Asexuality in COG/HG Romances

Well, I expect to have my game done in December or January. So, I will see the opinions in the only romance option. Romance is separated from sex in my game. So you will have all content except sex if you want. For me is easier.

Friendship -With sex or not

Romance- Platonical, Relationship (sex or not.

Edit: Probably is because I am demisexual. So separate sex from Romance is logical to me.

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I’m new here so I can’t really say at this point, but I saw some threads asking for beta testers and they seem to be popular. If authors asked then we would be more than happy to help them, though. Being asexual doesn’t mean that we don’t want romance.
That’s our whole point there and it feels like you are unfortunately missing it.

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So… We agree then? I’m glad to see that! :smiley:

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I understand both sides of the coin. As demisexual.
I present romance and friendship separate from sex. Because there are many friends with benefits. There also platonic romances when people never say the other and romances with sex or not.
However, as writer sometimes you are really bad writing about something and prefer not to include it to no represent badly a group. Or simply you think a group is in away. That and with deadlines sometimes there is simply not the time for all choices being included.

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First of all, I am very happy to see you are an author that has sex and romance as separate things, that is honestly great :smiley:

Second, writers not wanting to write asexual because they are unsure is fine! I think it’s ok for them to not write things they are insecure about and it doesn’t bother me if that is the reason behind not having an asexual choice.

However, if there is an ace choice that amounts to nothing (just like OP said), then is when I have a problem with it. So, yeah, if the authors are giving an ace option, I hope it will be a good representation of asexuality.

With this I am going to stay away for a bit because I feel like I am constantly repeating myself, and I hope other members of this fantastical community feel like adding to this discussion later on :sweat_smile:

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Hello,

There have already been several threads talking about this topic. I will link them below and I hope you find them helpful! :slight_smile: Have a good day now.

https://forum.choiceofgames.com/t/asexual-characters/16558?u=the_black_reaper

Edit:

Oops. Nevermind. I thought you were looking for threads either giving advice how to portray Ace relationships in a CoG game, not prompting a community discussion. My bad.

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That’s okay! :rofl: Easy misread if you’re just checking really fast.

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It’s nice that you are starting a discussion about this topic!

“Play as straight, gay, bisexual or asexual” is a common phrase on most games now released as both Hosted Games and Choice of Games. However, the understanding of “asexual” seems to be asexual AND aromantic instead of just not experiencing overwhelming sexual attraction.

It’d be nice if there were a greater understanding of how romantic and sexual attraction don’t go hand in hand. How being “asexual” does not mean your don’t experience romantic attraction.

With most romances in these games, there is barely any sexual content and mostly just romance, so there really shouldn’t be any problem to give asexuals access to the romances. If there’s still sexual content coming up, they could be given the choice to act on it - essentially enabling them to play as demisexual - or to explain how they don’t want it. Some games already do this, and that is nice!

Would also be nice if the labeling of the game descriptions would be a bit clearer in this regard. To not put “asexual” when they actually mean “aro-ace”.

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I think CoG would appreciate this type of feedback, specifically. Perhaps when/if you get time you could write support and repeat this, providing your argument once again for them to see.

If I or another mod were relaying this, it would be second-hand and not as pure feedback.

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My game TDUP has the option for asexual romance for every love interest if you’re interested! The clean version cuts out sex entirely, but even in the “dirty” version you never need to have sex with any of the major love interests to romance them. I think one or two of the mortals require some degree of intimacy, though, to trigger their mini-storyline — I can’t remember. The farmer flashback sequence requires heteronormative sexual relations (never shown, but confirmed) although it’s not actually your character doing any of it, strictly speaking, and you can skip that sequence if you want to (it’s the one that starts with your sister being born).

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Will it shock you if I say I’ve already played that? :sweat_smile: The asexual romance options were nice, especially since they’re typically rare!

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To be perfectly honest, this is my idea type of ace romance, at least one in a COG/HG that does involve sexual content! :sweat_smile: Having the option is always nice, and I think that, ideally, with an asexual MC perhaps where a sexual scene would be, they and their love interest might have a conversation about comfort levels and there would be a choice whether you wish to cuddle or something of that sort, or if you’d like to have sexual content. Though that’s simply my ideal and I figure that’s probably a lot of coding and writing—I’m just happy being able to have romance options at all, really :rofl:

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I wouldn’t say to act on it makes them demisexual, per se. They could be demisexual, but there are asexuals(not the umbrella term) and greysexuals who would also do the same thing since sex drive is separate from sexual attraction.

The way @poison_mara described doing it, keeping sex as a separate thing would be a good way to do it. It would allow aces to have romance, but also sex(or not) no matter where on the spectrum they fall on. Same for those on the aromantic spectrum, except reversed. Also sorry to hear you didn’t get the help you needed, Mara. That’s probably something that will have changed since the community has been growing, there will be more people here who are aspec.

I don’t feel that even if a game had aromantic options for your MC, that they should be locked out of romance. If anything, that should maybe be a separate choice. I’m saying this as someone also on the aromantic spectrum(demiromantic).

With all that said, I can understand why authors would tend to make selecting ace/aro as locking you out of romance, to include it in romances would add so much more they’d have to write with the possible variations. Add on top of that, people who aren’t on the ace/aro spectrum can have difficulty understanding fully what it means to be either or both aro/ace. But like others who have said, if you’re going to include it, please include it as something that doesn’t lock you out of romance with the characters. Romance lock out should be a separate option from selecting ace/aro if that’s a feature you want in the game, but if selecting ace/aro automatically locks you out of romance/sex, I’d just as soon prefer ace/aro not be included as I’d just play as a different sexual and romantic orientation if that was the case.

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I think many people don’t think on separate sex from romance for a cultural thing of not looking like the hearthless and cultural heritage of sex comes only in a patriarchal romance after marriage. That old remain makes that for many people Romance means having sex. and With the only people who you will have it.

Thankfully, nowadays is disappearing from society but sadly, not from culture media. Mass media still sells for Romance in video games means unlock sex scene.

My point is sex is more open than that there is an open relationship, there are friends with benefits. Or romances that don’t have a sexual life.

Separate sex as a different toggle from romance and friendship is more work, but I think is far more engaging.

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So to the ace players on this thread (and ofc all around the forum), what are some examples of good depictions of ace romantic content and relationships in the Choicescript format? WIPs, too, I would love to get an idea of what good execution of this looks like. Especially since one of the ROs I’m writing for my demo is ace romantic

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As a demisexual Semryu in Way walkers is a great example. You can romance him smooching him but tell him you are not prepared for something more physical. It is a romance that goes really natural and you don’t feel anything is missed from the plot.

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In terms of published games*, I thought Heroes of Myth handled aceness really well. Choice of Magics and Blackstone Academy both also addressed it directly, although I found flaw with both of them (Blackstone still allowed romance, but being ace locked out more physical affection than I’d have liked; Magics just had a couple pretty awkwardly written moments).

My favorite WIP in terms of ace content is A Thousand Miles of Sky, which has a romantic ace RO and a really good conversation about aceness with them.

And it’s currently in beta, but the posted demo of the first two chapters of 180 Files includes really good options for an ace MC–including whether they’re demisexual or aro/ace.

*That I have played and where the handling of aceness stuck with me, I’m sure there are gaps in my knowledge.

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Guinevere!! It let’s you play as aro and or ace and you can talk to other characters about it

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I’d just like to add that you can avoid writing a whole ton of extra content if you just write a mix. If you’ve got friendship, romantic, and sexual content anyway, you can just determine which bits come up, rather than having to write entirely separate scenes, so that would reduce the workload. For example, you could use most of the content of a date with a character for both an allosexual and asexual main character rather than needing to write out the whole date twice.

Labelling correctly sounds important, though. If you really mean “aromatic,” just say that. A lot of games don’t have sexual content anyway. (And if there is sexual content, it should always be a choice anyway, for obvious reasons.)

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I do completely agree with this post, as an asexual person myself. I do, however, think we should also cut the writers a little bit of slack, as it is quite difficult to portray asexuality (even for asexuals) in my experience. Maybe we as a community just need to offer more feedback on what an asexual playthrough would look like. I say this because I personally haven’t seen many people offer feedback on this type of playthrough, even when it is an option.

I unfortunately can’t give any examples in the Choicescript format, but I can give an example from a Netflix show if that’s ok with you. Spoilers for BoJack Horseman by the way, I’ll spoiler tag them just in case. I think Todd from BoJack Horseman is one of the best examples of asexual representation I have seen to date. He really wants to have a romantic relationship with this girl he has a lot in common with, but they just aren’t compatible because she wants a more physical romance, while he does not. Later on he meets someone who he has nothing in common with, but is also asexual, dates her for a while, but they eventually break up. I think this is pretty true to my experience as an asexual person at least.

Essentially, the gist behind what I said in the spoiler tags is, if you’re going to make an asexual character, give them more in common with the MC than just being asexual. While this can be an important part of a relationship, it is also equally important that the characters actually like each other and have things in common beyong their asexuality.

Also, I don’t know if this is true for all asexual people, but at least in my experience, I get quite uncomfortable when it seems like the only way to progress in a romance is to do something physical. Some things are totally fine, like hand holding, as I do that with my friends, but when it seems like the only way to move forward in a relationship is to get physical with the RO, I’m not really a fan.

There are other ways to show your love and affection for someone beyond just physically. For example, an MC that might not otherwise show much affection, even to their closest friends and family, might repeatedly tell the RO that they love and care for them. This is something that the MC does only for the RO, something that is unique to their relationship together. Having things like this can make it feel like an actual relationship, while not requiring a player/MC to do anything they would be uncomfortable with.

Edit: I would also like to add, if your book does have sex scences, even in a “fade to black” way, please don’t make the only way to opt out of it be “I’m not ready for that yet” or “I think we should take this slow”. This can definitely be an option, but to have it be the only option makes me feel not great as an asexual person. This is because it makes it feel like the MC is either leading the RO on, promising something they might not ever want to actually do, or it makes it feel like the MC is going to have to do this later on at some point, regardless of how they feel about it.

I think most asexual people, myself included, would, at the beginning of a relationship let the other person know what their boundries are. So adding an option to the scene saying “I don’t think I want to do that, and I’m not sure if I’m ever going to want to do that” to opt out would be nice. This can also start a conversation about the MC’s sexuality with the RO, if it was not previously discussed.

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