Writing Asexual Characters

Hwaet! I was on Twitter the other day when I intercepted a tweet from Dvorah saying “My next book is going to feature an asexual character, so if anyone has suggestions for what to do/not to do, I’d love to talk about it!”

My first thought was “I am an asexual and I have written a novel featuring an asexual character, which several people have told me represented the ace experience recognizably well. I could probably help!” So I said as much. Dvorah said “I’m mainly trying to get a sense of any big Nonos for writing ace, and the commonalities among differing experiences,” which struck me as something I could do, so I started typing out my first thoughts on the subject.

But then my second thoughts were “but I already know that I can’t speak for all aces any more than one person could speak for all straight people.” I’ve been in enough inter-ace disputes by now to know that we’re really diverse as a grouping.

So then I thought “Well, perhaps what I should do is type up my own thoughts, and then put the whole thing on my blog so that other aces could join in and speak up for themselves.” And that’s where I find myself now.

Below is my response to the initial query, unfiltered through my second thoughts, but I invite any other aces who might be reading to weigh in with their own takes, and either correct me, back me up, or add things I’ve overlooked, as necessary.

cropped-ABheart1.jpg

Off the top of my head I would say the things to avoid were any assumption that an ace character must be inhuman in some way – where we are depicted at all it’s often as robots or aliens or childlike innocent beings whose understanding of the complexities of life are poor. We’re not cold and unemotional. We’re not incapable of having crushes and starry eyed romantic feelings (unless we’re also aromantic, which presumably isn’t the case for your character.)

On the other side of things we are missing that orientation towards sex with other people that other orientations have. So we’re unlikely to ever be checking anyone out, sexually. We’re usually going to be completely unaware of how others react to us sexually. We’ll put on nice clothes to look smart and well dressed, and be surprised when that equates to other people as ‘trying to look sexy’ – because sexiness is just not on our minds as a thing to be aware of.

If someone else is wearing a ‘sexy’ outfit, I would probably be like ‘are you sure you’re comfortable in that? Doesn’t all that leather kind of chafe?’ And they’ll be ‘but look at my butt!’ and I’ll be ‘Yeah, it’s a butt. It holds up your legs. So?’ Because to me there’s nothing sexy about sexy clothes or sexy body parts. They’re neutral, like pieces of furnature. They might be pretty, like a particularly nice carpet or lawn chair, but they’re not something to get sexually worked up about.

I personally don’t like dirty jokes or innuendo. It jolts me, because every time it happens it reminds me that human life is driven by this big dumb stupid factor that isn’t even all that important. Every time, it smacks me in the face with the fact that I’m abnormal because I’m missing something that everyone else has. (But I don’t feel like I’m missing out. I don’t want it for myself, I just wish people would stop rubbing my face in it all the time.)

On the other hand, I know there are aces out there who are fascinated by dirty jokes. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s in a spirit of research or something. You’d have to ask them.

When I wrote Aidan from Blue Steel Chain, I wrote him without a sexual fantasy life, because I didn’t want readers who were unaware of things like autochorissexualism to get confused about how someone who was asexual could have fantasies that involved other people boning. But surveys of slash writers and queer romance writers seem to indicate there’s a large number of aces for whom sharing the sexuality of imaginary characters is – I can’t think of a better way to put this – is the closest thing they come to having a sexuality of their own. (I’m only allowing myself to say this, because I’m in this group, so I’m talking about myself.)

It still doesn’t mean we find actual people sexually attractive, mind you. If offered the chance to somehow become part of that fictional world and join in, I would go “ew, no!” Because I’m not actually attracted to either of those people. I’m just imaginatively sharing an experience that I personally don’t have and can’t have in any other way.

So what I’m saying here is that there are aces who have a sexual fantasy life, and there are aces who don’t. It’s just their sexual fantasy life almost certainly doesn’t feature themself having sex with anyone.

Equally, there are aces who masturbate and aces who don’t. Masturbation doesn’t involve finding another person sexually attractive, so your character wouldn’t have to turn in his ace card at the door if it’s something that he did. He just probably wouldn’t be thinking about any real life people – not even his lover – while he was doing it.

However, I’d also say that a level of sex-revulsion is quite common. It’s normal for a person to have a cycle of responsiveness from “we could do sex if you wanted” to “don’t even talk about that gross stuff in the same room as me,” in the same way that presumably allosexual people are not equally up for it all the time.

This is one reason why we insist that it’s an orientation rather than a behaviour, btw, because it’s not about what you do, it’s about the way you think and the things you notice and value in the world. Some aces can actually enjoy the act of sex – because an orgasm will happen if sex is done well and all your bits are in working order, and an orgasm is… nice. It’s enjoyable. But the drive to have sex is not there. It’s entirely possible for an ace to have great sex with someone they love the night before, and still wake up in the morning with no feeling that sex is important or valuable or that they particularly want to have it again. There are many more important things to be concentrating on.

We’re also no more a group-think than any other orientation, so you’ll have aces who are outgoing and bubbly and cuddly and fascinated with everyone’s relationships and great at giving advice, through to aces who are introverted and touch-averse and really love Star Wars. The second sort are the stereotype at present, so if your character is like that, you may get accused of writing a stereotype. However, I am the second sort, so you wouldn’t actually be wrong.

In a similar way, you’re going to get stick whether or not you show the ace character having sex with the non-ace character. A lot of aces will be “oh, fuck it, why are we always the ones who have to compromise? Why can’t the allo-sexual character give up sex for the ace instead?!” And a lot of other ones will be “I’ve had a happy 20 year relationship with my partner. Sex is not that important so why wouldn’t I occasionally do it to please the one I love?”

I am also the second sort in this hypothesis, but I can see the first people’s point. It is vanishingly rare to see a love story where the ace doesn’t have to consent to sex. I think ace readers would find it immensely liberating to read a story where it was the allosexual partner who had to conform their expectations to what the ace character wanted rather than the other way around. OTOH, your allosexual readers are going to find that very challenging!

I think it’s interesting to write a romance where sex is the main conflict rather than a force pulling the characters together. You can’t just have the characters gravitating together by sexual chemistry – there have to be other reasons for why they would fall in love. Shared goals and perils, genuine admiration for each other’s characters, that kind of thing. And that kind of thing has to be compelling enough to counteract the fact that they have mismatched sexual needs. Also the mismatched sexual needs will need to be negotiated and renegotiated every time with continuing respect and love. That problem will never go away. It will always have to be managed and lived with, but it can be done successfully if the love is enough.

Heh. I don’t know if that helps. Now I read it back it sounds angrier than I expected. I thought I was very chill about it, but it turns out it can be quite alienating, living in a world where you just don’t get, at all, that one big thing that everyone else claims is a basic human drive.

Notice on Brighton beach

And with that I throw open the comments for anyone else who wants to weigh in or ask more questions ๐Ÿ™‚

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JJ
JJ
5 years ago

The big trope of ace characters is that they have a sexual abuse backstory. I get asked loads if Im ace cos of sexual abuse, and even once after someone had read your BSC. I’m sure that wasnt the intention and I’ve never read it so IDK how accurate their reading was but it certainly gave them that impression. So for me, that is the single biggest frustration in portrayals of ace people and it’s gutting to see it done over and over.

Ami
Ami
5 years ago

Hi Alex, thanks for this — I am an ACE reader, so this is definitely a good article (or tips) for authors out there. I don’t know whether there is like a must/must not do list, considering that one opinion of ACES don’t really speak for the whole group isn’t it? Like you said, some ACES enjoy sex some don’t. Some ACES can fantasize about other people doing sex but some don’t.

I agree with this “itโ€™s not about what you do, itโ€™s about the way you think and the things you notice and value in the world”. I definitely don’t think ACES see someone then immediately think about doing the horizontal deed with the guy/girl. To me that will not ring true.

I’d love to read about what others think of this by the way

A.M. Arthur
A.M. Arthur
5 years ago

This is a great post, Alex. I’m a female m/m author, and I only discovered and embraced that I was ace about four years ago, while in the early weeks of my first sexual relationship (that happened at age 32, go figure), and it was a bit of a roller coaster to understand myself. I’m an ace who does enjoy the physical aspect of sex, but I can also take it or leave it, so it was incredibly frustrating to be in a relationship with a sexual person who wanted to bone every time we got together. When I told him I was ace and tried to explain, there was an unwillingness to think beyond his general understanding and actually hear me. We tried for a few months, but it didn’t work out.

We’re still good friends, but I find that men in particular have a difficult time understanding that there are people out there who simply do not feel sexual attraction. I found two great memes on Tumblr once that really broke down well what it means to be an asexual who enjoys sex, and in a way that I think most people can understand.

“Sex drive: I want that. Sexual attraction: I want that with you.”

And….

“Being an ace with a sex drive is like having a closet full of clothes but none of them match.”

My current WIP features an ace hero and it’s been an interesting challenge to write him from my own experience as an ace person. And I’m glad to see more ace characters popping up in fiction. Blue Steel Chain is on my Kindle waiting to be read.

Chris Muldoon
Chris Muldoon
5 years ago

Alex, this was a lovely idea. I’ve struggled for the same reason when asked for advice on writing ace charactersโ€”we’re so very different. My experience is only one small sliver of a much larger spectrum. And frankly, the usefulness of my experience as an aromatic asexual is probably pretty limited for someone writing a romance.

What’s kind of interesting is that all romances with allosexual MCs read as a kind of fantasy to me, right? And I would be interested in hearing from other aces if they have the same reaction. Because I don’t experience sexual attraction, I can’t really self-insert. I can no more relate to this contemporary romance MC who has the hots for their best friend than I can relate to the shifters meeting their true mates for the first time.

But because I’m also aromantic, I can’t really relate to MCs who are romantically attracted to each other either, even if one or both of them are asexual. So things like the frustration having a crush on an allosexual that you’re not sexually attracted to or negotiating sex and sexual needs in a mixed-orientation relationship are just as theoretical to me as the true mate situation.

I’ve accepted that I’ll never see myself reflected in my favorite genre, because who I am is antithetical to romance.

Whoops! That was a bit of a tangent. Let me see if I can add anything useful to the discussion.

One of my biggest pet peeves in general is when people say asexuals are those who don’t like sex. And yes, some asexuals don’t like sex. But Alex touches on the wide variety of sexual desire among aces in this post, and conflating sexual desire with sexuality ignores that variety. Definitionally, asexuals don’t experience sexual attraction. That’s the only common thread. Everything else is up for individualization. (The Just Love Romance blog actually had a two-part post about this recently. I’m not tech savvy enough to know how to link in this comment box, but here’s the URL: https://justloveromance.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/being-asexual-part-1/)

Part of the reason the “asexuals are people who don’t like sex” bothers me so much is because I’m very certain that I’m asexual (or as certain as someone can be about something as fluid as human sexuality), but I have no idea if I like sex or not. Because I’ve never had it. Without dipping too far into TMI territory, I’m not repulsed by the idea of sex. I enjoy orgasms, and sex sounds like fun. But it doesn’t sound like so much fun that I’d have sex with someone I’m not attracted to just so I can experience it.

(To be clear, I don’t mind giving TMI. I think it’s a fascinating topic. But I won’t subject poor unwitting people reading the comments to it without their consent. DM/email me if you’re interested in hearing more about my masturbatory habits or how I experience sexual desire. I’m pretty sure there’s no question I won’t answer if it comes from honest curiosity or professional research and not you being mean or gross: @cpmuldoon/cpmuldoon @ gmail.)

(As an aside, I’m the same way about relationships. I think they’re awesome. But I’ve never been drawn to anyone in that way and I don’t see much value in having a relationship with someone just so I can be in one. Isn’t the wanting to be with them kind of the point?)

(As a second aside, I apparently love parentheticals? I’m sorry, Alex! This is going to be the longest comment ever.)

I want to fully support Alex’s statement on appearances and looking sexy or appreciating other people’s sexiness. That really struck home for me. In fact, that was the most “it me!” moment of BSC for me. When James made a comment about how Aidan looked and Aidan suddenly remembered that was a thing. That James would have a reaction and opinion on the attractiveness of his appearance.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been sitting on my somewhere and thinking something like, “Did I get chocolate all over my face when I ate that cupcake? Next time I go to the bathroom, I’ll have to check it out in the mirror.” And then going to the bathroom 15 minutes later, coming back to sit down and going, “D’oh! I forgot to look in the mirror.” But I’ve noticed in public restrooms, most women do a quick visual check (or a full-on hair-and-make-up-maintenance touch-up) in the bathroom before leaving. But I always forget to look.

I also want to add my voice to the autochorissexualism bit. That’s totally me. It’s probably a difficult concept to wrap your brain around if you don’t experience it, but it was such a “oh thank God that’s a thing for other people too!” moment for me when I first heard of it. (Slight TMI ahead.) I enjoy porn and erotica. I can/have experience sexual arousal watching/reading others having sex. But during no part of the process am I attracted to those people or wanting to join in myself. (Again, feel free to send me questions if you want to learn more.)

I’m definitely the type of asexual who makes and enjoys dirty jokes. Darn you Alex, for asking why. I don’t know. I enjoy discussing and dissecting all things that have to do with human sexuality and I think cracking jokes is part of that. I’m fascinated by what drives people to be sexually attracted to certain people or acts. I think this fascination is partially fed by my asexuality. Because my sexuality isn’t the status quo, I’ve spent lots of time thinking about sexuality in general. But also, it’s like I don’t have a horse in this race, so I don’t have any hang ups and can just explore it as a fascinating topic.

But I’m also super, super fortunate in that I have no past trauma or angst tied to my asexuality. Even before I knew what asexuality was, I never wondered if I was broken, which is such a common theme for many aces. In middle school/high school I was friends with all the chronically under-slept and over-caffeinated overachievers. We all had 4+ Advanced Placement classes a semester, were involved in sports, band, and on the leadership boards of community service clubs. Half of my friends didn’t start dating until well into college. For those that did date in high school, dating consisted of sitting next to their SO at lunch time and studying together on weekends. I was not the odd man out and never really felt different. By the time I started to think, “Huh. Shouldn’t I want to start dating by now or something?” I found out about asexuality and the rest is history.

“This is one reason why we insist that itโ€™s an orientation rather than a behaviour, btw, because itโ€™s not about what you do, itโ€™s about the way you think and the things you notice and value in the world.” <– Yes. This.

This comment turned out way longer than I thought and it wandered all over the map. Sorry! And if you made it this far, kudos to you! ๐Ÿ˜›

Alex Whitehall
5 years ago

Warning: I tend to ramble in an unfocused manner. Also this isn’t necessarily applicable to aromantics, but I assumed asexuals for this.

I pretty much agree with everything you said (to some degree or another), and want to triple stress the “everyone’s different” thing. I think the hard thing for allosexuals to connect with sometimes is that asexuality has a larger involvement in the thought processes of the person rather than necessarily actions (in most cases that I’ve found, obviously YMMV).

To use your “isn’t my leather-encased butt sexy” as an example: I would say “yep, that’s a sexy ass” because I’ve been conditioned that the visually appealing nature of that ass is what people tend to consider sexually appealing. That doesn’t mean I want to bone that ass. I can be visually attracted to someone in the same way I’d want a nice painting in my house. So, I’d like to wake up next to that face (um, not hanging on my wall), but that doesn’t mean I find it sexually attractive.

But generally my suggestion for non-ace authors who want to write ace characters would be: write a person. Make them not sexually attracted to their partner (but maybe really love the color of their eyes, the way they laugh, their tendency to squeak first thing in the morning). They might fall in love with the person because it’s someone they want to wake up with every day of their life. Find all the reasons why people fall in love (not in bed) and you’ve got a perfectly reasonable ace person.

I’m not sure if that was helpful at all, so I apologize. But I liked your post, Alex ๐Ÿ™‚

Zeborah
Zeborah
5 years ago

So as another datapoint: I’m asexual and aromantic. When I was in my late teens early twenties, sometimes trying to figure out what I was but mostly just getting on with the interesting things in life, there’d be occasional moments where I’d be in an intense conversation with a guy and it’d suddenly pop into my head “Oh, this is one of those situations where it’d be socially expected for me to be/get attracted to him I guess? Hm, *am* I attracted to him? How would I know?” And then it’d turn out he’d have a girlfriend and I’d think “Oh cool, I don’t have to figure out whether or not I’m attracted to him.” Or, one time, there was a girl who, it occurred to me, I found aesthetically pleasing in a way that if I was gay/bi I might be sexually attracted to but I wasn’t really so again there was no disappointment when she got a boyfriend.

I’ve had two boyfriends. One petered out quickly which was good. Another dragged on too long because I liked him as a person, I just didn’t have a clue about this hugging and kissing stuff and was trying to figure out where the pleasure came in and ugh, do we have to get together *every* week? I’ve got things I want to do. In short (I was young) it took me a while to work out that liking him was not a fair reciprocation of him loving me and it was about time I pull the bandaid off. Fortunately after that no more relationship opportunities arose before I worked out that it wasn’t him, I just wasn’t going to fall in love with *anyone*.

That term (new to me) autochorissexualism appears to fit me, though the definition also rubs me up the wrong way a bit. I’m not sure why: it feels either like it’s coming at it from the wrong direction compared to me, or maybe I just don’t understand it yet. Needs more research and thought. Anyway, point being that I can be aroused by certain fictional character dynamics. I like reading porn that contains such dynamics – it’s often frustrating because I’m reading for the dynamics but then the porn takes over; but the dynamics I like just happen (culturally) to be most associated with sex, so that’s the easiest genre to find them in. (I actually once wrote a sex-free fanfic with those dynamics. Some people got really confused, some people found it a revelation.) Likewise I enjoy dirty innuendo, but I’m enjoying the cleverness of the punnery (or whatever), not enjoying the dirtiness per se. I can also have my eyes drawn to the shape of a body part or clothing, but I wouldn’t want to do anything with it, it’s just such a nice *shape*; I could see (and have seen) it in the swoop of a tree branch and like it about as much.

I would *love* to read a romance where the asexual character doesn’t have to have sex. –Oh, you know what I’d love even more? Where they don’t even have to negotiate not to have sex. A romance where both (or, heck, all) romantic partners are asexual and they’re just like “OMG, finally, someone who I can just talk/do important stuff with” and then they do that. Or they don’t even think it, they just do their thing and maybe sometime someone says, “So, are you sexing it up?” and they blink and go “Oh that, yeah, no.”

Does this make sense? Like, if it’s an asexual/allosexual pairing and sex is a conflict then it feels like it’s still a book about sex – the *book* is still allosexual, so to speak. I’d just really love an actual asexual book where sex isn’t even a thing and we can just focus on the plot and relationship and dynamics/witty repartee/whatever your thing is.

(Being aromantic as well as asexual the thing I’d love even more is (say) a kdrama that isn’t centered on a romance. But it doesn’t seem fair to ask that a romance have no romance in it!)

A.M. Arthur
A.M. Arthur
5 years ago

Alex, I wouldn’t say I’m sex-repulsed exactly. I don’t mind the idea of it, but I think because of the lack of sexual attraction, it’s something I do simply for the fact that it feels good. Not because I desperately need to be intimate with my partner, or because it makes me feel closer to them–not in the same way it seemed to make him feel about me. It’s very difficult for an ace person to be in a romantic relationship with a sexual person who doesn’t listen and respect what the ace is saying about how they feel about sexual intimacy.

The book featuring my ace character is called Hot Licks. It’s the third book in a rock star trilogy and will be out in early 2017. ๐Ÿ™‚

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[…] Yeah, thatโ€™s there. So probably I have some element of autochorissexualism (thanks for the word, Alex B!) mixed into my lesbianism.) When I really look at the world and listen to myself, there are an […]

willaful
5 years ago

What a fascinating post. I’m definitely not ACE, but I relate to so much of this… and am very pleased to have a word for “has fantasties I am not in,” which is something my husband has never been able to grok. ๐Ÿ™‚

hrj
hrj
5 years ago

Saw this linked on Twitter and found the discussion refreshing. Tossing in some additional comments on two topics:

Figuring out my asexuality took a very long time (I first articulated it out loud last year at age 57) in part because of a number of other confounding personality factors. If you mix being asexual with being shy and introverted, it can be hard to disentangle “not wanting” with “not having the context for figuring out what you want”. And on top of that, there was the issue of being a lesbian in a social context where I never fit in with “the lesbian community”. (And it’s hard to know how much of that was a matter of no common interests, and how much was the strong focus on sexual desire in that community.)

So I spent most of my life with two barriers to figuring out my asexuality: lack of an available dating pool, and being someone who takes a long time to move from acquaintance to trust and involvement. (The latter isn’t just about romance/sex, I make friends very slowly, but deeply.) So on those occasions when I found myself with an interesting person to date, I felt pressured to get intensely involved (even apart from sex) much more rapidly than I felt comfortable. The next step would be for me to bow to the pressure, get sexually involved, and immediately feel claustrophobically trapped into a contract that I wasn’t getting anything out of. I always assumed that if I ever got the chance to get past the “who is this stranger in my bed” stage, that I’d figure out how to enjoy the sex. It took having a long-distance relationship (which helped with the pacing problem) before I had the data to figure out that, no, I was just meh about sex. And practice–no matter how sincere–wasn’t going to make me feel differently. (I’m not really completely out about being asexual yet because my girlfriend isn’t quite sure about the line between “me talking about me” and “me talking about us”.)

That “lack of opportunity for self-knowledge” meant I never felt I was “broken” around sex, but I definitely felt “broken” around romance and relationships (also shading over into feeling broken around friendships). Figuring out that I’m asexual hasn’t fixed that aspect — in fact, it’s only vastly decreased my already-tiny hypothetical dating pool. (Not entirely relevant at the moment since I’m in that long-distance relationship.)

But the other topic I wanted to toss out is how our ability to understand and contextualize ourselves depends on what models we have available around us. When I came out as a lesbian in the late ’70s, asexuality meant you had internalized homophobia, or it was a sign of women’s inherent lesser sex drive (the infamous “lesbian bed death”). I’ve always had a sense that my lack of strong desire probably means that if I’d been born even a decade or two earlier, I might not have figured out I was a lesbian, and might have bowed to the pressure of social expectations and ended up in a heterosexual marriage, unhappy and unsatisfied and never quite knowing why. Conversely, if I’d been born a couple decades later, I might have had better early models for asexuality and figured that part out.

I’m a bit of an amateur historian on the topic of lesbian-like relationships, and it’s interesting to trace the social expectations of how romance and sexual desire are related. There are eras where my interest in a bonded romantic, but asexual, relationship with a woman would have fit comfortably with the available options. I guess that’s one of the reasons I write historic fiction!

willaful
5 years ago

Holy crap. The more I read, the more I’m starting to wonder if I *am* ACE.

Lisa
Lisa
5 years ago

Autochorissexual is a term I only recently heard about. But it ticks a lot of boxes for me, that’s for sure! Sometimes I don’t know whether it’s hilarious or rather sad that I’ve gotten this far though life without knowing, or even wondering, if there’s something about me that’s not “typical”. I guess I just always figured that everyone fantasised about situations involving other people, and excluded themselves?

You live and learn!

Thanks for the great article!

Chris Scully
Chris Scully
5 years ago

Great post and I find some of the comments fascinating. As someone who knew from an early age that I was asexual–long before I knew there was a word for it–I’ve never really struggled with it. It’s who I am, just like I have blue eyes and am short. Fortunately while I do feel different from others, I’ve never felt singled out or “defective”, except for the embarrassment of the annual physical when you have to repeatedly tell your doctor “No, I’m not sexually active.” I’ve never felt the need to delve into the spectrum because I know who I am and never thought about putting myself on a scale, so I’m a little unclear on all the definitions. ๐Ÿ™‚ You’ve opened up a whole bunch of questions though. Thinking about it now, I feel that I can read (and write) romance (MM/MF)–even erotica–because I’m not comparing myself to those people, or trying to find myself in those characters’ sex lives. I don’t expect them to be like me. They are all part of my fantasy life. Writing, or even reading about an ACE character however, is closer to home. I’ve just realized I could probably never write an ace character (as an MC) because my only example is myself, and I could never see myself in a relationship. Weird huh?

Haldis
Haldis
5 years ago

Beneath this cold exterior beats a heart of pure stone:
I bought that button because that is how I come across to many people.
I am an introvert (most of the time), I am touch-averse, and I realy love Star Wars.
I do get dirty jokes (I think, lol), and even engage in innuendos, though I’m pretty sure it doesn’t have as much meaning to me as to an allosexual.
I realised I was asexual about two years ago. I have been in a relationship for 15 years. And yes, we have sex. In the beginning, I was mostly curious from what you see in the movies and from what my friends were talking about and….I didn’t get it. I went and bought books (cuz that’s what I do when i don’t understand something), KISS Guide to Sex, and the like, but it didn’t really help.
There was also the big problem of when my SO found out i was asexual thinking that if I didn’t find him sexually attractive then I didn’t find him attractive at all. And that he was forcing me to have sex. So, yes, the mismatched sexual needs are constantly renegotiated. But I enjoy snuggling with him alone (everybody else: don’t touch me), I enjoy being intimate with him because I love him more than life and I want to make him happy. I also am confident that he would never force me into anything I’m not comfortable with.
Masturbation? Yes please. But I don’t think of anything but the destination.
I don’t really have fantasies about others having sex, they are more of a romantic thing, two people connecting. Which also corresponds to the type of stories I enjoy.
I have no trouble with a well written sex scene, but the stories where the characters walk around with a perpetual boner (how do they get through their day?), or let me prove I love you by giving you a blowjob, those stories tend to lose me. I prefer a fade to black type of scene.
Oh, and book covers with half naked people annoys me to no end.
Have I left anything out?
Oh, flirting. The number of times one of my friends have said he/she was so flirting with me. I don’t see it.
As for more stories with ace characters, I agree with Jordan.
Hopefully this helps Dvorah with their story.

Haldis
Haldis
5 years ago

The above comment was posted originally on Goodreads, until I realized this is where the action was.
Love everyone sharing their stories and their various insights to their being.
It would be wonderful to have more asexual characters in stories with this great diversity of feelings and experience.
I do have to say that I have not noticed any kind of abusive background trope for asexual characters. I can see someone becoming sex repulsed from abuse which is different, or even having a asexual character being abused if hooking up with the wrong person, but it was not the abuse that makes them asexual. I have often thought this was perhaps a way for allosexuals to try and understand, to find some reason they can point their finger at and say that is why you are not interested in sex? don’t know.

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