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Villainous Asexual

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An evil or villainous character who has no interest in sex and/or romance

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
pcw2727 on Jul 23rd 2012 at 10:52:42 PM
Last Edited By:
Pichu-kun on Feb 7th 2019 at 8:18:37 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: Trope

Until the 2010s and even then some, the only time implied asexual and aromantic peopl appeared in media was when they were either "broken" abuse victims who needed to be 'fixed' or, more commonly, evil villains.

Media which features characters with psychopathic traits often try to play up their inhuman nature as much as possible. Many decide a good way to hammer the point home is to have the character reject all forms of sexuality. It's the norm for humans to feel sexual attraction (or at least romantic attraction), so something must be fundamentally wrong when someone rejects such basic instincts. This trope also enforces the idea of heteronormativity, alongside similar tropes like Depraved Homosexual and Psycho Lesbian.

Villainous Asexual characters often also dismiss friendships, familial relationships, and other human relationships as well. This usually means the villain Hates Everyone Equally. They tend to have a Lack of Empathy as well. Characters might be interested in nothing but their work or might have a near-sexual interest in sadism. A fairly frequent variation sees them as being not only sexual, but quite adept at sex... so long as it furthers their agenda. They frequently play the part of a lover, even if they don't love.

This trait is contrary to psychopathic pathology, which typically features a strong tendency for promiscuous behavior. Most likely, writers did not do the research and assumed a lack of emotions also means they cannot enjoy sex and therefore would not want it.

Compare with Depraved Homosexual, Psycho Lesbian, and Depraved Bisexual. Contrast with Good People Have Good Sex, Sex Is Good, Celibate Hero, Even Evil Has Loved Ones (for romantic relationships), and Serial Rapist.


Examples:

Anime & Manga

  • In Death Note, Light turns down women left and right including a major supermodel. He only seems to ever date women when they're useful to his schemes.

Comic Books

  • Daken: Despite being infamous as a Depraved Bisexual, Daken is this according to Word of God. He only uses sex as a tool to manipulate others.
  • The Joker tends to be portrayed as completely uninterested in sex, only caring about his "jokes" and schemes. While he is willing to partake in sex, he only ever does as part of an Evil Plan, manipulation, or because he wants to make a sick joke about it. For example, the self-titled graphic novel has him rape a woman named Shelly, the wife of one of his henchmen and the book's POV character, Jonny Frost, as a fucked up way of making things "even" between the two after Frost withheld the fact he had a meeting with Two-Face.

Film — Live Action

  • In Perfume, the Villain Protagonist is obsessed with the scents of nubile virgins, though he has no sexual interest in them, or anyone else. He hires a prostitute solely for the purpose of an experiment to capture her scent.
  • Vargas from the James Bond movie Thunderball does not drink, does not smoke, and does not make love. Instead, he is a cold, hardened killer.

Literature

  • Demons in the Bartimaeus Trilogy are asexual but certainly are aware that humans are not often asexual. They use this to their advantage as much as they possibly can, distracting or disturbing the magicians who summon them with various attractive forms that may or may not match the spirit's actual gender (insofar as they have one). Bartimaeus remarks at one point in The Ring of Solomon that his repertoire of forms is pretty well nothing but horrible monsters and pretty girls.
  • Dexter: Dexter Morgan is uninterested in sex, but willing enough to keep his wife, Rita, convinced that he's a normal man.
  • Harry Potter: Voldemort cannot feel love, thus is definitely aromantic, and shows no sexual interest in the book canon. But, if you consider Harry Potter and the Cursed Child canon, it gets subverted: he fathered one child, Delphini.
  • Codename Villanelle: The titular Villanelle enjoys manipulating people, and using sex to do so, particularly authority figures, but admits that she doesn't really like the act itself.

Live-Action TV

  • In the first season of Dexter, Dexter Morgan claims to find sex "undignified" and intentionally dates a rape victim in order to avoid it. Later subverted as since he does start to care about his family and, by season 3, he enjoys having sex with Rita.
  • Sherlock: Moriarty fits this trope, only showing interest in any sex to manipulate those around him.
  • In the Masters of Horror episode "Incident On and Off a Mountain Road", the albino serial killer Moonface is not interested in "sexual things" according to his longtime and crazed prisoner Buddy. He just enjoys inflicting pain.
  • Daly from Black Mirror: USS Callister, who is portrayed as deliberately asexual both in reality — where it underscores his social awkwardness (there are several key moments in the episode indicating that the privileged people are attractive and sexually active, at least from Daly's perspective, and he resents them and his inability to fit in) and is used as a way to show the development of his psychopathic tendencies, as he clearly wants Nanette in a selfish way where he really wants her to be interested in him and the things he likes yet gets so angry at her for being "attracted to his mind but not to him" that he clones her into his Infinity mod, which he uses to torture the living consciousnesses of people he doesn't like — and in Infinity — where his player character is desperate to recreate the Celibate Hero world of his favourite show Space Fleet, but has taken this power too far and, yes, literally tortures people.

Video Games

Western Animation

Feedback: 47 replies

Jul 24th 2012 at 1:28:32 PM

Sherlock's Moriarty fits this trope, only showing interest in any sex to manipulate those around him.

Jul 29th 2012 at 2:05:27 PM

Oh fine, I'll be the one to mention The Joker. Specifically, whenever he's paired up with Harley Quinn.

Jul 30th 2012 at 2:35:34 PM

Literature

  • Voldemort, the Big Bad of the Harry Potter series, is never shown to have had any romantic interest in anyone else, man or woman. Word Of God says that he's incapable of any kind of love, period.

Jul 30th 2012 at 5:55:05 PM

I believe Morgoth in The Silmarillion was said to have raped a Maia in some mythical sense, out of desire to humiliate rather then desire for sex which he didn't have.

Jul 30th 2012 at 5:57:21 PM

In An Oblique Approach, the Malwa priest torturers are described as having a perverted love of causing pain but a horror of anything that has to do with creating life.

Jul 31st 2012 at 8:01:17 AM

^^ When Luthien was singing before Morgoth, Tolkien implies that Morgoth thought about raping Luthien. He was too busy fantasizing about it to get the job done before she zapped him with the sleep spell, though.

Jul 31st 2012 at 10:01:14 AM

The inversion of celibate hero would be a hero that does Anything That Moves

Jul 31st 2012 at 12:04:17 PM

It's not an inversion. It's the Celibate Hero for villians. Is this about villians who are openly asexual, or villians who pretend to have a particular preference to manipulate, while secretly being asexual? Because the examples could go either way.

Sep 23rd 2014 at 1:25:09 PM

Lloyd from Code Geass is a Mad Scientist but I don't know if he counts

Sep 23rd 2014 at 2:16:52 PM

I think it's actually been established that he's gay, but I'm not sure.

Sep 23rd 2014 at 2:21:58 PM

Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory. Definitely asexual, and not evil, but manipulative and unsympathizing. It's a plausible depiction of high-functioning autism.

Sep 24th 2014 at 12:10:53 PM

I don't know if listing him under here would be a good idea

Sep 24th 2014 at 4:28:17 PM

It would not. Sheldon is not malicious; somewhat insensitive and a Jerkass but genuinely benevolent. And no, Generality, you twit, it is NOT a 'plausible depiction'. As an autistic person I'm offended by your bullshit.

Sep 24th 2014 at 5:35:56 PM

Comic Books

Sep 24th 2014 at 8:00:37 PM

Also, keep in mind that sexual orientation is not the same as romantic orientation, and you can have one without the other. Lots of asexual characters in fiction are also aromantic, but let's not automatically equate one with the other when adding examples.

Oct 26th 2014 at 1:20:59 AM

Dean Koontz does this a lot. Candy from The Bad Place, the Creepy Twins (CREEPIEST TWINS EVER!) from Whispers, and the human serial killer from Lighting stand out.

Oct 26th 2014 at 1:48:43 AM

Vargas from the James Bond movie Thunderball does not drink, does not smoke, and does not make love. Instead, he is a cold, hardened killer.

Oct 26th 2014 at 4:09:37 PM

What's this about lack of emotions? Psychopaths have emotions, it's a Lack Of Empathy that's the disorder's defining attribute.

Oct 26th 2014 at 4:20:39 PM

Sorry, what's the criterion here? Is it just a villain who shows no sexual/romantic interest? If so, most villains would probably qualify. Or, at least, most of the ones that aren't would-be rapists...

Umbee, how would you differentiate between asexuality and aromanticism in this context? I mean, I know they're different, but works of fiction rarely go to the trouble of distinguishing them.

Oct 26th 2014 at 5:46:30 PM

^ when they are asexual, it tends to be made obvious. Even to the extent of Have I Mentioned I Am Asexual Today?

Jun 6th 2016 at 2:23:40 AM

^^ I think it should be where a villain actively rejects offers of romance or shows disgust at it to make this clear. "Villain is not shown having sex" is shoehorning unless it's very conspicuous (like a setting where Everybody Has Lots Of Sex).

This is definitely a trope though, despite the unfortunate implications. Depraved Bisexual and Good People Have Good Sex are some related tropes—basically anything that defies the norm is depicted as abberant and indicative of bad moral character in fiction.

Jun 6th 2016 at 4:36:26 AM

Triplanetary: Gray Roger comes across this way, but considering that he's a puppet for a race that doesn't have gender I don't know if he really counts.

Jun 6th 2016 at 10:11:50 PM

Must the character in question be a psychopath, or can it count just any villain?

May 4th 2018 at 9:40:29 AM

Took over the draft and made it more general.

May 4th 2018 at 9:51:37 AM

The description could mention how once function, in more modern works, is to enforce how heteronormativity is good (because Hollywood does, or did until 2018, function largely on that), without having to make the villain gay.

May 4th 2018 at 9:53:46 AM

Also, compare with Sex Is Good. (Compare because the trope is making a point about how sex equals moral goodness, so not having sex would be bad)

May 4th 2018 at 10:04:53 AM

Live-Action TV

  • Daly from Black Mirror: USS Callister, who is portrayed as deliberately asexual both in reality — where it underscores his social awkwardness (there are several key moments in the episode indicating that the privileged people are attractive and sexually active, at least from Daly's perspective, and he resents them and his inability to fit in) and is used as a way to show the development of his psychopathic tendencies, as he clearly wants Nanette in a selfish way where he really wants her to be interested in him and the things he likes yet gets so angry at her for being "attracted to his mind but not to him" that he clones her into his Infinity mod, which he uses to torture the living consciousnesses of people he doesn't like — and in Infinity — where his player character is desperate to recreate the Celibate Hero world of his favourite show Space Fleet, but has taken this power too far and, yes, literally tortures people.

May 4th 2018 at 11:47:48 AM

Mention should definitely be made in the description that a fairly frequent variation sees them as being not only sexual, but quite adept at sex... so long as it furthers their agenda. They frequently play the part of a lover, even if they don't love.

May 4th 2018 at 12:34:29 PM

Voldemort is mentioned above - he definitely cannot feel love, thus is definitely aromantic, and shows no sexual interest in the book canon. But, if you consider Harry Potter And The Cursed Child canon, it gets subverted: he fathered one child, Delphini.

May 4th 2018 at 5:21:41 PM

Needs to be only for characters who explicitly state their asexuality, otherwise it'll just be a magnet for shoehorning.

May 5th 2018 at 12:31:58 AM

^^ or at least when their asexuality is noted in some other way.

By the way... Do we have "ambiguously asexual" trope?

May 5th 2018 at 6:12:13 AM

Took some examples from the main asexuality page.

^ We did but it was cut.

May 5th 2018 at 7:31:02 AM

Another reason for this trope is that the villain Hates Everyone Equally, so they obviously won't love anybody.

The writeup should mention psychopathy only in passing and not as a prominent part of the trope.

May 9th 2018 at 10:02:34 PM

^ re. psychopathy, it may not be accurate in real life, and it may harbor unfortunate implications, but for the purposes of the trope it is often shown as connected, as a prominent part of it.

May 10th 2018 at 2:37:30 AM

By the way, would this count aromantic villains?

May 10th 2018 at 8:30:44 AM

^ Yes, hence "and/or romance". The main asexual page tends to get used to describe aro characters a lot.

May 11th 2018 at 12:05:47 PM

Sin City: Wallenquist (the most powerful mob boss in the city) No Sells Ava's attempts to seduce him, telling her to get down to business.

May 21st 2018 at 5:47:58 PM

  • The Golden Touch: In the opening number, King Midas mentions that he has no interest in romance, simply because he Loves Only Gold. While he's not exactly villainous, he is shown to be a selfish Jerkass in this part, before his development later on.

May 21st 2018 at 9:20:44 PM

Video Games

  • In Dark Elf Historia, one of Freylia's missions is to seduce local Mad Scientist Dr. Isaac. Unfortunately for Freylia, Isaac has no interest in sex, but he does have experiments, for which he needs a healthy young woman.

May 23rd 2018 at 12:26:57 AM

I think it should be mentioned that Dexter (or at least the show version) ultimately becomes a subversion, since he does start to care about his family and by season 3 enjoys having sex with Rita.

May 23rd 2018 at 3:06:47 PM

Literature

  • Codename Villanelle: The titular Villanelle enjoys manipulating people, and using sex to do so, particularly authority figures, but admits that she doesn't really like the act itself.

May 23rd 2018 at 3:32:16 PM

Suggesting "Evil Can't Feel Love" for the name.

May 23rd 2018 at 4:11:27 PM

^ I feel like that could easily attract misuse, like villains shirking their families.

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