patient, I’m still figuring it all out, and it’s all very complicated. - Christa It is difficult being asexual and being mistreated in unimaginable ways just because of the lack of sexual desire. - Anonymous I wish that they would understand that anything is possible and that they should accept it if this exists. - Simisola That even though I don’t experience sexual attraction and don’t need sex in my life, aesthetic and platonic attraction are one heck of a drug and I get true fulfillment out of them. My life is not sad without sexual attraction - Anonymous If you are allosexual, there are two kind of people: people who you feel sexual attraction and people who you don’t. Now, imagine if only the people who you don’t feel attraction to existed. This is asexuality. Is not a phase. It’s us. - Guilli I want them to know that I’m not just waiting for someone and that I haven’t just “not found the right person yet” I’m asexual, this is who I am; “the right person” is not going to change that. - Anonymous We can probably give you good relationship advice from our different point of view - Anonymous I often think that we’re kind of ignored compared to other groups, so firstly, the fact that asexual people exist. Another is the multiple attraction model and the differences between them, specifically: sensual attraction and sexual attraction; I’m a highly sensual person, so I’ve had strong sensual platonic crushes that people often mistake as me being sexually attracted to them. - Anonymous I wish they would stop trying to ‘correct’ my sexuality. - Anonymous

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ARE YOU IN A RELATIONSHIP WHERE ONE OF YOU IS AN ACE AND THE OTHER IS SEXUAL? TELL US ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP. Yea, I’m ace and my boyfriend is sexual but we haven’t worked things out yet. But we recently started talking and he is very understanding. The challenge is for me to explore the little sexuality I have and come up with a thing or two I might want to try, and for him to settle with a little less than he’d need. But I’m optimistic. - Jay My first girlfriend broke up with me because I didn’t show enough sexual interest. I’m in a relationship with my wife since end of 2010, and we married in 2016. I thought I wanted to have sex back then, so we tried a few times, but it didn’t really work for me, and I didn’t enjoy it. My wife accepted it and soon stopped to ask for it. After realizing I was asexual in September 2019 and going to the local ace meeting, I told my wife. According to her, putting that label on myself doesn’t change anything in our relationship, she only had to give up hope that it’ll change. She is okay with us not having sex, because it never was important in our relationship. Still, I am very glad to have talked about it and very thankful for the supportive community. - Julian In my relationship, I’m asexual and my boyfriend is heterosexual. I don’t think he understands what that means and seems to get offended if I ask him not to touch me in a sexual way, or if I deny sex. It’s starting to wear on my mental state, and I’m thinking of ending the relationship as soon as I figure out how. That’s my issue, as well as where I’d live (because I only know him and like two other people in this whole town and might not be able to afford housing on my own). He’s not a bad person overall, but he refuses to ask me or go online to see what asexuality is, and it’s hurting our relationship. I sent him to AVEN for some info, but he wouldn’t even open the link. Before I told him I was ace, he had this habit of placing asexuals in the same category as trans and non-binary people, who he doesn’t understand and thus thinks they don’t exist/are faking their identities for attention. After I told him, he doesn’t bring it up anymore. Overall, up until recently things have gone smoothly, besides some difference of opinion. But I’m just about at my wit’s end pretending to be heterosexual just to make him happy. - Anonymous

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RING FIT ADVENTURE * All screen images are property of Nintendo

Review by Kimmie. PUBLISHER: NINTENDO AVAILABLE PLATFORMS: NINTENDO SWITCH LINK: https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/ringfit-adventure-switch/ This has been my experience with the Nintendo Switch game “Ring Fit Aventure”. First, to explain what kind of game it is, it is a fitness game -- think WiiFit -- but instead of a big board you use the Joy-cons. There are two pieces. One you strap to your upper leg and one on the device that have named the “Ringcon”. It is a big ring made of really flexible plastic. So why did I get it? Well, I am not really in shape. And because I don’t like gym environments, this was worth a try because who knows, maybe it will be fun. When you first start it up, you are greeted by a screen where you choose how much experience you have with working out. I chose not so much. Then, you put in your age and weight and gender. In gender you can say that you don’t want to say, and that will give you more of a general workout setup. Then you are introduced to the mechanics of the game like how you move. You do that by running on the spot - the faster you move, the faster your character moves. And then we have the Ring-con - by pressing it together you shoot out rings to break crates and open doors and things like that. And you stretch it out to pull things to you like a vacuum cleaner. You move on a fixed line, so you don’t have to think about turning. When you reach the stairs, you have to lift your knees higher. The same mechanic applies to walking in water. Now we come to the interesting part of the game. It is made like an RPG, so on your travels you will meet enemies, and you will be put into a classic turnbased combat system. But instead of attacks, you are doing workout moves, like 20 squats or overhead ring presses. When your turn is over you have to guard by doing a so called “ab guard” by pressing the ring in to your stomach. Now while Ii have explained the mechanics of the game, I should mention the story and design. The story is really simple - you, as player character, have accidentally freed the bodybuilder dragon Dragaux. He is the enemy and boss of the game. It is up to you and the ring (that talks by the way) to stop Dragaux.

G ame R eview


The game is really colorful in classic Nintendo fashion. Everything has a kind of fitness vibe to it. Every enemy looks like something you will find in a gym, like a kettlebell or similar. Now I will tell you about my experience with it. Day 1 So here we are as a person that rarely do any kind of workout more than biking to work. When I first started the game I was shown how to put on the leg strap and how I use the Ring-con. At the first level you are just running and shooting with the Ring-con. I had problems with the running at first. I had not 100% understood that I don’t have to lift my legs so high just move them really fast, plus I am not sure that the connection between the Switch and the Joy-con was perfect either. But when I started to understand it, it worked much better for me. I just had problems with running and using the Ring-con at the same time. I guess my brain had problems with concentrating on two things at once At the next level, the battles were introduced. I tried to use the attacks that focus on your lower body or core the most because that is where I want to work out the most. Every attack has a cooldown time, so I had to use some upper body ones too. When the second level was cleared, I decided to stop for the day, and I was really sweaty, so it was doing something right. So I hit the cooldown option and then I was given my workout results, like for how long I worked out, how many calories I burned (I take that number with some salt because it looks way too high) how long I spent running, how many of each workout move I did, etc. When that is done, the game asks if you want to stretch, and then you are given a health tip or an answer to a regular question like: I don’t want to be muscular just toned and the game tells you that getting a bodybuilder body takes years of hard work so you don’t have to worry about that if it is not your goal. Day 2 and forward Because my memory is bad and that I did not plan to write this text at first, I have not written any memos for what happened each day. But I can tell you this is worth the money because it has helped me start to exercise and it is way more fun than I thought it would be.

G ame R eview


Every time you start it up the game asks you if the difficulty is okay or if you want it easier or harder. I, so far, have kept going as it is. The boss fights are longer exercise routines that also sometimes includes some “mini games” like shoot the stones the boss is throwing at you. The thing so far is that I have hurt myself two times over the six times I played it, but that is more my fault than anything because I am so not used to working out. The first time it was right shoulder and the second time it was my right calf. Between levels there is also some mini games that you can play if you want like, such as shooting boxes by pressing the Ring-con, or shooting up things at a trampoline to hit coins by doing squats. Also, as you play you earn XP and level up When you reach certain levels you unlock new “attacks” or workouts that have either a more powerful attack or allow you to hit more enemies. One of those attacks is the plank, that I now hate. It is one of the most painful things I have ever done but Ii guess it gives results because it is really hard to do. After each level you are asked if you want to check your heart rate. You are doing that by putting your thumb over the Joy-cons censor Along with the result, it also gives you tips on how you should keep doing like if your workout is moderate or energetic, and if you should try to take it easy or keep doing as you are or even try a bit harder. I personally think that this is a really good first step to get in to exercise because you do work up a sweat. Because it works as a game, you always have a reason more than working out to keep playing. I like to play it and that means something coming from someone that is not into sports.

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G ame R eview


SHORT STORY CORNER “Freeze” by CustardCream Hannah stepped down onto the icy platform, scanning the benches for Maddie, who once again was looking very conspicuous in the same oversized purple and grey hat, the one that covered her hair completely. The pair had met a week earlier in a large London museum. Hannah had been indulging her love of history by wandering around the Ancient Greece section. Maddie had been examining the statue of a man in a nervous, creeping posture. She had made the mistake of stepping backwards at the exact moment that Hannah was passing behind her, almost knocking her over. Maddie had apologised, grinned at her, and claimed that the statue was responsible, as it reminded her of an old friend who was always trying to sneak up on her. They had giggled together and had spent the rest of the day enjoying each other’s company. Maddie had entertained Hannah with anecdotes from five years spent travelling the world seeking the perfect place for a studio, and how she had, much to her surprise, discovered the ideal property on the windswept British coastline. Maddie jumped to her feet as Hannah approached. “It’s so nice of you to come! I can’t wait to show you round my house! I just know you’ll love it!” Her striking green eyes sparkled as she wrapped her arms around her Hannah and pulled her into a tight hug. “I’m so glad you invited me… and I’m really looking forward to seeing your studio.” Hannah allowed herself to enjoy the jealous glances of some of the onlookers on the platform, while fervently hoping Maddie couldn’t tell she was crushing like crazy. They strolled out of the station and into the carpark, Maddie wrapping the coat and scarf tighter against the bitter wind and shivering slightly. “I just can’t get used to the British winter. I guess after four months in Australia it’s come as a bit of a shock. I live in hats and scarves, even indoors.” Hannah smiled as Maddie unlocked the car and ushered her in. “I know! It was

S hort S tory C orner


warm in the museum, but you wouldn’t take your hat off, remember?” “Yes, that’s true! And the new house is not very warm either, probably because it’s right next to the sea. Apart from that, it’s absolutely perfect, wait and see.” They chatted amiably during the drive. Hannah wondered if Maddie would be quite so comfortable if she realised how Hannah felt about her, especially as Maddie had been so open about being asexual. The house turned out to be a large Victorian villa. Maddie gave the grand tour, pointing out some stunning original features, plus those she had renovated, including fireplaces, tiling and stained glass. She waited until the end of the tour to take Hannah through to the studio, with its beautiful views over the sea. Hannah wandered around, admiring the eight or nine statues scattered in random locations around the room. They were far bigger and more accomplished than she had expected; life-sized sculptures of young, attractive people in natural poses, all very correct and accomplished. Something was bothering Hannah as she walked around the room and admired the work. It took her a while to pinpoint it, but eventually she realised that there were no half-finished pieces there, not even blocks of marble waiting to be worked. No tools. No stone dust. No evidence of recent activity at all. The room was immaculate, more like a museum than a studio. It took her a few seconds to realise that Maddie, still standing in the doorway, was talking again. “This is the first time I’ve had a home of my own, you know. I’ve never stayed long in one place before, or even lived alone. I always had a roommate or two to help pay the bills. I hated having to leave my friends behind and move on. I just want to settle down now. It feels right.” She finally stepped into the room, removing her coat and draping it around the shoulders of the statue of a striking young man with strong cheekbones, as if worried he was getting cold. “There you go, Ryan! You really rock that look! Don’t you agree, Hannah?” “Yes. Very cute. Aren’t you working on any new pieces at the moment, Maddie?” Maddie finished fidgeting with the coat and turned to Hannah with a slight smile. “I’m about to start work on another one very soon. And my name isn’t Maddie, I’m afraid. I should have corrected you at the museum, but it was so noisy, and I was embarrassed, and then it was too late. It’s Meddie, actually. Well, kind of, anyway. I mean, that’s a shorted version of my real name, but it’s what I like to be called. Don’t worry, everyone gets it wrong at first.” She turned back to the statue, removed her hat and popped it on his head. “The perfect finishing touch, don’t you think?” Hannah didn’t respond. She simply stood, completely still and open mouthed, staring at her friend. “I’m so sorry, Hannah. I can see the shape of people thoughts, you know. Always could. It was obvious you were really into me. You wanted to be my special person, right? Well, you can stay here with me as long as you like. I’ll take good care of you, don’t worry.”

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She retrieved her hat and moved across to where Hannah was still standing silently, reaching up to run her fingers over Hannah’s cold, hard face before leaning forward to kiss the white marble lips. Her snakes writhed and hissed jealously, and started to coil themselves around Hannah’s neck. She tugged them away crossly. “Do you mind if I use your debit card to buy some groceries? I didn’t think so. Thanks sweetie.” She wandered off in search of Hannah’s bag, tucking the snakes back inside her hat as she walked away. copyright Custard Cream 2019

POETRY PODIUM “Ace” by Milana Lattin

It’s hard to feel like I belong when it seems everyone wants someonea significant other, someone to kiss. Guess what? I’m single and happy like this. I’ve always accepted that I’m a bit strange, but would life be easier if I could change? When my friends had crushes, I didn’t get what it was. I went along with it, just because. I figured I was a late bloomer. Some girls just liked boys sooner. I thought I had crushes, but I wasn’t surewas it different with boys than it was with girls? I pretend I get it when my roommates talk about wanting a boyfriend and guys being hot. In high school I wondered, is there something wrong? No, I told myself, attraction will come. It didn’t. Now I’m in college and I’m pretty sure I’m asexual, or ace if you prefer. “Ace” copyright Milana Lattin 2019

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“Lying” by Milana Lattin I say yes to the movie, we talk and we laugh. I allow him to pay after I try to pay back. I like being close and I have a good time, But all the while I feel like I’m lying. I share personal stories and ask what he likes. We get past the small talk and speak about life. We don’t call it a date and with that I’m fine, But all the while I feel like I’m lying. It’s weird to mention attraction and goals. I don’t want your jacket- please let me be cold. I like that you’re nice and thoughtful and kind, But all the while I feel like I’m lying. I just want to be friends; is that so bad to say? I’m pretty sure you think in a different way. If I were to say it, I’d be out of line, But all the while I feel like I’m lying. “Lying” copyright Milana Lattin 2019

P oetry P odium


Painting Gallery RING By AceArchdemon

P ainting G allery




By Michael Tannock

P ainting G allery


MEMBER HIGHLIGHT: ALL AVENUES STAFF! We decided to change it up this issue – instead of one interview, we did five!

1) HOW DID YOU FIRST LEARN ABOUT ASEXUALITY AND/OR AVEN? Kimmie: I can’t remember how I learned about asexuality; I just know that I didn’t care about having sex. But I remember googling for a “are you asexual test” and found one that said probably. And how did I find AVEN well google jet again. I started by looking around and read threads, but I did not get any good answers to my own questions, so I made an account and the rest is history. kelico: I saw an article that was shared on Facebook about gray-asexuality...and at the time I was really questioning myself. I read that and was like “waaaaaiiiit that could be me”! I didn’t think much about it until a few months later when I did some searching and came across AVEN. Then I learned about asexuality and where I fit. mexicanpotato: I was really sure I wasn’t straight but didn’t felt like lesbian or bi were my orientation. So, I googled “sexual orientations” and asexuality was there, and I was like “that’s me”. And I learned about AVEN watching Ash Hardell’s ABC’s of LGBT. Kikuka: From high school I joked that “I wished I were a lesbian” or that I was probably an ameba. I don’t remember where the joke arose from, but by the time college rolled around I was telling friends I was probably just a plant and using the term “asexual” without realizing it had a community and AVEN. In 2011 I found the AVEN community and all my non-serious quips clicked into “oh. It’s a real thing.” scarletlatitude: I saw an article on Facebook about an asexual couple. It got me interested, because I had never heard of it before. So I googled “asexuality ”, and AVEN came up… and here we are!

2) WHY DO YOU THINK ASEXUAL VISIBILITY IS IMPORTANT? Kimmie: Because if more people know about asexuality and what it actually is people will be more understanding and it will also help others that are thinking that there something wrong with them see that they are not alone and that there is nothing wrong with being ace. kelico: Because not enough people know about asexuality. There’s still so much judgment when someone does come out as ace. If there were more visibility, people that are ace would be more comfortable in their identities. mexicanpotato: Well, most people think of asexuality as a joke, something nonexistent or don’t even know about its existence, so I think it’s something really important so aces can feel welcome, safe and understood. Kikuka: If asexuality had been more visible 10 years ago, I wouldn’t have M ember H ighlight


turned myself into a joke for all those years while I felt like I was broken. I spent so long not understanding, and I believe that greater visibility will prevent young people from going through the same experience of not knowing or wishing they were something else. scarletlatitude: If I had known I was ace as a teenager, it would have made life so much easier. I always assumed I was just waiting for “the one” because I wasn’t interested in anyone. It makes much more sense that I’m ace/aro.

3) WHAT DO YOU DO DURING THE HOLIDAYS (NOV-DEC)? Kimmie: During Christmas it is almost just stress around to several Christmas family gatherings. So no not much time to relax. But I will see my uncle again for the first time after he got blood cancer which I really look forward to. kelico: About the same that I do the rest of the year...except there’s presents for Christmas and extra food for Thanksgiving! I still live at home with my parents and brother, so every day is a family gathering, if you will. mexicanpotato: I stop going to school around December 20th and the rest of December is spent with my family, my grandparents come for New Year and this year my friends and I organized a Christmas dinner. I’m Mexican so no Thanksgiving for me, but I do love a good Christmas dinner. Kikuka: Seasonal depression hits hard during the holidays, and work goes into overdrive, so I turn into one of those people who doesn’t want to leave their house. In theory I really love the holiday season, but in actuality I struggle through it. Nothing stops me from enjoying my faves like eggnog and pumpkin pie though. scarletlatitude: I’m a teacher so I get time off of work. I usually use that time to get ahead on lesson plan stuff for the rest of the school year. I also do a lot of work for my dissertation. Time off of work leaves time for other things, I guess. My family does do a smaller Christmas celebration and dinner. It’s not that big of a deal anymore since we are all grown. We do it whenever we all have the time.

4) IF YOU COULD MORPH INTO ANYTHING (LITERALLY ANYTHING), WHAT WOULD YOU MORPH INTO AND WHY? Kimmie: I think most people that know me here can guess what I will answer but a human female so I finally can be my real self. But to be more imaginative maybe a cat or fox girl if that include the society being accepting. kelico: Hmm...that’s a tough question. I’d probably morph into a dog, a thoroughly loved and spoiled dog. Who wouldn’t want that life? I think of my own pupper, and she has the BEST life ever. I want that life. mexicanpotato: Good question. Maybe a dog, everyone loves dogs, dogs don’t have anything to worry about. Kikuka: I think I’d wanna be a dog. Specifically, I think I’d wanna be my own dogs. Those girls are spoiled rotten and loved a lot. For a more serious answer, I think I’d want to morph into a less anxious/more confident person.

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scarletlatitude: A cat who is owned by a rich old lady who spends all her time and money on her cats

5) SWEET OR SOUR? Kimmie: Why not both? kelico: Sweet!! mexicanpotato: Love both, but sweet is sometimes too sweet and sour isn’t too sour often so I’ll pick sour. Kikuka: SWEET!! scarletlatitude: both


ASEXY PUZZLE: SUDOKU Enter numbers in the empty squares so that the numbers 1-9 appear only once in each row, column and box.

A sexy P uzzle


Our April/May/June issue is on platonic relationships! These can be friendships, QPRs (queer platonic relationships), or anything similar. How have your orientations impacted your platonic relationships? FILL OUT OUR QUESTION OF THE MONTH FORM HERE: https://forms.gle/7TncPpchEmFPTrwk6 If you would like to send us a longer piece, email us at avenues.submissions@gmail.com. REMEMBER,WE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR ARTICLES AND ARTWORK TO ADD TO AVENUES! • To submit creative works, please go here: https://goo.gl/forms/QQqfdfOR69niJFoP2 • All creative works also need to be submitted through our copyrights form: https://goo.gl/forms/ciEyCwNew5wjuzVg1 • Send us your asexy jokes and puns here: https://goo.gl/forms/Rg4vlY6XZ7c17bNJ3 • You may also send a private message to any of the AVENues staff on AVEN


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AVENues Newsletter: Winter 2020  

A newsletter for the community, by the community. This issue's theme is "The Other Side." What do we mean by that? Questions asexuals have f...

AVENues Newsletter: Winter 2020  

A newsletter for the community, by the community. This issue's theme is "The Other Side." What do we mean by that? Questions asexuals have f...

Profile for avenues1