Different Aces -> Different Priorities

This seems like a good time to remind everyone to go read a very relevant post from two years ago (during another ace controversy flare up) about different types of aces valuing different parts of their identity differently.  What Queenie talks about there was true then and is still true now, and I could stand to see more acknowledgement of the fact.

Go read the full post for Queenie’s take on four (4) distinct groups of aces divvied up by how they each prioritize their romantic and sexual orientations:

  • Group 1: Aces who consider their romantic orientation more important than their sexual orientation.
  • Group 2: Aces who consider their sexual orientation more important than their romantic orientation.
  • Group 3: Aces who consider their sexual and romantic orientations equally important or who prioritize different orientations at different times.
  • Group 4: Aces who don’t identify with a romantic orientation and thus consider this whole categorization system boring and pointless.

Fun fact: a lot of the bickering I’ve seen made 200% more sense to me once I realized that it was a lot of mainly Group 1 vs. Group 2-3 (with Group 4 mostly disregarded — hi! we’re here too!).

Listen, it’s fine to be in any of these groups.  It’s fine if one part of your identity means more to you than another, and it’s fine if it doesn’t, and it’s fine if different people with the same nominal identity prioritize different parts of it for themselves.

It makes sense to me to argue interpersonal policy, what hurts people, etc., but it doesn’t make sense to me to argue that romantic or sexual orientation should/shouldn’t be the bigger deal to someone personally, and that’s actually a significant share of what I’ve seen people doing.  So check out Queenie’s words, yeah?


[cw: sexual coercion]

Okay I know this was several days ago which is like years in internet time, but I keep going back to this post where anon approaches redbeardace about their boyfriend, and. I. *abstract hand motions*

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what does stone even mean, anyway

After having seen this:

…and now this:

…I have to wonder what’s going through people’s heads, that they’d position “stone butch” and “soft butch” at spectral poles, as if stone butch is just the extreme end of butch expression and doesn’t mean anything else beside that.  It would almost make me doubt my sense of the term was grounded in anything after all, if I hadn’t managed to read what little I did of Stone Butch Blues.  Has the meaning shifted, since then?  I hope it hasn’t.

Cuz, look.  Out of the unintelligible soup of gendersense in my mug, I’ve picked out a kind of loose connection with butchness — that I feel hesitant naming that way, because I feel like I don’t have the skill set or hardness or the qualifications to claim it.  So the concept of partial/medium butchness, or soft butch, is appealing for that reason.  Meanwhile, I feel kind of stone, too. Not stone as in sexually giving or whatever, but stone as in “don’t touch me, gtfo.”

And so, seeing them positioned as mutually exclusive like this?  Is… confusing.  Like apparently I must be reading myself wrong, one way or the other, or both.

But you know what, forget that, suck it.  Softstone is a viable combination and I’m not ready to let anyone take it from me.


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AA: Order Up

Yesterday I got a message in my ask inbox — zero context — that consists solely of this one sentence: “So how is a sexual wife supposed to get her needs met?”

Zero.  Context.

*throws up hands*  I can only assume it has something to do with this.

So help me out here.  I know plenty of y’all have had run-ins with the “straights don’t have any problem with asexuals” crowd.   I know plenty of y’all have had run-ins with the “you shouldn’t bring up your asexuality to anyone but your partner” crowd.

Can we bring some of this to their doorstep?  Maybe round up some volunteers?  To put their heads together, and devise an answer, in their infinite wisdom, to make sure this question gets interpreted and addressed correctly?

Optimistic Suggestion

Instead of saying there are aces who are abused for being acewhat if we started saying if you don't believe abuse survivors who are ace, you don't support abuse survivors.

[text: Instead of saying “There are aces who have been abused for being ace!” what if we started saying “If you don’t believe abuse survivors who are ace, you don’t support abuse survivors.”]

AA: Questioning and Attraction

Anon wrote in:

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the “you’re wrong because you trust me” gambit

Saw this comic on sex & consent, had things to say, deleted the draft, then several months later, saw it again.  So here we go.  Take two.

The comic there expresses a nice idea, mostly, good examples and advice etc. etc. but the part that caught my attention was this: the green-haired person in the third panel who says, “Wait a minute!  I’ve been with my wife for 15 years.  There’s no way we cover all of this [checklist] every time we have sex!  We usually don’t even explicitly ask each other!  Are you saying that we’re not having consensual sex??” to which the blue-haired narrator says, “Of course not!”

At which point in my mind I hear the sound of screeching brakes.

I’ve seen this kind of objection play out before, sure, in contexts where someone has dared talk explicitly about consent — it’s happened often enough that I can’t even remember specifics of when or where.  What gets me is not the confusion over implicit communication, or even how readily someone jumps to assure them, “No, not at all!  You’ve merely misunderstood the message.  I wouldn’t dare impugn your honor, my 100% ethical friend who has never done anything wrong!”

What gets me is how consistently there’s always someone, even a complete stranger, ready to interject this way in the first place and essentially say, “You trust me, right?  You have faith in me, right?  You believe I’m not a rapist, right?”

And I’m like… the heck?  I don’t even know you.  I probably wouldn’t be rock-solid certain of those things even if I did know you.  Why are you expecting anyone, let alone strangers on the internet, to assure you how much they’re sure you’ve never raped?

Note that this is different from the anxious uncertainty of “oh man, I’m scared I may have hurt someone.”  This is something else.  This is “Excuse me, are you suggesting that I, Me, a Good Person, am somehow not flawless?  For I, Me, a Good Person, have in fact done the-things-that-I’m-interpreting-you-as-saying-are-unethical, so clearly you ought to be ashamed of yourself, or at least explain in a way that clears my name.”

I shouldn’t even have a dog in this hunt, since I don’t group communication and consent as the same thing anyway.  But geez, it bothers me, people thinking they’re entitled to automatic couldn’t-possibly-be-a-rapist trust, or even couldn’t-possibly-need-to-improve-on-the-communication-front trust.  I try to mentally give everyone a null value there.  And from the consistency with which I see “No I’m sure you’re fiiiiiine”-type answers, it almost sounds like not-automatically-placing-unwarranted-trust-in-people is some kind of taboo, if not simply unconsidered as an option.

I guess I just don’t understand going through life without a little paranoia.

remember when

Remember that essay, “Hermeneutical Injustice in Consent and Asexuality,” that was making the rounds a while back?  Remember that post I made on concurrent and reflective consent?

Recently I re-found this post called Asexuality and Felt Consent [cw: rape, vomit, kind of a weird discussion of the ethics of celibacy], published over a year ago, that talks about much of the same things.  I’m wishing I’d held on to this.

was not expecting that

tfw you go hunting for some actually-decent kink politics posts via links from a known-okay blog, bracing yourself for the standard obstacles of porn, nudity, radfem-vs-libfem natter, etc., and instead encounter… someone complaining about aces.

I mean, it’s a common enough thing on it’s own, but it’s kind of jarring to see someone whine, “How come people let aces ID as queer but not me?”

Did I just step into a Salvador Dali painting or something?  Where am I?