Happy Asexual Awareness Week, folks!
This week is the perfect time for you to learn more about asexuality – by attending an event if there’s one near you, or simply by checking out some of the great ace content that’s available for free online. Here are my top picks for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in ace:
AVEN: About Asexuality – the Asexual Visibility and Education Network really is the #1 place to go if you have questions about asexuality – your own, that of someone you care about, or simply the orientation in general. I recommend starting with the Overview and browsing the FAQ.
7 Things Asexual People Want You To Know – if you prefer your content video-style, this is a good starting point for learning the basics about asexuality.
Different Types of Asexuality (language warning!) – or, if the preceding video feels a bit too 101 for your tastes, this vid from Australian queer vlogger HeyoDamo takes the ace education (and the entertainment value) up a notch, getting into the nitty gritty of different ace identities and ways ace people can relate to the act of sex.
Apart from HeyoDamo (and me), there are lots of other ace-identifying people out there talking about their experiences.
The Asexual Story Project collects first-hand accounts of self-discovery, coming out, relationships, and other aspects of life from an asexual perspective. Some of these stories are uplifting, some are heartbreaking, some are very raw (and there are content warnings applied as necessary).
The Asexual Agenda is curated by multiple ace users, and alternates between blog posts from those users, questions designed to promote conversation between their readers, and links to interesting posts from other ace bloggers (my recent series on being in an ace-allo relationship got a shout-out 💜). This is one of those websites I can lose hours on if I’m not careful. If you want somewhere to start, the recent post ‘Coming out in ten vignettes’ is just beautiful.
The Struggles of Asexuality – another one for those who prefer video. Three aces chat about their experiences trying to figure out their own sexuality and what the heck everyone else is even on about. I literally stumbled over this while looking up the videos above, but I have to include it because it is just so pure and – to me – so completely relatable.
Girls With Slingshots – currently on full-colour reruns, this webcomic about the daily life and romantic/sexual misadventures of a bunch of 20-somethings could be described as “Friends but dirty” – and (at least after mid-2008) significantly more queer. The comic’s original run began in 2004, and some of the humour unfortunately shows its age (even the creator admits, with hindsight, that it contains “unintentionally hurtful words [and] concepts that deserve more scrutiny and discussion”*), but it also contains the first – and for a long time only – depiction I ever saw of an asexual character.
Nearly ten years after I first met her, Erin remains the ace character I resonate best with. Like me, she’s uncomfortable with the whole idea of sex, but also like me, she’s a huge romantic – she just expresses her love in other ways. She recognises that intimacy doesn’t just mean sex, that love is more important than labels, and that a healthy, loving relationship can include sex with other people. Although she’s a secondary character in the comic, she’s a well-rounded member of the cast whose story is about more than her sexuality or her relationship with one of the protagonists.
Investigate and enjoy!
*The Complete Girls With Slingshots vol. 1, published 2017 by Iron Circus Comics