Musing | Demisexuality & Me

Okay. Here’s the thing.

I don’t really get attracted to people unless I know them well. The whole ‘ohh look at this topless guy, isn’t he hot?’ thing didn’t really kick in for me. (The exception is Tom Hiddleston, and even then I can guarantee you that that’s mainly because he’s so damn intelligent, and intelligence for me is something that I can totally get down with.)

I’d considered the possibility of being demisexual for a long while, but when Evan Edinger’s video on demisexuality was uploaded to YouTube, watching him discuss it and look so content doing that was truly refreshing. It made me look up the different kinds of sexuality that humanity has thus far considered again, just to familiarise myself.

I’d already known that I was bisexual, and I love it. I’m comfortable with it. I just love people, you know? (Though then that might be pansexuality. I’m not certain. I’ll get back to you on that.) And then to find out that there was a name for not being attracted to someone until you have a strong connection with them… It was a kind of relief, I suppose. I mean, I wasn’t agonising over it the way I did when I was discovering I liked women. But it was nice to know that it could have a label, if I wanted that.

So, yes. I could call myself demisexual, if I chose. No doubt the masses might go “there are more sexualities? More orientations?”

Yes, yes, yes. There are. There is so much more to sexuality than just on the other side of the fence or straddling it. And you should probably check these other labels all out. It’s the twenty-first century, people! It’s not just gay and lesbian anymore. And in all honesty, it never was. There have always been these sexualities.

They just never had names until the media age exploded and people could fully find themselves.

I am Lily. I am a twenty year-old bisexual, disabled white woman.

And I’m probably demisexual too.


Review | Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel


Paperback (Picador, 384 pages)

First published 2014; this edition published 2015

Rating on Goodreads: 3 stars

“An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.”

I won’t lie. I picked this up not because it was a post-apocalyptic novel, but because it in part tells the story of a nomadic troupe performing Shakespeare. And I happen to love both stories of nomadic troupes and Shakespeare’s writings.

What I got instead was a mix of human emotions and bonds as the characters fight for survival in a crumbling world where civilisation has fallen. Station Eleven is above all a tale of humanity, and I enjoyed it. Mandel’s writing is evocative, detailed. The characters – particularly Kirsten and Arthur – are well-crafted, and I found myself sympathising with them several times over the course of the novel.

I did expect a post-apocalyptic novel to be a little longer, and at times I couldn’t quite see the connections between characters nor the importance, but overall I liked this book. It had the elements of a post-apocalyptic novel that you’d expect, but Mandel took those and made them her own. Station Eleven is an original, intriguing piece of work, and if you enjoy post-apocalyptic novels, I’d definitely recommend checking it out.

Beauty | Clinique Chubby Sticks

Clinique-Chubby-Stick-Intense-Moisturizing-Lip-Colour-Balm  (photo: source)

Being somewhat shaky of hand at times, I find it tricky to apply lipsticks/balms/glosses and not make my mouth look like something the Joker would be proud of. When my mother handed me my first Chubby Stick a few months ago, I was intrigued. I went to apply it… and nearly whooped in joy. I could apply lip colour! Accurately! With no mess!


In that picture, I am wearing the colour no. 10 ‘Bountiful Blush’. I bought it a couple of months ago and it is gorgeous. Red lips without being too red. I have two Chubby Sticks, the other being the one my mother gave me, which is no. 07 ‘Super Strawberry’ and is more of a pink than ‘BB’ (see below).


Admittedly, it can take a few strokes of the Chubby Stick to apply a strong colour, but I really don’t mind that. The Chubby Sticks are wonderful, and I’m so happy I stumbled across them. I can use them quickly before going out shopping, or to a lecture, or for a more serious event, and my lips stay moisturised and colourful. They really give meaning to the phrase ‘no mess, no fuss’. I am so prone to messing up my makeup, but I haven’t messed up with these once. If you’re looking for an easy-to-apply lip colour that both moisturises and stays put, go and buy a Chubby Stick. They are so worth it.

Find the whole Chubby Stick range here.

Review | Vendetta – Catherine Doyle


Paperback (Chicken House, 339 pages)

First published 2015; this edition published 2015

Rating on Goodreads: 3 stars

“When five brothers move into the abandoned mansion in her neighbourhood, Sophie Gracewell’s life changes forever. Irresistibly drawn to bad boy Nicoli, Sophie finds herself falling into a criminal underworld governed by powerful families. As the boys’ dark secrets begin to come to light, Sophie is confronted with stinging truths about her own family, too. She must choose between two warring dynasties – the one she was born into, and the one she is falling in love with. When she does, blood will spill and hearts will break.”

If someone throws a book at me and says, ‘modern day Romeo and Juliet’, I’m sold. I bought Vendetta with increasing excitement, and quickly sat down to read it.

And I did enjoy it. It didn’t blow me away, but it was a quick, easy read. Easy except for a few key points, which were quite shocking and visceral. Barry Cunningham of Chicken House mentions that the book is like watching a movie, and I have to agree. The book is fast-paced and filled with action – as you’d expect from a book about a criminal underworld.

Sophie was wonderful as a character, but the most surprising character was Luca; I really didn’t think I’d like him as much as I ended up doing. I also had a soft spot for Valentino; I’m a sucker for soft-spoken, intellectual guys.

What I will say is that at points the book, even though fast-paced, had a few moments where it seemed to lag. I found myself almost skimming at those points – but overall, the book is a great young adult book, with a fresh new voice to add to the young adult fiction world.

Review | We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Paperback (Fourth Estate, 64 pages)

First published 2014; this edition published 2014

Rating on Goodreads: 4 stars

“What does “feminism” mean today? That is the question at the heart of We Should All Be Feminists, a personal, eloquently-argued essay – adapted from her much-viewed Tedx talk of the same name – by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of ‘Americanah’ and ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’. With humour and levity, here Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century – one rooted in inclusion and awareness. She shines a light not only on blatant discrimination, but also the more insidious, institutional behaviours that marginalise women around the world, in order to help readers of all walks of life better understand the often masked realities of sexual politics. Throughout, she draws extensively on her own experiences – in the U.S., in her native Nigeria – offering an artfully nuanced explanation of why the gender divide is harmful for women and men, alike. Argued in the same observant, witty and clever prose that has made Adichie a best-selling novelist, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman today – and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.”

I was aware of this, but didn’t pick it up until I was in the queue at my local Waterstones and saw it on the counter. Of course, I had to get it – I love any discourse on the concept of feminism. I am passionate about gender equality, and Adichie is equally so.

(I have not seen the TEDx talk that this essay is adapted from, so I am not influenced by it in this review.)

Adichie brings to the table a powerful yet simply written piece on feminism – and indeed, feminism in her native Nigeria. She writes eloquently but without density, and the essay reads beautifully. I found myself agreeing with every point she wrote, and finished the piece feeling both empowered and enlivened.

However, I do wish Adichie had spoken of including the trans* community in her essay. It seems that so many pieces are written on feminism, but are trans* exclusive. It is a shame, and for me it lets down the essay, but overall, this is a good starting point for an introduction to feminism. Short, sharp-witted, and straight to the point.

Review | The Humans – Matt Haig


Paperback (Canongate, 294 pages)

First published 2013; this edition published 2014

Rating on Goodreads: 4 stars

“Our hero, Professor Andrew Martin, is dead before the book even begins. As it turns out, though, he wasn’t a very nice man–as the alien imposter who now occupies his body discovers. Sent to Earth to destroy evidence that Andrew had solved a major mathematical problem, the alien soon finds himself learning more about the professor, his family, and “the humans” than he ever expected. When he begins to fall for his own wife and son–who have no idea he’s not the real Andrew–the alien must choose between completing his mission and returning home or finding a new home right here on Earth.”

This book. THIS BOOK.

Oh, I loved this. So much. I had never read any of Matt Haig’s work before – but I definitely will read more now. I was sent this as a Christmas present by a friend – and I am so glad she sent it.

It’s a book reminiscent of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker works and Michel Faber’s Under The Skin. You do get the sense of the alien’s confusion, his uncertainty. That comes across strongly, and the book is all the better for it. His confusion can be entertaining at times, but it is also both heartwarming and heartbreaking. His relationships with characters are touching and altogether human, despite his alien nature. (I think my favourite bond he shares is with Newton. Simple, but so lovely.)

The Humans is a triumph, to be honest with you. It’s the kind of book I wish I had the skill to write. Matt Haig is a wonderful writer. I will admit that I wanted to know more about Andrew’s integration into human society and wanted the book to be a little longer – but its shortness makes it all the more bittersweet. From the alien’s strength in logical understanding to his gradual comprehension of human instinct and emotions, this is an amazing piece of fiction. Loved it. Go read it.