[trigger warning: sexual abuse, rape, rape culture]
The biggest problem I’ve faced in trying to talk about asexuality & rape culture is that, unless you’re doing it in a small group of friends, I haven’t found a decent place to do so….
Awhile back, I reblogged a review of the film “(A)sexual” that discussed some problematic situations and depictions in the film. The review sparked a larger discussion of consent and of asexual people feeling coerced to have sex they don’t really want. In my own post, I linked to some earlier discussions about these issues:
- Asexuality and rape culture
- Indifferent but unwilling to compromise: pressures from the community
- The asexual community and rape culture
- Comment on compulsory sexuality and structural oppression
Most of the linked posts talk about problems at the AVEN forums (AVEN is the Asexual Visibility and Education Network, the first and still the biggest asexual community site).
I strongly recommend reading all the posts I’ve linked here. This is an important issue and a real concern that should not be ignored or swept under the carpet. People are being traumatized and hurt and instead of finding support, part of the asexual community is making the situation even worse for them.
Personally, I’ve never belonged to AVEN or taken part in any discussion there. The most I’ve even read of it are when specific discussion threads came up in search results or were linked to from an ace blog. It wasn’t even that I knew about or had encountered any problematic issues, but even on the brief explorations I made, it just never seemed to be the sort of place I was looking for or addressing questions that were important to me. I was very glad to find a much better community here on Tumblr.
For further reading, I also suggest Elizabeth at Shades of Gray, who has written extensively on this topic:
Do You Want To? (questions whether ace communities are safe places for asexual people to report sexual assault and experiences of rape culture up to and including corrective rape)
Willing Consent (deals with asexual-specific issues surrounding the concept of enthusiastic consent and how it pressures some people)
How to Have Sex with an Asexual Person (deals with how to negotiate sex in an allosexual/asexual relationship and is a very detailed primer on consent and checking in)
I also wrote about it last year, actually, but I’d recommend Elizabeth over me as she’s covered rape culture and asexuality in her blog much more thoroughly than I ever did. She even has a category for it. If you guys haven’t checked her writing out, you should; I think it’s relevant to both of your interests.
Also, as an aside to the OP: Er, are you Ily, who writes at the Blogger asexy beast? I’m not sure—the name is the same but you seem like you might be different people for stylistic reasons—so, uh, a little clarity? It’s been bugging me all day, sorry!