This is for the April 2015 Canival of Aces: An 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 presume that AVEN has its own culture, but I don’t think AVEN culture = asexual culture, since as an asexual who has never been a member of AVEN, I am one of the last people who would assume that anything representative of AVEN is representative of aces in general.
Ditto for Tumblr.
If aces hardly ever interacted with other aces, would it be possible for an asexual culture to emerge. I’m not an anthropologist, but my guess is no.
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.
There are the little in-jokes about cake, and the black rings, and Sherlock (none of which I participate in, by the way) but I think these are only the most superficial signs of a culture.
The one thing I can point to which I think reveals something deeper about asexual culture, or rather what it might become, is in this post by Stormy O’Brink
So entering an asexual space for the first time was a refreshing kind of subculture shock. I didn’t have to worry about gay boys touching my chest, or women trying to cop a feel, or being expected to hug a stranger who smells bad. I could just exist and actually own my body. I heard stories from other people who felt the same way. One man in the group told me that aces in Chicago have cuddle parties so people can embrace touch without the threat of it turning into sex. Others told me stories of relationships in which all touch was subjected to affirmative consent. I felt euphoria when I heard these stories- it meant there was hope for my life. I wanted a place where I didn’t have to worry about the hypersexualized and unwanted touching I’d grown so used to.
I think requiring consent for touch – and openness about touch aversions – may become part of asexual culture, especially as more and more ace activities happen offline. And this is / will be a good thing.
I could make some other guesses, but I think they would be too much of a long-shot. I don’t think the queer people in San Francisco in the 1920s would have been able to imagine what queer culture in San Francisco would be like in the 1970s, but they also probably already had tendencies which latter got embedded in 1970s queer culture. So I’m going to sit back, and hope that I enjoy this ride into the future.