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Asexuality and Asexual Characters in Books & Comics - a Collection


SapphireOtter

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StruggleSession

The character of Dionysus in Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie's well-regarded comic series The Wicked + The Divine is ace, which is an interesting take on the god of sensuality, excess, etc. It's also a really fun series on the whole --- it's skewed a bit younger demographically, like to the "twentysomething" crowd, but I read it and enjoyed it in my 40s no problem.

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Need_more_books

81B56FhU6SL.jpg
 

The gay b cs by M.L. Webb (board book)

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Scylactic

My upcoming graphic novel has two MCs who are romantic ace-spec: one is biromantic demisexual, and the other is homoromantic gray-ace.

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an~imperial~votress

[Includes minor spoilery things*, but not details. And since it is about one of my favorite book series of all time--the Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo--yes it is a super long post. I hope this is the right place to put this!]

Rereading parts of Crooked Kingdom two days ago, I came across this quote and it struck me:

“There was no mystery to bodies in the Barrel. […] The other boys in the Dregs talked constantly about their conquests. Kaz said nothing. Fortunately, he said nothing about everything, so he had consistency working in his favor. But he knew what he was expected to say, the things he was supposed to want. He did want those things, in moments, in flashes--a girl crossing the street in a cobalt dress that slid from her shoulder, a dancer moving like flames in a show on East Stave”

 Is Kaz Brekker on the ace spectrum??!!!! 😮

Interpreting this description of ‘flashes’ or ‘moments’ as a fleeting/infrequent experience of sexual attraction seems to be perfectly logical, and would make him greysexual. And yet somehow, in four years and as many readings (not including rereading a chapter or section every so often), and being deeply obsessed with the series and the character (in fact having a ginormous squish on him!), I never stopped and considered the potentials of that sentence. I’m sure, on an unconscious level, the sentence preceding it—“he knew what he was expected to say, the things he was supposed to want”—has always resonated with me, with knowing what one is assumed to feel and experience by their society/peers but not truly fitting within that assumption, and as a result being a sort of outsider even amongst friends. Among the many, many reasons I love Kaz and Inej and their relationship is the its ace-ish-ness (though somehow never thought of it in that way before), which makes it so much more powerful, and which I suppose leaves me as a reader feeling at least a little less out of my element than usual with depictions of romantic relationships in books. [Spoiler alert] Kaz is strongly touch averse.  As a result their simply touching, such as holding hands, is so much of a big deal it would be practically outlandish to ever go there at any point, and what he wants and feels he can’t have with her is always sensual things: hugging, being close to her. There is so much more focus on the emotional side of things, how they protect, trust, and rely on each other, less nonsense about "chemistry" and a much slower pace. I don’t know why it didn’t ever click for me that this could count as ace/grey ace representation. It could be interpreted in other ways, but why not this way? It seems obvious now and I'm a little embarrassed to have missed it :mellow:.  Somehow I just figured he was allosexual even though at the same time he was one of two (already super incredible!) characters where, for once, that wasn’t part of the conversation, given their backstories and just in general. In my defense, the “he did want” part really shuts down the possibility of him being ace, and given the fact that for the first three years of my loving this story I wasn’t clear on or fully aware of what asexuality meant, never mind greysexuality and split attraction, and didn’t have the information to understand it wasn’t one or the other, aroace or 'allo-allo,' me or “everyone else.” Furthermore, this brief mention of ‘flashes’ of desire was nested in a chunk of backstory within a separate discussion, and toward the end of the book right before the climax gets going, which makes it relatively easy to miss. Yet throughout both books you can say he’s effectively ace! (And Inej as well?? Haven’t gotten to sort through that yet. I can’t say that this fully has sunk in for me.) Additionally: as someone who often finds romantic stuff in books a huge drag, I highly recommend this series for writing it in a way that doesn’t feel forced or over-emphasized for drama, and overall just doesn’t bother me. In fact, all the layers of dynamics between all the protagonists, their friendships, and their transformation as a group is one of the main things that leave me in such admiration of Six of Crows & Crooked Kingdom 🥰.

*at least, I consider it one because I know he'd prefer to be mysterious...

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Monke Ilahi

How have we gotten this far and not mentioned that they haven't found evidence of Jesus ever having a partner? Or having anything to do with a partner?

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Scylactic
1 hour ago, Monke Ilahi said:

How have we gotten this far and not mentioned that they haven't found evidence of Jesus ever having a partner? Or having anything to do with a partner?

Oh yeah, didn't he say something in the Bible like, "if people cannot control themselves, then don't look"? IDK, I haven't had a Bible study in years.

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Monke Ilahi
49 minutes ago, Scylactic said:

Oh yeah, didn't he say something in the Bible like, "if people cannot control themselves, then don't look"? IDK, I haven't had a Bible study in years.

I have no idea. I went to a summer camp once when I was like 7 when I was an agnostic. After that I realized I'm just an athiest lol. I could ask my roommate though. 

A quick google of "bible asexual" gives some... interesting results. 

I think I heard that Jesus was supposed to have a wife and it's just in some text that hasn't been found yet. But I think that until they find it, there is no reason to believe that Jesus had anything to do with sex at all.

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Do subtler or potential examples count? Because if so, in the webcomic Dr. McNinja,

Spoiler

the eponymous character is implied to be a virgin at the end of one storyline, despite clearly  being old enough to have finished medical school, and having had one relationship in the past. As such, it's fun to headcanon him as possibly ace, although the truth of the matter is left intentionally vague.

 

 

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Just Someone

can... I add Jasnah Kholin from The Stormlight Archive? She has been confirmed by the author to be asexual, not sure about aromantic though

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coolshades
On 4/2/2022 at 3:44 PM, Monke Ilahi said:

How have we gotten this far and not mentioned that they haven't found evidence of Jesus ever having a partner? Or having anything to do with a partner?

It depends on the religion, I think.  My religion has always taught that Jesus never had a sexual partner.

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superqwat2

Erin Solstice, the main character of The Wandering Inn (a webnovel) has some hints of being asexual. Though it was not confirmed yet. 

 

The wiki of the series says:

"She is also somewhat prudish and uncomfortable with any form of sex-talk. While she is open to the idea of romance, she finds it difficult to connect with anyone romantically and has avoided topics of romance (or outright rejected) with several suitors, including Olesm, Palt and Earl Altestial. "

 

The novel does feature sex for the other characters of the series, so it seems to be deliberate from the author.

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JaiBee

DC's Connor Hawke (Oliver Queen/Green Arrow's son) will be confirmed as asexual in the upcoming 2022 DC Pride anthology.

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Passer

I read Upside Down by N.R. Walker this week. Really enjoyed it, it was nice to read a proper romance novel with two ace characters. 

 

 

I came across an Instagram post that recommended it, along with The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun (a favourite of mine!! I thoroughly enjoyed that one!), Loveless by Alice Oseman, How to be a normal person by T.J. Klune, Let's talk about love by Claire Kann, and Never been kissed by Timothy Janovsky.

I have most of 'm already on my ereader, ready to go :)

 

Any reading tips if I liked Upside Down and The Charm Offensive? :) 

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coolshades

The Book Fire Becomes Her by Rosiee Thor has a character named Charlotte who says early in the book that she's only interested in platonic love.

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JaiBee

For fantasy fans, A.M. Strickland's novel Beyond the Black Door has an ace main character, and asexuality is a recurring theme in the book, along with a nice scene where the characters discuss different forms of attraction.

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coolshades
22 hours ago, coolshades said:

The Book Fire Becomes Her by Rosiee Thor has a character named Charlotte who says early in the book that she's only interested in platonic love.

Quoting myself here, sorry.  Also, by the end of the book, two other characters have entered into a QPR, and one of them (Alex Castille) is ace.

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Blueberry Pie

I don’t believe this has been mentioned yet. It was published in November 2021.
 

The other day at my library I found a YA graphic novel, titled Nightmare in Savannah, by Lela Gwenn.
 

It has a confirmed ace character that I believe is named Chloe.

 

I read the graphic novel in a couple of hours. It’s about a group of high school girls (which includes Chloe) who find out they’re changelings, and they spread a lot of dark mischief at school.

 

It’s honestly not so great—the plot is all over the place and the characters are 2-dimensional. The art and colors are very nice, though. 
 

Chloe tells the main protagonist, Alexa, to keep her “allosexual issues” to herself after Alexa vents to Chloe about crushes.

 

Alexa then searches the definition for “allosexual” soon afterwards.

 

I’ve never seen the word “allosexual” used outside of the Internet, so this was cool.

 

That being said, I don’t like the ace representation here. 
 

I have had romantic crushes as someone who is not aromantic. Yet, Chloe equates crushes with sex and acts disgusted? In my opinion, it would have been more appropriate if she said “alloromantic” and been confirmed as aromantic.

 

I think the author is confusing aromantic and asexual?

 

The character is very flat, gets no character development, and, in the end, … (spoiler below)

Spoiler

Gets killed off.


Anyway, here are pictures I took of the scenes mentioning “allosexual.” I would give you page numbers, but there were interestingly none to be found in the paperback edition.

 

Spoiler

IMG_9232.jpg
 

IMG_9231.jpg

 

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I hope a bit of self promotion is okay here. My novelette, "Tesato's Code" is out today. It's a futuristic thriller with elements of horror. The main character, Lily, is a heteroromantic asexual, for anyone who is looking for a story with an ace character. It is currently only on Kindle, but hard copies will be available in a couple of weeks. I often have ace characters in my stories and there is also a couple of characters who are ace in my steampunk novel "Fortitude".

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