(I received an ARC of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So thank you NetGalley! And thank you Oni Press!)
There just aren’t that many books out there about asexuality so I jumped at the chance to review this one. It was a good decision! A Quick and Easy Guide to Asexuality is short but sweet and filled with lots of important information. First and foremost, it demystifies asexuality, responding to FAQs and dispelling myths (i.e. about asexuality, dating and sex). It flows very smoothly between different sections, from growing up ace, the difference between asexuality and aromanticism to media representations of asexuality. Muldoon and Hernandez fall on different points of the asexuality spectrum (demonstrating that there is a spectrum) and are very honest about their own experiences, even mentioning that publishing this book is a kind of coming-out experience, so kudos to them! That’s brave!
They’re also very kind and humorous throughout the guide and they make excellent points in a very simple, accessible way (it is a “Quick and Easy Guide”, after all). A lot of the material they cover was already familiar to me, personally, but some terms were new, like “allosexual”, “gray-a” and “split attraction model.” I also didn’t realize that demisexuality is on the ace spectrum? As a result, I’d recommend A Quick and Easy Guide to Asexuality to both readers who already know a bit about the subject and complete newbies. The wholesome writing and charming art style also make it suitable for a range of ages. It would be perfect for ace people, people questioning their sexuality and allies/friends/family members or anyone who wants to be better informed about the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. There’s also a list of resources at the end for more in-depth information and online tools and forums for community-building and more direct support, like The Trevor Project, which I really appreciated.
My only caveat is that, due to their super upbeat approach, Muldoon and Hernandez are perhaps a little optimistic about ace inclusivity in queer spaces? They acknowledge that online LGBTQ+ spaces can be hostile, but assert that their real life experiences with the community have been universally positive. Given the history of the L and G of LGBT (but especially the white male “G”, let’s be real) dominating the conversation, I worry slightly that they may be setting up overly-optimistic expectations (see Queer: A Graphic History for more info). But, to be fair, the aforementioned extra resources they list may well tackle those issues in more depth. And there is definitely a need for purely affirming, encouraging educational literature for LGBTQIA+ (and especially ace) readers, It also feels a bit curmudgeonly to complain that they’re too nice (perhaps I’m too cynical). Either way, this is a great, handy primer to asexuality. 5/5, would recommend.