Linkspam: August 22nd, 2014

Every Friday, we will share links to news, blogs, and anything else we find interesting.  We can’t catch everything, so you are invited to self-promote in the comments!

Ace in Lace wrote about The Heart of Aces.

Everything’s A-Okay had a video interview with SwankIvy about The Invisible Orientation.

There was another Tumblr conversation about representing or over-representing sex-favorable aces.  Sciatrix wrote a recap with a bunch of links over here.

epochryphal thinks the term “sex-favorable” is problematic.  There were also responses from Next Step: Cake and Captain Heartless.

Siggy discussed privilege and its technical failings.

Jo wrote about being doubly invisible.

YA Interrobang interviewed Swankivy about asexual visibility and asexuality in fiction.

vaginismusandsexuality is looking for narratives from aces who have experienced corrective therapy from medical professionals.

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Asexual communities, identity, and the question of unassailability

This post is for the August Carnival of Aces.

Author’s note: This post is inspired by this question posed by aqua-ace as well as some recent discussions (follow-ups partly captured here, but there seem to be too many different threads to easily reblog or link to here) about sex-averse and sex-favorable asexuals. It’s something of a long ramble but eventually arrives at a point.

For personal reasons, I recently took a total break from Tumblr for about 10 days and upon returning a few days ago significantly reduced the number of blogs I’m following as the number of posts on my dashboard every day was overwhelming and I felt like I was missing the content I really wanted to read.

The only reason I’m on Tumblr (I otherwise dislike its format) is the asexual community there. And the core purpose for which I seek out the asexual community is to gain benefit from others who share similar experiences in navigating the world as someone who doesn’t experience sexual attraction. So I decided to limit the blogs I follow on Tumblr to those which primarily provide content related to asexuality that is of interest to me. When it comes to other topics of importance to me, I prefer other formats and forums (primarily Twitter for online interaction).

Another thing I had come to realize even before this is that the subset of asexual blogs I follow is not necessarily representative of the asexual community on Tumblr as a whole. This again is because I primarily follow what interests and benefits me in navigating my asexuality. I don’t follow any “asexual advice” blogs as I’m not a newbie, and I don’t follow blogs that primarily produce 101 content as this is not very useful to me in my own life.

As it happens, a lot of the recent debates over how “the asexual community” treats certain groups or certain people have focused on either advice blogs or 101-resource blogs, none of which I had any idea about until reading the critique posts. People would be writing, “the asexual community has such-and-such attitude,” based on these blogs and I would have no idea what they were talking about or how exactly that came to be “the asexual community”. Continue reading

Posted in asexual identity, asexual politics, Community | 28 Comments

A social failure

[Content note: mention of sexual assault]

“It’s not because I’m too nervous to ask anyone.”  That’s what I told everybody.  Actually, I hardly told anyone, because I didn’t like to talk about it.  But I told a couple friends, and imagined that I was telling it to everyone.

It was my explanation for why I’m not a social failure.  Lots of guys were.  I had a roommate who was like that.  He lamented that he never had a relationship.  He didn’t even know where to start.  He said he was too anxious to ask anyone out.  How did other guys do it?  Even me, I had this one relationship in middle school, how did I do it?  He felt like a loser relative to me.

But I felt like the middle-school relationship hardly counted.  I was, by all accounts, yet another social failure.  By all accounts, except for one: I was not too nervous to ask anyone out.  I didn’t have any relationships, but anxiety was not my reason. Continue reading

Posted in aromanticism, personal experience, Relationships | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Question of the Week: August 19, 2014

I think we are all learning new things from our new International Voices series.

One theme is that there are not enough resources outside of English, that we need more translation.  A second theme is that non-English communities simply take an American-based understanding and translate it, without taking the opportunity to develop their own concepts in response to their local culture, often resulting in ideas that are inappropriate or out of place.

At least superficially, these two themes are in conflict!  What are your thoughts–so far–on navigating the two issues?

Posted in Question of the Week | Tagged | 7 Comments

Linkspam: August 15th, 2014

Every Friday, we will share links to news, blogs, and anything else we find interesting.  We can’t catch everything, so you are invited to self-promote in the comments!

Cake at the Fortress writes about why they’re branching out from AVEN.

epochryphal typed up some notes on the grey/demi/semi caucus at the SF Ace Unconference.  The Ace Theist responds.

The Ace Theist wrote about withdrawing consent.

Critique of Popular Reason says allosexual privilege is not a viable concept.

Prismatic Entanglements reviews My Life in Hetero, a self-published memoir.

The Notes Which Do Not Fit responded to the sex-aversion/sex-repulsion Carnival.

The Parents Project contacted us asking for potential contributors.  The project is meant to be a resource for parents of LGBTQ kids.  Some writing or blogging experience required.  Contact, or apply here.

Fandom and Family wrote a response to Queenie’s most recent post.

vantasticmess wrote about labeling aces/aros as “straight” on tumblr.

Queenie is on a linkspam roll, posting linkspams about aromanticism and demisexuality.

Cake at the Fortress wonders whether voluntary celibacy has its grey areas when it comes to asexuality.

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A conversation with Robin on Taiwan

This interview is part of our international voices series.  If you’d be interested in contributing, check out our call for submissions and interviews.

I was pleased to get an interview with Robin, who runs a Chinese-language asexual community, and lives in Taiwan. They are also part of the AVEN Project Team.

Siggy: Tell us about the Chinese asexual community you run. What kind of community is it?

Robin: It’s a place where people who speak Chinese can get together, organize meetups, discuss the concept of asexuality in relation to Chinese culture, and figure out the terminology. It’s still a relatively new community (started in February), and not many people have joined.

The situation was, there were two online groups in China, and none in Taiwan. I wished to create a new community. First I wanted it to be only for Taiwan, since there was none before, but then I wanted it to be Chinese-speaking people in general.  The structure is modeled a bit after the English AVEN. Continue reading

Posted in Community, Interview, Language | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Prioritizing identity

In case you missed it, there was yet another “are asexuals queer” kerfuffle on tumblr a couple of months back.  I’m pretty bored with this whole argument so I’m not going to bother addressing it in any depth here; if you want to read a whole bunch of aces’ opinions on it, you can always read all these posts (plus this one).  What I do want to address, though, is an idea that I’ve seen come up multiple times in these debates: if aces want access to LGB* communities, they have to identify as LGB first and as asexual second.  In fact, this idea that gender-related romantic orientation should overrule (a)sexual orientation has come up quite a bit in the “are aces queer” debate–it comes up in the tendencies to divide aces up by romantic orientation and to consider [romantic orientation] aces “[sexual orientation] Lite.”**

That got me thinking: do any aces actually consider their romantic orientation more important than their sexual orientation?  The answer, of course, is that it depends on the ace.  From what I’ve seen, you can divide aces into four groups:

  • Group 1: Aces who consider their romantic orientation more important than their sexual orientation.
  • Group 2: Aces who consider their sexual orientation more important than their romantic orientation.
  • Group 3: Aces who consider their sexual and romantic orientations equally important or who prioritize different orientations at different times.
  • Group 4: Aces who don’t identify with a romantic orientation and thus consider this whole categorization system boring and pointless.

Continue reading

Posted in Intersectionality, LGBT | 20 Comments