Question of the week: February 26th, 2013

The question of the week now occurs every Tuesday.

When I first encountered the asexual community, I was happy to find much in common with other people, but I also worried about little things that I didn’t have in common.  In particular, I felt like I was in a minority because I did not experience any crushes or squishes.  Of course, I eventually learned I was not really so alone as I believed.

Have you ever had the sense of having a minority experience in the asexual community?

About Siggy

Siggy is an ace activist based in the U.S. He is gay gray-A, and has a Ph.D. in physics. He has another blog where he also talks about math, philosophy, godlessness, and social criticism. His other hobbies include board games and origami.
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17 Responses to Question of the week: February 26th, 2013

  1. ace-muslim says:

    Although I’m pretty sure I’m aromantic, I don’t fully get what romantic attraction is. I was glad to discover other aces who are equally baffled. Because Tumblr is my primary ace community, I sometimes feel the odd one out as I’m significantly older than most Tumblr users. I’m lucky that these are minor things and I’ve been pleasantly surprised how many like-minded people I’ve been able to connect with.

  2. Eponine says:

    My minority experience is I can enjoy sex. Also because of this, I don’t really relate to a lot of problems other people have in mixed relationships (not to say my mixed relationship is perfect, but with me being able to enjoy sex, it’s much easier and sometimes I don’t even feel like I’m compromising).

  3. Seth says:

    I’m MAAB, and I keep thinking about the possibility of transitioning as neutrois. I know I’d rather not have sexual characteristics; the question I still haven’t managed to answer is how much it would be worth to me. I occasionally try searching the Internet for relevant information to help me get a little more decisive about it, and am inevitably reminded of how anomalous I am for even considering this. Ever tried looking for some good MtN resources? There aren’t any.

  4. G- says:

    In real-life situations I am pretty solidly ace, but I have a wicked active fantasy sex life going on in my head that I have no desire to actualise. It involves both strong kink elements and relates to the gender/genital dysphoria I feel only when sex is involved.

    I’ve found some internet-friends who shares some of the kink fantasy stuff, but I have yet to meet any other ace/gender/kink combo bags. ARE YOU OUT THERE?

  5. queenieofaces says:

    I’m mixed race, which probably makes me a minority, given how often people lament the lack of racial diversity in the ace community. I don’t really feel like it marginalizes me that much, though, except when some person starts arguing that “asexuality is white sexuality and is oppressing people of color.” Mostly I just roll my eyes at them and go on with my life.

    • Seth says:

      There are people who say that? Seriously? That is easily the stupidest argument against asexuality I’ve ever encountered.

      • queenieofaces says:

        It came up on tumblr again a couple of weeks back, but tumblr does seem to get more than its fair share of ridiculous arguments against asexuality (“you can’t call yourself that because you can’t reproduce asexually” just came up again a couple of days ago).

        • Seth says:

          At least that one’s just a stupid argument against the terminology, and not a stupid argument against asexuality itself.

  6. Carmilla DeWinter says:

    Most of the time, I’m lucky not to be the odd one out. However, when speaking to other people at meet-ups, I often seem to have to defend my decision to write explicit sex scenes. (Not that I’ve written a lot of those, but even the handful I did write somehow seem to count as porn.)

  7. Sara K. says:

    Yes, I have sometimes felt like ‘the odd one out’ among ace-spectrum folk. The things which come to mind are 1) I never felt like my aro/asexuality made me ‘broken’, so I can’t relate on a personal level with ace spectrum people who have felt that way (and it seems to be something that most ace-spectrum people have felt, at least according to what I’ve read) 2) I was born out of wedlock, and I have yet to encounter another ace who I know was born to non-married parents (I probably have encountered them, considering statistical probabilities, I just didn’t know that they were born to non-married parents) and 3) I am not currently in college or pursuing life in academia, While I’m certain most ace-spectrum folk are not actually in college or academia, it seems that a disproportionate number of vocal aces are formal students and/or in academia.

    • Seth says:

      Re #1: I can’t relate to that, either. I had a fortuitously unusual experience growing up, and just assumed I was heterosexual and that my disinterest in having sex with anyone wasn’t too far from the norm, right up to the day I found AVEN.

      Re #2: I’m curious – how do you see that as being relevant to asexuality? It’s not something that would ever have occurred to me.

      Re #3: I remember seeing a study somewhere that found that the average level of education among aces is lower than it is among the general population, but you’re right in that the vocal ones do seem to be more academically inclined – which makes sense to me.

      • Eponine says:

        Re #1: I also assumed I was heterosexual until finding AVEN. I never felt anything wrong or strange with me for the longest time, which I think was due to 1) growing up in a relatively conservative society where people rarely talk about sex, and 2) not having a relationship until 27. Even after my relationship became sexual, it didn’t occur to me that I could be ace. I just thought I had a low libido.

    • Sciatrix says:

      Yeah, the academia thing has always struck me as a bit weird. For example, there were only two original contributors to this group blog who weren’t graduate students in some field (including me), even though there doesn’t necessarily seem to be a pattern in terms of disciplines.

      I wonder if the vocality has something to do with proximity to universities? I know a lot of offline ace groups are organized in connection to campus LGBTQ organizations, for example, so people getting involved in organization may be more likely to have done so via those groups. Or it might be a matter of schedule flexibility–maybe people who have more 9-5 jobs have less time to spend blogging? I have no idea, but I think it’s an interesting and rather weird trend.

      FWIW, offline I tend to find a slightly higher proportion of academics/people who have been in PhD programs at meetups than I see in the rest of my life, but nothing like the levels you see online. It’s odd.

      • Carmilla DeWinter says:

        The academia/higher education level is true for Germany, too. I’m not surprised by that, though. You have to know something is there before you can take part in it, and I suspect it’s more likely to hear about GSM stuff, and consequently, about asexuality, the more you read. As is sad truth (at least over here), the lower your education level, the more likely you are to read the bare minimum. Which means the likelihood of stumbling across the ace parts of the internets is lower, too.

    • ace-muslim says:

      Re #1 There seems to be a sizable minority of aces (including me) who experienced what’s sometimes called “the asexual assumption”, in that we assumed our experience was normal and therefore didn’t feel “broken”. So you’re not alone in this.

      Re #3 This may be related to my point above that the ace community (at least on Tumblr) is predominantly college age. I’ll turn 40 this year and I expect if the community was predominantly people my age, very few would still be an academia. I would also note that online communities tend to be disproportionately white, well-educated, and economically secure so if you’re looking online, there may be more people in academia than there would be in a offline population of asexuals.

    • I was born to non-married parents. I’ve never met another person who I knew to have unmarried parents either!

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