A while ago, I wrote about being in a new job and not quite knowing if (or to what extent) I wanted to be out to friends and colleagues. This is, I suppose, a follow-up to that post, three months later. There are a lot of things they don’t tell you about being queer and … More The strange state of being neither in, nor out
This is possibly a bit of a contentious topic, but I have been wondering for a long time whether describing asexuality as ‘a lack of sexual attraction’ is the most effective way of communicating what it’s all about – especially to the broader, non-asexual population.
I’m just testing the waters a bit here – I have been meaning to write a longer series on how we talk about sexual attraction in the ace community for a while now, but haven’t quite gotten to where I want to be with it yet. So these are just some thoughts that come to mind, rather than a definitive argument or anything like that. I’d be interested in hearing other people’s comments and thoughts in response.
The thing about ‘sexual attraction’ is that it’s a nebulous thing, that defies definition even for a lot of allosexual people (who you think would be experts on it, but who most of the time have just as little idea of what it actually entails as we do) … More Is ‘lack of sexual attraction’ the best way of describing asexuality?
Since starting full-time work, I have been thinking a lot about the intersection of queerness/asexuality and the workplace. In my last post I talked more specifically about coming out as ace at work and what that might entail. More recently, I’ve been thinking about a slightly broader question, of whether queer (and I’m using queer as an umbrella for all gender and sexual minorities, including ace folks) people belong in workplace diversity and inclusion policies. Specifically, in more than a purely anti-discrimination sense.
From what I’ve seen and heard so far, the public service where I work is very good at recognising diversity and promoting inclusion, and mostly that encompasses queer people too. There are express statements against marginalising or discriminating against someone on the basis of age, gender, ethnicity or cultural background, religion, sexuality, disability, and probably other things I haven’t listed as well. This is the very basic stuff, the (usually legislated) stuff that say that you can’t get fired because you happen to have a disability, or are seen at a pride march, or wear specific religious or cultural attire, etc.
Beyond anti-discrimination legislation and policy, though, is a further level to inclusion, usually in the form of diversity and inclusion policies and strategies, and this is what I’ve been thinking about more specifically … More Should queer people be part of workplace diversity policies?
Something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently is the whole coming out process. It makes sense, really – I’m at the start of my third week in a new graduate job – my first post-uni, adult, office job (definitely wasn’t expecting to be here so soon).
I haven’t had to think much about coming out in a long time, since I discovered asexuality. In my uni years, I was openly out to just about everyone except my lecturers (well, except for that one lecturer who I realised was part of the Ally training event I was part of the student panel for about halfway through introducing myself. But that obviously went well), and if someone ever gave me crap (which happened very rarely), it wasn’t very hard to just avoid them entirely. I was part of the uni’s queer and women’s collectives, I ran a couple of workshops on asexuality. Most of the time, being out was never an issue, and I never really considered not being out.
I’m feeling a bit differently about this job, which, to be honest, I’m a bit surprised by … More On Coming Out as Asexual at Work (or not)
It’ll be different to everything you imagined growing up – especially given that you’ve never been in a relationship before. It will even be different to everything you’ve learned by talking to other people in relationships. Loving another person isn’t anything like it is in the movies – it’s quieter and deeper and stronger, and you haven’t experienced anything quite like it before. You might not always know exactly what sets this person apart from everyone else, this relationship apart from the other important relationships in your life. But you know, instinctively, that this is a person you’re in love with, who makes you feel things you didn’t think you ever could or would … More Things I Wish I’d Known About Being an Aromantic Ace in a Relationship
This is my post for the September Carnival of Aces, which I am hosting this month.
Last month, Queenie posted to The Asexual Agenda on how hard it is facing the future without some sort of map. Her post really resonated with me. (It was also one of the reasons why I chose the theme of ‘living asexuality’ for this month’s carnival.) One of the things she wrote was this:
In the past few months, I’ve kept coming back to Laura’s piece on growing old alone. In some ways, it’s a very real worry–while I do have a lovely partner and a wonderful found family, there’s always the concern that my found family won’t prioritize me because I’m not a romantic partner (or a blood relation) and if my girlfriend and I ever break up there’s my super tiny dating puddle hanging over my head… The loneliness I connect to in that piece is a different sort of loneliness–it’s not having role models, not having other people who’ve already navigated the same territory and can point the way.
Like Queenie, I have been thinking a lot about what my future is going to look like as well. It’s something I’ve written a bit about before: how there’s not really many different options for living arrangements if you don’t want to live with a partner or start your own family. But that was quite a while ago now, and things have changed in the three years since I wrote that post. Or perhaps they haven’t. Either way, it’s a topic that’s been on my mind a lot. … More An Asexual Future?
I have been having a lot of weird feelings about being asexual lately. Feelings of doubt, confusion, isolation.
Part of this has to do with the fact that a few months ago, I ended my relationship with my partner – at least, I ended the aspect of us being partners. Never having been in a relationship or ended a relationship with someone before, I didn’t really know what I was meant to be feeling or doing – and there are very few resources out there on what ending a relationship looks like when it doesn’t fit into the standard romantic-sexual mould, and how to deal with the feelings that I was having. There were certainly times when I felt my ace-ness very acutely. It has not been the smoothest few months, but things are starting to look up again now, which I’m grateful for. If nothing else, my honours thesis did an excellent job at keeping me distracted.
But there have also been other feelings over the past weeks, which I haven’t quite been able to shake … More Feeling Apart
CONTENT WARNING: This post contains generalised discussion of sexual violence and rape, as well as detailed experiences of an emotionally abusive incident and its aftermath (I guess that’s probably the best way to describe it).
Although it’s a few days late, this post is for the August Carnival of Aces, on the theme of ‘the unassailable asexual.’ The carnival has prompted a few different posts on the theme of assault, abuse and otherwise negative experiences of sexuality, love or relationships.
As many people have now pointed out, there is a pervasive idea in some ace circles that if you have been assaulted or abused or have these sorts of experiences, your asexuality is up for questioning. There are two parts to this idea. First, that we only think we’re asexual because we’ve had these negative experiences. And second, that we are therefore not really asexual, but just repressed or damaged or broken … More Why I Am Assailable, Too
There has been a bit of a conversation going on over at The Asexual Agenda about the intersection of asexuality and religion. This morning Siggy weighed in with a post on his own stance on atheism, and how that impacts on being asexual. I don’t have any particular experiences with atheism impacting on my asexuality … More Atheism, Truth and Morality
Content note for asexual erasure and invalidation. Sometimes the little things are what really gets to you. The way they just sneak themselves into an experience and jump out at you when you’re no looking. The way they all tend to happen at the same time. A confluence of annoyances. * * * A week … More A Confluence of Little Things