Although zebras may be black and white, a lot of things in life are not — including when it comes to (a)sexuality, which is why we have words for the gray areas. Unfortunately, not everyone is on the same page about that. You probably already know what overt anti-grayness looks like, but even in communities that claim to support us, there can be a lot of more implicit ways to send a different signal. Here are fourteen signs that grayness isn’t entirely welcome in your communities.
Note in this post, I’m focusing on gray-asexuality, and I’m using grayness to talk about both gray-asexuality as an identity and grayness as an umbrella category for other identities like demi and lith. People among the latter may not necessarily answer to “gray-asexual” per se, but they can still be affected by anti-grayness as a phenomenon.
[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image: Black and White Stripes by Twjst, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.]
The field of asexuality studies* has grown a lot over the past decade, but generally the gray-asexual part of the umbrella receives minimal attention. Here I’ve compiled a sample of what that attention tends to look like. Note that most of these pieces have been covered by the Ace Journal Club, which provides a write-up with a summary and some notes, so I have included links to AJC posts where applicable.
[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image by Steve Johnson, licensed under CC BY 2.0.]
This is not a direct discussion of the “are aces queer” question. This is a personal reflection piece about what else has bloomed out of it like a fungus, modifying my relationship to all orientation labels other than ace.
[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image by OldTor, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.]
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.]
Gray is a purposeful metaphor. An expression of imprecision, blending, and betweens.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about gray-asexuality again. It’s been a few years since I published “Experiences attraction infrequently” doesn’t cut it, and while I know that post is still useful to people, it’s also been long enough at this point that I’m embarrassed of my own writing. So this is a
short reflection piece on why I still identify as gray-a, going on about six years now.
[This post has been crossposted to Pillowfort; cw: sexual violence mention.]
This post is my submission to the January 2018 Carnival of Aces under the theme of “Identity.” Specifically, this post deals with topics of sexuality, identity, alienation, labeling, doubt, touch, trauma, and abuse.
This impetus for this post is a tumblr post about “being stone vs. being asexual” that Rowan shared with me, after it came up as a recommended post on their dash. There’s maybe a few different things I would question in that post (emphasis on question, since some of it is beyond my depth), but maybe chief among them is how stone sexuality & asexuality are being presented as either/or, i.e. mutually exclusive.
It may seem strange, amid oodles of food analogies, but it occurred to me recently that I could craft a better analogy for my own experiences by comparing them to how I experience pain.
Just hear me out.
This has probably been posted elsewhere, but it’s going here too.
- demisexuality was coined by sonofzeal and popularized by OwlSaint on AVEN; gray-a was coined by KSpaz there as well; Hezekiah (pianycist/metapianycist) has a nice summary of that history here
- Hezekiah is also the one who coined allosexual during some musings on whether going on testosterone would affect their (a)sexuality
- its romantic counterpart, alloromantic, was coined-slash-popularized by Queenie (queenieofaces)
- lithromantic was coined by Ian (stopanthropomorphizingme), who itself identifies as Stone, to describe its partner
- wtfromantic was coined as a snide joke by Sciatrix (writingfromfactorx), which you can read about here and here
- quoiromantic was coined as a synonym/alternative to wtfromantic by Cor (epochryphal), and you can read more about it in cos #quoi and #quoi bloggin tags (I recommend this post, this post, and this post for summaries)
- sex-favorable was coined by Talia, and you can read their reflections on it here
- allosexism was coined by lunasspecto [note: don’t consider this an endorsement of the term (see here and, more recently, here). I’m just including it for documentation purposes]
- autochorissexualism was coined by sexologist Anthony Bogaert
- aegosexual was suggested by eridanamporadefensesquad as an alternative
- queerplatonic and zucchini were both coined by , the latter being somewhat tongue-in-cheek
- arcsexual originated with Kisten Sadi’s arcsexuality blog
- squish was coined by Raisin on AVEN
- recipromantic was coined by Brooke (cameoes)
- amatonormativity was coined by Elizabeth Brake
- the #actuallyasexual tag was suggested by Hezekiah, an autistic ace (see notes here)
Feel free to add on! I’ll update this post with whatever y’all give me.
Annoyed with myself for using my ace/depression pun and only later realizing I could make a comparison between “you don’t need a label for that, it’s average for people to only experience sexual attraction sometimes” & “oh, you say you feel unmotivated and have a hard time getting up at all? everybody gets sad sometimes! you just gotta buck up and power through it.”