An engaging exploration of what it means to be asexual in a world that's obsessed with sexual attraction, and what the ace perspective can teach all of us about desire and identity.
What exactly is sexual attraction and what is it like to go through life not experiencing it? What does asexuality reveal about gender roles, about romance and consent, and the pressures of society? This accessible examination of asexuality shows that the issues that aces face--confusion around sexual activity, the intersection of sexuality and identity, navigating different needs in relationships--are the same conflicts that nearly all of us will experience.Through a blend of reporting, cultural criticism, and memoir, Ace addresses the misconceptions around the "A" of LGBTQIA and invites everyone to rethink pleasure and intimacy.
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Praise for Ace
"This book is her thoughtful attempt to develop a more useful lexicon for aces than we’ve had before...I was struck most by Chen’s honesty, the sentences of intimate reflection that appear in the margins of her argument throughout..." — The New York Times
"How can asexuality and the ace perspective challenge the biases of compulsory sexuality and relationship hierarchies? This is the central question of the book, and Chen expertly and beautifully nudges this discussion forward...Ace is a fantastic starting point for dismantling harmful sexual narratives and reimagining human connection as a broader, more equitable, enjoyable and free experience." — The Washington Post
"The book allows us to imagine how much more we could get from our relationships if we were able to free ourselves from restrictive ideas of what we’re supposed to feel and do." — NPR
"Ace is a revelation. We can’t stop thinking about it.”—Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, authors of Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close
“Ace is nothing less than a cultural feat.”
—Evette Dionne, editor in chief of Bitch Media and author of Lifting As We Climb: Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot Box
"Ace creates an inclusive tapestry of validating and eye-opening narratives that will give some readers an experience they may have never had before: seeing our ‘anomalous’ perspectives and emotions given the sensitive examination and validation we’ve always been denied." —Julie Sondra Decker, author of The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality
"A book that makes room for questions even as it illuminates, Ace should be viewed as a landmark work on culture and sexuality.”
—Nicole Chung, author of All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir
"A must-read for everyone: ace, allo, or anywhere in between.”
—Lux Alptraum, author of Faking It: The Lies Women Tell About Sex—and the Truths They Reveal