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 examination of asexuality shows that the issues that aces face are the same conflicts that nearly all of us will experience.
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.
With a keen eye to intersectional ace experiences, Ace begins to unpack the ways in which our society posits sexual desire as both normal and compulsory, a narrative that leaves little room for the lives of asexuals. Chen recognizes the complexity of these conversations ... Ace is a necessary and thoughtful book that accessibly communicates a wide array of ace experiences.
Part memoir and history, part reporting and research, part cultural analysis and call-to-action, Ace paints a more specific picture of asexuality as 'an umbrella that covers different, diverse, and sometimes inconsistent experiences' ... 'Us' denotes different perspectives at different moments throughout the book, and although it can become complex, Chen also does not allow us to forget her positionality within this conversation about asexuality’s implications and revelations for society. By counting herself among a more collective 'we' in these ways, she emphasizes the multifaceted and intersectional and necessary complexities of thinking about desire. In a series of succinct, thought-provokingstatements, Chen invites us to embrace this complexity, because misconceptions about sexual behavior must be addressed directly if we are to move towards a level of precision that is truly just ... eyes. Through her vulnerable and vivid discourse, Chen models this mindful scrutiny that true change necessitates ... consent. Chen, in her skillful blend of academic research, detailed reporting, and personal reflection, interrogates all of the assumptions that prevent ace liberation and, by extension, she argues, sexual and romantic liberation for everyone ... imperative. In her penetrating yet wittily kind voice, she describes many different visions of a sexually liberated society, if we could all just pay closer attention.