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.
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.
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.
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.