Asexuality in Japan: a conversation with harris-hijiri

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 recently had the opportunity to chat with harris-hijiri.  harris-hijiri is a native of Japan, and has been involved in asexual activism for about 14 years.  She has been a member of AVEN since 2007, and you can also find her on tumblr.  Although she was involved in managing several Japanese-language asexual communities from 2005 to 2008, she stepped down from an administrative role for a variety of reasons (some of which we discuss below).  She has also participated in a number of Japanese LGBT communities, and is currently active in Toyohashi City.

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Posted in Interview, Language, personal experience | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Sex-aversion, for sex-positive audiences

I’m not sex-averse, so when I think of issues relating to sex-averse aces, I mostly think of problems I’ve encountered when doing visibility work.  After all, when I do visibility work, I’m representing everyone, not just myself.

So far, most of my visibility work has been confined to queer college students.  And more recently I’m trying to do a bit for feminist-y internet atheists.  Both of these audiences are extremely sex-positive.  And I can tell you that this is a problem for the visibility of sex-averse aces.

The first problem is in who does the visibility work.  People who do visibility work for particular groups (as opposed to the general public) are generally people who feel comfortable in those groups, or even a part of those groups.  So if I gather a panel of random people, there’s no guarantee we’ll even have sex-repulsed or sex-averse representation.  It is imperative for people like me, who are not sex-averse, to actively think about who is missingIt is not enough to wait for sex-averse aces to speak for themselves.

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Posted in activism, Misconceptions | Tagged , | 8 Comments

The Invisible Orientation: A Review

So as I mentioned on the Question of the Week on Tuesday, there’s a new book on asexuality coming out soon! The Invisible Orientation, written by Julie Decker, AKA Swankivy, will be coming out in the US on September 2nd. There have been quite a few other reviews of this book posted in the last few weeks, and I actually haven’t read any of them; I got my review copy quite recently and wanted to read the book and write this review before I read other opinions. Finally, I’m going to refer to the author as Swankivy as I write this piece because that’s the name I’ve known her by longest. If she would prefer I use a different name, I’m happy to change it!

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Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Linkspam: August 29th, 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!

captainheartless wrote some guidelines for writing about non-sex-averse aces.

AVEN is back up after a month of downtime.  This is a big deal!

ace-muslim put together a linkspam on coerced sex and sexual consent in relation to asexuality.

Cake at the Fortress says the balancing act hasn’t been solved.

Asexual Explorations is asking for input on the future of the asexual bibliography, and also someone to help maintain it.

The F-ACE-ing Silence zine is looking for contributors to their second volume.

Left to Write interviewed Swankivy about her book.

A blogger on the Patheos Pagan channel came out as asexual.

redbeardace has some thoughts about WhatIsAsexuality.com.

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Here goes everything

This post was written for the August 2014 Carnival of Aces.  This month’s theme is “the Unassailable Asexual.”  You too can submit!

Trigger warnings: If you have any sexual violence-related triggers, please consider skipping this post.  Frank (although not explicit) discussion of sexual violence (including corrective rape) and associated emotional fallout, victim-blaming, invalidation, manipulation of survivors and their stories for political ends, and general suckiness ahead.  There should also be a blanket trigger warning for sexual violence for almost every link in this post.  If you think this needs additional warnings, please let me know.

I discovered the Wikipedia page for asexuality in January of 2008.  By September of the same year, I had PTSD.  These two facts are not unrelated.

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Posted in asexual politics, Intersectionality, personal experience | Tagged | 18 Comments

Question of the Week: August 26, 2014

With Swankivy’s new book The Invisible Orientation coming out in the US soon, I’ve been thinking about how people learn about asexuality in the first place.

How did you come across the term? Were you specifically looking for the concept, or did you trip over it by accident?

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Posted in Question of the Week | 21 Comments

A Conversation About the Israeli Ace Community with Limor

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 had the opportunity to interview Limor, who is a member of the Israeli and English asexual communities and lives in Israel.

Talia: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Limor: I’ve been active in the Israeli asexual community since 2009, when I came out as asexual and later as demisexual. The community has transformed over the years, from a single forum (which I believe still exists) to a strong presence on the queer and feminist communities on facebook. However, the discourse is unfortunately not as thorough as I’d like it to be, and the integration with the other communities is far from ideal. We (asexuals) have a very small community that grows very slowly. As for me, I’m 22 and right now I’m working on my bachelor’s degree in linguistics.

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Posted in asexual politics, Community, Interview, personal experience | Tagged , | 2 Comments