On Solving the Problem of 101 Material

Here are some of my thoughts so far:

  • We have consistently seen some of the same problems repeated in “introduction to asexuality” material.  In contexts where unsafe, exclusive, and damaging material keeps getting spread around, it’s not enough to say “go make your own”.
  • As Sciatrix pointed out, most of the people making these significantly flawed materials appear to people who never engage much/at all with community discussions above the 101 level.
  • One way to remedy this might be to spread 301 discussion in a more accessible way.
    • It’s hard to follow a full discussion on tumblr unless you’re following the participants, and since much of the asexual community is adhering to tumblr as its center, I think Agenda-style linkspams of recent kerfluffles and debates posted to tumblr’s asexuality tag could be an idea worth considering.  This would come with its own challenges, however.
  • It could also be worthwhile to put together some resources on How to Not to Hose Up Your 101 Powerpoint 101, which is what I’m thinking of doing.
  • This could cover a lot of topics, but while we’re on the subject lately, I’d be interested in starting with the topics of sexual activity and sex-repulsion among aces.
  • To do that, I’d need some community-wide/WordPress-reader-wide input on what you, as a (fill in the blank) ace, would like to see included or acknowledged in basic 101 material, what you want to see avoided, common mistakes, commonly forgotten or elided facts, etc.  I will moderate comments with a more heavy hand than usual if I need to.
  • What I’m intending to do, specifically, is to write up a post that synthesizes some of these considerations with some bullet points and background information on where common complaints are coming from, creating a link could easily be submitted to someone if they mess up, and replacing some of the effort of someone having to launch into a full-blown explanation each and every time.
  • Obviously, this guide would have to be carefully reviewed and vetted first, which is why I’m writing this post and calling for comments before getting bold enough to draft the thing.
  •  Here are some perspectives that I already have bookmarked and intend to make reference to.
  • Link me to more if you like.  Keep in mind, though:
  • The purposes of this is to make some kind of reference material that’s easier for clueless newbs to digest than telling them to follow more people and pay attention (which would be good thing for them to do, but they’re clearly not doing it anyway).
  • So, points and posts that are short and concise are appreciated, to the extent that that’s possible here.  I’m going to try and gear this toward a skimming type of audience.
  • It may turn out that what I want to do here is not exactly possible, but I want to try.
  • Worst case scenario, I’ll learn a lot about making 101 material and can return all the way back to bullet point #1 up there and make a Comic Sans asexuality powerpoint of my own.

12 responses to “On Solving the Problem of 101 Material

  • onlyfragments

    If the worst case scenario occurs, I will spam the hell out of that PowerPoint because I believe you are an amazing source of information and insight into asexuality, and I’d trust anything you produce. :)

  • PurplesShade

    A point I wish I would have seen sooner, and am considering writing on: Our sexuality does not have to be all or nothing.
    You can be repulsed by some aspects of touch/intimacy/sex both conceptually and physically, and feel indifferent or positive about others, and it’s okay to feel or not feel any or all those things, we can be patchwork that’s okay.

    The 101’s I saw didn’t mention grey-a’s being a thing, except in linked posts, not sure if that’s still true.

    Also, it’s okay to not know for sure how you feel. Uncertainty is something I’ve seen holding people back from identifying or talking because they don’t feel sure they do or don’t feel something, or they’re X,Y,Z enough.

  • embodiedinlanguage

    I would have benefitted from more emphasis on the fact that there are lots of different kinds of attraction, and that arousal does not equal attraction. There’s a whole lot of toxic misinformation out there equating arousal with desire, attraction, consent, etc.–in essence, it’s a rape culture problem, and asexuality 101 is one of many discourses that would benefit from tearing down those assumptions.

  • Ace in Translation

    the things I personally benefited most from, when first learning about asexuality were:
    1) the differentiation between different types of attraction.
    2) the differentation between different “bodily functions” and sexual attraction (ie. arousal, masturbation, libido are all different from sexual attraction) .
    3) An unlearning of (some of the aspects of) compulsory sexuality (romance=/=sex; I don’t need sex, and that is okay! yay!) –> in that line of thought I’m also wondering whether aromantics would benefit from some info on amatonormativity in the 101, but I can’t speak for them.

    • Spade

      Also good points, and I really needed to hear those things when I was first learning, too. A “how not to hose up your introductions to romantic orientation” 101 would be another great subject to write a guide on, but for now I think I’m going to focus on a guide for sex-repulsion and sexual activity first.

  • Linkspam: September 5th, 2014 | The Asexual Agenda

    […] Spade (The Ace Theist) wants to write a How to Not to Hose Up Your 101 Powerpoint 101 post, and is looking for input. […]

  • lilietb

    A thing that makes me froth with rage is casually throwing aromanticism under the bus along the way. “Oh, but asexuals are still human and capable of falling in love! Well, some aren’t I guess, they are called aromantic and have to do with familial affection!” The rest of stuff in 101 I went through is pretty satisfactory but this just makes me want to strangle whoever wrote that every time I see it…

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