For the Carnival of Aces this month (April 2015) the theme is “an Asexual Culture?”: https://kinkyasexuals.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/an-asexual-culture/ and this is my post for it.
I have cross-posted this onto my tumblr, here.
I generally agree with Sara K.’s post: https://thenoteswhichdonotfit.wordpress.com/2015/04/10/the-emergence-of-asexual-culture/
I think asexual culture is still very amorphous, and it will take more time for it to emerge into a distinctive form.
I think what it will really take to further the development of an asexual culture is for … aces to spend more time with each other. That could be online – aces devoting hours every day interacting with each other, or it could be offline. I don’t think it would require a majority of aces – just enough to establish a critical mass.
and all of that is true, as is the stuff later in her post about Stormy’s post – in fact that jumped to my mind too when this month’s Carnival of Aces theme was announced. The culture of no touching without consent is huge.
I want to add what I’ve noticed.
The asexual culture I’ve noticed includes an expectation of education and understanding about gender identity politics and bisexuality and other less mainstream MOGAI/LGBTQ+/GSRM things, an understanding of terms like “heteronormativity” and stuff sometimes truly seem “assumed”. I’m talking about in the one real-life ace space I’ve frequented (I’ve been to 19 Asexuals of the Mid-Atlantic meetups since July 2014 when I went to my first one), and also in the Asexual Blogosphere which is mainly centered around WordPress, and even in the tumblr asexual community. Those are the 3 asexual places I’ve been most often, and that’d be the culture I personally “feel”, it’s this “progressive”, super accepting and embracing culture of things that in other spaces that wouldn’t be able to be assumed, but in an asexual place could be. Even things like disability… there’s this pretense of assumption that people would hopefully be less ableist in these spaces. I’m talking about how extreme call-out culture can be on tumblr if you are ignorant of these things, and how shocked people were when one member who showed up to an Asexuals of the Mid-Atlantic meetup didn’t know the term “cis” already. The culture is more… toned down, in person, and I too have noticed what Stormy mentions in hir post: http://rainbow-after-the-stormy.tumblr.com/post/106683682212/an-ace-in-my-personal-space-touch-asexuality. Not to the extreme degree that Stormy does, since I haven’t been involved in the hypersexual queer community stuff in-person; I’ve only tried going to ace meetups, and just the one that is local to me, Asexuals of the Mid-Atlantic. But still. I feel that this is the “Culture” I’ve experienced that is related directly to asexuality. The other thing would be a culture of being anti-sex, and sometimes overly assuming that everyone is also content to not explore romance or content to remain childfree for life. Many aces who like sex in any way can often feel like they don’t belong in an ace space because too many aces assume sex-repulsion or at least sex-indifference. This is my personal experience – feeling surrounded by a type of ace that assumes aromanticsm is tied to it, and being anti-sex, and being childfree. It feels like the most acceptable narrative for an ace, the culture we’ve come up with, is one that fully rejects all conventional and traditionally sanctioned ideals. Asexual-spectrum folks are expected to be tolerant and understanding and embracing differences, but the default has been moved to “none” – no sex, no romance, no desire to ever have kids, etc. To not want romance, sex, or kids is to break the norms of society at large, but in the new subculture asexuals have created, the new norm is to reject all of it, as far as what I feel. And if you don’t reject all of it – if you are looking for sex, romance, and/or kids, or happily are already having sex, are happily already in a romantic relationship, or you already have a child or children, you are breaking out of our little culture where you’re now supposed to like cake better than all of it, in order to be the truest ace you can be. You’re supposed to reject it all.
This is just my impression. I don’t think the culture is set in stone. I think it’s temporarily at this point and may be different in other pockets of the ace community. It may be changing already into something else. This is just what I feel the ace culture that I’ve been exposed to is right now.
Someone on tumblr (theasexualanarchist) has replied to my post here: http://theasexualanarchist.tumblr.com/post/116374425980/small-observations-about-the-culture-in-the