The Edge of Sex is an anthology of voices from the margins, bringing together 37 writers to discuss their experiences of sex and sex education in America.
The anthology explores often overlooked and excluded identities, with pieces on sexuality and disabilities, survivors of assault, sex work as women of color, kink and BDSM, being Muslim and queer, reproductive rights, and the challenges of culture and identity when grappling with gender fluidity and gendered expectations. As they trace the negative effects of a restrictive, fear-based sex education – particularly on marginalized individuals – these stories unearth larger themes: tensions with race and religion, expectations from heteronormative society, and pressures of femininity and masculinity. Importantly, they also highlight the resilience and empowerment of marginalized individuals within a culture designed to ostracize them.
The rich, diverse, and intersectional stories of The Edge of Sex paint a contextualized picture of sex education and make an urgent case for better representation and more inclusive, consistent, and comprehensive content. By reading this anthology, casual readers may learn more about their sexual selves, clinicians can apply the material to their practices with clients, and educators and students can expand their knowledge of feminist theory, intersectional theory, queer theory, and sex education.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Inorgasmia, Floodgates and A Magic Wand 3. My Cultural Balancing Act 4. Don’t Fear Failure 5. My Menses are Magnanimous 6. It Takes a Village: Discovering My Identity Amidst Cultures of Confusion 7. JCPenney, Ben & Jerry's and My Journey Out 8. Black Girl Lost: Navigating the Intersections of Race, Gender, Religion and Sexuality 9. Lavender Linguistics: Why Words Matter 10. Your Reproductive Health is Not Our Concern: A Lifetime of Medical Gaslighting 11. Quentin and Pearl 12. Pillow Talk 13. Learning to Love: Sexuality, Communication and Heartbreak 14. From "Doing It" to Breaking the Binary: How I Figured Out What the Hell My Gender and Sexuality Are 15. Chapters 16. Earning My Name 17. "How Cute" 18. Brown Sugar Baby 19. Yoga Pants, Growing Pains, and New Beginnings 20. If at first you don’t succeed…maybe relationships and sex just aren’t your thing 21. Are You a Boy or A Girl? No 22. October 16th, 2011 4:00am. Good Girls Don’t Do That: Reclamation After Violence 23. Signed, Your
Stereo Atypical Lesbian Poet 24. On Why I Went Upstairs 25. What Does It Mean to Have An Identity? 26. Constructs and other Coutures 27. Down the Rabbit Hole 28. The Contours of Breath 29. Fundamentals 30. On Love Without Limits 31. Snapshots 32. Selfish 33. My Journey to Sex Education 34. Get Out of My Vagina, or How Many Male Doctors Get to See My Vagina? 35. Erotophobia: The Fear of Sex 36. Tease 37. Men Act Cool as Cucumbers but Are Actually Hard as Cucumbers: A Conversation Between Mother and Daughter 38. Down Afton Mountain: A Conversation Between Two Brothers
Lisa Speidel, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Women, Gender and Sexuality Department at the University of Virginia and a Certified Sexuality Educator (CSE) through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT). She has worked locally and nationally as a gender and sexuality educator for over 26 years.
Micah Jones received a BA in English from the University of Virginia in 2016. He has worked in legal publishing and currently works adjacent to scholarly and professional publishers. He volunteers to spread awareness about the impact of religion on LGBTQ rights and issues..
"Real stories. Real people. This anthology offers us experiential narratives of sexuality education and consulting that were not available until now. What is particularly compelling is how rich each account is and how they collectively help reshape our conceptualization of how to transform beyond white, patriarchal, cis ideologies and theoretical frameworks. The book is bold, revolutionary, and a must-have for all sexuality educators and consultants to utilize in their work."
Dr. James C. Wadley, CSTS, editor-in-chief, Journal of Black Sexuality and Relationships and co-author of The Art of Sex Therapy Supervision
"Timely, relevant, and deeply personal, this book fills in the many gaps and corrects the many misconceptions that currently exist about modern day sexuality. It is an innovative and engaging snapshot of where sexuality is and where it may be headed. The personal stories are diverse and intimate, and the writing is straight-forward and accessible even as it addresses complex ideas. Rooted in intersectionality, The Edge of Sex is an exciting must-read for anyone interested in the ways gender and sexuality are influenced by age, race, ability, education, religion, class, political ideology, and more."
Dr. Andre Cavalcante, associate professor, University of Virginia Department of Media Studies and Women, Gender and Sexuality and author of Struggling For Ordinary: Media and Transgender Belonging in Everyday Life
"This is a much-needed resource for those interested in deepening their intersectional awareness concerning sexuality studies. This anti-erotophobic resource is critical for reclaiming our right to comprehensive sexuality education and highlights diverse, historically marginalized perspectives often missing from dominant hegemonic discourses that perpetuate outdated, white, capitalistic, cisheteropatriarchal racialized biases. The Edge of Sex can assist readers to unlearn harmful sexualization, increase compassion, and contribute to sexual epistemic justice."
Dr. Zelaika Hepworth Clarke, co-founder of the anti-racist, anti-colonial sexuality concentration program at Goddard College and clinical sexologist at the Pluriversity, an organization committed to increasing sexual multiepistemic literacy.