Hello again! For the 5th day of AAW we’ve got another interview for you. Matthew J. Metzger kindly (and he may kill us for saying anything good about him, but we’ll risk it) agreed to answer some of our questions. Read on to find out his answers!
We want to welcome you to From Top to Bottom Reviews and thank you for agreeing to this interview. We’re very happy to have you here during Asexual Awareness Week. We know some of the questions we’re asking can be a bit personal, but please don’t feel obligated to answer if you don’t want to.
Are you ready? Let’s go, then!
When did you first hear about asexuality?
Probably around 2010. I was at university and in my first relationship and I remember saying to a friend that I might be asexual. I don’t know how I came across the information, definitely online but where I’ve no idea! My AVEN membership says it started early 2011 so around that time.
How long did it take you to realise you’re asexual? How did you know?
Oooh, long story. I was 20 when I got to hear of it and it clicked very fast that that was what I was. Before then, though, it was a lot of confusion. I was still a girl (ha!) and went to an all girls school (woo…) so assumed I hadn’t met the right guy. Why would I want to date anyone from my shitty hometown, right? Only then I went to university, with lots of guys I liked as friends but never more. Guys and girls alike showed interest, but I never felt it back. And then I got a girlfriend, and one day she said she really wanted to sleep with me. And I was like…nah. It wasn’t even a strong ew no response. I just didn’t care. And that’s when I think I realised that there was something else at play, not just missing the right person.
Now, I’m 26 and I know I was right that winter. I’m just not interested, never have been, never will be, and I’m so much happier when I’m not worrying about it and trying to make it change.
What would you like to see in terms of ace representation?
More explicitness, not ‘oh he’s 56 and never married’ hints. Say it! Say it out loud! And more neurotypical and cis aces. I know this sounds odd coming from a trans guy with a LOT of mental health problems, but hear me out: when I first came out as ace, there was only hinted rep and from neuro-atypical people or literal aliens (the three S’s: Spock, Sheldon and Sherlock). And normally the rep was fanlogic, not explicit canon. So people assumed if I was ace, it was tied up in my mental health.
Then when I came out as trans in 2014, suddenly my asexuality was completely normal and never questioned again. Because of course I was ace! I mustn’t want sex because of dysphoria, and certainly nobody else would want to be dating me, right?
Both were awful experiences and assumptions so weirdly, I would like to see more aces without that intersection. I’d like to be able to point at aces where people *can’t* attribute their asexuality to something else, to a cause, and say, “Look, see, it doesn’t work like that.”
You’re an author: is there a story you really want to tell? If there is, can you tell us a bit about it?
At Euro Pride Con last June, someone asked a really good question: How do you rep aro ace people (like me) in romance? And I didn’t have an answer. I drew a blank.
Then in August I started going out with my current boyfriend. He’s ace, but not aro. And I thought, “This is how!”
So it’s not a current project, and I’ve no title or characters or anything yet, but brewing on the white board at home is a story about how an aro ace gets into a romantic relationship, and how the other party has to learn and handle that they don’t love each other quite the same.
If people would just learn one thing about asexuality today, what would you like that thing to be?
It’s not all about sex. It’s about attraction, relationships, love, and intimacy. Just like all the other orientations.
And finally, what would you tell someone that’s struggling with their own asexuality?
Maybe they’re wondering where they fit in the spectrum, or maybe they’ve just realized they do fit but don’t really know where that leaves them now.
It’s not a barrier. There are aces all over the world living happy, fulfilled lives, alone or with partners or with whole football teams of kids. It doesn’t stop you from doing any of that. You’ll be fine.
That’s it for today. Again, thank you so much for being here with us! We hope you had a good time!
About the Author:
Matthew J. Metzger is the front for a British author currently living in Bristol. As much a character as those in his books, Matthew is a good-for-nothing layabout masquerading as a productive and useful member of society. It’s not working.
Both Matthew and his author are queer as they come, a little screwed up in the head, and thoroughly British and blasé about pretty much everything. Matthew may write romance, but it’s romance with the gritty bits in!
If you want to know more about asexuality or have questions, we’d advice you to check out AVEN. The Asexual Visibility and Education Network, which we found really helpful.
Previous Asexual Awareness Week Posts:
Sunday – Our Experience with Asexuality
Monday – Author Interview with Elyse Springer
Tuesday – Guest Post by Kyell Gold
Wednesday – Our Fave Books in romance with Ace Characters