I want to talk about what I would like to see in media representation of asexual characters and asexuality in the media. Because it’s more than just including a character who doesn’t want sex with the protagonist.
-I want to see discussions on respecting the boundaries of characters who are asexual. I’m looking specifically at Big Bang theory for this one. The way that Amy tries to bring Sheldon (who is heavily ace coded if not 100% canonically ace) into situations that are sexual in nature for her without his knowledge or consent is treated as humorous rather than a gross breech of his rights.
– I want to see a wide variety of aces (poc, single, romantically involved, with platonic partners, disabled and non disabled, and so on). What I have seen in most ace representation is a significant trend towards making ace characters disabled and/or heavily coded as autistic if not autistic themselves. Not only is this harmful for aces by portraying asexuality only as something experienced by people who are interpreted by a majority of society and portrayed by writers as *broken* it’s also denying disabled people/people who are on the autistic spectrum the agency of their sexuality.
– I want to see a discussion of the idea of romance without attraction. Yes it is possible and it can be a complex issue for those involved. It often requires a good deal of communication and validation for those involved. I want to see it addressed for both ace-ace romance and ace-non ace romance, because for each situation, the conversation is different. I want to see aces and their partners talking about how lack of attraction affects them, how it’s ok to struggle with knowing your partner isn’t attracted to you without gas-lighting, guilting, or ignoring the agency of the asexual. I want to see aces assuring their partner that they are not bad people for feeling insecure and that they can still love them without attraction.
– I want to see a discussion about what consent means for those who don’t experience attraction and how Asexuals can still engage in sex, but giving consent and understanding their own limits without attraction can be difficult and confusing because they may not experience a physical desire to have sex with a specific person but still desire the intimacy, physical closeness and emotional bonding that sex with a partner can provide or the physical benefits/relief that sex with a casual partner can provide.
– I want to see aces with varying degrees of physical sexual desire
– I want to see aces of all different kinds with a wide variety of physical sexual desire.
– I want to see Asexuals ask for sex with their partner and be told no. And respect that.
– I want a discussion on why becoming physical without experiencing attraction is NOT MANIPULATIVE
– I want to see aces who struggle to understand the difference between platonic intimacy and romantic intimacy learning and growing alongside other characters
– I want to see aces who are problematic for reasons not relating to their asexuality.
– I want to see aces who are not problematic
– I want to see an asexual who does act inappropriately in regards to other people’s sexuality/boundaries justifying it with their own sexuality and being corrected without being ‘cured’ and this is NOT THE ONLY REPRESENTATION OF ASEXUALITY IN THAT MEDIA. (Aces can be problematic, but problematic ones are not the only ones that should be shown or discussed.)
– I want to aces who discuss what asexuality means and how it affects them, on screen, canonically.
Just seeing characters who aren’t expressly written as experiencing attraction is not representation. Only seeing one type of ace representation (the disabled/autistic(coded or not) asexual) is not asexual representation and is harmful to both communities involved. Being asexual is a unique experience and interacts with many different aspects of a persons life and seeing those discussions brought to the media along with intersectionality of ones ace identity alongside other identities is what I mean when I say I want to see Asexuals represented in the media.