How (Not) to Ally is a series discussing the supportive content made by well-meaning asexual allies to allo-aros–and why some approaches still fail to recognise, promote, welcome, protect and include us.
It’s now not uncommon to see alloromantic allies asking questions about how best to write (or not write) aro characters. It’s also not uncommon, in response to open questions or in discussing a-spec and/or aro representation, to see not-allosexual aros and alloromantic asexuals reference allo-aros in their answers. Writers should include and depict a diversity of aros in their works, so we do need our asexual kin to remember us!
Unfortunately, most discussions argue that good allo-aro representation encompasses the following:
- Sex occurring in the context of close, intimate, “serious” relationships or partnerships
- Emphasis on monogamy or exclusivity
- Idealised, non-harmful depictions of sexual relationships
- Emphasis on possession of meaningful, intimate bonds with other people
- Capacity and desire for friendship and emotional intimacy
- Emphasis on ability to love and experiencing love for others
- Focusing on non-sexual thoughts and experiences
- Avoidance of sexualisation
- Emphasis on healthiness and “wholeness”
When I look upon such lists, all I know is this: they do not include me.