Discussion Group Notes 9/9/17

These are notes from the Seattle and Surrounding Aces Discussion Group meeting of September 9th, 2017.  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.


There was a couch in the meeting space today.  This is perhaps the most exciting furniture related thing to happen to us since the introduction of the Cookie Chair.


Over half the room seemed like they joined us for the first time today!  Welcome, we hope you enjoyed the discussion, and hope to see you again in the coming months!  (Although, if you’re visiting from California, we’d understand if you don’t come back in October…)

We’re Famous!  Sort Of.  Well Okay, Not Really…

Apparently the book “All the Wrong Places” in the Bluewater Bay series has the characters attend an asexual meetup group in Seattle!  Except…  It’s not us.  They meet in a hipster coffee shop in the U District, while we meet in a hipster coffee shop in Capitol Hill.  Totally different.  They also apparently mention an ace group in Port Angeles.  I think we need to plan a roadtrip to investigate.

There’s another book, Cracked: A Magic iPhone Story, that involves an ace in Seattle, but this one does not feature a meetup group.

Other ace-related books mentioned today:

The Interface Series (which I can’t find a clear link to), although apparently only one book in this series has been published, and that book doesn’t mention asexuality explicitly.

Mr. March Names The Stars, which involves some dating ace pagans.

And then, in the non-fiction category:

Asexual Perspectives: 47 Ace Stories, which is a collection of interviews with ace people.

Ace Inclusion Guide For High Schools, which is a guide for high school staff on how to be more inclusive of asexual people.  This one is also available as a free PDF download.

“A Sexual What…?”

There was a big hubbub about the latest season of BoJack Horseman.  In it, a main character comes out as asexual.  Reaction from ace-land has been largely positive as the portrayal is seen as positive and accurate.  This is probably in large part due to the assistance of members of Ace LA, who worked with show staff to make sure it was handled correctly.

Unconference and Parade

In June, I attended the Berkeley Unconference and the San Francisco Pride Parade, organized by members of Asexuality SF.  They were both valuable experiences and things we should look at doing here at some point.

The Unconference was an all-day event.  About 50 aces, graces, and demis attended.  For an unconference, attendees bring topics they want to talk about, and the day’s schedule is organized on the spot.  People then break off into groups to have 45 minutes to an hour of discussion on the topic, and people are free to switch between them, if they like.  Some of the topics included “Asexuality and Dating”, “Aces in the Media”, “Religion”, “Pathologization of Asexuality”, “Ace POC”, and “Planning for the Future While Aro”.  Many of the sessions are “open”, meaning that anyone is free to join in, but some of the sessions are “closed”, which means they’re limited to those covered by the topic, in order to create a safe space to the conversation.  It’s a great way to connect with other aces in a more in-depth way than we get to in our normal monthly meetups.

The Pride Parade was amazing.  We all got together and marched down Market Street, some of us waving flags, some of us in ace costumes, some of us holding signs.  We handed out stickers and flyers.  The power of marching is in the visibility.  We were there, we showed that we exist.  I saw people in the crowd, screaming with excitement as we passed.  We proved to them that they were real.  Afterwards, I found people mentioning us on Twitter and Tumblr.  And I’ve heard that seeing the aces march in past parades has led some people to discover that they were asexual, has led some therapists to realize that asexuality was a real thing that they needed to learn about.

We should do both of these things here.  The Pride Parade is in June.  There’s apparently a steep registration fee, which is what has turned us off from doing it in the past.  I don’t care about that.  Whatever it is, I’ll cover it.  We are marching in 2018.  I’ll pay the bills, but I’ll need as many of you as possible to show up and march.

An unconference would also be something we can organize here.  We’d just need to book some space (a few separate rooms, if possible), and encourage people to show up with things they want to talk about.

Both of these would also be a great opportunity to reach out to other aces in the greater Northwest.  We’re centrally located between Portland and Vancouver, both of which have established ace meetup groups.  There are bound to be other aces here and there who won’t want to make the effort to get to Seattle for just the ordinary meetups, but who will for the larger events.  Let’s invite them all to town and ace this place up!

My notes from the Unconference are here:  http://www.asexualityarchive.com/category/san-francisco-unconference/

And some thoughts on the parade are here:  http://www.asexualityarchive.com/thoughts-on-a-parade/

Asexual Dating

I’ve covered ace dating conversations in previous posts, and a lot of what was covered today was similar to what was mentioned in the past.  So I’ll skip the repeats and head straight to the new stuff.

There was a recommendation that you not only mark yourself as Asexual in OKCupid, but that you also cover the subject several times in your profile.  Talk about what it means to you, lay out where some of your boundaries lie.  It’s still no guarantee that people will read and understand, but it’s a start.

There is a new ace dating app called “AceApp“.  It’s new, so there might not be many people there, but there won’t be anyone there at all if there aren’t any intrepid pioneers who decide to take the first step.

Therapists and Doctors

Someone brought up whether or not it’s appropriate to come out to a doctor or a therapist, particularly if they start bringing up sex or relationships in connection to the care they are providing.  In some cases, it may be useful to explain your lack of sexual activity or lack of relationships, as it may allow them to rule out certain things (for instance, you’re not likely to be pregnant if you’ve never had sex, so maybe they can skip that pregnancy test if you’re concerned about a missed period).

However, not all health care providers understand or even accept asexuality.  It may be difficult to know ahead of time how they’ll react.  But know this:  You can demand that they believe you and respect you, and if they don’t, you may want to consider finding a doctor who will, if that’s possible.  Resources for Ace Survivors has an info sheet you can print out and bring into your visit.

The lack of awareness of asexuality in the medical profession was a topic that came up at the unconference.  We discussed possible ways to start to fix that, such as reaching out to local doctors and clinics and offering to provide information, offering to present an Asexuality 101 seminar to a local group of providers, or giving a talk at a convention.  However, I am unaware of anyone who is actively taking on a project to work on building bridges with the healthcare world.

After the conference, I found two counselors in the Seattle area who mention working with ace patients on their websites.  One sounded like they might have a decent understanding of asexuality, while the other sounded like they were more interested in prescribing you a pill that is likely to cause spontaneous loss of consciousness.  At some point, I plan to reach out to both of them, in order to find out how they work with ace patients, and whether or not they would like any assistance or resources from any of us.

Assorted Mentions

Ash Hardell video series on “Everything Asexual and Aromantic“.

The Huffington Post series on asexuality.  And the exploration of all the negative comments on those articles (and how to respond when you encounter them in the wild).

The Unassailable Asexual:  The Carnival of Aces and SwankIvy’s videos.

Discussion Group Notes 2/11/17

These are notes from the Seattle and Surrounding Aces Discussion Group meeting of February 11th, 2017.  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.

Missing Months

I’ve neglected to make summary posts for a couple of months now.  We did have meetings in both December and January, I just never got around to writing about it.  Sorry!

I Forgot The Swag Today

I didn’t bring my fabled Bag o’ Ace Swag today.  I had it all packed and ready to go and was halfway to the freeway when I realized it wasn’t in the car.  Sorry!

Anyway, enough with the apologies and on with the show!

Pressure and Doubt

Much of the discussion today was a conversation about pressure and doubt.  The external pressure to date, the internal pressure to be who people expect you to be, and the doubt that you’re really ace, that it’s actually something else.

As the conversations were personal in nature, I will not summarize them here.  Instead, I’ll share some other resources on the subject.

There is a three part series on “Possible Signs of Asexuality“.  It’s not a checklist or a diagnostic tool, but it can be an extremely helpful tool for thinking about how you feel, as well as understanding that others feel the same way.  There’s also “Am I Asexual?

There was a recent blog carnival on “The Many Ways To Be Ace“.  There was an older blog carnival on relationship expectations.

Julie Decker has written about being asexual, aromantic, and single, and how people react to that, several times:  Asexual, Aromantic, Partnerless, Childless …  And Happy, as well as Enjoy Your Houseful of Cats.

Here is a discussion about the symptoms of Low Hormone Levels, beyond just a lack of interest in sex.

Bottom line:  It’s okay to “try on” the asexual label.  If you’re not into sex, that’s all right.  You don’t have to be into it, and you don’t have to change yourself to meet the expectations other people have imposed on you.  And most importantly, you are not broken and you are not alone.


(Many of these are on this site’s Resources page!)

WhatIsAsexuality.com and AsexualityArchive.com are two sites about asexuality that I run.  WhatIsAsexuality.com has a bunch of resources like pamplets and postcards and slideshows, and AsexualityArchive.com has a free downloadable book.

Speaking of books, the book mentioned was Julie Sondra Decker’s The Invisible Orientation.  I believe someone said that this book was in the Gay City library.

Another book on the subject is Understanding Asexuality, by Anthony Bogaert.  It’s more academic, and I felt that it veered waaay off course, turning from a book about asexuality, to a series of essays on sexuality on culture where asexuality was barely a footnote.  At its lowest points, it wildly speculates about things that could easily have been explored in a more concrete manner by simply talking to some ace people, which he stopped doing about halfway through the book.  (Did he forget we exist?  Did he get kicked off of AVEN?  Was he crunched for time?  Was that the week we all left the planet?)

Dr. Bogaert is known for the paper that introduced the “1% Statistic”, which says that around 1% of people are ace.  The paper is “Asexuality: Prevalence and associated factors in a national probability sample“, from 2004.  Bogaert has acknowledged some issues regarding that 1% number and its source.  He spends a chapter on the topic in his book, ultimately coming to the conclusion:  “The original estimate of 1 percent may not be a bad one, all things considered, and it is possible that it may underestimate the true number of asexual people.”

There is a recently started asexuality research bibliography, if you’re interested in the academic side of things.  (The goal of this project is to replace the Asexual Explorations website, which recently disappeared.)

For the fiction side of things, Agent Aletha is keeping a list.

If you’re going to tell your parents that you’re ace, try sending them this:  A Parent’s Guide To Asexuality.

And finally, here’s this week’s Savage Love post, the summary of which I totally mangled during the meeting.  It’s about a man who has identified as gay, but now believes he’s ace and is worried about how to explain that and where he fits.  (…and I’m mangling the summary again, so just read the original.)

Discussion Group Notes 4/9/16

These are notes from the Seattle and Surrounding Aces Discussion Group meeting of April 9th, 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.

That One Thing

We started off with a handful of stories of discovering asexuality, and I was struck by a common theme in most of them:  That there was One Thing, one life-changing thing that really made people understand that they were asexual.  Maybe it was an interview they saw on YouTube, maybe it was a documentary on Netflix, maybe it was a book.  Some people went looking for it, others just came across it when they weren’t expecting it.

This underscores the power of visibility work of all kinds.  Any time someone talks about asexuality, wherever they mention it, it could be that One Thing for someone else.

Speaking of…  It sounds like there will be several articles and a documentary featuring some of today’s participants!  Details when they arrive.

Rebuild The Value Of Life

Some people talked about how discovering asexuality forced them to have to reexamine things that they view as valuable.  Primarily, it was that our culture values sex, and so that can seep into things that we personally value, as well.  Then, when asexuality comes along, and you realize that no, sex isn’t all that valuable to me, it can leave a hole.  Particularly when you’re around or in a relationship with someone who does value sex.

How do you navigate a relationship where sex is just one aspect of a relationship, but for the other person, it’s a really big aspect?

How do you explain this to someone who literally can’t imagine not being interested in or driven by sex?

Meeting People

Three places were mentioned as being helpful to finding other ace people:

  • AVEN
  • OKCupid (You can select “Just Friends” and “Asexual”, and you can also hide yourself from straight people.)
  • Ace Book

There’s also the Seattle Aces and Northwest Aces Facebook groups!

As far as meeting other people who aren’t specifically ace, but where there’s no expectation of sex or relationships, several people recommended going to interest-based meetups.  Like Harry Potter?  Find a Harry Potter book club.  Like 3d photography?  Join your local affiliate of the NSA.  Like the outdoors?  Countless hiking groups await.

Asexuality Glossary

Words!  Lots of them!

There is a somewhat outdated glossary here.  I’ll look into updating it, and maybe turning it into a printable handout.

Sex Sells

Some people brought up the sexualization of their hobbies or aspects of their profession.  For instance, bikini-clad models used to sell motorcycles (“It’s just dangerous to wear that on a bike.“) or booth babes at a tech show or hunky firemen.  Some people expressed feeling confusion about how those things connect, like how a nearly naked person is supposed to sell a hamburger.  Others mentioned that sometimes, even non-ace people don’t like these portrayals, particularly how it can impact women in these areas.  For instance, a woman who likes to ride motorcycles might be turned away by the oversexualized advertisements, while a woman in tech might be seen as merely set dressing at a convention, instead of an expert in her field.

Views From Others

We went through a list of things we’ve heard from other people when we’ve come out.

  • “You’re broken.”
  • “It’s your hormones.”
  • “You haven’t found the right one yet.”
  • “Were you assaulted or abused?”
  • “You haven’t tried it with me.”

Basically, we’re all winners at Asexual Bingo.

The common themes were that people assume there must be a reason that we’re asexual, specifically that there must be a fixable reason.  This largely stems from an inability or unwillingness to understand that we’re just into sex the way they are, that there’s nothing wrong, just different.

This has been described as a “misfire of empathy“, where people think they are trying to help, based on the way they see the world and think they would want to be helped, if they were in your shoes.

Religion and Asexuality

Part of today’s discussion explored the intersection of religion and asexuality.  In particular, how it can be difficult to tell whether it’s actually asexuality, or if it’s just repression from internalizing the purity and celibacy and sex negative messages coming from the church (or people who claim to be talking about the Bible).

Quite a bit has been written on the topic of religion and asexuality.  A few good starting places are these sites:

Religion and Asexuality Overview

Carnival of Aces: Religion (or atheism) and Asexuality

The group “Thank God For Sex” was also mentioned.  It’s a local group that deals with issues surrounding religious sexual shame, with a focus on abandoning the shame, without abandoning the religion.

Extra Bits

A Norman Reedus sighting at ECCC led to a brief mention that Daryl in The Walking Dead had been described as “somewhat asexual” by the show runner.

Name tags!  A member of the group found these name tags.  We might be able to use something like them in the group to help with the introductions.

Ace flags!  I brought flags today.  I got them from here.

Last weekend, I got to wondering if former Governor Dixy Lee Ray might have possibly been asexual.  Anyone know someone with a thing for Washington State history who might want to dig into some archives, looking for answers?

There was a brief discussion about how sexually charged Brazilian culture can be.  That reminded me of an amazing show called Gaycation that I saw recently.  It stars Ellen Page and her friend, and in one episode, they travel to Brazil to explore the LGBTQ world there.  They go from the highs of Carnivale, meet with a high-profile trans actress, then confront an intolerant politician, and finally have a downright terrifying conversation with a viciously homophobic, serial killing ex-cop, who started killing gay people after his son came out.  Incredible stuff.

Discussion Group Notes 1/9/16

These are notes from the Seattle and Surrounding Aces Discussion Group meeting of January 9th, 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.

Meetup Changes

Since we’re growing and the room in the basement can get cramped and hot, and since there are accessibility issues with the basement room, we might be moving to the auditorium upstairs!  Changing rooms may require changing meeting days, though.  If any changes are made, they’ll be announced.

Seattle Aces Website

SeattleAces.org : You’re looking at it!

This website is meant to be a public face to our group.  A way to say “We are here!” to the world.  Meetups will still be organized in the group on meetup.com, and this site will point people there.  The site is under construction, so if you have any suggestions, let me know!

There is also a new Facebook group for Seattle Aces. Stop by and say hello!

Going forward, I’d also like to try and build a Northwest Aces group, so we can reach out and start collaborating with other ace groups in the region.  There’s a Facebook group for that, too.  (I’ve also registered “NorthwestAces.org“, but right now it just redirects to the Seattle site.)

Pride Parade

Let’s make it happen this year!

If you’re interested in marching, check out the Meetup discussion for the parade.

If you’re interested in helping to plan, check out the Meetup discussion for the parade.

If you have fundraising ideas, check out the Meetup discussion for the parade.

Basically, check out the Meetup discussion for the parade.

Things that were mentioned today that we’d need:

  • $500+ entrance fee.
  • T-Shirts!
  • Lots of people to march.
  • People to plan and make it happen.

We also talked about the possibility of trying to collaborate with other groups in the area, and set up a sort of marcher exchange program.  For example, we could send a few people to Portland, and Portland could send people here, and we all march in each other’s parades.  Anyone know anyone in the PDX group?

KUOW Trans Bathroom Thing

Here’s the segment, if you’re interested.

And the Gender Justice League.

Advocacy Groups or Support Services?

After the meeting, I got to thinking.  We spent a fair bit of time talking about advocacy groups related to trans issues, but does anyone know of any advocacy groups or support services in the area that are or should be are aware of ace issues?  Maybe we should start reaching out to some local groups and start to provide resources to them.

CDC Study

The CDC recently released the analysis of a survey about sexual attraction and orientation.  This survey is notable for completely failing to mention asexuality in any way.

The orientation question was multiple choice and only allowed Straight, Gay, Bi, or Decline To Respond as answers.  The attraction question assumed attraction to males, females, or both, and had an “unsure” option, but no “no attraction” option.

Previous versions of the survey did include an “other” option for these questions, but it was removed in 2008.

You can read the report here:  http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr088.pdf

And here’s some commentary, including an open letter from the leader of the New York City Ace Group:  http://wildasexuals.tumblr.com/post/136821002195/nhsr-88-and-asexuality


There’s going to be a Relationships meetup!  Check it out if you’re interested!

Several people talked about the difficulty of being ace in a relationship, but not having discovered asexuality yet.  They mentioned trying desperately to “fix” things that weren’t actually broken.  “Have more sex!”  “Have different sex!”  “Have wild sex!”

The media always talks about how sex stops after getting married or after having a kid, so many asexual people who haven’t discovered asexuality yet might feel that their lack of interest is just a normal relationship progression and not have a problem with it.  However, their non-ace partner might have a problem with it, and feel that a lack of sexual attention means a lack of love.

Awareness that one member in a relationship is asexual might help, but it’s not a guarantee.  All relationships take dedication and effort and require compromise, and there are countless issues that may arise that have absolutely nothing to do with sex or sexuality.

AVEN has a “For Sexual Partners, Friends, and Allies” board that may be helpful to people in a mixed relationship.

Discovering the Term

We talked about how we discovered asexuality.

For some people, a friend mentioned it to them.  For others, they struggled for years, feeling lost and broken.  Some came to the term on their own.  Others found it through Tumblr or other social media.

Creating Meetups

If there’s a specific topic you want to talk about, create a meetup!

If you want to try to get a group together closer to where you live, create a meetup!

All you have to do is go to the group on Meetup.com, click “Schedule a new meetup”, and fill in the details.

Other Bits

Wolf eels!

Dan Savage and his “why would you even contemplate inflicting yourself on a normally sexual person” line.  (Note that’s from 2011.  He’s been less of an ace-hating asshole lately.)

Discussion Group Notes 12/12/15

These are notes from the Seattle and Surrounding Aces Discussion Group meeting of December 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.

“The Ace Vibe”

There was a short discussion about whether or not there’s an “ace vibe” that we give off.  Several people mentioned that they rarely, if ever, were approached by someone seeking a romantic/sexual relationship, and were wondering if it could be because people sense a lack of interest.

On the other hand, it’s possible that it’s just obliviousness.   Perhaps others are flirting and we’re just missing the signals of interest. (As in my case where I was on vacation and had driven over two hundred miles before I realized that a woman had been flirting with me.)

“Tumblr Sexuality”

We spoke about the perception that asexuality is strictly a “youth” orientation. On the positive side, asexuality is accessible many young people because of how widespread it is on social media.  On the negative side, young people are demonized for exploring their sexual identity.  “You’re a special snowflake, using five words to describe your sexuality.“

There was also an unfortunate side effect of this brought up.  Because it’s so heavily explored and discussed by younger people, older aces might feel alienated from the space.  “I don’t want to be a special snowflake, I don’t want to uage to use all these words to describe me.”  How do we reach out to people who are starting to discover who they are at a later stage of life?  How can people discover asexuality when they’re not involved in the young-skewing social media world where it tends to live?  (I’d personally like to explore this topic in more depth in a future meeting.)

TV Shows

Asexuality’s appearance on House was mentioned.  In the episode “Better Half”, an asexual couple was featured.  For the first two thirds of the episode, the portrayal of asexuality was positive and handled as legitimate.  But because House Must Be Right™, in the last commercial break, House “proves” that one of them had a brain tumor and the other was lying.

This awful portrayal has caused numerous people to think that they can’t be ace because “House proved asexuality can’t be real”.  Here’s a collection of reactions and posts to that episode:  https://writingfromfactorx.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/house-linkspam/

Sirens also had an asexual character.  Sirens was a show that ran on the USA Network for two seasons.  The ace character, Voodoo, was in the supporting cast, and several episodes revolved around her relationship with one of the primary characters.  The portrayal of asexuality was largely accurate and positive.  However, other characters said many ignorant and rude things about asexuality.  Asexuality features prominently in the episodes “The Finger”, “Transcendual”, and “Screw The One Percent”.  (Note:  Sirens features crude humor and frequent sexual themes.  Stay away if that’s not your thing.)

Negative Reactions

We spoke about how people have negative reactions to asexuality.

I’ve written extensively about the nonsense you’ll see in Comment Sections.

SwankIVY’s Letters To An Asexual also covers these themes.

Gordon Hodson’s “Prejudice Against Group X” article, and its accompanying paper (”Intergroup bias toward Group X”, MacInnis/Hodson) talks about “Differences as Deficit”, where any difference from “normal” is viewed as wrong.

We wondered if it will get worse before it gets better.  As more people know about us, will their reactions become more negative?

At the same time, the more well known asexuality is, the more people will know someone who is openly asexual.  That’s where the contact hypothesis comes in.  People are less likely to be prejudiced against groups that they know on a more personal level.


Some people mentioned getting negative or dismissive reactions from doctors.  Sometimes they’ll say things like “Well, that’s what you think”, other times they’ll ask if you were abused, etc.  There are often invasive or irrelevant questions, like a form for an eye exam that includes relationship status or sexual orientation.  Doctors sometimes expect patients to be sexually active and do not believe it when they say they’re not.

Resources for Ace Survivors has a reading list and printable fact sheet for healthcare professionals.

Coming Out, Being Out, Staying In

Some people “Live Out Loud”, where they are openly and freely asexual with anyone who comes along.  Some people “Sneak Out”.  Others come out to friends, but not family.  Some people tell their family to stop the “When are you bringing home a [boyfriend/girlfriend/significant other/grandchild]?” conversations.  Other people don’t tell their families because they don’t really want to talk about their sex life (or lack thereof).

Tips for talking to others about asexuality included:

  • Slip it into conversation and don’t make a big deal.
  • “You know how there are people you aren’t attracted to?  I feel like that about everybody.”
  • “Does hypersexual exist?  Then why not asexual, too?”

Sometimes people bring up the past when you come out to them.  “Well, what about when you…?”  They don’t always understand that’s not who you truly are, that maybe you were trying to be something you’re not, trying to meet someone else’s definition of “normal”.

Relationship vs. Friendship

Some things brought up as possible ways that a “relationship” is different from a “friendship”:

  • Being able to negotiate intimacy and what you’re looking for.
  • Being a primary consideration.
  • Whether or not concepts like the “Five Love Languages” are applied or make sense, and whether you’re able to assert how you feel about them.

Extroverted Aces

Are things more difficult for extroverted aces?  Introverted aces can go to their personal hermit caves and be fine.  But to extroverted aces feel conflict, where their desire for more personal contact ends up in an undesirable sexual realm?


Apparently goth clubs might be worth checking out for aces who want to go clubbing, especially for more introverted aces.  Compared to regular clubs, they’re more individual, there’s more of a personal bubble, and less “Lady Gaga and d-bags”.  Some goth clubs/nights include the Mercury, the Baltic Room, and Contour.

Also mentioned was Night Crush, which was described as less hypersexualized, more full spectrum than other clubs.

Books and Documentary

We had a brief overview of three books about asexuality.

First was Asexuality: A Brief Introduction. (Also on Amazon) This is my book.  It’s virtually all content from my website, so you’re probably better off reading it there.  In book form, it can get redundant, because it’s a collection of webpages that were written to stand alone.

Julie Sondra Decker’s Invisible Orientation was mentioned.  It’s in paperback now, so it’s cheaper than it was.

Anthony Bogaert’s Understanding Asexuality was the final book to make an appearance.  It’s also now in paperback.  I gave my opinion on it:  It felt like he forgot asexual people existed about halfway through, and it seemed like he had a bunch of papers he hadn’t published elsewhere, so he jammed in a paragraph about asexuality then slipped them into this book.

The documentary “(A)sexual” is available on numerous streaming services.  Though imperfect, it’s worth a watch.  The ending is especially a downer, however I have heard that David Jay has had a happier ending since the filming.  (I’m not privy to the specifics, though, and I can’t find where I heard that.)

Speaking of Books…

Let’s write one!  The idea was floated that there should be a book of ace experiences:  Stories, vingnettes, comments, etc.  Not just focusing on one aspect of asexuality, but exploring living as an asexual.

I know of a few similar projects:

So yeah, let’s write a book.

Let’s March In Pride

This is our year.  Let’s do this.  Who’s with me?  …  And who’d like to organize it all?  We’ll need to get started now to build momentum, reach enough people to have a good showing, and to meet all of the deadlines for being a contingent.

Discussion Group Notes 11/14/15

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:

OK Cupid

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.

The Five Love Languages

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.

Relationship Scripts

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.

Other Bits

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.

Social Anxiety and Asexuality

And Then What…?  (About relationship scripts not making sense.)

Center for Sex Positive Culture