These are notes from the Seattle and Surrounding Aces Discussion Group meeting of September 12th, 2015. These are notes about what we talked about, relevant links, and other information about discussion topics. This is not meant to be a transcript and is not necessarily even meant to be a coherent recounting of the discussion.
Privacy of group members and keeping that room a safe and open place is important to me. I will try my best to not post personal information or individual stories without permission. If I write something that you’d rather not have on here, please let me know immediately and I will remove it.
A good location is important. Try a café or a coffee shop or something that’s near transit. Something next to a park and ride is a good option, because they typically have good bus accessibility and parking for drivers.
If you’re trying to pull together an event-based meetup, pick something you like doing. That way, even if people don’t show up, you still have a chance to have a good time.
Expect fewer people to show up than RSVP. Many people who RSVP don’t show up, or duck out at the last minute.
Make the event predictable and regular. If everyone knows that there’s an event every third Friday, it’ll be easier to plan for it. Additionally, people are more likely to go to recurring events, because they will appear more successful than one-offs.
Don’t get discouraged. Don’t give up easily. Even if no one shows up the first time, try again. Be patient and the event might grow over time.
There are more aces than you think. Even if it seems like you might be the only one in your city, you’re probably not. Maybe you just haven’t met them yet. Maybe they’re all waiting around for someone else to start something.
Going to a café or bar, going bowling, or playing board or card games were suggested as good activities.
Consider having a Facebook group or Tumblr or something similar so that people can learn more about each other and see what the group is like outside of the events. (Although Facebook has the disadvantage of being more visible to other people in your life that you might not want to be out to.)
Mort(e) the Cat Book
The book Mort(e) by Robert Repino was mentioned. It’s apparently a post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel about animals setting out to wipe out the humans. The main character (a cat) was mentioned as being non-sexual/possibly asexual in some way.
Here is the series: http://www.advocate.com/search/site/%2321acestories
And here’s some ace responses to it:
Coming out can open minds around you. This is called the “Contact Hypothesis”. By simply being openly ace, asexuality can stop being completely alien and strange to some of the people around you. Now that they know an asexual, they know it’s not that bad. They have a frame of reference.
“Just because you don’t feel that way, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It doesn’t mean it’s wrong.”
Some people came out on Facebook to mixed results. Sometimes, people were accepting, other times they were told “Don’t talk about that”. People who judge there can be unfriended.
You don’t have to come out to anyone. You can be out to some people, not out to others. Sometimes you don’t want to come out because you know someone will take issue, sometimes you don’t want to come out because it’s just not something you want to bring up in that situation. If you don’t want to come out, don’t. It is not necessary to be out in any circumstances, for any reason. Don’t tell anyone you don’t want to tell.
Other people around you may have already figured it out, even if they didn’t have a word for it.
Comic on asexuality: http://adriofthedead.tumblr.com/post/65540442968/okay-i-realize-this-hilariously-late-for
“How many people do I have to meet before you’ll accept that there’s no ‘Right one’ for me? I’ve met thousands of people. 10000? 100000? I think the sample size is significant by now.”
There’s some discussion of coming out here and here.
There is “A Parent’s Guide To Asexuality”, which might be useful to send to parents if you come out. If you don’t want to send it, it might at least give you some idea of how to respond to what they might say.
National Coming Out Day is October 11th. There is typically a lot of information on coming out and support for doing so on or around that day.
And again, you do not have to come out to anyone for any reason. Be comfortable. Be safe.
Demi/Ace and Dating
OKCupid is a little bit better when being open in your profile, but there will still be people who only want in your pants as fast as possible who’ll try anyway.
But you don’t have to be open. Keep in mind that there may be coworkers and other people you know who’ll find you on that site, since it is public.
Acebook was described as “slow” and “miserable”
Strong Platonic Friendships
OKCupid was mentioned as a place to say you’re looking for friends. Not everyone understands this, so be prepared to deal with people who want more.
“Intentional Communities”, like communal houses, the Chinese spinster women of 150 years ago, etc.
Ace in a Poly Relationship
“I gotta get laid!” “Well, go ahead!”
“Not offended, just bored.”
What’s the point of randomly inserted sex scenes? Get on with the plot!
Inside Amy Schumer sexting video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqYCsqUCNgo
Gold Star Aces: SwankIvy talks about the Unassailable Asexual, which is related: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXXqYcZJUGI
Let Me Google That For You: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=asexuality
North American Asexuality Conference Notes: http://www.asexualityarchive.com/category/north-american-asexuality-conference/ The conference was put on by Asexual Outreach.