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.]
[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.
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.
[ big tw for rape culture and more flibanserin junk ]
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.
One of my friends suggested playing video games as a distraction technique to help relax after a panic attack, so I decided to replay Dragon Age II, and now I’m contemplating whether or not to romance Merrill again… which is reminding me how in these games, it’s like…
me: *provides reassurance at emotional low points and repeatedly compliments a nice character because I value their company and like their dialogue*
game: *gives me a cutscene of my character and that character making out*
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.”
[ 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:
Or at the very least, reconsider what it means to say that “aces aren’t repressed.”
This post is for the February 2015 Carnival of Aces, applying the theme of “cross community connections” to my complicated relationships with the ace community and the Christian Church.
First, however, I feel obligated to make a case for why such a discussion is even relevant. Unlike my identity as an ace, my “religious community” is not on the victim end of any institutional force of exploitation and abuse. Far from it, in fact. Presumably, some of you may believe that anything coming from the Church is going to be wrong anyway. And… yeah, I won’t argue that, but I think by ignoring the area completely you’re going to be missing out on some inferences and connections that have serious implications for all aces in general. Or, in other words, let’s take a moment to wonder why I get the impression that both sides in this matter are taking pains not to be mistaken for… well, someone like me.