Carnival of Aces: What Accurate Portrayal Means

This month’s Carnival of Aces concerns the asexual spectrum and fiction. One of Dominique’s suggested questions asks to judge the imporance of having asexual-spectrum people “portrayed accurately and positively” in fictional media.

Although it is true that a lot of asexual portrayals are of asexuals who lack interest in partner-relationships or who have disabilities, I have observed that when arguments are made for the accurate and positive portrayal of asexuality, often, by “accurate,” the speaker means romantic and not having any disability. It is common for media to stereotype asexuals as completely uninterested in relationships, or as asexual because of a disability, and there is a trend in the asexual community toward combatting those stereotypes by doing things that have the effect of replacing them with new stereotypes.

I would like to see more romantic aces in fiction, but not because the portrayal of aces uninterested in relationships is inaccurate. I would like to see portrayal of asexual-spectrum people that is diverse: I would like to see all kinds of asexuals represented in fiction.

Additionally, in the case of characters with disabilities who are also depicted as uninterested in sex, I would like the fictional medium to make it clear that being uninterested in sex and having a disability are unrelated. The stereotypes of people with disabilities being uninterested in sex and of asexuals necessarily having medical conditions are stereotypes that we can challenge without asserting that no asexuals have disabilities (or that no people with disabilities are asexual).

With respect to the stereotype of asexuals being uninterested in relationships, fiction creators should make it clear that being uninterested in relationships is unrelated to being asexual. I’d like to see representation of a diversity of preferred relationship styles among asexual characters: aromantics who want nonromantic partners, aromantics who don’t want any kind of partner-relationship, romantics that happen to be in nonromantic partnerships, and romantics who desire or are in romantic partnerships.

The only way to have an accurate portrayal of asexuals is to have a diverse portrayal of asexuals.

Lordly cypress

Contemporary literature, electronic & otherwise

Autistic Shark

"you were not put here on this earth to be laughed at and obscured. and anything counts as yelling." -Meda Kahn, autistic activist

Autism Owl

Confusions while learning to fly

The Caffeinated Autistic

Autism, fandoms, parenting, and tea

The Decolonial Atlas

Re-imagining the world.

Autism through the Medium of Cats

Thoughts on mostly Autism, sometimes on depression and cats


My greatest desire is that I leave so deep an impression on you as you have on me.

The Artism Spectrum

Gender, Sexuality, Culture & Life on the Autism Spectrum

Captain Awkward

Advice. Staircase Wit. Faux Pas. Movies.

Restless Hands

Notes from a Not-Quite Neurotypical

Beyond the Rainbow

Musings on Gender and Sexual Diversity

cinderace blogs

ideas, rants, and social commentary by a genderless asexual ex-Christian feminist

The Notes Which Do Not Fit

thoughts I do not want to keep in my head

The Asexual Census

An annual asexual community census by the Asexual Visibility and Education Network

Writing From Factor X

Rantings From an Angry Asexual

fake cis girl

Looks like a pump, feels like a sneaker.


Writer, knitter, 20-year-old autistic nonbinary human.


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