Book Review: I Am Ace – Advice on Living Your Best Asexual Life by Cody Daigle-Orians ★★★★★

Known online as “Ace Dad Advice”, Cody Daigle-Orians only realized his asexuality later in life, at 42. So when asked about writing a book on asexuality, as he explains in his introduction, he wanted to write the book he needed himself. The result, I Am Ace: Advice On Living Your Best Asexual Life, is the book he wanted to read.

For Cody, the shift to an online Asexual mentor was a somewhat unexpected one. Encouraged at first by his husband to check out Tumblr for the nerdy content and tattoo art, he stumbled upon asexual content. Seeing younger people talking about an identity he only knew about in passing, led to further research and the revelation that the label fit. Later, encouraged this time by his barber, Cody posted about asexuality on TikTok and Ace Dad Advice was born. Appealing to a mix of older Ace folks seeing someone who was more like them and younger folks enjoying someone to look up to, his social media channels really took off. A blend of personal experience and information on everything from labels to negotiating intimacy, I Am Ace—published on February 21st, 2022—distills much of that and more. 

Structured as “Ace 101”, the book takes us through everything we could need to know about the asexual experience; from coming out, to labels (and micro labels), to ultimately finding Ace Joy and Pride. It also offers guidance on what to do in the face of discrimination and microaggressions. All of which is explained in clear, concise language, with a great balance of humor and personal anecdotes. 

Why do we need a book like I Am Ace? Like the author, so many asexual folks struggle with their journey because there is precious little information out there about asexuality. It is improving, but if we look at the small collection of books on Asexuality out there, they are often deep dives or complex analyses of asexuality and tend to be rather academic or, at the very least, more detailed than someone starting out their ace journey might need. This is where I Am Ace comes in. It explains the asexual experience to asexuals (and others, obviously, but the target is those who are asexual or wondering if they might be), and does it in a way that isn’t clinical or condescending. Instead, it says, “Hey, I’ve been there too. Let me show you what I’ve learned so far”. It is, as the Ace Dad Advice name suggests, in the tradition of a queer elder passing on information. With a twist.

As our accompanying interview with Cody Daigle-Orians below this review discusses, his knowledge of asexuality first came from the younger generation. In exploring Tumblr, he found posts on asexuality and slowly started to feel that they were revealing something to him about himself. It’s a wonderful reflection on the good in our queer communities, being shown something by a younger generation and then being able to pass something back to them.

While this book is excellent for all age ranges, it feels like a particularly useful tool for older asexuals. Those who perhaps didn’t accidentally stumble onto Tumblr themsleves, or who are unlikely to find Ace Dad Advice on TikTok, but who need someone to help them figure it all out. When it comes to asexuality, there’s often a sense of invisibility. Although things are slowly changing, we generally don’t see ourselves represented, and we need a book to explain things. Not least because being asexual often feels so out of sync with how everyone else experiences the world. The wonderful way that Daigle-Orians explains it is like being in a room where everyone else is talking about Game of Thrones but you’ve only seen half an episode. That’s what being asexual in an allosexual world can feel like. You know the thing that they’re talking about…but not really. 

Reading I Am Ace on the other hand, feels like chatting with someone who knows your favorite TV show inside out. Someone who has also noticed all the tiny details you thought were something only you noticed, and who’s also able to explain all the things you didn’t quite catch or understand; and that is a real pleasure. It’s a joy that’s compounded by the personal experience Daigle-Orians weaves into the book. Much like his Ace Dad Advice channels, this isn’t a cold, clinical look at asexual theory, but an exploration via his own experience, such as his joyous reflection on his first Pride. Conversations around “What is asexuality?” and ‘Am I Ace?” are delivered like stories from a close friend. In the tradition of supportive and encouraging queer elders, his familiar, welcoming tone, accompanied by sweet personal stories, make the experience of learning more about asexuality both accessible and less daunting. 

Another element that elevates the book is the way that it situates Asexuality into broader ideas about queerness. By presenting the concept of queerness as a verb, through showing how being Asexual causes a certain ‘queering’ of expectations of relationships and life, Daigle-Orians demonstrates how asexuality is an inherently and incredibly queer identity. That’s important, because Asexual folks can sometimes feel excluded by the community at large. By arguing how queer the notion of defying expectations of sex is, by showing that Asexuals are indeed as queer as other identities, he reminds us that we belong. Mixed into this, are anecdotes about his polyamorous relationships and his “Constellation”; a beautiful word for an arrangement of folks in a relationship with one another.

As Daigle-Orians makes clear through his Ace Dad Advice videos, and in the book, there are many ways to be Ace and many ways to be Queer, and his is a beautiful lived example of intersecting ways to be both. It’s a reminder that Asexuality isn’t a path of isolation, as popular culture might dictate, nor is it a path that narrows options for life and relationships. Daigle-Orians’ inclusion of personal experience, him “living his best Ace life”, provides a beautiful counter balance to acephobia and to us so rarely seeing representation of Ace folks’ lived experience.

Daigle-Orians has written the book he wished he’d had, and the book so many people need. Whether you’re at the beginning of your journey with asexuality, or some way in and want to know more about the world you find yourself in, I Am Ace is a reassuring companion. It answers all the “stupid questions” (there are none), and gives a useful rundown of all the ace labels and terminology you could need. Information is power. You can’t be what you can’t see, and I Am Ace allows us to see the possibility and joy in embracing our asexuality.

By Dr Emily Garside

I Am Ace Advice on Living Your Best Asexual Life is published on Tuesday, February 21st, 2023 by Jessica Kingsley Books. Support your local queer-owned bookstore or shop online via to support an independent outlet.

Watch Cody Daigle-Orians in conversation with Dr Emily Garside for The Queer Review:

Ace Dad Advice’s Cody Daigle-Orians on his book “I Am Ace – Advice on Living Your Best Asexual Life”

Follow Cody on his social media channels: Youtube @ Ace Dad Advice, Twitter @acedadadvice, Instagram @acedadadvice and TikTok @acedadadvice.

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