What Is Asexuality, Gray Asexuality, and ACE?
I was reading through a comment thread on social media this weekend about asexuality, gray sexuality, and the term ACE. Admittedly, I’m a gay man and I have absolutely no idea what they are, but I was curious so I decided to post a little about the topic in case other people are curious, too.
According to Wiki,
Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction to anyone, or low or absent interest in or desire for sexual activity. It may be considered the lack of a sexual orientation, or one of the variations thereof, alongside heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality. It may also be an umbrella term used to categorize a broader spectrum of various asexual sub-identities. A study in 2004 placed the prevalence of asexuality at 1% in the British population.
Gray asexuality is a little more complicated, but I think this definition makes it easier to parse.
The Asexuality Archive writes, “The difference between ‘asexual’ and ‘gray-asexual’ is one of attraction, not behavior.” The source adds that “gray-A” is intentionally a vague, catch-all term. Gray asexuality is considered the gray area between asexuality and sexuality, in which a person may “occasionally experience sexual attraction”.The term gray-A is also considered a range of identities under an asexuality umbrella, including demisexuality.
The gray-A spectrum usually includes individuals who “experience sexual attraction very rarely, only under specific circumstances, or of an intensity so low that it’s ignorable”. Sari Locker, a sexuality educator at Teachers College of Columbia University, argued during a Mic interview that gray-asexuals “feel they are within the gray area between asexuality and more typical sexual interest”. In addition, those who “possibly aren’t quite sure whether or not what they experience is sexual attraction” are likewise included under the asexual umbrella.
ACE in simple terms is described here…
Ace is a popular nickname for a person who is asexual. It is a phonetic shortening of “asexual”, and has lead to some symbolism regarding the playing card “ace”. Some asexuals use the ace of spades or ace of hearts to represent their orientation. The ace of hearts is more commonly used for romantic asexuals, whereas an aromantic asexual would generally use the spade.
- ♥ Ace of hearts – romantic asexuals
- ♠ Ace of spades – aromantic asexuals
- ♦ Ace of diamonds – demisexuals and demiromantic aseuxals
- ♣ Ace of clubs – grayasexual and grayromantic asexuals
Here’s a link to this one. It’s a web site with asexual slang.
As a gay man, I was curious about whether or not asexuals are part of the LGBT community. Evidently, there’s been some controversy about this and I found several links. If you do a simple search you’ll find a lot more.
Here’s an article from the Advocate that discusses 21 Ace stories. The question is “Are LGBT people welcoming of asexuals?” As you can see, the slang and terms continue to expand.
Stacy, panromantic ace, 29, Texas: I do and I don’t. I have not had any problem with the people I know in real life. All of the LGBT clubs I have been a part of have been very welcoming and usually have an asexual representative. As a child of the Internet, though, [I know] there are a lot of people who comment horrible things. I once read a comment on a blog about asexual inclusion where someone wrote that they wouldn’t accept asexual people into LGBT and that asexuals didn’t want to belong with them. So I guess I feel a disconnect with the larger LGBT body, but there isn’t, as far as I know, like a LGBT aces-haters club out there.
And finally, here’s an article from Huff Po where that hideous, cringeworthy Dan Savage comments…
In the 2011 documentary “(A)sexual,” prominent queer activist and media pundit Dan Savage appeared to mock the ace community’s involvement in Pride parades. He implied that asexuality is a preference and that choosing not to have sex, as he saw it, does not necessarily deserve attention.
Please read the rest of the article and not just that excerpt. It gives examples of how asexual people feel many of the same things gay people feel. They don’t always have the same experience, but they feel the same things. And that’s hard to dispute, at least I can’t dispute it.
As you can see, obviously, there’s controversy for some people. I try to make things like this simple for myself. If it’s not heteronormative, it most likely falls under some umbrella that’s not familiar with heteronormative privilege, and it faces discrimination of some kind. In other words, I know that gay men and women don’t fight the same battles as asexuals, but we’re ALL fighting some kind of a battle if we’re not heteronormative.
Islamic Preacher Seen Outlining Ways To Kill Gays
I’ve seen a lot of hoax stories circulating on social media lately, but this one really made me wonder. So I checked, and it’s NOT true that Tim Kaine Tweeted that he’s in an open marriage. I think it would be fascinating if he was, but he’s not.
A blatantly fake tweet appears to be convincing people that Hillary Clinton’s running mate is in an open marriage.
You can check this out here. But all you need to know it that this one is fake, and so is most of what you read on social media about ALL the candidates who are running for office this time. This hoax is one of the most ridiculous I’ve seen, right up there with the stupid memes about Donald Trump and his daughter. Mean people. All hoaxes…don’t trust or believe anything you see on social media without checking it first.
HUGE thanks to everyone who helped get “Uncertainty” a star.