Category Archives: Asexuality Talk

Christmas is my Valentine’s

You know how some people hate Valentine’s Day? Yeah. That’s me and Christmas.

A submission to the December 2021 Carnival of Aces.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image from Spring Creek, Yellowstone National Park, Public Domain.]

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Why do academics keep recruiting from AVEN?

In academic research that involves surveys or interviews, you’ll notice that a lot of asexuality studies do their recruiting through AVEN. I have a theory about what makes AVEN so convenient for research, and I also have some observations about the resulting impact and why that matters, leading into a broader discussion of citational politics. So really, the question posed in the title of this post is less a primary focus and more of a jumping-off point. Recruiting from the AVEN forums is one thing, but why is it that even when researchers aren’t constrained by recruitment-based methods, they sometimes seem hesitant to closely examine or engage with other ace communities?

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image by Bailey Rae Weaver, licensed under CC BY 2.0.]

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What makes non-physical attraction a squick?

A personal reflection post about certain forms of attraction subtype terminology and teasing out how come some of it gives me the reaction it does. Written for the October 2021 Carnival of Aces.

This is an extremely niche topic, so if you are not generally privy to these conversations, you may not get much out of this post.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image by Tristan Chambers, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.]

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Key Conversations: Aces & Attitudes About Sex

This is a compilation of links to online conversations about aces and attitudes toward sex, demonstrating intracommunity tensions about how asexuality is defined and how best to talk about the diversity of the community. More than once have I referred back to these conversations as a basis of comparison, so I’ve decided to create this as reference post on how these conversations have unfolded before.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image created with The Keys To It All by Alan Levine, Public Domain.]

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Ace Media Analysis & Meta-commentary

A compilation of links to ace readings, analysis, and discussion of fiction and fan communities, including essays about interpreting individual characters as ace, evaluating canon portrayals of asexuality, and identifying ace-related themes. If you have suggestions on what to add, please link them in the comments!

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Rebloggable on Tumblr. Preview image created from a photo by Teslariu Mihai.]

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Gray-Asexuality in Asexuality Studies

The field of asexuality studies* has grown a lot over the past decade, but generally the gray-asexual part of the umbrella receives minimal attention. Here I’ve compiled a sample of what that attention tends to look like. Note that most of these pieces have been covered by the Ace Journal Club, which provides a write-up with a summary and some notes, so I have included links to AJC posts where applicable.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image by Steve Johnson, licensed under CC BY 2.0.]

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Reflections on Jason Voorhees, Virginity in Horror, and the Specter of the Anti-Sex Killer

So yes—in one version of the story, “prude” is synonym for sadist.

—Cameron Awkward-Rich, “A Prude’s Manifesto”

In popular culture, the slasher genre is known for killing off anyone who has sex, and many a slasher movie—including genre codifier Friday the 13th—has been interpreted as a conservative, anti-sex morality tract. But how much do these interpretations hold up under scrutiny? The answer is… complicated. What interests me about these films, though, isn’t as much the films themselves as the way that certain interpretations of them have been taken up in popular culture, imagining the survivors as always virginal and the killers as punitive avatars of anti-sexuality.

In order to dig into these perceptions, I’ve chosen to focus on the Friday the 13th franchise, best known for the hockey mask-wearing Jason Voorhees. The Friday movies are salient here not just for their immense influence and popularity, but also because Jason’s backstory readily lends itself to moralizing about irresponsible sex. So if there were ever an anti-sex killer, you’d think it would be Jason.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort.]

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Butchery

A post about short hair, big shirts, and half a dozen neuroses about feeling simultaneously drawn to and held back from the word “butch,” written for the Gender Exploration Carnival.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image edited from a photo by Dano, licensed under CC BY 2.0.]

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A Modifier

This is not a direct discussion of the “are aces queer” question. This is a personal reflection piece about what else has bloomed out of it like a fungus, modifying my relationship to all orientation labels other than ace.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image by OldTor, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.]

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Plato(nic) is A Problem

The word “platonic” is relatively popular in ace communities and other contexts, even though its meaning can be ambiguous, and most people don’t see an issue with that. Unfortunately one of my own chief associations with it is its namesake: Plato. Having had to read stuff by this guy for school, I’ve come to hate Plato, and my reasons for that aren’t as unrelated to the word “platonic” as you might like to think. It’s not something I usually talk about — but this month I decided the May 2021 Carnival of Aces was the perfect excuse.

Note: this post is an anti-Plato only zone. If you’re not interested in a bunch of bashing on the word “platonic,” don’t engage with this post.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort.]

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