While romantic orientation isn’t inherently bad, there have been some recurring problems with how people promote the idea, as demonstrated in the article picked this month for Ace Journal Club. So in the hopes of showing people how to spot these issues, this post pulls some quotes from that article and explains their implications, illustrating the tensions between introducing/endorsing romantic orientation as a conceptual tool (favored by those who use it) vs. leaving space for those of us who find it personally unhelpful.Continue reading
Category Archives: Asexuality Talk
This month, the Ace Journal Club read an article in Archives of Sexual Behavior called “Sexuality, Sexual Behavior, and Relationships of Asexual Individuals: Differences Between Aromantic and Romantic Orientation” (2022). There are a lot of things to take issue with about this piece, and you can read the AJC summary for an overview, but in this post, I’m just going to focus on the binary treatment of romance.
[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image created in Inkscape.]Continue reading
If you’re out there arguing against identity policing, that’s great. While you’re at it, try making room for people like me, too.
This post explains how defenders have been lured into an essentialist framework, what the problem is, and how to fix it.Continue reading
If you have been involved with identity blogging for a while, you may have encountered the claim that romantic orientation is being “appropriated” or “stolen” from the asexual community. These claims are never accompanied by supporting evidence and have no basis in reality.
That’s all that should need to be said, really, since the burden of proof ought to lie with the people flinging accusations. But for anyone curious, here’s a bit of further background:Continue reading
The last time I talked about asexuality and nonhumanity in fiction, I suggested that we ask, on a case-by-case basis, what role (non)humanity plays in how (a)sexuality is portrayed. When it comes to the television series Dark Matter (2015-2017), the answer to that question is simple: sexuality is framed as part of what it means to be “human.”
[Crossposted to Pillowfort.]Continue reading
This month, Sildarmillion selected “beyond attraction” as the theme for the Carnival of Aces. I appreciate this theme because over the past decade or so, the ace community has become saturated with what I have called attraction fixation or attraction-based essentialism. For instance, you can see a lot of this in the AVEN debates over the phrase “little or no” (note, this series is PF login-only). Other examples, while less extreme, still reflect an attempt to isolate one specific feeling or experience that aces don’t have, which I think is inadvisable as well as unnecessary. When people take this kind of approach to asexuality, it generally reflects an ignorance of the history and prior debates on this subject.
Personally, I appreciate the “attraction” framework for describing certain kinds of experiences, but over the years I’ve gotten increasingly disillusioned about centering it in definitions of asexuality or gray-asexuality. Not only does that approach contribute to identity policing, but it also leaves a lot out of the picture, including what I consider to be more salient to my own identity as ace.Continue reading
This is a followup post to A Case for a Convergence-Divergence Spectrum, so if that terminology is new to you, start there.
Previously, I explained convergence and divergence as a gradient, a subjective judgement, and a matter of degree. For example, I’d map myself on the divergent end of the spectrum — with a narrow, specific orientation rather than more broadly-encompassing one. However, that also comes with a few caveats.Continue reading
Introducing “convergence” and “divergence” might seem like introducing unnecessary jargon into an already jargon-heavy ecosystem, but whatever you want to call it, a concept like this is necessary in order to address a certain lexical gap. This is a subject that people are already talking about — and without a dedicated term for it, they’re being hobbled by terminology that wasn’t designed for the purpose.
In this post, I explain into the nature of the problem, where it might’ve came from, and a possible solution. Written for the January 2022 Carnival of Aces.
[Crossposted to Pillowfort.]Continue reading
An infographic based on the post Don’t Make Me Choose, where I talk about different parts of my identity & experience being pitted against each other in a false binary. Much thanks to all my PF mutuals who helped with feedback and revisions.
These images are free to repost and distribute. If you do so, I would prefer if you would also link back to this post, which includes a transcript below the cut.Continue reading