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Superficial Solstice: Sakura and Asexuality


Yaye Zakura: This Japanese cherry-tree goddess was a beautiful young woman each spring. She remained celibate while her beauty lasted, only taking lovers when her petals had fallen.
Far East Realm

In an earlier post. I semi-paraphrased an angry make reader who felt the the Superficial issue “Our Fiends and Neighbors” was sexists for it featured Asali an ascetic priest, a blue eunuch, or in the ballet Sheheazade,”Blue Dieu” who was Sakura other half. The reader especially took offense that Asali was surrounded by pretty girls on the Jasian family en route to Nami Solstice party. To the reader, this would be torture to a castrated man (even though Sydney is castrated by choice for religious reasons) and the whole set up was cruel.

Shinoda Bolen on Sigfried upon meeting Brunhilde:
This affects him like the first pangs of falling in love, which for men commonly is in response to a woman’s appearance.

In love making the woman is often the mother as well as the lover.

I had no idea that I was being cruel. For as a woman and an asexual one at that, it never occurred to me to see beautiful single men as fresh fruit to be picked the way the reader in question painted men attitudes out to be toward women. This argument inspired me to change the story of the final issue of Superficial, “Superficial Solstice”, bring awareness to asexuality and to establish that HipChick Comics is not about a bunch of women looking for love. Goddesses are too busy for that—-save Aphrodite.

Sakura is a virgin goddess. To reference Jean Shinoda Bolen’s Goddess in Everyworman, “Kura takes after Artemis. She’s a forest goddess who channels her energies into competition and activism. However, unlike Artemis, Sakura defends her animals. She is the Shinto pantheon’s mother nature and her job is to balance life on the Japanese archipelago. Poachers and invasive species are her enemies who has time for unpredictable ordeal of madness and pregnancy scares that is a heterosexual relationship? The human side of the character is a baller dancer and in that competitive world, there is not time to rush to the gynecologist to flush the result of faulty contraception. Being sexually active is expensive for a woman.


In the final comic, Loki has fallen for Sakura. He had been stalking her since their violent encounter in the second issue leaving Sakura with an ominous feeling that she was being hunted. Through the counseling of Hermes and those closest to his cherry goddess, he learns to respect Sakura’s boundaries and befriend her. The outcome parallels Free to Be You and Me’s version of Atlanta. There are no golden apples for Aphrodite to trick Sakura with. The meddling goddess of love rescinds her lusty powers when Artemis, Persephone and Athena come to Sakura’s defense. Nami even lays her rivalry with her smaller elder sister aside to bolster the issue and her friend Athena proudly looks on.

There is nothing quite as sad as reluctant virgin sold to the highest bidder by her family of society expectations of her fecundity.

I have found to two references that describe Sakura as the ethereal being and the virgin goddess. The woman who is trying to protect her powers as a virgin or chaste being:

The Ballerina is ethereal whereas before the female dancer was an object of desire.
-Ballerina narrated by Diane Baker

For Loki who loves Sakura, and men like him, he everything to gain. However, for Sakura, there is a real psychological change–and she doesn’t like it!

Loss of Virginity as Psychological Transformation
from Ring of Power by Jean Shinoda Bolen

Brunnhilde loves Siegfried but is terrified as a physical consummation of their love, telling him that, “wildly my fears seem to seize upon me. Dreadful horrors arise in the dark.” She proposed that leave her peace, keep the image of her with him and “not destroy the maid who is yours.”
Loss of virginity is a significantly different psychological experience for a a woman that for a man. With the first intercourse, she has a physical experience of being entered, of becoming vulnerable to the man, to pregnancy, to possible infection, to the unknown consequences of being forever changed. She feels instinct take his body over as he thrusts toward orgasm, and if she is sexually responsive this first time, she herself has the experience of beige taken over by an orgasm. It s an initiatory experience that happens in and that leaves her vulnerable. For many women, it is also an emotionally boding act that increases their vulnerability. Historically, patriarchal societies have place great value on virginity as a requirement for marriage, and and woman who lost her virginity under any circumstance other than marriage was ruined: once married, she belonged to his man forever as a possession. While this has changed, it there is a collective memory in the unconscious, it also has an influence. For these may reasons, loss of virginity can be a psychological experience that changes her life, especially for a Valkyrie, a warrior maiden who never before has felt vulnerable and unshielded.

To await the first man who awakens her and be from that moment slave to him as monster is what Wotan told Brunnhilde would happen to her. Recall that Brunhilde has been her father’s confidante in an emotionally incestuous relationship in which she knows his weaknesses, and that she also has felt his hury, been terrified of him and and learned to please and be conciliatory. This set of circumstances, in fact prepares a woman to a become a codependent i an abusive situation, to defer to and obey a man who treats her badly. Thus Brunnhilde and women like her mayrightfully fear what will happen to them when they have their first sexual relationship.

Loss of virginity for Siegfried and men like him is an experience of mastery rather than vulnerability. When Brunhilde responds to him passionately, Siegfried notes, “I find again my boldness of heart; and what fear is I have failed to learn. My fear I find, as faded and gone like a dream.”
In their union, both Brunnhilde ad Siegfried are ecstatic. Brunnhilde laughs as she says farewell to her previous life, farewell to Valhalla and to the gods, for she is no longer an immortal Valkyrie; now Siegfried is her “one and all.” So it is archetypically. when a womb who has been a one-unto-herself virgin goddess and by loving becomes a vulnerable woman. There is ” laughter in death” of her former self, and his.
—-

Sakura fear of lost power. More from Jean Shinoda Bolen:

Erda and Wotan:

Erda tells him her wisdom has been clouded since he conquered her.


—-
To conclude, it’s best to leave Sakura archetypes alone sexually. Unfortunately, this tends to leave to the asexual being fully alone, for so many feel that a non-sexually receptive female is not worth knowing. Thankfully, the world is a place of diverse psyches and social media makes the planet even smaller. What I hope will be the result of the Superficial Solstice is to raise awareness of asexuality and bring more respect to this viable sexual orientation, so it will not be stigmatized as an unapproachable anomaly that is best left sighing with loneliness in the corner.

From Superficial Solstice
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