Friday Question: Educating Providers

Friday Question: Educating Providers

By | 2015-08-21T16:03:00-04:00 August 21st, 2015|Categories: Questions|Tags: |0 Comments

The Friday Question: How it works

Every Friday we will pose a question for you all to discuss or privately consider. You can engage with it publicly here on the RFAS blog, or you can join our forum (details below) for a more private discussion. You can write it down to think about later, journal about it, or bring it in to a therapy session with you.

I would like to alternate hosting this discussion with other moderators, but at present we are stretched thin. If you would like to volunteer to become a moderator and host future Questions, please email us at—or join our forum and post in the moderator volunteer thread. If you just have an idea for a future Question that you want to share, we have a brainstorming topic on our forum.

Something to Ponder Today

I’m going to preface this with a disclaimer: please don’t expect any of us at RFAS to closely follow and weigh in directly on the flibanserin saga. Most of us do not have the spoons to wade into the fray, and what energy we have, we’re directing towards supporting the skyrocketing number of people reaching out to us right now.

That said…

With the FDA’s approval of flibanserin (newly branded “Addyi”) to treat the outdated, dangerously badly worded diagnosis HSDD, I expect a lot more focus from the ace community on educating all sorts of healthcare providers about asexuality. Several of us here are already involved in doing that work locally. We can assume that the most basic asexuality 101 will be covered, but we can’t necessarily assume that the needs of the most vulnerable members of the ace community will be considered. So in the interest of centering the needs of our most marginalized members, and making sure that there’s a real understanding of how abuse manifests, I ask you:

Beyond the most basic asexuality 101 stuff, what is the one thing you most want medical, therapeutic, and other kinds of care and support providers to understand?

  • What are you worried won’t be included in education efforts, or expanded upon enough to be fully understood?
  • What are your worries with regard to survivors being put in the spotlight by the wider ace community? What would help you feel more safe during these discussions?
  • Do you have any suggestions to add to a list of additional reading materials to give out to providers?
  • What are some ways that you can educate your own providers that might feel safe(r) for you?
  • Or, if you don’t feel safe enough for that, what are some ways you can feel more safe with health care providers? What can they do to make you feel more safe? What can you do to protect yourself?
  • Can you think of any educational topics that you’d like to see an article about published here, for providers to read? Any specific topic you wish you had more resources on?
  • How are you doing with self-care and triggers during this whole fiasco? How can you take good care of yourself? (If you’re coming up short on ideas, please check out our list of potentially useful apps & websites.)

If you are not an abuse survivor, but you still have some suggestions, you may comment publicly, but please post them with care. We ask that you respect the privacy of our members, and please take care with any triggering comments. It is not appropriate to post any comments that suggest that certain groups are targeted more than others, or imply that there is one single Ace Survivor Experience. Please respect the diversity of our life experiences. Comments are strictly moderated.

And please, absolutely DO NOT link this as evidence in any arguments against flibanserin. That makes us feel like props, not respected members of your community, and it can seriously exacerbate our triggers and deteriorate our mental health. This is meant as an intra-community strategy discussion, not a place for public debate. If I see that this post is being used that way, I will make it private.

If you have any educational writing or resources to contribute, or want to collaborate on writing them, please get in touch.

On the Forum

Please note that we are still working things out in the forum, including rules, guidelines, structures, and technical issues. We are gradually letting people in now who are not moderators or volunteers, but it can basically be considered “in beta” for now. So if you do join, please excuse our forum being a bit of a mess while we get everything tested. There may also be a little bit of a wait time for sending out invites.

Here are a couple of things you should know about posting to the forum:

  • All posts are private, and can only be viewed by members
  • It is against forum rules to discuss any personal stories shared on the forum with anyone who is not a member without permission of the person who shared it
  • You can post as anonymous, once you are a member

The Spoiler Tag

You can hide especially triggering details behind a spoiler tag—which also works in blog comments. Here’s an example:

[spoiler title=’Triggering stuff’ collapse_link=’true’]Explicit/triggering material would go here.[/spoiler]

To make one, just type…

[ spoiler ] ... [ /spoiler ]

…without the spaces. I hope that this helps everyone safely navigate this conversation.

About the Author:

Elizabeth is a 30-something asexual woman who is often mistaken for a lesbian, due to the fact that she is partnered to a lady. She is actually bi (but not biromantic) and somewhere on the aromantic spectrum. She is formally trained in creative writing with a focus on non-fiction and poetry. She writes for The Asexual Agenda and maintains a personal blog called Prismatic Entanglements. In her spare time, she enjoys being cat furniture, coming up with new Pokemon strategies and never going to church.

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