One of the ways I find stories to put into our linkspam, is Google Alerts. Given any search query, Google Alerts will send you daily links to new content appearing on the web. Only a small fraction of these links ever make it to the linkspam, with most of them only incidentally referring to asexuality (often when spelling out the meaning of “LGBTQIA”), and others being relevant but just not very interesting.
And then there are the really weird ones. I don’t put most of these in the linkspam, but I collect them for my own amusement. Here are the top ten highlights.
10. The unfortunate title
Sometimes an otherwise competent article is marred by a title that’s just a bit off. Why would we be trying to find the difference between asexual and aromantic? Why would we need an expert for that? Bonus: the article originally aired with a photo of dead flowers, which I put at the top.
9. The tabloid with a fixation
I often see tabloids covering asexuality, and they sure cater to some prurient interests. This article is not as bad as it sounds, and it’s based on a BBC documentary on asexuality. But it reads like the author made a special effort to extract each and every comment on masturbation, genitals, or sex.
8. It’s art!
This article discusses an art exhibit titled “Asexual”, apparently inspired by movie director Lars Von Trier. A less sexually explicit example…
“Secando Cuerpo” (“Drying Out the Body”) shows a withered female torso with dismissive Xs drawn over her bust.
That really sounds like… something… but I get a distinct sense that the artist is not using “asexual” in the modern way.
7. Unrelated anecdote about neo-nazis
This one is funny in a positive way. The author recounts being classmates with neo-Nazi Richard Spencer, and how he “stood out like a poo in a punchbowl.” Asexuality is only mentioned incidentally; apparently Richard Spencer derided German women as hairy and asexual–just like lesbians.
6. Phoning it in
It seems the author made a minimal effort to find a single psychologist, and single LGBT spokesperson, and then strung together a bunch of their comments in no particular order. Also, it’s not called hyposexuality, that’s a dated term. I wrote a brief parody of this article:
What is consumption and how is it different from eating? According to a psychologist, men may actually eat more when battling depression. It is crucial to understand how consumption differs from eating, with conflations pointing to a distinct lack of understanding of the latter. “Some people who eat are aromantic,” said an LGBT spokesperson.
5. Dating tips mad libs
Dating tips for asexuals (2019)
If you fancy someone and the other person is also interested in dating you, you should tell him or her right at the beginning…
Uh oh, I feel like I know where this is going.
…that asexuality is not a disorder and it is also not known as a permanent orientation.
Note that this article is from an Indian women’s magazine. I get a lot of Google Alerts from India for some reason. I would characterize most of these articles as rather basic.
4. Throw the Bible at it
Just an ordinary article about Budweiser’s ad campaign for pride on Christian News. Then it starts quoting the Bible. 2 Timothy 2:22 says, “Flee also youthful lusts, but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” I have no idea what point they are trying to make.
3. Meanwhile, in reality
Some of the strangest alerts I get are from celebrity news, and it gets even stranger when the celebrities are from reality TV. This article is about someone who appeared on Big Brother, who was openly asexual. They found on his YouTube a video where he melodramatically declares that a Miley Cyrus music video stole his virginity, and demands that it be taken down to protect our innocence. Feels practically designed for tabloids to eat up.
2. Suddenly Hitler
This article is about a novelist, who apparently envisions Hitler as an asexual deviant.
Hitler was asexual and obsessive about hygiene, and that he would achieve climax by looking at Braun rather than touching her.
The whole article is a raw expression of anti-ace prejudice.
1. Breitbart gets spiritual
When alt-right newspaper Breitbart covered asexuality, I knew it would be bad, but not quite like this. Half of it is basically copying another newspaper, adding insinuations that this is just the latest fad in San Francisco. But the other half is quoting new age guru Arian Lev.
“The people who define themselves as asexual, most of them are activated from a conditioning that says ‘sexuality equals delete’”
[…]her method is able to reprogram the subconscious of these individuals so that sexuality equals “exist.”
The guru’s comments on asexuality were mildly(?) positive, so I thought Breitbart was trying to make asexuality look ridiculous by association. It turns out that the author is just really into Arian Lev, and interviews her in several articles.
If you’re interested in getting your own Google Alerts, it’s fairly easy to set up. The search query I use is “asexual OR asexuality -reproduction -craigslist”. I block out “reproduction” to filter out scientific study on asexual reproduction. And I blocked “craigslist” because there was a period when the alerts were flooded with craigslist personal ads (which are probably gone now).