It’s important that we as the ace and aro communities be careful when we say something is bad representation. Some examples of bad representation of asexuality/aromanticism:
- Offering false information about the orientation(s)
- Dehumanizing one in order to further humanize the other (“I can still fall in love! I’m not a robot!” or “I like sex— I’m still human after all!” etc)
- Anything that involves “fixing” the person
These are bad because they’re incorrect and/or delegitimize the orientation(s). But here is an example of something that isn’t automatically bad representation:
- Anything that doesn’t perfectly align with your experience of the orientation
The ace and aro spectrums are incredibly diverse. Even people with the same identity might have really different experiences of said identity. I notice that people will chastise various representations for things that aren’t necessarily wrong or bad. If an ace character has sex, that doesn’t make that bad representation. Ace people do have sex (and some enjoy it!). If an aro character does stuff that appears romantic, this isn’t necessarily wrong either. Some aro people have fun with that stuff.
It’s important to look at the entire context and be specific about the issues when criticizing representation. Just saying “this is bad because that ace character is having sex!” or “this is bad because that aro character is making out!” is invalidating to those in the community who do like those things.
There are different ways to be aro/ace. Keep that in mind.