Japanese Edition: The Invisible Orientation

The Invisible Orientation is now available in a Japanese translation.

This is a translation of the original material and is still a Western conception of the culture and concepts of asexuality. Its content has not been localized.

But it is available in bookstores and through its Japanese Amazon page.

My sister, whose husband is from Japan and has relatives there, recently found the book in a bookstore and bought a copy. Here it is in the wild, with photos from her Instagram. 🙂

 

Podcast discussion: The Invisible Orientation

My book was the subject of an in-depth discussion on the Friday Night Lip Service podcast. Friday Night Lip Service is described as “An amazing group of talented queer women who are driven to make the world a better, happier and more peaceful place via the magic of radio.” Sometimes they discuss books, and mine was their selection for this episode.

This was recorded some time back but was only recently made available in this format.

The discussion:

#51 Lip Readings: The Invisible Orientation

Asexual host Daria as well as non-asexual hosts Nicky and Nida primarily focus on the chapter of my book that covers non-asexual allies. It was a lovely, positive discussion with some humor and plenty of personal experience sharing.

Published Paperback: The Invisible Orientation

The Invisible Orientation is now out in paperback.

You can get it at various sellers, some of which are listed on my Purchase Page!

The new edition has some updates, corrections, and a little bit of new content. It is not completely rewritten or revamped, but it is new and improved. (And comparatively inexpensive, wink wink.)

Review (Bibliotropic): The Invisible Orientation

I got a lovely review from Ria at the book review site Bibliotropic.

Read it here:

The Invisible Orientation, by Julie Sondra Decker

I received a top rating of “five teacups” (or if you have bad eyes like me, they kinda look like pies, which I would also happily accept), and the reviewer said some very nice things about the book. A short excerpt (though you should read the whole thing, really):

Aside from being an amazing resource that gives clarity to many issues (“If someone has sex can they still call themselves asexual?” “What if I still have sexual attraction to people but it’s really low and not that important?”), this book gave me words to properly describe so many things that I’ve felt but didn’t have any idea how to express. I’ve known I’m asexual for some time, but how do I defend that against people who can rightly say, “Your experiences with sex weren’t that great, and your hormones were messed up at a key time of your development, and you did experience abuse as a child,” and that all leads them to the ‘reason’ I’m asexual. Those statements may all be true, and I can’t deny them, but every time someone brought that up, I didn’t have the right words to say why that all felt wrong, that they didn’t cause my orientation any more than an overbearing mother caused a man to be gay. I’d get frustrated and angry at my inability to express what I felt. Now, I have the words to say it all, and there is no end to the amount that I’m grateful for that.

No longer yours

This is far from a new idea–I’ve seen it expressed several times–but now I’m experiencing it myself and I’m going to reflect on it.

When you write a book, get it published, and release it into the wild, it becomes no longer yours.

That may sound like an obvious statement, but the nuances are a little more complex. You know when your work is published that people you don’t know and will never meet are now hearing your words in their heads. You know you’ve made them think about things they wouldn’t have thought if you hadn’t thought them first and written them down. You know your work gets its wings and flies to places you’ve never been, carrying ideas in its wake, spreading messages far and wide.

But what’s really interesting about it is seeing people treating it like it’s . . . well, something other than your weird little baby. Reacting to it like it’s public property–because it is. Reviewing it positively and discussing its potential influence on academic mattersPosting quotes from it that they found inspirational and getting hundreds of people to share them with others. Getting excited because their copy arrived and taking pictures of it to blog and tweet. Seeing it criticized and seeing others get my backRecommending it to people to help understand themselves and each other. Telling personal stories about why my book is important to them.

It’s mine, but it’s not just mine anymore.

The book has become part of the conversation. Part of the world. Part of the fabric of existence as we go on from here. It’s something others can access to inform their lives, and it’s something that is now being casually recommended to strangers by other strangers so they can understand an experience we’ve all had. These people have oftentimes paid money for the privilege of letting me “talk” to them for an appreciable length of time. My words were taken seriously, digested, enjoyed, passed on. They are being read now. They will continue to be in the future.

And for many of the people who read it, who I am as a person isn’t actually important. So many readers absorb the content of a book without even thinking about the person who wrote it, without thinking about why they wrote it, without trying to connect to that person (even though they’ve done so in a pretty intimate way if you ask us). The way they think of us sometimes, if they don’t know us in person or online, is just as content generators–a disembodied set of words and opinions that made a thing and sold the thing.

I like that.

No, not because I like being dehumanized or separated from my content, or because I don’t like when people DO try to connect personally (because I do like that), but because now they don’t have to know me to hear my words. They don’t have to be part of my world for me to be part of theirs.

It’s a good feeling.

Featured and Quoted: The New York Times

In Op-Talk, a feature of NYT Opinion, an article about asexuality heavily featuring quotes from me and my book has appeared!

Why Asexuals Don’t Want to Be Invisible Anymore

It’s a lovely little piece without the usual naysaying that so many journalists feel is necessary for “balance,” and there are several other asexual voices mixed in so it isn’t entirely a piece about me or my book. I’m quite pleased with it. Please read!

Interview: Salon, “You’re about as sexually attractive to me as a turtle”

An interview with me in Salon was posted today in Q&A format. It was an excellent chance to discuss some of the political aims of the asexual community (which we almost never get to talk about!), as well as my own experience discovering asexuality for myself and the best and worst things about it.

Read the article in Salon now!

For me, the worst thing about being asexual is other people trying to fix me all the time. They develop this completely inappropriate obsession with my sexual and romantic life, which can manifest as anything from aggressively propositioning me for sex to searching for what’s “really” wrong with me through invasive questions. Some of them maintain that these attempted interventions are about my health and happiness, apparently unaware that they’re compromising both by refusing to respect my identity.

Unfortunately the comments are full of invalidation, as they generally always are on articles about asexuality published in mainstream media. This one has everything from “this isn’t SCIENTIFIC” to “asexual people are heartless and cruel if they date anyone but other asexual people,” ignoring that actually people can agree to date on any grounds they like and nobody’s the arbiter of what amounts of sex must be promised before dating is fair.

I’ve also been assigned mental illness and misanthrope status, and it’s only been up for a couple hours as I post this! Doing great.

I think there’s a book some girl wrote that these people might benefit from reading. Don’t remember, though . . . what was it called?

Review (Library Journal): The Invisible Orientation

I got a starred review in Library Journal!

Decker, Julie Sondra.
The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality.
Carrel: Skyhorse. 2014. 240p. illus. notes. bibliog.
ISBN 9781631440021. $34.95;
ebk. ISBN 9781631440175. PSYCH

This is the first substantial book for the nonprofessional to emerge from the small but growing community of individuals who identify themselves as “asexual”—i.e., not sexually attracted to anyone; a portion of the population quoted as being approximately one in 100 people. Decker (contributor, Huffington Post; Salon), who writes in the introduction about her own asexuality, emphasizes that this is an orientation that has to do with feelings, not actions. The author stresses fluidity and inclusiveness: asexuality may change over time; some asexual people enjoy romantic relationships while others have no interest; libido may be high or low; and some are happy in partnered relationships while others enjoy the single life. The language and concepts are clearly modeled on those of the LGBTQ community, with an emphasis on asexuality being a healthy orientation, rather than the result of a mental or physical illness. The final chapter addresses friends and family members of asexual people. ­

VERDICT

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.—Mary Ann Hughes, Shelton, WA

I’ll link it to their site once it’s posted. This is great for me and my publisher!