Asexual Awareness Week: Two YA Novels with Complex, Geeky, Lovable Demi Protagonists

It’s Asexual Awareness Week, which means that though I’d do it any time of the year, it’s the optimal time of the year to recommend and gather recommendations of media with asexual protagonists. Today I want to talk about two brilliant geeky YA novels with main characters that are not only relatable, complicated, and funny, but sit on a perhaps lesser-known place on the asexual spectrum: these are two characters who are confirmed as demisexual.

Demisexuality is when you only begin to feel sexually attracted to people once you form a strong emotional bond with them. The most common misconceptions about it tend to be that the demi in question is just “picky” and chooses to get to know people first, or that they’re no longer, or never really were, asexual at all once they find someone they like enough to be attracted to. As with the many grey areas along the ace spectrum, it can be a tricky thing to both explain to people and define for yourself, especially given how society so easily conflates romantic, aesthetic, and sexual attraction all together as one big amorphous thing when they’re really separate and very different feelings—and, as always, different for every individual person!

I know that I’m somewhere under the ace umbrella, but finding an exact word to define my unique, personal scenario has kind of felt like I’m a sleep-deprived detective staring at a conspiracy board trying to link evidence together with bits of string. While I’m still bumbling along trying to figure myself out, it was immensely rewarding and heartwarming to read these two books where characters (who are younger than me, mind you) get to not only find happiness in their ace identities and have fulfilling relationships, but get to be the stars of moving and engaging stories. Continue reading

Afterworlds: YA about YA, Girls Falling in Love, and Growing Up

afterworldsI picked up Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld after finding it on a list of books with lesbian/bisexual/queer female protagonists. The descriptions of the book also promised an eighteen-year-old girl learning to navigate adult responsibilities, self-aware YA, and satire poking fun at paranormal teen romance novel. And Afterworlds largely delivers—although without knowing to look for satire, I probably wouldn’t have noticed it, and while the protagonist is a girl who likes girls, it’s unclear if she’s bi or lesbian. However, the main strengths of this book are actually the variety of female characters and all the different relationships between them: it’s populated with girls and women of different ages, including queer women and women of color, who are friends, lovers, siblings, mentors… But I’m getting carried away, so let’s backtrack and proceed in an orderly fashion, shall we?

Spoilers for the book below, obviously.

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Sexualized Saturdays: The Doctor is…?

Oh, have I ever been excited to write this post. For the purposes of this post which I am excited to write, let it be known that I am only familiar with the events and companions of the 2005 series and the first season of Hartnell’s Doctor. Also, I’m looking specifically at the person of the Doctor and how he behaves and what is in character for him, and not at the meta societal influences that have shaped the casting, writing, and acting choices made in the show.

The Time Lord we know and love is a tricky character, because we actually know next to nothing about him. We don’t know his real name, or if he even has one (although this season might change that?); we don’t know how Time Lords reproduce, or if they get married or have similar social norms. And since sexuality is tied up in gender, you have to factor in that it’s been introduced in canon that Time Lord regeneration is not restricted to one gender, and so therefore it’s difficult to put a label on that as well.

So given that we have only circumstantial evidence to go on, where do we go from here?

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