Asexual Erotics, as you can imagine, discusses erotics with a focus on asexuality. The focus is how the meaning of erotic had changed since Freud. How more modern queer theorists define it to mean more than simply the “sexual”. Packed for with historical examples of black and lesbian activism. The great thing about about hitting such a specific note is this discussion is all but nonexistent elsewhere. It asks what are we missing when we make ‘erotic’ be a single note.
The book definitely is not an introduction to asexuality.
It’s strong academic voice at times. This makes some points less clear than they could have been. ￼If you hang around queer spaces and think your life could use more theory or history. Maybe even wish those discussions tossed in of human development. Then this is definitely the sort of book to pick up.
The book also does a good job explaining how white women were rewarded for being “sexually liberated”. While in the same decade, people of color were punished in a number of ways. For even the appearance of the same. By doing so, this book showcases that social change is not an absolute for all people. But varies along intersectional lines.
The book also goes over ‘political celibacy’. Why it exists, how it often differs across race, and why it’s often grouped under asexuality history. Dig in to find out why those groups are so casually always put together, and glossed over.
My criticism about Asexual Erotics? The chapters on childhood and ageism could have been combined for a stronger point. Instead of a vague “this is a thing that people debate about” tone. The epilogue featuring the discussion of violent entitled￼ sexism felt like an afterthought more then an ending note.
Despite my less than rave review for those chapters, overall the book left with me plenty. New ideas and history nearly lost to time. Things to consider when discussing how complete freedom can be gained for all. Here’s a few quotes I haven’t posted on our social media accounts.
“It is only through asexuality that a sufficient critique of compulsory sexuality as limiting to people across spectrums and different positionalities can be developed.”
“Where there is queerness there is also asexuality.”
– Asexual Erotics
Curious to read more? You can get your own copy here! If fiction is more your style, check the rest of our Rose Reviews series here.