Question of the Week: February 2nd, 2015.

What are terms or concepts from the ace community that people outside of it would find useful?

This question came to me as I continue to explore online BDSM and polyamory communities. I think that discussions of consent (especially enthusiastic consent), limits, and aftercare in BDSM and communication in polyamory would be of value to people outside of these contexts. Aftercare takes on a particular charge in a “risk aware” BDSM context. I’m curious how aftercare would look in everyday interactions void of BDSM, but where care remains essential.

In terms of the ace community I think the distinction/not-distinction between sexual and other forms of attraction and behaviour would be useful outside of our community. I’d be curious to see what unfolds in a space where it is equally possible for attraction and behaviour to be recognized as perfectly valid when linked or not linked. For example, what would it do to “gay porn” or “straight porn” when behaviours are no longer seen as the only indicators of sexual orientation? I’m thinking here of the bisexual, pansexual, queer, asexual, and other people, that get continually erased in behaviour = attraction = orientation models.

About Talia

Talia is an asexual, nonbinary trans, vegan-feminist that drinks a lot of coffee and stays up very late playing World of Warcraft 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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7 Responses to Question of the Week: February 2nd, 2015.

  1. Grey Wanders says:

    There are so many! The split attraction model. The relationship and touch escalators and their suggestion that sex isn’t necessarily the ultimate form of intimacy. The very idea that what people want in a relationship doesn’t always match one of the pre-packaged deals and that sometimes you’ve got to go to the a la carte menu and build your own – and that’s okay!

    On the topic of aftercare, I can see that concept being very useful in situations where you know somebody’s going to end up being upset, but can’t or don’t want to avoid it. So for example, if you have to have a really heavy difficult conversation, you might want to block out some time afterwards for cuddling and talking about lighter things. Another example: My city’s queer+poly+ace(!) bookstore is also a sex toy shop, and whenever I go in there with my partners I get overwhelmed fairly quickly, so we usually follow it up with a visit to Starbucks where they order for me and I can huddle in a corner and not talk for a while.

  2. Sciatrix says:

    My experience is that allo people are frequently interested in split models of romantic vs. sexual orientation, ace-community discussions on sexual consent (esp. criticisms of enthusiastic consent), and alternative structures of relationship building (especially women).

  3. Writer Ace says:

    I think that an interesting thing for me in regards to sexual and romantic attraction and behavior being not necessarily the same and not inextricably linked is how that fits into cheating and open relationships. Like allo people tend to think/talk about cheating and open relationships as being only the sexual aspect, but to what degree is it cheating to do romantic-coded things with someone you’re romantically attracted to that you’re not in a relationship with (while you’re in an exclusive/non-open relationship)? I know part of that comes from the assumption that anyone you’re romantically attracted to you’re also sexually attracted to. And I think looking at the idea of open relationships romantically but not sexually would be interesting (like where you find romantic satisfaction with other people but are sexually exclusive with your primary partner).

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