Does being ace affect you knowing which gender(s) you’re into?
Assuming you want to cuddle, kiss, partner up, or do something with anyone at all.
Right now it feels like being ace makes it harder for me to tell what gender(s) I’m into. For me it always starts out as this big wave of “not interested don’t touch me” directed at everyone. Over time the repulsion ebbs and flows and I’ll still be “not interested,” but more okay with particular people. Eventually I may have some sort of vague attraction that could either be platonic or romantic. I don’t know what it is. Sometimes it turns into a romantic relationship. Sometimes it doesn’t. Which one happens feels more influenced by convenience or logistics rather than feelings.
Do you associate as queer?
I really like the label queer. Especially as someone that’s been questioning it’s been really validating having a label that just captures that sense of otherness without having to spell out exactly how sexuality works for me.
I also really like the label queer because to me it involves a sense of community. Queer for me is that sense of being othered. Of having to fight to have your identity respected, and of being willing to fight for and understand people that may not be like you.
I understand and respect why some asexual people *don’t* identify as queer because they don’t feel othered and they don’t feel a connection to that community, and I also think that is true of some same sex attracted people.
Do you identify as queer? Has your choice to identify as queer (or not) caused you any problems?
cn: sexual violence
Over the last decade, online ace communities awoke to the fact that some aces can have and enjoy sex. The term “sex-favorable” was coined in 2013 to describe aces who are willing to have sex. Now, it’s common for educational content to mention sex-favorable asexuality as a thing that exists. The number of sex-favorable aces is relatively small, but we still want to build a community that acknowledges and includes them.
However, there has been concern that the repeated emphasis on aces who like sex might contribute to compulsory sexuality. “Compulsory sexuality” refers to the set of assumptions and social norms that compel people to engage in sexual activity, and marginalize people who refuse.
For example, an ace might think that they need to experiment with sex in order to confirm/disconfirm that they are sex-favorable. Another person might hear that some aces like sex, and uses this to pressure their ace partner into trying sex. On the community level, an ace community can exaggerate the number of sex-favorable aces, and give shitty treatment to sex-averse/repulsed aces.
There is a tendency in the community to think of these as two competing issues. We want to include sex-favorable aces and raise awareness of them, but we also want to fight compulsory sexuality. I am here to say that they aren’t competing issues. Compulsory sexuality affects sex-favorable aces too.
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!
Lib wrote about aromanticism and fiction.
Ace Community Activity
The Asexual has released Vol. 2, Issue 2: Asexuality and Representation.
Aceterpretations is a new podcast about asexuality and fandom.
acespotting is collecting pride event photos where ace flags have been spotted, and is queueing them up over the next year.
This Sunday is the UK Asexuality Conference in London, and there will be a livestream.
News & Outreach
Vice asked asexuals about their relationship to Pride.
Several people are talking about Oreo tweeting a pride picture that also included the ace flag.
The Outline has an article about bloggers building a canon of asexual history.
The National LGBT Survey in the UK included data on asexual participants.
Calls for Participants/Submissions
There’s a study looking to explore the potential relationships between experiencing asexual microaggressions (discrimination), psychological well-being and factors of social support. If you’re 18 or over and would like to participate, you can take the survey here.
Do you stay in touch with your exes?
Staying in touch with exes makes sense to me because I only date people that I consider my friend. Even if we don’t work out romantically or sexually I still value the friendship. I think I feel that way because the friendship before the relationship is so important to me. Genuine friendship is a prerequisite for my interest and because this sounds pretty demi I wonder if other aces feel the same about exes and friends. I was talking to an allo guy recently and he’s the exact opposite; his friendships with exes all formed after a sexual bond.
Even though in theory I’d be happy to stay in touch with my exes it hasn’t worked out that way. After two different breakups my exes and I were good friends for several months and then, without explanation, they cut me out of their lives and stopped responding to all texts. That kind of ending doesn’t make sense to me and I think because of how I view relationships and friends it never will.
The Carnival of Aces for June has been posted on Dating While Ace. The theme was “Demisexuals/greysexuals“. Please take a look!
The next Carnival of Aces is being hosted by WUT. The theme for July is “Then and Now”. Get your submissions in before the end of the month!
Note that the Carnival of Aces is hosted by volunteers. If you would like to volunteer, please see the masterpost for instructions.