Why I Wear an Ace Ring

This is my submission to the June 2020 Carnival of Aces, on the topic of “pride.”

This post was originally inspired by this post from the Ace Theist. I may or may not have taken 7+ years to get around to writing it, but better late than never I guess?


Several years ago, The Ace Theist wrote a post about why they wear an ace ring, and why it’s more for themselves than for recognition, that really resonated with me, especially this passage in the conclusion:

When I first bought that black ring off Amazon, I wasn’t expecting anyone recognize it for what it was.  That’s not what it’s for.  From the beginning, that ring wasn’t meant for anyone else but me.  I had just comes to terms with the fact that I’m not heterosexual, that the existence of my orientation is something that most people don’t even know about, and I wanted to wear an ace ring as a way remind myself that I’m not the only one.

Safety in Subtlety

As a matter of fact, when I first started wearing an ace ring, it was precisely because I did not expect anyone to recognize it for what it was – it was something subtle, and safe, and with a level of plausible deniability that I could easily invoke if anyone asked me about. After all, I already wore rings and other jewelry on a semi-regular basis, so it wouldn’t be that out of place. If anyone asked, I could just say that I found it at a shop and thought it looked cool.

That made it the perfect token of self-recognition and quiet pride for me, as a teenager just tentatively starting to identify with asexuality, but sure as hell not ready to start coming out about it to anyone offline. I wasn’t ready talk about it out loud yet, or to name it in words, but the ring was still a physical, tangible way to silently shout out to the unsuspecting world that hey, I’m asexual, I’m not just confused, and I’m not alone.

Read More »

Carnival of Aces December 2018 Wrap-up: “Burnout”

Last month’s Carnival of Aces was on the topic of Burnout, which I am accidentally staying true to by posting this wrap up like 4 days late…

We received a lot really great submissions – A big thanks to everyone who contributed! If I missed any entries or got any names wrong, feel free to leave a note in the comments.

The next Carnival of Aces for January is being hosted by demiandproud, and the theme is “Asexuality as a Blessing”.

Also, as a reminder, we are always looking for more volunteers to host the carnival – there’s no one lined up yet past February, so now is a great time to volunteer. See the masterpost for details.

Without further ado, here’s all the submissions:

December 2018 Carnival of Aces call for submissions: “Burnout”

This is a call for submissions for the Carnival of Aces, a monthly asexuality themed blog carnival. You can find the roundup of last month’s submissions for the theme “Carnival of Aces” here.

Anyone can write a post – to be featured in the carnival, just post a link to your article here in the comments or shoot me an email at sennkestra@gmail.com. No worries if you don’t have a blog – we can host posts for you here as well.

Submissions are due by December 31, but if you think you might take a little longer you can just shoot me a message to let me know and I can hold a spot for you :)

This Month’s carnival theme is “Burnout”.

We’re now a few weeks out from Asexual Awareness Week – one of the most active weeks of the year for ace activists, bloggers, and other ace community members. But as amazing as it is, the frenzied pace of activities that week can also be a major source of stress that can put ace activists at risk of experiencing burnout – the state that results when the continued stress of an activity becomes overwhelming, to the point where individuals may find themselves less and less able to continue with it.

Burnout can manifest itself in many ways. Sometimes it’s like an exhaustion that just leaves you too tired to get anything done. Sometimes it’s a paralysis of indecision that causes you to freeze up for fear of making the wrong choice. Sometimes it’s clouding of judgement that leads you to  do or say things you wouldn’t do otherwise – which can even lead to lashing out at the people you were originally trying to help.

There are ways to try and manage burnout (by taking breaks, or venting to outside support groups, or being more selective about the projects you take on, etc.) but sometimes it’s unavoidable – and all you can do is figure out how to recognize it and move on from there.

For this month’s carnival of aces, I want to talk about the experience of burnout in ace communities – whether it’s burnout from big activist activities like hosting events or running blogs, or from the daily grind of microaggressions, not-so-micro aggressions and the constant cycle of coming out (or being unable to come out).

Some possible topics include:

  • What are some of the common signs of burnout?
  • Have you ever experienced burnout before, in ace activities or otherwise?
  • Are there any strategies that you find helpful in avoiding or delaying in burnout? Or, on the other hand, are there certain situations that you find make you burn out even faster?
  • One strategy for avoiding burnout is to give yourself breaks and less stressful distractions. Are there any activities that you like to use as a break from ace community stressors?
  • Another strategy for avoiding burnout is to have safe places to vent, away from the communities that are the center of the stress. Do you have anyone who you feel you can vent to like this?
  • Have you ever been able to overcome burnout and return to something you once had to drop? Or, are there any activities that you’ve had to just give up because of the risk of burnout?

Early Ace History for Amateur Historians: Finding Primary Sources

ETA: So, it turns out that Tristifere beat me to this and already posted some great tips for Ace historians, many with more detail than I provide here. Check out their post here!

This is a post for the July 2015 Carnival of Aces, on the theme “Asexual History”


This piece is specifically concerned with the period of “early asexual history”, which I consider roughly anything before 2004. There reason I focus on this period in particular is because 1. It’s one of my personal areas of historical interest; 2. The smaller size of the community at that point makes it a more manageable introduction to ace history; 3. It’s the formative period for many of the ideas that we see in the ace community; and 4. It’s one of the periods that’s hard to find out about than some more recent history.

This is also not meant for actual historians – it’s more for amateurs like me with an interest in poking around and learning more about early ace history, so I’m not getting into theories of historiography or anything like that. Instead, it’s all about how to find primary sources to read and learn more from. It’s pretty loosely structured, so let’s jump right into it:

1. Check out existing collections and guides.  While existing ace historical archives are unfortunately pretty sparse, there are a some out there – things like AsexualExploration’s Bibliography (which includes some early works) and the AVENwiki media lists (which has links to many early newspaper articles that have already been dug up, from ) or the Asexual Zine Archive (more recent). Another tool is looking at links from other posts in this carnival (like my other post), or searching for terms like “asexual history” in the AVEN forums – there are some threads already where people have dug up some pretty cool stuff.

2. Check out existing asexual community websites’ archives. Many online asexuals communities still have records available from the moment they were founded. For example, you can view AVEN posts all the way back to when the forums were first added (minus any threads that have been lost to deletion/hacks/server problems). Many other communities like the Asexuality Livejournal also have most of their old posts online. You can also read the entire archives for the Haven for the Human Amoeba (arguably the first asexual community) as well, which is super interesting.

While most of these communities are now far too busy for anyone to keep track of their activity, many started with only a small handful, making it easy to read through the first few months of activity in a few days, giving you a really intimate glimpse of early asexual communities. I highly recommend reading through some of the early AVEN, HHA, and Livejournal days for anyone interested in early asexual communities.

2. Use Archive.org’s Wayback Machine. Seriously, the Internet Archive’s wayback machine is the #1 most useful tool for any internet historian. Basically, the wayback machine is the archived results from years of web crawlers that gathered snapshots of most publicly accessible pages on the internet.

This is the easiest way to access asexuality pages that no longer exist, from well known pieces like My Life as an Amoeba or lesser known sites like TNGirlTech’s Asexualism Page. You can also use it to view older versions of current websites, like past iterations of the AVEN home page.

While the archive may only have one snapshot every year or so for smaller and obscurer sites, it can still be a great insight.

3. Snowball through your sources’ sources. Of course, the tools above are only good for viewing pieces you already knew existed. What about the ones you don’t already know of? One of the best ways to find other early ace communities or websites is by trolling through links pages, posted links, and webrings that you find on the few existing communities that you do know. And everytime you find a new website, check all of it’s links, and so on and so forth. That can be a great way to dig up lesser known items, like this ambiguously sarcastic (or not?) page or this research on asexuality for a Toronto newspaper from the late 90’s.

One of the best ways to start getting to know early ace communities is to begin with the HHA archives and the “My Life as an Amoeba” comments section – many people in each of those are aggregating links much the way we do now, which makes it a good collection of sources to start from.

4. Talk to people! One of the other great things about the ace community being relatively young is that most of the major figures in ace history are still alive! It may take a bit of work to hunt down people who may not be very active in the community any longer, and the people behind some pseudonyms just won’t be findable, but there are still tons of early ace community members still hanging around – think SwankIvy, David Jay, Nat Titman, etc. Interviewing people who were around in these early communities, whether as Big Name Asexuals or just anonymous lurkers, is a great way to get more information on what things were like. Interviews can also get you personal  insights into things that aren’t in the public record, whether it’s about things that went down in private, or personal feelings or perspectives that can’t be determined from reading old posts alone.

5. Wanna go even further back? Try newspaper archives! These are very useful when you want to try and look into “pre-internet” asexuality. Many newspaper archives are increasingly being digitized, allowing you to simply search for words like “asexual” or “asexuality” or “nonsexual” or “autoerotic” or whatever your term of choice is. Google has a public newspaper database, and academic institutions and libraries may have access to other databases like ProQuest Historical Newspapers, and some individual papers may have their own archives hosted online.

6. Search academic and library databases, and academic texts. Another way to potentially find things is by brute force searching terms like “asexual” in any databases you have access to – whether it’s LGBT archives, general library catalogs, old journal databases, or anything else.

Just searching “asexual” may mean wading through a lot of biology papers before you find anything relevent, so one tip is to search for “asexuality” (slightly less common in biological texts) or for combinations like “asexual orientation” or “asexual”, “homosexual”, and “bisexual” or “asexuals are”.

If you have ebook or digital versions of various sexological works, you can also search digitally for the word “asexual”, and many may have brief references even as early as the 50s and 60s (or even the 20s!). You can also use the old fashioned method of checking the indexes in paper books, or scanning chapter titles (focusing especially on anything about celibacy, frigidness, dysfunction, etc, which are likely sources for mentions in early works).


Anyway, those are just a few ideas to start, but that should be enough to keep an eager ace sleuth up for months – I’ve had fun digging for years using these techniques and starting points. As always, feel free to ask if you want help finding anything re: ace history.

And, to close, I’d like to issue a challenge to any followers who might be interested: take a few minutes (or hours, or days, or however long you like) to try some of the tools above, and post a cool fact or link you’ve found in the comments below – there’s tons of cool stuff out there, and I’d love to see what everyone else’s favorites are! And who knows, you may even find something no one else even knew existed!

Link Dump: Early Asexual Sites via Archive.org

This is a list of links (relevent to my next post) that I’ve had sitting on my computer for years now, as I keep meaning to make it into a neatly organized list…but since I still haven’t done that yet and probably never will, I figure I’ll just dump them all here and people can explore them as they wish :)

There’s no particular organization or order or relevence here, it’s just some fun things to check out if you’re into ace history.

This is a post for the July 2015 Carnival of Aces, on the theme “Asexual History”


  1. My life as a human amoeba:
    1. (comments): http://web.archive.org/web/19970626042139/http://dispatches.azstarnet.com/zoe/amoeba.htm
    2. (article): http://web.archive.org/web/20030210212218/http://dispatches.azstarnet.com/zoe/amoeba2.htm
  2. Asexual Coalition:
    1. http://web.archive.org/web/19990429195445/http://members.tripod.com/~asexual/coalition.html
    2. oldest archived instance April 1999r
    3. looks like it might be more satire?
    4. does link to leather spinsters though.
  3. Leather Spinsters (Asexuality page):
    1. http://web.archive.org/web/19981206022711/http://leatherspinsters.com/asexuality1.html
    2. Earliest archived instance: December 1998
    3. No links to offsite asexual pages
  4. The Fourth Sexuality:
    1. http://web.archive.org/web/20020607150136/http://oak.cats.ohiou.edu/~lb122098/fourthsexuality.html
    2. Article about nonsexuality; this version first appears sometime between august 2001 june 2002
    3. (later hosted on swankivy’s page?)
    4. previously written article:  http://web.archive.org/web/20021005123031/http://www.geocities.com/smidgen110/nonsexual.html
    5. originally written sometime before august 2001
    6. Does not appear to have any links to other asexual websites
  5. Haven for the Human Amoeba
    1. Archived posts can be found here: http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/havenforthehumanamoeba/conversations/messages
    2. First Post: Oct 11, 2000; founded by drksparkle
    3. (July 15: tngirltech joins)
    4. Things linked to/mentioned in HHA:
      1. SCUM Manifesto – July 16th, 2001 (drksparkle)
      2. Antisexualism Online – July 28th, 2001 (Montgomery_Erick…)
      3. TNTechGirls’ asexualism page –  July 31, 2001 (tntechgirl)
      4. RU Antisex –  August 1, 2001 (tntechgirl) http://web.archive.org/web/20090630084017/http://www.ktk.ru/~cm/go.htm (notes as too extreme)
  6. Asexual Web Ring:
    1. http://web.archive.org/web/20070106164418/http://www.ringsurf.com/netring?ring=Asexual;action=list
    2. founded by HHA members
  7. TNGIrlTech’s Asexualism Page:
    1. http://web.archive.org/web/20020407104252/http://www.geocities.com/tngirltech/asexual.htm
    2. first mentioned in a link on HHA on July 31, 2001
    3. Links to: (as of April 2002) AVEN, Asexual Manifesto, HHA, The Asexual Rant (swankivy)
  8. The Asexual Rant/Nonsexual Rant (Swankivy):
    1. http://web.archive.org/web/20040712183711/http://members.aol.com/swankivy/nonsex.html
  9. Asexual Manifesto:
    1. http://web.archive.org/web/20020331053603/http://www.asexualmanifesto.org/
    2. First archived instance November 2001
    3. links to: the celibate webring, Organization for Antisexualism
  10. The Celibate Webring:
    1. http://web.archive.org/web/20010407034755/http://www.geocities.com/tofanti/webring.html
    2. (later http://web.archive.org/web/20020829115151/http://www.moonbeamsworld.com/webrings/celibatewebring.html)
    3. (list of member sites here: http://web.archive.org/web/20040718074627/http://www.ringsurf.com/netring?ring=celibate;action=list)
    4. Links to Nonsexuality Rant, OFA
  11. Organization for Antisexualism/Antisexualism Online:
    1. http://web.archive.org/web/20100623132917/http://ofa.cjb.net/
    2. -first recorded archive appearance in April 2000
    3. -shut down in April 2006
    4. -had forums which cannot be accessed via webarchive
    5. (see links page)
    6. -links to antisex stronghold FAQ
  12. RU.Antisex:
    1. http://web.archive.org/web/20090630084017/http://www.ktk.ru/~cm/go.htm
  13. Asexuality.net:
    1. http://web.archive.org/web/20020328032737/http://www.asexuality.net/main.htm
    2. first archived appearance: june 2002
    3. last archived appearance: october 2002
  14. The Official Asexual Society/Official Nonlibidoism Society:
    1. http://web.archive.org/web/20051029233626/www.theofficialasexualsociety.com/index.html
    2. First appearance in the internetarchives: May 2004
    3. But has been linked on AVEN at least as early as August 2003
    4. Date unknown: changed name from Official Asexual Society to Official Nonlibidoism Society (somewhere between december 2004 and february 2005)
    5. Dissolved sometime around late 2006/early 2007 (according to an apositive post by Dargon)
  15. Asexuals/”Asexuals We Are” [livejournal group]
    1. First post: July 20, 2001: http://asexuals.livejournal.com/2001/07/20/
    2. Pretty much defunct by 2007, with less than five posts per year
  16. Asexuality [livejournal group]
    1. http://web.archive.org/web/20021117210033/http://www.livejournal.com/userinfo.bml?user=asexuality
    2. First post: April 28, 2002: http://asexuality.livejournal.com/2002/04/28/

Reminder: One Week Left for July Carnival of Aces Submissions on Asexual History!

Reposting the call for submissions details here:

Original Call for Submissions is here.

It’s now July, and that means a new Carnival of Aces! For those of you not familiar with it, the Carnival of Aces is a recurring blogging event where we write and collect blog posts (or tumblr posts, or linkspams, or videos) on a select topic each month. You can view the masterpost of previous topics here. Last month’s topic was “Mental Health”, and you can view the submissions here. Anyone can write a post – to be featured in the carnival, just post a link to your article here in the comments or shoot me an email at sennkestra@gmail.com. Submissions are due by August 1, but if you think you might take a little longer you can just shoot me a message to let me know and I can hold a spot for you :)

This month’s topic is “Asexual History”

For all that the asexual community is a young movement compared to communities like the LGBT community, we’ve developed a lot over the last decade and a half–and I’m still amazed that it’s really been that long. To put things in perspective, there are people on AVEN now who weren’t even born yet when the site was first created. But while we talk a lot about our speculation for the future of the community, there’s still very little formal conversation about our past. As such, for this carnival, I want to talk about our history – both how we remember our past and how we record our present for future aces. Some possible ideas for this topic include:

  • What events or trends do you see as the major highlights of asexual history?
  • What have been some of the highest and lowest points in asexual history, in your view?
  • What memories of your personal experiences with “asexual history” (whether it’s five years or five months ago) would you like to share with future aces?
  • What should we be doing (if anything) to record our history?
  • Why should we as a community care about asexual history? Why should non-asexual people care about asexual history?
  • Is it possible to speak of an “asexual history” before the development of self-identified asexual communities? If so, how should we approach that kind of history?
  • Is it appropriate to speculate about the a/sexuality of individuals who lived before asexuality and sexual orientations were a well-accepted concept?
  • They say that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it – what lessons can we learn from ace communities past that are important for ace communities moving forward?
  • How can we prevent the loss of institutional memory as older members move on from our communities to other things?
  • How is asexual historiography affected by the fact that ace communities are largely internet based?
  • What unanswered questions do you have about asexual history that you would like to see addressed?
  • And, of course, anything else not on this list!

July 2015 Carnival of Aces Call for Submissions: Asexual History

It’s now July, and that means a new Carnival of Aces! For those of you not familiar with it, the Carnival of Aces is a recurring blogging event where we write and collect blog posts (or tumblr posts, or linkspams, or videos) on a select topic each month. You can view the masterpost of previous topics here. Last month’s topic was “Mental Health”, and you can view the submissions here. Anyone can write a post – to be featured in the carnival, just post a link to your article here in the comments or shoot me an email at sennkestra@gmail.com. No worries if you don’t have a blog – we can host posts for you here.

Submissions are due by August 1, but if you think you might take a little longer you can just shoot me a message to let me know and I can hold a spot for you :)

This month’s topic is “Asexual History”

For all that the asexual community is a young movement compared to communities like the LGBT community, we’ve developed a lot over the last decade and a half–and I’m still amazed that it’s really been that long. To put things in perspective, there are people on AVEN now who weren’t even born yet when the site was first created. But while we talk a lot about our speculation for the future of the community, there’s still very little formal conversation about our past. As such, for this carnival, I want to talk about our history – both how we remember our past and how we record our present for future aces. Some possible ideas for this topic include:

  • What events or trends do you see as the major highlights of asexual history?
  • What have been some of the highest and lowest points in asexual history, in your view?
  • What memories of your personal experiences with “asexual history” (whether it’s five years or five months ago) would you like to share with future aces?
  • What should we be doing (if anything) to record our history?
  • Why should we as a community care about asexual history? Why should non-asexual people care about asexual history?
  • Is it possible to speak of an “asexual history” before the development of self-identified asexual communities? If so, how should we approach that kind of history?
  • Is it appropriate to speculate about the a/sexuality of individuals who lived before asexuality and sexual orientations were a well-accepted concept?
  • They say that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it – what lessons can we learn from ace communities past that are important for ace communities moving forward?
  • How can we prevent the loss of institutional memory as older members move on from our communities to other things?
  • How is asexual historiography affected by the fact that ace communities are largely internet based?
  • What unanswered questions do you have about asexual history that you would like to see addressed?
  • And, of course, anything else not on this list!

Carnival of Aces: Some Asexual Cultural Moments You Might Have Missed

Content Warning: includes some flash gifs.

In honor of the last day of the “Asexual Culture” Carnival of Aces, today we’re going Buzzfeed style in a more light hearted post about what’s really dear to my heart: memes.

Well, memes, injokes, and other cultural moments of significance, that is, especially those from Ye Olde Days of 2011-2013 Ace Culture.

Here’s a handful of some of my personal favorite ace community memes and injokes:

#6.The AVEN welcome cake

Probably one of the first identifiable asexual symbols, the AVEN welcoming cake is one of the first things newbies used encounter when they first start exploring the asexual community, back when almost everyone went through AVEN as a first step. It’ll always hold a special place in our hearts.

#5. Asexual Armadillo, Asexual Axolotl, and Aromantic Ardvark 

Animal Memes are pretty much the most classic of classic memes, so here’s the ace and aro versions :) (Click through on the image for more)

#4. That one song about how asexuals don’t want to touch butts.

Seriously. Just listen to it. It’s a shame I don’t see this very often anymore, because it really is and always will be the best asexual song.

#3. The Official Asexual Dance

See 2:19 for the official asexual dance! This video was a classic that popped up every now and again on AVEN around the time that I joined, around 2010/2011.

Of course, all asexual dances are the best dances :)

#2. Damn my Asexual Privilege!

Gosh, we aces just have so much privilege we’re practically tripping over it! Unlike those other poor souls who can’t perform mitosis. I mean, I’m so glad that we never get erased in the media or ostracized for having a non-normative sexuality! …Oh wait.

On the other hand, we do have all the cake :D

#DAMN MY ASEXUAL PRIVILEGE

#1. The Breadriarchy

Sure, we aces love to talk about how much superior cake is, but do we ever stop to think about the effects of such blatant pastryism on other members of the baked goods? Should we be more accepting  of brownies in the cake community? Do pies need to check their “real food” privilege?

There were a lot of  divisive issues in the baked goods community back in 2011,  but I think we can all agree that the social norms that discriminate against certain baked goods just because they are “too sweet” and “not healthy” need to go.

FIGHT THE BREADRIARCHY!

And now, readers, I have a question for you: what are your favorite ace community memes or inside jokes?