Nikki 's Reviews > The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality

The Invisible Orientation by Julie Sondra Decker
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it was amazing
bookshelves: non-fiction, received-to-review

Reviewing this book publicly feels kind of awkward, because I know the fact that I've read it is likely to make people ask questions right away. The temptation with something like this is pretty inevitably going to be asking me why I'm interested, to what extent it might align with my own experiences, etc.

To dispose of that in a single paragraph: I have no interest in sex for physical gratification. I do have a partner, and whatever we may do is between the two of us and no one else's business. Certainly I've had some of the experiences mentioned in this book: wondering what is "wrong" with me that I'm not interested, being told that my disinterest can be "fixed" (sometimes quite forcefully), being told that it's down to my medication/mental illness, etc.

So, to the extent that any single person can identify with a book about a broad issue, this book is "about me". If you're now feeling curious about all this, I would ask you first not to ask me questions but to read this book and the book I'm currently reviewing. Then, maybe, we can talk.

Speaking more generally, this is a pretty awesome book for acknowledging the sheer breadth of human experience. It acknowledges all sorts of levels of interest in sex and romance, all sorts of orientations on the spectrum of attraction. I know one of my friends who identifies as demisexual also found this a useful resource. It can be a means of finding information, whether you're asexual or not; it can also be a means of finding validation, of finding a measured and sensible voice telling you that there's nothing wrong with you, you're not strange, there are people out there like you.

The problem is that people who are opposed to the idea right away probably won't read this, or if they do won't be convinced by it; that's definitely not the book's fault, just that issue that people much prefer things that confirm their pre-existing bias. It's worth trying, though -- you never know what's going to get through and change someone's mind, even your own mind.
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Reading Progress

July 5, 2014 – Started Reading
July 5, 2014 – Shelved
July 5, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)

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message 1: by jo (new)

jo why anyone should debate the validity of someone's sexuality, whatever it is, is beyond me. i take that, since your review assumes that people might want to argue with you, you are familiar with the experience. actually, you say you are! well, go you, and bollocks to everyone else.

Nikki Usually because people decide that because I'm not interested in sex, there must be something wrong with me; there's often false concern over my hormone levels, etc. Also, plenty of people who just don't understand that anyone could not think sex is great.

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I hate alcohol. LOATHE it. I believe it destroys lives, families, societies. I feel that too many people spend a good portion of their lives with messed-up priorities, worrying about the timing of their next fix (booze being a drug) rather than the state of their relationships.


The reason I say this is that swimming against the tide is very difficult, and continuing to do so after repeatedly being told that you're doing it wrong and you must be one sick puppy to believe what you believe? That's courageous. Thank you for daring to be different.

message 4: by jo (new)

jo i'm with jennifer. well, the second paragraph. i don't loathe alcohol though i'm don't drink it either. :)

Nikki It's not a belief; it's just the way I am. I couldn't be different. So it's not hard to maintain it, it's just hard to keep talking about it.

Sparrowlicious I'm a fortunate person because the people I'm outed to simply accepted it and never questioned it.
But I guess that's the thing: you can't change who you are.
Thank you for this review, Nikki. Books like Julie Decker's are important. We got lots of resources on the internet, but books always count as 'one step up' for some reason.

message 7: by Blow Pop (new) - added it

Blow Pop (late to the game here but)

Nikki, your sexuality is just as valid as you are. And you don't need to keep talking about it if *YOU* don't want to. Not to mention that it's really no one's business outside of you and your partner(s). You be you and do what works for you and know that there are those of us that know it's not a choice it's simply just a part of who you are.

I got the pleasure of beta-ing a few of the chapters of this book before it came out before my life started getting hectic and even coming into it with an understanding already I was able to put myself into a viewpoint of "what is this I don't understand" and see if the author was explaining well enough for those who didn't come from my background of basic understanding and thought Julie did really well with it. It's at the top of my list of "oh you don't understand what asexuality is? here read this book and then we can start having some basic conversations about it" so that my a-spec friends don't have to have the convos over and over (kind of like you seem to need to from what your review and comments imply) even though I *technically* fall into the a-spec (I'm just more "valid" in people's eyes? I don't understand it and never will I guess). Kind of my way of giving back to the people who sat there patiently and explained to me years back (though it was never actually asked of me just my way of showing gratitude). But I've also always had a relatively open mind about people's differences and been one of those "oh you're x? I've never heard that please explain what that is so I can better understand it" types even if explanation involves someone sending a link that explains better than they can at the time and just accept them as they are type of people (though there are things I *can't* accept and all involve serious crimes but neither here nor there for this convo).

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