I wrote a piece for Fox Spirit Books about Asexuality in sci-fi and fantasy. I’ve talked about it before, but this is very much an updated and better version of stuff I’ve said in the past. A topic somewhat close to my heart.
By Joel Cornah
Writing characters is so often about letting the reader know what they are, rather than what they are not. In our world, so much of how people’s identities are perceived is bound up in ideas of sexuality and romance that, in the words of comedian Charlie Brooker;
“We’ve become so accustomed to seeing characters pairing off with one another that it’s now almost impossible to see a man and a woman together on screen at once without internally speculating about whether they’re going to have sex or not.”
Indeed, the trope of having two people (often of different genders) who do little but argue and despise one another but end up falling madly in love is incredibly prominent. I might even go so far as to say that for a lot of people, seeing two characters bicker has become an almost sure-fire way of predicting if they’ll end up together. But even in these cases, the writers will often tie them together through some reconciliation scene that ends with physical intimacy of some sort. Just to hammer home the point.