Asexuality in fiction

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This list is for fictional portrayals of asexual or suspected-asexual characters. For non-fiction, see Asexuality in non-fiction.

Please expand this list!

Contents

Literature

  • Please note: when noting specific characters of interest, anyone listed with [SA] next to their name refers to those who are believed to be Asexual. Their sexuality may or may not (have) be(en) confirmed by the author.
  • Please note: any stories marked with [ TW ] (trigger warning) may involve content that some people may find upsetting. Please take care when viewing.
  • Please note: any stories marked with [ 18 ] may involve content unsuitable for young or squeamish readers. Please take care when viewing.


Novels

Title Author Genre Teaser Character(s)* Language(s)
A Clergyman's Daughter George Orwell Historical Fiction Teaser Dorothy Hare English
A Room With A View E. M. Forster Romance Teaser Mr. Beebe [SA] and Cecil Vyse [SA] English
All Souls Javier Marías and Margaret Jull Costa (Translator)  ? Teaser Unknown English, Spanish
The Bachelor Brothers' Bed and Breakfast Bill Richardson Humour “A pair of endearingly eccentric bachelors--in their fifties, and fraternal twins--own and operate a bed & breakfast establishment where people like them, the "gentle and bookish and ever so slightly confused," can feel at home. Hector and Virgil think of their B&B as a refuge, a retreat, a haven, where folks may bring their own books or peruse the brothers' own substantial library. An antic blend of homespun and intellectual humor, Bachelor Brothers' Bed and Breakfast is a place readers will want to return to again and again.” Virgil [SA] English
The Bone People [TW] Keri Hulme Mystery “Set on the South Island beaches of New Zealand, a harsh environment, the novel chronicles the complicated relationships between three emotional outcasts of mixed European and Maori heritage. Kerewin Holmes is a painter and a loner, convinced that "to care for anything is to invite disaster." Her isolation is disrupted one day when a six-year-old mute boy, Simon, breaks into her house. The sole survivor of a mysterious shipwreck, Simon has been adopted by a widower Maori factory worker, Joe Gillayley, who is both tender and horribly brutal toward the boy. Through shifting points of view, the novel reveals each character's thoughts and feelings as they struggle with the desire to connect and the fear of attachment.” Kerewin Holmes [SA] English
The Book of Disquiet Fernando Pessoa "Autobiography", Literary Fiction Teaser Character English, Spanish, German, Italian, French
Bridge to Terabithia Katherine Patterson Children “Discover the beloved Newbery Medal-winning story of Jess Aarons and Leslie Burke. Join Jess and Leslie as they form an unlikely friendship and create the imaginary land of Terabithia. There they rule as king and queen, until a terrible tragedy occurs that helps Jess understand just how much he has learned from Leslie.” Unknown English
Carrie Pilby Caren Lissner Young Adult Carrie would rather stay in bed than deal with the immoral, sex-obsessed hypocrites who seem to overrun her hometown, New York City. She's sick of trying to be like everybody else. She isn't! But when her own therapist gives her a five-point plan to change her social-outcast status, Carrie takes a hard look at herself—and agrees to try. Suddenly the world doesn't seem so bad. But is prodigy Carrie really going to dumb things down just to fit in? Carrie Pilby English
Case Histories: A Novel Kate Atkinson Crime Fiction “Cambridge is sweltering, during an unusually hot summer. To Jackson Brodie, former police inspector turned private investigator, the world consists of one accounting sheet - Lost on the left, Found on the right - and the two never seem to balance. Surrounded by death, intrigue and misfortune, his own life haunted by a family tragedy, Jackson attempts to unravel three disparate case histories and begins to realise that in spite of apparent diversity, everything is connected…” Amelia [SA] and Philip [SA] English
The Cider House Rules [TW] [18] John Irving Genre Teaser Character English
The Collector [TW] [18] John Fowles Horror, Thriller, Fable Ever since he first saw her, Frederick Clegg has been obsessed with Miranda Grey. The repressed, introverted butterfly collector admires the beautiful, privileged art student from afar until he wins the Lottery and buys a remote country house, planning to bring her there as his "guest". Having abducted and imprisoned her in the cellar, he soon finds this reality is far from his fantasy and their tense, claustrophobic relationship leads to a devastating climax. Ferdinand Clegg English
Crampton Hodnet Barbara Pym Comic Novel “Formidable Miss Doggett fills her life by giving tea parties to young academics and acting as watchdog of the morals of North Oxford. Anthea, her great-niece, is in love with a dashing upper-class undergraduate with political ambitions. Of this, Miss Doggett thoroughly approves. Anthea's father, however, an Oxford don, is tired of his marriage and carrying on in the most unseemly fashion with his student Barbara Bird - they have been spotted together at the British Museum! Miss Doggett isn't aware, though, that under her very own roof the lodging curate has proposed to her paid companion Miss Morrow. She wouldn't approve of that at all.” Barbara [SA] English
Darkly Dreaming Dexter [TW] [18] Jeff Lindsay Crime Meet Dexter Morgan, a polite wolf in sheep's clothing. He's handsome and charming, but something in his past has made him abide by a different set of rules. He's a serial killer whose one golden rule makes him immensely likeable: he only kills bad people. And his job as a blood splatter expert for the Miami police department puts him in the perfect position to identify his victims. But when a series of brutal murders bearing a striking similarity to his own style start turning up, Dexter is caught between being flattered and being frightened -- of himself or some other fiend.” Dexter Morgan English
The Dwarf Pär Lagerkvist Genre Teaser The Dwarf English, Swedish
Forbidden Colors Yukio Mishima LGBT, Fiction Teaser Yuichi English, Japanese
Geek Love Katherine Dunn Fiction “Geek Love is the story of the Binewskis, a carny family whose mater- and paterfamilias set out–with the help of amphetamine, arsenic, and radioisotopes–to breed their own exhibit of human oddities. There’s Arturo the Aquaboy, who has flippers for limbs and a megalomaniac ambition worthy of Genghis Khan . . . Iphy and Elly, the lissome Siamese twins . . . albino hunchback Oly, and the outwardly normal Chick, whose mysterious gifts make him the family’s most precious–and dangerous–asset.” Miss Lick [SA] English
Herland Charlotte Perkins Stetson Gilman Feminist Science Fiction Teaser Character English
The Hyannis House Gordon Mathieson Mystery, Romance “A US Senator from Cape Cod, Massachusetts is murdered and any of three people soon become suspects. There is however, a second murder in Boston, that ties into the first, and complicates the case for detectives. It isn’t until a former college sweetheart of the Senator’s wife comes into the scene that clues pop up in strange places. Although bizarre, these begin to make sense in solving the murders. There is a forbidden romance and love story embedded in the mystery and makes the reader question who the real murderer might turn out to be.” Character English
Infinite Jest David Foster Wallace Tragic Comedy Teaser Character English
Jude The Obscure [TW] Thomas Hardy Genre Teaser Character English
July, July Tim O'Brien Genre Teaser Character English
The Kreutzer Sonata Leo Tolstoi Genre Teaser Character English, Russian, German, French
The Left Hand of Darkness Ursula K. Le Guin Science Fiction Teaser Character See Wikipedia
Lily White Susan Isaacs Genre Teaser Character English
Namedropper: A Novel Emma Forrest Genre Teaser Character English
No Touching Aileen Deng Genre Teaser Character English
Operation Hurdler, and Operation Outside Hitter Michael Bilka Genre Teaser Character English
The Pavilion of Women Pearl S. Buck Genre Teaser Character English
Scenes From A Holiday Caren Lissner Genre Teaser Character English
Seethings Michael Forman Genre Teaser Character English
Sexing the Cherry Jeanette Winterson Genre Teaser Character English
Sherlock Holmes Mysteries Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Genre Teaser Character English
The Son Jo Nesbø Crime Fiction Teaser Character English, Norwegian
To The Lighthouse Virginia Woolf Modernism Teaser Character English
What Happened to Lani Garver Carol Plum-Ucci Genre Teaser Character English
The World According to Garp [TW] [18] John Irving Genre Teaser Jenny Fields English
The Wrong Boy Willy Russell Genre Teaser Character English


Romance

Title Author Plot Characters* Language(s)
Ace Jack Byrne Plot Character Language(s)
Fenton: the Lonliest Vampire and Fire & Ice (Lost Realm Book 2) Kate Aaron Plot Character Language(s)
Fireland: Jimmy Loves Rob Sam Burke Plot Character Language(s)
The Heart of Aces Sarah Sinnaeve, Esther Day, Stephanie Charvet, Flavia Napoleoni, Rai Scodras, Mursheda Ahad, Chelsey Brinson, Madeline Bridgen, Andrea R. Blackwell, A. J. Hall, Kari Woodrow Plot Character Language(s)
The New Boy Maddy Linehan Plot Character Language(s)

Science fiction and fantasy

Title Author Plot Characters* Language(s)
Ann Marie’s Asylum (Master and Apprentice Book 1) Christopher Rankin Plot Character Language(s)
Bone Dance Emma Bull Plot Character Language(s)
Cat's Cradle Kurt Vonnegut Plot Character Language(s)
Deadeye Dick Kurt Vonnegut Plot Character Language(s)
The Deed of Paksenarrion: A Novel Elizabeth Moon Plot Character Language(s)
Diaspora Greg Egan Plot Character Language(s)
Distress Greg Egan Plot Character Language(s)
Dragonlance Chronicles Trilogy Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman Plot Character Language(s)
Dragonlance Legends Trilogy Margaret Weis Plot Character Language(s)
Dragonlance: The Raistlin Chronicles - The Soulforge, Brothers in Arms Margaret Weis Plot Character Language(s)
Escape From Furnace: Lockdown, Solitary, Death Sentence, Fugitives, Execution Alexander Gordon Smith Plot Character Language(s)
The Fire's Stone Tanya Huff Plot Character Language(s)
Fool's Errand, Golden Fool and Fool's Fate Robin Hodd Plot Character Language(s)
Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci Plot Character Language(s)
Golden Witchbreed Mary Gentle Plot Character Language(s)
Good Omens Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman Plot Character Language(s)
Halfway Human Carolyn Ives Gilman Plot Character Language(s)
I, Robot Isaac Asimov Plot Character Language(s)
The Metabarons: Aghora the Father-Mother & Immaculate Conception Alexandro Jodorowsky Plot Character Language(s)
Mindtouch M. C. A. Hogarth Plot Character Language(s)
The Oathbound, Oathbreakers and Oathblood Mercedes Lackey Plot Character Language(s)
Obsidian and Blood: Servant of the Underworld, Harbringer of the Underworld, Master of the House of Darts Aliette de Bodard Plot Character Language(s)
Ombria in Shadow Patricia A. McKillip Plot Character Language(s)
Perdition A. R. Rickaby Plot Character Language(s)
Polymorph Scott Westerfeld Plot Character Language(s)
Proud Man Katharine Burkedin, Daphne Patai Plot Character Language(s)
Quicksilver R. J. Anderson Plot Character Language(s)
Rose of the Prophet Trilogy: The Will of the Wanderer, The Paladin of the Night, The Prophet of Akhran Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman Plot Character Language(s)
Sourcery Terry Pratchett Plot Character Language(s)
The Tropic of Serpents Marie Brennan Plot Character Language(s)
When the King Comes Home Caroline Stevermer Plot Character Language(s)
White Mars Brian Wilson Aldiss Plot Character Language(s)
White Queen Gwyneth Jones Plot Character Language(s)
Wings of Destruction Victoria Zagar Plot Character Language(s)
The World of Wreckers Marion Zimmer Bradley Plot Character Language(s)
The Wraiths of Will and Pleasure and Wraeththu Storm Constantine Plot Character Language(s)

Short stories

Title Author Plot Characters* Language(s)
Accepting Me Jo Ramsey Plot Character Language(s)
Aye, and Gomorrah: And Other Stories Samuel R. Delany Plot Character Language(s)
"Bicycle Repairman"/A Good Old-fashioned Future Bruce Sterling Plot Character Language(s)
"One of the Boys"/Superheroes Lawrence Watt-Evans. John Varley & Ricia Mainhardt, eds. Plot Character Language(s)
"Start the Clock"/The Year's Best Science Fiction 22nd Annual Collection Benjamin Rosenbaum Plot Character Language(s)

Featuring asexual or suspected-asexual characters

  • Susan Isaacs - Lily White (sexual main characters lead asexual relationship)
  • Caren Lissner - Carrie Pilby (Carrie Pilby)
  • Caren Lissner et al. - Scenes From A Holiday (Carrie Pilby, see novella titled "Carrie Pilby's New Year's Resolution")
  • Tim O'Brien - July, July (Marla Dempsey)
  • George Orwell - A Clergyman's Daughter (Dorothy Hare)
  • Banana Yoshimoto - The Lake (Nakajima; asexual relationship)

Movies

Year Title Reason Notes
1987 Withnail and I The film ends with Withnail saying "Man delights not me, no, nor women neither, nor women neither."[1] (These words are in fact originally taken from a quote from Shakespeare's Hamlet, act 2, scene 2.[2]) Directed by Bruce Robinson
2006 Sherlock Holmes (Most versions) Sherlock Holmes is generally considered asexual. -
2010 Inception Ellen Page plays Ariadne. Unusually for a female character, she isn't a romantic interest and she expresses no desire for other characters in the film. Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character, Arthur, tricks her into a kiss once, to which she seems unreactive. Directed by Christopher Nolan
2004 Mysterious Skin Brian Lackey, who was sexually abused as a child. He shows no interest in sex or romance, and seems repulsed when a female character abruptly tries to kiss, touch and undress him. Another character describes his "vibe" as "kinda weirdly asexual."[3] His memories of the abuse are strongly repressed until the end of the movie, as he believes he was abducted by aliens and not sexually abused. Directed by Gregg Araki
2013 Nymphomaniac (vol. I and II) Seligman (Stellan Skarsgaard), who found Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg, the main and nymphomaniac character) and listens to her story, is asexual. He says: "I consider myself asexual. Of course, I experimented with masturbation when I was a teenager, but it didn't do much for me. So, there's nothing sexual about me. It's not as uncommon as you would think. And of course, I've read a lot about sexual subjects... Canterbury Tales, Decameron, Thousand and One Nights. You name it and I've read it with great interest and enjoyment, but only literary enjoyment." [4]. Directed by Lars von Trier
1967 Bonnie and Clyde Soon after they met, Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) begins to kiss passionately Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) in a car. But he prefers to stop the car to avoid the kisses, saying "I ain't much of a lover boy."[5]. Later, they find themselves alone in a bed, and begin kissing, but he cannot stand it and leaves, though saying he loves her. When they have a strike after that, Bonnie says: "Listen, the only special thing about you is your peculiar ideas about love-making, which is no love-making at all!". However, they finally have have sex together. Directed by Arthur Penn

Television Shows

Year Title Reason
2006 – present Dexter The title character, a serial killer, feels emotionally divorced from the rest of humanity and has no interest in romance or sex.[6]
1963 – 1989,
2005 – present
Doctor Who The Doctor's sexuality is ambiguous; his relationship with Rose Tyler has been described as "a love story without the shagging".[7]
2010 Huge American show, character Poppy (played by Zoe Jarman) is the girl's cabin leader. She self-identifies as asexual in season 1, episode 5.[8]
2002 – present Ouran High School Host Club Haruhi Fujioka, the main character, has no interest in romance and prefers platonic relationships despite being surrounded by attractive males and females.[9]
1992 – present Shortland street New Zealand TV Show - character Gerald is asexual.[10][11]
2007 – present The Big Bang Theory American sitcom, character Sheldon Cooper expresses asexual tendencies.
1985 – 1992 The Golden Girls American sitcom, character Rose never thought about sex before she was married and when her husband wanted to have sex for the first time she didn't really understand sexual desire. She has never orgasmed.
2006 The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya One known asexual character, Yuki Nagato, and an anti-romantic character (titular). The show doesn't feature any relationships except for platonic ones, although the narrator character does experience some sexual attraction himself.[12]
2010 Sherlock Holmes says having a girlfriend is "not really my area", he considers himself "married to [his] work", and tells Watson, "I am flattered by your interest, [but] I am really not looking for anyone." Steven Moffat said in an interview 'He's happy being Sherlock Holmes... other people might have a problem with him being asexual, he doesn't have any problem with it, he's fine.'[13]
2014 - 2015 Sirens Voodoo, one of the EMTs has canonically said that she is asexual. The other EMTs refute the theory that she "hasn't met the right person" by saying that she met Johnny Depp and only thought that he wore too much makeup.
2015 - present The March Family Letters Webseries. When asked if she had a crush on Laurie, Beth asked, "You do remember that I'm ace, right?" Jo responded by saying "that doesn't mean you're aromantic." Beth made no further comment on her romantic orientation, only saying that she was not interested in Laurie.

See also

External Links

References

  1. Withnail & I on Shitespace
  2. Hamlet Text and Translation - Act II - Scene II on eNotes
  3. Mysterious Skin Script - Dialogue Transcript on Drew's Script-O-Rama
  4. Nymphomaniac vol. II script on Springfield.co.uk
  5. Bonnie and Clyde Script on Hollywood Canteen
  6. Dexter - on AVEN Forums
  7. Doctor (Doctor Who) on Wikipedia
  8. Huge (TV series) on Wikipedia
  9. TV romantic cliches *clenches fist* - on AVEN Forums
  10. Shortland Street Asexuality Storyline - playlist on YouTube
  11. Shortland Street on TVNZ
  12. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya - on AVEN Forums
  13. Sherlock – Audio interview with Steven Moffat on Geek Syndicate