What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex

hardcover, 224 pages

Published Sept. 15, 2020 by Beacon Press.

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5 stars (2 reviews)

An engaging exploration of what it means to be asexual in a world that's obsessed with sexual attraction, and what we can all learn about desire and identity by using an ace lens to see the world

What exactly is sexual attraction and what is it like to go through the world not experiencing it? What does asexuality reveal about consent, about compromise, about the structures of society? This exceedingly accessible guide to asexuality shows that the issues that aces face—confusion around sexual activity, the intersection of sexuality and identity, navigating different needs in relationships—are conflicts that all of us need to address as we move through the world.

Through interviews, cultural criticism, and memoir, ACE invites all readers to consider big-picture issues through the lens of asexuality, because every place that sexuality touches our world, asexuality does too.

Journalist Angela Chen uses her own journey of self-discovery as an …

4 editions

5 stars

I've identified as gay for a while, but these last years I realized I was probably closer to aroace, but hadn't found a satisfying confirmation online, so I was excited to read this book. I'm happy to announce that it lives up to its ambitious subtitle (What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex).

Ideas I particularly liked seeing explored or picked apart:

  • How labels are useful to find meaning and shared experiences. (The words are gifts. If you know which terms to search, you know how to find others who might have something to teach. They are, like Lucid said, keys. Intellectual entryways to the ace world and other worlds. Offerings of language for as long as they bring value.)
  • Compulsory sexuality: I LOVE it when authors analyze concepts that don't necessarily imply each other. Yes, you can want intimacy but not …
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