Asexual Awareness Week: Growing up an Ace in Indonesia


Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ami about asexuality, and she talked about how views of sexuality (and asexuality) differ between Western culture and her own in Indonesia.

I was so curious about this that I asked Ami if she’d be willing to talk more about being asexual in a non-Western country!

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Asexuality Awareness Week 2016: BDSM & Asexuality

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Hi! I’m Michele, I’m a freelance editor and reviewer here at JLR, and you probably know me online as neverwhere. I’m a biromantic asexual, and to celebrate Ace Awareness Week I’ll be talking about something which is important to me but rarely get to discuss, which is the sadly misunderstood and often ignored world of asexual kink. I’m a domme, but many people don’t know how this is even possible – I hope this blogpost will help clear up some misconceptions about BDSM in general, and perhaps even offer some new ideas about what you might enjoy! Also please do keep in mind that the spectrum for enjoyment is just as varied for aces as for anyone else, so my experiences and preferences may not be the same as others, and although I will try to address everything as inclusively as possible I’m approaching this from a dominant’s perspective, so someone who identifies as a sub might necessarily have a different response. 🙂

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Why We Need Asexual Romances


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I’ve been thinking lately about asexual romances, and having asexual characters in fiction. After writing about the discrimination that the asexual community faces, and the reactions from allosexual people when they encounter a fictional ace character, I realized something:

Asexual romances are necessary. In fact, they’re essential to maintain the balance in romance genre.

No, wait, hear me out. You’re thinking, “But I don’t want to read a book about two friends who don’t do anything for 250 pages. That sounds boring!”

But not only does that thought process slight the asexual community… there may already be more asexual characters and romances than you know about.

There are two reasons we need asexual characters and relationships in our books.

1. Human sexuality is a spectrum. The romance genre is, for the most part, centered on the spectrum, in the range of ‘average sexual attraction’ for a ‘typical’ relationship. But there are erotica novels. Lots of them, in fact. Books with only sex, and no plot. Books that are textual porn. Books with sex addicts and promiscuity galore. So we should have books on the opposite end of the spectrum as well, right?


2. The romance genre is defined by a few very specific things. Per the RWA (one of the preeminent authorities on romance, I’d say), a romance novel must contain two things: “a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.” (Source). And many asexual people are capable of both of those things.

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Asexual Awareness Week! What does being asexual mean for me, and where can you read about awesome ace characters?


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This week is Asexual Awareness week, which is pretty exciting for me. I mentioned this recently in a blog post, but I identify as biromantic asexual. And the first question I usually get is, “What the heck does that mean?” So raising awareness of what asexuality is and means is super important to me!

Right then. What does asexuality mean?


Hmm, not quite.

(I’m going to talk about my asexual experience. This is most definitely not “THE” asexual experience. Your mileage may vary.)

Personally, I do not experience sexual attraction. Ever. Tried it, just to make sure, but… nah. Sex isn’t just the physical stimulation of a body part; there are a lot of emotions and sensations that go into it. I don’t think my body is “broken”, I just don’t experience the emotions and sensations that make sex with someone a thing that I am interested in doing.

My body is what it is, and that’s fine.

There are LOTS of different types of asexuality. And there are a LOT of asexuals. WE ARE EVERYWHERE.

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Not all people in the asexual spectrum are just “ace”. Some are grey-ace, or demi, or a number of other words. But all of us experience a lack of sexual attraction in one way or another.

Asexuality is starting to get more attention, too. just hosted this article on “How It Feels To Discover You’re Demisexual“:

You will want to cry. Because after searching and searching you have found a word to validate how you feel, to tell you that you are not alone, you are not broken, there is a word for people like you and it is okay.

Now, fiction-wise, there are not a lot of books with asexual characters. There are even fewer with asexual romances. Most people, it seems, still equate “love” with “sex”. And that is true for 99% of the population, but several authors have shown that you can have a loving, fulfilling relationship with no sex at all!


Of Monsters and Men, by Caitlin Ricci
My Review (3.5 stars)
Buy on Dreamspinner Press

Quick summary: Seth has a great job at the pet rescue with a fantastic boss, who happens to be a werewolf. But when it comes to relationships, no guy stays around. Eventually, they always want more than Seth, who is asexual, is able to give. Seth wants love and a relationship, but not the sex that everyone puts so much value on.


klune-how-to-be-normal-personHow To Be A Normal Person, by T.J. Klune
My Review (5 stars)
Buy on Dreamspinner Press

Quick Summary: Gus is not normal. And he’s fine with that. All he wants is to be left alone. Until Casey, an asexual stoner hipster and the newest employee at Lottie’s Lattes, enters his life. For some reason, Casey thinks Gus is the greatest thing ever. And maybe Gus is starting to think the same thing about Casey.


The Goodreads list for Asexual Fiction has more recommendations, but is not a comprehensive list.

With tens of millions of ace folks around the world, I’m hoping that awareness weeks like this one, and books like these, will help to make asexuality something that the rest of the world doesn’t bat an eye at. How does the saying go? We’re here, we’re queer, GET USED TO IT!

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