I'm (______) and this describes me better


#1

We’ve had a lot of insightful discussions about under-represented or minority characters, and how to write them better.* However, this is one focused thread I don’t think we’ve had - are you someone from a category that people writing games often get wrong, and if so, what is your specific advice as to how authors might provide you a better option to describe yourself?

To get us started: I identify as bisexual. In most games that give me that option, they usually say something like “I look beyond gender when connecting with my partners.” That’s just not true. I like different things in a sexy woman or a devilish man. They’re physical characteristics I very much consider when evaluating my attraction. So what would work better:

  1. In the past, I’ve been attracted to both men and women/people of any gender.**
  2. I could be attracted to either a man or a woman/to a person of any gender**, as long as we got along otherwise.

*Other recent discussions -
Race -
What about PoC?
Asexuality (or Ace-spectrum) -
Asexual Characters
Where are the aces (asexuals)
Writing asexual and aromantic characters
Alternate identities -
Writing about gender, power, and privilege
Writing good characters with marginalized identities

**This is where a game designer would decide whether to differentiate bisexual from pansexual, or give any character the option to date a non-binary character. Personally, I identify as bi because I usually date male or female people, and would only be swayed from that if a character were really fascinating… so yes, I’d like the choice.


#2

I actually think that you did quite a good job in Haven High with sexuality, however brief. You described it as a ‘lack of drive’, which is essentially the entire idea behind it.

Most people tend to have the misconception that because you don’t have a desire to have sex, that is replaced by a desire to avoid it, which is entirely inaccurate; being asexual doesn’t mean that everything sexual suddenly becomes repulsive or nausea-inducing, which is the trap most people fall into. I played a game a while back where you could only be asexual if you were one of the most misanthopic characters you could be, which kind of highlights the problem.

If I see something sexual, in any context, it doesn’t repulse me, it just…doesn’t affect me. The times I’ve watched pornography didn’t make me vomit like most people think you would, it just affected me the same amount that a general YouTube video would. It didn’t. Of course there will be some people repulsed by sex, but that only a portion of people.

If I had any particular advice, it would be to approach sexuality with an air of indifference more than disgust or anything else. It’s actually more difficult to explain to people who are bi or pan, because I generally just ask people to take the level of attraction they feel to the sex they aren’t attracted to and attribute that to both of them. Barring closeted homophobia, it often works.

I may be a complete outsider without even realising it, but when approached with sexual subjects, most people expect me to say “ew, that’s disgusting, why do you do that?”, when my actual reaction is almost perpetually “meh. I’ll follow along as much as I can”. Even people in real life consider me to be haughty or arrogant because I don’t have sex, like I consider it to be beneath me, which is another pitfall. Just think of how you feel in your daily life when sexual matters don’t rule your mind; it can be something as mundane as eating breakfast. You don’t think about sex then. We feel like that constantly. No arrogance, no disgust. Just plain indifference.

That was a LOT longer than I expected, but there you go. I hope it helps and doesn’t bore you too much.

P.S.: good luck with the coding, I LOVE your game so much; my favourite species to play as is the succubus. Ironic, hmm?


#3

I think the issue is bisexual is a spectrum, and people try to include everything in the single choice, while avoiding the “I’m attracted to both men and women” option, which excludes people outside of the gender binary.

I do get frustrated when I’d see “but you must prefer one over the other.” Just as I get frustrated with games that let you choose to be genderqueer, and then erase that by forcing you to pick one.

@Sherlock221B

Not to take away from your own thoughts and experiences. I’d a few thoughts of my own though.

Sometimes it does though. But certainly not all asexual people are repulsed by the concept of sex. Some asexual people have sex. Some are repulsed. Some are just indifferent. Again it’s a spectrum that’s just not going to capture every experience.

Hmm, that’s an interesting thought.

It’s possible to be both bi/pan and asexual though.


#4

Wouldn’t that be more on the side of being biromantic and asexual? The lack of sexual attraction doesn’t mean that someone can’t be interested romantically with certain genders/sexes. Kind of in the same way I consider myself bisexual, but I identify as homoromantic. I think it honestly all depends on what ‘scale’ is being used to measure it, really. If we went by the Kinsey scale, I’d just be a 5 for example.

I’m too sleep deprived right now to get in-depth though… :sleeping:


#5

I know, I did mention that, but that’s kind of the problem; when there’s a huge spectrum for one option, it’s extremely difficult and nigh impossible to actually pin down something that works for everybody. I suppose you could code every experience as a potential option, but I don’t even want to begin to think how long that would take. It’s a tricky ideal, and some people will fall under that experience, I understand.

Romantically so, but in terms of sexuality, both of them are literally opposites. There are people who like to date women and men but dislike sex with either, and there are people who have sex with both men and women but dislike dating either. I think the correct terms there would be a bi/panromantic asexual, and an aromantic bi/pansexual, respectively. Again, it’s a tricky subject that would take a very long time for somebody to accurately describe.

Damn. Human Nature is a bitch, isn’t it? Sometimes I wish for a much simpler system. Then I realise the world would probably be a much duller place.


#6

Well this is a bit of a sensitive topic for me. So sensitive I’ve waited until others commented. Maybe because over here things are uh… different.

That’s good to hear. I was just wondering if it’s possible to be both bi- and asexual.

But to stay on topic, I can understand why people would feel angry for not having their sexual preference listed. I believe it feels a bit like as if you’ve been left out of the game. Not everyone can be as indecisive/indifferent as the mentioned person above.


#7

Actually, no. This is a tricky one to explain. (And I guess I should likely shift over to one of the many asexual topics we have.) I actually had a link to a better explanation but I can’t find it.

Being bisexual, and being asexual are not opposites.

I think even the sexual/romantic scales are a bit too simplistic to capture every nuance.

It’s possible for people to identify as both bisexual and asexual. Just as it’s possible for people to identify as gay/straight, and asexual. Of course bisexual doesn’t get the same handy word that doesn’t have ‘sexual’ in it that other identities do.

I think, one of the simplest ways to describe it might be, you find both/all genders attractive. You’ve no desire to actually have sex. You may also have no desire to engage in romantic relationships of any sort. So, biromantic isn’t an apt substitute.

There’s also people who’ve identified as bisexual because they feel the same attraction to both men and women, even if that attraction is close to none. And they identified that way before asexual/aromantic spectrum became more widespread.

And yeah, sorry for side-tracking this discussion.


#8

I may be completely wrong here but I’m mainly speaking from my own experience as demisexual and also from what I’ve heard from those I know who identify as ace/grey-ace/demi, but it sounds like what you’re talking about is demisexual or grey-asexual (or romantic as the case may be).

If someone is asexual and biromantic then they’re romantically attracted to two genders (not always male and female) but sexually attracted to none. What you’re describing is a minor or occasional sexual attraction to two genders (though correct me if I’m wrong), which would usually be described as grey-asexual, but still biromantic. (Unless the grey-asexual person in question is only sometimes sexually attracted to two genders, but romantically attracted to one or all genders, or none.)

Or if you mean those who develop sexual feelings for others, but only after a long partnership or romantic feelings already are well established, you’d be talking about someone who’s demisexual like myself. In which case they could be panromantic, biromantic, heteroromantic, homoromantic, etc. and will not feel sexual attraction towards anybody but a partner they’ve already got a well established relationship with.

Well, that’s my long ramble attempt at an explanation. Is that what you’re thinking of? Or am I completely off the mark?


Where are the aces (asexuals)?
#9

Trying to be good. Although I suppose it does kind of fit with this thread.


#10

Hoping this is not to off topic.
Trying to graple my understand for my own game I am using:
I like dancing with the oppiste sex
I preferr a full dance card.
I preferr dancing with my own gender.

If I add the following
I preferr not to dance at all
Would that cover a wide enough set of genders for most folk? Thanks


#11

Saw this thing on Facebook a while back, and figured it would be pretty excellent here to help people out. I’m B0-F0~ so I use the term libido-fluid because it really does seem to fluctuate. But the 0-6 is always a consistent 0 for me. Anyway; just thought I’d put this up for people to see and use if they want.

P.S. I also thought that this might make a nice way to set up sexuality in a game as a subroutine, if anyone wants to take the idea and run with it, seeing as it was basically what I was trying to go for in my own WIP (and ended up with a rather more clunky sort of system).


#12

Interesting. It appears I’m an A; this will actually help immensely with categorisation.

Is the F supposed to sound slightly sociopathic though or no, because that’s what my mind instantly leapt to. Rather appropriate for the game you’re coding. Not to call you a sociopath, I just…you know. Yay for coincidences.


#13

@Sherlock221B No, not necessarily. It’s certainly true that someone in the F category may not feel remorseful that they don’t feel romantic/that it’s not about romance, but I guess I’d call it more like being in heat than being sociopathic. Kinda depends on individual morals.

Likewise, there’s not necessarily any direct correlation between someone’s libido and the amount of sex they’ve had. In some ways life would be easier if that were the case… but, no. It’s frustrating for me to run hot and cold because I have a moralistic stance I try to steer by, and it’s as much -wanting- to fall off that as ever actually getting close to doing so that’s quite frustrating.


#14

I’m not sure that chart is refined enough but according to it I am a B3.

Relationships are always complicated.


#15

The chart is intresting I guess I fall under E.


#16

That must suck. A lot. It certainly has a negative connotation, which is why I kind of joked about the point, but the attribution of a moral stance I didn’t think was particularly relevant. I always thought the concept of a libido was exhausting, but that must be unbelievable. I’m going to have to think more on this; thank you for that. I like thinking about stuff.


#17

There’s still a bit of a hiccup with that table though. All categories are based on to which sex you’re attracted to, rather than to which gender. In the English language there’s a huge difference between the two. Based on this table I’d be tempted to categorize myself as D0, but I think I feel attracted to the opposite gender, not necessarily the opposite sex.

In Versus this was a bit of an issue. My MC, which I had specified as being attracted to men, felt attracted to Breeze, who was in my playthrough exclusively called by male pronouns, and who I’d because of that assumed to be of male gender. Then he turned out to be intersex, which to my knowledge has no direct connection to gender identity, and my MC was taken aback by that. The point was, I wasn’t. I was like, that’s fine by me, and I’d wished that my MC would’ve been able to tell Breeze that she didn’t have any issues with that at all, but for some reason the game, or rather the writer, assumed that choosing to be attracted to men = being attracted to the male sex, and that wasn’t an option. That got me rather pissed off for a bit.


#18

Well said. Many guys are attractive because of who they are and not because of sex.


#19

Well…

At present, there’s a bit of a linguistic struggle between attraction to a body and attraction to a personality. For instance, on the topic- the closer to the F side of the spectrum I get, the more the attraction is focused on body type and physical appearance, whereas getting closer to the B side focuses more on personality- and when it comes to personality, that’s where I think most people consider gender to be. Except… personally speaking… I don’t. Someone who has a woman’s body, whether they feel they are woman, man, intersex, or gender-fluid, I can feel attraction ‘blindly’, because I don’t actually see a difference; not that I can recognize- not that I can be unattracted to. I can be unattracted to an appearance… and I can be turned off by a personality I don’t like, but never by a personality being ‘too masculine’. I just don’t even see lines. Although, I know especially these days, more people do, and are paying attention to them. Though some people like me struggle at ‘seeing’ a difference between genders, and thus wondering what the fuss is about, when our sexual-based attraction comes from physical appearance. And romantic attraction also has to see that physical appearance first, and if it clicks, then …like, in game terms, runs a check to see if the personality is likeable too, and if it is, can feel romantic. If physical intimacy isn’t desired or taken a ‘rain check, possibly’ on, though, the appearance part can be largely skipped over and go straight to that second check on personality.


#20

See I dislike the chart as I can be just the same by a person’s mind without even seeing the body. This can be so confusing for someone like myself that never grew up around any of this. :confused: