These are notes from the Seattle and Surrounding Aces Discussion Group meeting of November 14th, 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.
Several ace terms came up in today’s meeting. Here were a few:
- allosexual: Not asexual/ace spectrum.
- ace: Short for asexual.
- grace: Short for gray-asexual.
- lithromantic/lithsexual: Feels attraction, but does not desire reciprocation
For these and other terms, there are several ace glossaries out there:
It was mentioned that OK Cupid now has the option to select “Asexual” as your orientation. Several people talked about their experiences on OK Cupid.
Some people expressed concern that listing themselves as asexual would limit their potential matches. Others talked about how some people don’t actually read profiles before contacting someone, but that other people take it as a challenge or an opportunity to ask invasive questions. It seemed like men encountered more people who were curious about asexuality, while women encountered more people who were hostile or rude about it.
There was also a discussion about using OK Cupid to potentially find friends, instead of romantic partners.
For more about OK Cupid and Asexuality, I’ll point you at SwankiVY, who has written extensively on the subject.
Today’s meeting talked mostly about relationships.
Communication and a commitment to make it work are very important in a relationship, particularly in a cross-orientation situation.
Other terms that may be of use: Queerplatonic and WTFRomantic.
Consent and boundaries are important to talk about. Things like “Want/Will/Won’t Lists” might help frame that conversation.
You never know what you’re getting into. Even with the best of intentions and with good faith, people may change their mind.
It’s possible to raise a kid with someone that you’re not in a romantic/sexual relationship with. Some people have had sex specifically with the intent to become parents of a biological child.
Being asexual breaks a lot of relationship scripts.
- Touching leads to sex.
- “Rounding the Bases” vs. being in the “Friendzone”.
- “We’re not there yet.”
- “The best way to get over someone is to get under someone.”
Some aces might enjoy physical touch, but don’t want it to lead to sex.
Some aces might not view the “bases” as goals in a relationship, or don’t feel that a relationship without sex means the “friendzone”.
“Not there yet” leaves no room for “Not there ever”.
(And just what is the difference between a strong friendship and a sexless romantic relationship, anyway? Exclusivity? Jealousy? Endearing faults?)
Sometimes aces feel like impostors in relationships. Some are more insecure about their own ability to love someone adequately than whether or not someone else loves them.
There was a brief discussion about the “tension” between romantic and aromantic aces or aces who are repulsed/have no sex drive/etc. and those who do. Some of it was chalked up to personality, some of it was chalked up to erasure, and some of it was chalked up to asexuality forces closer examination of things like romantic attraction/libido than other orientations, where those things are bundled together and taken for granted.
However, there is no “right way” to be ace.
Marching in Pride was mentioned again. Here are a set of tips from someone who’s worked with the SF marching group in the past. Here’s the Seattle Pride Parade Registration and information.
And Then What…? (About relationship scripts not making sense.)
Center for Sex Positive Culture