okay, you know what?

Let me state this outright: if you don’t know a thing about recognizing abuse, you shouldn’t be running an ace advice blog.  If you don’t know anything about the makings of a healthy relationship beyond “Communication is key!” and you’ve never bothered to even think about how to distinguish normal interpersonal conflict from emotional abuse tactics in everyday life, you shouldn’t be giving people relationship advice.  If you’re not prepared to give ethical and informed relationship advice, then you’re not equipped for handling a significant chunk of the workload involved in running an ace advice blog.

If you don’t know the first thing about picking up on clues, condemning psychological coercion, and helping people out of abusive situations, then don’t set yourself up as an authority and advisor to aces who don’t know where else to go.

If you can’t identify emotional abuse and unsafe situations, you shouldn’t be running an ace advice blog.

Let me clarify.  Not having an in-depth understanding of these subjects doesn’t mean that you’re bad.  It doesn’t mean you’re a failure.  It doesn’t mean you have nothing to offer the community.  It means running an ace advice blog isn’t what you have to offer the community.

There are a lot of things you can do to help your fellow aces.

It doesn’t have to be that.

Make sure you know what you’re doing, or quit running an ace advice blog.


16 responses to “okay, you know what?

  • Hezekiah the (meta)pianycist

    I can’t believe what awful “advice” I read in the post you’re talking about. I sent the blog a message and I sincerely hope that there are consequences for this mod. This is not okay.

    • Coyote

      This wasn’t even about a specific post. This was just me venting while working on a linkspam. The fact that this made you think of a specific post is… alarming.

      Can you link me to the one you mean? (or send it through my askbox if you’d rather not post it here)

        • Coyote

          …Why would any ace blogger make an unqualified suggestion of couples therapy as if you can just expect a couples therapist to be fair or sympathetic to someone who doesn’t want sex?

          Thanks for the link. Keep me updated, if you can.

          • Hezekiah the (meta)pianycist

            An update: Two of my friends have told me that I might have been misinterpreting that advice. My initial interpretation was that the advice-giver was endorsing pressuring the ace partner into sex, and that they were also tacitly endorsing the anon’s possible belief that their body image issues are caused by the ace partner not wanting sex. (I still think the couples therapy suggestion was a bad move though…)

          • Coyote

            Did I miss something, or did they not address the body image thing at all?

          • Hezekiah the (meta)pianycist

            I think I interpreted the not-addressing the body image stuff in the reply as endorsing the anon’s possible blaming of the body-image stuff on the ace partner (for the not wanting sex). I can understand how someone might develop body-image issues if they have a partner who doesn’t want to have sex with them, but I felt like the advice-giver should have made it clear to the anon that they shouldn’t blame their ace partner for this.

          • Coyote

            Yeah. Just revisited the post again. They’ve got a paragraph saying (paraprashed) “this indicates maybe it [sex] actually is a big deal for you” but there’s not really… any validation in the form of “there’s nothing wrong with your body, and your partner’s preferences don’t mean there’s something wrong with you” or… anything like that, like I would’ve liked to see (addressing it & reassuring them while also redirecting the possible thought patterns that could have caused it).

            I mean… I don’t see why “my partner doesn’t want to have sex with me, and I feel bad about myself” isn’t treated more like “I don’t want to have sex with my partner, and I feel bad about myself.” It seems like they come from the same harmful paradigm.

          • Hezekiah the (meta)pianycist

            I neglected to send a follow-up message to the blog after conversations last night, and their response to my initial message (which I admit was definitely an overreaction…but I honestly think advice blogs should be prepared for stuff like that?) accused me of trying to start drama… http://asexualadvice.tumblr.com/post/132763397979/httpasexualadvicetumblrcompost132671618514m (and another thing I wrote to them also was tagged in such a way as to call all my messages “drama”).

          • Coyote

            Well even if they think your criticism wasn’t completely valid (and I think you can never be too cautious when it comes to these things — I think you had the right impulse), it’s not fair to just assume that your intentions were–


            Oh, it got answered by Kiowa.

            Well I guess that explains it. I’ve never known her to be as receptive to criticism as she claims.

          • Hezekiah the (meta)pianycist

            Yeah, it’s very bad practice to respond to someone who was panicking (I was, and I think it was evident) that the advice they are panicking about was “100% sound” and to accuse me of starting drama. My friends who told me that I might have misinterpreted the advice were a lot more sensitive.

          • Coyote

            I’m not so sure Kiowa was able to pick up on that. Could be an autistic communication thing (I say this as someone questioningly-autistic myself & bc I’ve had a lot of similar tone misunderstandings with people before).

            But, still. “100% sound”? I mean, maybe a passing grade, if you want, but there are still some big things it’s lacking.

            And I’m very suspicious of the way they cast your motives as if you’re just slinging accusations around to be inflammatory. I mean, I know that’s a thing that happens on ace tumblr a lot — people going in and harassing aces — but this is an intracommunity conflict where the concern is doing good by another ace. So that just doesn’t apply. This is a valid disagreement to have, not just a case of trolling.

  • Aqua

    I haven’t been able to keep up with the ace advice blogs, but that’s a serious problem if they are so often failing to spot abusive relationships or coercion and how to give proper advice for those in those situations. I’ll be looking forward to your linkspam about it.

  • queenieofaces

    …the sad thing is that I’ve seen people run consent workshops where they don’t acknowledge that abuse is a thing. So it’s not just an ace advice blog thing–it’s a larger issue in the way we talk about consent and relationships (and the way people assume that if you just TALK about it everything will be okay and if it’s not okay then you just haven’t tried talking hard enough).

    • Coyote

      Pretty bizarre, considering I’d say abuse is a chief reason why we need consent discussions at all. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the line there between harmful ignorance and straight-up apologism.

  • “Is this abuse?”: A Guide For Aces | The Ace Theist

    […] making this guide because I’ve gotten frustrated with how many times I’ve seen authority-touting aces overlook, mishandle, or fail to consider […]

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