6 Queer Books with Asexual Characters

books with asexual characters

 

Asexuality is still an “invisible” and often ignored sexual orientation, and it’s rare to find books with asexual characters. To celebrate Asexual Awareness Week, I put together a list of six books with characters on the asexual spectrum. 

I also invited the authors of these books to an Ace Characters Chat in my Facebook Reader Group on Friday, October 25, 2019. Join us for some interesting book discussions and fun giveaways! We’re starting at 6 p.m. EST. 

 

Learning Curves by Ceillie Simkiss

Genre: Contemporary romance

Character: Cora McLaughlin

Buy the book on Amazon

Elena Mendez has always been career-first; with only two semesters of law school to go, her dream of working as a family lawyer for children is finally within reach. She can’t afford distractions. She doesn’t have time for love.

And she has no idea how much her life will change, the day she lends her notes to Cora McLaughlin.

A freelance writer and MBA student, Cora is just as career-driven as Elena. But over weeks in the library together, they discover that as strong as they are apart, they’re stronger together.

Through snowstorms and stolen moments, through loneliness and companionship, the two learn they can weather anything as long as they have each other–even a surprise visit from Elena’s family.

From solitude to sweetness, there’s nothing like falling in love. College may be strict…but when it comes to love, Cora and Elena are ahead of the learning curve.

Asexual representation: Here’s what Ceillie Simkiss says about the ace representation in her book: In Learning Curves, my main character Cora is at the same place on the spectrum as I am. She is panromantic and asexual. We both describe ourselves as “sex-meh,” which means sex is fine but we’re really not that attracted to anyone.

 

Outcaste by Fletcher DeLancey

Genre: Science fiction

Character: Rahel Sayana

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Rahel Sayana is desperate to escape the life her parents have planned for her. She runs away to the dangerous port city of Whitesun and becomes an outcaste: a person of no caste and few rights.

From backbreaking labor on the docks to fighting off bullies, Rahel learns the lessons that propel her to the life of her dreams. Happiness does not last. A planetary threat pulls her into the biggest battle in Alsean history, then into a treacherous game of power.

The loss of both her honor and caste sends her reeling, but Rahel has always made her own fate. She gambles everything on one final chance.

Will giving up her hopes lead to the highest honor of all?

Asexual representation: Here’s what Fletcher DeLancey says about where her characters falls on the ace spectrum: Rahel Sayana is a biromantic asexual whose most important relationships have always been with women. She experiences a very high level of sensual attraction, to the point where “comfort giving” (non-sexual touching including hugs, caresses, light massage, but no kissing) becomes a critical part of her life and impacts her destiny.

 

Perfect Rhythm by Jae

Genre: Contemporary romance

Character: Holly Drummond

Buy the book on Amazon or at your favorite online bookstore 

Blurb:

Pop star Leontyne Blake might sing about love, but she stopped believing in it a long time ago. What women want is her image, not the real her. When her father has a stroke, she flees the spotlight and returns to her tiny Missouri hometown.

In her childhood home, she meets small-town nurse Holly Drummond, who isn’t impressed by Leo’s fame at all. That isn’t the only thing that makes Holly different from other women. She’s also asexual. For her, dating is a minefield of expectations that she has decided to avoid.

Can the tentative friendship between a burned-out pop star and a woman not interested in sex develop into something more despite their diverse expectations?

Asexual representation:  Here’s what the author says about where her characters falls on the ace spectrum: Holly identifies as a homoromantic asexual woman, which means she’s romantically attracted to women but doesn’t experience sexual attraction. She loves cuddling and kisses, but sex is a take-it-or-leave-it thing for her.

 

Rising from Ash by Jax Meyer

Genre: Contemporary romance

Character: Ashley Bennett

Buy the book on Amazon 

Blurb:

Phoenix Murray has had enough of her addict father always asking for money. So when her aunt offers her a job as a cook at the South Pole, she jumps at it. Even when she’s asked to avoid casual sex to keep the peace in the tiny community.

Astrophysicist Ashley Bennett can’t wait for her year at the South Pole. Not only will it allow her to focus on her PhD research, it’s a key step in her plan to become a Mars colonist. Avoiding the complications of dating in a society that doesn’t understand asexuality is a bonus.

When Phoenix and Ash meet, they can’t help but push each other’s buttons. Phoenix doesn’t understand that her confident sexuality puts Ash on edge while Ash’s curt formality triggers Phoenix’s insecurities about her upbringing. But living at the bottom of the world means there’s nowhere to run, and as they find common ground, their differences aren’t nearly the hindrance they thought.

Asexual representation: Here’s what Jax Meyer says about where her characters falls on the ace spectrum: Ash identifies as demisexual and on the more asexual end of that sub-spectrum.

 

Thaw by Elyse Springer

Genre: Contemporary romance

Character: Abby

Buy it on Amazon

Blurb:

Abigail is content with her quiet life as a librarian. But when she’s invited to a charity auction, she finds herself dancing with one of the most beautiful women she’s ever met. Abby’s sure she’ll never see her again, but then Gabrielle calls and asks her on a date.

Supermodel Gabrielle Levesque has a reputation as the Ice Queen—cold and untouchable—except she warms up whenever she’s with Abby. Only Abby isn’t interested in the heat between them; she’s asexual, and she’s worried that admitting as much to Gabrielle might spell the end of their blooming romance.

They’re two different women from two very different worlds, but Abby knows she can love Gabrielle. Her passion for books, travel, and theater prove there’s more to the Ice Queen than meets the eye. But they’ll have to overcome Abby’s fears—and Gabrielle’s own threatening secrets—in order to find their way to love.

Asexual representation: Here’s what Elyse Springer says about where her characters falls on the ace spectrum: Abby is a bi-romantic asexual, so she’s attracted to people regardless of their gender. However, while she doesn’t experience sexual attraction, she’s not adverse to sex… and she’s willing to find a middle ground in her relationship with Gabrielle, who is bisexual and does feel sexual attraction.

 

The Mystic Marriage by Heather Rose Jones

Genre: Fantasy

Character: Antuniet Chazillen

Buy the book at the Bella webstore or on Amazon

Blurb:

Antuniet Chazillen lost everything the night her brother was executed. In exile, she swore that treason would not be the final chapter of the Chazillen legacy in Alpennia’s history. A long- hidden book of alchemical secrets provides the first hope of success, but her return to the capital is haunted by an enemy who wants those secrets for himself.

Jeanne, Vicomtesse de Cherdillac is bored. The Rotenek season is flat, her latest lover has grown tediously jealous and her usual crowd of friends fails to amuse. When Antuniet turns up on her doorstep seeking patronage for her alchemy experiments, what begins as amusement turns to interest, then something deeper. But Antuniet’s work draws danger that threatens even the crown of Alpennia.

The alchemy of precious gems throws two women into a crucible of adversity, but it is the alchemy of the human heart that transforms them both in this breathtaking follow-up to the widely acclaimed Daughter of Mystery.

Asexual representation: Here’s what Heather Rose Jones says about where her characters falls on the ace spectrum: I didn’t write Antuniet to be “an ace-spec character” — I wrote her as an individual, complex human being, just like all my other individual complex characters. It wasn’t until after the book came out that it occurred to me that she fit the understanding of asexual. I generally identify her as demisexual, but that’s just an approximation. The line in the book that best illustrates her attitude is, “She’d never expected to understand what it was that drove men and women together in the throes of passion. Men and women—well, perhaps she still didn’t understand that. In this moment, what she felt for Jeanne had nothing to do with male or female; it had only to do with Jeanne.”

 

If you’d like to discuss these books, chat with the authors, and have a chance to win an ebook copy, join us for our Ace Characters Chat on Friday, October 25, 2019, at 6 p.m. EST.

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4 thoughts on “6 Queer Books with Asexual Characters”

  1. This is very interesting. My first knowledge about asexuality became after I read “Perfect Rhythm” by Jae. Loved the book and all I learnt about (this is my fav book of her). So I researched and read more about it. Then I read “Outcaste” by Fletcher DeLancey. Another brilliant book. I love Alsea and Rahel is one of the most amazing characters in this world. I got to learn more about asexuals and it’s always fascinating.

    The list looks very interesting. I’ll check some of the other books. Thank you 😊

  2. I’ve only read Outcaste by Fletcher DeLancey but in my opinion, asexual means “not interested in sex at all M or F.” So by my definition, Rahel in “Outcaste” is the only true asexual on this list. She’s not interested in sex with anyone. The only other book I’ve read like this was “The Deed of Paksenarion” by Elizabeth Moon. This isn’t deemed a lesbian series though.

    • It’s important to remember that asexuality is a spectrum. The most common definition of asexuality is “someone who doesn’t experience sexual attraction.” There can be reasons to have sex other than sexual attraction, though. Some people on the asexual spectrum do have sex, either because it’s important to their partner and they don’t mind compromising, or because they enjoy the sensations. Others are sex-repulsed, and some are sex-indifferent. Demisexual people (which are also part of the asexual spectrum) do experience sexual attraction after developing an emotional connection. Gray-asexual people experience sexual attraction very rarely or only under certain circumstances. So all of the characters in these books are “true asexual” people; they just fall on different points of the asexual spectrum or have different attitudes toward sex.

  3. Perfect rhythm by Jae was my intro to understanding what Asexuality is. Now reading Thaw and Rising from Ash to learn more

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