Great news: sexual people like talking about asexuality almost as much as asexual people do! So much as whisper the word “asexual” at a cocktail party and the conversation will take a tire-screeching turn. Compared to most sexual identities we're not as controversial, but we still raise enough unanswered questions about the nature of sexuality that scientists, doctors, LGBT rights organizers, newspaper editors, TV producers and regular sexual folks find us endlessly fascinating.
This means that anyone who can speak articulately about asexuality can have a huge impact by just going out and seeding discussion. It also means that we reliably get millions of dollars worth of press coverage for free without lifting a finger.
What We're Doing
AVENguy is currently responsible for responding to press requests and connecting reporters with AVEN members. He tries to connect each reporter both with an experienced AVEN representative and with a member who has not yet been in the press. This adds depth to each story and grows the number of AVEN members with press experience. Media volunteers are recruited through posts in the Announcements subforum and through direct e-mail. New volunteers are given a copy of the AVEN Media Guidebook and encouraged to contact AVENguy or another media veteran with any questions.
- Tracking Asexuality in the Media- Get those research skills a-hummin'.
As much as we all like giving 40 minute lectures about asexuality to friends, family and perfect strangers, it's sometimes nice to just have something to hand out. That's why we're working to produce handy dandy visibility materials, so that anyone who wants to do visibility work can easily stock up on resources to help illustrate what our community is all about.
Check out the Available Visibility Materials and help with the ones currently in the works:
- Asex 101 Movie – Combining the audio and powerpoint from Asex 101 into a flash or quicktime movie.
Because they are focused on exploring new ideas, college and university campuses make excellent sites for visibility work. AVEN members both on and off campus can create a dramatic impact by targeting campus LGBT groups and psychology, sexology and gender studies departments. AVEN members regularly give lectures, one of which is available for download. Several members are also in the process of designing pamphlets. Because campuses are sites of scientific research, campus outreach is also strategically important for scientific outreach.
Main article: Campus outreach
As an online community we are uniquely situated to create dialogue about asexuality on the internet. AVEN members have created groups in leading social networking sites, as well as creating a zine, a YouTube channel and a podcast focused on asexuality.
- Hypothetically, AVEN members could organize to actively create discussion in key forums and blogs, or lobby major sites to include information about asexuality. Currently no such organizing is taking place.
It is in our interests to spur and support scientific research on the topic of asexuality. Research can help asexual people understand ourselves better, and can serve an important role in establishing our legitimacy both in to the general public and to medical professionals. Scientific outreach allows us to work with doctors and medical professionals to answer questions about asexual health, so that we have a clear understanding of when a lack of interest in sex might indicate a medical problem and so that doctors and psychotherapists have a clear set of guidelines and best practices for treating asexual patients.
AVEN members regularly participate in scientific surveys advertised in the forum, on a few occasions AVEN members have presented on AVEN at scientific conferences or to professional organizations. AVENguy maintains relationships with several academic experts on human sexuality, including Dr. Anthony Bogaert.
- There is currently no formal system for coordinating scientific outreach.
- A conference team could systematically arrange participation on national and international conferences and congresses. For a list of conferences related also to asexuality see the conference list.
What You Can Do
- Help out with campus outreach, whether or not you're currently on a campus.
- Help with internet outreach
- Help with scientific outreach
- Help with the pamphlets
- Help track our press
- Talk to people about asexuality! Every conversation helps, and the more comfortable you become discussing asexuality the better you'll be at creating visibility.