There simply are not many asexual fictional characters in television, film, and literature. As so many stories center around the drama of romantic entanglements, some writers struggle to create three dimensional characters if sex is off the table. This is a problem exasperated by the fact there are so few models to follow when it comes to portraying asexuality. However, as diverse depictions of sexual orientation are becoming increasingly common in media, there are more and more books, movies, and TV shows depicting asexuality.
Some of these characters who are asexual are out of the closet and have confirmed their orientation. This is more common with contemporary programs, as asexuality awareness is on the rise. However, some characters never explicitly state their sexuality, but it is heavily implied and sometimes even verified by a writer or actor and thus confirmed in a roundabout way. The exploration of asexual characters in the media has helped society understand an underrepresented segment of the population. Browse this list to learn more about depictions of asexuality in fiction!
- Photo: BoJack Horseman / Netflix
The Show: BoJack Horseman
Todd Chavez (voiced by Aaron Paul) revealed to his friend Emily (Abbi Jacobson) during BoJack Horseman's third season finale that he was confused about his sexual orientation. He told her, "I’m not gay. I mean, I don’t think I am, but I don’t think I’m straight, either. I don’t know what I am. I think I might be nothing."
During the Netflix show's fourth season, Todd admitted that he was asexual, saying, “It actually feels nice to actually say it out loud. I am an asexual person. I am asexual…[I]t feels good to talk about it.”
Todd's asexuality became a focal point of his character development throughout the fourth season. Once he was willing to label himself "asexual," he began to attend asexual meeting groups, which allowed viewers to see the various ways asexual people identify and approach romance and sex.
- Photo: Game of Thrones / HBO
The Show: Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones is one of the most sexed up programs on television. While Lord Varys (Conleth Hill) is a eunich, other eunichs on the show engage in sexual activity and appear to have desire for physical intimacy. However, Varys seems completely uninterested in sex. During one episode, Oberyn (Pedro Pascal) asks Varys if he likes boys or girls. Varys replies he has no interest in either and notes, "When I see what desire does to people, what it's done to this country, I am very glad to have no part in it." While Varys's asexuality could easily be attributed to being a eunich, he makes it clear several times his lack of desire predates his castration.
- Photo: Archie Comics
Comics: Archie Comics
Show: Riverdale, The Archie Show
Since the Archie comics first began circulating in the 1940s, there has been speculation about Jughead Jones's possible asexuality. In the 2015 reboot, his asexuality was confirmed in a comic strip. Another character refers to Jughead as asexual and Jughead does not object to this classification. Jughead then goes on to talk a bit about how his lack of sexual desire shapes his view of the world. In the CW series Riverdale, however, Jughead is not depicted as asexual.
- Photo: Warner Bros. Television
The Show: The Big Bang Theory
For several seasons of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) showed zero interest in sex. His sexuality is still up for debate amongst fans, with some classifying him as a late bloomer in terms of sex and romance and others classifying him as falling under the asexual umbrella.
Even when Sheldon started dating Amy (Mayim Bialik), there was no rush to be intimate and he even mentioned that a physical relationship was unlikely when they first got together. In addition to seeming to lack sexual desire, Sheldon also seemed largely aromatic. While he and Amy cared for each other, their relationship was not traditionally romantic and seemed more based on an intellectual connection. Eventually, after many years together, the pair decided to make love. But does that change the fact that Sheldon is most likely asexual? It's complicated.
As asexuality exists on a spectrum, there is an argument to be made that Sheldon is still asexual. Many asexual people do have and enjoy sex on occasion, albeit their feelings surrounding sex and intimacy may differ from the feelings of non-asexual people.
- Photo: Dr.Who / BBC
The Show: Doctor Who
There have been many different incarnations of The Doctor from Doctor Who, a character that has spanned over 26 TV seasons and two feature films. Additionally, several different actors have played the popular British role. The time travelling doctor did not display any sexual interest until his eighth incarnation and suddenly experienced "the excitement of being close to someone." Doctor Who admitted that was the first time he ever had that feeling of romance.
Doctor Who has had a couple different romantic interests, like Rose Tyler and River Song. There have also been hints that some of his incarnations have been sexually attracted to men. However, even though he was married to River Song, he admitted that he had no idea if he was actually attracted to her, so most fans classify the doctor as falling somewhere along the spectrum of asexuality.
- Photo: Cinnamon Cereal Productions
Huge was a short-lived ABC program, starring Hairspray's Nikki Blonsky, that aired for one season in 2010 and centered around a group of teens at a weight loss camp. In addition to receiving praise for its portrayal of body positivity, Huge included an openly asexual character. The cheerful, optimistic camp counselor Poppy (Zoe Jarman) seems uninterested in the drama surrounding teenage love triangles in the camp, and eventually says to another counselor, "I basically identify as asexual." Poppy's asexuality was openly accepted by her counselor and never seen as something to fix or change.