Reviewing our agenda: a two-year retrospective

It was two years ago that I launched The Asexual Agenda, so it’s a good time to reflect on whether the blog has fulfilled its goals.

The Asexual Agenda has become a big deal. At this time, we are definitively the most authoritative asexual blog around. I try to be modest (I’m just the admin, and I’m not the most popular writer here), but even I have to admit our success.  But that was just the first goal.

The second goal was to be a “201 blog”, or as the subtitle puts it “furthering upper-level discussions of asexuality.” I think we’ve got that one down, because as it turns out, it’s not too hard. The main ingredients are: 1) we target ace audiences, 2) we explicitly don’t do 101, and redirect people who want 101, 3) we do a little screening of potential contributors, and lightly moderate comments. That’s pretty much all we needed.

The third goal was to be one of many asexual blogs. Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Meta | 4 Comments

Question of the Week: July 22nd, 2014

Today is our bloggiversary!  A two-year retrospective will soon follow.

What’s the biggest change you’ve had in the last year?

In the last year, I moved in with my boyfriend.  Now we have floor to ceiling windows, and even more opportunity to play Dominion and Super Mario 3D World.

Just don’t ask how my PhD is going.

Posted in Question of the Week | 5 Comments

When the answer is always no: Sex aversion and my sex-negative feminism

This post is for the July Carnival of Aces.

Content warning: Mentions of rape.

I can’t pull all the threads apart, and I don’t claim to be able to. Which came first, the ex-chicken or the scrambled egg? What I do know is this: there is a profound intuition telling me that kissing &c. are not for me, that if I were to do them, it would be a betrayal of my self. (aceadmiral, Aversive Me)

[A] relationship would give them social immunity— I would have to defend my unwillingness more than they would have to defend force. That makes sex a form of power which can be used against me and I don’t have an equivalent weapon. (Anonymous, F-ACE-ing Silence, p. 15)

The reason I use the term “sex aversion” in preference to “sex repulsion” is that repulsion to taking part in a sex act, or thinking about doing so, isn’t the primary way I experience my antipathy towards sex. In fact, I rarely find myself in such a situation. I see sex repulsion as being like a live wire that electrocutes anyone who touches it – but sex aversion is a force field that prevents anyone (including me) from even getting near the live wire. Situations trigger the aversion response, and cause me to depart from them, long before the repulsion response might activate.

The two quotes at the beginning of the post, by aceadmiral and Anonymous, also capture some of the forms my sex aversion takes. Sometimes it’s an intuition, a sense that is very hard to pin down, an inner conviction about what is and what is not right for me. This is very abstract and yet the most central to my identity and something that is always there, regardless of the specific circumstances. Continue reading

Posted in personal experience, Sexual normativity | 1 Comment

Linkspam: July 18th, 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!

Harmony Ink Press is seeking submissions with aromantic/asexual characters.

The zine F-ACE-ing the Silence, about people silenced in ace spaces, has been completed.  (Also see print-friendly version.)

Also!  The zine Rotten Zucchinis, about queerplatonic relationships that don’t go well, is available.  (see print-friendly version)

CJ Chasin, the author of the new academic article we cited last week, has provided a link to an earlier version of the paper.

The Thinking Asexual had a response to last month’s Carnival of Aces (theme: pleasure) that somehow got left out.

The Star ran an opinion piece on when sex just isn’t your cup of tea.  aceadmiral responds.

Posted in Linkspam | 10 Comments

Question of the Week: July 15th, 2014

Recently, there’s been some discussion about the lack of discussion about ace relationships from aces who are in long-standing relationships.

If you want to be in some sort of committed relationship but aren’t currently in one, what kinds of discussion would you like to see? If you are in a relationship currently, is there anything that you think doesn’t get brought up enough?

Posted in Question of the Week | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Some thoughts on writing asexual characters

As a few people know, a few months ago I finally started on my long-time ambition to write a novel.  It would be premature to get excited about it, since no one knows if I write decent fiction, or if I’ll ever publish.  But I might as well say that one of the characters is asexual.  So I’m starting to get more of a first-person perspective on writing asexual characters, and I’d like to share a few of my thoughts.

First I should note that I am not writing genre fiction.  No tentacle aliens or space wizards here, just Characters and Relationships.  And so instead of having tentacle-alien-fighting space wizards who just happen to be asexual, I have relationship-having literary characters who just happen to be asexual.  But it’s pretty hard to pretend that asexuality isn’t relevant to relationships so hey I guess asexuality is sorta central to the plot, huh. Continue reading

Posted in Media | 7 Comments

Linkspam: July 11th, 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!

The Ace Theist has started a series on nonsexual nonromantic relationships.

There’s a new academic article on asexuality: Making Sense in and of the Asexual Community: Navigating Relationships and Identities in a Context of Resistance.

Here’s a video of the World Pride panel on grey-asexuality and demisexuality.

The Bibliophibian reviewed The Invisible Orientation.

There’s a researcher looking for people who identify as asexual and queer in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Mark Carrigan posted an interview that an Italian magazine had with him.

The Varsity posted an article on the International Asexuality Conference.

Prismatic Entanglements (formerly Shades of Gray, recently rebranded) responds to all those people who ask her if they’re asexual.

Iris shares their experience speaking about asexuality and ethnicity at the International Asexuality Conference. (link broken) Their speech is also available.

Posted in Linkspam | 8 Comments