Category Archives: Asexuality Talk

QPR Revisionism is Not An Appropriate Proxy for Aro Reparations

A post about the history of QPRs, why people are arguing about it, and how I learned that’s not what they’re actually arguing about at all.

For those just tuning in, I’m writing this now because the topic of QPR history has recently been revived again. When I recently encountered this reposted essay, I recognized it as one that had previously garnered some critical responses, so I sent in the link to the latter commentary. That chain of events led to this post, this post, this getting reblogged, and this being added onto the end of the essay repost. [Edit: the poster in question has since deleted those posts and apologized.] Me discussing these posts with others led to Siggy creating this post and Laura G. making this post, which in turn generated threads between Laura, Magni, Sennkestra, & Aropanalien that you can read here, here, and here. [Edit: more threads that have happened since here and here.] I don’t expect everybody to read all that, but there it is, just for the record.

In this post, I’m going to be tackling this topic in three parts:

1) What are people saying? 2) How is that revisionism? 3) How is that a proxy?

[This post has been crossposted to Pillowfort.]

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The Glossary & the Gristmill

This post is my entry for this month’s Carnival of Aces, on the theme of “telling our stories.” In it, I’m trying to make three main points: One, aces cannot live on glossaries alone — we need stories, not just to demonstrate what ace experiences are like, but also to address internal intracommunity dynamics among ourselves. Two, because stories are so important, it is doubly a problem when our fellow aces foster an environment that makes sensitive and painful stories that much harder to tell. In other words, I’m saying our own community is contributing, in part, to why it feels like certain stories can’t be told. Three, there are things we can do and things we can use to foster a different environment — that is, to do right by each other and to make our stories easier to tell.

[Content Notes: this post does contain some discussion of violence, including sexual violence, conversion therapy, and murder. There’s an especially severe section on disrespectful treatment of these matters with a separate, additional warning — you’ll find it between the second header and the third, enclosed with the tags <severe section begins here> and <end severe section>.]

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Overhead

“What brought you here?” is usually the first thing people ask me when I mention I’m new to the area. I’ve tried out a few different responses. “It’s a long story” (true). “To be closer to family” (false). I’ve yet to really settle on something, because the truth isn’t something easily reducible to small talk. After the first few times, you’d think I’d just stop mentioning it. But what else are you supposed to say when you’re new in town and don’t have anything else to talk about?

I picked the theme “home” for the Carnival of Aces last month, and it got a lot of submissions, but between Rowan’s post and my own current situation, I’m not done thinking about it. This is mostly just a reflection post. At the same time, it’s also a post about “overhead” — which here applies in the literal sense (a roof overhead) and another, more economic sense: referring to the concept of “overhead costs,” i.e. the expenses required keep the lights on and a roof overhead. Normally, the term’s applied to business expenses. But you can also think about it in terms of homes and people, too.

[This post has been crossposted to Pillowfort.]

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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

Bisensuality (or That Little Nuance I like to Ignore) by Lib

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!


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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