Relationships & sex

PUBERTY

Puberty can be even more of a problem for Aspies than for the average teen. This h2g2 Guide entry called has captured it perfectly:

“Puberty and beyond is a challenge to Little Professors that makes the normal experience seem like a mere blip on the human radar. /../ The mating rituals of pre-adult humans are a mystery to the Little Professor because they involve unwritten rules, non-verbal communication and intricate dances of words, clothing, behaviour and timing. They also irritate the Aspie with their seemingly unique purpose of just plain getting in the way of nature taking its course. If the Little Professor is interested in the opposite sex, then he is very interested in the prospect of mating. Or if the Little Professor is interested in talking to a member of the opposite sex, then he is very interested in being able to converse without the prospect of sex intruding. Confusingly, he may want to get the whole awkwardness of sex out of the way so that he can progress to being mentally intimate without being distracted.”

The Little Professors

DATING

A curious thing about adult Aspies is that normal courting rituals usually don’t work very well. Leif gives examples of common courting techniques among non-Aspie men, with comments from a few Aspie women:

“1. Males buy flowers and presents for females.”

“I don’t like flowers. Especially not bouquet flowers…”

Malin, Aspie from Sweden

“Well flowers die and if I get bought them – I have the hassle of finding a vase and tending to them 😦 I’d rather see them growing outside. Not overly keen on chocolate either. I’m quite capable of buying myself what I want or creating it.” 🙂

Julie, Aspie from England

“My husband gave me a plastic card with Ohm’s Law on it. That was nice. Another day I got a road atlas as a surprise. 🙂 My ex kept buying a flower I hate, and which I repeatedly told him I didn’t want.”

Emma, Aspie from Sweden

“2. Males flatter and half-lie to females about their feelings.”

“Flattery and lies make me totally perplexed. I can’t handle it. Well, perhaps if I can tell them straight that ‘I don’t believe that, but perhaps you have a tendency for myth mania?’ but most don’t respond well to that…

“And flattery is usually insulting I think… ‘Oh you’re a writer, how very clever of you’ gets the reply from me ‘How the **** would you know? You don’t know me and haven’t read anything I’ve written.’ Or that one is ‘pretty’. And???”

Malin, Aspie author from Sweden

“If you don’t know they’re lying you may believe what they say. I do. I hate getting lied to. The odd thing is that when you get angry at someone for lying, then they lie even more next time so that I won’t find out that they’re lying.”

Emma, Aspie from Sweden

“3. Males create alliances with each other and try to climb higher in the social hierarchy to get access to more females.”

“Ugh! Those who are of highest rank among ordinary guys are those I dislike most.”

“I have always been attracted to guys who have knowledge in some area (that I’m also more or less interested in). Have now realised that the guys I was madly I love with in school were all seen as goofs, weird, and now I realise they behaved like AS-guys. My biggest crush in school is now a scientist, don’t remember exactly at what, but something to do with concrete durability.”

Emma, Aspie from Sweden

Both male and female Aspies tend to need the interest verbalised, in terms that cannot be misinterpreted. Vague hints such as being asked for dinner only tells the Aspie that the asking party is hungry – and possibly interested in something more, but if friendship, sex,  romance or just company for the evening is impossible to figure out unless explicitly stated. Aspies like to be informed – even if it’s bad news. Having to guess is always worse.

I tend to not understand vagueness (at least not when directed at myself). I’ve even misinterpreted getting a long-stemmed red rose. Twice! (I was ill and thought the guy was just wishing me to get well soon; I nearly fainted with surprise when he later tried to kiss me!)

– Ing, site-author

Keeping promises, being honest, and being on time are things that will be of paramount importance when dating an Aspie. Don’t even think of trying to use the usual false marketing! The Aspie is usually not impressed by titles, cars, status, monetary assets, boobs or biceps, but more by things like intelligence, depth, honesty, kindness, genuine originality and talent.

“I find it extremely attractive to be able to hold an intelligent conversation – and that does not necessarily mean agreeing – having a mind of their own is a definite turn on – being narrow minded though is not. Turn offs are if they try to be something they are not – following herd mentality and not able to think for themselves – shallow – lying etc.”

Julie, Aspie from England

Many Aspie males never find the courage to show their interest in a girl, so it’s lucky many Aspie and ADHD women are more forward and don’t mind taking the initiative. Although more of the latter would probably be welcome!

Here is an Aspie guy giving some (rater crude-ish) pick-up tips for other AS guys:

RELATIONSHIPS

Though a few are happy being singles and some unvoluntarily single, many Aspies are married or in relationships (some with kids). Some Aspies have an NT partner who is better at social matters, or an ADHD partner who is more outgoing and forward. Others get along best with a partner on the spectrum who functions in a similar way.

Interview with the author of 22 Things A Woman Must Know If She Loves A Man With Asperger’s Syndrome:

SEX

Many Aspies have difficulties with sex.

– Some have sensory issues which make body contact repulsive or painful.

“I don’t really like being touched, and it does often feel like an intrusion.”

William, Aspie from USA

– The gender-reversal which seems so relatively common in the neurodiversity spectrum means that many male Aspies are more passive, romantic, faithful and interested in long-term relationships, while many AS, ADHD and TS women are more like the male stereotype.

– There is also the timid female type who may agree to sex without really wanting to, out of insecurity and lack of assertiveness, while others very much enjoy it and see nothing wrong with having it when an opportunity presents itself.

– Some have very intense sexual feelings but lack opportunity to express them.

– A few are naturally asexual. This means they simply don’t have as much sexual energy or -interest as the average person. Such variations can be perfectly normal. Some are more focused on their special interests than on their emotional or bodily needs, and may find their creative projects a lot more enjoyable than sex. Some might enjoy cuddling & body contact but not sex. Others just don’t think it’s worth the hassle.

LGBT occurs occasionally but I’m not sure if it is more common than in the general population.

Paraphilias. A small minority are only interested in sex if it involves fetishism, domination, role-play, pain, special outfits or some other unusual component, possibly due to sensory differences, or finding regular sex too boring.

The majority probably have perfectly normal sex life though. Or would have if they had the opportunity.

LINKS

Autism, Dating and Socialazation by Stan P.

AVEN Asexual Visibility & Education Network

Aspie Affection dating site for aspies

BOOKS

Asperger Meets Girl: Happy Endings for Asperger Boys

Asperger Syndrome and Long-Term Relationships

22 Things a Woman Must Know: If She Loves a Man With Asperger’s Syndrome

Alone Together: Making an Asperger Marriage Work

Aspergers in Love: Couple Relationships and Family Affairs

The Other Half of Asperger Syndrome: A guide to an Intimate Relationship with a Partner who has Asperger Syndrome

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1 Comment »

  1. krazykiwi said,

    Dear Svenska: I find your blogspot to be one of the most informative and interesting I’ve had the pleasure of encountering. Thank you for your increedible endeavour here… I look forward to other postings!


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