A+: Asexuality Thread

According to the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network, “An asexual person is a person who does not experience sexual attraction.” But it’s more complicated than that. Asexuality is a broad spectrum, and anyone who identities with or has experience on any part of it is welcome to contribute here. No one is actually forbidden from contributing (because I hate that), but keep it on topic and respectful.

Today’s main discussion prompt is about an episode of TV I watched on Monday. But as always you are welcome to bring up anything you want to talk about that falls in the broad penumbra of asexuality.

The protagonist of ABC’s The Good Doctor is Shaun Murphy, a talented surgical resident whose autism presents lots of challenges for him in his personal and professional life. In a recent plot thread Shaun asked a woman out on a date. While flashbacks revealed that the date went fairly well by “normal” standards, for Shaun the stress of being out in a high-stakes social situation with lots of unwritten rules was excruciating and he decided he didn’t ever want to go through that again. Despite that, Shaun’s friends and coworkers all spent much of the next episode hectoring him about how important love and romantic relationships are and how he will totally regret it if he gives up now. Of course, by the end of the episode he is seen making a second attempt to connect with the woman.

Now, I realize that autism is not asexuality. And in the past Shaun has been shown to have other crushes, so there is definitely in-universe justification for Shaun’s friends to push him towards making a relationship work. But it still annoyed me to see a depiction of a highly intelligent person saying “Based on the way I process the world, I think maintaining a romantic relationship is more trouble than it is worth” only to have that point of view shot down by essentially everyone else the show.

What do you think? Does the insistence by TV, movies, music, and literature that falling in love is the most important thing bother you? Are there other tropes in fiction that you find problematic when it comes to A+ sexuality?