Help Defining Ace Romantic Relationships?

So, I am wanting to include an asexual romantic interest in my game. However, I am not asexual myself and I really don’t want to assume what other people want, especially when there are so few good representations right now. Which is why I need help with defining the various boundaries that are most comfortable for those who are asexual.

How do you define your intimacy in an asexual relationship?
I want to know what you see as your desired intimacy. Both non-physical and physical. I know this is going to be different for everyone, but I want to gauge generally so I that I’m not throwing in a bunch of cuddling or kissing if the majority of interested readers would be put off by that. I really want to know where the general lines are so I can color within them for better representation without making assumptions. :slight_smile:

What attracts you to other people the most?
Again, I am a pansexual/panromantic individual, so I’m a little removed here too. What are the things that most attract you to a person? Do physical attributes still play a role in your attraction? What about personality-wise?

How would you want asexuality to be represented in a game?
I really want to do this right. With a great many things in the world, I can usually empathize my way to solid conclusions, but I want to fill any and all gaps with solid facts! I figure it’s better to just ask, right? Especially with a continuously underrepresented population. So, how would you want to be portrayed? My game is going to be gender, pronoun, and non-binary inclusive already, but I am also trying to include polyamorous and asexual romance options so that there is something for everyone in a natural, fluid way.

Any and ALL help is greatly appreciated!! No wrong answers or opinions, I just want to do right by this. :smiley:

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Intimacy is not just physical at it’s core it is an emotional connection with another person. Having scenes in a romance where characters are able to show thier flaws to thier partners and connect with them. Having someone who you can trust and who has your back and vice versa is important in a relationship.

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@Melzzi_d

I totally agree! Thank you so much for the input!!

Ideally, I’d like a sense of both physical and non-physical intimacy in asexual relationships generally, so that I’m not portraying something outside the scope of their comfort and wants. :slight_smile:

I’ll be sure to include a lot of carefully detailed emotional interactions, so that the bond develops in a natural way!

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I don’t generally talk about this sort of thing since it’s as personal for me, as it would be for anyone who doesn’t like sharing this type of detail with others, but since you asked, and I gauge that you really want–at the very least–a basic understand of the inner workings, nothing less than the honest truth from a genuine perspective is deserved. As an aid to help keep my reply on track, I’ll be quoting, deconstructing your o.p. to try to outline everything you want to know so far. :slight_smile:

Summary

For starters, I’m gonna combine this

And this

To be asking these things, it is clear you care about getting this right. I have to be honest with you, though, as with anyone out there in the world, there are no universal rules about what is the “absolute rule of thumb” when it comes to this topic.

Intimacy in general is something defined by individual preference whether someone is ace, or not.

So the single most important thing to ask the reader is how far they want to go. It isn’t just writing out characters, and struggling to make interactions with them organic, but understanding how your readers are as people at their cores. This seems more or less to be a serious concern of yours, so I’ll try not to repeatedly beat you over the head about it. Getting back on track… :sweat_smile:

The main point of my advice here is; if your character is designed to care about it anyway, then they need to ask first what is okay, or not. Or leave that choice entirely up to the player, and making sure that the character they are interacting with is suitably understanding. That level of interpersonal interaction is actually pretty organic in its own right, because people don’t just assume they can kiss someone they barely know with romantic intent–unless they are the biggest ego-jerks of their time, but that’s veering off course. :wink:

Next this

Sort of yes, mostly no. The main thing to keep in mind from an asexual point of view is that you aren’t interested in–or generally capable of–physical attraction. That’s a highhanded concept, I grant, but I do outline my personal take (rather explicitly) in the next compressed summary.

Very much yes. Or at least as much as most anyone else out there. If you didn’t also like someone for their personality, how could you see yourself with them for long years ahead that you couldn’t otherwise define? Seeing a future with someone specific in it is a key way to define how you feel about that someone, even if that doesn’t necessarily involve sexual connotations.

Now… The really personal take… It gets a bit heavy, so you can skip it if you would prefer.

Summary

As someone who tries to consider the feelings of others, I have on many occasions berated myself for not having the same inclinations as most everyone else on the planet. I think the idea of sexual intimacy is disgusting–or more specifically, I can’t see it for myself because the thought grosses me out–and that leaves a bit of a bitter aftertaste since mine could be said to be one of the most abnormal responses out there. In many ways I still think I’m very rude about it, even if I don’t say a thing to someone being publicly intimate with someone else… I don’t self criticize myself so hard anymore in recent years, but that’s an inescapable aspect of my personal history.

The questions I’ve been asked most as I got older, approaching adulthood is whether or not I was interested in someone. My answer from as young as 6 years old is no different from now; no. But you probably guessed as much. I’d also say things like “it would be nice to remove this annoying blood sack” on occasion, making my less understanding family members reply “you don’t mean that” or “you don’t know if you won’t meet someone who’ll change your mind someday.”

I don’t resent them–they simply aren’t capable of understanding the concept of not being physically/sexually attracted to someone.

Does this stop me from recognizing I have a type preference, like thinking someone is cute? Not really. I can definitely think someone is hug-ably cute, and I can grow to really like being with others like they belong in my life. Being a natural born shut-in with strongly dissociative tendencies doesn’t much allow this to actually happen in my life, but I’m open minded about spending the rest of my life with someone if they really don’t hate the idea of being with me, too. Perhaps even too open minded for my own good… There was someone in my life that I strongly considered putting my disgust aside for… As you can imagine, that’s actually a lot bigger a deal than I was making it out to be at the time. I’m not even really sure he understood what I was saying/offering, since I was doing my best to make it clear that I wanted to support his happiness. To not just leave him in the dark, alone and jaded if he could see the same possible future I did.
It didn’t happen, and I’m okay with that, but the part that still stings a little is that he didn’t show he understood what I was really offering. Or maybe under the surface he did, and he knew that I wasn’t in any way ever going to be ready to ‘start a family’… I won’t really know, but that’s the extent of my feelings there. I am still hoping he eventually finds that special girl that’s going to knock his socks off with happiness, though. That part of my wish for his future didn’t change. :slight_smile:

I view platonic love as being the single most powerful form love can take, because it transcends physical limitations, and barriers that exist only in the mind. So what I want you to take away from this is that hugging/kissing really is okay, but these need to foremost be a choice that the individual reader can make based on their own personal limits, or wishes for the character they are playing.

Hopefully this wasn’t too much info, or too scatterbrained and unhelpful. I’ve got some serious waffling issues when it comes to trying to keep things succinctly brief. :sweat_smile:

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@LadyUmbreon89

Thank you so, so much for your honesty! I really appreciate it! I’ll definitely add some extra layers of choice to try an accommodate different styles, so people can choose what feels right for them. I definitely take comprehensive representation very seriously, having grown up in a household that didn’t even raise the subject of same sex relationships. Which made for a very confused teenage me when I realized I didn’t really fit the “girls like boys/boys like girls” dynamic. So, I definitely do want to get it right!

I’ll try and incorporate a gradient of interpersonal interactions to allow for the most choice, and I’ll definitely make sure to have the romance options ask what the player character is comfortable with, that way the relationship is based on mutual respect and investment.

I tend towards verbose physical descriptions of things, so I wanted to avoid the temptation of “oh look at how dang hot this person is! so hot, right?” when that’s not where the interest in them lies. But, I also want to build a character that inspires a connection, so I know that a lot of my focus is going to be on really building a solid personality and demeanor. Any opinions of what kinds of traits to include are very welcome! I assume most people will want someone who respects them and cares about them, but I know that people’s tastes will run the gamut. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Prefacing this with: I’m somewhat grey in that I have a sex-drive, just no real sexual attraction. And I tend to play non-asexual routes in games anyway, because I live vicariously through characters to some extent. But through personal experiences–

I enjoy cuddling and physical contact. Warmth is good, and I will lay on people if they let me. Soft pecking kisses are nice. Hugs, golden. Any more intense kissing? I don’t get anything out of, and honestly that makes it really strange to do. Like, I know there’s supposed to be a “Good” way to do that, but it all feels the same to me, so I’m just stuck trying to figure out what my partner wants my face to be doing.

Personally I’m okay with more intense physical intimacy, I just won’t initiate it, and I probably won’t respond to it normally unless I’m pretending (I’m fine with playing along like this, but it really is all mirroring). I don’t desire it (aside from out of pure curiosity), and I’m unable to empathize enough with my partner to know how s/he wants to pace things. So I’ll just stick to whatever.

This, in combination with the fact that I have zero moral, religious, or otherwise personal objections to sex, has the alternate side effect of, I’ve been pretty much game for whatever pace my partner wants to set (even if it’s “very fast”) so long as everything is done safely.

I should point out that this is very much a personal thing, and I’ve heard the opposite from friends in that they feel obligated to have a physically intimate relationship, despite not being interested. And it just kinda… made things stressful and uninteresting.

As for non-physical intimacy, I’m much more shy. Endearments and “I love you” mean a lot, still. I’m also usually jumpy about them, because asexual relationships don’t feel “normal” to me yet (they SHOULD and they ARE and… but… when most of your knowledge comes from media portrayals. Sex sells.)–so there’s usually a part of me in my head going “But do you mean it the same way he does?”

Physical attraction still plays a part, to me. Just not quite in the same way. I can tell when someone is good looking. But I don’t fantasize about people–I’m not turned on by a person’s looks or actions, I just like looking at them. So in narrative, I’m okay with an RO being described as, “He has bright, expressive eyes” but not “You wanted to just run your tongue all over his abs.” Things like that or even as simple as saying “He was hot” or anything along those lines shut me down like nobody’s business.

For me, physical aspects I’m drawn to are eyes, scents, and the sound of someone’s voice. I notice those a lot.

There’s also the emotional connection. Being able to just be with a person. Comfortable being held by them. Kindness. Energy.

The most important part for me would be to clean the narration of physical arousal. It’s okay to have attractive characters–or to even note that they’re attractive. It’s another thing for me to be physically, sexually attracted to them. Fantasizing is a no, unless it’s “I want to be held”.

That and a way to define an intimate relationship with characters. Explicitly with questions and “Are you comfortable with this”'s? A lot of ace routes shut down sex altogether, but I actually prefer the idea of maybe if I’m comfortable with it, trying some things with my partner (I’m not against sex, and I want my partner to be happy too, right?), which is why I usually avoid ace routes.

Lastly, as more of a side thing, I do enjoy flirting for fun, and I feel like that’s an underrated thing. I don’t blush easily, because I don’t put the same stock in flirting/physical attraction, so I can have a lot of fun with this (provided the other party is aware–I don’t like leading anyone on).

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Hi! The replies so far are really awesome with brilliant thought and great linked resources. You’ve most likely got enough to go on for your game, but here’s my two cents anyway, haha.

For reference, I’m a demiromantic cis woman in a relationship with a cis woman on the asexual spectrum. I can’t speak for all others who share these identities, of course, so consider my answers a singular case study.

How do you define your intimacy in an asexual relationship?
Like others have said, intimacy has the same definition for us as it does for everyone, but what sets us apart is the type of intimacy we prefer. We like holding hands, linking arms, cuddling, playing with each other’s hair, and kisses on non-sexual places. When we’re in public, we’re like any other painfully obvious couple with lots of standing very close, brushing against one another, saying “Let’s get this sweet treat!!” in a cute voice etc. One time we got a discount on a scented candle because the seller thought we were “too adorable.” :joy:

Snuggles are important, but what we value most is definitely emotional intimacy. We are emotionally very close and know almost everything about one another. We share our greatest fears and joys together and help each other through hard times. If I was going to make a game about us, I’d have the ace LI and the PC cuddle/frequently be in physical contact, declare their love and specific, long-term commitment to one another, and have a deep emotional bond.

What attracts you to other people the most?
Their personality. While I recognize aesthetic beauty and recognize when someone has characteristics others consider beautiful, I never look at someone and instantly want to sleep with them. A big, early sign of my demiromanticism might be that I never had a crush on a celebrity as a child. I didn’t get why everyone went gaga over Aaron Carter when they knew nothing about Aaron Carter, as a person. I also have a lot of trouble relating to characters expressing continued interest in proven mean-spirited people. Bad boys who are disdainful of others, insult the PC, and are super selfish are very, very hard sells for me.

How would you want asexuality to be represented in a game?
I would want representation that avoids harmful tropes, which is just what you want to do!
Asexual characters who are human, as opposed to androids, robots, or something else associated with being unfeeling. Asexuality not being seen as invalid. Asexual people being in love, valued, and happy. Asexual people not being tokenized with a one note personality as “The Asexual One” and instead having lots of interests, hobbies, and a fulfilling career. I’m tired of asexual reproduction jokes.

In case you need more examples of positive rep, the Kraken Collective is an indie publisher with super great ace rep. I’d especially recommend the works of Claudie Areseneault. [i]Baker Thief[/i], an enemies-to-lovers superhero story, is their latest. If fanfiction is more your speed, my favorite ace series is called “A Love with No Name” by Ivory Novelist. It’s a BBC Sherlock fic with asexual!Sherlock, straight!John, and grayace!Lestrade in a queerplatonic triad. “The Cuddle Sutra” might be helpful in writing those snuggle scenes. “A Strange and Abundant Love” is the same queerplatonic triad concept in a more longform version.

Best of luck and I’m super excited for your game! I’ll keep an eye out for when it needs Beta readers!

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Thanks for trying to be inclusive!

Here’s is something I wrote out for someone asking similar questions to you, so hopefully it’ll help you too!
What’s important to me in an ace relationship:
*Emotional closeness is the big one, more so than friends, different from family, it’s that kind of strong connection that comes in a sexual relationship too. Being around the person is recharging, comforting, they make you feel secure, and you just want to be around them because their presence makes you feel good.

*for me at least, there is sill some sort of attraction based on appearance, but it doesn’t nessicarily translate to a sexual attraction, or maybe it’s just such a low level that it doesn’t really translate into wanting sex most of the time(I’m grey ace, others mileage will differ of course!). Like you just…want to be around them, to look at them and just kind of bask in their presence, this ties a lot into the emotional side of things too, and as with sexual attraction, the emotions you feel about a person can influence this too. Kissing, hugging, cuddling, making out even, all your general touch of affections are all important, for me at least.

As for how the game represents it? I’d want it to be acknowledge by both game and characters. If you’re ace and romancing a non ace ro, I would like for the conversation about that to at least be implied to have happened, rather than being ace just being a toggle for if sex scenes are included or not. Let there be ace ROs too, who bring up the fact they are ace. While having non ace ROs be cool with an ace MC is great and appreciated, it’s really nice if there is at least one ro who instead of compromising something they enjoy (sex) for the sake of an ace MC, they actually prefer an ace relationship as well.

I hope this helps a little!

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I’m allosexual/aromantic, so my opinion is of less significance, but what’s key to me is: I think romantic asexual relationships should be portrayed the way I’d like allosexual relationships to be – but usually aren’t. Strong emphasis on consent, mutual respect, and deep communication.

A few replies have mentioned – intimacy is more emotional than physical. The intimate quality of sex (not all sex) comes from placing one’s trust in another person. I don’t like the use of the word intimacy as a euphemism for sex, since I think it muddies the water here.

One of the reasons I wanted to emphasize consent is because in a healthy relationship (as I see it) consent is definitely not limited to sex. So in an ace relationship, it’s important to emphasize consent around things like kissing, cuddling, holding hands etc. Some ace people are comfortable with it, some are not. The assumption that no sex = no kissing isn’t great, but also, I think consent should be around things like kisses, too.

I also think the equation changes greatly when at least one major RO is ace or ace spectrum themself.

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Like everyone else here, this is going to be pretty personal! I’ll do my best to keep it from being TMI, but here goes. I’m a panromantic ace, btw.

How do you define your intimacy in an asexual relationship?
I don’t think emotional intimacy is that different from sexual people, aside from not wanting to bone their loved ones at any point in the relationship. (though in my case, I’m not particularly sex-averse. I just…don’t really get anything from it.) And I see physical intimacy as a reflection of that…intimacy is showing your affection for someone, giving them your absolute trust, letting the softest part of yourself out in physical interactions with them. So hand holding and kissing for ‘I want you to know how much I love you’ (fairly chaste kissing for that, though----I can do less chaste kissing, but it’s not really meaningful beyond ‘hopefully partner likes this’ and I kind of have to guesswork my way through it since it’s not natural. It’s like trying to mimic a ballet while having no clue how ballet actually works). Cuddling for ‘I trust you and I like your warmth and I want to be as close to you as the laws of physics can allow it’.

It’s just that at no point would any of this morph into ‘wow I want to have sex with you’. That’s where it ends. I can sort of tell where in a person’s head the feelings can lead to sexual intimacy, thus enabling me to parse sexy scenes when the emotions are there, but there is no road that leads to feeling sexual desire for me.

What attracts you to other people the most?
I notice pretty people the way you notice a pretty tree. Like, I notice that they’re pretty, and I like eye candy as much as I like anything else. Pretty trees are nice to look at. So are pretty people. But it…doesn’t really make much of a difference? ‘Attraction’ to someone you don’t know by itself, as in something that makes you want to know or interact with someone, is a weird idea for me, so I guess I’m kinda demiromantic in that regards. I have NO idea how it works for other people, how do you get attracted to someone you just met? I’ve never fanned myself regarding a good-looking celebrity, and I’m not entirely sure how it’s done.

(Trust me, this makes watching 90% of human creative works weird.)

What attracts me to other people comes from how they behave after we’ve interacted. Are they fun to talk to? Do they have a nice laugh? Do I like the way light glints off their eyes? Have they done something to make my heart skip a beat? Are they admirable? Does being with them make me feel happy?

I truly don’t get people who don’t like their partners personality-wise but are stuck together because they love the boning. I truly don’t get it. I don’t get sexual tension-filled stares often used in media, either.

That said, for practical game-writing purposes : this always makes it awkward when a game asks me if I’m attracted to a character after meeting them. I’m always like, ‘you can do that???’ when that choice happens, and it always throw me out of immersion because then I’m trying to read the author’s intention instead of what my character does (I don’t always play ace) and trying to figure out their system/coding instead of just enjoying the game.

How would you want asexuality to be represented in a game?
Hmmm…it’s kind of a nebulous question. I can tell what I don’t want, but what I want is a bit tough to define…

I suppose I agree with one of the above posters in that it’s really important to clean the narration of physical arousal. That always throw me off. And implications that your character is VERY affected by a character’s looks at first glance. And allow the PC/NPC to define their initimacy level as opposed to just being ‘a character who doesn’t do sex’…this is harder work, though, so I can see why most authors just opt to scrubbing out sex scenes.

Also, I suppose there’s one thing I wish for but I’m not sure if practical because it’s basically just my preference, but there’s often this…feeling that relationships in writing climax at sex, and if you’re writing one without sex, you’re going for a lesser climax. (Pun not intended.) This always bums me out of the idea of playing ace. I’d rather have relationships climax at something universally emotional (e.g. ‘and they held each other quietly for a long time as the world falls apart around them’ or other sappy stuff) rather feeling like it SHOULD end at sex, but got cut off into this inferior version that just involves holding hands. I like sex well enough as a coda, and honestly I understand that it’s important to sexual people enough to be used as the climax, but that feeling persists often and it’s nice to find something else.

For all its flaws, this is one thing Japanese romances tend to consistently do better than Western romances, funnily enough.

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Asexuality’s a broad spectrum so don’t sweat about this too much, honestly alot of aces I’ve met adore any representation at all and we’ll even jump through alot of mental gymnastics convincing ourselves various fictional characters we like are totally ace. Myself not even being an exception there.

That said, I’m perfectly happy to answer this more personally as a pan grey-aro ace if that helps:

How do you define your intimacy in an asexual relationship?

Kissing isn’t a big no no but I don’t get anything out of it and wouldn’t appreciate feeling obligated to do it beyond the odd occasion. But no tongues. Holding hands with a partner wouldn’t bother me at all but it isn’t something I’d think to do on my own initiative either. More a “Oh you want to hold hands, cool.” kind of reaction. I’m a bit sex averse but the thought of putting out isn’t too beyond the pale for me, it’d have to be someone super important to me however and it’d be a massive deal breaker if I felt under pressure to do so. Putting out beyond maybe one or two occasions in the entire relationship is beyond the pale though. Cuddling’s absolutely fine and it’s the only physically intimate part of a romantic relationship I actually desire.

Generally speaking, physical intimacy puts me off. I’d only ever be interested in relationships that are purely or at least mostly emotional.

And even the little leeway I’d give here is only for someone I’d marry if I didn’t think marriage was an outdated absurdity.

What attracts you to other people the most?

I’m human like anyone so I’d be lying if I didn’t say someone’s looks play a big part in how attracted to them I am. Interestingly, probably because I’m sex averse I’ve noticed I’m extremely repulsed by people generally considered extremely sexually attractive. The physical traits people generally find sexy, I find disgusting. Yet the physical traits people generally find beautiful, I’m head over heels for. I feel like the only person on the planet who vomits in his mouth everytime Jason Momoa pops up on screen. I know the guy’s extremely hot but uh, for me that’s the problem. He’s a living work of art from the neck up, however. I have the same reaction to “sexy” women.

I do think I’m far more interested in people’s personalities than their looks when it comes to their romantic desirability though. But so does everyone else. :stuck_out_tongue:

How would you want asexuality to be represented in a game?

I have pretty low standards, honestly. Any representation to me is good representation at this point. That said, I’m a very stereotypical ace (in that I have the personality and warmth of a heartless machine) so naturally stereotypical representation doesn’t irk me the same way it’d do most aces. You might want to pay more attention to the answers of others for this one.

Assuming this is for a CoG I can only recommend @Havenstone’s Choice of Rebels as the absolute gold standard for ace representation.

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How do you define any kind of intimacy? I thin this varies from person to person even if everbody is allo?

For me personally, I am a little bit litho when it comes to sensual stuff. I wants in teori to do all the cuddling and kissing, but it does nothing for me when I try.

That said, I get the normal crush feelings, I think. The butterflies in the stomach, the wanting to be near another person, the whole package expect the desire to see them naked.

I don’t actually notice how pretty people are. I just, don’t.

Smiles can be pretty attractive to me. Other than that it is passion and a personality I just click with.

I don’t really know. Normally, I don’t choose the asexual options in choice games, because I just don’t trust the authors. COG has a nasty habits of confusing asexuality, aromantic and just not interested in romance subplot which is three different thing and hosted mimics it.

Not writing physical attraction in and letting the player choose level of intimacy is the obvious one.

Also I am of two mind with it comes to Havenstones choice of rebels. It is pretty realistic, but it also directly went into all my worst fears of being in a relationship in real life which was actually pretty god damn triggering.

There seems to be two stereo types of aces. Robot like human. (Aros gets this one too) and pure fluff and sweetness because sex is sinful so those who don’t want it most be too good for this earth. The second one bores me in fiction as I do like a bit of edge to my ROs. (That is a personal preference.)

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If you include an ace character, don’t make them robots/aliens/plants. I have seen many ugly comparisons to ace people that, basically, question our humanity, so this type of thing doesn’t exactly sit well with me.

I also don’t like it when some ace adults are presented as ~innocent and pure because they don’t have sex. Don’t infantilize us. Sex =/= maturity. Also, since some people think asexuality is a somewhat new “trend”: Not all aces are in their teens or early twenties. I, for example, have identified as ace for over a decade.

Some general thoughts re: ace representation in games:

  • Let an ace MC have sex if they wish to have it. Don’t lock them automatically out of the choice. That’s not what asexuality is about. (And I am saying this as someone who primarily plays sex-repulsed aces!) Similarly, if you include something that has the MC explain their asexuality to a potential RO, get your facts straight and don’t immediately jump on the “I will never have sex with you!” train. For some MCs, that may be the right thing to say, but not for others.

  • Cut out the “OMG THEY’RE SO HOT!!1” reaction to a romanceable MC. Instead, say that they have an infectious laugh, elegant hands, a pleasant voice. Or maybe their hair color is just really cool? Or they wear a T-shirt of that one band the MC likes.

  • Non-sexual intimacy is underrated (IMO) and, frankly, I’d like to see more of it in romance-focused games.

  • Aces can be kinky. Kink doesn’t have to be inherently sexual.

  • Aces who are not kinky and who do not have sex, are not “prudes”. Don’t judge an ace MC for their choices – even if it’s in the form of another character’s opinions. It might be realistic, but why would I want to encounter that in a game I play for fun? That said, in my opinion, it’s acceptable that a non-ace RO might want to think about whether they’re truly okay with being in an asexual relationship. It’s not for everyone and that’s okay.

  • Please don’t include references to cake and dragon unless you’re a part of the ace community. :wink:

That’s currently all I could think of…

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You’re right. Now that I think of it, I remember feeling something bugging me about ace characters in general media, and this puts it pretty succinctly. They’re either pure pure cinnamon rolls (because someone who isn’t into sex must be pure, right?) who’s made to be like ‘snuggles? snuggles!’ or some variant of Spock. And that’s…not really true.

I’d actually like to see, say, a machiavellian ambitious person be ace and take it as an asset that they can’t be sexually seduced by any honeytraps, ever, just because everyone expects that archetype to be made of pure sex and it’d be hilarious.

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I don’t to be ‘that person’ waking this particular thread up, nor create an entirely new topic since the other more recent one is not an exact fit for what I’m trying to share, but I’m not sure where else would work, so here it is. A sibling of mine shared this with me, and, well… It hits home like nothing else.

I'll tell you one thing...

Like 98% of that was my own experiences growing up. The part where she thought about being attracted to her friends is pretty real, but not something I’ve really truly experienced which is not to say either side of that is invalid, but everyone experiences different things growing up.

And I’ll say this as well; every time someone told me I “just wasn’t there yet” to paraphrase the “late bloomer” shtick–it was a denial of my reality as I knew it. It does feel like you are being torn down on all sides. And it absolutely will lock you in a very dark place of confusion if you let it.

Funny enough, though… I knew ever since I was as young as people start “figuring it out”. I knew that it wasn’t something that was going to happen. But the reality is that no one out there wants to accept the possibility that you can guess at it so young. Especially those around you.

To the mods… If my reviving this thread is inappropriate, please feel free to act as you see fit–this is just a really well done article that I believe deserves a bit more visibility because of the hard truths it highlights. :bowing_woman:

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You posted this just fine.

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This is so relatable. (Not ace, but I don’t think there’s a thread on demi(something)sexuality yet). This far I’ve identified as straight (default assumption by lack of proof on the contrary), feared I was ace (for a lot of the reasons mentioned in that blog post), and now go with demi-?pan?-sexual, possibly for the time being. It’s hard to define what your sexuality/romantic preference is when you only feel attraction once every blue moon, and nothing even remotely like sexual attraction until you’re already knee-deep into a relationship. So now I’m almost 27, and still not sure what my sexuality is. (Got a clearer idea of it, sure, but no absolute certainties.) In a society that expects you to know, that kinda sucks.

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Thank you for sharing, it was a great read. I think I’m a fair bit older than that poster, homosexuality was not acceptable when I was growing up in the 90s and I never heard of asexuality until recently (like, tumblr in the last few years). The idea sort of was you “acted straight” no matter what, and keep your mouth shut what you do in private.

But looking back over it, I recently came to the conclusion that I’m on the ace spectrum, probably demi. I’m glad I’m not the only one who took a long time to figure it out. I can’t speak for everyone but I had bigger problems than figuring out my sexuality so that all waited until college.

Even now in my 30s, I’m only settled on my label because I prefer it vague (queer). May not work for everyone but I like it.

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I am demisexual due to bad experiences and traumas to point I almost abandoned anything relationship related. I still feel attraction as always and desires. It is just I can’t trust in men until I am in a relationship. My body tense and contact makes my first reaction aggressive in a fight-flight response. And like men here, only wants is sex and kisses right from the beginning well. No relationships or anything. At this point, I just renounced relationship altogether to be honest.

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My opinion as a non ace person might not matter. But for Ace relationships physical aspects cpuld be hand holding or resting head on shoulder. While tbe real trick is writing emotional intimacy being vulnerable to each other. Being able to put down the facade that everything is ok. Letting the characters open up to each other on a level not possible fir the MC and others.

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