We’re missing something.
Asexuality is more common than breast cancer and testicular cancer combined.
Asexuality is more common than multiple sclerosis or muscular dystrophy.
Asexuality is more common than blindness.
Asexuality is more common than AIDS.
Asexuality is more common than deafness.
There are more asexuals in the United States than there are Muslims.
There are more asexuals in the United States than there are Jehovah’s Witnesses.
There are more asexuals in the United States than there are graduates of Yale.
There are more asexuals in the United States than there are people serving in the armed forces.
There are more asexuals in the United States than there are residents of San Francisco, Boston, Denver, Miami and Pittsburgh combined.
What I’m getting at is that there are a lot of us. There are more of us as there are people in those other groups, groups that everyone has heard of. We’re not some tiny microscopic subset of the population. We live on just about every street. We work in just about every office. We go to just about every school. We eat at just about every restaurant. There are a lot of us.
So how come we don’t have strong, coordinated, non-profit organization dedicated to active outreach and education about asexuality?
It’s strange that we don’t have a group like this. Look at all the groups dedicated to autism research and awareness. Look at all the pink ribbons for breast cancer and red ribbons for AIDS and yellow bracelets for testicular cancer. Look at all the telethons and fundraising drives and 5K fun runs for things you’ve never heard of. Hell, there are non-profit organizations dedicated to things like 3D photography and woodcarving and investigating UFO sightings. Where is ours?
What we have is a scattered collection of volunteer efforts, largely driven by single individuals. Often, these individuals have competing interests, like school or a job. And I’ve seen several promising projects fizzle out when the person working on them loses interest or is unable to continue. Now, don’t get me wrong. There are many individuals out there doing incredible work. Some of them have far more energy and dedication and drive than I have. But they’re mostly working alone, in isolation. But imagine what some of these people could do if they had a well-funded, skilled organization giving them support and acting as a means of collaboration?
There are many things that such an organization could bring us.
- It would be a constant force for awareness.
- It would present a professional face of asexuality to the world.
- It would provide support and legitimacy to outreach and awareness efforts.
- It would be able to reach people and resources that individuals can’t.
- It would be able to coordinate the work of multiple activists toward a unified goal.
I know there was an effort to put together a 501(c)(3) a few years ago, but I haven’t heard anything about that lately. I don’t know, maybe it’s just in pre-launch stealth mode or maybe I’m just out of the loop, but I get the feeling that it’s stalled out.
So, here’s my wishlist for things I’d like to see in an asexuality focused non-profit organization.
- Clear Goals. I want the group to say “We’re doing this right now, and in September, we’re going to launch this other thing.” I want to know what they’re doing and why they’re doing it, and I want to see progress on what they’ve done.
- Uniform Presentation and Messaging. The organization should produce a series of pamphlets and posters and slideshows and videos and supporting web pages that all have a common presentation style. Similar imaging and graphical style, and similar or even identical text. The different media should complement and reinforce one another.
- Core Paid Staff. There need to be people running the ship who don’t have to worry about their day job interfering with their work for the organization, because their work for the organization is their day job. Of course, there will be plenty of room for volunteer participation, but the people who keep the lights on and the doors open should get paid for it. (And there really should be lights to keep on and doors to keep open. I think a physical office is important.)
- Dues Paying Members. The money for doing all this work has to come from somewhere. It can’t all be an endless train of Kickstarter campaigns to get the funding.
- The Organization is Bigger than the Individual. There may be a spokesperson, but they speak on behalf of the organization. It can’t end up a cult of personality.
- Active Outreach. The organization can’t just wait for people to find it, it has to go out and reach the undiscovered aces who don’t even know about asexuality and are wondering why they’re different. It should reach out to high school counselors, who may be dealing with students who are wondering why it seems like puberty left them behind. It should reach out to college LGBTQ*/GSRM groups and student health centers, who may be dealing with students who are struggling with navigating the sex-charged university scene and are feeling alone. It should reach out to psychiatrists, psychologists, marriage counselors and sex therapists, who may be dealing with clients who are feeling broken and alone because they’re not interested in sex. And the information packages it mails out need to be targeted. All of these audiences have different needs, so it can’t be the same one-size-fits-all pamphlet. The high school packet should be aimed at teenagers, while the psychiatrist packet should be tailored specifically for them.
- Close Collaboration with Sexuality Researchers and Psychiatric Professionals. There should be a select group of researchers and therapists who are experts on asexuality that are closely associated with the organization. They can provide legitimacy to the group, the group can provide legitimacy to them, and expertise and knowledge and other benefits will flow both directions. It needs to bridge academics and non-academics and work to get the right information to the right people.
- Legal Advice Team. One thing that struck me about the reports from CC13 earlier this year was how it seemed like everyone was caught off guard by a request from another group for a legal brief on asexuality. That request ended up requiring the full attention of several of the conference goers, to the exclusion of the activities and networking opportunities they had gone there for. Now, that work was very valuable, no doubt, but it seemed like the whole situation would have gone better if there’d been a lawyer or two they could’ve tapped for help. There have to be ace lawyers out there who’d be willing to do some occasional pro-bono work for the cause.
- Media Outreach and PR Staff. cf. House, “Better Half”. Never again.
- Active Social Media Updates. Whenever there’s an event, there should be a live series of updates and pictures about what’s happening. If there’s a conference, there need to be videos posted of every session. If there’s a parade march, there needs to be a designated photographer shooting the entire route. People who can’t be there in person have to feel like they didn’t miss anything.
- Celebrity Spokesperson. There’s a lot of “might be, could be” asexual celebrities out there, but it’s all conjecture based on one or two mentions of the word in an interview somewhere. Yes, Tim Gunn and Janeane Garofalo have called themselves “asexual”, but no one knows if they’re really asexual the way we mean it. Thing is, I don’t know if anyone’s ever asked them… The organization would work to reach out to potentially asexual celebrities to find out if they are, in the hopes of finding someone who would be willing to act as a celebrity face of the organization. Having a celebrity spokesperson would have multiple benefits. Obviously, having a recognizable name come out and be visible as asexual would do wonders toward making aces feel like they’re not alone. It’s also a great way to introduce others to the concept. Someone you’re talking to might not know about asexuality, but they’ve probably heard about that famous person. Even people who’ve never heard of asexuality and don’t know any asexuals might be introduced to the concept through their favorite celebrity. There are also fiscal benefits to having a celebrity spokesperson affiliated with your organization. To be blunt, they often have money and know people who have money, and could very well be the most effective fundraising technique the group would have.
- Organized Annual Conference. This is where all those researchers and lawyers and psychiatrists and members and celebrities and teachers and PR people that I mentioned earlier get together to talk about asexuality and its implications. The conference would be a gathering in its own right, it wouldn’t piggyback on something else.
- Form Alliances and Partnerships with Other Organizations. One organization can’t do it all alone. In many cases it might make sense to join forces with other groups to tackle an issue. Maybe there’s a celibacy group out there to partner with on some issue or a singles group on another or a gay rights group that has expertise in some area. Who knows, maybe even that 3D photography club might come in handy sometime!
- Clear Focus. If it tries to cover everything all at once from the get-go, it’ll be spread too thin and not get anywhere. All these things I’ve listed don’t have to be accomplished on day one. Maybe it starts with producing informational packets to provide to college groups, then moves on to something else once that’s established. And the group can’t feel obligated to include every subject or handle every intersection, because there are infinitely many topics that are important to people and infinitely many ways that they can intersect. It’s okay to say, “We can’t cover that right now.” It’s okay to say, “That’s not what we’re talking about here.” It’s okay to say, “I’m sorry, we don’t have the resources for that.”
And perhaps most importantly:
- Catchy Name. The organization needs a catchy name. Something easy to say, easy to remember, difficult to confuse. Something that’ll look nice on a letterhead. Something with an easy to type domain name. Something that clearly indicates who they are and what they do. (For some reason, “Aria” has stuck in my head. I like it as a word, but I’m not a fan of anything I’ve backronymed onto it, like “Asexual Resource and Information Association”. Any better ideas?)
We have to do this ourselves. We can’t keep waiting for someone else to do it for us. We can’t stand around and beg other groups to take us in. Smaller organizations don’t have the resources to help us out, and their mission is probably unrelated to ours anyway. Larger organizations might take us under their wing, but they have so many other concerns that asexuality will never be their focus. We’ll always be a secondary concern or afterthought to them. If we want a group that stands by us, fights for us, and cares about us first and foremost, then we have to make it ourselves.
So… How do we start?
If you cake, they will come.
Question with 1 note
alohdark asked: I'm asexual and bipolar and though I am stable on my meds right now and open about my sexuality I am completely out of my depth in a homosexual relationship. I am emotionally/romantically attracted to this girl and I have admitted to her that I don't like sex. She thinks that it's just because I've never have had sex with a girl before. How do I get her to understand that it's sex as a whole that holds no appeal to me and not just my limited experience???
Aside from being open about your own experiences and sharing resources about asexuality there might not be a whole lot you or anyone can do to convince anyone of anything! I don’t mean to be a downer, please don’t feel bad. Some people will take facts and change their mind while others won’t. I’ve been in the same boat as you and had people say the same thing to me and do you know what happened? My asexuality didn’t change…and neither did my level of experience - especially with them!
You’ll meet people who get you, who understand and accept you and your experiences/feelings/lack of feelings etc. It’s hard when you’re attracted to someone who doesn’t understand but you’re worth staying true to yourself. Keep being yourself, stay awesome.
I’m gonna print a bunch of these out and give one to every cake in the shop.
Post with 46 notes
A week or so ago I met a nice Tumblr person who was asexual, yet had no knowledge of Tumblr’s asexual community. The reply I got to an asexual post was along the lines of “I’m not alone”.
I’m sure we can all relate to that, so I’ve decided I’d like to start a comprehensive list to add to what I’ve already got going here; but for all the asexual blogs on Tumblr.
I’m actually thinking two lists- one for blogs specifically about asexuality, and another list of asexual Tumblr users. I can pull some things from the regular posters in the tags, but I’d love to be able to get everybody.
So please reply to or reblog this post with a note saying whether you’re asexual or your blog is about it (or both! If you’ve got more than one account, please also include!); or drop me a message or submission.
Let’s make sure we know where to find each other.
Listing of everyone and every blog I have so far here.
Good Morning and Monday! I hope everyone had a good weekend and survived the tiny battle last night. I don’t even know what happened, but it looked messy. So I’m just going to pretend nothing happened and remain neutral about whatever happened, but I did see something I wanted to talk about! And that is young aces!
As I read through the different battle posts last night someone had said that all/most/whatever young aces just want to feel different and be a part of something new or something to that effect. So I wanted to explore some of those thoughts!
For older aces who feel like the above is true
If you are an older ace and are confident in how you feel, you should not (in my opinion) be turning someone away when they claim to be asexual. Even if you feel it is not true, even if you think they are doing it for attention, even if you’re somewhat annoyed by them, yelling at them and telling them in essence to get out is in my eyes a form of erasure. Do young asexuals not exist? As people who have been on the topic, as people who may sometimes be approached by younger aces, we should be willing to be patient and understanding and point them in the right direction when they have questions. It sucks to try to find an explanation for what you are feeling and be turned away because you are “too young”. Or told to wait and see because you “are too young.” As asexual-life constantly says when she answers younger aces questions “It isn’t bad to begin exploring at an early age.”
For younger aces
Keep an open mind. Sometimes when you are younger you get comfortable with the community you’re in and then you want to deny other possibilities. I have pretty much come out 3 times in my life because I just learned new things about myself and as I became more comfortable in my own skin and had some “trial and error” moments in my life which really sucked. But you know, it’s okay to be wrong, and no one should judge for it. Now, I am not saying that if you’re claiming to be asexual that you’re not. I am simply saying to remember that even sexuality is fluid and people change over time. If you are comfortable with asexuality and you feel you are asexual, then good. You’re asexual. Just know that there is a lot of time left in your life. I have spoken to full grown adults in AVEN who say that have drifted more into aromantic grounds or feelings and others that have gone other ways and others still that have found that they might have gone from homoromantic attraction to biromantic attraction.
I have been meaning to say this for a while, and I think it’s good to leave this here.
Just like how we don’t like to be told that sex is necessary, or be asked how we do without it, or to be told it’s natural in every single human being ever….
A lot of aces turn around and talk about how unnecessary it is to sexuals. You guys end up being no different than them. If someone approaches you with something like that, you only need say, “I personally don’t find it necessary.” But don’t generalize it to everyone. Just like how you might not like sex or understand the point of it or it’s necessity, you shouldn’t count on sexuals to have an immediate understanding of what it is like to lack sexual attraction and not particularly need, care for, or want sex.
Just agree to disagree. And if they really want to shove their views down your throat, just walk away. Don’t feed trolls, you know? If we keep calm and stand our ground without yelling in people’s faces, it may be easier for people to take us seriously. When we argue like a bunch of 12 year olds, it’s hard even for some aces to take other aces seriously.
enough cake for aaaaallllllllll the aces
HERE THEY ARE!!! Lots of them were my favourite submissions and some of them are my own captions!! Feel free to send to your loved ones!!
I might make more if I get more submissions ^^ I hope you enjoy!
BONUS VALENTINES!!! (two silly ones that I may have made accidentally while texting with my other hand x.x)
ROSES ARE RED, VIOLETS ARE BLUE. I’D LIKE A SLICE OF CAKE OR TWO.
Yes….yes we do.
Question with 6 notes
happytaffeta asked: A random lesbian has followed your tumblr because it is full of win and snacks. Hi! ouo Can I partake of the hugs even if I'm not asexual?
YOU MAY INDEED! <3
EXCITING ACE NEWS!
Kate Bornstein, author of the famous My Gender Workbook, is going to release a new edition of the book. She just tweeted in response to a follower that she’s included four whole pages on the asexual experience, including over two dozen aces!
This is awesome for both our visibility and aces who aren’t cis!
OMG WUT I AM SO EXCITED RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!11!!
This calls for epic cake.
asexuality is really great i recommend it to everyone
In case you missed it earlier today, Asexual Awareness Week is fundraising with AVEN to pay for hotel rooms for people going to the Creating Change conference next month in Atlanta, GA, as well as for materials for the conference and for admin and server costs for AVEN and AAW. We just started raising money a few hours ago and we’ve already got more than $1,700 in donations! Watch this video — and if you can’t support us with money, then please support us with gratuitous signal boosting across your various internet spaces. Thank you! [>
Question with 7 notes
onethousandrbirds asked: Excuse me, hi. I was wondering about the cake thing. And the hug thing. One of my friends kept saying to day that the worst insult you could say to an ace was (sorry) "go hug yourself." What does this all mean?
There’s nothing finer than a slice of welcome cake when joining a community of asexuals, am I right? Right or not it was a trend on the AVEN boards equally embraced as the phrase “Why have sex when you could have cake?” or something. I personally think we should come up with a wilder cake story…but I’m getting off topic.
I’m not sure about the hug thing…but actually it seems like a very sensitive insult if you think about it! One might say: “Go f#ck yourself” to a person but since we don’t swing that way “Go h#g yourself” works!
Wow now I’m kinda sad. That insult is super effective.
Post with 2 notes
I like porn well enough. I masturbate fairly frequently. Gender or orientation of the material don’t much matter, so long as it’s erotical in nature. I crush on women folk (cis or trans) and can find someone pretty, although it’s more in a “I find you aesthetically pleasing” way over a “I need to jump your bones” sort of way. When it comes to physicality, I don’t really have a sex drive. Although I’ve had sexual encounters with men and women. My last 8 month relationship was almost entirely sex free aside from some oral from me to her, we tried sex a few times but never ‘finished’. I love being physically close to someone I care about but I could be and have been happy without any sex. Does that make me asexual? I’m a bit confused. I tend to identify as a hetero-romantic pansexual but maybe I’m wrong? Any thoughts? Sorry if this isn’t the right place to ask but I just saw this blog and kind of got flooded with a whole bunch of questions.
Sounds like some sort of romantically inclined-ace to me but of course the labels you want to use for yourself are something you should decide. It’s not about what you do or do not do but rather how you feel. :) Also…we have cake. Just sayin’
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