For the asexually curious and the curiously asexual

On Static Content

So this comes apropros of two things, both of which have been discussed particularly recently. Firstly, as we’ve mentioned, there is uncertainty about the role of AVEN. Is it a place for visibility? 101? Community? Discussion? I know I’m not the only person who feels uncomfortable linking someone to AVEN when I don’t know what sort of discussions are going on there, what the current mood of the site is. And yet AVEN has, like, ALL the static content in the asexosphere. Apart from AVEN, there’s the wiki, which I find much harder to navigate than specifically written FAQs, and the collection of academia on Asexual Explorations, which is hardly the first thing the general public would look for.

And secondly, I know a couple of other bloggers are starting to consider how we might more closely emulate other social justice movements (feminism, LGBTQ, civil justice, etc), I don’t know how quick this is going to be, but I think some serious trolling and fail will emerge at some time within the next three years. Up till now, we’ve largely been doing our 101 seperately, adressing different things in different blog posts, and linking back to them when needed. What I’d like is a comprehensive and easily navigable pool of resources that we can link people to quickly, which is off-AVEN. What I want, essentially, is this.

I’m considering calling it Awesome! An Asexual 101. Yes, it’s a complete rip-off of Finally, Feminism 101. That’s intentional. It’s a homage to those aspects of social justice we want to adopt.

I’m going to be honest, part of the reason I want this is because I think the non-AVENites have been dithering over whether to create static content, or whether that’s outside our bounds, for a long time now, and this is possibly the simplest way of getting it off the ground. What we’ll essentially have is an average blog, to which I encourage other asexuals who are interested in the scheme to contribute. I’m looking for good summaries of asexual phrases and our responses to typical attacks in a short, sweet writing style, with just a hint of “F*** off” when needed. Also, links to other posts where we discuss the same issues but more in-depth/more ranty/more personal would really help.

Anyone else interested in collaborating with me on this one? I’m kinda scared of starting it all by myself, partly on the ‘presuming to speak for all asexuals’ basis and partly on the ‘running two blogs while also doing lots of essays’ basis.

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Comments on: "On Static Content" (13)

  1. Aaand… the wiki belongs to AVEN anyway. It's the AVENwiki. Besides, Asexual Explorations' content tends to be geared to "proving" the existence of asexuals, which I find boring. I already know I exist, thanks. Also, hell yes I am interested in collaborating with you on that. I've actually got a project sort of running in the background on "what not to say if an asexual comes out to you" which I'm collaborating on with you*hear*but*do*you*listen from Shaded Triangle. Mind if I ask her if she'd like to be involved, too?

  2. I remembered you saying about the 'how to be come-out-to' project, and was actually considering mentioning it in the post. When it's written, if we get Awesome! Asexy 101 off the ground, I will be most insulted if you don't let me link to it copiously. Or they could possibly be resources on the same site, somehow *knows nothing about the internets, whatsoever*. And the more the merrier regarding collaborators.Something I forgot to mention in the post:What sort of blog do people think it should be on? When I opened mine, I just googled 'blog' and clicked on the first link, but someone more tech-savvy than me may have strong preferences.

  3. In my own writing, I take the existence and legitimacy of asexuality as assumed–not doing so tends to result in writing that comes off as highly defensive, which is a major turn off to many. On an ontological level, I haven't the slightest idea what it would mean to "prove" the existence of asexuality, which is another reason for not doing so.Regarding the AVENwiki, in my role as a PT member, I am currently involved in doing a major revampting of it (http://www.asexuality.org/en/index.php?/topic/55678-updating-the-wiki/), so even if you're wanting to do something off-AVEN, it may be possible to do some sort of collaboration. (At the very least, you'd probably want a link from the AVENwiki.)

  4. Yay! This, uh, assumes it ever gets finished. >> And I would be quite pleased to either link or host it. Speaking for myself, I've heard a lot of complaints about Blogspot, especially compared to WordPress. There's a reason I picked the latter to host my blog on.

  5. ACH: I'm sorry, I really wasn't clear about that and that's my fault entirely. I didn't mean your personal writing at all or your blog. What I meant was your links to the body of existing scientific study on asexuality, which does tend to be geared heavily towards trying to "prove" that asexuality is a real thing.

  6. ACH: I think the work you do collecting research is wonderful. It's not a criticism of you to say that the stuff you document is dominated by questions of whether asexuality exists, and tends to be heavy and data-filled. This is just what the research is like. It just also means it's not going to be what new asexuals are looking for.I've read through the AVENwiki thread. It's great that you're getting that to work. If I'm honest, I'd barely spent 10 minutes there before today. (This isn't an argument to keep them but) it almost makes me sad that the old in-jokes are going. They remind me of people who have left us, the happy times they must have shared, their bizzare optimism that their in-jokes were the in-jokes of asexuality.I thank you for the offer of a link from the AVENwiki. Believe me, I shall take you up on it. Best of luck with the wiki. I'd help, but it would involve some sort of active presence on AVEN, and I've found AVEN drains me.I'm still intent on the 101 blog idea, because I think it has a much smaller scope, and a much clear idea of what it wants to be (even if that idea is just in my head), and we're crying out for up-to-date non-academic static resources at the moment. If we end up with two, that'd be fantastic.

  7. On my site, I have a section on background information intended for people who are new to asexuality because, I agree, the bibliography of research isn't a good place to start. The bibliography is largely designed for people wanting to research asexuality, and for people writing class papers on asexuality. There is currently in the works an edited volume on feminist and queer perspectives on asexuality, another edited volume on asexuality, and a special issue of Psychology and Sexuality about asexuality. Once these are out, there will be a much wider diversity of academic work on asexuality.For the wiki, one thing that we're trying to do is to make it better linked and more prominent. Also, you don't really have to be too active in the AVEN forums to help out with the wiki–my own feeling is that the static content is quite a bit different from the dynamic stuff going on on the forums. My own goal it to make the static content a great place for people to go who are new to asexuality.

  8. Hey, this is you*hear*but*do*you*listen. Just letting you know that I'd love to be a part of the Asexuality 101 project. I already have a glossary of asexual terminology that I made a while ago that might be helpful.

  9. Hi. I've literally just sent off the first e-mail about it. Either I, or Sciatrix, or both, will forward it to you, and I'll add your name to the list.

  10. So did this ever get off the ground? Because I have to say, it sounds like a wonderful idea.

    Ideally I feel like we could get a site with all of the basic 101 information someone needs, and then maybe have links to the many forums. That way different forums can specialize for different purposes, people can self select into the appropriate forum(s), and no one needs to worry about being the face of asexuality or including everyone that comes to their site.

    • Yes, the 101 blog is registered and currently hidden, as we thrash out the bulk of the material we want to include.

      I agree that I don’t think we should have a central face of asexuality, but I don’t think communities work like that. A lot of communities tend to be communities first. I also think we’d loose a lot of the richness of the community, and the variety of understanding of human experience, if everyone is locked away in their own little forums.

      Also, for this to happen, it would involve someone taking control over all asexual community on the English-speaking internet. Which is way more bad than the system we currently have has ever been.

      • Oh noes! I think maybe my post implied more than I wanted to. And/or I just didn’t think it through well.

        My point was more just to have a neutral site to link people to, to avoid the problem of wonder whether or not to link to AVEN when you don’t know what attitude the forums will have, while still having a site that can direct people to the bulk of the community. It wouldn’t by any means have to be the only site with this purpose- the AVEN wiki could very well end up similar.

        That and when I meant people being able to find the different communities/forums that fit them, there’s no need for people to be on only one. My idea was more that you just wouldn’t have as huge of a reliance on one site to be everything.

        But anyways, I like the idea and hope the site gets going!

        • Ahh, I see what you mean. Yes, I agree, the need for a more neutral site, which only has uncontroversial content, which then links to the various communities for discussion, was one of the ideas behind the project. And, yes, different communities do take the pressure off AVEN to be everything to everyone.

          Although, unfortunately, nothing can ever be truly neutral. For example, the 101 project is going down a very social justice-oriented path, because our ideas of asexuality are based on it being very similar to other sexual orientations, and that asexuality needs more nuanced discussion, therefore needs somewhere to sum up the basics. The politics of the makers and users of a site will always influence it’s neutrality- like the sex-positive and non-judgementalist attitudes that set AVEN apart from previous asexual sites and made asexuality what it is today.

          Am rambling a lot, but basically my point is that you can’t pin your hopes on some other individual being neutral, you have to realise that we’re all as political as each other.

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