Aimless: AAW – Shannon Arkers

It’s Asexual Awareness Week! In celebration of this, I’m featuring four asexual Sims from stories on this blog. Our last individual profile features Shannon Arkers, who, in my game, is an aromantic asexual. She appears in the story Whisper.

If you’d like to learn more about asexuality, please visit the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network, AVEN.

Author’s Note: In this post, I talk about playing and writing Whisper, so readers will find some spoilers if they haven’t yet read chapters 2.10 to 2.28.

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Shannon, being one of the most private Sims I’ve known, declined an interview. She said that I could write about her from my perspective, and she was happy to spend some time talking with me. Shannon’s always been a favorite Sim of mine at TS3 University. I love her rebel style.

She’s unflirty, a fitting trait for an aromantic Sim. As Shannon is currently an elder in my game, I think of her as being half a generation older than me, which means that she also came of age before asexuality was recognized as a sexual orientation. For Shannon, this wasn’t an issue.

“I need to be different,” she told me, “so every way that I don’t fit in with consumerism, capitalism, sexism, genderism, ageism, and any other ism you want to throw at me, the better.”

As a girl, Shannon wanted to join Boy Scouts, until she read the Boy Scout oath, law, and motto. “Since Boy Scouts would’ve required me to uphold values I don’t share” she said, “I decided to join Hells’ Angels instead. Then I learned about the way they use women.” At this point, still in her youth, Shannon embraced the practice of nonconformity as an individual. Rather than joining a group as a way of being different, she was different alone. “I mean, if I’m not fitting in with a group of others who aren’t fitting in, that that sort of means I’m fitting in with the misfits.”

A woman whose dharma followed individual nonconformity, personal liberation, and authenticity, Shannon relished every opportunity to do things her own way. Aromantic asexuality was simply one other aspect of this.

“Plus,” she told me, “I seriously don’t care what others think. It’s my life. Get over it.”

Observing and writing about the interactions between Marigold and Shannon fascinated me and helped me learn more about ways to express love beyond the traditional and the romantic.

Shannon is the only Sim that Marigold has rolled romantic whims for, even though they don’t have the TS3 attraction moodlet between them. Marigold is attracted to plenty of other Sims–but, so far in the game, she’s only interested in Shannon. And Shannon, while remaining asexual, has been receptive. She says that she wants to experience everything in life, and a romance was one thing she hadn’t yet experienced. “At my time of life,” she said, “I’d better do it now if I’m gonna do it at all.” Shannon also shows us that some asexuals enjoy sex.

And besides, Marigold Tea is awesome.

To me, a lot of the ways I wrote Shannon felt true: The conversation that she and Marigold had while sitting in the snow watching the stars reverberates with conversations my boyfriend has had with me. He doesn’t feel a need to say goodbye, either, especially when his affection extends beyond time.

There are so many different ways to love: some of the qualities of love that aren’t dependent on sexual attraction or romance include thoughtfulness, affection, caring, and a type of faithfulness which rests on putting the other person’s well-being and self-realization first.

That’s how Shannon’s love for Marigold felt to me.  I can’t say that I’ve ever written a more genuine-feeling love, in terms of my own experience of what deep love feels like.

Shannon would say we’re all people, each of us individuals. Treat others well. Live true to yourself. Be free.

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