Jump to content
nisse

Calling Aro-Allosexuals! representation in media? (CROSS-POST)

Recommended Posts

Hi folks! This is a cross-post from the AVEN forums, as i was told this forum might be a bit better for what i'm looking for (i had no idea this forum even existed, and i'm a proud aroace :0 )

Copy-pasted from here:

 

Quote

 

Hi folks!

I'm planning a weekly/biweekly comic strip, featuring an aroace android and her best friend, an aro-bi person. it's mostly for me, where i want to explore being aromantic in a world where romantic love is seen as such an intrinsic part of being human (which is partly why the aroace one is an android; think the ADHD Alien comic strips!).

I'm however aroace, and i don't know any aro-allos irl. so i thought i'd ask the community: what's something you'd like to see in an aro-allo character? what's something you'd HATE to see? are there any characters you headcanon as aro-allo? 

I have a feeling there might be a double-whammy of "sluttiness" (heavy quotation marks there, we do not sex-shame in this household) if you are both bisexual and aromantic?

to note: the comic strip is ages away from seeing the light of day, but i'm in the planning process!

 

a commenter on the original post had concerns with the aroace character being an android, and i just want to reiterate that i am aware of the stereotype, i am myself aroace, and this project is in part very personal to me and my experience of the world - hence the reference to the ADHD Alien!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm also aro-ace and I totally get the android thing! I think it's a useful metaphor for our experience and I love it when queer people turn their stereotypes into something genuine and three-dimensional. 

I'm following this because I'd also like more insight into writing allo-aro characters and I'm fucking clueless when it comes to sexual attraction. 

Good luck with your comic and welcome! I hope you'll want to stay with us (we're cooler than AVEN). 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had an aro-ace character who is a sociopath (though I'm questionning a bit the aro part) so I get you with th android thing. Just because there is a stereotype, it doesn't mean you are not allowed to use it if this is three-dimensional as say @Oatpunk. Stereotypes are meant to be played with after all.

I don't have anything to say as I am also ace, but I am interested as I may write an aro allo character someday. So I'll look at others' responses.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

(speaking as a person who mostly call themselve just aro, but who is not ace and i can call myself aro allo in some case)

The thing is : the aro allo experience is varied. They can be very sexual, not be, not liking sex that much, not be actually sure of their sexual orientation, young and old. 

And the other thing is: nothing of this is actually bad. 

I suppose a "cliché" i am not fan of would be that being aro allo *automatically* give you a higher sex drive and that you want sex with everyone you see and that it's always on you mind  (automatically is the key word. Because some aro allos may be like that for all i know, and they are not bad for it ). 

But i am not sure of how popular that "cliché" is. There is, of course, the "aro allos are manipulator" thing i hate.

Well, i would need to see actual representation to really be sure of what i don't want haha !

Edited by Leton.
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Leton. said:

Well, i would need to see actual representation to really be sure of what i don't want haha !

an excellent point, if kind of sad (that there is so little). 

honestly, this is kind of why i asked for headcanons. i only have one character i view as aro-allo (Miranda, from Black Sails), and she is excellent, but the text for sure wants her to be allo-romantic as well (and this is in a show with many queer characters, including one ace one, that shows that without using modern labels (as it's set in the golden age of piracy)). 

 

i guess i could lay out what i have of them so far?

they are NB, and aro-bi. very outgoing and flirty (as an opposite to their android friend), who likes their encounters but doesn't want serious relationships. i'm toying with the idea of giving them multiple, long term partners. they're not sex-crazy (and as you say, some allos are, and that's extremely valid!), but they enjoy sex and they know what they want, and they're very comfortable with not co-habitating with a partner or having a QPR. 

i'm still drafting their background and such, but they're the daily manager at a cafe-bar (hence the barista/bartender title), one of those extremely ~ cool ~ people who is also very likable, simply bc they like people. they can have difficulties realising when people aren't interested in socialising, and can be a bit too blunt at times. I'm thinking their family culture is such that that's necessary; when they grew up there wasn't room for subtext and interpret actions. kind of based off of my sister, in that whenever we go out together she always bumps into someone she knows.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, nisse said:

they are NB, and aro-bi. very outgoing and flirty (as an opposite to their android friend), who likes their encounters but doesn't want serious relationships. i'm toying with the idea of giving them multiple, long term partners. they're not sex-crazy (and as you say, some allos are, and that's extremely valid!), but they enjoy sex and they know what they want, and they're very comfortable with not co-habitating with a partner or having a QPR. 

i'm still drafting their background and such, but they're the daily manager at a cafe-bar (hence the barista/bartender title), one of those extremely ~ cool ~ people who is also very likable, simply bc they like people. they can have difficulties realising when people aren't interested in socialising, and can be a bit too blunt at times. I'm thinking their family culture is such that that's necessary; when they grew up there wasn't room for subtext and interpret actions. kind of based off of my sister, in that whenever we go out together she always bumps into someone she knows

This summary seems okay to me personally! Well, i don't see anything that would make me back off.

Edited by Leton.
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Leton. thank you Leton! that's good to know at least. i might come back hee and workshop them a little more, once the characters are more established!

 

54 minutes ago, Oatpunk said:

(we're cooler than AVEN). 

so far this forum is cooler just on the basis of having more than the like reaction to posts ^^ and thank you!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I would like to see an allo aro character who's romance repulsed. One thing that both aroaces and allo-allos don't get is that sex is so heavily tied to romance that if you're not willing to at least perform romance for someone else's benefit, you're going to have a really hard time with any sexual relationships. 

How do you even find sexual relationships without first dating someone romantically, if you're not someone who's interested in the usual things like nightclubs or dating apps? Or, let's say you are open to those things. How do you sort out the people who are willing to have a no-strings-attached sexual relationship from the people who expect it to develop into something """more"""? What do you do when your partner """catches feelings""" and it's seen as your responsibility and your fault, and you're expected to reciprocate out of obligation? What do you do when they spread rumors about you being a bitch for refusing to date them, even when you both agreed at the start of your relationship that it was going to be purely sexual? What do you do when your partner wants to kiss you, or call you pet names? How do you find smut you can enjoy reading, when the best written stuff always ends in an "I love you for real"?

So many people think being allo aro is as simple as "Well you just have casual sex". It's not, especially if you're romance repulsed. And sometimes I see people treat us as like, Alloromantic Lite- Basically the "aro" part ends at "well they don't have a long-term partner", without thinking about how our lack of romantic attraction affects our lives. I'm sure you understand how much it hurts to live in a romantic society as an aromantic, right? That happens to a lot of us, too. Sure, some aros might be romance-favorable, but we're not necessarily totally unfazed by the existence of romance just because maybe we're ok with kissing sometimes.

Edited by Jot-Aro Kujo
  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Jot-Aro Kujo

thank you for such an in-depth answer! this is extremely helpful, in part because i gotta be honest, i've wondered about those questions too - and i've caught myself many times having a hard time separating sex from romance, despite finding it not at all difficult separating romance from sex (in the case of aces who have romantic relationships).

that is also partly why they are allosexual - i want to challenge that ingrained thought in myself and in others. 

if i can ask a somewhat personal question - which you are of course free to not answer! - would you personally, ideally want one or more long term sexual partners, if you could be guaranteed no romance would be involved?

again thank you so much, this was very helpful, not in the least to help me solidify the character a bit!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

How do you sort out the people who are willing to have a no-strings-attached sexual relationship from the people who expect it to develop into something """more"""? What do you do when your partner """catches feelings""" and it's seen as your responsibility and your fault, and you're expected to reciprocate out of obligation? What do you do when they spread rumors about you being a bitch for refusing to date them, even when you both agreed at the start of your relationship that it was going to be purely sexual? What do you do when your partner wants to kiss you, or call you pet names? How do you find smut you can enjoy reading, when the best written stuff always ends in an "I love you for real"?

Good point.

i feel that a *lot* in fiction, somewhat. It begin by a sexual non romantic relationship , but it's always depicted as "not good enough" to "bad" so the "only" good ending possible is to make it romantic 

This is of course more of a big deal when it happen in real life. Because fiction is one thing, but the stigma is very present 

21 minutes ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

So many people think being allo aro is as simple as "Well you just have casual sex"

I was thinking about that

  • Like 1
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, nisse said:

if i can ask a somewhat personal question - which you are of course free to not answer! - would you personally, ideally want one or more long term sexual partners, if you could be guaranteed no romance would be involved?

For me, personally? Yes and no. Would I like someone who I get along with well, who I know would generally be open to having sex, without any fear of it being romantic? Sure. Would I want to have an actual committed Relationship, even a sexual-only one? Ehhhh, not really. I don't like being tied down and I don't wanna tie anyone else down either. If someone decides they don't wanna have sex with me anymore they should be able to just be like "Eh, no thanks" without having to formally Break Up With Me, and I would like the same for myself. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, nisse said:

honestly, this is kind of why i asked for headcanons. i only have one character i view as aro-allo (Miranda, from Black Sails), and she is excellent, but the text for sure wants her to be allo-romantic as well (and this is in a show with many queer characters, including one ace one, that shows that without using modern labels (as it's set in the golden age of piracy)). 

Personally, I canon Gypsy from the show Flash as aro allo, but that's personal. She is there only in a few episodes of season 3 and 4, and is the girlfriend of one of the main character, Cisco. In season 4, they break up because they realized they don't want the same thing. The way I interpret it, Cisco wanted a long-term romantic relationship. But Gypsy enjoys his company, she enjoys having sex with him, but she is not in love and she doesn't want a real romantic relationship. Their break-up scene is very touching for that : it shows that though Cisco did nothing wrong, Gypsy just can't love him, she felt broken for that but as Cisco says to her, there is nothing wrong with her.

 

3 hours ago, Leton. said:

feel that a *lot* in fiction, somewhat. It begin by a sexual non romantic relationship , but it's always depicted as "not good enough" to "bad" so the "only" good ending possible is to make it romantic 

Another version of that is : a man (usually it's a man) who have sex with a lot of women but never fall in love. Until the female character arrives and "fixes" his behavior.

  • Like 2
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

I would like to see an allo aro character who's romance repulsed. One thing that both aroaces and allo-allos don't get is that sex is so heavily tied to romance that if you're not willing to at least perform romance for someone else's benefit, you're going to have a really hard time with any sexual relationships. 

IME perioriented people tend to conflate romance and sex. Often without being aware of it.
There can also be conflation between romance and interest in other romantic coded activities.
In theory allo-aces get this. Though practice not so much.
Also worth noting that someone's feelings towards performative romance can differ from how they view romance in fiction or popular culture.

18 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

How do you even find sexual relationships without first dating someone romantically,

Often "relationship" and "romantic relationship" are seen as synonyms. Thus there's little cultural context in terms of what a non romantic relationship (sexual or not) might look like.

18 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

if you're not someone who's interested in the usual things like nightclubs or dating apps? Or, let's say you are open to those things.

These don't work for everyone.

19 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

How do you sort out the people who are willing to have a no-strings-attached sexual relationship from the people who expect it to develop into something """more"""?

I'm not sure any relationship is "no-strings-attached" more "no-romantic-strings-attached". Even for a non romance repulsed aro that "more" could equate to "less".

19 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

What do you do when your partner """catches feelings""" and it's seen as your responsibility and your fault, and you're expected to reciprocate out of obligation? What do you do when they spread rumors about you being a bitch for refusing to date them, even when you both agreed at the start of your relationship that it was going to be purely sexual?

This is where romantic privilege comes into play. Part of this is likely to be that whoever ended the relationship it's likely to be seen as the aro's fault.

20 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

So many people think being allo aro is as simple as "Well you just have casual sex".

This assumes that
a) all aros want casual sex.
b) all aros can easily find people who they find attractive and are interested in casual sex with them.

20 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

It's not, especially if you're romance repulsed. And sometimes I see people treat us as like, Alloromantic Lite-

Which can also be expressed as "aros are satisfied with (platonic) friends".

20 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

I It's not, especially if you're romance repulsed. And sometimes I see people treat us as like, Alloromantic Lite- Basically the "aro" part ends at "well they don't have a long-term partner", without thinking about how our lack of romantic attraction affects our lives. 

There's a lot of social interaction which is romantic coded.

20 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

I'm sure you understand how much it hurts to live in a romantic society as an aromantic, right? That happens to a lot of us, too. Sure, some aros might be romance-favorable,

Someone being a romance-favourable aro does not mean that they know how to roll play being an allo.

20 hours ago, nisse said:

thank you for such an in-depth answer! this is extremely helpful, in part because i gotta be honest, i've wondered about those questions too - and i've caught myself many times having a hard time separating sex from romance, despite finding it not at all difficult separating romance from sex (in the case of aces who have romantic relationships).

It's not that hard to find existing examples of non-sexual romantic relationships. Even involving allo allos
Whilst it's hard to find examples of non-romantic sexual relationships.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I'm curious about your intro there. 

On 7/13/2020 at 11:48 PM, nisse said:

i want to explore being aromantic in a world where romantic love is seen as such an intrinsic part of being human (which is partly why the aroace one is an android

I assume a topic you'll be covering is alienation and the like. Having your aroace character as non-human explicitly states the disconnect without words. Do you plan on showing an equivalent disconnect to humanity for your aroallo character? 

You've also mentioned that the aroallo character is outgoing, likely to partner, and well liked in comparison to your aroace character. I'm getting a slight implication that the aroallo character is ""better"" at being human and therefore, based on your description, arguably better at navigating how romance is an intrinsic part of the world [EDIT: and less effected by this problem than aroaces.] Would you agree that's how this is shaping up? 

You haven’t given too much information so I could be reading something that isn’t there. Particularly when you've said little about your aroace chararcter and with your aroallo character that they're bad at reading people and social cues. I would say it's difficult to find depth in relationships as an aroallo person. Most of your friends are likely looking for romance which means you aren’t their priority. Sexual relationships, if you can find them at all, are either shallow and physical alone or, as it's been said above, the step before your graduate into the more desirable romantic relationship. And how do your create a family if you don't have a partner to then have kids with? Etc. The idea that your aroallo character is well liked but not well known would be a cool thing to explore. 

I like your enthusiasm and premise so far! Plus androids are always a win. And getting people involved now is a great way to advertise ;) smart thinking haha. 

Edited by Scoop
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 7/15/2020 at 6:15 AM, Scoop said:

Do you plan on showing an equivalent disconnect to humanity for your aroallo character? 

yep! in many ways they'll bond over this. i have a lot of conversations between them planned out about allo-romantic people. in a way the human character feels worse, bc they feel they should understand allo folks, being human.

 

On 7/15/2020 at 6:15 AM, Scoop said:

You've also mentioned that the aroallo character is outgoing, likely to partner, and well liked in comparison to your aroace character. I'm getting a slight implication that the aroallo character is ""better"" at being human and therefore, based on your description, arguably better at navigating how romance is an intrinsic part of the world [EDIT: and less effected by this problem than aroaces.] Would you agree that's how this is shaping up? 

oh no! so, i was also partly inspired by Data in Star Trek: Next Generation. i love him and that show, but i was generally annoyed by his constant mission to become human. IIRC he mentions at times that that's his greatest wish, like a Pinocchio situation. My first note showing the idea for this reads something like "I LOVE DATA. Androids are for aroaces what monsters are for other outcasts". So my android here doesn't want to be human really. She's android, and she's pretty happy being an android. She's also pretty happy being aroace, and she knows she's a she. The human and the android are merely different personalities, but they gel well. The human isn't meant to be some kind of teacher of how to be human, though she might have to explain some stuff - i have little notes about weird stuff humans do. idk if you remember the Humans Are Space Orcs/Earth Is Space Australia that went around some years ago? little things we do that would seem weird if you look at it from an alien perspective. So the stuff she'd find confusing or weird would be played more as a joke, than as "look at the weird aroace". 

The human would show some of my own internal arophobia, and they would have some convos about being uncomfortable around romantic couples and such.  keep in mind, i have no script yet, i'm still in the planning stages! i have two sketches and a bunch of notes and ideas :)

On 7/15/2020 at 6:15 AM, Scoop said:

The idea that your aroallo character is well liked but not well known would be a cool thing to explore. 

oooh this is an excellent point! and while yes i am kind of hoping to drum up some interest here, any kind of (online) publication is a ways away yet!! i wouldn't be surprised if people have mostly forgotten this post whenever i get there 😅

 

thank you for your questions and insights! i'm finding a lot of this is worries i have as an aroace person as well (the fear of losing friends, they expectation of partnering up), i mostly really need to work on separation of sex and romance.

Edited by nisse
typo
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the #1 thing I'd want to see is a healthy relationship in which all parties know exactly what they're getting out of the relationship and are cool with it. I would give anything to read or watch someone be in a physical relationship without having the romantic aspect. It might make it seem possible. :)

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/13/2020 at 2:51 PM, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

I would like to see an allo aro character who's romance repulsed. One thing that both aroaces and allo-allos don't get is that sex is so heavily tied to romance that if you're not willing to at least perform romance for someone else's benefit, you're going to have a really hard time with any sexual relationships. 

How do you even find sexual relationships without first dating someone romantically, if you're not someone who's interested in the usual things like nightclubs or dating apps? Or, let's say you are open to those things. How do you sort out the people who are willing to have a no-strings-attached sexual relationship from the people who expect it to develop into something """more"""? What do you do when your partner """catches feelings""" and it's seen as your responsibility and your fault, and you're expected to reciprocate out of obligation? What do you do when they spread rumors about you being a bitch for refusing to date them, even when you both agreed at the start of your relationship that it was going to be purely sexual? What do you do when your partner wants to kiss you, or call you pet names? How do you find smut you can enjoy reading, when the best written stuff always ends in an "I love you for real"?

wow, you said it.  i'm gearing up to try the club/tinder thing (when safe) and i'm lowkey dreading weeding through the romance.  like when i have sex/make out with dudes i, like, consciously try to make sure it doesn't get romantic and it's like ughhh if i could just not worry...  and the smut thing with sudden romance, no joke, it's like that jolt when you've been lying on the beach baking like a pizza and you walk into the comparatively freezing lake, instant regret.

On 7/13/2020 at 3:04 PM, nisse said:

if i can ask a somewhat personal question - which you are of course free to not answer! - would you personally, ideally want one or more long term sexual partners, if you could be guaranteed no romance would be involved?

thought i'd pipe in here as well, i'd like a few, varying in length, just whatever happens naturally.  can also be friends/do 'date-like' activities or not, again, just if we vibe like that.  and i'm poly so they can have other sexual/romantic partners or whatever, or a triad would be cool (2 guys of course).  so yeah, as long as i'm attracted to them and we're compatible and not romantic, it's chill.

if you have any more questions, i'd be glad to help.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@aro_elise thank you! all of these responses are so great, i feel like i'm getting a better understanding of aro-allos and the unique challenges ye face. i'm still developing this, and i'm under no deadline except what arbitrary ones i might set for myself, so it's a way off yet. i'll be sure to hit you up if i have more questions!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, here's a few things I would like/not like.

I would like to see this character have those worries about being seen as a bad person because of their desire for sex without romance, and discuss them openly. Even if it is a reference to past feelings the idea that being allo-aro is something which does come with stigma is something I would rather have on the table. As has been mentioned in other comments, it's not as simple as just having casual sex. It might be interesting to have them confronted with that, with people who after agreeing to a purely sexual relation start pushing for some more romantic ideas and show the character pointing out their limits, and holding their ground on what they are not comfortable with.

What I really would like in an allo aro character is a character who talked openly about what they wanted sexually and what they are comfortable with as well as pointing out their no-go romantic areas. The big thing that I think is sometimes not talked about is that since allosexual covers a broad range of activities an allo-aro character will place some limits on sex. I would love to see an allo aro character say 'actually, no, I'm not comfortable with that' or similar in a sexual context.

Also that they are frank about things like STDs, and contraception. This is sort of connected with the stigma of being sleazy as an allo-aro, I would really wish for a character who shows their care, it is not romantic but just the moral, being a good human parts of a purely sexual relationship.

The thing I would really not want in an in allo aro representation is shying away from these discussions and just having the character go from a brief getting to know, to having sex, to the next day, which risks having the character come across as irresponsible by omission. 

lastly, good luck, it sounds like a fun project. I like the ideas you have of your characters and you have the determination to ask around in order to get them right

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, roboticanary said:

I would like to see this character have those worries about being seen as a bad person because of their desire for sex without romance, and discuss them openly. Even if it is a reference to past feelings the idea that being allo-aro is something which does come with stigma is something I would rather have on the table. 

this is a very good point! i have some scribbles of conversations between them about aromanticism in general, but i really should have something about aromanticism as related to being allo. thank you!

your whole response is very helpful, i'm taking notes 😊

1 hour ago, roboticanary said:

lastly, good luck, it sounds like a fun project. I like the ideas you have of your characters and you have the determination to ask around in order to get them right

tysm!! i'm very excited for it, it's fun so far!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, nisse said:

this is a very good point! i have some scribbles of conversations between them about aromanticism in general, but i really should have something about aromanticism as related to being allo. thank you!

No worries, It is so great to see someone putting this effort into developing an allo aro character. Thank you for making that effort.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...