Concept Awesome
I read the wikipedia thing on limerence and I have definitely experienced it- but- it seemed to imply that you want it to be reciprocated? Which I didn't? It wasn't really a concern? Also does it have to be part of sexual or romantic attraction? Because with the person I experienced it towards, it wasn't part of romantic/sexual attraction. It was possibly sensual attraction, or a desire to be in a queerplatonic? Or maybe a squish or a mix of all three? It was a bit complex. >> cont.
Anonymous

I wanted to be near them and listen to them and do very close friend stuff. I know you’ve posted on here about not labelling people for them but I would appreciate being pointed in the correct general direction? I do consider myself somewhere on the ace/aro spectrum, I just have no idea where or how far. I don’t think I’ve experienced romantic/sexual attraction. Also is limerence a bad thing? I couldn’t tell whether it was normal or not and it’s made me a bit worried. Thank you in advance.

Hey there, anon!  Lemme see what I can do to help you out.

First off, a disclaimer: I don’t experience the majority of limerence, and the bits that I do experience, I don’t experience with any sort of discernible pattern.  (For example, I’m not sure I’ve experienced any part of limerence with/to my girlfriend.)  So I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to speak from experience.

Limerence is normal!  No need to worry.  Some people experience it, and some people don’t; either is totally fine.  I know people who’ve experienced limerence (or something closely resembling it) with sexual, romantic, and even platonic attraction, so, yes, you can experience it separately from romantic/sexual attraction. I know a number of people who experience limerence as part of a squish; I experience bits and pieces of it with some squishes, as I’ve written about here.

Here’s a series of question for you: What did you want to do with your maybe limerence feelings?  You said you wanted to be near them and listen to them and do very close friend stuff, but what about the attraction was different than what you normally experience?  Did it feel more urgent?  Was it more intense?  Did you want to spend time with them more frequently than you would with other friends?  Did you want to spend your time differently?  You mentioned it possibly being in conjunction with sensual attraction, but what does that mean, functionally?  Did you want to be physically close to them?  Did you want to kiss them?  Did you want to pet their hair?  Did you want to be a particular sort of relationship with them?  Did you want commitment or priority or both?  Have you had squishes before?  Was what you were experiencing different from a squish?  If so, in what ways was it different?

Now that I’ve thoroughly interrogated you, lemme give you some signposts.  

If you’re experiencing romantic attraction without desiring reciprocation, you might find the term “lithromantic” (or, the more recent term, “akoiromantic” or “akoineromantic”) helpful.  Here’s the aromantics wiki entry, and the lithromantic tumblr.  (Unfortunately, I don’t know know of any akoineromantic/akoiromantic resources; everything I know of doesn’t go beyond defining the term.  Followers?)  

You said you don’t think you’ve experienced romantic or sexual attraction, though, so maybe you’d like to look into aromanticism further.  If you’re not sure whether you’ve experienced romantic attraction or not, you might find some writing on greyromanticism or wtfromanticism helpful.  You might also find this piece and these pieces, all of which are about queerplatonic relationships, useful.

Hopefully that should get you started in the right direction, anon!  Lemme know if there’s anything else I can do to help you out, yeah?

"Corrective Therapy" for Asexuals from Medical Professionals

vaginismusandsexuality:

If anyone has followed me or seen my posts you will know I have gone through some form of ‘corrective therapy’ for being a sex adverse asexual. My counselor told me to have sex until I like it and to have various medical tests to see what was wrong with me; my doctor prescribed me 3 different medications, two of which has been clinically proven to have no significant effect on ciswomen (Viagra and Cialis, the third was a testosterone supplement). I should not have to discuss the emotional turmoil it has put me through and what it has done to me.

Of course these forms of therapy is not as bad as corrective therapy for homosexuality, that is a whole other can of worms. Just because something is not as bad as another thing does not make it harmless and unworthy of discussion.

I am wondering if other asexuals have experienced actual ‘corrective therapy’ from their medical professionals strictly for being asexual. While these events are horrible and traumatizing, I think we need to discuss these things. We need to discuss ways to counter medical professionals who doubt asexuality exists/thinks it is a medical condition so no one in the future has to go through this.

I think first we need to discuss people who have had treatment recommended to them:

  • What treatment was suggested?
  • What was the medical professionals goals with the treatment?
  • Did they expect you to be cured or was it suggested as ongoing treatment?
  • How did the medical professional explain the treatment to you?
  • Did you mention asexuality to them? How did they respond?
  • Did they bring up asexuality to you? What was their explanation of asexuality?
  • After completing treatment and, surprise, still asexual how did the medical professional respond? Did they suggest further treatment or refer you elsewhere?
  • Were you seeing the medical professional for another related/unrelated issue when the issue of your orientation came up?
  • Were you coerced in any way by family/friends/others into seeing that medical professional who recommended ‘Corrective Therapy’?

 You can either reblog a response or submit one on my page - if you want to remain anonymous just say so. If I get any feedback I want to make a post with everyones responses and will simply leave out your name if you request. Don’t feel obligated to answer all the questions, just the ones that you feel effect you. 

Also if you have other questions you think are good to ask don’t be scared to send a quick note and I’ll add them.

Thanks in advance for any feedback. =)

Signal boosting.

I promised myself at the beginning of the month that I wouldn’t reblog any submissions to the Carnival (psst, you should submit if you haven’t already!) and would instead wait to do a round-up at the end of the month.  Literally every single submission to the Carnival has tested my resolved.  Every.  Single.  One.

*lies on the ground*

Why are all my fellow ace bloggers so eloquent?

GUEST POST for the August 2014 Carnival of Aces

This post was written for the August 2014 Carnival of Aces.  This month’s theme is “the Unassailable Asexual.”  You should think about submitting something if you aren’t already planning on it!

The author of this piece has asked to remain anonymous.  Please respect their privacy and do not speculate about their identity.

I identify as grey-asexual or demisexual, and biromantic or panromantic. Sometimes, because it’s easier, I just tell people I’m bi; sometimes I don’t tell them anything at all, and let them make their own assumptions. It depends on the day, or who I’m talking to. I haven’t told most of my family yet. I didn’t figure out my orientation until I was nineteen years old, sitting in my apartment halfway across the world during my semester abroad, reading an Avengers fanfic that hit just a little too close to home. That was last fall. Fast-forward a few months, and I’m back in America, where everyone speaks English and I can actually tell people I’m Jewish without too much fear, and I can bare my cleavage again without worrying as much about being perceived as being inappropriate, and the idea of being anything other than heterosexual is not so haram. But then again, being anything outside gay or straight is still erased, it is still not quite believed. When I was abroad, I was too busy trying to learn Arabic and visit as many sites as I could and eat as much hummus and fuul and falafel as possible before I had to leave to spare much thought to my sexual orientation after the initial realization. But when I came back, I need something to do, something to think about, something that wasn’t so much a reminder of my time abroad. So I decided to do a bit more research into that asexuality thing. And then I joined AVEN. I’m mostly a lurker, so joining any sort of online community with the expectation that I might actually try to participate was kind of a big deal for me. Once I got there, it seemed fine, at first. Everyone I encountered seemed welcoming. The problem was, I felt almost like an imposter, like I didn’t fully belong. I felt like I didn’t fully belong some times because hey, I masturbate! I love masturbating! I felt like I didn’t fully belong because I read smut all the time. All the time. I felt like I didn’t fully belong because I’d like to have sex one day (although if that never happens, hey, that’s cool too). I felt like I didn’t fully belong in the community because I had felt sexual attraction once, twice, maybe three times in my life (I still cannot identify it well enough to know that last time or not) despite the fact that each time those feelings that I had felt scared me beyond all belief and despite the fact that I have never had any sort of sexual relationship or contact beyond one miserably horrid kiss. There are not specific moments I can point to, there are not conversations that I have had, it was more a feeling that because you are not entirely asexual, because you have had or think you will have sexual attraction at some point in your life, you are not entirely welcome here; you cannot accurately represent this community to others. Which, to be honest? This is bullshit. There is not one person who can accurately represent an entire community to everyone else. When I came out to my mother, it was series of conversations, each one difficult, but they were progressively less difficult than the previous one. It hurt, though, to hear her ask me those questions (you know the ones, “the you’ll just grow out of it, you probably just haven’t met the right person yet, maybe you just need your hormones checked, etc.”), forcing me to justify my orientation as I tried to explain to her that no, I am not broken, no, there is nothing wrong with me, no I do not need my hormones checked, and even if there was something wrong with my hormones, it wouldn’t change a thing, no there is nothing wrong with my head, even if there was it would not matter, it would not change a thing. This is who I am. I am an American Jewish grey-asexual or demisexual, biromantic or panromantic, cisgendered female (pronouns: she, her, hers), going into my last year of college. Sometimes, because it’s easier, I just tell people I’m bi; sometimes I don’t tell them anything at all, and let them make their own assumptions, which, let’s be honest, usually makes them set me at straight, the default. It depends on the day, or who I’m talking to. I haven’t come out as either bi or grey-a/demisexual to most of my family yet. I’m not sure if I ever will, because the way I felt talking to my mother about my orientation is not a way I ever really want to feel again. I don’t ever want to have to justify my identity to others, although I know that being who I am, identifying the way I do, I’m not really going to have a choice, am I? I don’t regret it, though. I finally like who I am, for the most part. So, to that lovely, awesome, super amazing fanfiction author: thank you. I will always be grateful that you enabled a nineteen year old college student, sitting in her apartment halfway across the world during a semester abroad, to read an Avengers fanfic that hit just a little too close to home.

GUEST POST: The downfall of raising up the unassailable asexual

This is a guest post for the August 2014 Carnival of Aces. This month’s theme is “the Unassailable Asexual.” Submissions are still open, so if you have things to say on the topic, you should think about writing something!

The author of this piece has asked to remain anonymous. Please respect their privacy and do not speculate about their identity.

Trigger warnings: If you have any sexual violence-related triggers, please consider skipping this post. Explicit discussion of sexual assault and rape, physical abuse, and invalidation. If you think additional warnings should be added to this, please let me know, and I will be happy to add them.

When I was fourteen, I fell in love with a boy. I didn’t think he was sexy, which confused the heck out of me. But I didn’t think girls were sexy either, and the options were girls, boys or both. There was no ‘none of the above’.

He liked comic books and Dungeons and Dragons. His parents had a gorgeous, amazing library in their home, filled with incredible science fiction. He loved video games. I loved these things and I thought the sun rose and set because he was here, on this planet. He was amazing.

Read More

godlessace:

Here is another thing, written by me.  It accidentally ended up being about asexual masculinity.

Siggy wrote a thing, and you should read it.

More Improvements Being Made?

aceadvicenetwork:

Hello friends!

I haven’t forgotten about this project at all. I’ve had a bit of life turbulence recently and have only now had a chance to really sit down and work on it more. I’ve decided to remove the whole membership aspect—the directory is now just a list of all advice blogs I could find on Tumblr. I decided I didn’t really see a point in going around and asking people if they wanted to join or not.

Over the next few days, I will be working on adding more links. To reiterate, the idea behind this is to create a really nice, beefy resource for askblogs to refer to when they answer asks, and to increase communication among askblogs.

I have a question for you: if you follow this blog, what sort of stuff do you want to see it reblog? Particularly good asks from askblogs? Good resources? Let me know your thoughts.

ALSO, I am always looking for Tumblr users who are ace or aro who don’t necessarily run an askblog, but have specific experiences they’d be willing to talk to anons about. Check out this page to get an idea, and send in an ask if you’re interested.

Thanks, everyone! Please keep any input and feedback coming!

Demigray

Relevant to recent discussions. If you’d be willing to be on the referral list, do drop aceadvicenetwork a line.

Hello! I was wondering if you knew of any articles or the like that discuss the sex-positive movement (and the criticisms of it) from an ace perspective? Thanks!

theasexualityblog:

No, I don’t, and this kind of bothers me. I might write one….

Hello, theasexualityblog!  Let me help you out there!

Fortunately, pretty much everybody and their step-sibling has written about asexuality and sex-positivity at this point, so there’s no shortage of reading material.

Here’s the Carnival of Aces on sex-positivity.

A Few Thoughts on Sex Positivity…

Asexual and sex-positive

Sex-Positivity, Compulsory Sexuality and Intersecting Identities

No True Sex Positive Feminist

A Sexual Positivity: Asexual Positivity as Sex Positivity

Sex-positive sexual education and the asexual spectrum, or Queenie has dangerously many feelings about consent

Sex isn’t always good (here on The Asexual Agenda)

The Two Meanings of « Sex-positivity »

An Asexual Map for Sex-Positive Feminism

Why I Identify as Sex-Positive, Despite Seeing Sex as Neutral

Why I No Longer Identify as a Sex-Positive Asexual

unpopular opinion time: asexuality & sex positivity

A-Sexy Positivity

Not social justice from where I’m standing

…and there are certainly more that I haven’t included on this list, but this should be enough to get you started.

I’m honestly…kind of concerned that someone purporting to run an asexual resource blog is this disconnected from community discourse and apparently didn’t think to Google “asexuality and sex-positivity.”  There’s a trend I’m seeing in a lot of asexual resource/advice blogs on tumblr recently, where the person running the blog never seems to be aware of or interacting with any discussion/resource-creation occurring elsewhere in the community.  How can you claim to be a community center if you aren’t aware of what’s happening in the rest of the community?  How can you offer resources if the only resources you have are the ones you make yourself?  How can you be an expert on asexuality—and you are claiming to be an expert if you are running a resource/advice blog!—if you are unaware of a discussion that has been occurring in the community pretty much continuously since 2010 at the latest?  People not being aware of community discourse is how the on-going debacle over whether or not to emphasize sexually active aces got started.  People not being aware of community discourse is how the massive debacle over ace advice blogs in June got started.  No man (or woman or non-binary person) is an island, and no ace resource/advice blog should be either, and yet I see so many of them trying to be.

Please do read some of the links above, and then follow some asexual bloggers.  If you don’t know where to begin, I assembled a linkspam for people running advice blogs, which includes suggestions for further reading at the bottom.  At the very least, being up to date on the discourse happening in the community will make you better equipped to direct your followers toward the resources they need, which can’t be a bad thing.

Linkspam for people giving ace advice

Do you run an ace advice blog?  Do you frequently answer asks about asexuality?  Then you should probably read the below posts so you know how to sensitively answer some frequently asked questions about asexuality.  (Or you could read them because they’re interesting and being well-informed is generally a good idea!)

If someone asks you whether they’re asexual/how they should identify:

Sciatrix on why labeling people is a terrible idea

nextstepcake on how to answer these sorts of asks

If someone under the age of 18 asks whether they’re asexual:

Teen aces and the “you might not be asexual forever” disclaimer by me (here on The Asexual Agenda)

The average age of first sexual attraction is ten

Critique of Popular Reason on having their asexuality dismissed as a teenager

This entire Carnival of Aces was on teenagers, and this one was on age/ageism.

If someone asks about sex-repulsion/says they don’t want to have sex:

bessibels on why you should not pressure aces into having sex with their partners

Your Sex-Normative Ideas Ain’t News by The Ace Theist

beranyth on why you should not tell aces who have feeling guilty about not having sex that “it’s okay for asexuals to have sex”

I wrote up some ways that sex-repulsed/sex-averse aces are stigmatized in ace communities (here on The Asexual Agenda)

Here’s a linkspam on sex-aversion/sex-repulsion, and here’s a whole Carnival of Aces on sex-repulsion/sex-aversion.

If anyone asks about hormonal imbalances/medical issues/mental illness/autism causing asexuality:

ace-muslim on "Why don’t you get your hormones checked?"

anotherspoonie on asexuality and hip dysplasia

nightengalesnkd on the intersection of asexuality and disability

swankivy on how "asexual" should be a description of what you feel, not why

Here’s a whole Carnival on asexuality and disability, and here’s one on asexuality and autism.

If someone asks anything about asexuality and sexual violence:

Please give survivor-competent ace advice!

Things you can do to make ace spaces more welcoming for aces who have experienced sexual violence

Challenges Faced by Ace Survivors (here on The Asexual Agenda)

I have an entire tag on asexuality and sexual violence, and you should check out resourcesforacesurvivors, especially the #for supporters tag.

If someone has a question about masturbation/orgasms/anatomy:

Asexuality Archive has written an entire series on this!

I want to read a bunch more on asexuality but I haven’t the foggiest where to even start!

Have you considered checking out a linkspam?  Or maybe some of these linkspams?  Perhaps you would enjoy Carnival of Aces, which is conveniently divided up by topic.  Here’s a whole archive of articles on asexuality.  The Asexual Agenda's blogroll is usually pretty up to date too.

Let’s give sensitive and respectful ace advice, yeah?

August 2014 Carnival of Aces: Call for Submissions

queenieofaces:

Hey, everyone!  I’m hosting the August round of Carnival of Aces!  (The masterpost for the carnival is here, for anyone unfamiliar with it.)

If you don’t know what a blogging carnival is, it’s an event where various people across the internet blog about a single topic.  At the end of the month, I (as the carnival host) will collect all the links into a single post.  Blogging carnivals are a cool way to see a bunch of different ideas about the same topic, find new blogs to read, and (if you’re a blogger yourself) motivate yourself to write.

The theme I’ve picked for this month is the Unassailable Asexual.  If you don’t know what the Unassailable Asexual is, here’s the forum thread where it was first formulated.  I’ve also heard it go by other names including "the Gold Star Asexual," "the ideal asexual," and “No True Asexual.” 

Here are some ideas to get you started off:

  • How has the idea of the Unassailable Asexual personally impacted you?  Did it make you harder for you to accept an asexual identity?
  • Has the Unassailable Asexual made it hard for you to accept identities/experiences/etc. unrelated to asexuality?
  • Has the idea of the Unassailable Asexual made you feel like you can’t talk about certain aspects of your identity/things you have experienced/etc. while being a visible asexual advocate (or even a visible asexual person)?
  • Have you ever had anyone (inside or outside asexual communities) attempt to invalidate your identity because you’re not an Unassailable Asexual?  How did you respond?
  • Does the Unassailable Asexual impact people differently depending on their place on the asexual spectrum?  Does the Unassailable Asexual impact questioning people differently than it impacts asexual spectrum people?
  • How can asexual communities better combat the idea of the Unassailable Asexual?  In what spaces do we need to work hardest to combat the idea of the Unassailable Asexual?
Feel free to write about any of these…or something completely different!

You are welcome to submit in formats other than blogs—vlogs, comics, fiction, graphics, you name it!  As long as it’s related to the topic, I’ll be happy to accept it.

If you would like to submit something but don’t have your own blog (or would rather not post your piece on your blog or would rather submit something anonymously), let me know, and I’ll be happy to host it for you!

If you are planning to submit (which I hope you are!), the deadline is August 31.  When you’ve finished your submission, you can send me a link at queenieofaces@gmail.com or by dropping me a message/ask/what have you.  I also track the #carnival of aces tag, although tagging on tumblr is notoriously spotty, so it’s generally good if you also send me a message.  If you have any questions or comments, my ask box is open (and my email inbox is too)!  I’m really excited to see what all of you come up with!

We’re now halfway through the month, so, hey, reminder that this is a thing that’s going on!  If you have things to say about “the Unassailable Asexual,” you should definitely submit something!

Also, I realize that some people may be uncomfortable talking about personal experiences, given the stigma associated with being an assailable asexual, which is why I am 100% okay with hosting guest posts on my blog, anonymized or not.  Drop me a line!  I promise I don’t bite.