Book Review: A Quick and Easy Guide to Asexuality
Title: A Quick and Easy Guide to Asexuality
Author: Molly Muldoon and Will Hernandez
Publication Info: Limerence Press, 2022. 72 Pages.
Source: Library digital collection
Asexuality is often called The Invisible Orientation. You don’t learn about it in school, you don’t hear “ace” on television. So, it’s kinda hard to be ace in a society so steeped in sex that no one knows you exist. Too many young people grow up believing that their lack of sexual desire means they are broken – so writer Molly Muldoon and cartoonist Will Hernandez, both in the ace community, are here to shed light on society’s misconceptions of asexuality and what being ace is really like. This book is for anyone who wants to learn about asexuality, and for Ace people themselves, to validate their experiences. Asexuality is a real identity and it’s time the world recognizes it. Here’s to being invisible no more!
I picked this book up because I have recently had my attention drawn to asexuality, and wanted to know just what that is. This comic book is exactly what the title says--a quick and easy guide. Like any such guide, it's a starting place, not a be-all and end-all. It offers some helpful definitions of terms, including Ace (asexual), Allo (allosexual, which is all the people who do want sex, of whatever flavor), and demisexual, those who feel desire under certain limited circumstances.
The authors also make it clear that asexual is not the same as aromantic (Aro). Someone who is Ace may well have, and enjoy, a romantic relationship. Maybe the big surprise to me is best summed up in the authors' own metaphor. Think of sex as cake. You can eat cake even if you don't really want any, perhaps to be polite or to give pleasure to the person who made the cake. You can figure the rest out, I'm sure.
The big take-away is no surprise: like just about every aspect of being human, sexuality is a spectrum, and few people fall at the extreme ends of it. The other key take-away: like sexual orientation, this isn't a lifestyle choice. It's biological, and no one need do any judging.
I think this is an important book, I suppose because I think that a greater understanding of what makes other people tick is always a good idea, and also because our society has an awful lot of expectations around sex and sexuality.