Asexuals on Tumblr -

goma

kiwifarms.net
Why is hard to believe some people have no sex drive, which could stem from a variety of reasons.

The amount of variation among humans is astronomical. The amount of sexual variation among humans is astronomical. What is sexy to one person might be absolutely repulsive to another.

I remember someone recently in another thread mentioned how supposedly a lot of people with OCD have issues with the act of sex.

Supposedly Ulillillia doesn't even know what sex is and even if he does, he is most definitely asexual.
That's not the issue. I don't think anyone here denies that asexuality exists. What we're talking about are socially-starved people who either are scared to get laid or can't get laid, despite their raging sexual drive. We're talking about these people and how they ID as asexual (or "demisexual") to other themselves from "thots" and excuse their failure to interact sexually with other humans like they wish they could.
 

One Man Bland

kiwifarms.net
Why is hard to believe some people have no sex drive, which could stem from a variety of reasons.

The amount of variation among humans is astronomical. The amount of sexual variation among humans is astronomical. What is sexy to one person might be absolutely repulsive to another.

I remember someone recently in another thread mentioned how supposedly a lot of people with OCD have issues with the act of sex.

Supposedly Ulillillia doesn't even know what sex is and even if he does, he is most definitely asexual.
I have no problem believing some people don’t have a sex drive.

I simply side-eye the people who claim such, then proceed to try and convince everyone else that their porn consumption has nothing to do with being horny, come up with winning claims like how obviously sexually-motivated behavior like fetishes/kinks is actually not sexual, and have to come up with labels like demisexual and its exceptional cousin, demiromantic, to justify how they aren’t just a basic bitch with a milquetoast boyfriend that they didn’t put out on the first date.

That and asexuals tend to shoot their own credibility in the foot when it comes to the LGBT community since they’ve never been able to pass the little hurdle that is the fact the asexual community has no real political or social goals to strive for (and the ones they try to claim are all ones co-opted from other causes) and no amount of bleating about how your grandparents asking if you’re dating is a hate crime is going to convince anyone otherwise.
 

thermocline

I love and support trans people
kiwifarms.net
So, people are trying to make romantic novels aromantic/asexual-accessible now...

I love romance. I like it light and fluffy, I like it hot and heavy, I like it cute, I like it dark, I like it with big-ass ballgowns, and I like it with a side of magic. I. Love. Romance. But romance doesn’t love me. Romance is a hard (pun intended) genre. It’s hard to write—you probably know that already. But for me, it’s hard to read.

I am asexual and aromantic. These labels mean a lot of different things for a lot of different people, but for me it means:

  • I don’t experience romantic attraction or sexual attraction
  • I don’t want to fall in love or get married
  • I don’t need sex
But it doesn’t mean I don’t read romance novels. Lots of us do. There are lots of people who might not like dating or sex or romantic gestures in real life but like to read about it in fiction. We exist and we read your books—we even buy your books, so I hope I don’t need to convince you that we’re a valuable part of your readership and you should want to make your books a hospitable place for us to spend our time.

To be honest, romance novels are often extremely inhospitable to people like me. Romance as a genre is sometimes built on tropes or stereotypes that are actually part of a bigger cultural bias that contributes to the violence we experience in real life. A romance novel that doesn’t alienate us or downright deny our existence is a rare gem. But it shouldn’t be.

3 Ways to Make Your Romance Novel Welcoming for Asexual and Aromantic Readers
Writing romance that doesn’t alienate aro/ace spectrum people isn’t actually that hard! Here are three easy things that will help you make your romance novels welcoming to the aro/ace community.

  1. Acknowledge and understand that we exist in a variety of ways.
  2. Avoid romance/sex-universal language.
  3. Create and highlight strong relationships other than the main romantic pairing.
1. Acknowledge and Understand That We Exist in a Variety of Ways
We’re not a monolith, and not every a-spectrum person is the same. There will be some people who are asexual but not aromantic, people who are aromantic but not asexual, people who are demisexual, demiromantic, gray-ace, or gray-aro (it’s a spectrum, folks!).

There are no absolutes with a-spec existence. Some a-spec people like sex. Some don’t. Some want marriage and kids. Some don’t. We’re a diverse community, and not every a-spec person experiences their a-spec-ness in the same way.
This means it’s best to avoid generalizations. If you’re actually writing about an asexual or aromantic spectrum character, it helps to identify how their aceness or aroness impacts their relationship and the behaviors/expectations that sometimes come with them. Consider how they feel about physical touch, how they feel about romantic gestures, and how certain they are about what they’re comfortable with. They should be an individual who experiences their a-spectrum identity uniquely. And if you’re not writing about us (that’s okay!) it helps to remember that we are real and not ever ever ever broken simply because of our sexuality.

2. Avoid Romance/Sex-Universal Language
Not everyone wants romance and not everyone wants sex, so when a romance novel asserts as much, I drop right out of it. Things like “It was only natural” or “She was human after all” about a character experiencing sexual attraction or romantic attraction are some of the big offenders. Statements like this imply that anyone who wouldn’t experience attraction is somehow not human.

Dehumanizing a-spec people is the oldest trick in the book.
Asexual characters are often cast as aliens or robots instead of people because somewhere along the line the idea that we could exist as whole human people got left by the wayside.

There are a lot of romance-specific tropes or phrases that play on this universal human need for love and sex. Other common ones include assertions that a character is broken because they’ve never fallen in love or the phrase “just friends,” which implies that friends is somehow less than romantic or sexual partners. (Try things like “Oh, no, we’re not a couple” instead. See how that says exactly the same thing but without devaluing friendship?) Keep an eye out for these turns of phrase–they might just be built into your vocabulary and you might have to spend some time unlearning them.

3. Create and Highlight Strong Relationships Other Than the Main Romantic Pairing
This might be some general overall good advice and not just about aro/ace inclusive writing, but seriously… give your characters friends! And family! And coworkers! Give them a community outside their romantic life. Write about those relationships too. How does the new relationship impact the old ones? How does the character’s other life stuff impact their romance? These things should have interplay and they should impact one another.

Including strong relationships that aren’t romantic will make your book feel more real (and I mean, come on, isn’t half the fun of Tinder talking about the atrocious profiles you see with your friends?).
It will add dimension to your characters and depth to your story, but it will also subvert the trope that romance is the only thing that makes a happily ever after. Allowing your characters to pursue a career, deepen a relationship with a family member, or repair a friendship while they fall in love means that happily ever after means more than one thing.

Additional Advice from Asexual and Aromantic Authors
In the spirit of practicing what I preach, I surveyed some of my fellow aro/ace spec authors to get a more varied set of perspectives and advice.

Claudie Arseneault (she/her), an arospec and asexual author who spent some time analyzing romance structures and how to translate them onto a wider variety of relationships, in parts as research for Baker Thief, her queerplatonic fantasy novel, said:

“Often romance characters will gravitate towards one another because of their romantic or sexual attraction to the other. They want a relationship. What exactly goes into that relationship, however, is frequently left unstated–it is assumed that these two characters have the same end goal, the same desires, the same vision of what Happily Ever After means. Look at your main pairing. What makes them stay together? What do they have, in addition to attraction, that gives them chemistry? What shared goals, relationship-wise, are they working towards?

“Similarly, think about your romantic and sexual milestones. Why is that first kiss so important to your characters? Sometimes these milestones feel preordained rather than the natural result of the characters’ progression, because we’re used to thinking of them as “proof” of the feelings experienced. Usually, when these moments clash, it is because they feel less like they naturally flow from the relationship the characters have built so far, and more like an element added for its own sake, to complete the picture.

“Specificity will save you from the pitfalls of generalization. It highlights the needs of your characters as unique to them, rather than requirements for meaningful relationships, allowing your ace and aro readers to enjoy the story fully while knowing they can build their own relationships, be they romance or friendships, upon entirely different foundations.”

Taylor B. Barton (they/she) is a non-binary, demisexual and demiromantic author writing Queer books for teens and adults. Their YA debut THE UNFORGETTABLE LIVES OF AUSTIN PRICE releases in Fall 2020, and they had this to say:

“Something helpful to keep in mind while you’re writing romance is to avoid assumptions. Relying on the reader to assume a character is attracted to someone in a certain way sets both creator and consumer up for disappointment. Instead of using language that utilizes assumption, be specific! Claudie talked about this, too, and I think it’s a wonderful tip. Leaning on assumption can lead to a relationship that doesn’t look or feel earned to your aro-spec, ace-spec, and frankly, allo readership.

“It’s easy to borrow themes and story-framing from well-loved tropes without realizing that those same tropes can be potentially damaging to a large pool of your readership. Rather than writing the first kiss as an obvious wantfrom one or both characters, specify why they want to be kissed or to kiss each other. Is it physical? Great! But write that down. Is it something else? Personality? Curiosity? Good! But we need to know. Closing these gaps between reader and character won’t just help you be more inclusive to ace and aro readers, but it will make you a better romance writer in the long run.

“Specify, always. Show don’t tell, unless telling is the only way to convey a want, need, maybe or hope.”

Lynn E O’Connacht (she/they) is a demi SFF author and independent literary critic in asexuality and aromantic studies. They’re currently hard at work at a slow-burn demi/allo fantasy romance, and they’ve said:

“As you can probably see from Rosiee’s lovely post and Claudie and Taylor’s comments: when you’re writing ace and/or aro characters, one of the biggest things you need to learn is to let go of your assumptions. This can be hard, so don’t be discouraged if you find it takes you a while!

“They’ve covered the general bases incredibly eloquently, so allow me to swerve away from that a little and remind you that the definitions for a-spectrum identities exist for a reason and as diverse as our experiences are, you can’t just throw those definitions out. At least not if your goal is to tell a great story. They’re your baseline to build those varied experiences on. Start with figuring out roughly where your character falls on the spectrums and then use that to fill in the specifics.

“So, for example, say you want to write an alloromantic acespec character who experiences lust-at-first-sight. If you look at the definition for a-spec identities, you’ll find that grey-ace is a much better base description for their sexuality than, say, demisexual. From there, you’ve got a good angle for research and answering questions about your character’s experiences that will make the character come to life and allow readers to connect with them. It doesn’t mean you’ve got to write your a-spectrum character one way and one way only, after all. Only that now, when you’re working out the specifics everyone mentioned, you’ve got an idea which way you’re headed. You’ll dive into your characters head and what makes their particular side of the (a)romance you’re telling tick that much deeper and isn’t creating that connection to the characters, their emotions and experiences what we’re all about?”

Finally, I would encourage anyone who wants to broaden their horizons and understand aromantic/asexual spectrum people better to read about us! My favorite resource for finding books about aromantic and asexual spectrum characters is the aro/ace database cultivated by Claudie Arseneault. You can search and sort books with aro and ace spectrum characters to find something to your tastes and learn more about a-spec identities.
And from twitter:
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Koresh

Waco - It happened, it was wrong, let's move on.
kiwifarms.net
So they just want books where people become friends? Have they ever heard of the Buddy Cop genre?

Imagine dropping a few bucks on a shitty harlequin romance and it ends up being 150 pages of two chicks eating ice cream on a couch while talking about how such good friends they are. Honestly, something like that would belong in the horror section.
 

One Man Bland

kiwifarms.net
Gotta love how the first section of advice is “make me a character I project onto, but keep in mind I’m really fucking picky.” That’s definitely what romance authors want to put up with: an “aspec” community all clamoring to have their specific flavor of snowflake pandered to and get mad when other people’s flavors are given attention over theirs. Never mind that a good chunk of those flavors are antithetical to what the majority of people who consume the romance genre want to see in the first place.

The rest is just the same basic romance-writing advice I’ve seen everywhere else, so it’s not exactly asexual-exclusive advice despite the writer trying to make it seem like the asexual community has some higher degree of understanding of relationships over everyone else - always a good way to look pretentious.

I think my favorite bits are these gems from the section about the A-Spec Authors however:
-an arospec and asexual author who spent some time analyzing romance structures and how to translate them onto a wider variety of relationships, in parts as research for Baker Thief, her queerplatonic (lol what) fantasy novel

-Rather than writing the first kiss as an obvious wantfrom one or both characters, specify why they want to be kissed or to kiss each other. Is it physical? Great! But write that down. Is it something else? Personality? Curiosity? Good! But we need to know.... Show don’t tell, unless telling is the only way to convey a want, need, maybe or hope.

-a demi SFF author and independent literary critic in asexuality and aromantic studies. They’re currently hard at work at a slow-burn demi/allo fantasy romance

-They’ve covered the general bases incredibly eloquently, so allow me to swerve away from that a little and remind you that the definitions for a-spectrum identities exist for a reason and as diverse as our experiences are, you can’t just throw those definitions out. At least not if your goal is to tell a great story. (lol)

-So, for example, say you want to write an alloromantic acespec character who experiences lust-at-first-sight

All this right here is exactly why no one wants to deal with an “asexual, aromantic romance,” just from their descriptions 80% of the book would be dedicated just to characters explaining their identities.
 

Ceci

kiwifarms.net
Ngl if you love romance stories and consider yourself aromatic you probably aren't aromantic. People read romance stories for one thing: to live vicariously. Romance stories by and large are not works of high literature, and I say this as someone who reads and writes romance. I have no idea what you would even enjoy in a romance novel if you weren't interested in sex or romance, the genre is all about the reader feeling emotional fulfillment when the main couple gets together. Why not just read dramas instead if you don't care about the romantic love aspect?
 

toilet_rainbow

like a foof bomb exploding in your face
kiwifarms.net
Apparently it's conversion therapy for a relationship counselor to ask an ace person about sex. Y'know, someone whose job is to make you more open with your spouse, including sexually. These dumbasses have no idea what true and honest conversion therapy is.

Also, marital rape apparently happened to closeted aces "before it was made illegal." Wat

asexualswanttobeoppressed.png
 
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Faggy Blanket

yuh
kiwifarms.net
Apparently it's conversion therapy for a relationship counselor to ask an ace person about sex. Y'know, someone whose job is to make you more open with your spouse, including sexually. These dumbasses have any idea what true and honest conversion therapy is.

Also, marital rape apparently happened to closeted aces "before it was made illegal." Wat

View attachment 991342
"The idea of sex as a 'natural' and 'normal' part of an adult's life is so pervasive, that asexuality is seen by most as a problem that can and should be fixed"

Because sex is natural and normal for 99.99% of people. Maybe there are a handful of true and honest asexuals, people who never had a sex drive and never will, but the vast majority of people who partake in this tumblr fuckery are literal kids, nutcases on a laundry list of SSRIs, or uglies who can't get laid and use asexuality as some kind of sour grapes excuse.
 

Amber the Hedgehog

kiwifarms.net
"The idea of sex as a 'natural' and 'normal' part of an adult's life is so pervasive, that asexuality is seen by most as a problem that can and should be fixed"

Because sex is natural and normal for 99.99% of people. Maybe there are a handful of true and honest asexuals, people who never had a sex drive and never will, but the vast majority of people who partake in this tumblr fuckery are literal kids, nutcases on a laundry list of SSRIs, or uglies who can't get laid and use asexuality as some kind of sour grapes excuse.
Also as lack of sex trive could a symptom of illness or other medical conditions so you should get it checked out. No, not because everyone should have sex but because it’s extremely unlikely that lack of sex trive is the only result. For example hormone imbalances can cause weight problems, depression, lack of strength, cancer and organ failure.
 

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