This is a conversation with Angela Chen, author of the book ‘Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex‘.
This isn’t an Asexuality 101 episode. Feel free to look up the basics if you want. There are loads of asexuals who do explain what it means, Angela Chen’s book including. This episode is more about what asexuality says about our societies.
And as I’m notoriously crap at explaining why I like the books I like, I am going to read a paragraph written by Sarah Neilson for them.us which summarizes really well why Chen’s book matters: “The crux of society’s difficulty with accepting asexuality is, Chen argues, because compulsory sexuality is ingrained in societal narratives about mental and physical health, politics and liberation, and interpersonal relationships. Compulsory sexuality posits that sex is a primal human need, ties sex to maturity, and places sex in relationship hierarchies. Even in the queer community, though we hate to be oversexualized by the straights, we often sexualize ourselves and each other. And while queer sex is indeed liberating for allosexuals (or those that do experience sexual attraction), so is the ability not to have sex. Chen argues, through a fantastic blend of nuanced and clear-eyed reporting, research, and personal reflection, that true liberation requires the dismantling of compulsory sexuality.” So yeah, this book is great.
- Minimizing Marriage: Morality, Marriage, and the Law by Elizabeth Brake
- Refusing Compulsory Sexuality: A Black Asexual Lens on Our Sex-Obsessed Culture by Sherronda J. Brown
- More Than Friends by Rhaina Cohen