What Does It Mean to Leave an Ace Community?

This is for the March 2020 Carnival of Aces “Leaving”

When I first saw the theme for this month’s Carnival of Aces, I wondered whether I had anything to say about the theme of ‘Leaving’.

Well, now I do, because I am no longer a contributer to The Asexual Agenda. Since I want to keep the reason I chose to leave private, I’m not going to discuss that specifically. But it did focus my mind on what it means to leave an ace community.

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There are now so many online communities that, if someone wants to leave one online ace community and join another, it is often possible. For example, if someone wants to leave the ace community on Tumblr or Twitter because they want to get away from the ace flame wars (a.k.a. “The Discourse”), they might be able to join Pillowfort, or Dreamwidth, or somewhere else online with other aces and better moderation. If they are able and willing to put in the effort, they can even try to create a new online ace community.

And the reason one might leave an ace community may not be negative. Someone could be so excited about a new online ace community that they may leave an old one so that they may more fully throw themselves into the new community.

Then some people choose to leave an ace community without joining another. It happens all the time, and for many reasons. If you’ve spent much time in any ace community, you’re probably aware of people who have dropped out of the ace scene altogether (as far as we know).

Not all people have the same range of options. Someone who is not comfortable with using English on the internet, or at least in an online ace community, has fewer options than someone who is. Someone who needs specific accommodations to use a website may find that some online ace communities do not offer those accommodations. Et cetera, et cetera.

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Continue reading

Review: Royal Rescue by A. Alex Logan

The book cover for Royal Rescue

What is this novel about?

Prince Gerald wants to live without marriage and sex. Yet he was born as one of the princes of the Thousand Kingdoms, where all princes, princesses, and princexes must begin participating in a royal rescue at the age of eighteen and be married by their early twenties. Gerald’s mother will only let him choose whether he wants to be a rescuer or a rescuee. After he refuses both roles, he wakes up to find that he has been magically transported to a tower guarded by a fire-breathing dragon in the middle of an inhospitable desert so that he can be ‘rescued’ by his future spouse.

He needs to rescue himself to avoid being ‘rescued’. But that might not be enough. In order to secure his freedom, Gerald might have to dismantle the entire system of young royals rescuing other young royals. If the royal rescues keep on happening, not only will Gerald be trapped, but many others will continue to be trapped in a much crueller manner.

What sexual and/or violent content does this novel contain?

There is discussion of sex, including references to characters having sex off-page, but there is no on-page sex (not even fade to black). There is violence, including putting collars on the necks of children, which cause wounds, infections, and pain as they grow older yet the collar doesn’t grow bigger with them. And a character badly burns another character, causing severe injuries (and detailed descriptions of the burn injuries). Weapons with blades also are used to injure others.
Continue reading

How I, As an Asexual, Do Not Decide to Have Sex

In May I read a fantastic book called Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales. It is about how and why some people survive extreme situations. The book describes a lot of the psychology of decision-making. It says that linear/logical thinking (associated with the neocortex of the brain) is terrible for making decisions. Instead, people rely on ‘emotional bookmarks’ to make decisions. ‘Emotional bookmarks’ are not just the brain, they involve much of the body. It turns out that ‘my gut tells me to do this’ and ‘my heart tells me to do this’ are not just figurative speech; the digestive organs and/or heart might be literally involved in the decision-making process. Animals with relatively few neurons in their brains can make decisions because it is not just the brain.

There are people with neurological damage who cannot use ‘emotional bookmarks’ or feel ‘gut feelings’ or their ‘heart’. They can still use logical/linear thought processes just fine, yet their ability to make decisions is severely impaired which means, for example, that they cannot schedule appointments.

I’ll give you an example of how I use emotional bookmarks vs. linear thinking. Right now, it is May 22 and I am aboard the M/V Kennicott (yeah, this post is going to be posted way after this is written). I told myself that I was going to start writing this post hours ago, but instead, I ended up working on a jigsaw puzzle. I did not think to myself ‘I am going to play with the jigsaw puzzle instead of turning on my computer and writing a blog post’. I just … played with the jigsaw puzzle. That is because I have an emotional bookmark which says ‘jigsaw puzzle are fun’ and so, when I pass by the area with the jigsaw puzzles, I end up playing with them instead of writing this blog post (though I eventually managed to pull myself away from the jigsaw puzzle and start writing this). Continue reading

Aro Community, Ace Community

This is a submission to the February 2019 joint Carnival of Aros & Carnival of Aces

Like many (most?) aro aces, I found the ‘ace community’ first, and I discovered the idea of ‘aromanticism’ via the ‘ace community’.

If you want to know what I thought about being aromantic vs. being asexual in the year 2012, I have an old blog post for you. And, aside from being more certain that I am aromantic, my thoughts on this have not changed much since I wrote that post in 2012. In particular, I still think that being aromantic has a greater impact on my personal life than being asexual. Continue reading

Bedsharing, without Sex or Romance : Chen Changsheng and Mo Yu in Way of Choices

Mo Yu and Chen Changsheng in Fighter of the Destiny, which is the live action TV adaptation of Way of Choices

There are many things I love in the novel Way of Choices (it’s my favorite novel that I read in 2018). One of them is the relationship between Chen Changsheng and Mo Yu. And one of the things I love about the relationship is that they are a young man and a young woman who are not genetically related yet share a bed – without ever having sex or even being interested in having sex with each other.

What genre is this novel?

Xuanhuan.

Whatever the heck that is.

If you want a clue, you could watch the opening theme song to the live action adaptation (even though it’s not faithful to the novel).

Chen Changsheng is a naive, idealist, honest, wholesome, bookwormish, and gentle teenager with a terminal illness, and Mo Yu is a conniving, cynical, physically strong, and ruthless government official who is primarily concerned with maintaining her (high) level of political power. Nobody would expect these two to become friends – and this is before we get to the fact that Mo Yu wants Chen Changsheng to die (or at least be imprisoned or exiled).

And yet, in spite of the above, they come to share a bed. Continue reading

Burning Out as a Critic of Ace Fiction

This is for the December 2018 Carnival of Aces “Burnout”.

As some of you know, I went on a 6-12 month binge on ace fiction / ace fiction reviewing / commenting on ace fiction, and you can find those posts by checking out my ‘asexual fiction’ and ‘ace fiction’ tags (no, I am not good at keeping my tags consistent), and it culminated in me writing a bunch of posts for The Asexual Agenda’s Ace Tropes series.

I never expected to keep that all up indefinitely, in fact I am surprised that I kept that up for as long as I did. Before I did a lot of ace fiction criticism, Ace Reads reviewed a lot of ace fiction books, and I got started around the time Agent Aletha burned out. Now, I’m in a position where I can relate to parts of this post about not reviewing so many ace books anymore. I particular, I really relate to this part: “I haven’t even been reading many ace books because I’m not in the mood for romance stories and that is so much of what’s available”. Continue reading

November 2018 Carnival of Aces Round-up

November 2018 has come to an end, which means it is time to share with the world all of the submissions to November 2018 A Carnival of Aces: The Carnival of Aces. Here they are:

“Demisexual Goes Meta!” – demiandproud analyzes which of her posts get the most clicks, including the effect of Carnival of Aces. This is followed by the sequel: “This Demisexual Forgot to Be Proud”.

“A brief history of A Carnival of Aces” by Siggy is exactly what it says it is.

“I’m Not a Baby Ace Anymore” by Perfect Number is about how she became comfortable IDing as ace, and the role the Carnival of Aces played.

“Advice for Hosting the Carnival of Aces” was written by myself. Irony: after making a big fuss about not missing submissions, I (almost) forgot to put my own submission into this round-up.

“How the Carnival of Aces Helped Shape My Blogging Experience” by Blue Ice-Tea is also exactly what it says it is.

Thanks to all of the contributors!

Now, a few announcements:

1. I will continue to accept submissions for this Carnival until December 5th. These submissions will be added to this round-up post. Perhaps, if you come back to this post in a few days, you’ll find more submissions (or perhaps not).

2. The December 2018 Carnival of Aces will be hosted by Next Step: Cake. Here is the call for submissions.

3. There is still no host lined up for the January March 2019 Carnival of Aces. If you would like to host in January March 2019, you may volunteer here.

I know I have gotten a lot out of the Carnival of Aces over the years, and it has been my pleasure to host this month. May the Carnival of Aces continue for years to come!