Question of the Week: May 27th, 2015

Suppose that we wanted to make a list of examples of ace representation in fiction. What kind of tags would we want for different kinds of representation?

I’ve seen many many lists of fiction with ace characters, but the problem is that everyone seems to have a different idea of what belongs on such a list. If no standards are enforced, then people will give many examples of characters which merely fail to express any interest in sex at any point. You can enforce stronger standards, such as having only explicitly asexual characters, but there’s clearly a desire for other kinds of representation. The solution is to have tags, so that people can narrow down their search to their own desire.

One such tag system has been implemented by AgentAletha’s library. For example, there are tags for:

Asexual not used – We think the character is asexual, but the canon doesn’t use the word to describe them.

Identifies as ace – The character self-identifies as ace.

Word of God – The creator has said the character is ace.

Character:not human – The ace character isn’t human.

What other tags might be interesting? This is purely hypothetical, so you can also come up with ideas that don’t describe any work of fiction that you know of.

Posted in Media, Question of the Week | 29 Comments

Linkspam: May 22nd, 2015

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!

There’s a new book of essays about representation in science-fiction and fantasy, and one of the essays focuses on portrayals of asexuality.

Jo is looking for one or two volunteers to help with The Asexual Story Project.

elainexe write about asexual Muslim polyamory.

There’s a new academic article on asexuality and BDSM.

luvtheheaven wrote about having sex as a sex-averse person.

Sara is writing a series on humanizing/dehumanizing rhetoric and aromantics/asexuals.  Here’s part one and part two.

A BBC Radio interviewer is looking for asexual community people to interview about asexual love.

Elizabeth had some suggestions for the next Ace Day.

Hibernia wrote about framing asexuality as an identity vs. a behavior.

The March Family Letters, a webseries based off of Little Women, has a canonically asexual character.

Sara wrote about 6 things that made them realize they’re an aromantic asexual as well as sex indifference and their decision to take sex out of the picture [tw rape for the second link].


Posted in Linkspam | 4 Comments

Sex talk mental block

There was a time a few years ago, when my workplace blocked AVEN. This was very inconvenient because I was trying to do activist-y things like responding to messages and e-mailing links to people, but it had to wait until I got home. I mean, I know that browsing sexually explicit websites is technically against our internet policy, but it’s not like I’m reading it for erotic pleasure!

Looking further back, I was in an entirely different place. I remember furtively looking at AVEN only when I was alone in the room. I was embarrassed, okay? Not just about being asexual, but being an asexual who was reading a lot of discussions about sex. Continue reading

Posted in Articles, personal experience | 12 Comments

Question of the Week: May 19th, 2015

How do you react to microagressions?

Recently I was interacting with some of my more distant relatives, and much heteronormativity was to be had by all.  Some just don’t know me that well and compliment me by saying that, “girls like that sort of thing”.  And then there’s the comment, “You could always adopt,” which is annoying for reasons that are difficult to explain.

I don’t really react to any of these sorts of things.  Sometimes I fantasize about saying something mean, but it’s probably for the best to not actually say it.

Posted in Question of the Week | 9 Comments

Some Different Perspectives on Asexual Experience: The Asexual Lives Project

A couple of, well, years ago now, I participated in a research project run by sociologists Susie Scott, Liz McDonnell and Matt Dawson from the Universities of Sussex and Glasgow. The project was called ‘Asexual Lives,’ and focused on how asexual people negotiate their everyday lives and everyday intimacies. Participating in the project involved an interview with Liz, and keeping a two-week diary where I wrote generally about how asexuality affected my life day-to-day, if/how I was aware of it, and how it influenced my intimate relationships (broadly defined).

I recently received an overview of the results and publications (most of which are still forthcoming) that have come out of the study, and I was very interested in – and sometimes a bit surprised by – the results. At the moment I’m only working from abstracts for the articles and papers, but one piece has been published online already and is available to people without academic database access. It does a pretty good job at touching on the issues raised in the individual papers, so I wanted to write a bit about my thoughts on the piece and the small response it got from a few members of the ace community. You can find it here: Asexual Lives: Social relationships and intimate encounters.

Here’s an excerpt from the introduction to the article, summarising the focus of the research project:

Against this backdrop, asexuality appears curious, standing outside the sexual realm entirely. To have a minority status or engage in less common practices is one thing, but to not be a sexual person at all is quite another. Because it challenges social norms, expectations and cultural assumptions, asexuality is often viewed as a problem, a failure, or even a sickness. But is this an accurate portrayal? How do people experience asexuality themselves, and how does it affect their social lives?

Continue reading

Posted in Articles, asexual politics, Community, Intersectionality, personal experience, Relationships | Tagged , | 25 Comments

Linkspam: May 15th, 2015

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!

A Dutch newspaper ran an article on asexuality.

Sennkestra wrote a guide for people wanting to get ace events on Wikipedia.

The SF UnConference and Pride Parade Contingent will be July 27-28 this year.

Siggy put together a bunch of feedly subscriptions for ace vlogs, webcomics, tumblrs, and blogs.

Laura wrote about being homoplatonic and experiencing emotional attraction.

rotten-zucchinis argued that queerplatonic relationships are not “romance lite.”

Elizabeth wrote about Ace Day and credibility.

There’s going to be a Dutch ace meetup on May 30.

Coyote wrote about ir experiences with depression.

Posted in Linkspam | 12 Comments

Question of the Week: May 13th, 2015

Hey, first of all, sorry about my absence and missing a week or two on the Question of the Week; finals hit me pretty hard and I left a few things untended. I’m totally done now, so things will be definitely consistent from here!

I know my questions are usually a bit more serious, but I’m interested in a lighthearted one:

What’s the best “would you rather” that you know?

For those with no experience with it, a “would you rather” is a hypothetical choice you have to make, and you pick the one you’d prefer– they could both be incredibly good, incredibly bad, but the juxtaposition usually makes it funny, and the difficulty can spring interesting discussions. Here’s the best I’ve heard:

Would you rather be able to lift up to 100 pounds telekinetically, or 10,000 pounds physically?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment