I once before, in a science fantasy work, fiddled with an asexual side character, but I’ve since “abandoned” that project (I put it in quotes because I may well return to it once I feel ready, skillwise, to take it up again). Since then, I’ve been trying to figure out ways to write asexual Main Characters. And, in my Chraesti stories, I’ve hit on the way.
I’ve got two asexual MCs on Chraest.
Hwodi is male, and he has no desire for sex or romantic physical contact. He doesn’t so much think it’s disgusting, he simply does not comprehend such desires. Though he understands that other people have them, he’s never seen what’s so fantastic about sex and romance. He’s quite happy being single, and, in a way, actually fears sex. He’s seen what it’s done to some people around him, the trouble it can cause, and the messes it makes of friendships and political alliances. As a prince, he understands he’ll have to marry, but he’s not particularly looking forward to it. When the True Gods Bestow Gifts upon him, he uses those Gifts in part as an excuse to abandon his life as a prince so he won’t be forced into a political marriage he has no desire for. Since the priests of his country push him to use these Gifts as a sign of his country’s gods’ will, his departure also removes him from their influence and the pressure to begin a kind of religious rewawakening among his people. He wants to contemplate these Gifts on his own.
My other asexual main character is romantic. This is Xedepria of Ghulia. She’s married to another woman, whose family disapproves of the marriage. They don’t like Xedepria or the fact she’s a woman. One of the greatest disappointments she’ll have is when Kalyine divorces her—she’ll understand completely why Kalyine does it, but it will upset her a great deal. For Xedepria, having a wife, a relationship with someone is far more important than having her freedom in some respects. The fact is, however, Xedepria needs her freedom far more than she needs her marriage, and that freedom and the fact her wife was forced away from her will fuel her determination to succeed later. I like to think I’ll be able to bring the women back together over the course of Xedepria’s story, but I’m honestly uncertain it will happen. If it does, it won’t happen in the first book. Kalyine, however, will be the person Xedepria does everything she does for—not to prove to Kalyine her worthiness (because she doesn’t have to prove it to Kalyine and knows as much), but to prove to Kalyine’s parents she’s worthy of their daughter. I like to think they’ll be willing to be swayed by Xedepria’s eventual status, but we’ll see.
I’d like to write more asexual characters, but I’m not pushing it. I’m pleased to have just these two and look forward to working on their stories.