These are notes from the Seattle and Surrounding Aces Discussion Group meeting of October 22rd, 2016. 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.
Asexual Awareness Week!
Asexual Awareness Week runs from October 23rd through 29th, 2016!
Spread the awareness!
There will be a lot of good resources posted in the #asexual or #asexualawarenessweek tags on Twitter and Tumblr, so stop by them for interesting finds. If you come across something good, please share it with the Meetup or Facebook groups!
Sensual Attraction And How It Fits In
We talked briefly about sensual attraction and where it fits in with asexuality and other types of attraction.
Sensual attraction is something you can feel regardless of your sexual or romantic attraction. You don’t have to feel romantic attraction to want to kiss someone, and you don’t have to feel sexual attraction to want to cuddle.
(BTW: The glossary can be found here.)
The LGBT acron-, I mean, LGBTQ, um LGBTQIA, er LGBTQQIAA2PPD… LGBTQ+ acronym was mentioned, in relation to workplace or campus groups. It was brought up adding a letter is inherently not inclusive, because no matter how many letters you add, you’ve still left someone out. (Not to mention that the ordering implies importance.) Alternatives like MOGAI or GSRM were brought up, but they don’t have the same recognition. Vague terms like “Rainbow” or “Pride” might work well for group names. “Queer” is a term that is divisive. Some people love it for its inherent inclusiveness and instant recognition, while other people loathe it for its history.
Ace Relationship Tips
There were suggestions for putting it clearly in your dating profile (if you have one) and for being forthcoming early on so people have a clear idea of where things stand. Another suggestion was to be casually open among your friend group (using ace puns wherever appropriate, for example), so that if you meet someone that way, there’s a good chance they’ll know you’re asexual.
Does anyone else have any tips for starting a relationship when you’re ace?
Asexuals At A Sex Club?
No, really, this is not a joke.
We’ve talked about the Center for Sex Positive Culture before, with several group members who’ve attended ace-friendly events there. This month, we had someone who runs those events come to the meeting, looking for ideas for future events (When the CSPC finds a new space).
Currently, they run three asexual/no sex/underwear-stays-on events:
- Blanket Fort: A blanket fort with optional cuddles.
- Aces Wild: Kink without sex.
- Mind Fuck: Fuck with your mind, not your body. Hypnosis, mental bondage, etc.
While these events are not strictly aces-only, there is an enforced expectation that there will be no sex in the room. People who want to get it on are asked to head to a different room.
(And if you want to involve your genitals, just not involve them with other people, the CSPC also holds masturbation parties, where it’s watch or be watched, but keep your hands to yourself.)
At any rate, they’re looking for new ideas for ways to cater to asexual people. (For the record, a basket of kittens or puppies was suggested, but apparently they’re not able to do that. Unless it’s people dressed up as kittens or puppies, in which case they can make that happen.)
Shameless plug time!
I’m a member of the Board of Directors for Asexual Outreach, a 501(c)(3) non-profit for ace and aro advocacy. We are looking to help form connections between local ace and aro community groups, and to help those groups grow. We are also reaching out to schools and LGBTQ groups to help them become more ace inclusive.
Asexual Outreach organized the 2015 North American Asexuality Conference in Toronto, Ontario. Over a hundred asexual activists and organizers attended to share what they do and how they do it. AO has also reached out to over two hundred schools with its Ace Inclusion Guide. Within the next year, we will continue this mission by launching a platform and resources for ace and aro community groups, hosting a conference where ace group leaders and other activists can get together and collaborate, and we’ll reach out to more LGBTQ groups and schools (Including at the 2017 Creating Change conference.)
I was 31 when I found out that I was asexual, and before that I felt broken and confused. The work Asexual Outreach is doing will help to ensure that no one else will have to feel lost and alone for as long as I did.
If you want to help out, you can volunteer to get involved, you can work with a local school to incorporate the ace inclusion guide, you can attend the conference next year, and, if you can spare a bit, you can donate to help support the work being done. AO is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, meaning that donations can be tax-deductible and that it is probably eligible for a corporate matching program, if you have one at work.
Ignition Zero: Webcomic with an ace character.
Asexual Activities: Exploring your sexuality as an asexual.