Asexuality is from 1896, so the term asexual has been around at least since then, and it has been around before then in different terminologies. The concept is endless forever, never-ending, and has always been around for well time. Asexuality gained popularity around the 1950s, including getting a place on the Kinsey scale in 1948, which is cool.
Asexuality is separate from but often related to our sexuality. Asexual people don’t label themselves as asexual, but it is useful when discussing asexuality to have a term that means the opposite. If you want to write asexual characters, stay with me till last.
What are the reasons to write Asexual characters? (Facts of Asexuality)
You have to be cautious with making your asexual character and others because it implies that asexuals are not real humans. That’s not true! Your female character is strong and may intimidate many men in the story. It doesn’t mean that she never wants to have sex with any of them. With an asexual character, you can still have a love story. Did you know that asexual does not mean a romantic? Yeah, that’s right.
There are two separate things. Asexual people can still be in romantic relationships. They don’t feel sexual attraction towards their partner or anyone. So you can still have a love story and even a sex scene because people who are asexual sometimes feel comfortable having sex for their partner. But if you’re going to write this thing, do your research and be careful how you do it. Here are some facts about asexuality:
- You want to write a complex, well-rounded character who also happens not to experience sexual attraction.
- Celibacy and asexuality are two different things. Celibacy is a choice, and asexuality is sexuality like being gay, bi, etc.
- They are damaged as some abuse has happened to them in the past, and now they don’t want to have sex anymore. That usually is a form of celibacy if it happens.
- There are lots of asexual men/women. So throw that notion right out the window.
- Asexual people haven’t found the right one. They’re not sexually attracted until they find the right person.
- They are asexual because of the way that they reproduce.
- They do not, as a species, experience sexual attraction.
- Asexual people can experience many other types of attraction towards people, such as platonic, intellectual, aesthetic, etc.
- Asexual people can experience orgasms, and asexual people can still be in a romantic relationship if you have one in your story.
How to write asexual characters?
Everyone’s experience with asexuality can be different. So there are so many different ways and meanings that asexuality can have to a person. Some asexual people don’t experience sexual attraction, but they can experience other attraction forms. Aside from sexual attraction, you can experience romantic, aesthetic, physical, platonic, and emotional attraction. So there are many different ways that attraction can be formed.
Attraction can only happen sexually, which is not true. There are so many different layers to it. In contrast, some individuals experience no sexual attraction. Some people identify as asexual and experience sexual attraction only under certain circumstances.
In that case, they may go by a different term or choose to label them as something else. But it doesn’t take away from their asexual identity. Now I will discuss my top 10 tips to write asexual character smoothly. Let’s learn!
1. Identify your asexual character
When writing an asexual character, the first thing to ask yourself is, are they also a romantic meaning? Do they have a desire for a romantic relationship? Fun fact, asexuals are not all romantic and vice versa.
So, some asexual is not romantic, which means they don’t experience sexual attraction. But they enjoy romantic things such as being married, having a romantic relationship with their husbands, kissing, holding hands, and things generally associated with romance.
So, it can be tough when you’re writing because many people generalize that asexuals don’t want romantic relationships. Getting that across in your writing can be challenging.
Sometimes it is easier to make a character who’s asexual and romantic. But if at all possible, make it clear that those two are not the same thing. Knowing your characters as well as you know yourself will be one of the most important things to do when writing any character well.
2. Don’t try to fix asexual people
Try to find people who are asexual talking about how they would like asexual people to be depicted in media pieces. Learn about how to present it in a way accessible to people. An attraction model does not include sexual attraction, which does not affect sex drive or humanity. That’s something that pops up a lot.
- Let your asexual characters exist as they are.
- Give them romantic relationships if you’re so inclined.
- Have them specifically choose not to pursue relationships because they don’t want to get into the conversation.
Many asexual people can be perfectly happy and wonderful without any sex. Also, it goes doubly so for your fictional characters, and you get to make the rules.
3. Don’t make them have sexual relationships
Some asexual people are sex-repulsed, which is self-explanatory, and some are sex interested. The official term for that is sex-positive. But that presents the wrong image because it presents the image that you can be sex-negative. While people can be sex-negative, it tends to be more puritans than asexual people who are sex-negative.
If you are a non-asexual person writing an asexual character, you need not have them have sex. You do not have the scope to be able to balance that writing of an asexual character who’s decided to have sex for whatever reason. If you are an asexual person, do as you want to because you have that inherent knowledge.
4. Avoid social awkwardness
Avoiding the asexual means socially awkward stereotype. Asexual people can be introverts, but asexual people can be extroverts too. Any sexual person is a person in the same way that a gay person is.
- Don’t build the entire character around their asexuality.
- Let their asexuality interact and flow with their personality.
Any character could be asexual, and it is best to avoid any genius trope because that steers into the too evolved for sex trope, which is we don’t want to do that.
5. Be careful of your representation
Asexual people belong to the LGBTQ+ community, and they are queer. It doesn’t matter if they’re a homeowner or a heteroromantic person. Some queer people like to read about them in the story. So they can feel they’ve triumphed over it because it’s a huge part of their lives.
So, you have to be careful writing asexual characters because there are so few, especially canonically asexual characters, out there in the world at the minute. Be nice if you could think of any other asexual representation.
6. Ask about your characters
Examine your attraction model and see where that leaves you and how you can build a model of attraction for an asexual character. Ask yourself questions:
- What is it you like about a person?
- How quickly do you think about your character?
- How does that make you feel internally and externally?
Does your heart pound in your chest? You can usually figure out all of the non-sexual aspects of your relationship building, and therefore you can build an asexual character based on those factors. So it is the best way to do it because it’s super realistic.
7. Mix it up
Asexual people can be of any race or any agenda. Also, they can have different romantic attraction levels. There’s such a thing as aromantic and romantic. Typically, romantic attraction falls into the same basic set as sexual attraction. So most people are romantic, but asexual people tend to divide their attraction model.
People tend to divide them out of attraction so that they are always asexual. But sometimes, they’re always romantically attracted to one specific group, whether that group is the same gender, opposite gender, multiple genders, or even. These things are potentials, and these people can be neurotypical or neurodiverse.
So, it’s a thing to be aware of when writing asexual characters and when writing disabled characters. When you can afford them, mix it up. Make them make your asexual character. Be aware of these stereotypes, so you don’t accidentally fall into them. It is very easy to do, and then you’ve got to write yourself out of it once you get that.
8. Find the real scenario
Don’t make their asexuality their entire personality, but bear in mind that their asexuality will influence aspects of their character. Gender and sexuality are not personality traits, and you can’t build an entire personality around them. They influence how we interact with the world and influence our personality.
If you have the asexual character or somebody else who knows them well, talk about the fact that there. Frame it in a positive light. Have them come out in the narrative or have someone else out them in the narrative in a way that is okay with that person.
9. Take asexuality as normal as others
One of the easiest ways to express sexuality on the page is to name it. If you’re writing a book set in a time period where we have the vocabulary for asexuality, call it what it is. It doesn’t do anyone any good to dance around it and pretend. From this context, asexuals have been left with nothing but hopeful context as representation forever.
Representation of asexuals in media is non-existent. So I highly encourage you. If you are writing an asexual character at a time, please put it straight on the page. The closer the reader is to the character, the easier it will be for you to express your sexuality.
When you’re writing an asexual character, try hard not to make them an alien or robot or another race of beings that are all asexual. You may want to write a demisexual character, and that’s fine. But then you have to make it clear that that is a demisexual character.
10. Don’t hurt the asexual community
Many people who have experienced trauma can become sex-repulsed, usually for a limited time. But they often can recover from it. So those people are not asexual. It labels them asexual against their will and damages them because they don’t want that. But it’s also damaging to the asexual community. Then it’s thought that asexuality only happens when some trauma is involved in making them that way, which is entirely untrue.
If something has happened to you and you feel that you would be most comfortable identifying as asexual, then that’s perfectly fine. Go ahead and do that. I’m only making it clear that writing a character who has had trauma is sex-repulsed because of that trauma does not make them asexual.
You want to avoid writing situations where the asexual character is the odd one out. Depending on your story, the asexual character can occasionally be the odd one out, but avoid overdoing it. Don’t assume that everybody who is asexual is going to want to answer all your questions.
If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask me. You can ask me in the comments here, or if you’d rather, you can message me on Twitter or something if you want to keep it private.
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