Writing From Factor X

February 14, 2012

Linkspam

Filed under: Signal Boost — Sciatrix @ 6:35 pm

From Asexual News: Trevor Project Seeks More Asexual Resources

The Trevor Project works to prevent suicide among LGBT Youth. The Trevor Project also offers a series of videos on Youtube. Several “It Gets Better” videos point to the Trevor Project as a resource. The “It Gets Better” project is the work of Dan Savage and his partner.

From Feministe: An Asexual Map for Sex-Positive Feminism

As it currently stands, many asexual people often describe the sex-positive movement as unsafe for them. This is a problem that needs to be addressed by the community.

From Zombie Headquarters: Asexuality Semi-Open Thread/Crowdsource

Kaz just put up a really cool post on Feministe talking about asexuality, specifically in relation to sex-positivity. I got very excited and jumped the gun somewhat, posting two rather lengthy comments which I subsequently realized were derailing. I’m withdrawing my questions from that thread, therefore, but on the off-chance that there are some asexual people who can help a very confused person out with a thought or a relevant resource, it would be greatly appreciated.

From shiyiya: Introducing Ace Hate Bingo!

INTRODUCING ACE HATE BINGO! Almost entirely populated from that Feministe thread!

From sidneyia: prude-shaming

If rape culture and the systemic oppression of women’s sexual agency can be traced in large part back to the virgin-whore dichotomy, then all the focus on slut-shaming is only dealing with the “whore” part. The purpose of this post is not to excuse slut-shaming, but to point out that it’s only half of the story.

From A Life Unexamined: Being an Ace Feminist

I’ve been thinking about the way that my identity as a feminist and my identity as asexual intersect. Although I discovered feminism and asexuality around the same time, I’ve only started pondering their influence on each other over the last few weeks.

From Good Lesbian Books: Asexual Lesbians/Asexual Women in Fiction

For the purposes of this list, only characters inside a sexual canon displaying asexual traits should be counted as asexual (i.e. they have to be presented with an opportunity to display sexuality, not just ‘never have sex’). Some of these characters may generally be assumed to be ‘lesbian’, but often that’s only because they’re obviously ‘not straight’.

From Charlie the Unicorn, Ace Detective: Allies in opposition

In some ways, asexuality is very obviously distinct from other sexual minorities, at least according to the public view – asexual people don’t want sex, homo (bi, pan, poly) sexual people want sex outside of expectation. But at the same time, there are a even more similarities, at least insofar as media representation (and even moreso, the grasping at straws for representation that occurs in places concerned with the consumption of and resulting community related to said media) is concerned.

From samhainsugarspectrum: Asexy rant?

When people say; “Gee, I wish I was Asexual” I want to turn to them and say “No. No you don’t.”

From scar-lip: Invisible [abuse, rape culture, etc.]

For asexuals, invisibility is the culture that leaves us feeling broken and wrong and alone. It’s the culture that tells us we need to put ourselves through abuse, we need to consent to things we do not want, we need to let people do things to us no matter how horrible they make us feel, because this will make us normal. Invisibility is being diagnosed and even drugged because your partner’s desire to force sex on you is proof of your problem.

From metapianycist: A somewhat rambling post about sensual attraction, romantic attraction, and physical affection

If there are romantic asexual people who don’t ever develop a desire to kiss their partners, a sign that sensual activity is not an essential quality of romance, then whatever romance is, there are no grounds to assert that my kissing my queerplatonic partner automatically means I must be romantically attracted to him.

From Confessions of an Ist: Sexual Attraction

So I thought I would talk about what it means for me not to experience sexual attraction. These are my experiences, and do not reflect on any other person.

February 4, 2012

Saturday Linkspam

Filed under: Signal Boost — Sciatrix @ 7:17 pm
Tags: ,

The Carnival of Aces just finished its monthly round-up! This month’s topic was “Re/presentation.” The next month will be held at Shades of Gray on the topic “Sexual Exploration.” If you’re interested in hosting the carnival, we’re currently a little short for hosts, so please think about leaving a comment on the masterpost!

From Love from the Asexual Underground: Asexy Politics: Report-Out From Creating Change

Well this year, thanks to the help of Asexual Awareness Week and the (A)sexual documentary we got [a workshop], and it landed better than we could have hoped. Here’s a blow-by-blow for anyone interested in the state of ace politics.

From Asexual Explorations: National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) 2012 Call For Papers About Asexuality

Papers on any topic at the intersection of women’s and gender studies and asexuality will be considered.

From Aromantic Aardvark: Valentine’s Day, Single’s Awareness Day, and What They Mean for Aromantics

The idea of celebrating romantic relationships isn’t one that’s inherently bad, but what is is the idea that romantic love deserves a day more than any other type of love. That romantic love is so fundamental, so important, that we need to have a day just for it. I realize Friendship Day and things like it do exist, but I have never seen them celebrated with the fervor that Valentine’s Day is.

From Bitch Magazine: Double Rainbow: Erasure and Asexuality

Until recently, were I asked to comment on the subject I might have written something like “Popular representations overwhelmingly present autistic people as asexual.” And I would have been incorrect. What popular culture tends to do is to deny that autistic people possess the agency and self-awareness to think about and establish sexual identities.

From Skeptic’s Play: Asexuals Are Not X-Men

I’m not really sure where people get this idea, that asexuality is the future.  It’s comparable to Creationism in how wrong it is on evolution.  It’s a magical worldview, where cultural saturation of sex will somehow spawn asexuals as a spiritual counterweight.  It’s a false equation between “evolution” and “progress”.  It’s a mythical view of the pure, superhuman asexual.  It just doesn’t make any sense no matter how I look at it.

From Flare’s Lair: One of Those Gosh-darn Ranting Asexuals

“I wish this TV show didn’t portray asexuality in a bad light” does not translate to “I have it worse than gays.” “It was hard to explain my asexuality to my family” does not translate to “I have it worse than gays.” “My asexuality puts a strain on my relationship and sometimes drives me to tears and self-hatred” doesn’t translate to “I have it worse than gays.” These are personal statements about personal experiences that have absolutely nothing to do with you.

From Musings of an Ist: Worrying

 I’m not particularly out here; San Francisco, this ain’t. And I’m concerned that, if certain people found out my orientation, I could be in… a significant amount of trouble.

From Ace Admiral: Outside my Bubble

As I’ve gotten to know my classmates here better, I’ve been more open about who I am and the people who are important to me. So far, no one’s really batted an eyelash when I say I prefer girls. It’s been really nice, being able to say it, because it wasn’t that long ago that I was in denial about it to myself. But, for some reason, I haven’t been able to tell them (with the exception of the group I mentioned coming out to during AAW) that I’m asexual, and I don’t know why.

From emerald-ace: I wrote a story about asexuality for my creative writing class today

I’m afraid that I shouldn’t be writing this story, because I’m going to ruin it. I think I’m too close to it to take criticism well, but these stories need to get out there, and after that House episode, I don’t really trust zedsexual people to do it well. And I feel that by writing this story and then being enthusiastic about it, I’ve basically painted “I’M ASEXUAL AND NEED OTHER PEOPLE TO VALIDATE ME” on my forehead.

From Kami Doodles: Question: Asexuality and Marriage

Now, I have a friend, who is intending to get married. Now, he and his future wife are asexual. They’re completely uninterested, and desire no children. However, his future wife is Muslim, and one tradition they’re supposed to follow is to consummate their marriage.

From No, Seriously, What About Teh Menz?: Tim Gunn Hasn’t Had Sex in 29 Years, And It’s None of Our Fucking Business

The consensual, safe, and emotionally healthy actions I take with my own damn body are none of anyone else’s concern. The same thing is true of Tim Gunn. He might be a famous person, but he has not given up his right to not have people be assholes about him, and long-distance diagnosis of mental problems because of his happy, consensual, safe sexual choices is clearly asshole behavior.

January 28, 2012

A More General Linkspam

Filed under: Signal Boost — Sciatrix @ 9:44 am

Aaaand this is that more general linkspam I promised a few days ago!

There was a Carnival of Aces round-up at Confessions of an Ist recently! The current carnival is at quode inane vocamus on asexual representation.

From Kris Lignan: My Sheppard is Asexual, and That’s Okay

 In games, of course, there’s not just the expectation that love and sex are interchangeable, but the assumption that sex a la carte is somehow expected. We can attribute some of this to the straight male point of view behind the design of a lot of these games, but really, it’s an attitude endemic of most of contemporary Western culture.

From asexy beast: Coming out to those “situational friends” …or not.

Situational friends can be the hardest people to come out to. The level of emotional investment is fairly low, and yet you still have to spend a lot of time with them, making things difficult if their reaction is negative.

From Jezebel: I Am Asexual (and It’s Awesome!)

There’s a devaluation that happens with relationships that are intimate, but not necessarily sexual in nature, and I hear that devaluation every time I get asked if I have “someone special” in my life. The answer to that question, of course, is “YES!” I have several special people in my life. People whom I love deeply and am very intimate with, rely upon for support, support in turn, and consider very close partners. They are not romantic or sexual partners, but that doesn’t make our relationships less valid or less strong.

From jeyradan: Let’s talk about asexuality, the BBC’s Sherlock, and today’s interview with Steven Moffat.

Asexuality is not an invention.  It’s not lesser.  It’s not uninteresting.  It just is, and right now, Sherlock Holmes is the strongest representative we have.

Let’s not allow that to be erased, taken down or dismissed.

From aceofholmes: A response to the contention that asexual characters are inherently boring

The number of implicitly asexual characters in all of fiction could probably be counted on two hands; explicitly asexual ones are even rarer. So while a handful of overused sexual plotlines aren’t relevant to them, a shitload of others become available that have never been used before everAny writer who tackled an asexual plotline would automatically be a pioneer. How is this boring?

From eccecorinna: Asexual/Aromantic Show and Tell: Who’s Interested?

As I’ve read through the posts on my dash, I’ve noticed a lot of people alluding to aro/ace characters in their original works. This makes me both excited and curious.

Why? Because I want to hear more about your original characters who are asexual and/or aromantic!

From Asexual News: Web Series Seeks Actors to Play Asexual Roles

Producer Billy Reil issued a casting call forThe Coffee Pit, a new web series. Reil seeks Asexual actors to star in the new series.

From Charlie the Unicorn: This is where a title goes.

Actually, that is my solution. We all turn on Steven Moffat, because apparently he doesn’t care for interpreting Sherlock as asexual or as gay. And that’s the real problem –  a character who very well could be either, for whom there is canonical evidence for being very decidedly not straight, he has taken time, more than one, to re-assert as unreservedly heterosexual.

From romanticscientist: In which Jen rants about the importance of Queerplatonic

When every other post on tumblr is some form of “they’re so obviously gay for each other” I think it’s very valid for aces to feel constantly on the defensive about it and to pick at other people’s wording carefully and ask them to check their privilege.

From Q: Asexual activist David Jay on Q

Jian talks to asexual activist and the founder of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network David Jay about his personal and political struggle, and what asexuality can reveal about human intimacy.

From BBC UK: What is it like to be asexual?

Twenty-one-year-old Jenni Goodchild does not experience sexual attraction, but in an increasingly sexualised society what is it like to be asexual?

From Lashings of Ginger Beer: Comments on Consent (Based on the BBC2 Article on Asexuality)

As some of you may know, I recently appeared both in a TV program on BBC3 and in a linked article on their news website. Most of the response I’ve had has either been positive, or curious, but here I’m going to discuss the negatives.

Not technically about asexuality but interesting

From Psych Central: Part 2: Social Scientists Do Not Hear What Singles Are Telling Them

There is a great big elephant in the room and the authors seem unaware of it. If they took their hands away from their eyes and their fingers out of their ears, they might notice the elephant saying this: Single people have social support.

January 25, 2012

House Linkspam

Filed under: Signal Boost — Sciatrix @ 7:18 am
Tags: , ,

I figure that having a collection of links in one place might be a useful resource, given the discussion I see happening all over several communities. Please feel free to drop links about Monday’s House episode in the comments if you think I’ve missed something that should be included; I expect this to be a frequently-updating linkspam for at least a few days.

(I have a more general, if not terribly up to date, linkspam going in a couple of days, but I wanted to get this up, too.)

Initial hopes for the episode at the asexuality LJ community

Initial hopes for the episode at the asexuality DW community

The AVEN thread of reactions to the new episode.

The asexuality LJ comm post of reactions to the new episode. 

The Asexual Awareness Week Facebook discussion thread on the episode.

From sentientmachine: I’m upset about House

I’m upset because I got thrown under the bus so some asshole character who has been suffering the worst kind of character derailment for the past 5 years can look clever.

From sir-kit: Asexuality, Anger, and Media Representation

I just … there are some things that I shouldn’t have to live by “expect nothing and you’ll never be too disappointed” for. And seeing someone of my sexual orientation who’s not an alien, a serial killer, suffering from a brain tumor, or somehow not human is one of them. And I know good representations of asexuality exist, I just … can’t think of any off the top of my head.

From annwylcariad: Hey, FOX.

Thanks so much for all the harmful and offensive stereotypes about asexual people perpetuated by last night’s episode of House. As a community with low visibility and virtually no portrayals in mainstream media, we really appreciate your association of us with life-threatening medical conditions and relationships based on lies. We also want to thank you for all the conversations we’re now going to have to have with well-meaning friends who no longer believe that our sexual orientation is valid. That’s just what we wanted! 😀

From confessionsofllesk: I hate House. 

Because of that idiotic episode of House my mom said it “got her thinking” and now she wants to have my glands and other things checked.

From mallamun: That House episode.

But to seriously take a demographic that already struggles with invisibility issues, and to make your big fucking punchline, “Oh, just kidding, they’re not real!” Not even, “Hey, we’re going to insult you”, but “Hey, you don’t exist.

From kallian: So I’m a little behind on the tumblr explosion…

But, in the last scene of this subplot, House says “You saved a man’s life, and of course corrected two people’s wildly screwed up world views”.  This was unnecessary.  What was even more unnecessary was Wilson’s passive acceptance of this.  And this is where I call bullshit on Fox’s “House needed to solve a mystery” excuse.

and Also…

The House episode is being talked about, not because we want to let everyone know how oppressed we are, but because it is promoting problematic views of asexuals, and as a community, we need to figure out how to address and deal with them.  The first step of that is figuring out what the problems we want addressed actually are.

From Hollywood Jane: Asexuality on House: You’re Doing It Wrong

What I didn’t expect was how much the reality of it – not just the idea of it, but the episode’s actual existence – upset me. Like, tears-in-my-eyes-right-now upset. I’m not the only one, and I think that’s why it’s so hard. Yes, it’s a dumb TV show. Yes, I saw it coming. But I hoped. Despite knowing better, I hoped that for once there would be someone, something I could point to, to show others, some clear, concise portrayal of how I feel that wouldn’t be debunked like a Southwestern cryptid.

From me: This Is Not My “Better Half”

If Ms. Lingenfelter needed a medical mystery to solve for House, I understand that. What I do not understand is why this mystery had to be directly related to the asexuality of the couple featured on the show. I’m an asexual woman, myself. I’ve been sick plenty of times. Aces are not mysteriously resistant to all unusual diseases except those pertaining to asexuality. Why, if she genuinely wanted to be an ally to the asexual community, did she make the choice to portray her characters’ asexuality as a disease and a lie? Was there some sort of reason that her asexual characters couldn’t have a completely unrelated disorder?

From Ace Eccentric: Stereotypical

People who are asexual, gray-a, and demi, but have not connected with ace communities, also had a huge road block placed between them and the opportunity to Google and find other people like them. Why would you want to look up asexuality after being told in no uncertain terms that half the people are sick and half of them are faking?

From Shades of Gray: On “Better Half” – Gregory House Is Not Infallible

Here’s the thing: while I understand that writing workshops are tough sometimes, and especially in a group writing situation where you’re not in charge you can be easily overruled, intent still isn’t magic. And this episode is not just offensive, it actually does tremendous damage to the asexual community.

From Asexual Fandom: House “Better Half”

Is it ironic that the only place that hasn’t got a post about “that” House episode is this community?

From Queereka: Asexuality on House, M.D. 

The main character, Greg House (played by Hugh Laurie), is known for being a complete and total asshole. He often says ridiculous and offensive things, leaving no person or group out of his misanthropy. His best friend, Dr. James Wilson (played by Robert Sean Leonard), is the voice of reason. […] House’s diagnostic team (played by various people, it’s changed over the seasons), also often speak up against his assholery.

But not on last night’s episode.

From the Asexual Sexologist: My Initial Reaction to tonight’s (er, last night’s) episode of #House… #spoilers

Certainly I’m disappointed that 2 asexual-identifying characters on a major television show ultimately are supposedly “proven” to not be asexual but that is by far not my biggest complaint (though I’ll address it later in this post). My biggest concern is not the terrible publicity this causes for the asexual community because of more misinformation being spread but rather the negative impact it will have on aces seeking (or not seeking) medical  attention when there are things that are actually wrong with them.

and What will @retlefnegiL write for the next @HOUSEonFOX episode?

It’s about a gay couple trying to adopt when suddenly one of them has a terrible cold! Of course poor sweet tolerant Wilson wants to believe they are actually happily homosexual men but House won’t let him wear his Rose colored glasses for long!

From Swankivy: Add “been checked for a tumor?” to the bingo card

Suppose homosexuality was relatively unknown. Then a gay guy showed up on House. House, because of lack of exposure to the idea, decided all guys like vagina, so therefore, the gay guy must be mistaken. Investigation commences; gay guy is exposed as secretly straight and/or suffering from a hormone problem that made him gay; gay guy is treated and becomes straight; House nods sagely and communicates to his audience the following message: “See, I was right; all guys need vagina.” Problem? I think so.

Asexual Awareness Week is organizing a petition.

From Greg at the Dapper Ace: Week 49; Fuck you, House!

Why do we care about House? Well, they did an episode on asexuality. And I know! Before you get out of your seats and jump for joy, I gotta warn you–the fifty-two seconds of awesome-tasticness they gave for their trailer? Yeaaaaah, it… was a false positive. Because they basically did forty minutes of fail. And by forty minutes of fail, I mean that they took two perfectly valid asexual characters, tore them apart, spit them out, and then put them back into their comfy little sexual shoes.

From Aiffe at the LJ community: About Last Monday

As House and Wilson smoked their cigars, the threatening specter of asexuality defeated for good, I still wasn’t angry. But I was baffled. Whoever had written this, I felt, really couldn’t comprehend the idea of not wanting sex, and thought you’d have to be broken to be that way.

Added February 06

From Skeptic’s Play: House Did Not Do the Research

Yeah, there’s really no way for me to see this story in a positive light.  It’s not just Dr. House being the person he is, but the factual events in the show not reflecting the reality of asexuality.  Instead, the factual events played into a few common myths about asexuality, meaning that the writers failed to understand just how insensitive the narratives were.  Lastly, while different characters offered different perspectives on the asexual couple, the “positive” perspective from Dr. Wilson was patronizing, and effectively a strawman.

From Salon: “House” gets asexuality wrong

Last week’s episode of “House” marked the first time a major TV network featured self-identified asexual characters. But the asexuality community isn’t exactly celebrating this breakthrough; in fact, many are petitioning Fox executives in outrage.

That’s because the episode ends — spoiler alert! — with the revelation that the characters aren’t asexual after all.

From yamx: I do believe in Yamxes, I do! 

They managed to reaffirm BOTH of the most damaging stereotypes about asexuals in one fell swoop. This is *worse* than invisibility. It’s a step back.

From foolishfiish: Asexuality on House

Asexuality, in the show’s take on it (which wasn’t even the right definition to begin with), disrupted the norm. Therefore there was a quest to correct that disruption and slide it back in place within the norm. No amount of validation would have helped to prevent that. Asexuality could have been validated 30x times in the show, but it was a disruption to the general norm and therefore needed to be fixed.

August 24, 2011

Wednesday Linkspam

Filed under: Signal Boost — Sciatrix @ 7:27 am

As usual, feel free to self-promote in the comments here!

Also, because I forgot last week: The deadline for the Carnival of Aces is swiftly approaching! This month’s topic is media and this month’s edition is being hosted at An Asexual Space.

There’s a new Dreamwidth community set up as a safe space for ace umbrella people called group_x. For joining instructions, click here.

From kuremu: Aces, they ain’t even trollin’

But I think that’s often an erroneous assumption. “Troll” beliefs are too often loudly, honestly defended by people I’ve encountered IRL for me to dismiss hateful bigoted posts as simply an attempt to rile.

From Asexy Miri: Hey, aces! Help me with a little poll?

Here’s the question: What’s caused you the most trouble, your romantic/gender identity, or your aceness?

From Ace Admiral: My list of demands

Sorry, LGBT community, but when we talk about you, you’re lumped in with all thoseOther People. You know the ones. When we speculate about whether or not “sexual privilege” exists, or complain about the hurtful things people say to us, you’re not special, some category set apart.

From weesleyisourking: Wow, the “queerplatonic” post has over 70 notes

Most of which are people replying, saying things akin to “No one cares about your micromanaging of your relationships”; “Stop trying to be pretentious or get oppression street creds”; “I have relationships like this, you don’t need a special word for it”; and even, “Wow, the asexuals always have to make ridiculous words for things that already exist”

From Black Dog Musings: Of Vegetables and Termites

But as I was lying in bed last night, I got wondering. “How would I have answered that question?” I thought to myself. And the answer I received was “I don’t know.” I probably wouldn’t have answered yes, because technically speaking I’m don’t have a boyfriend. I will never have a boyfriend. Asking me if I will is like asking a fish if it will ever have a spaceship – mostly pointless.

From wiring: random thought on invisibility and aceness and exes

There are no good colloquial terms for “ex-friend” as far as I know, which sometimes is weird to me. I don’t have any “exes” because I’ve never dated, but I have a lot of very important and now … defunct(?) friendships that I find actually draw a lot of parallels to the sort of relationships-with-a-capital-R that most people talk about, in the way they progressed and eventually ended. Relationships which, being ace and demi/greyromantic, were pretty much the most important I’ve ever had.

From violentopposites: Asexual Representation Vs. Erasure

It bothers me a lot when I hear the argument that “any character whose orientation is not made obvious and/or doesn’t have sex could be asexual” (so I’m supposed to be happy with that and shut my mouth about asexuality.) This is just like saying that a character may be Native American if no race is mentioned specifically or may be Pagan if no. This is not visibility. This is derailing.

From FemPop: The Sexy Robin and the Unsexy Orientation

Not to put too fine a point on it, but for a number of fangirls, queer visibility was a sales gimmick, a way of keeping their OTP apart. So what’s interesting isn’t the possibility of Tim Drake being gay, straight, asexual, or a robot built to attract fangirls. It’s the pattern of behavior some of those fangirls fit into.

From Eater of Trees: Sex Positivity is Rape Culture in Disguise

Something I’ve seen going around for a while is this idea that there is such a thing as “Fake sex positivity” which, well, generally is sex positivity that rather blatantly is rape culture, such as, for example, sex positivity that tells asexual people they’re defective and that people are obligated to give sex to their partners.

This is pretty obviously fucked up, but… it’s not fake. It’s real sex positivity. It logically follows from the idea that sex is a good thing that you’d want to encourage people to have more sex, and from there its only a short hop to telling people they must consent to sex they don’t want.

From Kaz’ Scribblings: Sex-positivity, sex non-judgementalism, and me

Sex is a positive thing for some people. In some situations. It’s also a negative thing for other people, in other situations. (For instance, I’m repulsed. Any sex involving me is never anything but bad.) Sex, in and of itself, is inherently neutral. It becomes good or bad, spectacular or horrifying, depending on context.

From demi-lesbian: On Compromise Sex in Asexual-Sexual Relationships

If an asexual (or anyone) is indifferent/wants to have sex, and is free from pressure to have sex unless that’s something they want (asexuals can want sex too), and chooses to have sex, how is that a compromise? That is just sex.

If an asexual (or anyone) is repulsed, and/or is under pressure to have sex even when they don’t want to, and has sex, how is that a compromise? That is in some cases rape, and in some cases a product of sexism, heterosexism and rape culture. But that is definitely not “just sex” and definitely not a compromise.

From Asexual Explorations: Three new articles about asexuality

The most recent issues of the journal Sexualities has three articles on asexuality.

August 17, 2011

Wednesday Linkspam (Belated Edition)

Filed under: Signal Boost — Sciatrix @ 8:00 am

So yeah, I am going to keep doing these. This one is more or less things I bookmarked while taking a step back from blogging, so it’s very disorganized; I should be blogging more frequently in the next few weeks as I’ve begun to get my life back under control. Next weeks’ ought to be more comprehensive.

Feel free to self-promote in the comments!

From Scarleteen: Sp[ace] Exploration: What Sexual People Can Learn From Asexual Communities

Asexuality saved my sex life.

No, seriously — I mean that.

From Skeptic’s Play: On asexual relationships

But it still frustrates me when asexuals imply that we should all want unconventional relationships.  It’s a pretty easy mistake to make.  First you’re complaining about people who think there’s no middle ground between romance and friendship.  Next you’re complaining about people who refuse to be in the middle ground.  I feel this is akin to a bisexual complaining that not everyone is bisexual.  Or more aptly, a polyamorous person complaining that some people are monogamous, or a monogamous person complaining that some people are polyamorous.  It sucks, I know, and you want to complain.  But I don’t feel comfortable with complaining about other people’s sexualities when that’s just a part of who they are.

From Anger is Justified: Shame cannot fight shame

Shaming people for their lack of desire is not sex positivity. It’s not progressive. It’s not helping remove the cloak of shame around sexuality. It’s just encouraging more people not to open up about the subject, thus reinforcing the shame. Oppressing people about their sexual choices is not on, and it’s no good if the people meant to be fighting that shaming perpetrate it upon different groups. Face it, while there’s a lot of sex-negativity at large in our culture, there’s also a hell of a lot of no-sex negativity.

From asexual curiosities: 100% positive

This post is about holding asexuals to a particular standard of non-judgementalism in sexual matters. I’ve seen it said that the existance of judgemental asexuals reflects badly on asexuals as a whole. Which is not just wrong on the basis that it judges everyone in the minority by the standards of one member’s faults. It is also wrong because it is blatently hypocritical.

From sir-kit: The difference between “characters not currently engaged in sexual relationships” and “asexual characters” and why it is important

The absence of a sexual relationship doesn’t erase the character’s sexuality any more than it erases a real person’s sexuality. It’s a part of how people interact with the world.

From findingsherlock: How to Love Your Asexual Without Really Trying

Moral of the story: love isn’t that complicated, it just is what it is. But talking about love is complex and often overladen with socio-linguistic meaning and cultural baggage and suffocated in “supposed tos” and “must dos.” Relax, take a deep breath and hold on.

The key to being a sexual while loving your asexual is to love them. That’s it. Honestly.

From the Veerblog: A Love Letter From the Sidelines

Because of the online ace community, I no longer feel alone. I plan to head the school’s GSA, so that I can try to make sure no one ever feels so alone again, and so that I can give them the same level of support I’ve received. The ace community has equipped me with the words and ideas I need to give a speech on the subject, which I plan to give to all 180 students in my year, and more if I can. I’ve found something that I am fascinated by and truly passionate about.

From Shades of Gray: Confirmation Bias and Anti-Asexual Sentiment

The same phenomenon is happening here, only with asexuals. In any group, there will be people who step out of line, and say offensive things. But to say that all of us are like that, especially when in order to even see the comment in question you have to go through other asexuals who are calling that person out, is pretty ridiculous. And it’s especially so because this exact same phenomenon happens to gay people, too.

From Black Dog Musings: On how not dating doesn’t make it easier

My relationships, on the other hand, are more “So, here are your eggs. And you remember hearing about that box everyone else gets? You don’t get one. But you do get this one. We’re not sure what it’s made of. Could be bloody Graphene, could be straw. We don’t know.

From A Fine Line: Monopoly, dining out, and DIY relationships

When people ask me if I’m dating anyone, going out with anyone, or — more commonly — if I have a boyfriend, it feels rather like they’ve asked me if I have wings or a tail. I’m sure this question would be relevant to some (X-Men!), but I’ve clearly wandered into the wrong party.

July 13, 2011

Wednesday Linkspam

Filed under: Signal Boost — Sciatrix @ 9:14 pm

So it’s Wednesday Linkspam again! Please feel free to use this space to self-promote, link cool things, or ask me questions.

From logopraxis: Zucchini recipes?

Is there anyone out there who actually has a zucchini, or a queerplatonic life partner, or a Boston marriage, or anything even remotely resembling any of the above? If so, I would really love to hear as much as you are comfortable telling about how exactly this wondrous thing came about. Alternatively! Have you ever made a concrete effort to acquire such a relationship? How did it go? Any advice on how to approach the whole business?

From outlawroad: The Difference Between Romantic and Platonic Love: Why It Shouldn’t Matter

And see, my problem with this is that on the one hand, I do think there can be a difference between a nonsexual romantic relationship and a friendship but I absolutely do not agree with the way so many other asexuals characterize that difference!

From Childfree Ace: Sex still isn’t necessary for romance

Apparently people have been referred to an older post on this blog from an asexual denialist post on another blog. Among the usual false claims and absurdities, a commenter there repeated yet another misconception that is only partially related to asexuality: that romantic attraction and sexual attraction are inextricably linked.

From polisci-prelaw: To my dear asexual community

It’s days like this that remind me how much I love you all. If nothing else, we are hella good at sticking together.

From coolmoniker: My Community is my Rainbow Family

I want to take the time to talk about my queer community. The community that I belong to and the community I consider home. I’ll be finishing up school this fall and since my community is a school club, I will soon lose it when I move back home. And that breaks my heart.

From aceadmiral: A response to egregiously

SO. It looks like the OP took this down and apologized, which is fine or whatever, but let me answer all these arguments, which I have addressed individually in the past, in one place for anyone else who says stuff like this in the future.

From Charlie the Unicorn, Ace Detective: More thoughts regarding being queer

And there are so many misunderstandings that I scarcely know where to start, so I’ll go to what may well be the central issue – not all asexuals want to or do identify as queer, but some do.

From shaunsense: On the notion that asexuality is slut-shaming in identity form

I couldn’t be a sex-positive feminist if I wasn’t comfortable in my asexual identity.

From Black Dog Musings: Sex and Relationships and Me

Having read this post, I got thinking. And then I decided that I should state my position on sex and relationships, as it stands now.

From Charles again: Tell me the people who are ace in your headcanon!

I put an exclamation mark to show that I am VERY ENTHUSIASTIC about hearing who you think is ace.

From An Asexual Space: Writing Experience

I suppose it’s easier to demonstrate to an audience that a character is asexual than it is to demonstrate you’re asexual in real life. Even with third-person narrators, you can peek into a character’s thoughts. Not so possible in real life, unless, as I’ve always feared, everybody’s developed telepathy without telling me.

From lizziegoneastray: More about coming out and “keeping an open mind” about asexuality

First of all, must every single goddamn person I come out to tell me that I should keep an open mind?  They’re not telling me anything I haven’t already heard and/or thought of on my own!  Besides, I should be allowed to state my sexual orientation without a disclaimer.

From Swankivy: How to Be an Asexual Ally (Part 1)

Unless this article is your first introduction to asexuality, you thought something. Maybe you said something. Maybe you wondered later whether what you said sounded ignorant. Or maybe you stayed silent and regretted it. Maybe you’re wondering if it would have been okay to ask questions. Maybe you’re wondering how you can be supportive of the asexual community even if you’re not one of its members. Maybe you want to know how to be an asexual ally.

From Captain Heartless: Asexuality/Hypermobility and the reoccurring themes of my life

So I think I’ve mentioned this before but I have a strange genetic condition (for which I will use the term “hypermobility”, although I should note it’s more than just me being flexible). My hypermobility makes me extremely flexible, gives me stretchy skin, and a variety of other problems and/or oddities. Now, something that has always amused me is how many similarities my experiences with asexuality have with my experiences with my hypermobility.

From Hypomnemata: The Back Pew: Asexuality & Christianity (and Part 2)

Now that I’ve laid out the back story, I’m going to state up front that in my experience of Christianity, there is in fact little encouragement or acceptance of asexuality.  Celibacy, yes.  Asexuality, no.

July 6, 2011

Wednesday Linkspam

Filed under: Signal Boost — Sciatrix @ 9:11 am

As always, feel free to self-promote, link to cool stuff, or ask me questions in the comments!

The third round of the Carnival of Aces finished up today! The round-up is here at Skeptic’s Play. The next round is being hosted at Neutrois Nonsense and should be up soon–I’ll update this post when its call for submissions go up. Submissions for the carnival are always welcome!

Update: The new call for submissions is here, and this month’s topic is relationships.

From Asexual Experiences: About this blog

This blog is an attempt to collect the experiences of asexuals (I do hope there isn’t already another blog who does this, if there is one, feel free to point it out). The asexual community is very multifaceted, and I’d like this to be represented here.

From Ace Admiral: Asexy Fic I Know About

So there was a fanfic flamingo a couple of weeks ago about asexy fic, and a lot of people in the comments were like, “What? Where!?!?!” So, here is a list of the fic I personally know about including asexuality, demi/grey-asexuality, or asexy themes (as of 6/31/11).

From Fuck Yeah Asexuality: TV Tropes: Asexuality

What you don’t seem to see are many characters who are of an age or situation to get sexually attracted – but aren’t. You don’t see many characters who aren’t particularly interested in having sex or involving themselves in a relationship with anyone.

From Meowing at the Moon: Yes, Asexuals Can Love Captain Jack Too!

For those who don’t know, the video at the end of this post is the moment where Captain Jack finds out why he is immortal. It also explains why I love Captain Jack even though I’m asexual and he’s pansexual.

Trigger warning: Discussions about consent and entitlement to sex

From takethesword: Dear everyone: PEOPLE DON’T OWE YOU THEIR BODIES EVEN IF YOU ARE IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM

You know whose right it is to allow or disallow you permission to touch them in any way?

The person whose body you want to touch.

From outlawroad: When People Tell Asexuals That We’ll Change Our Minds About Our Identity When We “Meet the Right Person”

I think that’s funny as hell, actually. There are so many false premises in that attitude.

From ace-azaelia: You know what I love? 

I love when someone thinks they can be all smart and define asexuality as a lack of sexuality because they know what the morpheme a- means and what the word sexuality means (that word is, I believe, three morphemes: sex; -ual; -ty).

From sir-kit: You know one of those things I shouldn’t have to do? 

Justify referring to my sexuality as a sexual orientation. Or wanting to see it recognized and included in a list of orientations.

From polisci-prelaw:  Things That Frustrate Me

When in the process of trying to debunk a stereotype, people erase my experiences and my life and my identity.

From Childfree Ace: Sexual fluidity is not a threat to asexuality

The solution, according to some, is to state repeatedly that sexual fluidity is not real — even though that’s not true. I think the root of the problem is in telling others their self-identification of sexual orientation is false with absolutely no evidence to back up your point.

From swankivy: Asexual bingo cards

I decided to make a second bingo card to catch some of the common overflow comments. The original Asexual Bingo card was made by AVEN member jmerry. I’m going to show you both jmerry’s card and the card I just made under the cut.

From epochryphal: “Ace” vs “Asexual” as umbrella terms

I believe “ace” can function similarly. Rather than using “ace” as (quite lovely and catchy) slang for “asexual,” my intent will be a broader, more wildcard, fill-in-the-particulars meaning.

From Your Left Sock: On being aromantic & sexual

 Being aromantic and sexual are not two things that are incompatible, and I’d like if people in the future (whether they’re interested in me or otherwise) take my aromanticism into account the same way I would them being romantic. And the same with any other aromantic people you meet – we’re pretty invisible.

From Skeptic’s Play: Asexuality at SF Pride 2011

Last weekend, I went to a pride parade for the first time.  I marched in SF pride 2011 as part of the asexual contingent.

From nethdugan: World Pride 2012! 

If there were an asexual contingent at World Pride 2012, held on July 7th in London, how many people would come?

From Ace of Hearts: The 30 Day Asexuality Challenge

I feel like we deserve to have one of our own, so I decided to write one up. 🙂

June 29, 2011

Wednesday Linkspam

Filed under: Signal Boost — Sciatrix @ 7:54 pm

As usual, feel free to self-promote, link to other interesting things, or ask me odd questions in the comments.

Also, a reminder–the deadline on the Carnival of Aces is swiftly approaching! You can submit posts for the carnival here. This month’s topic is community.

From An Asexual Space: Importance to the Plot

Does asexuality have to be important to the story? Wouldn’t it be nice to just have an asexual character who got to be in the story without making their asexuality an issue?

The answer to both those questions, I think, is yes.

From Black Dog Musings: On movies and romance and humour (or the lack thereof)

In movies, being “Alone” (caps fully intended) is (nearly) always positioned as both a temporary thing and a Bad Thing.

From Charles the Unicorn, Ace Detective: Really, though

If a character is not expressing sexual interest, it doesn’t mean that they’re written poorly. It just means they’re written differently. Any level of sexual interest is a normal level of sexual interest, and seeing someone criticize a book for portraying a character who does’t fit into the expectations regarding a certain group just raises my hackles because it is a fundamental denial of the validity of my own experience.

From Hacking the Heart: Clothing as Costume: Geek Culture and the Sexual Gaze

But it’s slightly frustrating that if I wear something more revealing it’s automatically assumed that I’m trying to send the message that I’m sexually available.  That no matter what I wear it’s assumed that my clothing choices are telling people whether I’m a slut or a prude.  There’s a parallel to the “male gaze” that is talked about so often in feminism; I call it the “sexual gaze.”

From andtheechoes: ranty ace time.

And I notice you say nothing about the opposite end of this spectrum—that a sexualshouldn’t be with an asexual because of forcing their sexuality onto them. It’s only the asexual, the ‘minimally sexual’ as you put it, who’s doing something wrong.

From asexual curiosities: The asexual community and rape culture

The next step in the promotion of rape culture is moving responsibility onto the asexual person. First, it is assumed that asexuals, by seeking out romantic relationships, have themselves to blame for any compatibility issues. Then it is assumed that the asexual person has to be the one to deal with the beast they’re unleashing, a beast that is pretty much fictitious.

From mountland: Asexual Musings

However it is not this phenomena of ‘pure’ asexuals that I am calling in to question today, I am more interested in the idea of asexual love amongst sexuals. Does is happen? Is it even possible? In modern society sex without love is common place and unquestioned but the idea of love without sex is seen as completely implausible, ridiculous even.

From outlawroad: If I ever decide to experiment with sex… 

If I wake up one day and randomly decide I want to try out sex just to see what it’s like, I will pay a stranger. Preferably a professional.

From Childfree Ace: “Good Sex” Is An Oxymoron! 

The main problem here: there is no objective measure of whether or not the sex was “good”. We only have what the partners involved choose to mention — and hell, I wouldn’t ask for more. It’s not possible to have objectively good sex, not enjoy it, and finally have these people say, “Well, you had good sex, and you didn’t enjoy it. So I guess you really are asexual.” Not possible because you can’t define objectively good sex.

From Love From The Asexual Underground: Asex Notes from a Sex Party

Recently there’s been a wave of friends inviting me to sex parties, which (if you’ve never had the experience) is a little like your accountant friends inviting you to a REALLY GOOD conference on depreciation schedules. You wanna go, because bookkeeping is one of those things that’s good to understand and because it’s a rigorous intellectual and social challenge, but somehow it’s just hard to find the time.

From polisci-prelaw: My Life: Lack of Understanding

I’m certain that this can’t just be me, but so much of my trouble in figuring out my sexual and romantic identities has been from the fact that I talk in a certain language when it comes to people. I relate to them in a certain way, I conceptualize all sorts of things — sex, relationships, sexual feelings, etc. — in a certain way. And the way I understand the world is, in many ways, a fundamentally different way than most other people seem to understand it.

From Feeling Green: Sex Is Overrated

The thing the two sides have in common though, is that marriage is a given. Heck, it’s normal if a frum woman is married before the age of 20 and have a child every nine months until the have, at minimum, five kids running around. In a society that isn’t ruled by God’s law, it’s okay if people take a bit longer, just as long as they do find someone in the end.

From demisexuality: Asexual Erasure Fest: RCIA Edition

What I learned in this session that broke some stereotypes though, is that:

  • The Catholic Church isn’t anti-sex; it’s just all about abstinence before marriage, but after that you’re supposed to be having sex (and possibly children) or else it’s not a “valid” marriage.

From Kaz: Ace miscellany

Why is it I’ve never seen people mention annulment of marriage due to nonconsummation as an example of institutionalised anti-asexual attitudes? Some internet research leads me to conclude that laws like these are still on the books in a *lot* of places[1], and I’m pretty sure “if you don’t have sex your marriage isn’t real” counts as pretty damn anti-ace.

From Shades of Gray: Safe Spaces

There is not even one “queer community” to begin with. Talking about it like it’s a monolithic entity is hugely inaccurate. We refer to it like there is one for simplicity’s sake, but in reality it’s just a bunch of related groups with vaguely similar goals. Sort of. Actually, that’s the problem, isn’t it? Each queer group needs to specifically delineate its goals and guidelines so that members know what to expect, and most of them (at least in my experience) fail to do so.

June 22, 2011

Wednesday Linkspam

Filed under: Signal Boost — Sciatrix @ 6:53 pm

As usual, please feel free to self-promote or link to other interesting things in the comments of this post! Since people often use these posts to ask me about other, off-topic things–well, I am officially designating these posts as a good place to do that as well!

From Charles the Unicorn, Ace Detective: But they aren’t the same thing!

And asexuals fit into that. Asexuals (and those otherwise on the ace spectrum) have to deal with being a sexual minority in a world that doesn’t understand or support them. The problems they face are fundamentally different from those faced by members of the other established sexual minorities, but they are no less valid.

From Agalmic Desires: The pathologization of asexuality: Evidence for its systematic oppression

Based on my research into past and present pathologization due to the DSM’s classification of mental disorders, I firmly believe that asexuals are pathologized under the label of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD). Because of this, I believe that asexuals do experience systemic oppression at the hands of the psychological/psychiatric establishment.

From sir-kit: Another post about asexuality and queer.

And one of the things that has annoyed me most about the discussions of asexuality and queer is that both sides frequently assume the queer community is monolithic to a certain degree.

From Asexual Cupcake: I think I’m sick of the concept of privilege

I don’t care who’s privileged anymore. I have goals to accomplish, and that’s what my time is for.

From Kaz: A brief history of asexuality in fandom

Asexuality in fandom, asexual representation in fandom, attitudes towards asexuality in fandom, all of that – these are changing incredibly quickly.

From takesthesword: Things I feel when I read Ace!fic

I’m noticing a trend in ace!fic where the ace person is bewildered by themselves and their chivalrous partner/best friend swoops in and says FEAR NOT! FOR YOU ARE ASEXUAL! and nonchalantly describes asexuality (and also generally recognizes it instantly) to their bewildered ace friend/partner. This also usually includes the informer mentioning AVEN and having googled it at some point and I’ve got to admit that this is when I generally roll my eyes. Really?

From this ain’t livin’: Why the Hell Does an Aromantic Asexual Read Romance Novels? 

Before I came out as asexual, many people thought my romance habit was a little odd since I didn’t seem like ‘the type’ to read romance, and now, people think it’s just plain bizarre that a person who identifies as aromantic would be reading romance.

Trigger warning: discussion of childhood and adult trauma and abuse.

From Hypomnemata: The Fallacy of Causality: Asexuality & Trauma

Over the years I have had far too many conversations with people, post-sexuality disclosure, that involve some form of “do you think your asexuality is the result of (sexual) trauma?”

From Intimacy Cartography: What a Poly, Aromantic Relationship Looks Like

I’ve been seeing an excellent woman (let’s call her S) for a couple months now. We’re definitely in the middle of New Relationship Energy (so ask me about it again in several months) but I’m excited enough about it that I wanted to share the love. I think we’re working out in practice some of the stuff we like to talk about here.

From Hacking the Heart: Asexuality and Kink

So what this all boils down to, I think, since this has mostly been a stream-of-consciousness post with a vague outline I was working from, is that I can get a lot out of kink.  And I don’t experience it as sexual at all, most times, unless a heavily sexual element is somehow presented, at which point I would probably start feeling uncomfortable if I didn’t know about it beforehand.

From Asexual Explorations: Asexual History graphic

There’s a recent thread on AVEN called A history of asexuality, by an AVENite who’s been doing a lot of research in this area.

From littlepaperfrogs: What do you think the closet or being closeted means to you? 

Because no matter how much I talk about my asexuality, no matter how many times I sit down and give strangers the whole “asexuality 101 lecture,” it feels like I’m still invisible.

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