This is something I’ve vaguely posted about before when I spoke about my experience with being demisexual and then a couple of books I’d read that I felt were relevant to me. I’m vaguely covering the same sort of thing here, but with renewed vigour.
Apparently, this week is #AsexualAwarenessWeek, a week celebrating all things on the asexual spectrum. I’m looking forward to discovering a lot of ace spec books this week because my ace shelf is sorely lacking, even though it’s where I really want to find some books.
My asexual identity is, more specifically, demisexual: I can tell you who looks pretty, but I can’t tell you who I want to do until I’ve got to know them. I’ve read very little about this rep in books, but my heart warms every time I do.
I read Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire last week and you’ve got no idea how seen it made me feel? The main character is aromantic, rather than asexual, but what she said still really resonated with me. I especially love the part where she was talking about the intimacy she still wanted, even if she didn’t want sex.
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman was the first book where I heard demisexuality being spoken about explicitly. I picked it up because it was the one that everyone always spoke about but I found demisexuality was only a very tiny part of the story. I wish it had been around when I was younger because I know I would have loved it. Loveless is also on my TBR now.
I will not get off my pedestal about my belief that Katniss, from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, is, if not explicitly/canonically, demisexual. Although she arguably doesn’t “like” Peeta at the start of the series, I believe she 100% has feelings for him by the end once she’s been given the time for them to develop. Plus, when she does notice things about him, it’s never big things; it’s usually tiny details (like his eyelashes) or how he emotionally makes her feel.
I went into Who I Was With Her by Nita Tyndall for the explicitly bisexual character, but I came out with an asexual best friend who’s exploring her identity. I really liked this additional look into asexuality, especially because everyone seemed understanding and supportive and patient.
*I do want to say these aren’t the only ace spec books on my TBR, but they are ones I already own/have preordered. There are plenty more on my radar.
I have feelings on Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko and I haven’t even read it yet. When I read the sample back in August, one of the things I remember being fascinated by were the relationships and, so to see this revelation about the book, I am thrilled. I’ve even more reason to pick it up and learn about it now. It was high on my TBR, but it might have nudged itself right to the top after learning this.
I think Paige from The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon is an incredibly interesting character, but she’s one I’ve fallen in love with upon a reread, having known more about her (ahh the irony). Samantha Shannon has said before that she’s definitely demisexual and you can definitely see hints of it in early parts of the story, but it apparently really gets explored in The Mask Falling.
I’ve followed Helen Corcoran, author of Queen of Coin and Whispers, online for a while now and I’m always so interested when she talks about her character’s sexuality. I know one is demisexual and she wanted to include a sex scenes to reflect the character’s growing trust but cut it in the end to make it suitable for a YA audience. I think that’s such a shame (not her fault at all, rather the fault of publishers believing “children” shouldn’t read about sex), but I’m so looking forward to reading it.
I’ll be honest, I’m not quite sure who is asexual in Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett, but I know there is someone in there because it often finds its way onto lists with asexual characters. I believe they’re a side character, but I’m looking forward to reading it and finding out what makes them so worthy of remembering.
Other Things of Note
I will always want to read about more asexual/demisexual characters and they quite often find their way into my writing now. Specifically in romances. For someone who rarely likes reading about them, I’m surprised to find myself being drawn to writing them, but I think that might be due to me being able to have what I want in a romance if I’m writing it myself.
I’ve written one romance where the demi main character just isn’t interested in a relationship, and I have one on the back burner where a woman is reassessing her sexuality now she’s also realised she’s demi (so she’s dated before but not in this way). They’ve both been interesting to me because they have/will explore the different nuances of demisexuality.
One thing I’m particularly interested in is sex in a romance book where it’s pivotal to the story. More than just sexy for the sake of turning the reader on, but important for a character’s development. There’s a huge level of trust involved in sex, so seeing it represented accurately feels so important for me. That said, I’m also interested to know how intimacy can be shown in other ways because sex isn’t the only way to show trust and love.
Anyway, yeah. I’ve babbled. But I really want to know your thoughts here – do you have any recommendations for me? have you added any to your TBR? are you (vaguely) interested in what I’m writing?