What if you weren't sexually attracted to anyone?
A growing number of people are identifying as asexual. They aren't sexually attracted to anyone, and they consider it a sexual orientation - like gay, straight, or bisexual.
Asexuality is the invisible orientation. Most people believe that "everyone" wants sex, that "everyone" understands what it means to be attracted to other people, and that "everyone" wants to date and mate. But that's where asexual people are left out - they don't find other people sexually attractive, and if and when they say so, they are very rarely treated as though that's okay.
When an asexual person comes out, alarming reactions regularly follow; loved ones fear that an asexual person is sick, or psychologically warped, or suffering from abuse. Critics confront asexual people with accusations of following a fad, hiding homosexuality, or making excuses for romantic failures. And all of this contributes to a discouraging master narrative: there is no such thing as "asexual". Being an asexual person is a lie or an illness, and it needs to be fixed.
In The Invisible Orientation, Julie Sondra Decker outlines what asexuality is, counters misconceptions, provides resources, and puts asexual people's experiences in context as they move through a very sexualized world. It includes information for asexual people to help understand their orientation and what it means for their relationships, as well as tips and facts for those who want to understand their asexual friends and loved ones.
We've sent an email with your order details. Order ID #:
To access this title, visit your library in the app or on the desktop website.
Haven't learnt anything yet
- Helen Gladwin
Pretty basic stuff
The book was easy to understand and a good primer for those who have done zero research. What I liked least was that it didn't really provide any guidance or relevant materials for people who are more seriously questioning and have already researched the FAQ themselves.
There seemed to be a lot of listing of different possible combinations of asexual and romantic orientations, rather than any more valuable information about cultural challenges, context, history, etc. Overall the book lacked a thesis and was more like an explanatory page from a website.
The conclusion was lacking- what was the point of the book? Where is asexuality going now? It wasn't cohesive in this sense. It didn't seem to offer much comfort or vision- more just lists of orientations and a general 'don't be rude' message.
The reading of the reference section was gruelling and made the book stand out as something amateurish.
I think a more detailed text looking at the cultural significance of asexuality and a more in depth examination of the psychological struggle of coming to terms with being asexual/trying to find a place in a world where you are not readily accepted is needed, though a different author may be better placed to do this.