Category Archives: Asexuality Talk

Links on Grayness

A compilation of links on the gray areas of the ace & aro spectrums. Contributions welcome.

Note: some of these links have been copied over from Queenie’s 2014 teeny tiny linkspam on greyness, which is also worth checking out, but since it’s been a few years I decided to put together a new one in order to highlight some more recent posts, as well.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image by Steve Johnson.]

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Spec Work: Tracing the Emergence of “Spec” as a Suffix

A post on the “spec” suffix, as used in “arospec” and “acespec” (*shudder*), and its (un)surprising connection to certain ways of thinking about grayness. Because there’s nothing like fixating on lexical minutiae to help me avoid thinking about bigger problems.

The title here, for the record, is a joke based on the term spec work (as in speculative wages), which makes it something of a pun, since this post is also speculative. The evidence is fragmented, and piecing together a timeline involves some amount of guesswork. Corrections and contributions welcome. Still, Zhyrs asked to see what I’ve dug up, so here we go.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image by Fredrik H.]

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Ace, Just Ace: A Personal Response to Unwanted “Inclusion” in the LGBTQ/Cishet Binary

I am ace. Just ace. Neither cishet nor L, G, B, T, or Q. And apparently quite a number of people are dedicated to unspeaking that possibility out of coherence.

A companion post to Ace, Just Ace: A Personal Response to the Combined Spectrum Model.

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

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Not a Priority

Back in the summer of 2014, Queenie wrote a post titled “Prioritizing identity” in response to a pervasive pattern of divvying up the ace community by romantic orientation. This was specifically in the context of the “are aces queer” debate, and so it involved both 1) splitting off the gay/lesbian and bi aces from the rest (the focus here was overwhelmingly on cis people) and 2) dictating that in order to be let into LGBT communities, it’s not just enough for cis aces to be L, G, or B — they specifically need to deprioritize their ace identity, putting other identities first. To date, this remains one of the main associations I have with any kind of pressure on aces to prioritize their romantic orientations.

This post, too, is about priorities, but to be more specific, it’s largely a post about deprioritizing. It’s post about my decision to deprioritize the romantic orientation model, and it’s a post about quoiromantic aces like me being deprioritized by a community that likes to claim us, and it’s a post about why getting hitched (as in married) is a logistical priority for me in way that has nothing to do with what gets prioritized in aro community discourse. It’s about politics and it’s about financial insecurity and it’s about the thought of dying. It’s about saying, and being, not a priority.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image by Morten F, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.]

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What Does it Mean to Remember?

A post on preserving ace community memory, written for Ace Week 2020.

In my line of work, we have this concept called public memory, which is a whole different animal than psychological memory. As distinct from individual remembering, public memory is about the ways that certain parts of history are narrated, commemorated, and understood collectively at a group/societal level. Studying public memory can involve studying memorial sites, historical markers, museums, holidays, commemorative speeches, remembrance rituals, documentaries, and even historical fiction. With public memory, the question under investigation is not so much “What happened?” as it is “How does this group remember what happened?” How do they articulate it, how do they frame it, what gets highlighted as other things get left out, and why?

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image by Marco Verch, licensed under CC BY 2.0.]

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A Condensed History of Asexuals Arguing with Asexuals Over What Asexuality Is

Note: this post was originally posted to Pillowfort last June, but I’m belatedly reposting it here for the October Carnival of Aces on “multitudes.” Credit for the preview image to Bailey Rae Weaver, licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Recently I was reminded that some people read some kind of sinister conspiracy into the fact that the asexual community is not a hivemind — and lambasting various definitions of asexuality as “incoherent” (though to be honest, I think what they actually mean is “inconsistent”). It seems like the traditional response to these accusations has been to say “no it’s not, it’s just ____.” However, I think it’s worth remembering — and embracing! — the fact that what we call “the asexual community” has rarely if ever had a total consensus on anything, including the definition of asexuality itself. 

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An Ace Bullet Manifesto

For the September 2020 Carnival of Aces, drawing on some prior notes.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image by DBPerko, CC BY-NC 2.0.]

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On an Ace Experience of Physical Attraction

This is a personal reflection post about physical attraction. In this post, I talk some about what I use “physical attraction” to mean, what I find the concept useful for, what I don’t find it useful for, and my personal experiences of what makes it difficult to talk about.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image by Tebo Steele, CC BY-SA 2.0]

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Reflections on Applications of “Consent” & its Implications for Authoritarianism

If the principle of consent is not just reserved for sex, then in how many different contexts can it apply? In the August TAAAP Pride Chat, some of the participants questioned why “consent” is typically discussed around only sex (or, if taken any further, only physical touch), arguing that it should be applied to other forms of intimacy, as well — and that got me to thinking: if we’re going to ride this train, let’s take it even farther than that.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image credit to Damian Gadal, CC BY 2.0]

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Reading Love Songs Against the Grain (Through a Lens of Asexual Greed)

A post about a couple of songs where the whole picture clearly adds up to a conventional narrative of sexual jealousy — but for the purposes of this post, I smash that picture to pieces and reassemble those pieces into a narrative that suits me.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image by Soheil Koushan, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

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