THE INVISIBLE ORIENTATION
*Lambda Award finalist
*Silver Medal Winner in the 2015 IPPY Awards
*Finalist for Foreword’s IndieFab Book of the Year
What if you weren’t sexually attracted to anyone?
A growing number of people are identifying as asexual. They aren’t sexually attracted to anyone, and they consider it a sexual orientation—like gay, straight, or bisexual.
Asexuality is the invisible orientation. Most people believe that “everyone” wants sex, that “everyone” understands what it means to be attracted to other people, and that “everyone” wants to date and mate. But that’s where asexual people are left out—they don’t find other people sexually attractive, and if and when they say so, they are very rarely treated as though that’s okay.
When an asexual person comes out, alarming reactions regularly follow; loved ones fear that an asexual person is sick, or psychologically warped, or suffering from abuse. Critics confront asexual people with accusations of following a fad, hiding homosexuality, or making excuses for romantic failures. And all of this contributes to a discouraging master narrative: there is no such thing as “asexual.” Being an asexual person is a lie or an illness, and it needs to be fixed.
In The Invisible Orientation, Julie Sondra Decker outlines what asexuality is, counters misconceptions, provides resources, and puts asexual people’s experiences in context as they move through a very sexualized world. It includes information for asexual people to help understand their orientation and what it means for their relationships, as well as tips and facts for those who want to understand their asexual friends and loved ones.
“This title is an important resource for readers of any age who are struggling to understand their sexual orientation, or those who would like to better understand asexuality.” —Library Journal, starred review
“This book shines a much-needed light on an experience that’s far more common than most people realize. Julie Decker brings together the many different voices and stories of asexual people, presents valuable information, and offers helpful insight about how non-asexual people can be supportive. If you or someone you know is or might be asexual, read this book. And if you’re a sexuality or relationship professional, read this book. Asexuality is part of the sexuality spectrum and you need The Invisible Orientation on your shelves.”—Charlie Glickman, PhD, certified sexological bodyworker
“I’ll admit it: I used to think asexuality was not real. I couldn’t wrap my head around the concept—sex is a huge part of my life, so how could it be insignificant to someone else? Boy, was I ignorant! This book is a comprehensive learning tool for those who are asexual, as well as those who are asexual curious. Advocating respect, this rare and precious resource will open your eyes and set the record straight in a clear and straightforward manner. Prepare to have your mind blown!” —Kendra Holliday, creator of The Beautiful Kind blog
“This is a long overdue book. It provides a sense of what it is like to be asexual that can sometimes be missing from academic work. . . . It is a book with the potential to make a positive difference to many people’s lives and help combat what the author describes as the ‘insidious form of exclusion’ that asexual people continue to experience.” —Mark Carrigan, Department of Sociology, University of Warwick
“This fascinating book will make more space for thoughtful understanding of sexual diversity and desire and help us understand just how variable human sexuality really is. For sex educators, therapists, and scholars, it’s a must-read. For asexual people (or the ‘A-questioning’), who are so frequently invisibilized and disrespected, it may well offer the kind of succor, support, and information that every person—across the sex, gender, and partnering spectra—deserves.” —Carol Queen, PhD, Founding Director, Center for Sex & Culture and author, Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture