Forgive the title. Warning: the sexually squeamish might not want to read some of this.
Lately I've been thinking about what it would mean to have asexual-friendly spaces.
This has been in the back of my mind, but last night I was really triggered into thinking about it more seriously. Last night I went to Blow Pony, which is a huge monthly queer dance party in Portland, OR. I've been to several of these parties, and last night I realized that it's unhealthy for me to go and that I'm never going again. Something I have discussed in passing is that in my experience, "queerness" is associated with lasciviousness, to the point that not being lustful is considered both not queer and repressed. Blow Pony is pretty much bordering on a sexual orgy, if you can imagine what I mean by that. BP is an extreme example of queer dances, but I think that's mostly because of the sheer size of the party. All queer dance parties I've been to have been similar in that they are highly sexual and frequently involve (also highly sexual) performances.
I'm sex-positive, do not mistake that, and when I distance myself enough (say, by being a wallflower or pretending I'm invisible), I can feel entertained by watching the energy and interactions. I feel like an absolute outsider, though. I love dancing, but at dance parties (that are specifically queer) I tend to feel scrutinized, or worse, extremely lonely. Because my friends will pair off with each other and dance, leaving me dancing awkwardly alone beside them. I don't know how to dance with a partner, especially not the way that my peers dance. I've tried to on many occasions, but it quickly becomes obvious that I have no clue what's expected of me. It's nothing against my peers; they aren't doing anything wrong. I'm happy for them. But I can't relate to their experiences. I don't fit in at these events...
...Which leads me to wonder, where the hell do I fit?
I'm too queer for dance parties at "straight" clubs, but I'm not lusty enough for "queer" dance parties. So I pretty much have to go to these events and either fend off straight dudes who want to rub their junk all over me, dance awkwardly by myself at queer parties, or dance alone at home. I could enjoy dancing at parties if my friends wanted to dance in a circle, maybe, rather than grinding by default. Sometimes at "straight" clubs I can dance in a circle with women folk, but this usually attracts dudes who want to do the fore-mentioned thing. I just want to dance, dammit!
I think this problem is bigger than just places to dance. The problem is the lack of asexual knowledge in general making it so that every space is sexualized in some manner. Since most people are not aware that this orientation is an option, sexuality is constantly imposed on each and every one of us, everywhere we go. The only ace-friendly places, right now, are ones established by aces themselves. These are online and at meetups. I think if knowledge of asexuality were common, then there would be more ace-friendly spaces because people wouldn't have those sexual proverbs embedded in their minds. You know the ones: everyone is sexual, everyone has sexual needs. I don't want people to stop enjoying each others sexualities, I just don't want people to assume that sexual attraction is universal.
I'm queer, I'm ace, and I'm not repressed. Can you hold all of those ideas in your mind simultaneously? If so, we'll be able to create positive spAces together. All that's required of you is consciousness and a sharing of consciousness.