Ask Me About Polyamory: The Best of Kimchi Cuddles by Tikva Wolf
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First Published: September 15th, 2016
Publisher: Thorntree Press
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel, Love, Polyamory, LGBT, Humor, Relationships
If your relationships or your gender are unconventional, you’ll find useful advice and plenty of laughs in this compilation of the wildly popular webcomic Kimchi Cuddles. Quirky, endearing and charmingly (and sometimes painfully) realistic characters, many based on real people, explore polyamory, queer and genderqueer issues. Covering practical matters like time management and serious topics like discrimination, this book unites the best of two years of Kimchi Cuddles comics, organized into a practical and entertaining guide to the real world of alternative relationships. Kimchi Cuddles is a rare mix: fearlessly true to the lives of the people it depicts yet relatable enough to entertain and inform anyone (maybe even your parents). Dealing with both lighthearted and serious subject matter, it avoids clichés and easy answers, choosing instead to give examples of different schools of thought and show the humanity behind each one.
I learned so much from this graphic novel.
I didn’t even know what the word ”polyamory” meant. I googled the word before starting the book in case I would have trouble understanding the comic strips, but I didn’t have to worry because Tikva Wolf is clear and informative.
Not only did I learn new words and concepts, but this book also enabled me to broaden my understanding of asexuality and transgenderism. For example, I knew asexual people are not sexually attracted to others, but I never thought that they might want intimacy nonetheless or that they could fall in love like anybody else.
Now I can understand someone I met a few years ago a little better. We weren’t very close, but we talked a lot in the one class we shared. One time, we were discussing our personal lives. He asked me if I was dating someone. I answered him, then said ”You?” And he replied ”No, I don’t really have time for a relationship right now with school and all.”
There was a huge pause, so I turned my head to face the teacher, but I heard him add, ”I’m bisexual, but I’m not interested in anything sexual.” I didn’t expect him to be so honest with me, so there was a really shy laugh that escaped from my mouth. He grinned at my reaction, but in my head, I didn’t really understand his answer.
Now I do.
I decided to talk about this shared moment because polyamory is an intersectional subject, seeing that it also touches upon gender and sexual orientation.
You don’t have to be polyamorous to find this book inspiring and, honestly, very, very beautiful. I’m not, and still I know this is a book I will not soon forget. It talks about relationships – both mono and poly – in a positive and instructive way. Many teaching moments.
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