Because I’m a writer, and I’m asexual. (I am, however, not a writing asexual, anymore than I’m a writing pharmacist. Thank you.)
I commit fanfiction on a semi-regular basis, but mostly I’m producing as of yet unpublished originals in German – almost exclusively fantasy. There’s two historical fantasy thingies, one queer fantasy novel in beta stage (technically, it’s gay fantasy, but to label it such isn’t advisable – it’s not porn) and currently I’m writing something with two asexual main characters.
Here’s a teaser trailer for the queer fantasy novel: three and a half scenes I originally translated for kaydeeblu. So’s that you all know what the heck I’m talking about, given the likelihood you’re not interested in my fandoms.
I’ve been identifying as asexual for almost two years now, which means that the bulk of my original writing has been done before me getting involved with AVEN Germany.
While there are, in hindsight, numerous clues for me regarding my self-perception, no reader of mine has ever suspected from my writing that I’m asexual, or even non-heterosexual. I’ll hold that as proof that if I, as an gray-romantic asexual am capable of making my audience cry or have toothaches from the sweetness, there is little reason to accuse any of us of being unfeeling.
Ahem, now to the clues from before and eventually, what identifying as ace has done to my writing.
I never have been too comfortable with writing sex scenes – by now I will write them, if I believe it necessary, and I’m not going out of my way to avoid them anymore, but if someone’s looking at my M-rated fanfic in the hopes for one „bit“ every chapter, they’ll be sorely disappointed.
I don’t write gratuitous sex scenes, because, well, it doesn’t get me all hot and bothered, and I’m not interested in getting to see my leads naked. I don’t fantasize about them off-screen, unlike other authors I’ve talked to.
While I usually hate having music in the background, I keep a playlist around to get me in the mood (or at least, into an approximation thereof). Even then, it doesn’t come easy, and my characters tend to get lost in the mechanics rather than in the sensations. Which means editing. Lots of editing.
Apart from that, I’ve produced a truckload of aromantic, if mostly *sexual characters – even before I realized there was a name for feelings like that. These people just went about their business while never falling in love, and occasionally even thinking about this state of affairs explicitly.
I never found this peculiar, and I never once pitied these characters, made them out as unhappy because of it, or thought them heartless. With one exception, they’re actually rather caring individuals.
Also, in hindsight, the female lead of my first novel is demisexual.
So. My subconscious must have been at work there.
Identifying as asexual has now given me the perspective to look at these things from more angles. It has aggravated the aromantic tendency and added an ace one. Suddenly, there’s sub-themes with „gender“ in them, not counting heteronormativity.
I’m not out to my writing group, and they’re not only older than me but tend also to be less informed on GSM issues. Thus, one said that I was recently doing „special“ themes. Likely, that was her way of describing that I wasn’t catering to heterosexual audiences with my two latest projects.
I’m quite aware that I won’t be making monster amounts of money with writing those two novels. There’s going to be more writing, for a broader audience, but there always shall be at least one queer sidekick and one ace character, as I’ve decided.
I consider this important, both personally, because I care about my themes, and am occasionally discussing issues I myself have faced, and on a wider level.
Asexuality and aromanticism (or aromanticity? – I don’t like the -ism there, because being aromantic has nothing to do with a belief structure) need to be represented, and not in a way of „let’s introduce this exotic specimen and its troubles for comic relief“ – a fate gay characters seem to suffer from especially. Also, to avoid the fate of this token gay guy, who lisps and suffers from broken-wrist-syndrome.
We are there, we are many, and we are all different.