Writing Asexual and Aromantic Characters

I think the important thing to note here is that asexuality does not dictate romantic attraction or orientation. As an ace, I appreciate the effort of many CoG writers on here to include asexuality or aromanticism but there is a difference between the two and we should never (I mean go ahead if you want lol) use asexuality as an umbrella term to include aromanticism. Those are two completely different spectrums.

Personally, when I play CoG games, I usually play as a pan/bi/hetero character so I can still pursue romantic relationships. I may be an anomaly in the ace community, but I personally enjoy sexual satisfaction and fantasies, and when I read or play these types of games, it’s about the only time that I feel normal in my attractions or lack thereof because it’s not something that I see? Like attraction to me is based on physical/sexual attraction, so when I read a budding romance, the fact that it’s reading and not living it in person, I don’t necessarily notice that “Hey, I’m not attracted to this character.” because I can’t see them. I still enjoy romantic relationships and the idea of romantic and sexual relationships, so reading about it, it’s not much of a displeasure. I don’t know if any of this makes sense, it’s kind of hard to explain lol.

As a general overall advice, I would just say that if you want to include asexuality, have an option to abstain from sex without it affecting the future of the relationship and so that they can still reach the same percentage in the relationship through other means. (“Let’s not have sex.” “Oh booo.” -5 relationship with Het) or (“Let’s not have sex.” “Okay.” with no negative or positive impacts but a loss of the opportunity for a relationship gain)

Let me know if you need me to clarify on any of this, please let me know. I’m not that great at explaining this.

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I mentioned this thread to a few people in my life, and we had some good talks. As it turns out, I explained myself better here than I ever had to them.

My husband understands me very well. With him, the major thing was saying, “So, you know I don’t… love you, right? Like other people love people, I mean?” What a horrible thing to say. What kind of terrible human being feels that way about the most important person in their life? We’d talked about the way my feelings work, but I had never said those words outright, and I was terrified and expecting him to be devastated.

He gave me one of his tolerant smiles, and said, “Yes, I’ve always known you’re different. It’s okay.” And I hugged him to demonstrate relief, and we talked about asexuality and aromanticism for awhile, and then I made dinner.

The next day I was talking to my boyfriend (my husband and I are polyamorous; he has a long-term lady friend and it’s been getting fairly serious with my boyfriend.) When we first started dating I told him that romance and falling in love were not really in the cards for me, but about a month ago when I clarified I was aromantic, I realized he hadn’t understood my initial explanation. After posting in this thread, we had a better talk about what aromantic means and how my experience is different than his.

When I am considering someone for more than casual dating (which is all about chemistry and enjoying someone’s company) my thought process is very logical; others have called it mercenary. I feel that it’s similar to an animal summing up whether another would make a worthy mate. This is almost a word for word quote of what I told him: “Could they fight their way out of a dark alley with me? If I were wounded, could they protect me? If we worked together could we get food? In a pinch, how are their genes?”

Which, I should probably repeat, this is all specific to me. Some aromantic people don’t even want to be in relationships. Some undoubtedly have more civilized reasons for being in them. But to me, this kind of reasoning makes much more sense than “does a bit of my brain go all wobbly when I look at their eye bits?” I have the damnedest time understanding why people get married or stay in bad relationships, for example, if their primary motivation for doing so is “love”. It’s very hard for me to empathize, when for me it’s so easy to walk away (or run) if someone turns out to be dangerous, unhealthy, or simply not what I need in my life.

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@Sashira, @ruhenri: Thank you both for sharing what it means and feels like to be aromantic. Assuming I’m understanding the two of you correctly, there is no drive to share and spend time together with a sexual or potential sexual partner in order to form or maintain an emotional bond beyond what one might feel towards a platonic friend. I do believe I have a much better understanding now.

@Sashira: The thought did strike me that there seems to be much less incentive for a sexual aromantic to stay in a marriage or another sort of “romantic” relationship. And if I’m understanding you correctly again, it basically comes down to a purely logical cost-benefit analysis, and I suppose it doesn’t hurt that your relationship is polyamorous, so you don’t need to worry about sexual desire for another motivating you to pull the plug.

That does make me wonder if sexual jealousy is as much of an issue among aromantics as it is among romantics.

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Hm, no, I don’t think that’s right. Romantic people are, as I understand it, seeking to fulfill a void in their hearts where someone to love ought to be. It is their goal to fill their hearts with love for someone. If someone does not have the desire to have a beloved, to experience the highest form of a type of love they never experienced in the first place, it doesn’t mean that all concept of, e.g., “marriage” is lost.

I got married because I desired an ally, a life partner, someone to raise children with when I’m ready, someone to daily show that I care about their existence. You know where you stand with someone you’re loyal to, committed to, absolutely honest with, and know you have that kind of trust with in return. Having that kind of relationship also makes non-monogamy much easier, if you’re already inclined towards it.

Logic is how I decide who to move in with, who to ally with, who to trust. That and gut instinct. But loyalty is part of my makeup; if I found someone who was logically a “better mate” than my husband, it’s not like I’d feed him to the wolves. That isn’t part of the metaphor. :smiley:

Actually… it works both ways. I do feel relief that I can flirt with or date other people, if I’m all that tempted, as long as I’m honest and responsible about it (though again, that isn’t necessarily true of all of us.) But my husband’s girlfriend is cuddly. She holds hands. She has a type of sweet affection for him that I just can’t give him. For us, polyamory makes sense, because we’re okay with not fulfilling all of each other’s needs; just that main one for companionship and someone to have your back.

A lot of things make me wonder. There’s no telling what’s absolute coincidence or what has some kind of correlation until some studies are done, which would first take recognition of our existence. That’s the bit we’re working on now.

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I’ve been finding this topic enlightening.

Sorry if this is an impertinent question, but do you feel the other sorts of love?

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I’m a fairly antisocial person with low psychological attachment, in general. It takes me awhile to trust or like people. I really have no idea how much of that correlates to the aromanticism, and how much is a coincidence. I’ve had the kind of life where I’ve had to be sparing with trust, to move on quickly when people die, and to question the basis of bonds.

When I do start caring about someone’s existence, they become like a member of the same wolf pack. I feel a fierce loyalty that is a kind of love. I’m fond of them, protective of them, I just have no urge to fall “in love” with them. That kind of affection for people is similar to what I’ve heard other extreme introverts say about their close friends.

There’s a maternal variation that I feel for my cats: they are dependent on me and I care for their existence. That’s a kind of love. There’s a couple-based variation that I feel for my husband: we are in a productive alliance based on respect and compatibility, which to me are far more important than feelings I didn’t miss in the first place - we are a mated pair and are committed to each other.

As for the family I was born into, I may have been able to so easily cut myself off from them because my ideas of love are different, or maybe they were just really abandonable. It’s hard to tell. But “my family are terrible and dangerous people” is another one of those problems that I don’t understand putting up with because of “love.” It’s possible those two definitions (of romantic and familial love) are related in my mind somehow.

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There is an article on today’s BBC site titled: “Identity 2016: What’s it like to date someone who’s asexual?” - this article might help in development of these types of characters. BBC Dating an Asexual Article

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I get pretty aromatic if I forget to shower… XD Sorry… sorry…

I did come in here wondering what “aromantic” meant because to me Romance has always been a bunch of cultural bullshit. All these moronic social norms people have built up over the years as part of some game/contest to weed out… well… people like me, who don’t intuitively understand the rules and what exactly causes them to change at seemingly random intervals. Or just a point from which to justify rejecting someone you don’t find attractive while maintaining a sense of moral superiority.

Still, it was an interesting read once it actually got into the topic of “aromanticness”. I feel like that title is misleading… but I suppose there isn’t really a better one. I figured this thread might help me out a bit, but nope. Still, I’m glad it’s helping you guys.

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Thank you @Sashira and @Ruhenri for sharing.

@Shoelip I don’t think it’s fair to call such things moronic or bullshit. Although I can understand your frustrations.

The thread’s to help with the writing of asexual and aromantic characters. I’m sorry that it hasn’t helped you.

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9 posts were split to a new topic: The history of engagement rings

Hey everyone, I know this topic is old but I’ve gathered that it’s preferred to bump old topics than to create new ones so here we go, and sorry if I’m Doing It Wrong. :sweat_smile:

I’ve been thinking about incorporating an aromantic path in my story, and I have been compiling a list of questions about how to do so effectively, but for the moment I want to start with this. I’m currently planning to have a character who has a homosexual/homoromantic route, as well as a homosexual/aromantic route (note that both routes are distinctly not asexual - I have another who would have an ace route, and for now I want to talk about aro specifically and independently from ace).

My main concern for the moment is this … If you were playing as an aromantic PC, and there were an option to pursue an aromantic relationship with an NPC (can I call him an RO? Is that wrong in this context?), would you want that NPC to only have that aromantic relationship route? Or would it be acceptable, or even desirable, for that NPC to also have a romantic path? Or would it just depend on the character and the quality of the writing? I understand that aro is a spectrum and that being aro doesn’t necessarily mean never ever feeling romantic feelings, and I want to say that including both routes would be reflective of that, but I’m not sure if that’s really true.

For what it’s worth, I currently don’t interpret this NPC as an aromantic person, though I do think he would be comfortable and happy in a relationship with an aromantic PC, hence the two routes. I feel like making him aro himself would be viable, though. But then, if I made him aro, would it become problematic if he could enter a romantic relationship with a non-aro PC? Am I just wildly overthinking this?

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