Okay, first, SlightlyMetaphysical has an interesting commentary on a post Dreki made a while ago up on his blog. Go read that first, because this is something that should be a comment on that post. However, Blogger is not allowing me to post that comment on his blog for some reason, so I’m posting it here so that he can actually see it.
This actually was linked on AVEN some months ago, and I discussed it then, though as I recall my conclusions revolved more around Dreki’s points about catering to sexual members on an asexual forum and defining a safe space than on the worry that an asexual safe space might encourage true antisexuality. (Among other things: AVEN likes its tone arguments.) I could probably link you to that if you wanted to read it.
On your worries that an asexual safe space might disintegrate sharply into antisexuality, which in turn oppresses nonasexuals: yes and no. Yes, in that unchecked and unwatched, those tendencies can get pretty nasty. (See here: some of the things I’ve seen in asexuals who haven’t had any kind of community at all and have to muddle along on their own. People come to some pretty strange conclusions about the nature of sexuality!)
But I’ve watched a lot of people come to terms with asexuality, and I’ve seen a lot of people go through this phase I think of as detoxing. That is, they’re coming out of a culture that expects everyone to want sex, anyone in a romantic relationship to have it, and they find this space that’s validating their disinterest in sex or their outright repulsion at the activity. And they’re excited, they’re relieved, they’re integrating this new identity, and they sometimes get pretty enthusiastic about how terrible sex is and how much they hate it, because they’ve never had anywhere to say that before and have people nod their heads and say “yeah, I get it, I don’t experience that desire to have sex with people either.”
What needs to happen in asexual communities is a validation of personal feelings about sex for oneself (that is, if you are repulsed by sex that is okay, and if you love sex to bits that is also okay), while not allowing that detoxing stage to spill over into criticizing other people’s choices. (That is, no saying “sex is inherently bad, no one should be having sex, sex should be banned.”)
And until recently I was a regular poster on AVEN, and this treatment of detoxing newbies was not what I was seeing. Rather, I was actually seeing people beginning to detox and people would tell them sharply not to be antisexual–even if they were talking purely about sex for themselves. I remember one post in particular where someone had been pressured repeatedly to have sex she didn’t want, and she was venting about how horrible she found sex as an experience for her, and people told her to stop being antisexual. It is reasonable for these people to have this frustration!
And if there’s no safe place to vent it, if not even the asexual community can be a receiving place for that kind of anger and upset, then people ARE going to shift into actual antisexual views. Because if you have a lot of (largely justified!) frustration with sexual culture, and the sex-positive asexuals over there are telling you that frustration is not okay and you’d better can it while the antisexuals over here are telling you “I KNOW, it’s TERRIBLE, there should be a LAW” a lot of people are going to go where the acceptance is.
On Dreki’s last charge, the one about policing our community image: well, I am no longer posting on AVEN as of a month ago. And the reason I am no longer posting on AVEN stems partly from an incident in which an otherwise highly privileged poster felt totally free to ask AVEN’s transgender, neuro-atypical, and mentally ill posters to shut up about their trans and disabled experiences because he felt that they were giving the site a bad impression to nonasexuals and he didn’t want to be associated with them.
(No, this is actually what he said. This was not subtle hinting or implication or innuendo.) And he was agreed with by several other people.
And then the leadership of the site did absolutely nothing of any kind, and refused to enforce its brand shiny new anti-discrimination clause in its ToS for several blatant examples of ageism and ableism unrelated to that (as well as that incident, in which several posters expressed ableist and transphobic viewpoints). That’s why I’m not posting on AVEN right now.
All of this, by the way, was several months after that blog post of Dreki’s. I’m depressed that they were able to foresee that, honestly.