(A)sexual (2011) – Ace Mini-Review

Directed by: Angela Tucker
U.S.A., 2011

How good is this movie?

This first-ever documentary about asexuality is light on theory and heavy on experience, which is probably the best way to introduce its subject. The majority of it is asexuals talking about their lives, explaining in their own words what asexuality means to them. The film makes some attempt at diversity, featuring ace people of different ages and sexes and one person on the autism spectrum; however, they are almost all white, non-disabled, and American. One good device that the film uses is to periodically include scenes where regular people (most of them presumably allosexual) react to the idea of asexuality, offering their thoughts and misconceptions about it. These are then addressed and rebutted by the asexuals themselves. I also liked the sequence following the asexual marchers in the San Francisco Pride Parade and showing the reactions they get: some supportive, some indifferent, and some hostile. The film’s weakness is its fairly narrow scope. It offers only a few ways of being asexual, sticking mostly to the AVEN definition of the word, and calls for understanding and acceptance rather than deeper social change. Of course, this reflects the period in which it was made and the need to be accessible to the uninitiated. There are some nods to the possibility of other kinds of asexuality, and the topic of relationship anarchy is touched on. We see David Jay building a network of supportive friendships, then, later, struggling with the loss of many of them. His subsequent comment on being willing to try sex because “sex is how we take relationships seriously” touches on deeper-level issues of erotonormativity and is a powerful reminder that creating an ace-friendly world requires more than simply recognising and accepting asexuality as an orientation. The film ends with David predicting that we will soon be ready for a “more sophisticated conversation” about asexuality. That’s the conversation that’s happening right now. If this film summarises the first ten years of the asexual movement, then I look forward to seeing the next ten years documented.

How ace is this movie?

Hopefully, I’ve answered that question already.

3 Stars; 5 Aces

Happy Asexual Awareness Week!

4 thoughts on “(A)sexual (2011) – Ace Mini-Review

  1. luvtheheaven says:

    Oh and I do like your point, especially as I was just revisiting your about page and saw that you are demisexual, in mentioning how narrow the scope of the movie is, in a variety of ways, and yes the deeper social change rather than just acceptance is a huge thing to point out.

    I also love that in the years since the movie, Dan Savage being completely unaccepting of asexuality has changed. He now tells people kindly in his sex advice column that they might be ace!


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