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Douglas Family Gold: Last Days of Summer

Douglas Family Gold podcast recap

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THIS WEEK’S EPISODE

This week in Douglas Family Gold (S1 E4), Jessica, Spencer and Spanny recap the episode and discuss:

  • Real Moment of the Week Awards (2:00)
  • Recap with actual gymnastics! (4:00)
  • John wants to “prank” the family by tasering them in the outdoors. (9:15)
  • Jessica responds to criticism from the asexual community after last week’s discussion of whether or not Gabby has, or is ready for a relationship and the ancient trope of the romantically immature gymnast.  (24:30) Resource links below. 

RELATED LINKS

  • Watch episodes of Douglas Family Gold here.
  • Ages and stages of healthy human sexual development from Darkness To Light and ACT of Youth
  • John Oliver video on terrifying lack of sex education in US. Only 13 states require medically accurate sex Ed. 
  • Asexual Visibility & Education Network 

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8 COMMENTS

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Shannon
Shannon
6 years ago

I\’ll just say this. As someone who is asexual I listened to this weeks podcast after a friend told me it seemed like asexuality came up. I haven\’t been listening as I don\’t waste my time on reality tv. I\’ve never liked it. The apology did come across as sincere even if it was followed up with 15 minutes of discussion about sex. Not exactly what I was expecting when seeing that Jessica was talking to the asexual community, haha. That being said though, I just listened to the episode which caused the issue and I have absolutely no idea how Jessica was surprised by how people took it. She literally says that if you don\’t have a boyfriend by 19 and want to have sex, there is something wrong with you. When Spanny argues that you don\’t need a boyfriend to make you feel appreciate outside of the gym and friends can do that, she literally says \”but you can\’t have sex with your friends.\” SO WHAT?!?!?!?! Why why why does Gabby need to have sex with anyone in order to feel good about herself outside of the gym? I\’m asexual so I\’ll never understand this, but my best friends aren\’t and none of them had any relationships until they were done with college and didn\’t have that much sense and there was nothing wrong with them.

I don\’t want to make this a big issue and have this comment read on next weeks podcast but I did feel the need to point out how awful the comments Jessica said made me feel, especially the whole \”Asexual I don\’t want to hear from you\” thing. It made me cry at my desk at work which I don\’t ever do, but well when someone tells you how you feel is completely not needed, you get upset. Gabby is an adult and can do whatever she wants. Can we stop discussing Gabby\’s sexual life on the podcast? Thanks.

Shannon
Shannon
6 years ago
Reply to  Shannon

Woops typo

I\’m asexual so I\’ll never understand this, but my best friends aren\’t and none of them had any relationships until they were done with college and didn\’t have that much *sex and there was nothing wrong with them.

Nines
Nines
6 years ago

I agree with every single word that Shannon said!
I am not asexual, but I wasn\’t thinking about sex either when I was 19. My body, my decision. And there is nothing wrong with that, nor with me. There is no norm to what individuals decide to do or not do with their bodies, nor to what they feel like doing or not doing.
You are absolutely nobody to discuss or judge a person for their sex life, and most definitely not a gymnast.

ts
ts
6 years ago

Yep, I still agree with the above (and previous commenters). I also had to laugh at being addressed as part of the “asexual community,” because I’m not asexual — I just feel strongly that people should be free to make their own decisions about their bodies, including if, when, and how they pursue sexual relationships, and NO ONE has the right to say they aren’t normal. Not being average or typical is not the same as being abnormal.

Erin
6 years ago

I appreciate Jessica’s apology. I felt like she came across as sincere and open to learning new perspectives. For me, at least, the effort to move away from the normal/abnormal language does to a large extent resolve my problems with her previous remarks.

I had to do some soul searching to understand why I’d had such a strong and unexpected reaction to comments made by someone I didn’t know. As an asexual person, I have spent my whole life receiving subtle and not-so-subtle messages that I am wrong, abnormal, sick, and broken because I don’t have sexual feelings or attraction. I am in my late 30s and didn’t even know that asexuality EXISTED until a couple years ago, and I didn’t adopt it as an identity until about 4 or 5 months ago. Before realizing that I was asexual, I just thought I was fundamentally flawed in this deeply shameful way because I just couldn’t make myself be attracted to anyone.

My shame about my orientation (which I didn’t have a word for, didn’t even know was an orientation) led me to force myself to engage in sexual activity that I didn’t want to do–just to be “normal.” I also experienced nonconsentual sex on several occasions because I didn’t realize that just because someone wanted to have sex with me didn’t mean it had to happen. I thought my not wanting it to happen was “abnormal,” and I wanted desperately to fix myself. I am now struggling with a lot of trauma issues as a result of a life time of trying to pass for “normal”–you can see, I hope, why the word “normal” is such an issue for me.

So when I heard Jessica’s statements on the DFG preview episode, I had a flash of inspiration. Here is a show where I’ve heard a lot of support for LGBT+ people, and hosts who are my kind of people–anti-racist, feminist, etc. I thought, I’m going to speak up. For the first time ever, I’m going to say something. I wanted to be a voice for my community, just in case some other person out there is listening to this and hearing that they are not okay because they are over 19 and not wanting to have sex or date.

So I wrote an email to the show, asking Jessica to consider that her language might have been inadvertently damaging to asexuals. I had this whole fantasy that Jessica would address it on the next podcast, saying, “You know, I didn’t realize. I never intended to hurt anyone. Thanks for pointing it out. Here are some places listeners can go to find out more about asexuality….” Instead I heard, “don’t send me any more emails, asexuals,” followed by more statements about how not wanting to date, have boyfriends, and have sex is unhealthy and abnormal.

At the beginning of this episode, Jessica read off a review comment in which the reviewer said something about loving the show and feeling like the contributors were people you could be friends with. I have felt the same way about this podcast for a long time, that these were my kind of people–and that’s why Jessica’s comment about “don’t send me anymore emails asexual people” really hurt me far more than I expected. I thought I was writing to allies, so the perceived rejection was extremely painful, particularly when this was the first risk like this I’d taken. I appreciate the poster above who said that she cried at her desk–I had a very similar reaction of just terrible sadness and alienation, and I felt like I’d lost a “friend.” It literally messed me up for a few days.

So I do appreciate Jessica’s apology, and I’m willing to accept that she didn’t intentionally say anything to harm anyone.

However, I do wonder why she didn’t include any links to asexuality resources in the show notes. While I appreciate her view that silence and shame surrounding sexuality is extremely harmful, so is silence and shame about asexuality. People need to understand that expressing sexuality is healthy and natural, but they also need to understand that lack of sexual attraction is ALSO healthy and natural. There is no normal. As my story demonstrates, lack of awareness about asexuality caused me to participate in my own sexual abuse in the name of trying to be normal, resulting in significant suffering–and I have learned that this happens quite frequently to asexuals.

As a side note: It’s also interesting how asexuality can intersect with elite gymnastics. I wasn’t a gymnast, but I as a professional ballet dancer. Until I retired, I used the excuse of “I’m too busy…I have to focus on my art..I don’t have time to date” to try to explain away my lack of interest in men. It was a very convenient excuse that I have no doubt asexual gymnasts are very grateful to have.

I again refer anyone reading this to asexuality.org for a primer on asexual awareness. I also refer asexual survivors of abuse and rape to asexualsurvivors.org for more support and resources.

Thank you, Jessica, for addressing these issues. I will remain a faithful listener.

Erin
6 years ago
Reply to  GymCasticCrew

Your response made my day. Thank you!
Now, can we discuss where the show went terribly wrong this week with the offensively ignorant BDSM definitions….
😉

Shannon
Shannon
6 years ago
Reply to  Erin

Hey Erin. I just wanted to say that I appreciate your comment so much and can relate so much. I’m with you with not knowing what asexuality really was and feeling relieved when I heard a word that explained who I was. It’s always been how I am but I could at least have a label of some sort on it.

I can’t even say sorry enough to hear about the abuse you brought up because I haven’t gone through that to the extent you may have. Sexuality is a hard thing to really talk about because a lot of the time people tend to want to put it in boxes and it’s not that easy. Just because one person starts dating as soon as they’re able doesn’t mean that’s what works for everyone. As someone whose asexual you know more than anyone of course how hard that truly is for us. So much of what people talk about when they grow up as “life lessons” is who your first crush is, your first kiss, your first date, things like that. Well, what do you do when they’re like us and don’t really have any of those stories because you never really wanted that and don’t understand why sex is such an important thing?

I do understand the point Jessica was trying to make but honestly I feel like sex is literally everywhere now. Any kid can go online read up what it is if they have questions about any part of it or how to get birth control. It’s still an important thing for people to know of course but there are a lot more options than there used to be. It gets to be a bit too much. I just never expected it on a gymnastics podcast and I definitely didn’t expect to feel rejected either.

Anyway I put my site on here as my twitter name. If you have an account or ever want to talk, add me!

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