Issue Theme: The Asexual, Vol. 2, Issue 3
It's time to select a new theme for The Asexual's upcoming issue Vol. 2, Issue 3. In the past, "Body," the theme for Vol. 1, Issue 3 was chosen via Twitter poll previously, receiving a plurality of votes. "Race," the theme for Vol. 1, Issue 4 was chosen after a series of polls. For the upcoming issue Vol. 2, Issue 3, many of these proposed themes are back again. Once again, The Asexual will be releasing a series of Twitter polls to determine the theme of our upcoming issue. After a series of Twitter polls, the four most popular themes decided by our followers will be voted upon by our Patreon supporters of $2 or more.
Poll 1 - 413 votes
29% Defining Asexuality
Poll 2 - 251 votes
26% BDSM / Kink
Poll 3 - 162 votes
Poll 4 - 251 votes
Poll 5 - 233 votes
23% Defining Asexuality [Tiebreaker Poll: 178 votes total - 70%]
23% BDSM / Kink [Tiebreaker Poll: 178 votes total - 30%]
Poll 6 - 179 votes
A special issue that, if selected, would exclusively contain visual art by ace artists without any specific theme consideration. The "theme" for this issue prioritizes submissions by type (visual artwork) rather than by topic. Visual artwork of any medium is eligible and can be centered on any theme as long as it is created by an artist who identifies as being under the ace umbrella.
Many ace people identify by how they experience non-sexual attraction, and especially romantic attraction. How does attraction intersect with asexuality? What does it mean to experience non-sexual attraction? How do you navigate relationships in this respect? If you do experience non-sexual forms of attraction, how do you negotiate attraction to people who may be inside or outside the ace community? If you are aromantic, how do you navigate assumptions of romantic attraction as well as other types of attraction? What are the ace possibilities of attraction?
BDSM / Kink
As an ace person, do you engage in BDSM or do you identify as kinky? If so, how does your involvement in the BDSM/kink community intersect with your asexuality? BDSM and kink are often perceived as explicitly sexual practices, does your practice of BDSM or kink counter these perceptions? Should it? Does your involvement in BDSM/kink result in arousal? How do you navigate misunderstandings surrounding the relationship between ideas of sex, sexual arousal, and sexual attraction? What types of BDSM/kink do you engage in as an ace person? How do you navigate this subculture?
As an ace person, how do you define community? Do you feel connected to the ace community? Have you formed a community with other ace people online and in-person? Is community important to you? Do you find the ace community to be exclusionary? Has the ace community made you feel empowered? Do you feel accepted as ace in the larger queer or LGBTQIA+ community? How do you navigate communities that may be perceived as in conflict with one another, like being gay and asexual?
For many ace people, online spaces have been intrinsic in their process of discovering and embracing their asexuality. How have online spaces been important to you as an ace person? Has the internet operated as an effective tool to spread awareness and acceptance of asexuality? Have online connections led to in-person connections with other ace people in your life? How do you feel about online spaces dedicated to asexuality? How would you like ace discourse in cyberspace to change or progress?
What is your definition of asexuality? Should definitions of asexuality be specific and limited or loose and expandable? Is it important that a singular definition of asexuality be adopted entirely by the community? What does your definition of asexuality include and exclude? Does "ace" have more expansive potential? How does defining asexuality relate to identity management? Is someone only asexual if they self-identify as asexual?
Asexuality is perceived by some as a disability in itself. Disabled people are perceived as asexual by some. Does this relationship matter? Should the relationship between asexuality and disability be deconstructed or can it be constructive? What is your experience as a disabled ace person? How do you navigate understandings of asexuality and disability? How does asexuality inform understandings of disability and vice versa?
If you have "come out" as ace to your family, what has been the reaction? In your family, how difficult has it been to navigate expectations of sex, marriage, reproduction, and other normalized experiences as an ace person whose identity may or may not directly conflict with any of them? How does the family put pressure on ace people? How do you approach ideas of the "nuclear family" as an ace person? Does asexuality disrupt family?
Our appearance and what we wear can often be connected to our sexuality, whether invited or not. How can these assumptions based on our appearance can produce harmful and invalidating reactions? As ace people, who are often perceived as non-sexual, can our make-up or clothing mark us in sexual ways or in relation to attraction? Do you care about fashion or appearance, and if so or if not, why may this be the case? What are the gendered differences here? Originally suggested by Lori Hyrup (@LoriHyrup).
Are certain gender identities in conflict with asexuality more than others? How do you navigate your gender? Do you feel excluded from the ace community or from identifying as ace because of your gender? How do understandings of gender complicate asexuality and vice versa? Do you feel as though your asexuality is entwined with your gender identity? Is your gender identity entwined with your asexuality? What is the relationship between your gender and your asexuality regarding perception and expression?
How has access to healthcare and your asexuality intersected throughout your personal life? Do institutional services relating to health invalidate or validate your asexuality? Has the status of your health, mental and/or physical, been questioned because of your asexual identity? What implications has this had in your life? How have you had to navigate this relationship between your health and your asexuality?
Do you think asexuality is forgotten or acknowledged in discussions of intersectionality? Does asexuality expand conversations of intersectionality? How does your asexuality relate to your embodiment of an intersection of identities? How does oppression factor into this understanding? What is the relationship between oppression and asexuality? How do ace people's experiences differ based on how they embody various identities?
According to a census of the ace community conducted by AVEN of over 10,000 ace people, only 13.3% of the ace community identify as a "man" or "male." Why do you think this is? Are understandings of asexuality and masculinity in conflict with one another like or unlike femininity and asexuality? What does it mean to identify as a man and asexual? What is your experience as an asexual man or masc ace person? Does asexuality challenge masculinity?
Being sexual, having a sexual drive, and experiencing sexual desire/attraction is positioned as "natural." Is asexuality perceived as "unnatural" or "abnormal"? Does asexuality challenge what it means to be human regarding ideas of "human nature"? How is asexuality connected to nature? Do you find a connection with nature because of your asexuality? How have asexual people been compared to asexuality in nature?
Expressing pride is a form of empowerment for many ace people. How do you as an ace person express pride in your asexuality? Is ace pride important to you? How has asexuality been excluded or included from queer pride and should it be excluded or included? Do you use symbols such as the ace flag to express ace pride? Are symbols such as the ace flag important to you in expressing pride?
Self-identifying as asexual is only accessible to those who have access to the term. Is privilege entwined with having access to the asexual identity? How is identifying as asexual a privilege? Do you feel that the ace community is inherently exclusionary to certain voices? Does the ace community privilege certain voices over others? Where is asexuality, or what is thought to be asexuality, "privileged," if anywhere? Where is it not?
Asexuality and Body (Vol. 1, Issue 3)
While "body" may appear to refer most directly to the human body, the term can also be interpreted and applied more broadly and abstractly, incorporating other types of bodies and bodily forms. Some potential themes of written and visual work to submit include discussing, analyzing, or questioning how your own body is perceived by yourself and others, how issues of body-image and/or fatness intersect with asexuality, as well as how, in a general sense, ace bodies are perceived societally. More abstract themes may grapple with asexual bodies in nature, universal ideas of purpose and asexual bodies, as well as conceptions of reproduction and asexuality.
Asexuality and Race (Vol. 1, Issue 4)
According to a census of the ace community conducted by AVEN of over 10,000 ace people, a massive 77.3% of the ace community in the survey identified as "White (NonHispanic)." Asexual communities are highly dominated by white people and white voices. How does this impact understandings and perceptions of asexuality? How does the relationship between whiteness and asexuality impact understandings of your own asexuality as an ace person? What is your experience as an ace person of color? How does race intersect with asexuality? How can the centrality of whiteness in the ace community be dismantled?
Asexuality and Sex (Vol. 2, Issue 1)
What does sex mean to you as an ace person? Do you engage in sex? How do you navigate understandings of asexuality as being synonymous with being "nonsexual" as an ace person who engages in sex? Are you sex-repulsed sex-positive, sex-neutral, etc.? How does reproduction factor into discussions of sex and asexuality? Is there a sexual expectation? How do you navigate sexualization or desexualization as an ace person?
Representation (Vol. 2, Issue 2)
How do you see asexuality represented around you regarding portrayals in media? How has ace representation allowed you to embrace or accept your ace identity? What is the importance of representation of ace experiences? Do you see yourself represented in media? How has ace representation been harmful and/or helpful? How have you contributed to improving ace representation in media? Do you create ace representation through your art or writing?