[actual tw: sexual coercion and dark humor]
Tag Archives: asexuality
a steady tide of people in your comment section asking you for advice on how to violate their partner’s boundaries.
Here is a post I saw today about how defining monogamy becomes tricky with aro spectrum and ace spectrum folk in the mix. Go read it. It’s got interesting points and I don’t have much to say on it, besidessss in response to this part added by paradife-loft:
Going back to old, old stuff…. I’ve gotten to thinking about this more, the implications of this idea… a definition of straightness that suggests, if not requires, an explicit hierarchy of straightness. All straights are straight, but some straights are straighter than others.
That’s what comes of a working definition of straightness that depends on absences & on what is *not* experienced (re: patterns of desire, attraction, unwilled feelings, etc.), without any dependence on what *is* experienced (re: patterns of desire, attraction, unwilled feelings, etc.), deliberately shaped to include pathologized experiences off of that list, as long as they meet the given absence criteria.
I just wanna say — it might actually be workable, for all I know, but there’s a couple things I haven’t seen addressed.
Okay yeah and branching off that last post, how about this wild idea: Abusers… are… unreasonable. They do unreasonable things. They have unreasonable expectations. They are unreasonable. So I’ve got no clue what some people are on about whenever they say something like “imagine a parent getting mad at their kid for X, that doesn’t happen because that’s just ridiculous.” Hey, real fun fact: “it’s ridiculous” has never been enough to stop humanity from doing cruel and violent things. Holding that expectation at all is ridiculous. And more importantly here, it begs the question: Why are you expecting abusive behavior to be reasonable? Why are you talking like there exists any abuse where you’d look at it and say, “oh, yeah that makes sense”?
Do me a favor and pay attention to that. If someone’s position is that real abuse is “reasonable,” that’s the kind of thing that calls a person’s entire politics into question.
[Content Note: I’m sorry, but I’ve been thinking about this a lot again. This is a post about the word “queer.”]
It keeps happening, is the thing. And I just plain don’t know how to handle it appropriately.
Mermaid friend was making a comparison between me and someone else, and so she gestured to them and said “small gay” and then gestured to me and said “small…” and then just trailed off. So I asked something like, “What? You couldn’t decide on a noun? Ace can be a noun,” and she said, “No, I just don’t know how you feel about being referred to as a gay.”
…I don’t know how to explain to her that “how I feel about it” is mainly this strong sense of you’ll get in trouble.
What I actually said, for the record, was something along the lines of “the real gay people wouldn’t like that.”
In my first year of high school, I was assigned to read a book with a subplot where a girl has pity sex with a boy because he’s a virgin, and whose plot and characters did not make nearly as lasting an impression as the rape/incest joke I can remember almost word for word. In my second year of high school, I was assigned to read a book where I saw some of my own sexuality represented in literature for the first time, as a key part of a dystopian regime, and where the protagonist contemplates becoming a rapist out of irritation with an evil prude. In my third year of high school, I was assigned to read the friggin Scarlet Letter, a book which could not possibly be more melodramatically obsessed with how awful the Puritans are — not for being racist, or misogynist, or any of the other things that the book gleefully embraces, but for being such darn prudes. In my fourth year of high school, I was assigned to read another book where one of the main characters contemplates becoming a rapist because of an evil prude, a character whom one of my classmates described as an “All-American Hero” and who is overtly celebrated in the book.
You know, sometimes, I feel like how messed up I am is way out of proportion to my actual life experience, but when I get to thinking about the kind of things I had to read and hear as a teen kid, I kinda have to wonder how I didn’t turn out worse.
me: [overhearing friend listing names/identities on skype chat in the other room, and then raising my voice to comment from behind a wall] Why is my name being mentioned?
her: [also raising her voice to reply through the wall] I was saying that you’re ace, and we’re playing gay bingo, so that’s worth a certain amount of points.
me: I mean, I, I guess that’s worth being outed for, but — [loud sputtering/incoherent reaction]
her: I can’t hear what’s happening, but I think I just started an argument.
me: No, no, I’m trying to warn you.
her: About what?
me: About the danger.
her: The danger?
me: Of saying that me being ace has any gay points. You’ll be excommunicated.
her: Excommunicated from what? Being gay?
This seems like a good time to remind everyone to go read a very relevant post from two years ago (during another ace controversy flare up) about different types of aces valuing different parts of their identity differently. What Queenie talks about there was true then and is still true now, and I could stand to see more acknowledgement of the fact.
Go read the full post for Queenie’s take on four (4) distinct groups of aces divvied up by how they each prioritize their romantic and sexual orientations:
- Group 1: Aces who consider their romantic orientation more important than their sexual orientation.
- Group 2: Aces who consider their sexual orientation more important than their romantic orientation.
- Group 3: Aces who consider their sexual and romantic orientations equally important or who prioritize different orientations at different times.
- Group 4: Aces who don’t identify with a romantic orientation and thus consider this whole categorization system boring and pointless.
Fun fact: a lot of the bickering I’ve seen made 200% more sense to me once I realized that it was a lot of mainly Group 1 vs. Group 2-3 (with Group 4 mostly disregarded — hi! we’re here too!).
Listen, it’s fine to be in any of these groups. It’s fine if one part of your identity means more to you than another, and it’s fine if it doesn’t, and it’s fine if different people with the same nominal identity prioritize different parts of it for themselves.
It makes sense to me to argue interpersonal policy, what hurts people, etc., but it doesn’t make sense to me to argue that romantic or sexual orientation should/shouldn’t be the bigger deal to someone personally, and that’s actually a significant share of what I’ve seen people doing. So check out Queenie’s words, yeah?