Tag Archives: compulsory sexuality

How do you talk about sexual norms in an ace-competent way?

There can be a lot of complexity involved in articulating the nuances of societal norms around sexuality, and even in the briefest of offhand references, sometimes people can miss the mark. One of the most common mistakes I see (and the one that I’m the most sensitized to, for the same reasons that I identify as ace) are the mistakes that zero in on the types of sex you’re told not to have without accounting for the types of sex you’re told to have, to the point of being not just incomplete but outright inaccurate. Neglecting the latter leads into overgeneralizations as ludicrously inaccurate as “everybody tells you not to have sex,” instead of attending to the specifics of which particular subjectivities and choices are condemned. This, in turn, is functionally how you end up with people arriving at the notion of asexual privilege.

So how can that be avoided? I don’t claim to have the answer completely sorted out, which is why I’m inviting input here in the comments. As an opening to the discussion, though, here are some things that I think are important to understand: 1) there is no one singular monolithic “society” that speaks with one voice, 2) other sexual norms can intersect with sexnormativity/compulsory sexuality, and 3) when talking about other types of sexual norms, you should try to take that intersection into account.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview photo by Marco Verch.]

Continue reading

Visibility is a trap

[Note: This post has been crossposted to Pillowfort.]

This is a post about “visibility” as the name of (and approach toward) a type of primary community goal. While in the drafting stages, I had considered naming this post something more simple, like “on visibility” — but it occurred to me that a potential reader just might think this was simply yet another post on “why visibility is important,” and it is not. This post is not pro-visibility. This is a post inviting the reader to consider the potential for visibility to become a trap.

Continue reading

An Incomplete Log of Inquiring Minds

Originally I intended to post this list as part of a larger post.  For now, I’ve decided to post the list alone.  Got a hunch it might be useful to link at some point.

Below, an incomplete list of certain kinds of search terms that have appeared on my stats page since 2014.  Expect some callous ones.

Continue reading


“You gotta be able to relate to at least one of those things.”

I hope somebody has something to say about the sex indifference joke Owen made about Aunt Claire in Jurassic World because I got nothing coherent over here.


Sexual Interpretations and Inductive Logic

Sexualization in unexpected places has always bothered me, but it was only this year that I figured out why.

Just to be clear, the kinds of interpretations I’m referring to are those which read an ambiguous scene, lyric, or comment as carrying a sexual meaning and come with an adamant conviction in the interpretation’s indisputability, i.e. “This is obviously sexual, and if you disagree, there must be something wrong with you.”

Continue reading


On Partnership and Ace Guilt

[ warning for some perhaps-more-intense-than-usual talk of sexual pressure/coercion and guilt-tripping/victim-blaming ]

Remember when I wrote this post just a while ago?  I’m revisiting that topic again in light of things such as this incident and this comment and this message, but mostly because of the thread beginning with this comment:

Continue reading


A More Detailed Topography of Social Cost

This post delves more into what I earlier termed “conflict-aversion,” perhaps better described as interpersonal cost, or social cost, although the latter refers to something different in the field of economics.  I’m conceptualizing social cost here as a factor that may be anticipated or taken into account in an individual’s decision making, particularly in the case of concession or “compromise.”  The rest of this post considers various examples of how and when this can apply.

[ tw for talk of boundaries, coercion, and emotional manipulation ]

Continue reading


mood whiplash

I keep meaning to write another big theoretical/reflective post, and then things like this happen.

Continue reading


Sex is Not a Vitamin

So we kick around all these phrases like “sex is not a universal need” and “sex can’t be something you owe someone” and “nobody’s entitled to sex with you” and all that, and although I agree wholeheartedly, I think I’ve noticed a blindspot — or at least, an angle that could use more emphasis.  Regardless, it’s good to practice saying it more, and I think more people need to hear this.

Continue reading


fun times

Continue reading