After being prompted by a discussion in January’s Writer’s Support Thread, I figure this might be a good resource for the community.
There are general tips on writing Asexual and Aromantic characters found here:
…which also provides individual links for further exploration.
This thread’s purpose is to help identify potential pitfalls to avoid, rather than explore the generalities found in the other thread. I’d like to thank @AletheiaKnights for beginning this in the support thread.
Aletheia’s fear is an author who sets out to write “sexually/romantically inexperienced heroines” can’t imagine what it’s like to fall in love with the absence of sexual interest.
I’d like to take this a bit further… one of the pitfalls here is that these inexperienced authors (or authors unable to imagine a relationship without sexual interest) substitute purity culture concepts.
What is purity culture?
In the religious context, purity culture is: saving oneself or remaining “pure” by not having sex, or taking part in certain sexual acts until marriage.
In a broader writing context, the goals of celibacy, and abstinence are driven by some moral or ethical reason (not necessarily religious) and that sexual urges are resisted to achieve these goals.
When writing asexual characters, there is an absence of these urges to fight, and so many of the related concepts found within purity culture just do not apply. For the asexual, the lack of attraction has nothing to do with moral, ethical nor religious beliefs.
Asexual characters will not need to fight sexual urges, because they do not exist in the first place.
This means that the concepts of celibacy and abstinence can be pitfalls for writers. When these concepts are tied up with the idea of sexual urges, that is where the danger lays.
There are other pitfalls, but there is a lot to unpack here already.