As an aromantic and asexual person it always makes me a bit sad to see how few stories feature people like me. Nowadays, it is easy to find gay or lesbian romance but searching for a story with an aro or ace lead is still like searching for a needle in a haystack after you are through the first half a dozen or so well-known books.
As a result, I have decided to dedicate some time each year (namely the time around asexual awareness week in October and aromantic awareness week in February) to write my own aro- or ace-led stories.
Just Hold My Hand
To help his family rise from the ashes, Duan Fang will have to marry into an influential family. He wouldn’t mind if only Young Master Li proposed to him. But Li Hong has his own reservations about getting married and he might not dare to bring up what he deems to be his shortcoming in front of the person he holds dear.
This is my story for the asexual awareness week 2019 and also the story I used to come out online. It is inspired by my personal journey of finding out I am asexual (and aromantic) and thus comes with a personal note at the end.
Just Listen to Your Heart
When his husband Sang Yu returns from war unscathed, Ru Shen is relieved. But at the same time, his old insecurities well up and disturb their passionate reunion, even threatening to end their relationship altogether.
Three words from Sang Yu would suffice to turn things around but he feels unable to say them. Now, he will need to explain the doubts and insight he kept to himself for years to make sure that his most important person will stay with him.
This short story is my contribution to the aromantic awareness week 2020 and mirrors the previous “Just Hold My Hand” in how it is inspired by my own journey of realization.
This story will go public in Aromantic awareness week 2021.
The Seat of My Heart
The kingdom’s capital has been lost to a demon. Jusha Lale, the young king, journeys through his lands to find a warrior willing to vanquish this evil. Finally, his hope comes to rest on the shoulders of Susha Unhuor. Returning to the capital city and uncovering the secret behind the demon’s summoning together, the two men discover some unexpected similarities between them.
This was originally meant as a short story for the asexual awareness week 2020. But the longer I thought about the story, the more it wouldn’t fit into the constraints of a short story. In the end, it turned into a full-blown novel. The inspiration for this story was the questions of what constitutes attraction, what is desire, and how do the two come together?
Contrary to the ace week story of 2019, “The Seat of My Heart” features two ace leads that connect, in part, because of their experiences with their sexuality.
This story is currently being published on Patreon. It will go public for everyone in Ace week 2021.
Like a Feather Tickling My Heart
Having reached marriageable age, the dragon Zhu Hong is sent up the mountain to search for the phoenix egg holding his future spouse. But Zhu Hong soon has to realize that he is unable to find a destined one. Unwilling to bring shame to the Elder that raised him, Zhu Hong makes a daring bet: He takes an egg he feels no connection to, reckoning that where romantic love isn’t possible, loyalty and responsibility will allow them to carve out a blissful life together.
When the adult phoenix Zhen Zhu finally hatches and the wedding ceremony is held, Zhu Hong’s feelings are not the only ones relevant any longer though. Will their marriage work out as intended or will the dragon be made to regret his decision?
Personally, I needed longer to come to terms with the fact that I am aromantic than the fact that I am asexual. Strangely enough, I felt like after not even two years, I had a better grasp on what it means (to me) to be aromantic than what it means to be asexual. What helped me – strangely enough – was one of the apparently most-hated sentences in relationships: “I love you but I am not in love with you.”
This sentence inspired this novel for the Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week 2021. It is about a man who comes to love his spouse even though he isn’t and never will be ‘in love’ with him. Because to me (and him in extension) ‘being in love’ is of a solely romantic nature while ‘loving’ encompasses so much more. The story includes many of my thoughts on how a relationship can work even despite being aromantic because romantic love doesn’t need to be the basis of a healthy relationship.
This story will start to be published on Patreon on February 21st, 2021. It will go public for everyone in Aro week 2022.
Other stories with aromantic or asexual characters
While the previously mentioned stories were all written especially for the aromantic and asexual awareness weeks and heavily center around the theme of sexuality, some of my other stories feature ace and aro characters as well, albeit often not as prominently or with their sexuality being much of a focus.
Oh. My. Fate?!‘s An Bai (aromantic) and Jin Ling (asexual&aromantic)
An Bai is a reknowned scholar of the dragon race and an adviser to Oh. My. Fate?!’s male lead, the dragon king Qiu Ling. His role in the story is minuscule at first and only starts to become more central to the overall plot by volume 6. So far, An Bai’s whole interest is on his studies despite the advances of a member of the demon race.
Jin Ling is the king of the demons, a race that has been cursed to be unable to love. As such, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that he is aromantic. In fact, you could argue that every demon in Oh. My. Fate?! is aromantic.
On the other hand, despite the fact that Jin Ling has several different lovers at all times of the series, he is also asexual. It is about attraction, after all, not action. For Jin Ling, engaging with others is a necessary evil only used to hold onto his throne for the one person he actually cares about.
His part in the series is certainly bigger than An Bai’s and most of it is either spent searching for his special person or trying to annoy the dragon king to death.
Lovely Writing System‘s Su Yan (asexual)
Su Yan is the protagonist of Lovely Writing System. Being asexual (and having grown up sheltered), he is somewhat clueless in regards to sexuality, fails to see the rather obvious advances of male lead Nie Chang, and can’t even tell what his own feelings are until he gets help figuring it out.
The Onion Cutting Ninja’s Secret Crush‘s Si Er (aromantic&asexual)
Si Er is a ninja of the Si clan and thus one of the supporting characters on the side of male lead Si Jin. Being handsome, charming, and having a belly full of mischievous ideas, he plays a vital role in helping his Master’s grand cause of romancing main character Xiao Ming. He himself doesn’t care for either sex or romance though and his only relationship will probably only ever be that with his brothers of the clan and the binary world he indulges in as a world-class hacker.