The Asexual Handbook Pt. 4: An Ace’s Ring To Recognize
Hello, dear reader! Once again, I have returned to continue my saga of The Asexual Handbook. Throughout the weeks I’ve spent on this series, I have come to learn more about myself and my personal experiences with being an asexual member of society. In addition, the handbook has been eye-opening for my capabilities as a writer, and to those of you reading along, I hope it continues to provide comfort and knowledge for each of you! If you’re new to the series, feel free to get started with my first entry! I want to take a moment to acknowledge and express my gratitude for the continuous love and support I have received since beginning the handbook. The asexual spectrum, while becoming more notable in LGBTQ+ matters, is still seen as a curse more than a blessing, so all positive vibes are well-received!
To my fellow aces, you are valid and powerful individuals. To those who belong to other orientations, you have my ongoing support, just as I hope to have yours. ♥
Let’s begin with a story from me to you, my dear reader. Just last week, on one of my outings to a comic convention (yes, I’m a nerd at heart), I obtained a rather special piece to add to my jewelry collection: a woven chain-mail ring of solid black and pewter links. Currently, it rests around the middle finger of my right hand, as you can see in the above photograph. Allow me to say that I have never felt such attachment with a trinket in all my life; considering how long it took for me to find the one I call my own, I expect to continue my connection for as long as possible.
So…what is so special about this ring, and why did I place it on this exact finger?
To those of you unfamiliar with the practice, a black ring on the right middle finger is a notation of asexual orientation; most of us call them ace rings! While those on the spectrum have the freedom to decide which finger to wear it upon (as some people prefer to use the ring finger instead), the right middle is where it is typically located. It’s use? To express one’s identity as an asexual. With that being said, there is no exact standard as to what this ring needs in terms of the style; they can be as simple or elegant as you want them to be! The colour is the only aspect that needs to be taken into account. As for finding them, locating a ring isn’t the most difficult process. Check Amazon or Etsy, for starters!
As of recent, the wearing of ace rings in public has increased. Let’s take a moment to look at one of the questions this sudden trend leaves:
Why exactly have those on the asexual spectrum accepted this ring as a universal icon?
Good question! This could be interpreted several ways, but one explanation heard on a frequent relies on the symbolism behind its presence. Look at the tradition found within a common wedding band. It is said that the ring finger connects an individual’s heart towards the emblem of marriage they wish to present to the world. An ace ring holds similar connotations. In this case, however, the middle finger is a representation of singularity, and while someone who is asexual may not be single, the distinctiveness one feels in lacking sexual attraction is noteworthy in its application. Additionally, taking into mind the symbol for the ace community is the spade, the colour connection seems to align quite nicely! As someone familiar with colour theory, allow me to note that black is positively associated with feelings of power, protection/comfort, and absorption of negative energy. Whether this was intentional in the origin of this presentation is uncertain, but it seems to fit well with those who are coming into themselves as asexual and are working to be revealed to the public as such!
However, something that might present some confusion is the similar use of the black ring for swingers (to those unaware, they’re known as singles or couples who have/share multiple partners…rather differing communities, aren’t they?). They, too, implement the black band to show their status. Thankfully, recent discussion among the two groups has brought forth an understanding that the right middle finger is ace-exclusive and is kept that way for the sake of asexuals – an appreciated kindness!
With obtaining my band, the desire for an ace ring happened during the very moment I learned of this small source of expressing one’s self. My lifestyle as an ace is often overlooked by a good portion of those I interact with, and being a stronger writer than speaker, I find it odd to incorporate this fact about myself in everyday conversation where it can be applied (unless someone directly asks, of course). Therefore, this small band is both my method of starting conversation and notifying those familiar with asexuality of my persona without directly mentioning it. It is a link to those both similar and contrasting towards myself – to provide others with knowledge…or security in that they are not alone. As I expected, this ring has been brought up in many conversations throughout this past week. Many have questioned its placement and purpose, and with that comes the explanation. Thankfully, all responses have been positive; to be honest, most of the people who don’t ask questions remark, “Hey, that’s a cool ring!” Another plus!
If you are someone who is considering wearing an ace ring, I highly recommend it! It has given me a feeling of security in myself that I have not experienced in times prior to now. Furthermore, a common situation I have seen leaves me with a powerful piece of advice: Do not be ashamed of wearing your ace ring or feel you must remove it in a public setting! If you are worried about wearing an ace ring in public, particularly about what others will say or ask about it, don’t be afraid to reply with “This is something I wear because I want to” or “This is something I wear because it looks nice.” Neither of those are lies, right? It also keeps you comfortable enough if you are unprepared to come out as asexual just yet or just have uncertainties about discussing your orientation with others. As a reminder, this ring is significant as a part of who you are; don’t be afraid to wear it as an extension of yourself!
Gazing down in admiration at my ring as I finish this article, I send you off with my constant and never-ending piece of advice: don’t forget to love yourself and all your beautiful colours!