SF Unconference 2017 — Session #4: Asexuality Jokes and Memes

This is a summary of some of the topics discussed in the “Asexuality Jokes and Memes” session at the 2017 SF Asexuality Unconference.

Some of the jokes/puns/comments mentioned:

I like my sex like I like my coffee:  I don’t like coffee.

Why frick-frack when you can snick-snack?

Asexual in the streets, still asexual in the sheets.

Asexual Ace Hardware puns

Asexuals literally give no fucks

Of course, no discussion about asexuality and humor can leave out the chapter from the Bogaert book.  In Understanding Asexuality, Anthony Bogaert devotes an entire chapter to talking about sex jokes and how asexual people are probably incapable of understanding them (not that he bothers to actually talk to any of us about it).  Since we had a group of aces at the table, talking about jokes, we had to test his hypothesis.  The chapter begins with a joke involving a dentist, a patient who is apparently immune to sedatives or anesthetics, and a dangerous off-label use of a prescription drug that would almost certainly lead to the dentist having their medical license revoked.  The joke was told.  There was, in fact, not much laughing at the joke.  However, when someone remarked “I’ve had sex that hasn’t lasted as long as the setup for that joke”, the table erupted.

So yeah, asexuals can laugh at sex jokes sometimes.

Some people mentioned that they didn’t like jokes that infantilized asexuals.  Others mentioned they didn’t like jokes based on the stereotype that asexuals don’t understand sex.

It was mentioned that asexual jokes can be important, because it can be a good way to spread visibility.  Non-ace people might not care about educational information about asexuality, so they’ll ignore it.  But they might laugh at a joke and share it with others.  The next day, this idea proved itself, when one of the parade marcher’s “Asexuals Don’t Give A Fuck” signs made the rounds of social media, with many non-aces sharing the image.

Humor also can be used as a signal of approachability.  As in, “I’m comfortable enough to laugh about this, so you should be comfortable to talk to me about it.”



SF Unconference 2017 — Session #3: Aces in Fiction and Media

This is a summary of some of the topics discussed in the “Aces in Fiction and Media” session at the 2017 SF Asexuality Unconference.

This session was mostly talking about ace and ace-ish characters in fiction, so much of the discussion was about plot points and storylines that I won’t go into here.  There was also a discussion about something that is very good news and that was very exciting to hear but that I don’t think is widely publically known, so unfortunately, I don’t think I can talk about it here.  (But trust me, it’s awesome.)

Here were some of the items mentioned as having ace characters, whether explicit, implicit, or headcanoned.  (This is not intended to be a complete rundown of all ace characters out there, just a list of those mentioned that I was able to write down fast enough.)

Bojack Horseman

Shades of A

Supernormal Step


We Awaken


Shortland Street

Sex Criminals

Minority Monsters



And it was recommended to steer clear of:

House (S8E8 Better Half)

The Olivia Experiment


Some people wanted to see multiple aces together in fiction, so that it’s clear that asexuality isn’t just a personality quirk of that one character.  Some wanted to see relationship negotiations.  Some wanted to see the ace character be more than just ace, to have hobbies or to have problems (including relationship problems) that don’t stem from asexuality or sex.

And check out the Ace Tropes series, over on The Asexual Agenda.


SF Unconference 2017 — Session #1: Planning for the Future as an Aromantic.

This is a summary of some of the topics discussed in the “Planning for the Future as an Aromantic” session at the 2017 SF Asexuality Unconference.

One of the first topics was the decision of whether or not to live alone, and how to live with others, if that’s what’s wanted.  The traditional progression of a romantic relationship often involves moving in with a romantic partner, but aromantic people don’t follow that script.

Many of the people did not want did not want to live with others.  They’d done the roommate thing in the past and didn’t like it, preferring to be on their own.  Others wanted roommates or living with friends.  Economic considerations also came into play, with some people unable to afford to live alone, despite their preferences.

There was a question about whether or not it would be worth disclosing your aroness/aceness to prospective roommates.  Some might prefer that you “won’t be bringing people home all the time”, or it might be a way to weed out incompatible roommates.

Some people talked about becoming the Single Aunt or Uncle, and what that would mean.  Primarily, that would be the expectation that because you’re not “tied down” by a partner or children, that you’re able to drop everything to take care of your parents as they age.  There was also a comment about becoming an ATM for nieces and nephews.  On the flipside, the Single Aunt or Uncle did provide a template for living alone for some of us, and some people like the idea of being the cool single uncle or aunt.

Things like emergency contacts, insurance beneficiaries, and medical decision makers came up.  For many people, that would be their current long-term partner.  But who is it for a permanently single aro?  Many in the session mentioned listing their parents, but were aware that was not a permanent long term solution.  There was talk about health care directives and living wills and other things like that, but there was a concern about how to let people know that you have such a thing.  Do you awkwardly blast out a Google Docs link to everyone you know?  Do you keep it in a lockbox in your closet where it will be discovered long after your wishes have already been ignored?  It was also brought up that it might not even matter, as things like living wills and healthcare directives are often ignored, even when they’re known.  The concept of a “Designated Person” was mentioned.  A Designated Person would be a person who can make decisions on your behalf and who will act according to your interest.

Parenting was discussed.  Some of the aros in the group expressed an interest in potentially becoming parents, but acknowledged difficulties.  Adopting can be challenging when single.  There were concerns about raising a child alone.  Coparenting arrangements were brought up, but finding a suitable coparent can be difficult.

Dying alone was a concern.  Whether that’s actually dying alone and wondering how long it’ll be before someone notices, or just going through the aging process.  One person mentioned that they’re planning to choose a good retirement home while they’re still healthy, so they’ll be where they want to be, instead of ending up where they’re sent when they no longer have a choice.

Becoming a partner in a poly group was suggested.  It could be more stable than random roommates, and can fill many of the holes mentioned above.  However, it’s not for everyone.

Intentional ace/aro housing communities were talked about.  There can be a house or an apartment building or something where we can live alone, together.

And on a final note, and less serious than some of the topics above, what’s the deal with a +1 at a work party?  In theory, it’s just a “+1”, so why is it so discouraged to bring a friend or a relative?  Why are +1s exclusively expected to be romantic partners?