Cover Image: Sexuality


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Member Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

I will always have a deep love for any books regarding sex and understanding all binaries and non-binaries. 

This blew me away.

For someone like me who is confident on their sexuality but so open to change this is perfection. Not only does it talk about the understanding of sexuality being on a spectrum but talking about the act of sex itself. Oh and so much more. 

This is sheer perfection to me but I was expecting the graphic guide part of it to be a focus not an add on to the chapters so I could of done without the images (even though I did love them!) The seemed disconnected somehow. 

Highly recommend this!
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I had trouble reading this book on my Kindle as it wasn't properly displaying. However, I think it makes a fascinating and informative read. There are a lot of things to learn in an approachable and fun way. On this basis, I would definitely recommend it to friends and family that would be interested in the subject.
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Unfortunately I couldn't read this book as it wouldn't download, it kept giving me a error message. 

However I will give it 3 stars for the amazing cover. 

I will review it again when it's released!
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Thank you to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Sex needs to be talked about more. This book was an informative and interesting read about a topic that is often considered taboo. The writing was concise and easy to understand but packed in a lot of content.

The illustrations were well done and really added to the reading experience.
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I felt like this was a really excellent overview of gender and sexuality theory. I'm studying a masters in Gender at the moment and appreciated how well Sexuality covered a range of topics and theorists in an incredibly accessible way. The drawings articulate the points well, and make it engaging and fun to look through. Definitely more of an introduction to theory and these topics, but certainly worth the read.
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This, just like the other graphic guides I have read. Offered a wealth of information in an easy to understand way. It was interesting, informative and comprehensive. The illustrations were high quality and really helped present the information attractively.

My only issue was that reading on an e reader meant the ubiquitous speech bubbles and captions were sometimes too small/low res to read.
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Full RTC; Very good insight into sexuality as a whole,  had a lot to teach me as someone who is already very comfortable in their sexuality. Would be a brilliant addition to a school library for the older students, as some of tge illustrations are explicit. Read a little bit like a textbook but in a way that meant you could dip in and out of it as you want to find out information, whereas I read this all in one go and found myself bored at times.
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I was gifted Meg-John Barker and Jules Scheele’s Queer a couple of years ago, and have returned to it a number of times. Sexuality is equally interesting and readable, the pseudo-Scooby Doo gang are a brilliant illustrative devise unmasking the different monsters hiding in the haunted house of sexuality. The text constantly references academia, activism and pop culture in the portraits and quotes makes it hard not to keep compiling new lists of what to read and watch. I am fascinated by the models that this book presented and how through the queering of sexuality can move away from heteronormative standards and ‘goal orientated’ scripts. The book also does an excellent job of contextualising historically and politically, all the interconnecting ideas it puts forward. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone, thanks to NetGalley and Icon Books for the digital review copy.
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This book gives so much important information, but also history, quotes from historians and experts. I wouldn't say its a graphic novel as such, as there is still a lot of writting, but the pictures and graphics to helps break up the infomation. 

I wished i had something like this when in my teens/young adult.
 I found this book very interesting, as it looked at views from history, different countries, eras, reglion and so on. I was surprised on the differences but also showed how we are brought up can also have an impact on how we view sexuality. I certainly learnt a lot which surprised me. 
One quote that stuck with me is "claiming our sexualities - or asexualities - and being open about them can feel a vital way of being authentic, real & proud"

But due to the amount of infomation and detail you had to read it in stages otherwise for me it resulted in infomation overload. (to me thats not a bad thing as i would argue this is an important topic that isn't always talked about).

Only downside is that it is missing a context page which would have made it easier to go back and find the pages you wanted to re-read easier, especially due to the amount of infomation. I would give it 4.5 stars, but as the only downside is small and there is ways around it, i rounded it up to 5.

Thank you to the publisher and netgallery for providing me with a copy to read and review.
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A very interesting study on the delineations of sexuality and how we construct our own lives around it.
This book shows all the different facets and the changing generations that have shaped our preconceived ideas of a ‘normal’ relationship and the boundaries within it. The graphics are very Rocky Horror but that’s one way to show the different sexual differences for us all and what we accept but not what we truly desire or want. This book covers all angles including consent too which so many of us gloss over without realising we’ve already been preconditioned for certain ideals and practices. 
A thought provoking dialogue and one I’ll be thinking of for quite a long time and what I myself truly want for my future sexuality.
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This is an excellent graphic guide to various topics regarding sexuality that is not only informative, it also gives you a plethora of resources to look into if there is a particular topic you want to explore further. Each page is full of information, artist depictions of and quotes from scholars/sexologists/philosophers, and there's a smattering of pop culture references throughout the art to enjoy while you process the information on the page. The volume has an even tone that doesn't judge anyone - it doesn't go out of it's way to yuck anyone's yum - and is an incredible resource if you have questions about sex and sexuality.
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Honestly, I liked this more than I thought I would. It's very well researched, and explains formal academic concepts of gender studies in quite an accessible way. I think it's a great concise update for contemporary views of sexuality and gender. 

I think some people will be surprised that this isn't so much a novel and isn't really narrated, it's more of a textbook on the history of gender and sexuality norms. I think it'd have been better marketed as a zine, much like the riot grrl movement, this book argues for and explains progressive social norms. To its credit, this book is one of few which I think has at least mentions that men can be sexually abused and have issues with their sexuality, and I like that it has that balance which many books or information sources on this subject don't seem to have. It's the most neutral view I've read, which is nice, although that said, the early chapter has a slightly contentious view on what and how heteronormative views emerged which some might dispute. I think it's the way these issues were raised with a scooby doo masked villain which made my 'is this propaganda?' suspicion emerge. That said, it explains itself clearly, I just think the comic didn't match the tone of the text at that point. To be clear, I'm saying the scooby doo part at the beginning did seem to have a slightly more hostile tone to the rest of it which was more accepting and exploratory.

It's a very comprehensive and well-written update on the history of this subject, but I suspect it might be too formal for comics readers, and too casual for formal readers, making it a bit of a middle road. It might have done better as more of a comic or as more of an essay.
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Sexuality, A Graphic Guide by Meg-John Barker – publishing 29 Jun 21

I would like to thank Netgalley, the author and the publisher for this advanced reader’s copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Sex is everywhere. It is in the stories we love – and the stories we fear. It defines who we are and our place in society … at least we are told it ought to.

This was my first foray into a graphic novel, and I found it strange and quite difficult to get into. That is not taken into consideration with my actual review though.  I enjoyed this book as it went back to the history of differing sexualities, practices and gave reasons for some behaviors that no doubt many of us have. It brought Freud into it which was a bug-bear for me as in my opinion the man has some serious issues in and around how he views sex and sexuality. A lot of the time it focused on how sex is purely functional and only to procreate which is obviously incorrect. Freud’s theme of nature versus nurture was questioned. At its core I think this is a good book as it asks the questions that some people are too afraid to ask and it challenges those people too.

4 stars
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The main thing I learned from this insightful guide, was that most of what I know and understand about sexuality isn’t immutable fact. It’s a mixture of received wisdom, and messages communicated by science, the law, religion, pop culture, the patriarchy and all the -isms.

Meg-John Barker defines sexuality as: having sex, the capacity for having sexual feelings, who we’re attracted to and how, how we identify ourselves and how others categorise us. 

They kick off with a potted history of sexuality from Ancient Greece and Rome to the present day. Then, using issues including sexual identity, sex work, porn, consent and goal-centred versus pleasure-centred sex, they show how the ghosts of sexuality past still haunt us. (Which is why the visual metaphor of a haunted house, complete with a quintet of familiar-looking cartoon characters, is used throughout.) 

I was shocked at just how many damaging unspoken rules there are around sexuality, how incredibly narrowly we define sex, and how little we hear from voices and theorists whose ideas challenge the status quo.

Although it catalogues sexuality's many and varied demons, I really liked the fact that the guide finishes on a hopeful note by suggesting how we might unlearn what we know about sex, and how we could replace that knowledge with something that’s healthier, more open and more inclusive. And I loved Jules Scheele’s witty illustrations. As well as supporting the main points, they make the concepts and theories that are discussed more accessible.

In a few places, it veered dangerously close to I’m-starting-to-feel-like-I’m-back-at-university territory, but overall this is an enjoyable and thought-provoking read.
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I thought this would be easier to read to be honest but despite the graphic format, the information was quite hard to digest.
I felt like there was a lot of information presented but I couldn’t always see the links easily and I don’t think they were summed up very well. A lot of the time I found myself thinking ‘ok so what?’ The information was great but they didn’t really reach a satisfying conclusions on a lot of it.

The scooby doo set up was so smart & a cute little quirk but I feel like it could have been milked more - it got a bit lost in the middle. Also, as a result of the scooby doo plot, I was expecting it to be more entertaining and funny than it was.

I liked the concept & the illustrations are incredible but I feel like this was ‘too smart’ for me. I understand thinking for yourself & drawing your own conclusions but I wanted a little more from this book.
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I was really excited to read this. I have been such a big fan of illustrated fiction in recent years and it is such a fantastic way to understand deeper issues without getting bogged down by prose. Unfortunately I felt a little let down, as this felt like blocks of hard facts and history from Wikipedia articles. I couldn’t connect to the Scooby-Doo motley crew of characters either - they are really diverse but essentially two dimensional, 

Great effort though, as although I am pretty well versed with sexuality, some of the topics covered were still valuable and enlightening, the format just didn’t work for me.
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Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of this book. 

This book is about a really important subject that isn’t spoken about enough: sex. There is a lot to learn from this book, but I did find a lot of the information clunky. 

When presented with a graphic novel, I was expecting more of a natural flow between the text and the images, but I felt like they didn’t marry well together, and I found myself skimming over the images in places. 

The information given important, informative and educational, but it is written almost like a list of facts- there is no lightness or voice behind the writing to make it feel enjoyable and I did feel like reading this graphic novel like studying, which then made it feel like a chore despite me being interested in the subject. 

I do think the content of the book is all important, but I would have had a more pleasurable time reading if it were less like a text book and more like a graphic novel.
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Informative yet easy to digest, this should be a book everyone picks up. Even if you think you have an understanding, it holds so much learning within its pages and I found myself throughly engrossed in the writing and illustrations as I let myself learn more than I thought I would!
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Sexuality has the potential to make every reader feel a little more ‘normal’, all the while breaking apart any belief that there is a ‘normal’ when it comes to human sexuality. I would be hard pressed to find someone who felt left out by this book, or whose personal experience was not represented somewhere in its pages. 

The most important thing Meg-John Barker and Jules Scheele do in this volume is show how sexual variation has been needlessly pathologized. Their exploration of asexual identities and sex addiction feels particularly important, as those existing on either end of the spectrum of desire often have their preferences medicalised and demonised. 

I think this volume will remind even those who fit most snugly into society’s ideal - the straight, monogymous, partnered, semi-regular sex-haver - that they too exist somewhere outside of the norm and have been shamed by the outside. Perhaps because they watch porn, masturbate ‘too much’ or in a ‘strange’ way, or because they have been curious about non-monogamy. 

An ideal book to pick up if you’re trying to understand queer sexualities, your own sexuality, or critical theory in this area.
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This guide is a great starting point to understanding sexuality and sexual desire. It mixes modern quotes effectively with information on how sexuality has changed and adapted throughout history, and the things that have had the biggest impact on how we view it now. With its format being both text and illustrations it is incredibly easy to read and accessible for varying age groups. Although some illustrations were repeated, and a few didn't seem relevant, they lightened the tone of things that could otherwise have been dense and, probably for some readers, intense. I think the strength of this guide is in how although it would be suited for someone who had no concept of different sexualities, it is also informative and enjoyable if you do have a good understanding of them. I enjoyed that this guide talked a lot about how sexuality isn’t one set thing you declare once and have to stick to for the rest of your life, and was inclusive of trans and non binary stories too. Additionally there was good representation of asexuality and aromanticism that I wasn’t t expecting.  
I do have a few issues with the guide though. There’s a couple of parts that feel could have been handled with more sensitivity. During the chapter on sexual desires and being normal there is a “cultural pyramid” of examples of how acceptable different people view certain sexual activities and at the very bottom is sex with animals, sitting just above that is seeing a sex worker. Whilst I believe this is only an example diagram and the guide isn’t saying that seeing a sex worker is only slightly better than sex with animals,  I’m not sure wether this example was even necessary and including it seems like an oversight. 
My other issue is that the guide talks a lot about how sex and exploration of sexual desires and fantasies should be done in a safe manner, but offers no example of how to safely do that until the very end. I think, especially with how helpful this could be to teens, it would have been beneficial to add examples before page 171/176. 
Overall I would recommend this to younger audiences as well as any adults who want to know more about sexuality either for themselves or to better understand others.
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