Question of the Week: September 1st, 2015

Have you ever used an ace advice blog on Tumblr? What was your experience? If not, what’s your opinion of them?

On my personal tumblr most of the blogs I follow are ace, nonbinary, or aro advice blogs. I love scrolling through my dash and seeing so many thoughtful, optimistic, and positive responses to people thinking about their identities and I regularly reblog poignant or interesting asks and responses.

I wish I’d known about advice blogs when I first realized I was asexual. I spent some time on AVEN forums where people asked similar questions, but regularly received problematic, unhelpful, and stigmatizing answers. I didn’t feel I belonged because of the answers. Certainly the same thing can happen on ace advice blogs (about a year ago there was a lot of discussion about ace advice blogs and how they were giving advice, which Queenie made a great linkspam on), but luckily I don’t have much personal experience coming across those blogs.

About Talia

Talia is an asexual, nonbinary, vegan-feminist that drinks a lot of coffee and stays up very late playing Blizzard video games and writing fiction. They are working on a PhD in Environmental Studies where they think a lot about oppression as intersectional and impacting identities differentially. Talia has a particular fondness for asexuality, fandom, and Critical Animal Studies. Their personal blog is petuniaparty.tumblr.com
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6 Responses to Question of the Week: September 1st, 2015

  1. I run one, actually. Or, to be more precise I run an ace blog and answer asks if someone sends them in. I don’t get too many (there are certainly more robust ace blogs on Tumblr, mine only has about 300 followers) but I’m always happy when I do. I think ace blogs are a positive thing as long as they’re aware of “current events” in the ace community, so to speak, and are up to date on their terms, etc. I don’t get too many people asking me anything super specific, mostly because my blog is focused on validating aces from all walks of life, not necessarily on defining asexuality itself. What I find interesting is seeing what posts are popular – two of my most reblogged posts are about Pagan aces and aces who have sex dreams. So I try to talk about things maybe not all of the other ace blogs are talking about, things that pertain to me personally and that I think I could help someone else with.

  2. Sennkestra says:

    My experience with advice blogs has been….not so great. I used to follow a couple advice blogs, but I had to unfollow some of them because I just kept seeing so much bad advice/misinformation/problematic conduct, and I realized that I was spending too much time getting angry about and correcting things that it was just making me stressed out.

    It’s frustrating still because I know that the misinformation and such is still being spread, but I am just one person and I can only deal with so much – and it’s not like the people who most need to be reached are going to see the reblogs anyway.

    That’s one of the big difference between forums (like AVEN) or blogs vs. tumblr as an advice giving platform – tumblr keeps answers restricted to a (hopefully) trustworthy core team, but also means it’s hard to remedy when people start spouting misinformation. Forums, on the other hand, allow for people to share their second opinions and correct misinformation, but of course that also allows for more bad opinions in the first place.

    Another thing I’ve noticed is that individual blogs who also sometimes give selective advice seem to have higher quality responses than the generic answer-all ask blogs with rotating mods, though some of that might be selection bias on my part.

    On a more positive note, though: I absolutely love the genre of parody advice blogs (the asexualfactoftheday tumblr is genius)

  3. DG Arf says:

    As an advice blog owner, I’ve found that people can be pretty quick to call advice bloggers out if they spout misinformation, and there has been less and less misinformation/bad advice over the time I’ve been following them. It’s nice to see someone on WP who has a positive opinion about advice blogs. Sure, they mess up sometimes (who doesn’t?), but I think they’re overwhelmingly a net positive.

  4. Siggy says:

    I followed Arf’s advice blog at one point but I found I didn’t actually read it so I stopped following. Advice blogs are interesting as a feature of the asexual internet landscape, but the anthropological interest is all I have and it’s not enough.

    This has the effect that I only ever see advice blogging when something is going wrong. Presumably this is only a small fraction of the content, although often there’s a hint of something systemic and hidden. In an especially clear example, one time I saw Asexual Advice defend itself by saying they gave the same answer to a bunch of other people. I’m not hot and bothered about it though because I disagree with lots of people, what else is new?

  5. I don’t follow any advice blogs and don’t find them particularly useful or helpful at this stage in my life. Occasionally in reading the questions that are submitted, I feel inclined to rant about Kids These Days and I feel like an old school ace. Get off my lawn!

    • DG Arf says:

      I actually feel a little similarly to you. I receive a lot of VERY basic questions (or even questions that could be solved via Google…) and I feel like I’m beyond those discussions now. But I get a continuous stream of sincere thank yous that keeps me going.

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