Question of the Week: January 31st, 2017.

What sort of asexual representation do you want to see more of? 

I want to see asexual representation where being asexual is an explored and normal part of a character’s life. I want to see characters settled into asexuality and characters who aren’t: their whole lives turned upside down and wishing they weren’t asexual. I want to see characters navigate no sexual attraction or no sexual desire and have the word asexual to explain themselves. I want to see them have no words and still turn out all right. I want to see asexuality be a big deal. I want to see asexuality not be a big deal. For me the perfect representation is a multiple representation: lots of voices. I am happy about representation at all, but inevitably wrought with excitement or frustration (depending on the day) I’ll think to myself, “ok, and what else?”

About Talia

Talia is an asexual, nonbinary trans, vegan-feminist that drinks a lot of coffee and stays up very late playing World of Warcraft and writing fiction. They are working on a PhD in Environmental Studies where they think a lot about oppression as intersectional and impacting identities differentially. Talia has a particular fondness for asexuality, fandom, and Critical Animal Studies. Their personal blog is petuniaparty.tumblr.com
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8 Responses to Question of the Week: January 31st, 2017.

  1. Carmilla DeWinter says:

    Agreed. I’d add “aces from every walk of life”, as to say, those who belong to another marginalized group as well.

  2. I just want to see ace representation. It’s practically non-existent at this point.

  3. Writer Ace says:

    I’ve talked for a bit about the type of representation I want on my Tumblr (writer-ace.tumblr.com), but I think one two big things I want to see are asexual characters who have known they’re ace for a long time and are have totally reconciled all of it before the story starts (and maybe help other people who are ace) and sex-repulsed ace characters actually having negotiations with their allo partners to figure out how to deal with the relationship (whether it’s an open relationship where the allo partner has sex with other people or one where the allo partner gets off independently, etc.).

    • Sara K. says:

      There are actually quite a few fiction stories with ace characters who have known they are ace for a long time and have totally reconciled all of it before the story starts. If you want one where that ace character helps another ace character … there is We Awaken by Calista Lynne (if you want an example of the aro equivalent – an aro character who had long ago made peace with their aro-ness who helps another aro character, there is “The Fairy Godmother’s Apprentice Wore Green” by Nicky Kyle). As far as a sex-repulsed ace character who has to negotiate with an allo partner, there is Breakfire’s Glass by A.M. Valenza (I recommend reading Alexey Dyed in Red first) and *maybe* Of Monsters and Men by Caitlin Ricci (I did not read the ace character in Of Monsters and Men as being sex-repulsed, but he makes it clear that he is not going to consent to sex, period, so the negotiations he has with his allo partner probably are a bit like the negotiations a sex-repulsed ace would have).

  4. Sara K. says:

    Most of the things mentioned by the OP are actually represented somewhere in published ace fiction (though finding stories where asexuality is a big deal and it turns the ace characters’ lives upside down is harder to find).

    I already said this in a recent blog post, but I’ll say it again – what I want is more diverse personalities among ace characters. There are too many ace characters who fall within the bounds of of a particular character type, and I’d like to see more ace characters who break out of that. I’d also like to see more stories about ace characters which explores asexuality *without* making it about a romantic relationship (granted, LGBTQ+ romance publishers, who are the most prolific publishers of ace fiction right now, are well suited to delivering fiction which doesn’t revolve around a romantic relationship, but they also occasionally publish stories focused on queerplantoic relationships rather than romance, and I am in favor of seeing more of that).

  5. luvtheheaven says:

    I want ace representation in places I’m likely to stumble across it without having to seek it out, which at this point is mainly mainstream American television. I want characters who I’d love anyway for their personality or life story or awesome actor who portrays them happening to be ace. I want my manifestation of asexuality or as close to it as possible represented. And I think seeing a contrast between a few portrayals of alloromantic aces who don’t have sex but still have romantic things in their lives vs portrayals of aromantic aces with happily close friendships or queerplatonic partners might be the kind of representation I would love to see, in my hopeless yet never ending search to try to understand romance when you take sex out of it… And fiction is a medium that can be philosophical about it in a way that would really feel satisfying I think, if done well. Also, conversely, have all the sex they want – or really perhaps not that much! – but a few varied portrayals of aromantic allosexuals would also be a thing that could be worth reading for this purpose…

  6. andowyn says:

    Yes. Also, the media to start showing the different kinds of attraction other than sexual! It’s all about sex & I am tired of it… Life isn’t about getting laid but in practically every “adult” show it is centered on who’s doing who or who wants to… Start showing people who (aren’t priests or freaks) are attracted to each other & deeply love one another without the sexual under tones & angst.

  7. Rachel says:

    Broadly speaking, any decent ace representation would be good *cough*House*cough.* On a personal level, ace representation that I’d like personally gets sticky because I’m one of the “bad” aro aces. Introverted? Check. Asocial? Check. Repulsed by sex/romance? Check. Touch averse? Check. Stoic and unemotional? Check. The only stereotype that I’m missing is Autism.
    On a lighter note, I still appreciate well-written aces who don’t match my personality, with Clariel being a big example.

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