Thanks to everyone who submitted a picture! I’ve queued them up to release on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It doesn’t actually have to be SALD for you to sent in a picture of some sweet asexy love, feel free to submit something whenever you feel inspired!!
(And apologies to everyone for not giving more advanced notice, I spent last week in a daze of very spiritually confusing math…)
Happy Sweet Asexy Love Day!
It’s that time again! For those of you who don’t remember from last year, here’s how it goes:
Step 1) Find a relationship in your life that’s awesome. It could be with a person, a pet, a book, whatever feels right to you.
Step 2) Do something to celebrate that relationship.
Step 3) Take a picture of it.
Step 4) Write something about your relationship and why it’s awesome on the picture, like so:
Step 5) Email the picture to firstname.lastname@example.org
I’v been getting a bunch of e-mail recently about a quote that was attributed to me on Tumblr. As most of you have surmised, the quote is fake (I won’t bother linking to it), someone’s idea of a way to attack the AVEN admods. Since this is an issue that’s on people’s minds, I want to make it clear what I DO think.
I think the admods are awesome. I also think that, like all elected governing bodies, the admods are far from perfect. They’re a bunch of people who have volunteered to take time out of their busy lives to do hard, generally thankless work because they believe that there should be a safe place out there for asexuals, grey-a’s, demisexuals and our allies to understand ourselves and our relationships. That’s why I’m doing this work, as far as I can tell it’s a vision (along with our visibility work) that everyone in the community shares. Because they’ve put hard work into this vision they have earned my gratitude and respect.
I know that most of you out there share this sense of respect, and a few of you out there don’t. That’s cool. I’ve been frustrated at authority plenty of times in my life, and I know that me arguing with you won’t change that. As an experience activist, let me offer you a few words of advice:
Systems accept disruption, but only in the service of optimization. The most powerful thing that you can do to change a system is to hold up a way to make it better. That won’t look like insults, attacks, or reactions, it’ll look like a better way to create a safe space for asexuals, grey-a’s, demisexuals and our allies to understand ourselves and our relationships. If you’ve got that, you can prove that it works, and you can prove your integrity by avoiding petty fights, then you’re in a great position to change things. Before long the admods will probably join you, and I will too.
When I was in undergrad I really craved touch, but had no way to get it. Touch was either something that was fleeting and affectionate, or something that led to sexuality. To desire nonsexual touch in a relationship was either creepy (if the relationship wasn’t sexual) or inadequete (if it was.) I saw my desire for touch as toxic, something that could poison my connections with the people that I cared about, and so I kept it far removed. It waited there, unfulfilled and unconnected from any one person, while my brain raced trying to figure out when initiating touch was ok.
Eventually I did figure that out. In my experience touch helps relationships when it expresses and reinforces emotion, it should occur after some activity (a conversation, a particularely powerul dance party) that generates emotion that needs to be expressed. But that’s not my piont.
A few months ago, I was hanging out with an Ace on a college campus who was exactly where I used to be. I asked him how it felt, and he said that he just couldn’t envision finding a relationship where he could have the kind of touch he wanted. He had that same look of humble sadness and fear that I used to have.
My point is that, as the Ace community, we should really get on this.
I started doing an exercise during my talks where I ask people to come up with as many words as they can for distinct forms of cuddling. I get about three: spooning, hugging, and nuzzling. I ask them to compare that to the number of words that they know for different types of sex.
Three words. There are a few more if you really dig for them, but not many. Without more words, how are we supposed to talk about the kind of touch we want? How are we supposed to know what kind of touch is POSSIBLE for us to want? How are we supposed to have meaningful discussions about consent? (Part of why I felt unsafe expressing a desire for touch was that I couldn’t ask people where their barriers were.) How are we supposed to name the kinds of relationships that involve the kind of touch that we want.
Sexual people have lovers, one night stands, fuckbuddies, partners, and books and books filled with positions and tactics that they can’t seem to get enough of. We have, in a few short years, done a fantastic job building an open-source taxonomy to describe the kinds of emotional intimacy that we form. We have biromantics, squishes, squashes, intimate communities, asexiness and ever-present cake. It’s time we spent a little more time talking about touch.
I’m looking at you, Tumblr.