A Life

A weekly podcast about asexuality

A Life #2: Asexual Communities

Download (MP3)

In our first actual episode, we tackle the big issue of asexual communities and why there hasn’t been any before the foundation of AVEN some eight years ago and how we found our asexual identities. We also talk about the problems of a community being too dependent on a single site as the only nerve center of activity and the need for more activity outside the web forum.

Blog quote from:
Rainbow Amoeba’s Petri Dish: Why Meetups?

Poll:
Participation in The Asexual Community

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June 24, 2009 - Posted by | Podcast

13 Comments »

  1. Good show and I only see it getting better. I really wanted to make it, but I started a new position in my work and had to get acclimated, and when that happens I will have the honor of actually participating, hopefully as early as this Monday.

    AVEN is a great place, and I post there on occasion, however I really enjoy the blogosphere and acebook much better, as I feel smaller communities are just more tight knit. I also have some grandiose plans, possibly pipe dreams, to build an ace scene in my hometown as it is a major city so I have that going for me!

    Good job Rebecca and Henrik!

    Comment by Ace Amoeba | June 25, 2009

  2. Meetups are my favorite, too. 🙂 We’ve gotta get offline!
    Ace Amoeba, what city are you in? I’ll have to come visit the burgeoning ace scene sometime…

    I’ve been on AVEN for about 3.5 years now and I’ve seen people come and go. I think the reason I haven’t gone is because I’ve found a way– invented by myself– to get more involved and take more of a leadership role by planning meetups. It really needs to be emphasized that people can make up their own ways to build community. For better or worse, there’s no one to tell us how to go forward, it’s not like there’s an asexual board of directors assigning jobs. I think that if people don’t feel that they have much of an “involvement ladder” in the asexual community, they’ll get tired of AVEN because people keep rehashing the same topics. I don’t want people’s involvement in asexual community to end at that point.

    (Sorry I didn’t get on Skype…I’ve mostly been using other people’s computers lately…)

    Comment by Ily | June 25, 2009

  3. Ily is coming to Philly?

    Comment by Ace Amoeba | June 25, 2009

  4. A huge part of the people on AVEN are those new to the asexual community trying to figure themselves out. For that population, AVEN is the main place to go, though the LJ community also does some of that as well (and Apositive a tiny bit.) People have their questions, they figure thing out, and then they leave. Then new people come, often with the same questions…

    In talking about how you don’t think AVEN should have as strong a place in the asexual community as it does, I think an important point is being missed: the only way some other site is going to do well is if it fulfills some perceived need better than AVEN does. When Apositive was new, it did this, and it had a lot of dialogue. At the time, there was felt to be a real need to talk about a lot of things beyond “Asex 101”. AVEN isn’t the ideal place to do that because of the demographics referred to earlier. If you discuss something on Apositive, you can expect the intelligence level to be way higher than on AVEN. After a while, the site just sort of fizzled because people had talked about the things they wanted to talk about. There has been some increased traffic recently, but there’s still not that much.

    Acebook is for personals, and it does this much better than AVEN. I have a site for promoting the academic study of asexuality (only static content), and it was developed largely because I saw a need for this. Blogs also (and this podcast) also add to sources of ideas and information about asexuality; these provide a medium that can give people a better way to express their thoughts than forums can. (And they are much more readable, too.)

    Comment by pretzelboy | June 27, 2009

  5. Love the podcast! I would love to talk with you about asexual history and respond to your statements about AVEN. I’m all for creating a diverse group of asexual sites outside of AVEN, and things like this podcast are a fantastic part of them. There are a handfull of people that I’m in touch with who I would love to have you interview on the podcast. There are some very cool people doing scientific work and some cool allies of ours in the GLBT and sex-positive spaces.

    Comment by AVENguy | July 3, 2009

  6. Sorry I’m so late getting back, I’ve been away- Just wanted to pop in here and let you all know that if you’re interested in being on the podcast or have any suggestions for it, the best thing to do is to email us at theALifeteam@gmail.com. It’s much easier for me to respond to each person through email, and to leave the comment section for comments about the podcast itself.
    Also, if you’re interested in being on the podcast, I can send you Henrik’s contact information for skype in an email. I’m hesitant to put it on a public forum, although it’s not a secret as far as I know. 🙂
    So yeah, email’s definitely the way to go if you want to get in touch with a real person. Thanks!

    Comment by That_American_Kid | July 14, 2009

  7. I am glad you guys have put forth the effort to do this podcast. It is a surprise to find that there is only one good podcast our there. This proves the point that Rebecca made about the perception the general public has about asexual because of some AVENers, that “they” (there is no “they”, I just don’t frequent AVEN) are probably nerds who are stuck online and can’t get laid. Im not pointing fingers because I am one of “them”; I am inactive, mainly because I am a “budding” asexual (sorta like a plant; I don’t think about my asexuality as a “coming out” just making sense of my more natural emotions).

    What I like to say concerning the politics of sexuality is this: “the business of my genitalia is that of my own and others whom share mutual appreciation of each others genitalia and whom interact with me and my genitalia.” Hmm, that came out awkward, but you know what I mean? The goings on in my bedroom, or in this case my sexuality or lack of it, is my none of your business and you have no say; it’s not a civil or pubic discussion.

    At the same time I hold it close to my heart that asexuality is neither an offense nor is it offensive, so we must remain humble and not get defensive.

    Anyway I’m Buddhist and I feel this is the main reason I am subscribing to asexual philosophies… it’s difficult to explain so here are two links to posts relevant to asexuality:
    One is my personal mess-hall/blog:
    http://r-a-y-m-o.blogspot.com/2009/07/asexuality-is-not-offensive-post-1.html

    The other is a post I wrote about Buddhist Romance at the Emergent Dharma: Young Buddhist blog:
    http://emergentdharma.blogspot.com/2009/04/solitude-and-buddhist-romance.html

    ~RaymoEJ

    PS. I love Henrik’s accent. It reminds me of this guy TC of TC’s Spacemusic Podcast. I find the accent extremely a-sexy 😉

    Comment by RaymoEJ | July 17, 2009

  8. Great work on the podcasts guys. Some interesting ideas in terms of community. I remember when I first joined AVEN a couple of years ago I pretty much read every single thread, but now I’m up to date with the basics of asexuality and how it fits into my identity, you’re more likely to find me in the Meetup Mart building relationships with other asexuals offline, or in the Visibility and World Watch forums catching up with the latest research and media references. I have moved on from what I originally used AVEN for, which is why I agree that the asexual community needs to expand. Not in terms of another AVEN as I think it is still the best place (along with the Wiki and other guides) to learn about asexuality and for new members to meet other asexuals and better understand themselves, but in terms of blogs, podcasts and other community-related outposts that explore asexuality in ways that don’t work as well on a message board. Keep up the good work!

    Comment by Cicero | July 21, 2009

  9. By the way, if you want a link in the AVEN Digest when a new show comes out just PM me! I’ll keep a look out anyway, but I do miss things occasionally!

    Comment by Cicero | July 21, 2009

  10. Kay. I’ve finally set up my asexy buddhist blog (http://buddhasareasexual.blogspot.com)
    After writing some posts I’ve realized that, though it’s almost inherent for asexuality to remain vague, I need so sit down and sort through my feelings for a while longer. Hopefully I’ll come out with something to contribute to your podcast. Check it out and see if any of my ideas are a bit convoluted.

    I think I should also mention: I haven’t visited the AVEN site since last 3 years, and still havent visited AVEN since 2 weeks ago when I began exploring asexuality again. Instead, I’m visiting blogs. I think it’s a much safer approach to exploring asexuality. It more candid, more concrete.

    I like the ideas you discuss in this podcast and hope an opportunity arises for a meetup in the Washington DC area, and if not, maybe I’ll muster up the courage to organize or help organize one… soon.

    Comment by RaymoEJ | July 24, 2009

  11. Hi There,

    I have really enjoyed your program since I found it on iTunes. I was wondering though, will you be producing anymore podcasts? It would be a shame to cut things off this soon.

    Comment by Janice | August 14, 2009

  12. Yes, we will for sure! We’re going to get started again in the next couple weeks- we took a very early hiatus while I had a hectic summer but now that life is getting back to some kind of schedule, we’re going to tape more episodes on an *actual schedule*. Sneak preview- in the next episode I will fall all over myself thanking everyone for being so patient with the bizarre break after only an episode and a half. 😀

    Comment by That_American_Kid | August 17, 2009

  13. The one thing I’ve noticed with AVEN is everytime I go there I see a bunch of posts from newbies saying:

    “Hi, I’m and I’m asexual”

    It’s like some kind of asex anonymous group LOL

    kinda like alcoholics anonymous….

    but if we had AA meetings what about the 12 step program?

    what would our steps be for?

    12 steps to getting cake? having fun ? IDK?

    I don’t think that comment made sense- like most things it sounded better in my head.

    Cheers!

    Comment by TheJester | September 27, 2010


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