Author Archives: Coyote

Relationship =/= Partnership

This is a post about two things: relationships, and a relationship.

It’s also a post I’ve been ambivalent about making — or rather, ambivalent about intending as a submission to the August Carnival of Aros. In my last post about the aro community, I discussed my relationship to the aro umbrella as a quoiromantic and came to no conclusions. Just three months ago, I hesitated about even commenting on Carnival of Aros submissions after the fact, worried about to what extent I might be considered an unwelcome intruder. In response to a private post about that concern, Sennkestra, one of the aros who helped launch the Carnival, not only reassured me about that, but also created the present FAQ Page for anyone else wondering the same thing. Under the heading “Who can participate,” that FAQ now extends an extensive invitation to not just confident aros, but also anyone who is questioning an aro identity, anyone who finds some aro narratives useful, anyone who identifies with something considered “adjacent” to aromanticism, and “anyone with any other type of relationship to aromanticism that I haven’t thought to list yet.” To some, maybe that’s overkill. To me, it’s just-enough-kill — just enough to confirm that I’m on the guest list.

With that said, this is a post that I might have written regardless: a reminder about the meaning of the term “relationships” itself & how I use it, plus some reflection on how my outlook on my own relationships has (and hasn’t) changed.

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Tiny linkspam on Tri-Label Aro Aces

In the spirit of Queenie’s teeny tiny linkspams, such as the one on greyness, here are a few links about or related to the experiences of tri-orientation aro aces — those identifying as gay/lesbian/bi/het (or some other orientation) while also identifying with both the ace & aro umbrellas.

Some of these links are about identifying with an orientation label in a way that’s not (or not entirely) about romance or sexuality. Some of these links are about nonromantic or ambiguously-romantic partnership. Some of these links are direct personal narratives about tri-label identities, such as gay aro ace or bi aro ace. So as you can see, some of the connections are more direct than others, but hopefully you can find something you’re looking for.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort.]

Bi Aces, Not Biromantic

Being Bi/Ace, Part One: Scrutiny About Attraction and the Kinsey Scale & Part Two: Aesthetic Attraction and the Visual-Aural Gender Split by Elizabeth

Opting Out Of Romantic Orientations by Vesper (note: see also some of my posts on romantic orientation)

Tri-Label Aro Aces

Squishes and unlearning heteronormativity & A Contrarian View on Platonic Attraction by Laura

Gay/Lesbian/Bi Aro Aces, a comment thread with multiple contributors

A post on being a gay aro ace by Sammy

A post on being a bi aro ace by Astral

Oriented Gray by Coyote

Oriented Aroaceness: An Essay by Lynn

Oriented AroAce Problems (a comic) by Xweetara

Even more posts and threads about gay/lesbian aro aces: “aroace lesbians can be…” (reblog chain) and is it possible to be asexual, aromantic, and gay? (forum thread).

Relationships & Partnerships

Updating the Map by Elizabeth

“I can’t want people like me in fiction” & “Captain Marvel doesn’t have a romantic subplot” by Aceadmiral

A Genealogy of Queerplatonic & Queerplatonic-Adjacent Concepts by Coyote

Yearning For “Queerplatonic” To Be Recognized As Not Romantic by luvtheheaven

Teeny tiny linkspam on asexuality and relationships by Queenie


Oriented Gray

I’ve had to summarize this situation for other people a few different times now, so I decided I might as well put together a post on the subject for future reference. This post primarily concerns the intersection of two different subjects: 1) how we talk about nonromantic/nonsexual orientations (or nonromantic/nonsexual ways of relating to orientation labels), and 2) how we talk about the ace & aro umbrellas, especially the subject of gray-area identities. 

[Crossposted to Pillowfort.]

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A gray kind of ace

Gray is a purposeful metaphor. An expression of imprecision, blending, and betweens. 

Lately, I’ve been thinking about gray-asexuality again. It’s been a few years since I published “Experiences attraction infrequently” doesn’t cut it, and while I know that post is still useful to people, it’s also been long enough at this point that I’m embarrassed of my own writing. So this is a short reflection piece on why I still identify as gray-a, going on about six years now. 

[This post has been crossposted to Pillowfort; cw: sexual violence mention.]

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Carnival of Aces July 2019 (“Home”): Link Roundup

A big thank you to our participants this month who responded to the call for submissions for July’s Carnival of Aces. The next Carnival, for August, is being hosted by LoyalTiger06 at The Demi Deviant, and the call for submissions has been posted.

Here are all the Carnival entries written for July, under the theme of “Home”:


All Third Wheeled and Nowhere to Go

A post for the July Carnival of Aces, on the theme of “Home.”

In my culture, there’s two main categories of people you’re expected to live with, in the long run: family members and (romantic) partners. If you’re thinking about how asexuality affects who you live with, talking about romantic relationships is the most obvious connection to make—that’s one of the oldest topic in the community. If you wanted links on the subject, I wouldn’t even know where to start. There’s also plenty already out there on asexuality and family, usually in the vein of guides for parents or advice/reflections on coming out. There was even a previous Carnival of Aces on the subject.

But under the umbrella of “people you live with,” for many of us there’s actually a third category, and that’s the nebulous category roommates. There’s not nearly so much discussion of asexuality & roommates, presumably because the two are expected to have nothing to do with each other. Or, if an ace identity is relevant to a relationship with a roommate somehow, it’s expected that will occur only in the context of a friendship, meaning that any relevant reflections or advice will fall under the more general category of dealings with friends. Whether or not you live together is (ostensibly) supposed to have nothing to do with it. At least, that’s what I gather from the comparative silence on the subject. You can find a few AVEN threads and reddit threads about roommate issues, or the occasional comment thread, but it’s not anything people are writing big official guides about.

Which is unfortunate, from my perspective, because I could have used one.

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Carnival of Aces July 2019 Call for Submissions: Home

For the month of July this year, I’m hosting the Carnival of Aces.

What is the Carnival of Aces?

The Carnival of Aces is a blogging carnival, running monthly since 2011, where bloggers collaborate to write on a shared theme. At the end of the month, the host (that’s me) will publish a post featuring links back to all the submissions. If you’re interested in an aro version, there’s also a Carnival of Aros you can check out as well.

The theme for this month’s carnival is “Home.”

[an ace playing card with a house icon as the suit symbol]

This theme is intended to be broad & open to interpretation. You can apply it in any way you wish. With that said, here are some prompts to get your wheels turning:

  • How does being ace affect where you live?
  • How does being ace affect who you live with?
  • How does your ace identity affect your living space?
  • How does where you live affect your relationship to the ace community?
  • What are some things that make you feel more “at home,” either in a place or in a community? Or vice versa, less “at home”?
  • Whether or not you’ve achieved it, what is your ideal living situation? Who do you want to share a home with? Or are you someone who prefers to live alone?
  • Have you ever “left home,” whatever that means to you?
  • How do you know when you are “home”?

How to create and submit your entry:

First, write and publish something on the theme.
All blogging platforms are welcome: WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Pillowfort, Dreamwidth, or anything else you choose to use, as long as the post you create is public. Technically, what you submit doesn’t even need to be a blog post — it just needs to be something available online with a url that can be linked. For examples of what previous submissions have looked like, you can browse any of the roundups linked at the Carnival of Aces Masterpost. Last month, the Carnival was hosted by Lib at A³ on the theme of “Then, Now, & Tomorrow.”

Then just drop the link in the comment section here on this post.
Alternatively, if you prefer, you can email me the link. Either way, I will confirm that your submission has been received — so if you don’t hear back with confirmation within a few days, you’ll know that you should try again.

The deadline for submissions is July 31st. I am willing to take late submissions, and I’ll wait a day or two before posting the final roundup just in case, but this is what you should shoot for.

Note that anyone and everyone is invited to participate, as long as your entry deals both with the theme & with the asexual umbrella. This extends to bloggers who currently identify under the umbrella, those who are questioning an ace identity, and those who have identified with the umbrella in the past, as well as those with any other relationship to the ace umbrella more tenuous or complicated than that.

If you have any questions or anything else I can help with, just let me know. Happy blogging, and I’ll see you on the other side.

Edit: the roundup has been posted!


(What) does the aro community want (with) quoiros?

A post about being quoiro amid aro-ace conflict & feeling unsure of my relationship to the aro umbrella. Crossposted. One part personal reflection post, one part invoice to the aro community, and one part gratuitous smattering of links — all centering around two questions: Does the aro community want quoiros to be counted among them? And if so, am I supposed to consider myself to be, in certain circumstances, “basically aro”?

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2013-2014 in Ace Tumblr: the Gray Wars

A compilation of links to the arguments made on gray-asexuality and demisexuality in the Tumblr segment of the ace community, back when they were a big point of contention around the year 2013. This doesn’t aim to include everything, but it is 1) what I was able to recover, and 2) what I consider representative. Disproportionately many of the original aggressors have since changed their URLs or deleted their posts, but I believe I’ve provided enough context here to read between the lines, even if you weren’t there for it all.

A note about the imprecision of the title: Technically, I’m going to include a few links from 2012, as prelude, but the bulk here will be from 2013. Also, you may spot a couple of links to WordPress and AVEN in the mix as well. These are to allow further context and examples of where the conversation had spillover, but this particular post is going to focus mostly on Tumblr.

A note on why I’m writing this: While it might be just as well for this mess to go forgotten, witnessing it unfold was something seriously impactful on me at the time, as someone just starting to read ace blogs and (at the time) newly questioning whether or not to describe myself as gray-asexual. I had no prior contact with the community outside of this, of course. For me, this was one of my very first introductions to the community — a debate over whether or not a given group of people, a group that I kinda sorta maybe was realizing I might be a part of, belonged in the community. You better believe I watched it closely — and slowly formed an impression of who had the best case.

It would have been helpful to have this compilation back when I was trying to explain gray context in 2015, but oh well. More recently, however, there have also been some newer conversations I’ve wanted to reference it in, such as contrasting some gatekeeping in the ace and aro communities, so a post on this may still be useful yet.

[Note: this post has been crossposted to Pillowfort.]

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Reminders on attraction

In a comment on a prior post, Ib/Arofrantics mentioned seeing a problem with how some people talk about attraction, implying a kind of compensatory role. In their words:

It feels like aspec identities are so open to “I don’t experience [x] attraction but…. I experience [y].”

And based on the fuller context of that conversation, it sounds like this is another one of those topics subject to anxieties over some narratives being (ostensibly) centered over others.

I don’t run in the same circles as Ib, so I won’t claim to know exactly what they’ve seen, and that limits what I can respond to. Even so, it sounds like the issue merits further conversation. For that reason, I’m using this post to spell out some things that have been on my mind — a few reminders that I think some people need to hear: 1) attraction isn’t all (of the subtypes) or nothing, 2) attraction doesn’t need to define you, 3) attraction doesn’t need to define your relationships, and 4) attraction is not a source of legitimacy.

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