Asexuality 101, annotated

This article is being cross-posted to my personal blog, A Trivial Knot.

Some people may have seen the Asexuality 101 page linked on the side bar of A Trivial Knot. I originally wrote that article in 2011, and transported it from blog to blog, occasionally making updates.

Since the beginning, the purpose of the article was to “get it over with”. I had a lot of non-ace readers, but didn’t want to explain the basics over and over again. So the idea was to silently educate readers before they left ignorant comments, saving me energy and saving them embarrassment. These days, awareness of asexuality is so much higher, which leaves me wondering whether the page is necessary, but it sure doesn’t hurt to leave it there.

You can still see older versions preserved on my previous blogs and in the wayback machine if you’re really interested. The article reflects shifting conventional wisdom in how we do asexuality 101, as well as some idiosyncratic choices on my part. Here’s a point by point discussion of why I wrote it that way.

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A whirlwind history of asexual communities

I’ve seen plenty of people lament the lack of ace history. But in theory, “we” know plenty about ace history, it’s just that that knowledge doesn’t seem to propagate widely. There are some ace history buffs, especially sennkestra, coyote, Ace Owl, and to a lesser degree myself, but not everyone pays attention to us nerds, nor should they have to. It’s also far too easy to get lost, because a good history requires more detail and care than the average person has time for.

So this here is an informal whirlwind tour of (primarily) online English-speaking ace community history since 1997. I hope the informality of this history makes it more accessible, while also enabling me to discuss the subjective and yet important political aspects.

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Carnival of Aces call for submissions: Labels and Microlabels

The August Carnival of Aces is being hosted by sildarmillion, and the theme is “Labels and Microlabels”  Get your submissions in before the end of the month!

The Carnival of Aces is hosted by volunteers each month.  If you would like to volunteer, please see the masterpost for instructions.  We currently do not have a volunteer next month.

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Linkspam: July 29th, 2022

On Fridays, 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!

Writing

Coyote gathered current measurements of aces without romantic orientation, and aros without sexual orientation.

The new Star Wars: Padawan novel portrays Obi-Wan Kenobi as bi or ace.  Abigail James Dillon did a close reading of the book

News & Outreach

The Sims 4 is adding sexual orientations for sims, including asexual and aromantic.

Aro Community Activity

The Carnival of Aros had its roundup for June, on the theme “House and Home“.

Calls for Participants/Support

Coyote is looking for participants in a gray-ace and gray-aro survey.  (Participants do not need to be either of those.)

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Journal Club: Gendering asexuality

Ace Journal Club banner

This month, the ace journal club discussed

“Gendering asexuality and asexualizing gender: A qualitative study exploring the intersections between gender and asexuality” by Kristina Gupta (2019). https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1363460718790890 (requires journal access)

The journal club meets once a month on Discord, using text or voice as club members prefer. We discuss a variety of academic works in ace studies, ranging from gender studies to psychology. Don’t worry about journal access, we can provide access. If you’re interested, please e-mail me at asexualagenda@gmail.com for an invite.

Our discussion notes are below the fold.

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Linkspam: July 15th, 2022

On Fridays, 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!

Writing

Ace admiral wrote about the hypocrisy of white asexuality.

sildarmillion wrote about the 2022 film adaptation of Death on the Nile.

blue ice-tea reviewed Thor 1 & 2.

Calls for Participants/Support

The Ace Community Survey Team is looking for volunteers.

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Carnival of Aces: Throwback

The Carnival of Aces for June has been posted by Aspec of Stardust.  The theme was “Throwback“.  Please take a look!

There currently isn’t any host for the July Carnival of Aces.  If you would like to volunteer, please see the masterpost for instructions.

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Linkspam: July 1st, 2022

On Fridays, 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!

Writing

Socially Distant writes about asocial & schizoid aros and aces.

Namrata K wrote about their journey to asexuality via an ally identity.

Coyote wrote about issues with the promotion of romantic orientation in the paper we covered in the Ace Journal Club about YA fiction.

Daniel Yo-Ling wrote about asexuality in Taiwan, including analysis of the 2021 Taiwan Asexual Community Survey.

Calls for Participants/Support

Asexual Outreach is looking for participants in a community survey for autistic aces and aros.

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Journal Club: Asexuality in YA

Ace Journal Club banner

This month, the ace journal club discussed

“Asexuality and the Potential of Young Adult Literature for Disrupting Allonormativity” by Patricia Kennon. (2021) https://www.ijyal.ac.uk/articles/10.24877/IJYAL.41/# (publicly accessible)

The journal club meets once a month on Discord, using text or voice as club members prefer. We discuss a variety of academic works in ace studies, ranging from gender studies to psychology. Don’t worry about journal access, we can provide access. If you’re interested, please e-mail me at asexualagenda@gmail.com for an invite.

Our discussion notes are below the fold.

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Linkspam: June 17th, 2022

On Fridays, 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!

Writing

Briana Lawrence loves the protagonist of “I Want To Be a Wall”.

Lucy Rose reclaims the Final Girl.

Blue Ice-Tea talked about belonging, and My Beautiful Laundrette (1985).

Jo wrote about ace activism being stuck in an awareness loop.

Videos

Historian Joanna Bourke gave a lecture on abstinence.  A transcript is also available.

Aro Community Activity

The Carnival of Aros May roundup has been published, with the theme “Mental Health“.  The June edition is looking for submissions on the theme “House and Home“.

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