The allo aro intersection matters

Last month, there was an incident where a prominent ace blogger very publicly questioned whether “allo aro” should be seen as an empowering label. This caused a furor among aro bloggers, and even the author deleted the post because they admitted it was unproductive and wrong.

The truth is that people who are allosexual and aromantic-spectrum are at a unique intersection. Historically, they were only acknowledged as a theoretical possibility within ace communities, where they were often subject to hostile speculation. They have to deal with people’s hangups about sex without romance, and deal with the question of how (or whether) to navigate sexual relationships without romance. I think it’s obvious why allo aro people have had to fight for their identity, and why they should be proud of it.

But I’m going to look at this wrong argument, and not just say that it was wrong, but explain why it was wrong. Then I will take a journey through hierarchies that have been reinforced over and over again within ace and aro spaces.  Finally, I forcefully assert the importance of fighting for allo aros.

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Posted in aromanticism, Articles, asexual politics, Community, Intersectionality, romantic orientation, sex-favorable, sex-repulsed | 1 Comment

Interview with Angela Chen, Author of “Ace: What Asexuality Reveals about Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex”

This interview was co-authored with Maddy.

aceangelachen

We were fortunate this week to have the pleasure of speaking to Angela Chen (@chengela) about her upcoming book, Ace: What Asexuality Reveals about Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex, which comes out September 15th. 

Angela Chen is a journalist and writer in New York City. Her reporting and criticism have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Atlantic, Guardian, Paris Review, Electric Literature, Catapult, and elsewhere. She is a member of the ace community and has spoken about asexuality at academic conferences and events including the 2019 NYC World Pride Ace & Aro Conference.

Here’s what she had to say in response to our questions:

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Linkspam: September 11th, 2020

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!

Ace Blogging

Coyote explained why they don’t use “aspec”.  Later, Coyote explained a few ace interpretations of love songs.

Ace Admiral wrote about Hans Christian Andersen and celibacy.

Raavenb2619 discusses the nuances, limits, and potential of repulsed, indifferent, and favorable terminology.

Community Activity

Eliott Simpson’s (A)sexy and I know it solo comedy act from the Edniburgh Fringe Festival is now available on YouTube.

The UK Asexuality Conference recently occurred, and all the videos are online.

Aro Blogging

The Carnival of Aros has a new roundup, on the theme “Open Questions for Aromantic Research“.  The next call for submissions is on “Change” at Aria’s Hollow.

Magni listed some ace and aro groups that accept donations.

Calls for Participants/Support

AVEN is looking for volunteers who might be interested in helping with planning for an Asexual History Day on October 12th, 2020 as well as a Sweden/Denmark Worldpride celebration in August 2021.

Scholarly Work

A fascinating new paper examines the addition of “asexuality” to the Library of Congress Subject Headings as a case study from which to examine the critical cataloging movement.

Posted in Linkspam | 2 Comments

Carnival of Aces: What Are You Hoping to Get Out of the Ace Community?

The Carnival of Aces for August has been posted on A Cubed.  The theme was “What are you Hoping to get out of the Ace Community?”.  Please take a look!

The next Carnival of Aces is being hosted by Constance Bougie.  The theme for September is “manifestos”.  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.  Right now, we don’t have any volunteers for next month!

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Journal Club: Growing into Asexuality

Ace Journal Club banner

Last month, the ace journal club discussed

“Growing into Asexuality: The Queer Erotics of Childhood”, Chapter 3 of Asexual Erotics: Intimate Readings of Compulsory Sexuality by Ela Przybylo (2019).

You can access a copy of this book here.  Our discussion notes are below the fold.

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.

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Increasing Accessibility Part 1: Virtual Meetups

This is a post for the August 2020 Carnival of Aces. It is cross-posted to Prismatic Entanglements.

What am I hoping to get out of the ace community?

In a word, accessibility. I mean that in a broad sense: accessibility in terms of consideration for physical disabilities, accessibility of information, and accessibility in terms of creating an environment that doesn’t feel hostile, where I feel safe and welcome to share the truth of my experience. Continue reading

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Linkspam: August 21st, 2020

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!

Ace Blogging

Jessica Vazquez wrote about coming out twice, and how popular media helped.

As previously mentioned, the July Carnival of Aces didn’t appear, but we did find one submission: Coyote’s retrospective on stagnation and renewal.

Community Activity

TAAAP is holding its Pride Chats on August 29th, with the theme of education and inclusivity in schools.

Aro Blogging

AUREA has an article on Singlism 101.

The Carnival of Aros has a call for submissions up.  The theme is “Open questions for aromantic research”.

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Book Review: Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kahn (New Adult)

Let’s Talk About Love is one of the most well known books with an asexual main character. Alice, our main character, is a black, asexual, biromantic, 19 year old freshman in college learning to live by herself for the first time. It’s the summer between her freshman and sophomore year, and Alice has a lot to deal with. Just as she was about to move out of the dorms, her girlfriend broke up with her after Alice confessed she was asexual. Her girlfriend basically pulled out all the things people shouldn’t say when confronted with asexuality, and this pushed Alice a little deeper into the closet. But still, she goes on with her life, promising herself a drama-free summer living with her best friend Feenie and Feenie’s boyfriend Ryan, and working at the local library to put in her fair share of the rent. All of this is turned on its head, however, when Alice begins to fall for a new employee at the library. Takumi slowly begins to take over her life, and Alice knows she wants to be more then just friends, but she’s going to have to tell him she’s asexual eventually, and based on her past experiences, she’s not sure how well that is going to turn out.

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The split attraction model does not harm questioning youth

This article is part of a series in which I address criticisms of the Split Attraction Model (or SAM). See the masterpost for my reasons writing this series, and a brief discussion of my issues with the phrase “split attraction model”. In this article, I address one of the most common arguments, which is that the Split Attraction Model is harmful to youth who are still exploring their identities.

Commonly this argument is expressed in the form of an anecdote, saying that when they were younger they were convinced that they were such-and-such-romantic and such-and-such-sexual, and it really messed them up. I’ll take these anecdotes at face value–perhaps these people were on Tumblr when they were teens, and were reading Tumblr advice blogs, which had a known tendency to impose prescriptive identities on askers, much to our dismay. That sucks and I’m sorry to hear about it.

I know it sucks, because I, too, was completely misled about my orientation for the entirety of my teen years. I believed I was straight.

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Posted in Articles, asexual politics, romantic orientation | Tagged | 3 Comments

Criticisms of the split attraction model

The Split Attraction Model, or SAM, refers to the framework in which people describe themselves as having two (or more) orientations, such as “homoromantic asexual” or “bisexual aromantic”. I do not like the phrase “split attraction model” for reasons I will elaborate in the postscript below, but I’ll tolerate it since it is the phrase most people are familiar with. Split attraction models have long been a point of attack for people looking to criticize (or flame, or troll) the asexual community. I am writing a series of posts addressing criticisms.

  1. The split attraction model does not harm questioning youth

Be patient for the rest of the series!

Later in this series, I would like to share other people’s personal experiences with split attraction models, be it positive or negative or mixed. If you would like to be featured (anonymously or otherwise), please contact me at asexualagenda@gmail.com.

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Posted in Articles, asexual politics, romantic orientation | Tagged | 5 Comments