Tag Archives: asexuality

Top 6 Mistakes in the Academic Field of Asexuality Studies

Through my participation in Ace Journal Club, I’ve gotten to read my fair share of publications in asexuality studies, a field which has grown tremendously over the past decade. I haven’t read everything, but I’ve seen enough to say this: the field needs to be alerted to certain mistakes. In this post I’ve compiled a list of basic problems I consider important to flag and look out for, covering some old recurring mistakes as well as cases where there’s still time to nip them in the bud. So whether or not you’re a researcher yourself, here’s how to spot these issues going forward.

Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image: Magnified by Jake Bouma, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

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

A post about identifying with the asexual spectrum as a specific and isolated concept, apart from any version of a composite “a-spectrum” — i.e. why I don’t identify as “aspec.” Today’s post is brought to you by an exchange on the TAAAP Pride Chats server after I mentioned this in passing. I don’t consider my disinterest in the model particularly noteworthy, since I know it’s not just me, but multiple people in the channel expressed curiosity about it (and it’s also come up elsewhere), so I’m writing this post as my own explanation.

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Directions for Ace Community Advocacy

In the call for submissions for the August 2020 Carnival of Aces, one of the prompts invited us to consider what is and isn’t working, in terms of ace community advocacy — and what we would like to see make a comeback. It’s a daunting set of questions to tackle, but I want to comment on a few select things here: certain ventures that I think have been a misguided use of energy, and others that deserve their due, plus a few projects I’d like to see initiated, revived, or given more support.

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

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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


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!