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What About Your Friends?

I personally don't see what all the hype is about, and don't really incorporate it into my own work. I feel like an outlier, in that my protagonists don't often have friends, and of the ones who do, they aren't always platonic.

Sienna Eggler
Sienna Eggler
3 min read
What About Your Friends?
Photo by Sam Manns / Unsplash

It's a fairly common thing, seeing many asexuals talk about how important friendships are to them. Some are even in queerplatonic relationships, which I struggle to understand. Friendship is a very tricky and sore subject for me, as I've always existed on the outside of friend groups, and struggle to make and keep those connections. I don't have many friends at all these days, mostly casual acquaintances, and two good friends, one of whom I'm in a relatioship with.

I see it a lot in the writing community, too – authors who project their experiences and expectations of friendship into their writing, and who seem to love the "found family" trope. Unlike queerplatonic relationships, I understand what found family is and it's message, I suppose. Some of my favorite series use that trope, though they don't regularly call it that; it seems to be more of a fan thing. I personally don't see what all the hype is about, and don't really incorporate it into my own work. I feel like an outlier, in that my protagonists don't often have friends, and of the ones who do, they aren't always platonic.

Take Francesca from one of my WIPs, as an example: they're so close to their best friend that people often mistake them for lovers, but they have had a lot of sex together in the past, and still do from time to time. Francesca is always down to fuck their friends, but makes one exception for Mischa, who they met when she was a minor (around 14 or 15), and can't see as anything other than a little sister.

Most of my protagonists are asexual in some ways; or more demi-sexual/romantic, if you want to get into specifics. They're like me, in that regard. I just don't mesh well or relate to other asexual people who place a heavy emphasis on friendship. Incidentally, I've only dated people I was already friends with, and do tend to prefer friends to lovers pairings.

Ryn, the protagonist for Early Adopter, is aromantic, just as Hester from Fluid Bonding assumed (and may still identify as) herself to be. Both characters are very sexual in different ways, just how Evan from Appetence Is Another Word for Hunger is. For them, it's tied in with their thirst for blood. So much so that they can't have one without the other. Same with Hester.

Nyssa, from yet another, and unnamed, vampire WIP of mine. She has little to no interest in sex, and could be considered aromantic, as she's only interested in her partner romantically and would happily be single without them. When she was still human and working as a servant to vampires, she contemplated marrying the stable hand who fancied her, but had no love for him. He offered security and stability, and possibly a way out, but it was Mel who gave her true freedom through death.

And I can't go one without mentioning the couple in Fluid Bonding; the ace Vi and aro Hester, lonely in their own ways and distant from the concept of friendship. Well, Vi had "friends," but not the kind you can tell your innermost secrets to. And Hester had no interests in friends or romance at all, before Vi; she liked to think of herself as loveless, which extended to her mother and most of her family.

This is the kind of ace rep you can expect to find in my books, as it's what I can relate to most. But it's hard not to feel left out when the loud majority insists on one aspect. Not everyone has or wants friends, but you're doomed to be written off as an antisocial reject in any circumstance, it seems. It's what makes me wary of embracing my own asexuality, or marketing my characters as such.

If people are used to seeing one thing, they might not take well to what I have to offer. I have some hope, however. While it's not popular, I know I'm not alone.

Writing

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