Call for international voices

Recently Tristifere and Katie both called for Americans to make room for more international perspectives on asexuality or its analogues.  The tendency so far, is that voices from the US, Canada, UK, and Australia dominate the discourse, and universalize their own experiences.    In the past, a few blogs have discussed asexuality in Spanish and German, and we here have discussed asexuality in Japan, and antisexuality in Russia, but clearly there could be a lot more.

We are interested in showing more international perspectives, especially ones that challenge the predominant English-speaking views.  If you can offer such a perspective, either because you’ve lived outside the dominant countries, or because you’ve participated in non-English communities online, please contact us at asexualagenda@gmail.com.

You may do a guest post or interview (in text, not in person).  We prefer interviews simply because it’s common for people to offer guest posts and then never get around to writing them.

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My Fellow (Ace) Americans – “International” spaces and mediating our voices

Of all the “get out of your seats and move” ice breakers I’ve endured throughout my education, there’s only one that gets my antisocial blessing.

This was Introduction to Religious Studies, and the professor had a knack for transforming her 100+ student lecture halls into dynamic discussion spaces. Her ice breakers had a purpose – not “let’s see how physically uncomfortable we can make everyone” – but were aptly woven into the subject material for the course. The focus of a class like this inevitably boiled down to the concept of shared identity.

We were asked to separate ourselves into the four corners of the room, each labeled with a particular term or terms. The labels were, “Human,” “Religion,” “Man/Woman,” and “American.” We were to stand by the label which we felt formed the strongest basis for our identities.

Continue reading

Posted in asexual politics, Community | 7 Comments

Reflections on the Use and Boundaries of Sex-Favourable Asexual as a Term

I first started thinking and writing about sex-favourable asexuality in 2012 because I needed a term to describe an alienating invisibility that I felt when in the asexual community. Since then I have begun my Masters research on conceptual frameworks of asexuality and seen a few other people use the term sex-favorable. In this post I will revisit the term sex-favourable asexual and share my current thoughts on it. I want to position this post as part of a larger trend of rethinking how we discuss asexuality, asexual representation, and asexual 101 meta.

First, I retain the belief that sex-favourable asexual can be a useful and meaningful term because it responds to an absence in many asexual 101 discussions. Some asexual people like sex, seek it out, and want it in our relationships. Sex-favourable asexuality should not always be a priority in our community. Sometimes we need to stop talking about it to make room for other experiences, such as sex-averse asexual people and narratives that don’t reduce asexual people to eventually giving in to sex. That being said, sex-favourable asexuality should always be possible. There is a big difference between ‘we’re not going to talk about this group right now’ and ‘this group doesn’t exist under asexuality.’

Second, sex-favourable asexuality is a lot less rigid than I first depicted it as and I’d like to clarify that it cannot always be understood as one of three mutually exclusive categories.

Continue reading

Posted in asexual identity, asexual politics, Community, Language, Meta, personal experience | Tagged | 5 Comments

Linkspam: July 25th, 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!

Bioware says it may explore poly and asexual relationships in future games.  Asexuality question occurs at 40:29.

The Toronto Star article mentioned last week also got a response from Ace Toronto, as well as a couple from individual members.

Critique of Popular Reason writes that demisexuality as a concept is not “appropriative” of asexuality.

Asexuality Archive categorized and responded to the comments on asexuality articles.

3 Meals Campaign is looking for an asexual person to appear in a documentary.

gurl.com posted an article about everything you need to know about asexuality.

In case you missed it, there was additional discussion of Katie’s “The Colonized Asexual” in our comments.

Posted in Linkspam | 2 Comments

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 | 8 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 | 10 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 | 4 Comments