books

Angela Chen

Books

Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Identity, and the Meaning of Sex (2020) 

 

Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Identity, and the Meaning of Sex (2020)

Ace What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Identity, and the Meaning of SexWhat is ace?

The book opens with a decent explainer.

What I didn’t know was what it felt like to want sex without a specific person in mind. To think about sex at all when I was alone. To feel any physical urge for sex distinct from wanting the emotional intimacy it created.

It also explains precisely why ace visibility is so important.

The label of asexual should be value neutral. It should indicate little more than sexual orientation. Instead, asexual implies a slew of other, negative associations: passionless, uptight, boring, robotic, cold, prude, frigid, lacking, broken. These, especially broken, are the words aces use again and again to describe how we are perceived and made to feel.

She also points out just how sexualized society is, and some of the problems inherent with that.

It is a failure of society if anyone needs to say “I have a partner” to turn someone down, and it is a failure of society if anyone needs to invoke a sexual orientation to avoid unwanted sex because saying no doesn’t do the job.

The book is threaded with snippets from other aces she interviewed in writing this book, because as with everything else, there is no single ace experience, and sometimes you need an anecdote to resonate with.

Even if you are not ace, even if you think you don’t know anyone who is ace, it’s a very good explainer not just of the orientation, but also of the problems inherent in society’s view of asexuality–and the over-sexualization of all parts of society.

But mostly, “asexuality is simply a different and not inferior way of being.”

Publisher: Beacon Press