Question of the Week: October 9th, 2018.

Do you spend time in ace 101 spaces? Why or why not?

When I was figuring out my asexuality I spent some time in ace 101 spaces because I simply didn’t know what being ace meant, but they quickly became frustrating. I found it difficult to have critical discussions about asexuality that were central to my identity. It felt like everything was being repeated over and over again. I only started to feel at home in the ace community when I found 201 spaces and yet I feel at odds and maybe almost guilty because I also believe ace 101 spaces are vitally important for our community. Every now and then I wander back into 101 spaces with the intention of helping new aces understand their sexual orientation, but I do it less and less.

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
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3 Responses to Question of the Week: October 9th, 2018.

  1. Nowhere Girl says:

    What does really “101” and “201” mean in this context? (English is a non-native language for me.)

    • AceAdmiral says:

      Sorry– 101 is typically the first course a university student takes in a subject. They may or may not have seen it before, but it’s designed to be inclusive of beginners. It’s also typically a broad overview that covers a lot of facets of the subject briefly. In this context, though, it really means the places where people might first encounter asexuality as a concept and related terminology. (Also, because of general education requirements, it may be that students take only a 100-level class in a given subject and then stop.)

      201, then, is the first course of a university student’s second year. At this point, they have seen the material (there is also usually a 102 class in the Spring semester), and this is getting into more detail and introducing intermediate concepts. They also typically require writing from the student that starts to make their own arguments (as opposed to 100-level, where they’re usually shorter and shallower). The analogy might be something like AVENues or the majority of The Asexual–not introductory or stopping to explain themselves to laymen, but also not trying to examine anything in some kind of theoretical framework.

      300- and 400-level classes, then, are from the last two years, and deal with topics in depth and usually with an analytical bent. (I say this because there is a post floating around called Grayness 301 and a corresponding Grayromanticism 301, so in case you encounter them.) The only people in these classes are people with background and interest in the subject, and they are often seminars on specific topics. So, this blog πŸ™‚

  2. Zoe says:

    I think it says a lot about the asexual community and its rather distributing lack of coherence, clarity, and agreement on any matter that these levels exist as starkly as they do. Every time I go back to the ace 101 spaces, there’s something new and contradictory being tossed around and making things more confusing, not less. It’s still considered something you need to know to go to the next level though and if you don’t you get treated as garbage for it.
    Other than the maltreatment, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Discovering other ways people are ace and having terms for it is good, but even the definition of asexual, the foundation from which we build, is a sifting sand pile rather than any kind of concrete base.
    For example, if you’ve been in the community for a good while but not been interacting much and decide to dive back in, you shouldn’t need more than a quick brush up on new terms. In most communities like this, you can just jump right in at 201 or even 301 and context clue your way through the new stuff, but in the ace community, you find a ton of new terms and redefined ones that are a Gordian knot of confusing and when you go back to the 101 you find so much about it changed you’re not even sure you’re in the same community anymore.

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