Monthly Archives: August 2012

Latest Visibility Links from AVEN

Just a brief update to share an article from The Guardian and another from Mail Online. I tend to agree with The Guardian article; I don’t think the number of asexuals are increasing because of the media. I think we’re just finding it easier to come out. This leads me to a recent argument that asexuals don’t need visibility or representation, that we haven’t been victims of hate crimes like those already included the LGBT category. We may still suffer name-calling and labels like “broken,” further, we find ourselves simply defending the validity of our orientation. And we know our own attraction better than anyone else. I don’t mean, of course, that any one struggle for human equality is more arduous than another, but what is most important to me in asexuality visibility is bringing awareness to the youth — they need to understand that not wanting to have sex is OK. But, I digress…

I also located a video from FoxNews, which validate that the visual media find reporting on asexuality to be terribly boring. Sex sells and this group is much more interested in cracking jokes than clearing up myths.

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(A)sexual Film Review

I just had a chance to watch this film and wanted to submit some feedback for the community.

The documentary opens with people trying to describe a definition for asexuality, which often turned into the “asexual reproduction” we see in the animal kingdom. Their views are also interspersed throughout the film for definitions on “a relationship,” “love,” etc.

Featured are some of the common misconceptions of asexuality, which is still necessary to more fully explain the concept to those who are unfamiliar with it. We see David Jay trying to inform people about asexuality at a San Francisco Pride, a nonsexual couple enter into marriage, and even a brief clip of Janeane Garofalo doing standup and identifying as asexual. I think the documentary is very gratifying for other asexuals, who see it reinforced that they’re not alone, and that they can show this film to family, friends, and scholars for further recognition if they so choose.

The film also featured psychologists who had researched asexuality or self-identified asexuals and found nothing psychologically wrong with them because of their asexuality, which is always a great feeling. The professionals interviewed include (listed in no particular order):

  1. Lori Brotto, Associate Professor, Department of Gynecology, University of British Columbia
  2. Anthony F. Bogaert, Professor of Community Health Services and Psychology, Brock College (or Brock University)
  3. Cynthia Graham, Clinical Psychologist, The Kinsey Institute
  4. Carol Queen, Sexologist, Founder, Center for Sex and Culture
  5. Dan Savage, Sex Columnist, who sunk to the level of the women on The View. He basically stated that there was no reason for visibility if there’s no sex happening. But I suppose it’s always necessary to at least supply the opponent’s viewpoint.

The film also featured some individuals in the asexual community, such as David Jay, Swank Ivy, and a few others, both young and old, who risked possible embarrassment of any intimate details for the sake of asexual visibility. To me, it seemed like it was all very much worth it. People need to know that it’s perfectly normal to not desire sex. Swank Ivy seems to be getting along just fine on her own. David Jay shared with us a deeply personal story that I think reaches further to suggest that we are all very much fluid in all of our identities and orientations: romantic, sexual, gender, etc. We change, we grow, we learn; it’s all a part of life. The most important point from all of this, I think, is that we are all able to identify ourselves however we choose.

Overall, a great film and definitely worth getting out there more!

(A)sexual is available at iTunes for $14.99 or Amazon.com.

(A)sexual at Arts Engine, Inc. (includes trailer) and Big Mouth Films.

Understanding Asexuality by Anthony F. Bogaert Released Aug. 16

Link to Amazon.com: Understanding Asexuality by Anthony F. Bogaert

Andrew from the Asexuality Studies mailing list tells us, “Tony Bogaert’s book *Understanding Asexuality* came out today.  I’ve purchased the Kindle version, and so far it’s been an interesting read and I highly recommend it to everyone interested in studying asexuality.  It’s intended as something as a cross between an academic and popular book, such that it should be quite accessible to non-academics (and academics from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds), while still being of interest to people studying asexuality specifically and human sexuality more generally.”

It sounds good so I’m going to purchase a Kindle edition and let you know how it is!

(Sorry this is a little late, but I just started working a second job so I have a lot less free time on my hands!)

My Tip for Job Seekers

This economy has been rough. We have all had, or known someone who has had, trouble finding or maintaining a job. I recently got contacted by a contracting firm for a temp job, and although it’s an amazing opportunity for me, it’s been tough along the way. So what have I been doing all this time besides working odd minimum wage jobs? While polishing my resume, of course. This is the most crucial advice I can give to those of you who are still frustrated and looking. Visit your library to find materials on writing for your resume and searching for jobs. Use this time to edit your resume, create your portfolio, and acquire recommendation letters, all while you may be back living with your parents and saving up all your loose change. The hard work will pay off soon!

Useful Link: 100 Great Resume Words

Bogaert’s Understanding Asexuality to be Released Soon

I took a little bit of a break to enjoy James M. Cain’s Double Indemnity (which I could not put down) and I have returned to the big news that Anthony F. Bogaert’s book, Understanding Asexuality, may be released August 16! Those of us in the asexual community who are interested in visibility and research are very excited about this publication. Right now there is a preview available on Google Books, as posted by Lord Happy Toast on AVEN. I am looking into the Kindle edition, which will be a little cheaper, but I haven’t made up my mind just yet. At the moment, however, I am looking at the preview on Google Books, and I must say that, right off the bat, Bogaert indicates his interest and devotion to the study of human sexuality, that it is an important subject to him and not just a pornographic act. It does seem like a worthy read, and I will be sure to post my impressions of the preview as soon as I can.

New Perspective Needed on Libraries

While working at the library the other day, I noticed a group of younger patrons walk by and scoff at the sign for the teen section. It did break my heart a little because I care so much about the library and I understand how vital such an institution is to a community. It seems that many people are sadly still in one mode of thinking or the other in regard to library usage: it’s either nerdy or it’s not. While this is basically the foundation for the latest “Geek the Library” campaign, I realized that we should not have that thought in our minds at all. If we can completely remove our bias about the library expressing our inner geek, we can see it more as a simple public institution of knowledge. We need to find a more effective way to teach people that accessing a library doesn’t have to be nerdy and it doesn’t have to not be nerdy. It just is. This line of thinking also seems to support the less educated patron who is unaware that their opinions about their library matter. The public should know that if they wish to see their library carry a particular material or hold a special program, this cannot be accomplished without their input as a citizen. Librarians too should be working with the thinking that they are not only in a career but that they are also selflessly (ideally) serving the public. We need to return to our library science roots and remember that the best outcome will arise only from an educated staff and citizenry.

Posted in the AVEN Digest

Just a quick update and then I will be sure to post more in the morning after some much needed rest. The blog was mentioned in the August 6 AVEN Digest!

Excellent List of Misconceptions about Asexuality

YouTube vlogger SwankIvy provides us with a humorous collection of responses to the subject of asexuality as a sexual orientation, and although this video is already half a year old, it is still an ideal list for the “101” teachings of asexuality. The particular title of this video also gives me a chance to mention that censorship has no place in this blog just as it has no place in a public library. As stated in Section III of the ALA’s Library Bill of Rights, “Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.”

The Dewey Decimal Number

According to Dewey.info, the only Dewey Decimal number I could find so far for asexuality in particular is 571.8429: “Asexual reproduction–microorganisms” and “Reproduction by asexual spores” is 571.847. This of course applies to “reproduction and growth of cells” (science) as opposed to a human sexual orientation (social science). Another page of the same source lists “sexual orientation, transgenderism, intersexuality” as 306.76, which would should include information about any sexual orientation, as the umbrella 306.7 is “sexual relations.” This is just a general thought for later exploration, but perhaps we see can expect to see asexuality materials in our libraries under 306.76 someday soon!

A Little More about Me

Although I don’t necessarily intend this blog to contain a lot of personal information (unless it’s relevant to the blog topic), I figured it would be a nice touch to add the human element and include some more brief information about myself. I currently work as a lowly library page and attend graduate school to acquire my master’s degree in library and information science. I have a specialized interest in archiving and preservation, and I plan to work somewhere in those areas. I have done and continue to do proofreading and other editorial and design work, both freelance and elsewhere. The field of library science is very close to my heart, not just because I’m a bookworm, but also because the American Library Association (ALA) has the founding principles of intellectual freedom, freedom of access to information, and serving the public equally. I believe strongly in human equality on all levels and fight for marriage equality, somewhat considering myself as part of the LGBT category. I would consider myself to be very open-minded about LGBT and other identity-related issues. I try to find the good in everyone and keep positive thoughts on my mind. When I have a bad experience, I try to take something positive from it. I volunteer when I can, in various places, serving several roles. I believe in performing one’s civil responsibilities by voting, serving jury duty, and giving back to the community via volunteering. I respect people who are constantly proactive (especially in reading/seeking information), as I think that way, we can all eventually change the world for the better.

Little Tidbits
My favorite foods are ramen noodles and cheese pizza. I love tea and I can’t function without coffee. Regardless of my asexuality, I have chosen not to have childen and I instead see my pet tortoise as akin my son. Watching my Detroit Red Wings (hockey) is the closest thing I can think of as “sexy,” with the exception of intelligent men (which is known as sapioromanticism). My favorite TV show is undoubtedly Futurama although you may find me running off with Sheldon Cooper someday. In my spare time, I do a lot of reading (big surprise, I know), studying up on classic literature and random etymology (the study of the origin of words). If I had more spare time, I would love to go hiking more and try kayaking, white-water rafting, and several other adventurous outdoor activities (including skydiving). I do occasionally run 5Ks (3.1 miles). I also love to travel but I hate the cost of gas. I live to learn; my greatest enemy in this world is ignorance.