Linkspam for Asexual Awareness Week: Blogs which I Read When I Was Finally Firmly Identifying with Asexuality

This is a linkspam for Queenie’s Asexual Awareness Week Linkspam Challenge.

Whenever a survey asks ‘When did you start identifying as asexual?’ I have to put something like ‘I don’t remember” or “It’s complicated.” It took years for me to go from feeling that I might be asexual, to saying with confidence ‘I am asexual’. Around the time I started saying, with confidence, ‘I am asexual’ (very late 2009 – first half of 2010), I went on a binge of asexual blog reading.

This linkspam features the four blogs which I read the most extensively during this time period: Asexy Beast, What do you mean by sex, Asexual Explorations, and Shades of Grey which, years later, was resurrected as Prismatic Entanglements.

These are not necessarily the best posts of these blogs, or even the best posts which were written in the time period I went on my reading spree, but they are posts which were memorable to me for some reason.

Asexy Beast

This blog has influenced the style of the notes which do not fit more than any other single blog. This is the first blog I found which combined musings on asexuality with musings on miscellaneous other topics, and though there are some long posts, most of them are of modest length, like this blog.

Spotlight on the Forbidden Topic – I believe this was the first post I ever read at The Asexy Beast
Aces in Fiction: Animythical Tales – This was possibly the first mention I ever encountered of asexual-fiction written by an asexual writer.
Representation (Now with Extra Flibanserin!) – I remember reading this post around the time it was originally posted, yet I totally forgot the flibanserin part of the discussion!
Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromomising Romantics – The idea of the quirkyalone stayed with me when I was first diving into the realm of Asexuality 201.
A-s through the ages, Episode 1 – This is the first place I encountered the notion that Sherlock Holmes and asexuality have anything to do with each other.

What do you mean by sex

This blog does a very good job of articulating the difficulty of understanding what is sexual and what is asexual, which, as someone who was just becoming comfortable with an asexual identity, was very helpful.

Breaking it Down – This post helped me think more clearly about personal relationships and what I might seek in them.
Recognizing lack of sexual attraction – This post explains how the fact that asexuals don’t know what ‘sexual attraction’ is makes it harder for them to recognize that they don’t experience it.
Vicarious Attraction – Though I have not experienced ‘vicarious attraction’ myself, I found this idea very interesting.
How does asexuality feel – What really made me feel comfortable as an asexual was discovering that ‘asexuals’ felt the same way I did, and this was one of those posts where I learned how another asexual feels.
Word games – sexual attraction again – A humorous post about how difficult it is to find a good description of sexual attraction.

Asexual Explorations

This blog started out as a blend of personal exploration and reflections on what it means to be asexual. As the years went by, the blog became more focused on academic study of asexuality, which interests me less. However, the early posts really spoke to me as I was figuring out what it means to be an asexual person.

All People Are Sexual Beings – I think this is still the most epic asexual blog post series I have ever read, and this is still the best takedown of the ‘All people are sexual beings’ meme I am aware of. This is the blog post series to which I referred a certain professor.
Asexual people of the past: should we care? – This discussion of asexuals in history stayed with me.
Repressed! – I do not use the concept of ‘asexual repression’ myself, but the personal part of this post and the main point about ‘sexual repression stayed with me.
Asexy Ambivalence – This is a good description of the simultaneous relevance and irrelevance of asexuality.
Some reflections on coming to identify as asexual – This story has a lot of parallels to my own journey to identifying as asexual, which is no doubt why this post made such an impression on me.

Shades of Grey (now known as Prismatic Entanglements)

This is the blog which introduced me to a lot of Asexuality 201 topics. It’s the first place where I found any in-depth discussion of grey-asexuality, what it is like to participate in sex as an asexual, some of the broader social implications of asexuality, etc.

Radicalizing the Children – This post is notable mainly because I think it’s the first post from this blog which I ever read.
Positive Metaphors: Chandelier Culture – At the time I was coming to terms with being an asexual, I had … mixed feelings about the negative definition of asexuality. This post helped put than in a different light (pun intended!)
Confessions – This post supported my suspicion that some non-asexual people do not like sex as much as they claim they do.
So what is a sex drive, anyway? What does “libido” mean? – What stayed with me about this post is a) that in Ancient Greece the most popular male-male sex act was frottage, and that anal sex is not necessarily *the* gay male sex act (this was news to me at the time) and b) the “lovely little conversation” Elizabeth had with her sister
That Weird Couple – The post which introduces Cupcake! I generally like the posts which discuss the relationship with Cupcake. It’s one of the first examples of a good intimate relationship involving a self-aware asexual which I read about.

SPECIAL BONUS!!!!

Though I did not binge on The Venus of Willendork the way I did the above blogs, this particular section from Now the Story Is Different made a deeper impression on me than almost anything else I was reading in ace blogs at the time:

In contrast with several other queer populations, asexuals — largely because of their “newness” on the social radar — don’t seem to have a consistent story that’s being touted. That’s one of things I’ve found most striking about the asexual communities I participate in, actually … Asexuality is revolutionary partly because it offers people a chance to define their story outside of the “we are all fundamentally sexual beings” template, challenging the very definition of “sexuality.” It gives people the opportunity to define for themselves who they fundamentally are. I would really hate to see that compromised, to see it transition to the point that it offers only one alternative story, the collapsed Asexual Person’s Narrative, instead of a space where people can explore themselves and define their “character” in their own terms.

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13 thoughts on “Linkspam for Asexual Awareness Week: Blogs which I Read When I Was Finally Firmly Identifying with Asexuality

  1. This linkspam really takes me back, since I started reading asexual blogs around the same time. Thanks for putting it together!

  2. “Internet time” moves so fast, it’s gratifying to know that some of my posts are still memorable to you, and had an impact…thank you 🙂 This post takes me back as well, I’m re-reading some of the posts you linked to. I think Asexual Explorations was the Vegan Sidekick of asexuality, ha. And I’m glad Elizabeth is still posting.

  3. Oh, yay, I’m glad someone put together a linkspam of older stuff! (It seems that you started reading ace blogs about a year before I did, so it looks like I’ve got some reading to do…) Nice work!

  4. Wow, that’s a bunch of stuff I forgot I had written about, haha. I’m glad to report that my sister has gotten over her anti-ace whatever, and now even has considered that she might be on the spectrum herself. I’m glad that what I wrote proved helpful to you!

    This linkspam really takes me back, too. The change between then and now sure has been impressive. Now I’m thinking about representation and the potential commercialization of asexuality, and trying to compare now with then. There’s certainly a lot more visibility now and I’ve seen a few places, like T-shirt companies, start to market towards ace people. I don’t feel like it’s been commercialized so much as token-inclusion-ized yet though!

    • It’s good to learn that your sister has gotten over that.

      Trawling through the archives of these old blogs really took me back too. I could probably make another linkspam of ‘posts that I found while going through old blog archives, which I possibly read a long time ago, but forgot about, and now that I have (re?)read them, I think they are really good.”

  5. I was on my binge in early 2011 – we seem to have quite a bit of overlap where reading material is considered. Comparing then to now – back then it was actually possible to follow most ace blogs, now not so much. Also, a German blogosphere does exist now. It’s small, but it consists of more people than myself, which is great.

    • I think Tumblr was a major turning point with regards to the quantity of ace blogs. It still is possible to follow most active WordPress/Blogspot ace blogs, though even WordPress/Blogspot ace blogs are more numerous than they once were.

      Maybe one day it won’t be possible to follow all of the German-language ace blogs…

  6. I read your new blog post today, and this was listed as “related” and I know I saw this linkspam of yours before but I decided to revisit it now and she enough i never actually clicked through to read a lot of these things you shared.

    I’m really appreciating reading “How Does Asexuality Feel?” Right now! Even if it’s super old, it really doesn’t seem that outdated. Lol. (What I’m trying to say is… It’s still relevant.)

    Also since another linkspam of yours was the only real, long submission for the carnival of aces in September, I think I should tell you now I really enjoyed reading through a lot of those posts for the first time.

    Your linkspams are really unique and much appreciated.

    • I am glad that you find the linkspams worthwhile.

      And yes, I think the What do you mean by sex blog was beautiful, and I find it sad that it is so obscure today, because I also think much of its content is still relevant.

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