The forums are the most active part of AVEN. Created on the 29th of May 2002 (see AVEN History), the majority of AVEN's management procedures and visibility projects are organized within the forums. As is standard with most forums, a calendar and chatroom are available to the members. The forums are run by the administrators and moderators, who enforce and occasionally amend the terms of service when necessary. The moderators, as well as the Project Team, are elected by the members of AVEN, in turn the administrators are elected by these moderators and project team members. Moderators are usually assigned to a single forum (whichever forum/s they're elected to moderate), in some cases multiple forums, but possess limited universal powers across the boards (see Mod and Admin Roles).
There are a total seven forum sections (Welcome, Asexuality, Visibility & Education, Identities, Community, Discussion, and Site). Within these sections, there are twenty-eight forums that are accessible by the members of AVEN's forums, three of these are inaccessible without a registered account, one was occasionally hidden from public view when necessary, one cannot be accessed unless access is requested and permitted. Alongside these, there are nine subforums (discounting the external links seen in Alternate Languages and Community Links). There are a considerable number of private, hidden and/or removed forums that are inaccessible to both registered members and guests (see Hidden Forums).
AVEN's forums experienced major cosmetic changes throughout February 2008. The forum's sections were reorganized (prior to this, only two sections had existed since the forums' establishment in 2002; Community and AVEN ), and continued to use this model up until July 2012. The forums had used phpBB's software since January 2003 (briefly running XMB's forum software in 2002), but this software was replaced by Invision's software soon after the reorganization, which AVEN continues to use. The forums saw their latest software update and redesign in October 2012.
There's a considerable amount of hidden forums which are only accessible by the Admod team, for privacy purposes these are currently not indexed in this list. The forums have seen a few changes in recent times, seeing the arrival of newer forums such as The Gray Area in September 2011 and the A/Romantics Forum in July 2012 (later renamed to Romantic and Aromantic Orientations). The sections were recently reorganized (moving the Community section below the Visibility and Education section)
The Gray Area was renamed as "The Gray Area, Sex and Relation Discussions" during the September 2013 reorganization. Other forums, such as Mod Elections and Mod Forum, were renamed to "AVEN Elections" and "Admods Archives" respectively.
- AVEN Elections - Formerly known as "Mod Elections, this forum is moved and placed elsewhere when necessary. The forum's management are elected by the members of AVEN when necessary, these elections are held within the Mod Elections forum. Members cannot start threads in this forum, which becomes a Read Only forum when not in use.
- Site Info Center - This forum serves as an information resource. Information relevant to AVEN as a whole is stored within this forum. This forum is read only, and can be edited by the administrators, moderators and Project Team.
- Announcements - For general announcements, relevant to the forums and wider community. Previous forum software version had utilized a universal announcement function, which would've posted a banner announcement across the forums.
- Welcome Lounge - Intended for newly registered users, members are welcome to introduce themselves to the community in this forum.
- Asexual Q&A - Questions relating to asexuality in general are usually asked here, one of the many common favorites: "Am I asexual?".
- Asexual Relationships - Relationships are a common occurrence within the asexual community, here we have a forum dedicated to discussing these and related subject.
- Asexual Musings and Rantings - General discussion relating to asexuality.
- Older Asexuals - Generally intended for 30+ asexuals.
- For Sexual Partners, Friends and Allies - Allies are welcome in the community, AVEN is welcomes everyone who wishes to join.
- Visibility and Education Projects - This forum is used for asexuality-related projects, by both the Project Team and the general members.
- World Watch - Asexuality makes an occasional appearance in the media, we usually discuss these various and spontaneous appearances in our World Watch forum.
- World Watch Archive - World Watch is pretty darn old, there are many relevant and important threads within this forum. This archive categorizes these by year.
- Census Forum - Censuses are a vital factor in visibility, they give us our stats. Humor polls are usually placed in JFF.
- Census Archive - This essentially serves the exact same purpose as the World Watch Archive, seen above.
- Community Links Forum - AVEN may remain as the active center of the asexual community, but there are many similar spin-off forums too:
- The Gray Area, Sex and Related Discussions - Formerly known as "The Gray Area", renamed to encompass sexual discussions.
- Intersectionality - For people to discuss how their (a)sexuality and other identities intertwine.
- Romantic and Other Orientations- Many asexuals experience romantic attraction, this forum exists to discuss this and related subjects.
- Gender Discussion - Gender identity is a common subject within the community, so of course we have a forum for discussing this too.
- Meetup Mart - Meetups are yet another vital factor in our community, the Meetup Mart provides a space for organizing such meetups, everything from small-scale informals to large affairs. It should be noted that this forum is NOT intended for dating personals (see Personals Forum). AVEN's forums usually serve the Anglosphere, hence these subforums:
- Australia and New Zealand
- United Kingdom and Ireland
- United States
- Just for Fun - AVEN ain't all-serious, we have our very own forum dedicated to crazy games and quirky humor.
- AVEN Arcade - Spam, spam, spam! Intended for those spammy threads.
- Celebration Time! - Got something to celebrate? Fortunately, we have a forum for that too.
- Tea and Sympathy - Down periods are not uncommon, this forum exists to discuss or vent out our general frustrations.
- Open Mic - For sharing your creative side.
- Alternate Languages Forum - Asexuality exists in many different languages and cultures. Here, we have a forum for discussing asexuality in your native tongue, as well as these dedicated discussion boards:
- Deutsch (German)
- Polski (Polish)
- Nederlands (Dutch)
- Español (Spanish)
- Français (French)
- Italiano (Italian)
- Suomi (Finnish)
- Čeština (Czech)
- Türkçe (Turkish)
- русский (Russian)
- 日本語 (Japanese)
- 中文 (Mandarin, 1)
- 中文 (Mandarin, 2)
- Svenska (Swedish)
- Norsk (Norwegian)
- (h)AVEN - Tea and Sympathy exists for the milder issues in life, but we've all got those issues that we feel we can't share publicly, and that's why (h)AVEN exists. Access needs to be requested, an administrator will grant this access for you.
- Off-A - AVEN is largely asexual-centric, but Off-A gives us space to discuss everything else.
- Philosophy, Politics and Science - Feeling philosophical or political? Or taking an interest in science? Discuss it here, we usually use this forum to discuss some of the more specific recent news events. These can often end up warped by controversy...
- Hot Box - ... the Hot Box lives up to its name. Here's where we keep the more heated, controversial debates.
- Site Comments - Issues with the software often crop up, we usually discuss these here.
- Bug Tracker- For filing reports, usually when a software bug is found.
- Admod Archives - Formerly known as the "Mod Forum". A forum for declassified policy threads and disciplinary threads. This forum is Read Only.
While these are not "officially listed", they are often briefly mentioned, but the existence of these forums is rarely discussed. The following forums are only accessible by the admods, as opposed to (h)AVEN where access can be requested and granted. The Mod Elections forum was occasionally hidden from view, but is accessible to anyone with 25+ posts during AVEN's elections and placed below the Site Comments forum when not in use.
- Not Quite Ready For Primetime
- AVEN Book - Hidden due to copyright concerns.
- Admods Forum
Forums there were either merged or deleted, renamed forums are not included here.
- Amibes Français, Asexuality Español, Asexuales Deutschland, Discussione Asessuale Italiana and Amoebas Portugese-falador existed for a brief period in 2003, all five were merged to form Alternate Languages.
- All T-Shirts, All the Time - Likely removed? Existed between August 2003 and February 2004.
- The Library - Merged with World Watch in October 2009. This forum focused on asexual literature.
- Personals Forum - Closed down due to legal fears and merged with the Meetup Mart shortly after its creation in October 2005.
- AVEN Book- A former admin's writing project, locked down in 2008 and later hidden in 2009 due to copyright concerns.