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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4 stars (6 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 …

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Review of 'Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

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Ace è il libro che sognavo di leggere da quando ho finito di digerire cosa fosse l’asessualità e in che modo fosse sempre stata una parte di me. Volevo leggere qualcosa che non soltanto risonasse con il mio vissuto, ma che portasse la ricchezza dell’esperienza asessuale nella nostra società, in modo da metterne in luce quelle storture che rimangono nascoste sotto strati di inconsapevolezza e convenzioni. Anche quest’orientamento così spesso banalizzato in quellз che non fanno sesso ha molto da dire sulle dinamiche relazionali e su come la sessualità compulsiva sia tossica per chiunque, non solo le persone asessuali.

Chen parte dalla sua storia personale e da quella di altre persone asessuali per mostrare come l’idea che tutti gli esseri umani normali e sani debbano necessariamente avere un certo livello di desiderio di fare sesso – quella che …

Review of 'Ace' on 'Goodreads'

No rating

On the one hand: I didn't actually learn much from this book. Most of what Chen talks about is experiences/perspectives I've had or I've talked about with friends or I've read about online. (Probably I am an outlier and should not be counted.)

On the other hand: I think this will be a really, really useful book for a lot of people. It's going to make a difference. Chen approaches asexuality as a lens through which society can reexamine its biases and assumptions; framing the narratives that aces disrupt as a way to benefit everyone was a really smart move for one of the first popular books from a major publisher on this topic. I think it's a well-done introduction to the topic that will be really accessible to many people. I'm glad she wrote it.

(And frankly, it's always deeply satisfying to see someone push back against compulsory sexuality.)

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