Sex can seem like a house of horrors – full of monsters and potential pitfalls. We often live with fear, shame and frustration when it comes to our own sexuality, and with judgement when it comes to others’. Sex advice manuals, debates over sex work and stories of sexual ‘dysfunction’ add to our anxiety.
With compassion, humour, erudition and a touch of the erotic, Meg-John Barker and Jules Scheele shine a light through the darkness and unmask the monsters in this illustrated guide. From sexual identities to having sex, to desire, consent and relationships, we’ll explore the invention of sex as we know it and imagine sex as it could be. Along the way, we’ll move past thinking of sex as meaning just one thing, defined by the genders of those doing it, instead making space for lots of different types of attraction, desire, relationship and act.
CWs & TWs: sexual content.
Thanks to Netgalley and Icon Books for sending an eARC my way!
You guys, this graphic non-fiction book is everything. It was so inclusive of all genders and sexualities, so clear and precise as much as informative and complete. I couldn’t say if the content was this good, since it is one of the first non-fiction book I read about sexuality, I am normally more into gender and queer theories. Here, the author and illustrator give another vision on sexuality, through a lot of different perspective.
First, it gives an historical outlook on how sexuality evolved through history, how the spectrum(s) are shaped and reshaped with every generations and their movements. I wasn’t expecting something this complete and yet this simple on sexual history through time, oppression, movements and theories. It was a delight to read about all this, since it is an aspect of anthropology that is often left aside because of how taboo it is.
I loved every part of this graphic guide the same but how happy was I to discover it includes people of the aroace spectrum (such as myself)! That is the perfect depiction that you can’t talk about sexuality and romance without talking about us. Because we might be at the other end of the spectrum, but we still have things to say, stories to deliver and important outlooks to give. I was so deeply touched and felt soo heard and seen when the author themselves said we should listen more to ace and aro people, because we might have a lot of things to give to sexuality theories.
There is also a deeply interesting part about genders and how the binary and monogamy affect and shape sexuality in our western society, and how it might stop us from expressing our desire as we’d like. I found it very inclusive and precise, even when dealing with very sensitive subjects such as paedophilia: it was talking about it, explaining it, without ever validating it or giving it credit. In this way, I found this work brilliant.
And if you are not convinced yet: there is a whole chapter about consent and how important it is in sex and life in general. But it goes beyond the « no means no » and the « enthusiastic yes », way beyond. I actually think I will get my hands on a physical copy of this one very quick, because I need to have it in order to re-read and re-read and re-read this wonderful work.
Have you read this one? What did you think of it?
Have a nice and beautiful day,
For fans of
Inclusive non-fiction works
LGBTQIA+ and gender theories
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