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Writing / Roleplaying while Aromantic?


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hopefully it makes sense by the title lol. i'm asking about aromantic writers and roleplayers. are your characters aromantic? do you write romance at all?

i'm mostly an online roleplayer, so i can only speak from that perspective. i'm also romance-neutral to favorable. i don't actively seek out romantic plots, though i'm open to one if someone asks and i think it'd fit. my characters can (very rarely) fall for someone, and they can fall hard. even though i could never relate to what they were going through in quite the same way as an aroace person. none of my characters experience sexual attraction partly because of my ace-ness, but also because i don't write smut.

i'm curious to hear from other aromantic writers on this.

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i've always written romance. i'd say i'm romance-neutral, leaning more to romance-positive. i don't want romance for myself, but for characters, i'm perfectly happy to put them in relationships. i don't have any aromantic ocs (asexual ones, yes, tho), only aromantic and asexual sonas, because - well - they're personas of myself, so i'm not comfortable putting a literal projection of myself through those kinds of scenarios, but ocs and other characters i may rp or write about, i'm completely fine with having them in relationships.

so, yeah, to answer your questions more simply:

  • i don't have aromantic original characters - only my sonas are, tho i have roleplayed characters who are aromantic and/or on the aro spectrum
  • yes, i do write romance. always have, even after figuring out i was aromantic, because at the end of the day, i'm comfortable knowing that i don't want those kinds of relationships myself, but i can appreciate the appeal for other people to roleplay it, and i have always liked writing it myself (altho it can be very trope-y, since all i can really base my interpretation of those feelings/relationships on are fictional couples)
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I'm fine writing romance in my roleplays, but it's typically not part of my "main" character in each, persay. I play a lot of characters in one single roleplay, mostly, and I usually end up with a character that sort of ends of as the centerpiece, the one that I focus on the most. Anyways, they tend to be aromantic, or just way too focused on bigger matters to have time for a relationship. It's a dynamic I enjoy, especially if they're able to find a strong, platonic companionship throughout the journey. Typically the last thing I'd do is write romance for the sake of romance, it's always just a product of two characters that me and my partner write gravitating towards each other.

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I do a lot of roleplaying, and generally my characters are not aromantic. Some are, but not the majority anymore. When I was younger, it was much more, because I felt like I had to constantly fight back against the ever prevalent romance in everything and tried to remove it from as much of my own stories as possible, but that isn't the case any longer. To me, roleplaying is a good place to explore things that are outside of my actual experience. Romance and sexuality are in there, but so are other less obvious things like religion or being really big. Creating a character that is different from me and experiencing the world from their perspective is one of the great joys of roleplaying.

I tend to have a hard time with a lot of romance in media, but if I get to write at least parts of it myself I can have a great time with romance. So really, in direct roleplaying with people, in roleplaying video games and even in shipping to some extent I have an easier time to connect with it.

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I’m almost never comfortable with PC/PC relationships (that I’m involved in), but I DM sometimes in my DND group, so I often play NPCs that are romantically attracted to PCs (or vice versa). I’m really bad at it, but I’m more comfortable with it since it’s so removed from me. 

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As far as roleplaying goes, my characters have not had the opportunity to explore romance in any campaigns I have played so far, nor were they written to be explicitly alloromantic or aromantic. If the DM had an NPC or another player has a PC that was interested in my character, I would like to see how that would play out for the character, but it's not something I'm actively looking for as a player. I play dnd for adventure and the opportunity to do ingenious yet wildly dangerous and crazy plans/ ideas.

As far as my own writing projects go, the main character of one story is explicitly aromantic allosexual and while the story is not focused around this character being aro, it does include and explore this character in a QPR. In another story the main character is alloromantic allosexual and while the story does not focus on romance, it is an element in the story, because otherwise I would not be able to stand my own writing if it was all about romance. 

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I play a fair few RPGs and have never explicitely included romance in the plot and generally try to steer the story away from romance. I won't bar players from trying it but I make it quite clear when they do that it doesn't work.

This is something that was true even before I found out about aromanticism and my reason is less about my identity and more about my frustration on how romance tends to be handled. I tend to go for medieval fantasy sort of RPGs as that it by far my favourite setting. It is the only setting where I have made my own story (I have done this  only once and prefer to take a story and maybe adapt).  The problem is that medieval fantasy rulebooks have really awful romance.

You are a band of adventurers who go to a city looking for a fight and any attempt at seduction is self interest to get information or something that you want. In reality would a community be OK with that. They would know you are going to be gone almost as soon as you arrive, and even if you did charm one citizen, welcome to having very angry locals when the rest of the village finds out.

Or you get the utterly stupid idea that your bard or whatever is so suave they can barrel into the nicer parts of a town in their filthy travel robes and armour, and seduce the mayor's daughter or whatever with one lucky role. I call bullshit.

Generally I find most roleplay systems try to make romance just about two people as if the rest of society sort warps away and doesn't care what you do. I would be OK with putting romance in if I put in the time to develop a world with a complex system of class. If I set up realistic reactions to how romantic and sexual encounters would play out in a land where marriages considered power and wealth arrangement far more, where getting approval from family is . A world as well where there is no reliable contraception and that is mentioned when a character is trying to flirt with someone and the village knows you will soon be gone.

But then aromanticism comes in and I cannot be bothered to put that effort in when I would rather focus on something else to focus the story on. So I never purposefully include romance.

 

When I am a player I only include romance for humourous purposes. In the current game I am playing I am a nun of the god of death (wearing full leather armour). I find the idea of a nun in leather is just too amusing to not try a bit of seduction. But generally I avoid it.

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When I write, the main characters are usually aromantic or a-spec and asexual. It sounds boring making all characters have the same romantic and sexual orientation but if you think about it, there are almost no books with aro/ace main characters so its fine I guess hehe. Its never the focus of the story though.

Sometimes I give a supporting main character a crush, but its NEVER someone of the other main characters. I don't like friends to lovers. Any kind of romance is usually just acknowledged in like one sentence.

I did roleplaying a few times and my characters are always aroace, because I just dont like feel like playing a romantic relationship

I think that maybe, if you write romance or not has to do with how you feel towards it? I'm romance neutral-repulsed, a little bit more on the repulsed side though. And that fits my way of writing romance quite well I think!

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7 hours ago, arofox said:

I think that maybe, if you write romance or not has to do with how you feel towards it? I'm romance neutral-repulsed, a little bit more on the repulsed side though.

Maybe, but it doesn't quite fit for me personally. I know I was very uncomfortable the one time I was in a romantic relationship. Averse is usually the word I usually go with. That discomfort is not there while roleplaying or writing a character in a romantic relationship though. If it isn't me the person, there isn't a problem.

 

 

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43 minutes ago, Jedi said:

Maybe, but it doesn't quite fit for me personally.

Aah I see!

Then maybe how much you identify with the character is also an important factor?

It's so interesting seeing how everyone deals differently with romance in writing.

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Not sure if it fits because I only write, I don't do role play, but anyway.

Most of my characters are not aromantic. I think I have only two and maybe three. Most of the time, I don't really chose my character's orientation, they chose it themselves, which can explain why they tend to not share my orientation. I write romance as some plot, though I recently discover that I'm more efficient with the phase when the characters learn to know each other than with the phase when they are an actual couple (not that I am not at ease or repulsed by it, but it is not very natural so they speak to much as people who are not a couple).

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In both writing and roleplay, a very large percentage of my characters are aromantic or a-spec in general. So far I've only roleplayed characters who are a-spec (a pan a-spec, two non-sam aros, an aroace, a non-sam ace, and a bi angled aroace), and my list of aro protagonists in my other writing works combined is very long. I never roleplay romance since I'm romance repulsed and generally a lot more sensitive to things directed me/my character in rp than in traditional writing; I have one antagonistic npc for a character who has romantic feelings for my player character (the...romance isn't the cause of the antagonism, it just kind of Happened in my head), but that's as far as I go. I definitely wouldn't want someone else roleplaying attraction at me. In traditional writing, I still have very little romance - it's not something that interests me very much and feels unnatural to write most of the time, but there are a small handful of couples I intend to write because it felt right enough for those characters.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am having a lot of trouble getting my thoughts out! I guess it depends on how close I feel to the 'actors'. 

It it feels very personal, like my personal writings and poems, things that represent 'Me' then romance generally doesn't come into it. But when I did roleplaying it felt like a separate character, further away from 'Me', so I was okay with romance when it cropped up in scenarios. Fanfic writing however.... I make those character dance like puppets on a string and most of the time it is centred around romance and love. Admittedly, I am mostly torturing them with love....

On a similar note some of the best erotica I have come across have been fanfictions written by authors who identify as being sex-neutral/repulsed asexuals. So I guess fanfiction, because they are not characters we created (even more distantly separated from 'Me' than a character I imagined and fleshed out), we experiment with feelings and situations we are not in-reality interested in. Fanfic is a 'safe distance'!

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