Monday, January 21, 2008

Aspies and Sexuality

A word of warning: This post may cover adult topics - though really nothing "juicy" so it's probably safe. You may want to read it carefully before allowing minors to look at it.

The Myths

In the last week, prompted by some "off the wall" questions, I have been reading a lot of discussions about aspies and sexuality. I am amazed at the opinions of otherwise respectable people in the medical profession. I have found a whole bunch of statements including;

  • All autistic people are gay
  • Most autistic people are asexual (derive no pleasure from sex).
  • Aspies are sex maniacs

Preferences
Reading a lot further afield and having discussions with other aspies makes it clear to me that aspies come in all sizes shapes and forms. Their preferences vary just as much as neurotypicals.

On Page 246 of "Asperger's Syndrome: Intervening in Schools, Clinics, and Communities" By Linda J. Baker, Lawrence A., they say;

The sexual profile of individuals with Asperger's syndrome indicates that they have sexual needs and drives comparable to those of the general population. Their attitude towards sexuality is positive. They have fantasies but lack experience, generally because interpersonal difficulties prevent easy progression into sexual relationships. One study participant summarized the problem by saying, "situations with lover are very awkward. It seems as though my loneliness and lack of experience show on my face... Several people look at me and laugh. One can't help but feel inferior and unhappy.

In other words, their preferences vary as much as NTs but their difficulty with relationships complicates matters.


On the asexual side...
When I first started looking up asexuality I thought it meant having the ability to procreate with yourself (ie: snails are asexual). In humans, it doesn't mean that. It means that one derives no pleasure from sexual acts - not that they don't do it - (particularly when their partner is pressuring them) simply that they get nothing out of it.

One does not choose to be asexual, you're born that way. People who don't have sex by choice are abstaining, not asexual.

On Page 309 of "The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome" By Tony Attwood, he states that;

Sexuality can become a special interest in terms of acquiring information and of interest in sexual diversity and activities. The desire for such relativities and sexual intimacy can be excessive, almost compulsive. However, the partner of a man or woman with Asperger's syndrome is more likely to be concerned about the lack of sexual desire rather than an excess. The partner with Asperger's syndrome may become asexual once the or she has had children or once a couple of formally committed themselves to the relationship.

In other words, being a sex maniac may simply be because the aspie has picked up "sex" as a special interest, albeit probably a short-term one. Once the special interest has gone, the desire for sex may disappear too. Tony makes the mistake of suggesting that someone can "become asexual" but I think it's obvious what he means.

There are lots of statistics on asexuality and these give rise to the idea that aspies are asexual. Certainly asexuality is reported in higher numbers in aspies than in the general population. These statistics can be read in two ways;

A high number of asexuals are aspies but not a high number of aspies are asexual.


The Problems of Touch
This is a late entry (I thought I'd finished this post) but figured that I'd better cover the sensory issues associated with touch. I've spoken to a number of aspies who find light touching, fingertips etc, to be irritating. I am certainly that way myself. Many aspies who have no problems with tight hugs etc, will tend to pull away if they are patted or stroked. Often itching or rubbing the place where they have been touched. This will frequently send the wrong message to their loved ones.


Conclusions
It certainly seems that the sexuality of aspies doesn't differ a great deal from the general populace with a few minor exceptions;
  1. Aspie sexual activity is, as always, hampered by their lack of social skills
  2. Aspies with sensory issues may have problems with touch
  3. Sexually active Aspies are often a little more experimental than the general public and have less understanding of boundaries.
  4. There are a higher number of asexual people in the aspie community than in the general community but they are still very much a minority.

113 comments:

swan said...

I am female, married, with 2 kids, and I suspect I have Asperger's to some degree. It recently occurred to me that some sexual issues in my marriage may be Asperger-related. Your comment about touch struck a chord with me... Would you (or anyone reading this) know of any resources (books, etc) dealing with sexuality from the unique position of a feminist female Aspie.

It's rare that I can't find information about a topic of interest, but this one is leaving me high and dry... :-)

Gavin Bollard said...

One of the reasons for this post was because I really couldn't find much on the internet about aspie sexuality yet it's a much discussed topic on the forums.

There's a fact sheet here but it's not very detailed and there's a bit around for teens.

Probably the best book on the subject would be Asperger's Syndrome and Sexuality by Isabelle Hénault. I haven't read it but it might be worth a try - and you could probably contact the author for more details.

In my opinion though, you'll only get half the story from practitioners and you should really look to aspies themselves for answers.

There's a great site called www.WrongPlanet.net which has probably the most active aspergers forums I've seen. There's a women's section there but don't make the mistake of assuming that men can't read or answer questions posted there.

If you want a purely female answer, I'd suggest posting a thread there asking for females who are willing to correspond by PM (personal messaging) - that way it's private.

Meredith said...

Asking for the female perspective? My last post deals a bit with sexuality - though the main concern was dating -, here's the link: http://weirdsanctuary.blogspot.com/2008/02/dating-thoughts.html

t may be my personal problem, but besides touch problems I had a strong aversion from sex itself for a long time. Well, when was 6, biology became my main focus of interest, and sexuality was a part of that - and you know, if an Aspie "lecture" starts, there are few ways to stop it... so adults around me were quite shocked, and I received LOTS of beating and other, even nastier things at home. Because of that I still react with anxiety when sex is discussed around me or when I experience sexual desire. (This only increases the desire itself, though.)

Another thing is, that I simply CAN'T let anyone touch me unless I have the required amount of trust and attraction already. (This means one-night-stands ruled out completely. Some NTs think I'm just very moral, but it's not morality, it's sheer panic.)

Dennis Sanders said...

Gavin,

I've been reading your blog for a few months and thought I'd chime in about aspies and sexuality. I am Aspie living in Minnesota in the US. The touch thing is something I can relate to. When my partner touches me lightly it is irritating to me. I know that is pleasing to others, but it never has been to me and I guess I know why.

I wish there were more on this subject, because there are a lot of us on the autistic spectrum that are in realtionships or want to be in one and wonder how Aspergers and sexuality work in a relationship and in a person with Aspergers.

Good post.

Mark Foley said...

Lack of sexual intimacy, sexual dysfunctions, frustration, and disappointments repeatedly being rebuffed sexually can emotionally, and eventually physically, stall your sex drive. The same can happen for repeated lack of orgasm, impotence, premature ejaculation, retarded ejaculation, or other disappointments in the bedroom. http://www.levitrabliss.com/

Lisa O said...

Gavin, I'd love to see a post about teenage sexuality my 13 year old son is so 'free' with showing off his new 'assets' around the home; despite being told its not age appropriate behaviour. Of course, its a great excuse not to wear 'itchy' clothes!
While I realise all teenage boys are 'obsessed' with sexuality; I am intersted to hear of AS teenage experiences.

Anonymous said...

Actually all autistic people might be gay, in fact all people might be gay. In many species like giraffes and Bonobos male to male sex is used to regulate agresion and social relations on daily basis. The problem is that the guy who wrote it was gay to and we don't fully understand what homosexuality is, I'm married 'hetero' who red animal sexuality article on wikipedia.

coffee said...

thanks for posting this topic. i think its very difficult to generalize the sexual issues - we are all so diverse.

i am married with a loving husband but nevertheless i have the feeling of asexuality. i don't like his touch and i don't like having sex with him.

sometimes i engage with my thoughts to the sexuality topic. that means, i read book, watch videos and think in a high level about all this erotic stuff.

in this term i am able having sex with my husband. but something is very important, no orgasm. having an orgasm everything stops. no more feeling and a disgust to my husband for a very long time.

i guess, i am very complicated to the sexual subject.

Vasovagal said...

It is my inability to orgasm and other people's concern at my lack of sexuality that has lead me to consider my social reactions and the possibility that I may actually have something in the Autism spectrum. A number of issues with my sexuality seem only to be raised on forums about Asperger's and sexuality.

I don't get the fear/ irritation at being lightly touched (although I used to when younger but in fact now desire it needing a long build up of emotional trust) but I certainly get the unabated "terror" in interactions with other people and frequently dissociate in intimate interactions with people - almost always in sexual relations - even in spite of a strong desire for sex at the beginning of relations. Because I have had anxiety / depression many years I had largely attributed the fear to this and even the possibility of having developed some kind of trauma response because of early sexual experiences.

Recent reevaluation of my repeated pattern of offending people without intent, my habit of attributing special significance to coincidences in dates and ages in my personal relationships (I wonder if Astrology shouldn't be listed as a sympton of Asperger's - LOL), my intolerance for 'insignificant' communications, my heavy reliance on the reactions of others to guage appropriate emotional responses to situations, transient obsessions, and particularly my inability to 'inhabit the moment' emotionally whilst interacting with other people has me wondering whether I shouldn't be actively seeking clarification one way or another. As Asperger's can only be managed however I'm not sure whether a diagnosis would benefit me in any way. Because of significant personal experiences with hypochondria (in loved ones) and misdiagnosis (of myself), as well as a strong belief in holistic healing, I am very cautious about self-diagnosis and compartmentalising the human condition.

Anonymous said...

I am the wife of a spouse with aspie. after almost 10 years of marriage I must say that I am at a total loss when it comes to resolving the sexual area or lack thereof in our relationship. Every post I read has rung bells and whistles....the light touch thing makes my hubby's flesh crawl and I used to get my feelings badly hurt because during our courtship, he seemed to constantly want to have sex and be intimate and after we married, it's slowed and slowed til now it just does not exist unless I insist. We have tried to talk about it but he seems to feel that telling me he's a miserable lover and calling it a day is ok. It is not. So my question to all the aspies is, how is sexual intimacy enjoyed by a person with this illness? I am trying so hard to understand and not run out and simply take a lover simply to fulfill my physical need for intimacy...sexual and emotionally.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the woman who was curious about her Aspie husband and not getting satisfied...it might be something different than you think. Your Aspie husband probably has turned to pornography, as a way to further develop his interest in certain activities. I have done this myself - so, I should know. Yes, I'm an Aspie - along with a few other things, too.

So, I don't like to be touched by my wife anywhere else, except for my penis and testicles. So, if my wife "forgets" about this "rule" or "violates" this "rule", then there are consequences of less relations for us. Further, even though I skillfully perform oral upon my wife, such that she has liquid evidence of over 10 "climaxes" - the fact that she won't swallow my semen makes me feel used, betrayed, and unloved. So, what do I turn to in the way of porno - that which has scenes in which the women seem to be more loving and accepting of the men in their lives, by "swallowing" their semen. My wife doesn't seem to undersand that I'm not looking for her to always do this. If she even did it once, or once a year, I would feel as if she had some type of love for me. At present, I feel so betrayed, that I'm not so sure that our marriage can ever recover from the pain that I feel over what seems to me to be very outright rejection of me!

Aspie in New England

Anonymous said...

To Aspie in New England, please don't consider your wife's refusal to swallow your semen as a rejection of you. I have an Aspie boyfriend, and while I will allow him to ejaculate in my mouth, I just can't swallow it. I don't like the consistency and he releases SO much semen that I just can't take it. I enjoy the taste of his pre-ejaculatory drops, but I don't like the actual semen. I love him very much, and I in no way reject him at all. While he has performed oral sex on me (not to orgasm as I don't really enjoy it so much), I in no way expect him to do this. I would much rather feel his fingers down there or his penis and to have him kissing me. He is a wonderful man, and I'm sure your wife feels the same way about you. What does she say when you tell her how you feel about her refusal to swallow your semen?

BreezinSky said...

I am a 26 year old high functioning aspie female. Since age 13 I have had a very high sex drive. To date, I have never been all the way, but I have been physical to some degree with several different guys.

I feel a lot of guilt and shame over my sexuality because I don't need to feel emotional with a guy in order to want to be physical with him. But, I'm also a Christian and trying to wait for marriage. I've been told that women need romance and time to warm up. I don't need any of that. I also like certain things (performing oral sex on a man, light bondage, cum shots), and am interested in trying certain things (anal sex, spanking, costumes, heavy bondage), that seem to disgust most women. I also fear that I will disgust my future husband or scare him. When I get married, I want to have sex as often as possible, at least every day. I also masturbate frequently.

My question is, am I normal, or am I a sex maniac? Are many women with Asperger's this way? Should I change? Is it bad that I like doing certain things with guys? I am currently seeing an aspie who has had sex and who wants to wait, but I fear that I will scare him when he finds out about me.

WBE said...

I'm a 38 yo male Aspie married 17 years. I too have touch issues, but the opposite, I prefer light touch and really dislike tight hugging. Sexually, the biggest problem has more to do with my lack of affective response. To my NT wife, I am giving off the wrong body language and emotional cues and that causes problems with making her feel romantic. Physically and technique wise, my wife says that I'm very good, but in a long term relationship it's really the emotional connection that is so important and for a non-aspie spouse who is accustomed to forming emotional bonds on the basis of non-verbal communication, that can be difficult.

Having only been diagnosed for a little over 2 years, I can say things in the area of romance has improved because we are able to approach things with a new understanding. My wife feels more accepted and loved even with my difficulty in communicating that non-verbally and I feel much less rebuffed and rejected when as I make an effort to communicate to her how I feel about her.

One thing that I had previously not understood is how important non-sexual physical displays of affection are to an NT and I have made a greater effort to do so. I don't think I am getting the same ejoyment out of it as an NT, but my wife is happier and that makes me happier.

ANDrew said...

I am 52, and Aspie, and married since 2/10. I never had sex with the person who is my wife. I am devoid of any passion or excitement for her. My sexual gratification and orgasms is exclusively private masturbation, and motivated by exhibitionism fantasies and nudity. Prior and during the beginning of my 1992-20004 marriage I had sex with my wife only with these thoughts. I then only fingered her for her orgasm. I never found her attractive. Most of my marriage was sexless. I totally lost interest. I never kiss anyone. I enjoy hugs. I do not enjoy being touched. I wish I could enjoy of NT sex. It is way too much of a chore. I never understood my peer's infatuation with it in High School or beyond. I discovered orgasm in my twenties, and did not do it inside a woman until I was in my thirties. It was such a huge ordeal just to get a woman to spend time with me. I loose erections with condoms. If I think out how to get it in there, I loose it as well. I was glad to finally experience it, but now it is not worth the ordeal. I also doubt Valerie Bertineli would want to have sex with me. I am not even sure if I can love someone. However, my wife loves me and wanted to marry me. I guess this is good.

Frederick said...

"My question is, am I normal, or am I a sex maniac? Are many women with Asperger's this way? Should I change? Is it bad that I like doing certain things with guys? I am currently seeing an aspie who has had sex and who wants to wait, but I fear that I will scare him when he finds out about me."

Breezin sky, I relate to what you're going through. I'm an aspie man who's also a Christian, and I tell you to ask God to fill you up first. Even if our physical world seems more real right now, the consequences for sin are not worth it.

Anonymous said...

"To Aspie in New England, please don't consider your wife's refusal to swallow your semen as a rejection of you..."

And especially not if you two already use dental dams during cunnilingus and condoms during P-I-V sex!

Refusing to take in someone else's bodily fluids isn't rejecting *that someone*, it's often rejecting *whatever STDs that someone may have received* from a previous relationship, during one-night-stand, or even being raped.

Eleanor said...

My husband of several years seems to manifest many symptoms of Asperger's. I have been researching AD and he introduced the topic himself as he had heard a radio program about it and told me that 'finally, I know why I am different.'
Last weekend, we went to a church concert and, while there, he placed my hand over his crotch. Nobody saw him do this but I was mortified. I have learned not to react to some of his behaviours but this was too much. All I could think was that I cannot remain in this marriage.
Is this a problem for anybody else? Does anybody have any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

I (male aspie) have been married for 25 years. My "condition" has screwed up our relationship to such an extent that we have not had sex for some eight years.

Over the years I have been seeing escorts (prostitutes) and I very much enjoy the experiences. My aspieness has enabled me to become quite accomplished in the bedroom (obsession with particular sex practices). And I very much respect those ladies - I have no hang-up with using using their services. And I don't feel guilty. Quite the opposite.

My wife doesn't know but I expect she knows. However, I keep this quite separate from our family life. Your are probably wondering why we are still together .... well many reasons, one gets used to things....

Many of you will probably find the above quite disturbing.

Anonymous said...

BreezinSky:

You may be comforted to know that there are lots of other women out there like you. Your story is very similar to mine. I began masturbating frequently at a very young age and have continued to do so all my life, even during sexually active relationships. I am now in my 40's so this doesn't appear likely to change. :)

Also like you, I don't need the emotional part, romance and warming up in order to want to get physical. The emotional part is wonderful but by no means essential. My interests are very similar to yours, and I have pursued and fulfilled most of them. Honest communication about my desires has usually warded off any "surprises" to a potential partner. I've been in serious monogamous relationships with both men and women, and I've found that most of the time these desires have been well-received, especially by men. Ideally, I'd like to have sex at least once or twice a day, in a committed lifelong relationship with the love of my life.

Lastly, I've been formally diagnosed with ADD but wonder if it's actually mild Asperger's (or maybe both comorbid). I don't exhibit all of the Aspie symptoms, but some of them describe me to a T. I'm researching to see how well other people's Aspie experiences hold true for me, to help me decide whether I should request an assessment.

Now knowing as you do about my history, take my opinions as you will. I don't think you're a sex maniac, or that there is anything bad or wrong with you whatsoever. You're not victimizing or hurting anyone. And human sexuality is far more varied and changeable than religion, science, or society in general would have you believe. I am a Christian but I think most churches have lost their way, falling into a path of holier-than-thou pompous fervour and ridiculous dogma, and forgetting all about the "be kind to each other" and "love thy neighbour as thyself" parts. I say if you've ripped out the most important teachings and now it's all about judging people and telling them how "wrong" and "bad" they are for being human, there's no point in continuing to call yourself a Christian.

My advice: March to the beat of your own drum, but be savvy about it.

First, let's be honest. If you're performing oral sex on a man, and doing cum shots, then you are already having premarital sex - and unprotected sex at that. I'm sure it's enjoyable but it's not advisable, especially if your partner has not been recently tested clean. Many STIs, such as HIV, can be transmitted to the mouth. Not judging here, just keepin' it real.

Some people who choose to abstain from sex (or in this case, intercourse) until marriage, get so crazy waiting for it that they end up being in a hurry to get married. They settle for someone who's really not right for them, or they ignore the warning signs that the person is a cheater/unhealthy/abusive because their hormones are raging and they're in such a rush, and this makes for an ugly painful divorce later. Be smarter than that. Mind you, I'm not advising you to go have premarital intercourse - merely that if you start feeling that you can't wait, it's better to do that than to jump headfirst into an ill-advised marriage. In any case, you know the routine: practise safer sex, get yourselves tested, don't get a disease, don't get pregnant. Take care of yourself - you're worth it. :)

All the best to you. Sorry for the long post, hope it helps.

Anonymous said...

In my case, Tony Attwood got it exactly right.
I have Aspergers and consider myself to be asexual.
I did however, as Attwood describes in the book quoted in the OP, attempt sexual interest only insofar as to gain a partner. Once the deal was sealed so to speak, I went right back to my asexual ways.
And while I never desired sex, I realized logically that it was necessary if I wanted to continue the relationship I was in. It is hard enough to find a man when you have Asperger's, it is entirely another thing to find a man who is also okay with not having sex. So I had sex until I realized we were in it for the long haul, then I stopped (or at least greatly decreased...If I stopped completely I would probably be back on Square 1).

I don't know if that was helpful to anyone but I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed that quote pulled from Atwood - it was probably the first time I had seen my own experience described.

Anonymous said...

Living with my Aspie partner for eleven years has successfully put me off sex, probably for the rest of my life.
For the first 7 years the terms of our sex life were completely dictated by him. I submitted to what he wanted happily although some of it, looking back, was unreasonable. I could not initiate, or touch him, he required a specific series of events to happen and he was in charge. He wanted sex very often including at 4.00 every morning.
At 7 years he had a very short affair with someone who came onto him at work. Someone who gave him an STD and treated him incredibly badly. Someone who dictated the terms of their sexual engagement.
Luckily I did not contract this STD and after a lot of upset (understatement) we decided to try to repair our relationship.
But now (at 11 years) I find I just can't muster up any interest or enthusiasm for making love with a robot, and while the thought of never having a sex life again makes me want to cry it still is worth it not to have to lie there like an unfeeling log while he goes through his routine and repetoire of tricks, culminating in his orgasm the way he wants it.

if I sound bitter it is probably because I am.
He is very very good to me in a number of ways and I know he tries but the sexual part of our relationship is just such a bitter letdown.

Anonymous said...

Nice article. I'm female and 21 with Asperger's, I've had opportunities to have sex but never took them up for a number of reasons, I find sex really complex and most of my ex boyfriends just got frustrated with me and gave up. Asperger's affects my sexuality greatly, and although I have a reasonable sex drive, there is a large difference to me between sex drive and actually doing the act with someone. Not only does it hurt when I'm touched lightly by someone, I'm also really slow at making decisions, reacting to social cues etc. My sexuality is also very mental. This is hard to explain but I can only feel lust towards someone if I'm thinking about it, it's like a switch I can turn on and off. Usually I'm absorbed with thinking about other things (I'll look at a guy and notice his hair or what's written on his shirt, not that I want to have sex with him), and I find my special interests just as pleasurable as masturbation, so when I get into the position where a guy is ready to have sex with me, if I'm thinking about buildings or what his roof is made of or what type of engine his car is, I won't want to have sex. Which some people might find hard to understand, but that's the way I'm built :)

Anonymous said...

I dated a lovely woman, whom I suspect has a mild Asperger's, for more than a year. She was one of the most amazing partners I have ever had, intellectually and sexually. I didn't realize she might be an Aspie until after a conversation with a randomly met social worker recently. And I didn't know of the condition in general until I started searching online, trying to understand some odd behaviors in a person I loved and still care about. She was the most beautiful woman I have ever met, actually, and I'm still quite heartbroken over the end of this relationship.

She enjoyed sex a lot, and was always available, which I loved as I have a high sexual drive. There were a couple puzzling quirks about her, but I just attributed them to the usual variety of sexual preferences.

She didn't enjoy or seek foreplay. The first time we were about to have sex, I attempted to give her oral sex, but she stopped me and just requested intercourse. She didn't enjoy touching much, clearly disliked kissing, and never looked at me during sex, although she enjoyed observing the actual intercourse taking place "down below." She enjoyed kinky activities, never objected, and appeared to enjoy them a lot, as much as the act of sex itself. We played with light bondage and insertion of various objects, and she requested hot candle wax a couple of times.

She was very sexy and appeared to derive a pleasure from attention her and my friends and often strangers paid to that, through jokes and comments. I frequently felt sexuality was her preferred way of interacting with men, as this appeared to be the best way for her to gain attention and social status, without much luck in other ways, even though she is a very well educated and intelligent woman.

A few particularly strange behaviors really puzzled and then bothered me, and eventually led to my decision to not have a child with her, which was what she really wanted. Sadly, I realized the reasons for her eccentricities only after we broke up.

Anonymous said...

Continued...

She was a very loyal and honest partner, something that I really appreciated. However, several times, in social situations she didn't even acknowledge me or greet me, including the time when I flew oversees to see her, after a work related separation of a couple of months. It really got under my skin and even though we had truly amazing and lovely time afterwards, I briefly broke up with her soon after. We got back together after I explained what bothered me and she appeared remorseful.

On another occasion, we met at a hotel bar, I arrived later and at the time she was engaged in a conversation with a man she just met. I walked over, she said hi and went back to the conversation as if I wasn't there. Quite frustrated, after a few minutes I sent her a text message telling her that I'm going to leave, after which she immediately came over and never looked at the guy again. At the time, it was an extremely perplexing experience.

She actually shared an experience someone mentioned earlier on this blog - a very early fascination with sex, without actually seeking it. She told me it started around the age of 6 or 8. She had social difficulties in her childhood and early adulthood, which she referred to as shyness, but with all that I have learned over the last few days, I think there is a good chance it was all related to some level of AS.

She had obvious difficulties at large social gatherings, with either clamming up or having a few drinks and then bringing up sexual topics in conversations, when it wasn't appropriate.

The day I realized what she might be struggling with, and after reading all the heartbreaking stories of people seeking social interaction and companionship, and having so much trouble with it, I couldn't stop myself from reaching out to her for the first time in several months and eventually telling her what the social worker suggested and explaining that I now understood her difficulties and I still loved her. I was surprised she clearly didn't even suspect what I was trying to at first gently hint at. It didn't go well, unfortunately, and I now realize it was a clumsy and insensitive way of delivering my suspicions.

I miss her very much, I still love her, but it looks like I just destroyed any chance of ever rebuilding our relationship. I'm very saddened by how the situation has developed. Hopefully, this story might help someone in building their relationships.

I'm amazed at Aspies who, with all the difficulties and frequently rejection, continue to seek social interaction and acceptance. I have a lot of respect for you. Good luck to all of you.

outoutout said...

I realise this post was written several years ago, but I just wanted to add that there have been a few recent preliminary studies on autism and sexuality suggesting a significantly higher incidence of "other-than-strictly-heterosexual-and-monogamous" orientation than the general population. (Whew, holy run-on-sentence, Batman!) Of course, we are all different, but this may explain where the "All Aspies are gay/asexual" stereotypes might come from.

As for myself, I can relate to much of the discussion about sensitivity to touch. It was heightened while I was pregnant. I cannot sleep in my partner's arms or anywhere near her. I dunno, it's an odd situation, to both desire physical intimacy but not be able to tolerate it (very often)....

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this blog. There is so little around about sexuality for Aspies. Keep it live.
this contains some explicit stuff.

I have struggled with sex since a teenager. I have a sex life but it is a particular kind. I have found that I can cope with certain types of sex, mainly power based role play, mild SM and fetish based sex.
I think the rules of role play help, as I get time to deal with what will happend. I used to dissociate a lot during sex, before I found role play. I also can deal with being spanked hard easier than being touched sensually. I have also turned certain non-sexual fixations into fetishes. In particular I have always had a fixation with waterproofs and wellington boots (because I do not like to get my clothes wet and dirty). I have found that these are common fetishes so give me a place to start. I am more than equipped to share these sorts of obsessions. It is a farily easy step to gas masks etc - which I also find fascinating.
I cannot cope with anything that involves beng dirty, and don't really like semen, even my own.

I am gay in practice, but proabably bi. I find men easier to deal with and understand.

I prefer to be passive but don't like being tied up at all. I can cope with being on top, but do not get off on it.

I prefer to masturbate myself. I don't like receiving or giving oral sex, as I am fussy about what goes in my mouth even down to types of tootbrushes. I am a dentists nightmare. The odd thing is that I do like being penetrated anally. It is the one time I like not being in control. It is the one thing that makes me emotional during sex. I tend to go very quiet when being penetrated.

I masturbate a lot, but can take or leave actual sex.

Does this sound familiar fo anyone? It would be good to hear from you if it is.

Trudi said...

I am a recently divorced lady who works as a psychologist. I am fairly sure my ex husband has Aspergers ( his father also had it) my ex husband is lovely in so many ways but was uncomfortable with intimacy and had little sexual interest after we had children and a number of other features ( although he has never been diagnosed. i myself am very opposite and have taken the AQ test just to be certain, because i seem to be dating another man for 9 months who i suspect is also Aspie, we have a good sexual relationship, but again i fear this could be a temporary interest. I am intrigued that i have inadvertantly found another Aspie, but his honesty, reliability and trustworthy qualities make him a great partner in many ways. Should I share any of my insights with him, he would be very resistant to it and as with my ex husband would see it as an attempt to control him rather than help our relationship. Our communication is at present very difficult particularly on matters such as the future he is totally risk averse, saying he loves me but would never risk cohabiting or buying a house with anyone. He is scared of meeting my friends and avoids this , and shows little interest in my life .He has unusual patterns of speech, poor eye contact, can't cope with any conflict, lives by his routines, hobbies and same small group of friends and immediate famiy . I am thinking i may have to end this relationship but would be very sad. Any comments would be gratefully received?

Carter said...

First of all, I'd like to say that you are doing a wonderful job with this blog, Gavin. So much information! And from a dual personal/parental perspective instead of a purely clinical one! I'd consider your site to be the foremost single resource for a subjective (as opposed to objective) perspective on Asperger's throughout the web. It's helped me a lot.

But to the point. If I may correct/enlighten/expand your horizons... I am gay and attended a college with a highly-active LGBTQIA scene; they even had a separate "queer" library! Therefore, I'm fairly well-versed in the speak, and know quite a few people from across that whole spectrum. From my experience, I've always understood that asexual people identify that way not because they derive absolutely no pleasure from sex, but that they have no *desire* to have sex. As an analogy, someone may have eaten apples before and admit that they tasted sweet, but they never actively search for apples or feel any desire to eat them again.

In this way, yes, someone could "become" asexual later in life, if they never feel a strong urge again.

I hope clarified issues a bit, instead of making them muddier. And if there are any asexuals reading this and I got it all wrong, please correct me! I'm eager to learn more.

Anonymous said...

I need your help on this.

I have been seen a suspected Aspie. In fact I am now 100% sure he is.

We are very close and I always thought that we were dating romantically, but the he confessed to me that he has no such desire to have sex with me or kiss me.

He is 30 yr virgin, and his idea of love is that you want to do sexual things with the girl, but he never experienced it.

He tells me that I am just like a family member, really great friends.

I feel like a need to tell him about Aspergers, but how can I tell him without offending him?

He looks normal to everyone else, i am the only one probably spotted his Aspie identity as you have to really get to know his sexuality in order to understand Aspie.

How can I tell him this....

Anonymous said...

Additional information/questions to the post above:

From Aspie point of view, is there a possibility of him changing his rigid "view of love" where he believes it is the "desire to be with the girl all the time" and the "desire to want to have sex with her"?

Let's say that I tell him about asperger's syndrome and he accepts his diagnosis. Can he then understand that his rigid view of love is not realistic or will not be realised? Can he then love me? It seems like to him, these criterias must be met to be categorised as love.

He felt this kind of sexual attraction from internet dating (only e-mail exchange), but then when he met her, he had nothing to talk about and ended right there after a year.

It is very sad and painful for me to think that he will never be able to love...

Sometimes even when we hang out, i feel there are some moments that he finds me attractive, but I guess aspies can be "physically attracted but not "sexually attracted". Is it true?

Love is the most wonderful thing that a human being can experience, but he is not capable of that in this life.

He is in love with his own instrument, that is his profession and obsession.

Can he be truly happy only with his own interest? The perfect beautiful girl only exists in his mind but I doubt he will ever find one....

His relationship age seems like less than 10 year olds.

It is so painful... I pray God will help him..

UnfilteredLaura said...

continued from above

When I am in a situation where sex is attainable, I want it. I really want it. I will stay in an abusive relationship if I'm getting good sex. When I am not in a situation where sex is not attainable then I am fine without it and can go long periods of time being content without it.

So there is brief synopsis of my 32 years of experience with sex and the possibility/probability of being an aspie.

UnfilteredLaura said...

Not sure if 1st part came was printed: I am a female in my 45th year of life and earlier this year myself and my mom and sister simultaneously had an "ah-ha" moment. We all came to the conclusion that I probably have AS. Growing up we had strict rules to live by and if we (I) did not conform we (I) would be beat (sometimes literally beat) into submission; so, a lot of my behaviors did not come naturally but were the result of doing them for fear of the consequences (the wrath of mom). It was not until being on my own,... we discovered that I have a lot of difficulties especially when it comes to holding down a job (I am a college graduate) or maintaining a relationship. Since having the "ah-ha" moment I've been doing a lot of research and have taken the on-line test (aspies tend to score 32 or more on the 50 question test, I scored 40). I also have entered into a live-in relationship after being single for 16-1/2 years and am having difficulties; hence, doing even more expanded research and I came across this site. Here is what I have to offer.

I prearranged to loose my virginity which occurred 1 week before my 14th birthday (this was in 1979 and was still an age of free sex free love,...). Many of my friends were having sex and I wanted to see what it was all about; but, I was not involved with anyone. I asked a male friend of mine if he would accommodate and he did. I enjoyed it and have been having sex ever since then. I have been having sex on and off for almost 32 years. The first few years I had unwanted one-night-stands (I wanted more, he did not). I've been in a handful of relationships some good and some not so much. I was a battered woman from age 15 to 27 by 3 different men/relationships (a lot of times I was told that I "asked for it"). Was in one of those relationships on and off for 8 years. From then to 2011 I was either "with" men who were NOT unattached or have been abstinent (one period of abstinence lasted 5 years 2 months and 21 days). If I have sex I enjoy it tremendously especially with the right partner (like the one I have now); enjoy it so much that I want it ALL the time multiple times a day and I am known to be a bit kinky; however, if I am not having sex it initially depresses me TERRIBLY and then I become accustom to not having it and grow to careless if I ever have it; hence, the periods of abstinence.

Light touching gives me a lot of big goose pimples which makes my partner very happy but it makes me itch; he does it, I scratch it's ok. I actually prefer to be bit than tickled (I know, am I in the right blog, yes!), he's starting to accommodate my desire. I don't much care for the intimate foreplay stuff, I'd rather get down to the nitty gritty of things. For me to feel things on most parts of my body the pressure must be greater than gentle touches, it must be more deliberate for me to feel it or have a reaction. Once I feel the sensations (and we're talking on most parts of my body: neck, breasts, hips, genitalia,...) I go into sensory overload and become multi-orgasmic and I don't want it to stop. If we do stop I prefer it to be a break and get back to it within a few 15 minutes or so; however, it's very hard (or not so much) to find a partner who can accommodate. If I can have good sex at least once a day, I am very happy; however, I start to get depressed when my partner is not willing to accommodate and the depression spirals with each passing day. It doesn't matter if there is a legitimate reason for not having sex, I get depressed. I shut down. Depression shuts me down and this causes problems (it does for nt and as). It makes me distant. It makes me doubt. It makes me want to leave the relationship. All of that from the lack of sex.

Anonymous said...

To Trudi,

I am in your situation in many ways myself. Your man is seeing you so that much is good. As for the guy I've been involved with, I'm still not sure he's ever been diagnosed but there is absolutely no doubt that he is an Aspie. He has refused to see me for 5 months now and only wants to chat briefly on the phone or text me at night. He sticks with his routine like a magnet to steel, and while he appears to be very sexually inclined he consistently cancels dates for us to see one another. If he gets upset over tiny little things he abandons any contact with me for weeks at a time with not so much as one word uttered. He is so easily triggered and offended at every little thing I say and do it is way beyond mind boggling. All of our interactions, so to speak, are done according to his liking. Although he has clearly learned what sounds nice he never ever follows through on any of his promises or politely voiced intentions. For example he has gotten into quite a repetitive habit of saying to me, "It's not just about me, I want to do want you want also." Needless to say there is no evidence that he has any willingness to do anything that would make me happy or demonstrate the slightest consideration for me.

I too have found myself in a relationship with an Aspie for the second time now, but it wasn't until all the same old familiar behaviors started popping up in this relationship that I began to investigate it more and discovered what was causing all the hurt feelings and constant misunderstandings.

As for how you should broach the subject with him, I would suggest you don't bring up Aspergers to him directly, but rather expose him to the subject any way you can. Whether it's by an article you have lying around or the internet, make sure he finds it or comes across it. Once you know he's been made aware of the syndrome then that will be a strong indicator to you as to how receptive he may or may not be to considering it or discussing it with you. It's a slippery slope and just approach it so very carefully and slowly. You can't bring it up suddenly or out of the blue or it will more than likely not be received well and you only have one first opportunity to address this issue with him. I sincerely wish you luck and don't give up. It seems you're already off to a pretty good start with him.

Hurt and bewildered said...

Trudi,
I too am very sad because I believe that the man I'm in love with has Asperger's. Pieces are beginning to fall into place. The self imposed isolation and his desire to spend days alone, or hour upon hour on the internet, researching his obsessions, his disconnect not only from his own family, but his unwillingness to be a part of anyone else's, his lack of any close relationships,(several divorces and a string of short failed relationships) though he has many many acquaintances, his refusal to go anywhere WITH other people (ie groups or other couples, gatherings etc.)his refusal to touch me, unless we're having sex(which is less and less frequent) his obvious discomfort at being hugged or caressed, ( I have to wait till we're in bed to snuggle up to him, cause he can't escape then, although he tries), he NEVER kisses me, his refusal to discuss in any way what our relationship is, although I have the feeling that if I just keep coming around, he wouldn't send me away. He seems to be aware that people have feelings. He watches "chick flicks" and briefly afterward is insightful about the characters emotional leanings or failings. He always talks about OTHER people's feelings or lack of them as thought he was studying them and trying to make sense of them. He surprised me the other day, when he mentioned that an acquaintance was telling him about all the places and things she did with her boyfriend, but he noticed that she didn't mention having any feelings for him, just all the things he did for her....I thought that was very strange, and reminded him that our relationship was not just about tickets and trips. He became silent and changed the subject...I've been SO baffled about his behavior that I was beginning to think I was crazy or too needy. I don't need a lot of sex, but I do need physical touch, (if monkeys do humans do) He is a wonderful, extremely intelligent man, friendly and social with strangers, because that connection is always limited, but I am filled with sadness, because I can't see spending what few years I have on this planet in a relationship that lacks warmth and tenderness. I need to learn more before I make a decision, but I feel my life becoming more and more empty.

Hurt and bewildered said...

(continued from Hurt and bewildered)
I wanted also to say to Gavin, that this is a wonderful wonderful thing you are doing here. I found out more on this forum then I have googling around for the past few weeks. I actually stumbled across this after helping a relative "find" information about a new diagnosis of Asperger's in her own family.

Anonymous said...

Sad and Lonely-I am 59 have been married for 5 yrs. I started researching aspergers because of problems I saw in my 30 yr old step-son. As I read I realized that my husband had many of the traits so I had him take the test not knowing what it was. He scored high. Now after reading all of these blogs I see why he has no interest in sex. I thought it seemed to stop when we married. It didn't stop but slowed down and now is worse and hard for me to live with. I thought he must be gay but he said he'd never found men attractive. I thought he must want someone else but he said never I was the only one. Now I see it's just lack of interest. Once I got in the shower with him and he looked like I stepped in from the movie Pyscho. Fear in his eyes. I didn't understand it at all and still not sure if I do. I miss the closeness of touching and the feeling of being desired as I have been all of my life. I feel unattractive and sometimes wish to seek someone out just to see if I am? Why could he have a lot of sex before we married and now not care? I wish I'd realized this before we married or I would not have put myself in the postion to be rejected and feel unloved. I guess I'm selfish but feeling loved, wanted and attractive is very important to me. I miss it a lot.

Gavin Bollard said...

@Anonymous,

There's no reason why anyone in a marriage should feel the way you do. You need to discuss this with your husband in terms that he can understand.

Tell him exactly what you want/need (not broad terms) and when you want it. It's probably worth your while telling him what you feel that you've "intuited" from his responses and have him confirm or deny them.

I know that with my wife, I find a soft brushing of hands touch to be like someone scraping fingernails on a blackboard and I know that I grit my teeth when it happens.

I'm sure it sends the wrong message but it's hard to work up the courage to say, don't do that, give me a tight hug instead.

Sex might become "different" depending upon your partners sensitivities but that doesn't mean it has to stop. You need to talk to figure out what works for both of you.

Anonymous said...

It's hurt and lonely again- thanks Gavin. I have tried to tell him. At first I was sad and cried and said what's wrong? I've gotten angry, I've put on sexy things, I've read things to him and threatened to leave. After any of these scenarios he says he loves me, never felt this way before and begs me not to leave. He promises to try and will for a few days or week but then I think forgets because it doesn't come naturally. We even had it written on paper to remind him. His memory is very short. Now, that I've see what it is (just this week while he's out of town) I see what it's about him and not about me. But we haven't discussed this yet and he may not believe that he has Aspbergers? He denies most anything about himself. He usually gets angry when approached with something negative about himself. I know he hasn't been with many women and said public displays of affection made him uncomfortable. I just thought he was shy. I never thought about this being the problem. But he fits everything I have read. I even wrote a poem when we first got married about things cannnot replace the love of a person. I wish I knew exactly what to do to be able to cope with this. I'm the worst person to be with someone with Aspbergers because I need to feel that I matter from my own issues growing up. So I certainly don't feel that way though he tells me I do. I do believe he loves me and his family just doesn't show it like others do. I plan to talk to him about this when he returns but not sure how without him getting defensive. he is not one to welcome counseling. If you have any suggestions on how to approach him, what to say and how to get affection, I'd like to hear them. Should i always approach him since he really doesn't think of it ? Thanks.

Gavin Bollard said...

@"hurt and lonely",

For the time being, the onus is on you to make the approaches but it shouldn't always be. One-sided relationships can't work permanently.

You need to teach him what is required and you'll need to prompt regularly when it's forgotten but all going well, there will be moments where it works.

If your man is a reader, then writing is the best approach. If not, you'll have to find something that works for him.

You need to get understanding and acceptance - of his condition & situation and of your ability/willingness to help.

You need to get agreement - that he will work with you.

You need to set directions - the future, goals etc. Things that you want to do together but can't now.

All of this stuff is best done together and on paper.

I know that this all sounds a bit clinical and a bit ?contrived? but people with aspergers syndrome often won't pick up on subtle hints. Sometimes things need to be said and done with directness.

Anonymous said...

Hurt and Lonely-I have to see the humor I guess? When you said they don't pick up on subtle hints I thought I could walk across the room stark naked with a peacock on my head and he'd either not look up from his hunting magazine or say "where did you get the peacock?"

Anonymous said...

I think the biggest thing I am getting from all this, as the partner of a man who is definitely on the spectrum, is that the NT people who seem to be most successful in Aspie/NT relationships are the ones who are willing to learn to speak their partner's language. I keep thinking as I read that I would never expect someone who only understood Japanese to conduct a conversation in English. If we wanted to get anywhere we would both have to work to make ourselves understood using alternate means. I would never expect anyone who was left-handed to function perfectly using their right hand, I would assume and support their adapting their environment to their needs. I am a very empathic person but I am also a very strong person. I believe there is a fine line in any relationship of balancing "self" and the couple...finding that balance has been much more important to me in this relationship than in any previously...keep up the good work, and the encouraging posts. We all need to see how to do it right, that does way more for me than just hearing how wrong so many of these relationships are. Realistically, most of my friends in NT relationships have just as many issues, just different types.

Anonymous said...

I have a question that seems to be unanswered or only hinted at vaguely in the forum: although some aspergers may not like being touched (lightly), do they at least like to touch?

Some responders have complained that their relationship lack tenderness or warmth, is this by any means related to the fact that aspergers may not like to be caressed or to caress a person?

Anonymous said...

How do you tell an Aspie spouse what you need without them getting angry with you? After 26 years of once a week sex always on Sunday mornings he found internet porn and can now have sex almost daily BUT, he cannot mix love with sex. He willhokd my hand, put his arm around me, but I cannot return the like. During sex he refuses to touch me forget anything oral which is ok, He will only do penetration Wants me to lie with my arms flat down by my sides. Hes amazing using the one "tool" but I want him to kiss me. tell me he loves me. The interesting thing is he will kiss me but a very quick "sister kiss" afterwards or at non sexual times. he cannot say the words "I love you" its always "love lots" in a really babyish voice. Weve been together 32 years, married for 27. I thought hed have grown out of it. he was much more sexual in the beginning, but it declined even before the marriage. So the last 12 months hes finally gotten sexual which has helped me be a lot less frustrated but I feel so sad that hes not really attracted to me. He never has the need to just reach out to me because he loves me and finds me attractive. (which I am). Sadly I have been week and have had 2 lovers outside my marriage who both say there is absolutely nothing wrong wiht me, in fact they think Im great. One man was 15 years younger than me. But I long for the emotional bond. Not to be met with anger anytime IM upset with something, yet I have to listen to his continual annoyance with me for not doing things perfectly enough (non sexual) I'm probably not perfect enough for him sexually either. He thinks love is DOING THINGS for another. Oh and he deliberately avoids anything that is a special occasion. I haven't had a Christmas or birthday gift in over 20 years, one you unwrap. He takes me shopping before or after the occasion. he deliberately goes to bed at 8:30 on new Years Even knowing its a night Id love to sit quietly with him at home like we do other evenings. I cried for 3 hours this year alone. When he found out he was mad at me and told our son, yes we go through this every year "YOUR MOTHER HAS TO GET OVER THIS". I finally snapped and said why is it me that always has to adjust. to which he then said sarcastically my entire life is hell.... He doesnt get it. My life is great! I just wnat emotional reciprocity. Hes done a great job of working around many of our issues. I used to think it was only a sex thing, he did test low testosterone and it was after treatment he got sexual at least, nut I thought the love would go along with it. Now I know why he was so confused looking and angry when id accuse him of not loving me not wanting to please me. he things because he can give me a bunch of orgasms that i should be happy. I live in fear should I ever get sick and need HIS support. Oh, our two younger sons ages 17 and 20 are also aspie. MY husband is not officially diagniosed but after reading much on Apsie couple issues I dont need one. All his weird quirks make sense. its not just hormones, its not his painful childhood, its not that he was sexually abused as a child..... perhaps ita all of the above. My only pain is knowing I must leave to stay happy but leave a life i generally love and Im not sure I can. But functional marriage isnt what I believe. A marriage is supposed to be two sided. Not just about what HE FEELS. As long as i mirror all his emotions things are wonderful, but the minute I have a need different than his- Im being unreasonable or stupid. At my wits end. I love him so much but Im starting to hate him.

Trying2Understand said...

Hi, Thankyou Anonymous and Trudi, your detailed accounts are so helpful to me. I have been so hurt and puzzled by my 'boyfriend's' actions and so confused as he seems to love me but doesn't do the things you would expect...I can relate to the avoidance of any acknowledgement of birthdays or Christmas, maybe this is similar to an earlier post which said she (AS lady)wouldn't do anything just to meet her partner's expectations...it feels like if I expect something it will not happen...he will find some reason why he just couldn't do it sometimes, no reason, just doesn't turn up when I'm waiting for him to do something we have arranged together...and something he has suggested too...maybe at the time of suggestion he felt like he wanted to do it, but later, nearer the time, didn't want to, so that was that, or maybe someone else came along, his son or a customer, and they were more pressing, and he could earn their approval so that was the most important thing to do...It is exhausting. I have felt so much love for this man, and still do, but it really plays mind games on me and I think I have to get out before it totally demolishes my self esteem and energy for my life....but I suspect, he knows how to be charming and say just the right things to pull me back in. it must be my personality as well that is used to being hurt but then bouncing back, we must be very resilient women, but that may be a weakness as well as a strength...or we see beneath the surface and love the person under the behaviour...but it is so bad for us to be in these emotionally abusive situations. Do we only feel valued when we are loving someone who is so conflicted...
Trying2Understand

Trying2Understand said...

Hi, Thankyou Anonymous and Trudi, your detailed accounts are so helpful to me. I have been so hurt and puzzled by my 'boyfriend's' actions and so confused as he seems to love me but doesn't do the things you would expect...I can relate to the avoidance of any acknowledgement of birthdays or Christmas, maybe this is similar to an earlier post which said she (AS lady)wouldn't do anything just to meet her partner's expectations...it feels like if I expect something it will not happen...he will find some reason why he just couldn't do it sometimes, no reason, just doesn't turn up when I'm waiting for him to do something we have arranged together...and something he has suggested too...maybe at the time of suggestion he felt like he wanted to do it, but later, nearer the time, didn't want to, so that was that, or maybe someone else came along, his son or a customer, and they were more pressing, and he could earn their approval so that was the most important thing to do...It is exhausting. I have felt so much love for this man, and still do, but it really plays mind games on me and I think I have to get out before it totally demolishes my self esteem and energy for my life....but I suspect, he knows how to be charming and say just the right things to pull me back in. it must be my personality as well that is used to being hurt but then bouncing back, we must be very resilient women, but that may be a weakness as well as a strength...or we see beneath the surface and love the person under the behaviour...but it is so bad for us to be in these emotionally abusive situations. Do we only feel valued when we are loving someone who is so conflicted...
Trying2Understand

Anonymous said...

This is kind of off topic a bit but I need advise. I have a 15 yr. old aspie who is very interested in sex(found many porn sites on her computer) but because of the "no contact" with others she looks to me for answers. she has asked me to give her materials to help her with certian sexual activities. I don't know what to do, on one hand I'm very against it because who does that for their 15 yr. old but on the other hand she's an aspie and things are more complicated with her. I blocked the sites which she wants back. do I give her anything, or a little. I have no idea and no one to ask. any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Gavin Bollard said...

Anonymous,

First of all, I need to suggest that blocking those sites is really not a great response to the situation.

The problem is that you're driving the problem underground (ie: making those activities "hidden") and you're forcing your 15 year old to seek out other sources which may be considerably more dangerous than the computer.

I'd recommend unblocking the sites - and telling her why. Then trying to reestablish yourself as a trustworthy source of advice.

You probably need to talk about her urges and appropriate responses to them. If she feels the need to use materials, it's far better than you be in control of them than her - as other sources may lead to worse things and lack of sanitation.

You also need to talk to her about virginity and why it's something she might want to preserve while at the same time giving her information about the dangers of pregnancy, disease and online predators.

Many of the images in pornography are degrading to women. You should probably explain that these are not normal sexual practices.

I agree that 15 is a scarily young age to be this interested in matters but there's little you can do about this, so you're better off being confidante than jailer.

Ava B. said...

This makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately I don't have enough dating experience, but I do believe I am asexual. Asexual's can enjoy the pleasure of masturbation but not really the intimacy of another human, or they will not do neither due to lack of interest...I am the first option....so far. I've only met people who either want sex immediately, or don't have any interest in me at all. But a lot of the things mentioned feels like it fits the category. I don't see myself very interested in other humans sexuality. Hell, I think kissing is a strange man made creation, and I'm not the only aspie who thinks that. I also find it strange that sex is repeatedly used in media, TV and stories as a means of showing one's passion, and while I can agree to some level, part of me wants to tell the world, "It's not all about sex," but that's mainly due to the fact that sex doesn't look very romantic to me...so the world does it's thing and I do my own.


this article was a lot of help. I remember thinking in middle school, "what does it take to be normal, and why not me?" Years later, my motto is, "I'm different, and I'm loving it!"

Ava B. said...

I write again baring a question. While I do think I might be in the spectrum of asexuality, a very small portion of the population actually has it, and my problem may be different.

I do have apserger's, and my brother has autism. I know very well that he has no use for the human touch and no plans of ever being with another human. Then again, sex is a anomaly to him, so not only does he not fully comprehend it, he doesn't care. Whether he possesses a sex drive or not is something I don't know.

As I've said before you can be asexual, having no sexual orientation, and still have a sex drive; that only means you don't want sex but will instead masturbate. The stronger spectrum of asexual's don't do anything sexually related because it does not interest them.

As a child, I've tried to feel giggly about cute boys, even to the point of pretending, but really it held no spark. I do remember liking a guy, even wondering what it would be like to be intimate with him. BUT I do know that ever since I was a little kid I've definitely had a sex drive, but wasn't aware of how to work it until college....good times. I should mention that I do watch pornography.

Two times I've had chances of losing my virginity, once with a girl, and once with a boy. (I myself am a woman). While I did feel "squishy" down there just a little, the same heat that came from me working my own sex drive did not follow from this human to human contact. (I should mention the porn that gives me the edge was not there.) Then again, these weren't people I knew for very long, and I hadn't had time to establish a trust worthy relationship...just a heat of the moment ordeal.

My question is is as follows...am I just an aspie asexual with a sex drive, or an aspie who has yet to find pleasure in sex because she has not yet found a mate worth trusting...who might watch the same porn as her?

Gavin Bollard said...

Ava,

I wonder if you're not reading too much into things. Sometimes it's best to just let things occur naturally and see what happens.

You're at least able to derive pleasure from stimulation and you obviously have a drive to do so. As far as whether or not you could enjoy it if provided by someone else is concerned...

I'm pretty sure that the answer would be yes, if you could relax. The real question is whether or not you could relax.

The other thing to consider is that porn and masturbation may not be doing you any good. I've read about boys who use too firm a grip on themselves which creates a condition that cannot be replicated by normal sex. As a result, they find that normal sex does not work for them. I expect that there are similar circumstances for females.

One of the problems of masturbation is that you know exactly what to do to evoke a desired response. Sex is quite messy and muddled by comparison with most partners having little clue whether they're doing something right or wrong (other than any moans or movements that you use to clue them in).

Having too much "perfect" stimulus during masterbation will ultimately make actual sex a less enjoyable experience for you.

ever so grateful said...

I am so delighted to have discovered this site, and I will have further questions down the line. At this time, an earlier "Anonymous" writer asked if an Aspie does not like to be touched generally, esp lightly, like a maybe on the back, how does he feel about DOING the touching- light touching, caressing? Is that usually also a problem.

Besides the new man in my life who most likely is Aspie, I think I may have just realized that my 95 y/o mother, who was rushed to the hospital the other day in heart failure, is most likely as Aspie! OMG, to have known this earlier. She has never hugged me or told me she loved me. I've always described her as a Stoic, totally lacking of emotions. I have taken this personally all these years. What a revelation. I am leaving to see her shortly & will see her through different eyes now, and maybe too little time to make up for my own reactions to her inability to ever show any affection or emotion all these years. She even had me remove flowers people sent her- I just read that somewhere- not appreciating flowers. I am indebted to this site, and to you Gavin Bollard.....Thank-you.....I shall return.....ever so grateful.

ever so grateful said...

from "Ever so Grateful"...My post relating to my 95 year old mother probably should have been posted on your other blog, "Are Aspies Capable Of Love?"...I will check both sites.....Ever So Grateful"

Anonymous said...

Oh, I am so new here. I have just entered a relationship with a man in his late thirties whom I believe has AS. On our first date, he wanted to get me pregnant. Our first weekend together, he asked me to be exclusive with him. We've been seeing each other for a month, and he's definitely wanting me to be pregnant. He has two very bad divorces, with women he married far too early and got pregnant immediately. There woman were quite damaged, and I know one entertained his interests of no sexual boundaries. I am not like this, and he seems to be pulled to me because of this. He seems to want a more normal family life, but jumps in too quickly. Because of his absolutely phenomenal abilities in bed, I have assumed he was a sex maniac. But I noticed quickly that he liked how I did have more "normal" sexual boundaries than his ex, who was bi and into bondage. He likes stronger touch, as do I, in terms of hugs and backrubs. I see that he morphs easily to what I want sexually. To someone not suffering from AS, and not yet seeing the situation for that, it was as if he was sent from heaven. But as I've gotten to know him, I have quickly noticed the "quirks" that point to AS. He seems baffled when I mention certain behavior as not being appropriate for me, personally. This particularly applies to boundaries that most people would not see as a problem. I did end it with him, and he is pursuing me hard, wanting to show how he can be the right person for me. But wouldn't this just mean I am his current special interest that he wants to "get"? Part of me wants to continue with him on a limited basis. I enjoy talking with him. I enjoy the sex. I enjoy the play. But I also don't know if what others would consider "wooing" is for him part of the AS. I'm willing to see this as a relationship with a very, very different person from what I am used to. And I am willing to be with it in terms of what it "is" and what, of my needs, might be met from it. I do know he had to have a psyche eval related to child custody (he has 4 children from two marriages, and seems to really, really like to have babies, which, in itself, is somewhat startling, and I'm wondering if that is common to those suffering from AS) and they diagnosed him with Narcissism with passive aggressive tendencies. To me, this seems to connect with certain aspects of AS. Frankly, I'm just not sure what to do. I want to respect his unique selfhood, be of a limited support to him, and still have some of my needs met, which might not mean a fully committed relationship, at this point, the way he might like. I'm willing to adapt to a certain degree, but I'm not sure what to expect??

Anonymous said...

As a follow up, I would like to clarify that I like him -- his sense of humor, and a kindness that is quite sweet and loving. I've quickly picked up on more helpful ways to speak with him -- clearly stating my needs, asking him specific, rather than general, questions about his needs, accepting his extended silences when I ask certain questions, even abandoning those questions if it's clear he isn't sure what to do with it and I realize it's finally not that important. I believe his past relationships, which were unhealthy, gave him poor modeling for relationships. For an NT, you can learn from that on your own. But am I right in thinking perhaps someone with AS might need a little more help by being shown what a more healthy relationship might entail? Initially, I broke with him because I thought he was a "player." but that was before I read about AS. I wonder if many men with AS were broken up with because of this assumption? His sexual abilities are so good that I assumed he'd been with lots of women and just was a sex addict. How does someone with AS who does have a strong sexual appetite develop such skills? I know he doesn't like porn, claiming a moral aversion. I have also found him too, once he felt safe with me, want more just holding and lying together, entwinement and caressing, particularly hugs. I am so curious to hear from some of you. I don't want to be naive, but I also want to give him the benefit of the doubt on some things that NTs might see as " red flags."

Anonymous said...

"Aspie sexual activity is, as always, hampered by their lack of social skills"

Absolutely! I remained single all the way until senior year of high school. In that year, I started dating a fellow Aspie, though our relationship hovered between friendship and dating, and we never had sex. That summer, after we drifted apart, I began dating a NT woman who had a crush on me, but we had no emotional connection, and, again, did not have sex- we broke up halfway through freshman year of college. I'm about to complete my junior year now, and am still single, having had not a single date since the breakup. I don't think anybody has flirted with me, either, but I can never tell. I went to a bar on my birthday with some friends who were trying to get me a one-night stand. One girl actually bought *me* a drink, but I ended up ruining it by getting nervous and trying to keep the conversation going by giving a five-minute-long oration on credit and transportation infrastructure in subsaharan Africa as a major step forward in establishing market access and targeted development in agricultural communities. She was not amused.

"Aspies with sensory issues may have problems with touch"

Oh God, so very very much.

"Sexually active Aspies are often a little more experimental than the general public and have less understanding of boundaries."

Ha! Again, so very very much. I've never gotten to have sex, but man, the types of deviant sex I'm *willing* to have.....

Anonymous said...

I recently turned 40 and am finally coming to terms with the way things are and have been for me.

I identify as a hetero male, I recall my GPs telling me that my M used to dress me in opposite gender items. On my own I would find contentment, for lack of a better word, in wearing such things in private. I entertained the thought of wearing them under my street clothes but predicted being found out to great humiliation and possible violence.

Reading up on AS now I can draw the connection to the tactile sensations. When I was 15 (puberty still wasn't to hit for another 2 years) my M found my stash of articles I acquired, to one of my greatest horrors. Growing up had always been a loaded deck for Liar's Poker but on this occasion it was like looking into the eyes of Satan. Needless to say I suppressed those compulsions for a long time until last spring when I bit the bullet and starting 'scoring' a pair of shoes once or twice a month, and have been OK mainly with those when I get myself off to hotlinked images (mainly vanilla, and a Real Life curious)


So my RL experiences;early on crushes with sitters and teachers, in 1st grade I had girls giving me small things -candy and lunch items - in my mind that made them my 'gf's. Had 1st real 'can't-eat-can't-sleep'crush in 5th grade. She had been to England which was one of my SIs at the time. I found myself racking up more detentions than I did on my own just to be 'alone' with her. Spent weeks wondering what to say, 1 day I blurted out that I hated a certain grocery store, she replied "join the club" which was like a big wall coming down for me. Was in the process of getting in good with her B when school let out and she wasn't there next semester
FF through more crushes, rejection and mocking, to just turning 18. I was propositioned by a neglected housewife, but my fear of God, H, and lack of experience quashed that opportunity. Beat myself up mentally for that one before FINALLY 'dating' a borderline low functioning girl at 27. Being ultimately rejected by her a few months later was about as devastating as it gets. My next partner was my 'dream girl' looks and disposition wise, but my role was being just a link in her chain. She was good for me to be with in a lot of ways; a giver and also allowed me to give, which 'GF' #1 wasn't. A band I was in at the time dragged me to strip clubs which just never has been my thing.>br> After leaving that band and 'relationship' I looked at where all the GF1 post-dump booze and pills had gotten me, and started going back to church. I got involved in the music ministry, thinking this would surely gain the attention of the good and loyal woman God had planned for me. 4 solid years to no avail. Church seems to be great for people who all grow up knowing each other and people married 50 years, but single in your late 20s-40s- forget it. So the result is I would love (almost) more than all my guitars and motorbikes to have JUST ONE opposite gender person compatible with me physically, emotionally, and spiritually that also wants to love and be loved back, unfortunately my condition synergized with inability to progress beyond 2 messages IF ANY on sites like POF makes for an inevitable destructive recipe for eternal loneliness and wasted could-have-beens. If that's not enough, I have read that even if there is any likehihood of entering another relationship, those things I 'stim' from can set me up for further intolerance and rejection. But yes, I believe people on the spectrum can have a full healthy libido.


To the girl who rubs her hand and smells it, my thought is that could be a transfer of oxytocin, found to be therapeutic in folks on the spectrum

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I recently turned 40 and am finally coming to terms with the way things are and have been for me.

I identify as a hetero male, I recall my GPs telling me that my M used to dress me in opposite gender items. On my own I would find contentment, for lack of a better word, in wearing such things in private. I entertained the thought of wearing them under my street clothes but predicted being found out to great humiliation and possible violence.

Reading up on AS now I can draw the connection to the tactile sensations. When I was 15 (puberty still wasn't to hit for another 2 years) my M found my stash of articles I acquired, to one of my greatest horrors. Growing up had always been a loaded deck for Liar's Poker but on this occasion it was like looking into the eyes of Satan. Needless to say I suppressed those compulsions for a long time until last spring when I bit the bullet and starting 'scoring' a pair of shoes once or twice a month, and have been OK mainly with those when I get myself off to hotlinked images (mainly vanilla, and a Real Life curious)


So my RL experiences;early on crushes with sitters and teachers, in 1st grade I had girls giving me small things -candy and lunch items - in my mind that made them my 'gf's. Had 1st real 'can't-eat-can't-sleep'crush in 5th grade. She had been to England which was one of my SIs at the time. I found myself racking up more detentions than I did on my own just to be 'alone' with her. Spent weeks wondering what to say, 1 day I blurted out that I hated a certain grocery store, she replied "join the club" which was like a big wall coming down for me. Was in the process of getting in good with her B when school let out and she wasn't there next semester
FF through more crushes, rejection and mocking, to just turning 18. I was propositioned by a neglected housewife, but my fear of God, H, and lack of experience quashed that opportunity. Beat myself up mentally for that one before FINALLY 'dating' a borderline low functioning girl at 27. Being ultimately rejected by her a few months later was about as devastating as it gets. My next partner was my 'dream girl' looks and disposition wise, but my role was being just a link in her chain. She was good for me to be with in a lot of ways; a giver and also allowed me to give, which 'GF' #1 wasn't. A band I was in at the time dragged me to strip clubs which just never has been my thing.>br> After leaving that band and 'relationship' I looked at where all the GF1 post-dump booze and pills had gotten me, and started going back to church. I got involved in the music ministry, thinking this would surely gain the attention of the good and loyal woman God had planned for me. 4 solid years to no avail. Church seems to be great for people who all grow up knowing each other and people married 50 years, but single in your late 20s-40s- forget it. So the result is I would love (almost) more than all my guitars and motorbikes to have JUST ONE opposite gender person compatible with me physically, emotionally, and spiritually that also wants to love and be loved back, unfortunately my condition synergized with inability to progress beyond 2 messages IF ANY on sites like POF makes for an inevitable destructive recipe for eternal loneliness and wasted could-have-beens. If that's not enough, I have read that even if there is any likehihood of entering another relationship, those things I 'stim' from can set me up for further intolerance and rejection. But yes, I believe people on the spectrum can have a full healthy libido.


To the girl who rubs her hand and smells it, my thought is that could be a transfer of oxytocin, found to be therapeutic in folks on the spectrum

Anonymous said...

Yes I am in the same situation. I have not had sex in many years. I keep thinking that if we get counciling or if he sees the dr for some testosterone. But I'm pretty certain it's not what he wants to do. What to do!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Everything you said rings true in my marriage. My husband and I had a little sexi in the beginning but that was 13 years ago. I have been without any sex for most of that time. I'm a Christian and even though he told me to find a person to have sex with, I keep believing I would ruin the chance of us. I don't want to have sex with someone else whilst loving him. That would be the saddest thing. I use to enjoy sex but it seems selfish to break up a good marriage because there is no sex in it. Argh it is so very sad.

Gavin Bollard said...

@Anonymous, it sounds like you and your husband have talked through the problem in some detail if he's suggested finding someone else to meet those needs.

If actual sex doesn't work, there are more things that you can do together which provide similar results - perhaps you should talk to him about those sorts of alternatives.

I'd have thought that the real danger in using someone else for sex would be attachment, hence a gigolo would be fine but finding a friend would not be. In that sense, I think it would destroy your relationship because being a very Christian person, you'd probably find that you needed love for sex to work.

Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

Sexuality with AS is a funny beast and a complex issue.

I'm now a 31 year old male.

I understood quite early in my life what sex was. From the age of 7 or 8 I enjoyed wearing female clothes although I've only considered myself heterosexual.
I do have homosexual or transgender fantasies sometimes but what stimulates me mostly is light bondage.
Fortunately having been with 10 girlfriends I realised most women actually prefer to be lightly dominated.

I am very active sexually and am a good lover. Perhaps the reason I like it so much is because I'm good at it.

The interesting thing is that out of 10 girlfriends I've only ever achieved orgasm with 3 of them.

The only things I've ever been diagnosed with are AS and depression.

So yeah. I think it's a very individual thing.

Anonymous said...

My wife I have discovered lately has Asperger's. It lays undiagnosed but as a trained psych. I have been able to through observation and conversation piece the diagnosis together. Sexually life is a set of contrasts and contradictions. She obsesses about hygiene and germs, but wants ME to give her cunnilingus. She will NOT suck me, even if I do not want her to swallow (I wouldn't drink it so why should she?!). However, she has fantasies that are also the opposite of her obsessive hygiene, especially for peeing games. Finally, she has a high sex drive but once her orgasm is reached she is like a teenage man in that she then curls up satisfied but makes no effort to ensure I am. Sex is complex as it involves mechanics and mind on one activity, so it is sad that in terms of treatment/therapy of the condition it is so under researched.So many more relationships could be helped I would estimate if this aspect of the syndrome was addressed.

Anonymous said...

Just a general inquiry....
I am a female 22yr old with Aspergers syndrom and am completely asexual. I am curious as to the implications this may have in regards to spirituality. you may wonder what relation there is in this, as a "monk" i am quite happy and function nicely, im just curious if, by general Yogic standards (meaning that a lack of sexual desire is a sign of spiritual advancement) what this means about my development spiritually.

Brenna James said...

First, let me say what a wonderful blog. Having fallen in love with a man with this condition - feeling confused and frustrated at times, the words written here are significantly enlightening and allow me to breathe a sigh of relief. Though I've read exhaustively on this subject - hearing directly from many different men on the subject is extremely helpful.

While all tend to include the physical aspects; my relationship with this lovely man has been solely on the internet and is 2 years in the making. We spend many hours most every day in each other's company and enjoy it very much. This will change in a few short months, as I am fortunate enough to get to meet him in person. This frightens me a bit, to be honest.

A few things are glaring: 1) any discussion of emotions is torturous for him; 2) he is very private and does not enjoy crowds or being in a public arena; 3) he is in his late thirties never having experienced a sexual relationship of any sort; 4) he is extrordinarily intelligent; 5) self-describes as having the emotional maturity of a nine-year-old.

A few things that confuse me: a) he can be extremely sensitive, and his feelings easily hurt; b) he is occasionally jealous and will shut down or go off-line when this happens; c) while he does not like speaking directly about emotion, he is not put off by my confessed love for him in a public forum (such as facebook or to friends); d) when faced with a situation where I was in medical crisis, he has literally freaked out and gone into a state of meltdown; e) he is highly protective of me when in amongst others in a public internet forum; f) though not liking to speak of emotion - he becomes irritated if left out of a conversation of this nature.

As I anticipate the next few months - it would be helpful to get helpful advice from anyone of you with experience and insight.

With deep appreciation.

Anonymous said...

my boyfriend has ASP , not diagnosed but definitely has all these traits in every posting..and he even knows because people have told him he is Aspie...
He's older as am I, we both have had past marriages, break ups, no children...my dilemma is I am not Aspie, at all, but find him, kind, sexy, brilliant above anyone I have ever met, and weird, yet charming- mostly frustrating, and irritating- I feel addicted to his weird Aspie ways, and Yes I am in love with him, now it's 2 1/2 years of this...and each time we see one another, I think i should break up with him, but I can't.

Anonymous said...

my boyfriend has ASP , not diagnosed but definitely has all these traits in every posting..and he even knows because people have told him he is Aspie...
He's older as am I, we both have had past marriages, break ups, no children...my dilemma is I am not Aspie, at all, but find him, kind, sexy, brilliant above anyone I have ever met, and weird, yet charming- mostly frustrating, and irritating- I feel addicted to his weird Aspie ways, and Yes I am in love with him, now it's 2 1/2 years of this...and each time we see one another, I think i should break up with him, but I can't.

sounding board said...

I am 25, a female, a cyclist/runner, an artist, and I have aspergers. I have trouble talking to people face to face, but I really need some help. I'd like to put my story out there to see if other people can relate. I also welcome advice and perspective.

I've been dating the same woman for 2 years. I recently asked her to move out because I was having a difficult time balancing my personal life and my life with her. We are still together and many of our problems have been alleviated now that I am living in my own house and thinking, talking, and acting at my own pace.

HOWEVER. I cannot get the idea out of my head that I may want to try a relationship or just having sex with a guy. I became sexually active at age 14 and continued to have sex with men until I was 20. Then I had my first monogamous relationship and it was with a woman. I have only been with women since and have had 3 moderately healthy/satisfying relationships. Sexual relationships with women have become easy for me because we have the same type of body. Also, women tend to be very patience with all my sensitivities.

STILL I am really attracted to guys but I am SUPER nervous about having sex with them. When I was younger it was awful. I was just trying to do what I thought was expected of me and it never felt good. I never felt like guys cared about my orgasm or my body. I felt awkward because penetration doesn't give me an orgasm. I also have this feeling that guys won't be attracted to me because I am not girly enough or because I am too serious and different. I know it is messed up, but I feel like I'm not good enough for the guys I'm attracted to.

I am friends with some really dynamic and kind guys but some how I can't convince myself that they could ever want me both intellectually and sexually.
Honestly I even have a hard time believing that they are my friends even though we've known each other since grade school.

I know these words don't make sense, but I mean them honestly.

Anonymous said...

NfromFL
I am a recently diagnosed Aspie adult female. What I have to say may be offensive to some. I have been reading over these blogs and am disappointed. Am I all alone in desiring sexual intimacy, being able to delight in my partner's pleasure, which is extremely important to me, and being able to appreciate her efforts in pleasing me to the point of being almost overwhelmed with the intensity and pleasure of orgasm? I am capable of deep passion and sensuality. I am able to relate to my partner on a reciprocally emotional level. I am currently single and have been for awhile, by choice. I have had many opportunities, and very recent at that. I am just not into one-night-stands, and besides, I've been waiting for someone special.
My point in posting this is the reiterate that Asperger's Syndrome is an Autism Spectrum Disorder-key word being Spectrum. Though I have other deficits, some more profound than others, the romance department isn't one of them-under one condition-I must be able to establish a deep level of trust, first. Depending on the person, as everyone is different, the amount of time needed for that varies.
So, I just wanted to offer hope to some NTs out there with concerns about the ability to have a romantic relationship with an Aspie. It is entirely possible. The trust aspect provides a comfort level that is beneficial to both parties. The sex then flows easier and feels right.
As an Aspie, what is impotent to me personally is the trying and the patience, the openness and willingness to do all that I can to have successful relationships. So, to all of you NTs, I am speaking up for us Aspies who make wonderful companions and lovers. It isn't always the fault of the Aspie why things don't work out...people are people. And love can be complicated for anyone for a myriad of reasons.
I hope this has provided hope someone out there.-NfromFL

Anonymous said...

NfromFl again-I also wanted to add one more thing in honor of those of us Aspies who are reciprocal and emotional. I personally love to be touched and I love to touch. Please, there are, Aspies like myself, who both are and appreciate affection. I have read a few of the blogs posted where the Aspie said that his life was a living hell when the issue to have sex and the need to be satisfied was Expressed by his spouse. Look, if you're going to agree to be in a relationship intimately, don't try to fall back on the fact that you have Asperger's Syndrome as an excuse. I am a female with Asperger's and was diagnosed as an adult. I welcome the new knowledge becauseamos I finally have an answer. Instead of making excuses, I annually proactive in doing the work required to make it better for my partner. As I said, I am currently single by choice. I get approached often for sex, and very recently, at that. But I'm not into one night stands. I've already posted about that previously along with other things. Look, AS doesn't HAVE to be a curse for the Aspie nor the NT. I may not have problems in the romance department, but I certainly do in other areas. So, don't shut out all Aspies when it comes to sex and Romance and all the trimmings that go along with that. Remember the word Spectrum, key word in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Again. The reason a relationship doesn't work out isn't always the Aspie's fault. They IS hope. It IS out there.

Anonymous said...

I am the step father of an almost 19 year old girl whom has AS. She herself never speaks about her condition and often makes other "excuses" for being the way she is. She does not want to be called or labelled an "Aspie"!.
She has never had a boyfriend (not even kissed as far as I know)but is hetero and takes interest in the opp sex. She is quite attractive to look at but lacks confidence and maturity. She also tends to dress for herself not paying any heed to fashion, wears jeans all the time and PJs to bed. Nothing sexy such as lace underwear or french cut/thong panties etc. IS this normal for AS teen girls?
I am concerned that her lack of social and relationship development will see her staying home with us much longer than what is considered "healthy" for a young woman. We want to encourage her to enter into normal relationships with guys but at the same time don't want her to fall prey to sexual predators who may hurt her emotionally. She doesn't drink alcohol so isn't interested in night clubs etc.
Any advice would be appreciated.

SF in OZ

Anonymous said...

I am a 50 year old widow with two marriages. I just met a man that do not answer to when I do flirt. His friens and my friends say they see that he is interested in me but he does not act. he is almost 10 years younger than me. First I thought he might just enjoy my company but want nothing sexual with me. Then I did start to think about his fast talking and his dialect, a bit hillbilly even though high IQ. He is smart and is very techncal and repairs stuff and has his own company. His customers are large companies that have used his skills for up to 10 years.
One day I decided to date him. He accepted. We had dinner and we did talk all nigyt as all times before when we have met. He then suddenly kissed me! We went to bed and I did understand that he was a virgin. We have now seen each other every day for a couple of months. He has turned into a great kisser but he does never come while during intercourse. He says he cant relax and I have tried everything to make him come. He does not know what asperger is. When I read about ad it says just click inside me. His intellect, technical skills, his hillbilly accent, his enjoy of playing with words and that he could not read that I wanted him even though everyone else did see and made fun out of it :) now he says I have thought him that he enjoys kissing and cuddles and we sleep together. But he does not want me to tocuh his penis and he does never come inside me. He says he can come while masturbating but hard to do so. What to do?

Gavin Bollard said...

Anonymous,

It sounds like your friend can't relax. You should probably ask him if you can be present when he masturbates. Assuming that he's 40 and until recently a virgin, he's probably developed his own style and likes/dislikes.

It's also a well known fact that men who use "too tight a grip" during masturbation will make themselves unable to reach climax during normal sex. It's what they get used to.

If you observe too tight a grip, you should suggest that he spend time practicing with a much lighter grip (and not revert to a tight one). It will take time for his body to adjust back.

khiori said...

I seriously cannot believe all the very different accounts here are all Asperger related. I'm thinking that a great many people are misdiagnosed, or wrongly self-diagnosed. This list of comments just reads like all the sexual troubles of the world. I don't see how anyone could possibly get any answers from it.

Here's my General Advice For All:

Perhaps it would be better to assume that all marriages, all relationships, are unique. Each person you date, or marry, needs a different set of rules. If you love someone, try to work things out. If you cannot bear to live with their needs, then find a different partner. There is no longer any shame in divorce.

However, marriage is not all about sex. Many people stay together for a variety of reasons such as money, children, career, even pets. If there is another very good reason to stay with a person, then why let sexual differences bother you? Make your decision, stay for reason "X", or leave. Then stick to it.

Aspie. Mid-50's. Married 2x. Sex is over rated. Logic rules.

Gavin Bollard said...

@Khiori,

One of the reasons why I love comments on this blog is because they show a wide spectrum of experience and lead us to draw exactly the kind of conclusions that you have.

In general, the list of sexual troubles with people with aspergers reads very like "all the sexual troubles of the world".

There's only a few minor differences as far as I can tell but having the comments to back this up is extremely gratifying.

Anonymous said...

"Lou" male married 25 years. Indeed finding this blog and other things about AS have been a big eye opener for me. I struggled a lot with my sexuality as a child/teen - I wasn't considered mature, I had no contact with any girls, no real social life. Church leaders who counselled me said I needed to come out of my own little world, so I frequently felt I did not fit in or that everything in my life was wrong, I just wasn't a normal person.
The first girl I fell for at 22, I more or less wanted to marry her before I even talked to her, so in cases like that I hit reality with a big bump. I eventually married (and still am) after a short on and off courtship, but my wife soon found how inept I was socially and with her - never looking her in the eye, treating her as if she was a prostitute, which she did not want to be, not at all romantic, etc. We very rarely have sex and she locks the bathroom door when she is in it. I now better realize from reading the posts that I need to act more like a normal NT person and focus on the little acts of kindness or attempts to communicate which just don't come naturally to me. It's not that our relationship is that bad, but every few months she will have an outburst which shows just how fed up and frustrated she is with me. Are there any NT women who could give me advice to improve things without it appearing that I am just in it for sex. Generally the rest of life is OK, we have a comfortable home, a steady income, two great grown up kids, etc., but it is just that I fail a lot when it comes to issues like communication, and expressions of affection in public.

Anonymous said...

SF in OZ: What's really creepy is that you're concerned your 18-year-old stepdaughter isn't wearing sexy underwear! That's not relevant to her mental health or development. I'm a NT woman in my thirties, for what it's worth, and have had several fantastic relationships. At your stepdaughter's age, I was not investing energy in sexy underwear or fancy clothes. I was more focused on academics, friends, and writing good love letters to my long-distance boyfriend. My first kiss came at 19. I had been at an all-girls school before college, but my "slow" (according to you) start had much more to do with being extremely thoughtful and having high expectations than being awkward, unattractive, or asexual. At that age, I thought most guys around me were idiots--and they generally were then. I wanted to take my time. The fact that she's not wearing heels or lace or whatever you associate with sexiness doesn't mean she devalues her appearance or sexuality either. She might feel damn sexy in baggy jeans. Stop projecting your stereotyped expectations on her.

Mojo said...

I met my husband 18 years ago. Despite several warning bells we fell in love got married and amazingly had 2 children. The warning bells were he gagged when he touched me so never did again, went off sex within a year of us being together and refused French kiss me. Sex was instigated by me every 18 months or so. Eventually after so much rejection I headed for a breakdown. I begged him get help but he refused. I met someone else whom I'm now seeing. My husband is devastated and has gone counsellig. She thinks its either aspergers, gay, or been abused. However he stopped going counselling. He likes control me and hates change. Any questions he didn't want answer he would zone out, hed start lining up windows with chimneys. He has passion football and Olympics almost obsessed with Olympics. He's amazing with kids and animals but has absolutely no intamicy or understanding or giving with me. He's never given to me. He has a good job as a banker and is successful. He has admitted doing porn last few years, says he hates any form of touch and believes sex should be for men not women. He's shocked we've broken up despite my 17 years of warnings. I love him to bits but had leave. If I mention aspergers he goes mad and says don't be so stupid. He doesn't have many friends, he used to but not now, he fine in a crowd of blokes but usually has to have a drink. He doesn't talk at all to me. I'm
Totally thrown and desPite being separated am tormenting myself as need answers.

Anonymous said...

My wife is Aspie (undiagnosed) and I have always found sex with her hard work. She is quite selfish, doesn't really indulge in foreplay, nor does she really touch me during, yet I can bring her to multiple orgasm. I find however, that once she has orgasmed out then that's it, that's the end of the session, but we had a recent session where she was changing coils so we could not have intercourse (no condoms), I managed to make her multiple orgasm as usual using hand massage and oral (she never ever uses massage or oral on me) but at the end of the session, she rolled over content and didn't touch me - nothing, which seems beyond selfish to me. The problem seems to be that if she "does" anything to me then (in her words) it makes her feel like a whore. We've been together 25 yrs, can anybody offer an explantion why she is so selfish and why she should feel like a whore - puzzled.

Anonymous said...

"...As for the guy I've been involved with, I'm still not sure he's ever been diagnosed but there is absolutely no doubt that he is an Aspie. He has refused to see me for 5 months now and only wants to chat briefly on the phone or text me at night. He sticks with his routine like a magnet to steel, and while he appears to be very sexually inclined he consistently cancels dates for us to see one another. If he gets upset over tiny little things he abandons any contact with me for weeks at a time with not so much as one word uttered. He is so easily triggered and offended at every little thing I say and do it is way beyond mind boggling. All of our interactions, so to speak, are done according to his liking. Although he has clearly learned what sounds nice he never ever follows through on any of his promises or politely voiced intentions..."

Are you sure that he's an Aspie who treats you like that because he doesn't know how to treat you any more kindly...

...instead of a jerk who treats you like that because he does know better but just doesn't care enough about you to bother treating you any more kindly?

Maybe you should ask *yourself* how *you* feel about *being treated the way he treats you*, in addition to asking others why he treats you that way?

"...As an Aspie, what is impotent to me personally is the trying and the patience, the openness and willingness to do all that I can to have successful relationships. So, to all of you NTs, I am speaking up for us Aspies who make wonderful companions and lovers. It isn't always the fault of the Aspie why things don't work out...people are people. And love can be complicated for anyone for a myriad of reasons...

"...Look, if you're going to agree to be in a relationship intimately, don't try to fall back on the fact that you have Asperger's Syndrome as an excuse."

Good points!!!

"...Nothing sexy such as lace underwear or french cut/thong panties etc. IS this normal for AS teen girls?..."

Why do you keep track of which panties your daughter wears?

"I seriously cannot believe all the very different accounts here are all Asperger related. I'm thinking that a great many people are misdiagnosed, or wrongly self-diagnosed. This list of comments just reads like all the sexual troubles of the world. I don't see how anyone could possibly get any answers from it.

"Here's my General Advice For All:

"Perhaps it would be better to assume that all marriages, all relationships, are unique. Each person you date, or marry, needs a different set of rules. If you love someone, try to work things out. If you cannot bear to live with their needs, then find a different partner..."

More good points!!!!!

"SF in OZ: What's really creepy is that you're concerned your 18-year-old stepdaughter isn't wearing sexy underwear! That's not relevant to her mental health or development. I'm a NT woman in my thirties, for what it's worth, and have had several fantastic relationships. At your stepdaughter's age, I was not investing energy in sexy underwear or fancy clothes. I was more focused on academics, friends, and writing good love letters to my long-distance boyfriend. My first kiss came at 19. I had been at an all-girls school before college, but my "slow" (according to you) start had much more to do with being extremely thoughtful and having high expectations than being awkward, unattractive, or asexual. At that age, I thought most guys around me were idiots--and they generally were then. I wanted to take my time. The fact that she's not wearing heels or lace or whatever you associate with sexiness doesn't mean she devalues her appearance or sexuality either. She might feel damn sexy in baggy jeans. Stop projecting your stereotyped expectations on her."

RIGHT ON!

Anonymous said...

29 year old Female aspie, and Ive recently fallen in love with a 33 yr old male aspie, I couldnt be happier and I don't think he could either. we really understand the core of each other and are respectful of boundaries, Even though ironically have never spoken of having aspegers with each other. We could tell deep down right away I think, I know I could at least, for many reasons. I'm like a lot of the female aspies I've read on this blog when it comes to sex, I cant stand to be touched by anyone besides the person i'm intimate with though, but as soon as intimacy is present i love cuddling and all of that type stuff, hes worse than me, gets the itchys and tickles when i run my fingers on him, Thats why I'm up investigating men with aspergers and intimacy at 5 a.m, I dont like foreplay really, or recieving oral at all, but I do love to have sex frequently and make my bf excited, watch/give him pleasure. He seemed to be losing interest,but not entirely, I can tell he really tries to show me love! in other ways, It was confusing.. now i understand it's another boundrie and i should not pressure it at all, but embrace it and make the times we do have more pleasurable, The not wanting to sleep in bed with me was confusing to my heart as well.. I don't think i want to ever live without him though. Mostly I wanted to comment and tell you guys to try latex gloves, and plastic out fits/pants.. Its an odd sensory feeling, try touching him with the gloves on. my bf can stand it better than skin contact and I think i have more sex than a lot of you..

Justin Heath said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I am a man who has recently been diagnosed with ASD (PDD-NOS) possibly with AS but being 40 and having developed some insight over the past couple of years I began to modify my behaviour so the psych could not be sure. I relate to a lot of things being said here.

I have separated in the last several months from an 18 year relationship that included marriage. We had been growing apart for a number of years due to my Spectrum typical behaviour (which I began changing too little too late) and my sexual practices. I actually love sex, all aspects of it and there is not much I would not try (other than sex with another man - not my thing). My ex has told me that I have an insatiable appetite for sex - we are talking wanting it 2-4 times a week (could have done it most days but did not ask for that). I went for 18 years with her rarely initiating sex and while we tried some wild things, I feel that much of it was mechanistic from her. This really bothered me and I felt that while she tried so many things we actually never connected sexually. BTW, I have been recently wondering if she is also on the spectrum - I am certain her father is and possibly her sister.

Anyway, about 10 years ago I began seeing escorts and going to brothels. It was hit and miss - some worked and some did not. However, the feelings and intimacy I got from some women were amazing, even if it was bought - you still need to connect on some level to make it work. This eventually came out this year and it proved to be the death knell for our relationship. We kept going for a time and even went on a holiday to Europe at the very end but it was not enough - I had hurt her too badly. At the time I was doing it, I was thinking that I was saving her from having to deal with my sexual needs (sex with an escort would keep me going for many months) and I thought I was doing her a favour. It also kept me going in the relationship. Funnily enough, I actually found her much more attractive than the escorts I used (and some were hot), but she was cute and vulnerable which are attractive qualities to me sexually.

I never wanted to end the relationship. I guess it is the issue of not liking change and being in a comfortable place. For a long time since I was asked to leave, I was in love with her and longed for her - we were good companions for those years. I ended up in a house 3 doors down from her (no choice, in a mining town). She had developed a relationship with a woman prior to me leaving so I would look down the street to see her girlfriend's car out the front of the house. It ate me up. I believe that this relationship has now ended although they still see each other a lot (they work together and play music together and spend time at each others houses for dinner etc). I went through some very dark times over this. I am only now slowing up on the texts to her - I have used texts when I feel angry at her but realise now that it is damaging any future relationship with her (I have 2 great boys so need to keep communication open).

I am now moving on - I think - and have even had a couple of dates. I hope I have learned from all this and will be a better person with the next person I have a relationship with.

Caitlin P. said...

Im a teen girl aspie. I can definitely relate to this article. I think about sex, and sometimes want to do it, but then I think about the actualality of doing it and I panic. however,I have done more intimate things (about second base i.e. heavy petting). with my last bofriend, it was 50/50. I hated it some days and liked it the next. i'm extremely sensitive to touch, so sometimes he would touch me a little to hard and i would just hate everything and push him away. i know about intimacy not through interaction, but because it became a short obsession of mine to find out what it was that everyone was so crazy about. i know more lingo, slang, and techniques than sexually active people, which confuses some, but its purely because of research.
one thing that bothers people, particularly my sister, is that im more comfortable being single than dating. my friends dont understand, my mother doesn't really, and my sister has even gone as far as calling me a freak and asexual (though she is very repentat of this now.)i think she did this because to her, being alone must seem like the worst thing in the world, while to me, having a relationship is some of the hardest and most incredible (its almost a miraculous thing to me) thing to maintain.
speaking of that, I don't get long obsessions with people. on the contrary, i find that i will have very quick flashes of obsession follwed by total uninterest and sometimes even shame. this is what happened with my last bf, and i was ridiculed and still am ridiculed at school for "dumping him after three weeks so coldly." i just couldnt stay with someone i was so uninterested in though.
this is just scrtaching the surface of my intimacy problems. to say the least, being a teen aspie, especially if you are a girl, can be pretty complex and rough

Anonymous said...

I'm a 30-year-old Aspie female who has a normal sex drive, but no place to put it other than dildos and water jets. I'm only sexually attracted to a certain type of male that seems to be out of my league. I recall having a few crushes growing up, then since age 16 there were only celebrities I saw on TV and movies.

At 21, I had my first sexual experience in a friends-with-benefits situation, being that the men I really wanted were out of my reach. I wouldn't have given into his advances had I not been a virgin. I was just too curious. I love him, but not that way. Nevertheless, it was hard to end the sex, because I was afraid it was my only chance for experience, and so far, that's the case.

I thought my luck had changed when I became good friends with another man. I thought I was finally going to make love the way I'd always dreamed of, but he'd already moved on to someone else. I was devastated. I had trouble eating and sleeping for weeks.

It's been over a year now since the incident, and I'm still having trouble moving on. I keep feeling that I should be married now and having wild passionate sex constantly, not crying in an empty bed. I've tried dating sites, but I'm not attracted to any of the available men. I'm afraid I only want men I can't have.

I also have a morbid fear of aging. I look at my young self in the mirror and I'm afraid I'm running out of time. I don't think older women are ugly, just not sexy. If I can't make love to a man I desire while in my prime, I don't wish to live.

I've been considering seeing an escort. I'm tired of having literally no dating or sex life. I don't see this as a permanent solution. Quite frankly, I don't know if there is such a thing for me. I was brought up a Christian, but the promise of eternal life in the kingdom of Heaven gives me no comfort if there's no prince of my own waiting for me.

Anonymous said...

To the 30 year old. Dont worry about getting less sexy as you age. Im 46 and recently saw a 45 yr old that I supect was on the spectrum. She was and is very sexy,sweet, loving and open to experiencing sex in a way i havent had with other women. We all want what we cant have from time to time. I still want her but right now she isnt open to being with me and may never be again. I dont know if she is even able to let me know her really well.
You will make someone a great partner if you can form the emotional connection which for most men isnt that difficult. Then allow yourself the trust needed to give and receive the love you want. The reason Im responding is I hear the desperation in your comment and it shows a dedication to being in relationship that few so called "nt's" possess. There is hope for you!

Anonymous said...

Help! My story is very similar to alot of the other posts i have been reading. My husband and I have been married for 13 years now. We recently separated mostly due in part to his encouraging me to find another sex partner in order to fulfill my needs. He and I are still very close and have a 10 yr old son that we both adore. I no longer have my " surrogate sex partner" because it all became too emotionally confusing for me. I felt I had to leave my husband. I recently discovered Aspergers syndrome when researching some issues with my son. Reading all these blogs is like seeing the whole story of my marriage before my eyes. He alwayed seemed to love me and I was always so confused by his behavior. Shortly after we married he began sleeping in the other room. Then after our son was born our sex life went completely away. He doesnt like to be touched and appears to dislike any kind of kissing unless its a quick peck on the lips. I love my husband and I have a few questions I need answered before I can decide whether or not I can stay in this marriage. What causes this? Has anyone else's spouse wanted to sleep in another bed alone? Is it too late, as he is 49 yrs old, for therapy to make a difference? I am also worried about the effect this disorder will have on my son. My husband seems very disconnected emotionally from him. If my husband does in fact have aspergers syndrome, how much should I tell our son about it?

Desperate in NC















Gavin Bollard said...

@Desperate in NC,

The secret is compromise.

You need time alone so that you can talk these things through calmly and frankly.

You need to decide what things you need and how often. Then talk to him about his needs and aversions.

For example, it's very common for people with Aspergers to dislike open-mouth kissing because of the over-stimulation.

He may be more up to kissing you on the neck or the shoulder (and that's something that can still be very passionate).

Talk to him about the sex. You might find that there's certain things that "turn him off" and certain things that turn him on. He may be ok with some things but not others.

If you can't talk, then write. If you can't write, then do.

For example, you can lie on the bed and ask him to do the things that he feels comfortable doing. This will give you some clues. Then you can reverse roles and tell him that he has to have 5 minutes where you're in control.

Unless you communicate and find out what you need to do to compromise, you'll find it difficult to move forward.

Lenny said...

I'm a 20 year old male aspie and the trouble I have with sexuality (specifically sex) is that I fear I'll become obsessed with it if I experience it. I've never had a full-on experience with a girl and I've had girlfriends but when she wants sex, I become fearful and leave because I don't want to become addicted. I've felt a touch sensation once and it overwhelmed me so ever since, I've avoided it but I still want intimacy. I'm not sure if everything I said made complete sense but can anyone enlighten me on how to deal with this?

Anonymous said...

Hello,
I am 31 year old and had relationship with one year older Asp man. We were together 4 years (not married and still I can't believe I survived 4 years of such suffering) and at this point I can say all our relationship (not only sex) was one great disaster. Each time I felt like I am sleeping with a 15 years old boy and I felt like an pedophile because my boyfriend was so immature. I think that problem in sexual life with Asp person is that they are in their own world and they will NEVER understand us- NT. So my recommendation for NT is: find NT (not Asp) person with who you can share beautiful (sexual) life without misery and continual clarifying and mental suffering. Relationship with Asp will just destroy you....
I just left my Asp boyfriend and now I am with NT person with who I have amazing relationship and of course also sex.
I FEEL SO SO GREAT NOW!!!!!
Your life is too short to spend it in misery and with person who will NEVER understand you!
Lucy M.

Anonymous said...

My question is can therapy help my undiagnosed husband in regards to our sex life? Since realizing he has Aspergers syndrome he seems to just accept it and is very content to accept all the problems that it brings with it. Am I just beating my head against a brick wall or is there actually any hope for change at this late stage in the game? He avoids sex completely and I am convinced he is just incapable of it. I feel like i
this is something I will just have to accept in order to be married to him. He admits he masturbates and doesn't seem to know why he does it. Can someone please explain to me what the reason for this is. He knows I love him and would like very much to have sex with him but it justa never happens. The last time I tried to initiate sex with him he was quite hateful about it and refused. Any ideas that might help us?
Deperate in NC

Anonymous said...

ROTFL. I am Aspie. I am also genderqueer, poly (two husbands), involved somewhat with the BDSM community (via Fetlife).

I'm not much into pain as I am in deep tactile stimulation. I find rope bondage soothing. Sex is not merely about genital stimulation, it includes my mind (role play) and all of my body.

I would find it impossible and demanding to maintain a relationship with a sole individual, but with two, it's manageable.

It is my belief that so many autistics struggle with relationship and sexuality issues because they are trying to conform to family's or Society's expectations of them instead of looking inward to see what would best met their needs. The repression against autistic sexuality is so strong in so many places, that it has become a "coming out" process. We need safe space to be able to talk to other Aspies about our sexuality, to share our "coming out" histories.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I like this post, but I want to clarify something about asexuality. You said asexual people feel no pleasure from sexual acts- This isn't entirely true. Many asexual people can feel aroused and even enjoy masturbation, the main difference is that they don't feel sexual attraction toward others, and don't always seek out romantic relationships, but when attracted to someone, they'd much rather get to know the person than they would have any sexual experience with them. So while asexual people may not seek out sex, it doesn't mean they can't get pleasure from it, they just don't have a drive for it.

My research was done at:

http://www.asexuality.org/home/

More specifically:

http://www.asexuality.org/home/overview.html

Anonymous said...

I find this post quite interesting. I am in my early 30's and married. I managed to become friends with a man who is in his mid 20's through an online game and over the past 4-5 months we talk daily. He is sweet, caring, smart, funny and never had a gf before. I have fallen in love with him. I didn't mean to, it just happened and he is the one who actually opened up and told me that he loved me first and has never felt this way about a person before. I have been unhappy in my marriage for the last year and my husband and I have given a good go at trying to work things out and I was thinking of leaving him before meeting my aspie guy. My aspie guy makes me feel feelings I have never felt so strong before. I have read this blog and I find that he isn't emotionally cut off from me at all but he is to others. He doesn't have a lot of friends, etc and has never really been interested in girls much before me. I read up about aspergers so I could better understand him and feel that I do very well. He is very special to me. I have strong feelings to be with him as I am unhappy with my husband and have tried to work things out with him. He isn't the man I married anymore and my love is more "friends" to him. Should I consider a relationship with my aspie guy or would it end disasterious for us. I am confused. Please offer advice.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't find where to post this to, since it has to do with everything - dating, touching, sexuality, feelings. So I'll post it here and hope that someone answers with an advice.

So, this is my situation. A year ago I met a very interesting guy. I immediately liked him - he is handsome, talented in lots of (especially creative) fields, funny... But I noticed, and this was confirmed by his long-time friends, that he is also extremely introverted. He likes to be alone and do his "hobbies", he often avoids social gatherings with people he doesn't know very well (and tends to leave without explanation), he avoids eye contact, seems very uncomfortable with physical touch and generally shows poor signs of emotions. This is where I suspected he is an Aspie, but it took me a year...
At first I tried to flirt with him in the usual NT way, but this was getting nowhere. He never showed any interest, so I continued to treat him just as friend.
Our friendship deepened and we started to talk everyday, mostly concerning our mutual creative interests. He was always more talkative over the internet, it should be said. I picked up that he doesn't like to discuss anything in relation to emotions, so I never pushed it. I always kept my talking in his "safe" zone. Although he never showed direct interest in me, I noticed that, as months passed, we actually developed a close connection which I think he doesn't have with any other girl. There were frequent times when we would isolate from our friends when going out and talked for hours about something "geeky". These are the moments where I saw something closest to happiness in his eyes.
And I still thought that's it, that he likes me in his own way, but that it will never go further. Still didn't suspect Aspergers.
And then a weird thing happened. We were on a concert, drunk, and in one moment, as I was standing in front of him, he got very close to me, sort of "glued" to my back, which is very unusual for him since he avoids any physical contact with people. I stayed close to him for some time. This is when I started to lightly touch him on the leg. He didn't react at first, but he let me do it. And short afterwards, he loosened his right hand (he had his hands crossed the entire concert up to that moment) and moved it close to mine, which is when I lightly grabbed his fingers and we remained lightly holding hands for some time. Then I sensed something that could be described as "overwhelmingness" from his side and he excused himself and went to the bathroom. Before he left, he smiled at me and did something awkward, like a light pinch on the arm. Warm, but awkward. To the end of the concert we didn't repeat this, and never spoke of it again. This was 3 weeks ago.
Week later, we were on a social gathering where one of our friends misinterpreted us as a couple when I arrived. This gives me a hint that people around us do see our connection. Usually, this would make his head explode and run away, but this time he ignored the awkward situation and aproached me normaly and we talked.
By now, and we are 23, he had only 2 or 3 girlfriends and they all left him for being weird in communication and non-physical. It was 5 years since his last relationship.
Anyway, I don't really know where to go from this point. I think he has Aspergers, and since I like him very much I would like to know how to bring it to the next level, at least to verbalizing the mutual liking because this is something that I think horrifies him as a possible uncomfortable situation. Also, in his mind it can be a big "change" and Aspies do not like changes of routines. But I really think that he tries in his own way, especially by letting me touch him which he never allows. I don't know how to organize a date in a way that he won't feel "pushed into it", uncomfortable, or like he is "stupid" for not knowing exactly what to do with a girl. I am ready to make adjustments to my behavior.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm a 50 year old woman who has been in a relationship with a 52 year old Aspie man for 18 months. I have known him about 3 years in total. He was officially diagnosed with Aspergers 5 years ago and doesn't understand what it is at all. He doesn't know his behavioural differences to non-Aspies.

He displays the signs such as:
Doesn't like eye contact
Displays clumsiness (always tripping over his own feet)
Does not understand non-verbal communication such as body language or subtle hints
Has a brilliant knowledge anything to do with one subject - music
Hates change and has many set routines including always eating the same limited meals.
Has an extremely short attention span
Etc.

However, he is a loving, caring individual who is truly misunderstood by people. Hence, he has no friends but can't understand why that is. His ability to frustrate people unintentionally can lead to them getting aggressive with him but he doesn't know what he's done to upset them. Unfortunately, because of his behavioural differences he is not accepted by most people so it adds to his confusion.

The point of me writing this blog though is to say that I have just ended the relationship. We have got on well and I have researched the condition as much as I can to help me understand him although it appears there are many varying levels of the syndrome. I hate people judging him because he is "different".

This brings me to the crux of the matter. My major concern has been with regards to his sexual behaviour. From the first time we slept together I couldn't deny he is fantastic in bed. Without a doubt the best sex partner I have had. An expert in that area in fact. We both liked the same things and can satisfy each other. We also both like watching porn movies and I introduced bondage into the equation too. However, over the last couple of months he seems to have become more and more obsessed with sex, porn and bondage. It got to the point that every time we met he would mention having sex literally within the first 5 minutes. It seemed to be the only thing on his mind. If I confronted him with it he would say he was only joking but I knew he wasn't. We also like drinking together but this became a big issue because after a few he would "paw" me, particularly touching my breasts, inappropriately. However, it got to the point when a few times I had too much to drink he well and truly stepped over the mark and took advantage of me (that's putting it politely).

The problem is he doesn't know the boundaries of what is considered inappropriate (or does he!!!). He also got rougher and hurt me. It appears to have built up into an obsession and quite a frightening one. I no longer felt safe going to his flat. He started buying lots of wine as well. There seemed to be a connection he had made in his head i.e. getting me drunk equaled sex. He thinks saying sorry and bursting into tears (a frequent occurrence) will fix it and because of his Aspergers I let him off only for him to do it again. I really don't know if he understands what he has done wrong!

I'm hoping that by leaving him it will break the cycle because if things carried on as they were I'm not sure how much further his "obsession" would go.

I'm just interested to know if this is something others have experienced. It's such an unfortunate turn of events.

He is also a very clingy person. Unlike a lot of the comments on this site I have to say that he is the opposite to a lot of Asperger sufferers who don't like being touched. He was over cuddling and kissing to the point of smothering.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I believe it's important for all to try to keep in mind that each person is the product of multiple factors, including genetic, epigenetic, environmental, situational, and relational. A person's Asperger's is not the only cause for "who" that person is or why they behave and respond the way that person does. Asperger's doesn't operate in anyone within a sort of "vacuum" -- it's present along with the other variables which form and mold personality. That means that a, say, female with Asperger's born in the US northeast in 1995 as an only child to wealthy and nurturing parents is probably going to exhibit different behaviors than a, say, female Aspie born in the US deep south in 1955 as the youngest child of impoverished and abusive parents.

Likewise, sexual needs, desires, and tendencies vary among even "normal" people(and can vary through the same person's lifetime.) Whatever form of Asperger's that person has doesn't necessarily account for every part of an Aspie's sexual identity and behavior -- rather, Asperger's is another of the complex weave of factors that produces it.

Anonymous said...

I have been diagnosed with Autism, and I find as a straight woman I feel invisible to men. I wear shapeless clothing because of sensory issues, and I have very little experience with men. I recently had a crush on a guy who I tried to engage in conversation. I think I sounded odd, because before he was always open and friendly, but now he has shut down. I only wanted an intellectual relationship to begin with. I want intimacy, but am shy. But I suspect it is because I am odd, not very pretty and old. I wrecked the beginnings of a possible friendship and now I feel like killing myself. I am unlovable, and not attractive to men. This has happened to me several times - I show a fragment of interest in a male and it deteriorates to nothing. I guess that's my path. I hate emotions and feelings so much.

Anonymous said...

I have been dating a fifty year old man with Aspergers for over a year and I am in my mid-forties. I have very strong feelings for him and much of our relationship is really positive on multiple levels. Unlike many posts on this blog, we enjoy a wonderful sex life that meets both our needs. There are certain sexual practices that he will not perform, but then there are things that he would like me to do that I am not comfortable with also, so all in all, we have reached a happy compromise in our sexual relationship.

I have read widely about Aspergers and tried to inform myself about my partners perspective and view of the world, which has helped me to better manage unintended hurts and slights that arise in our relationship.

There are, however, challenges, not least his total obsession with all things sexual most of which I can live with as I am neither embarrassed nor uncomfortable with sexual issues.


However, he masturbates to films he made of past sexual partners and when I say to him that while I have no problem with him using porn, I would prefer if he didn't use more personal material because I am uncomfortable with it, he becomes defensive and accuses me of being over-sensitive. He is obsessed with young women's bodies and can be licentious and offensive even making comparisons, hurtful and inappropriate remarks about my, obviously, older body. I have said to him that if he wishes to end our relationship to meet younger women on the Internet - where it seems he has met a bewildering number of women, some of them quite young and willing to have sex with him in the past - to please do so. He always responds to my suggestion by saying that he was only joking and that he would rather have me in his life anyday, which undoubtedly has something to do with the fact that the young women he has met on the internet, don't remain in his life for very long.

My attempts to discuss my concerns with him and explain my feelings have largely been met by a brick wall and the suggestion that there is something wrong with me because in his world view, all men prefer to look at younger women and that is simply a fact that I am clearly, in his view, not intelligent enough to absorb!

There are many wonderful aspects to this man and I care for him deeply, but elements of our relationship are bordering on abusive in that he simply will not listen to how I feel and turns to verbal attacks on me when I raise these issues with him. I would like to try to find resolution with him on the basis that much of our relationship is so positive. However, his constant obsessive discourse about young women and his disregard for my feelings in relation to his choice of personal material for masturbation, is taking its toll on my confidence and self-esteem. If I continue to fail to reach him on this issue, I will be joining the scores of women who have walked out of life in the past and that makes me so sad for him and for me, because I suspect, despite the defences he has erected to protect himself from the scores of women who have rejected him in his life, he will be as devastated as I will be.

Please direct me as how best to deal with this, Gavin, as it is hurting me intensely and I am at a loss as to what to do.

Gavin Bollard said...

Anonymous,

I completely understand your position. It's one thing to be "competing" with people who are unattainable, unmeetable and unnamed. It's a different thing entirely to be competing with past lovers. You need to consider making this a "hard limit" in your relationship because otherwise there is a chance that it could spill over from fantasy into reality.

The answer very much depends on what you're comfortable with. I'd suggest that at the very least you ask him how he would feel if he caught you doing the same to films or photos of old lovers. If that doesn't move him, there's the option to "get caught". I presume that you don't have any films of your own but you might have some photos - not necessarily naked ones, just even portraits of old boyfriends or you with an old boyfriend. If you could get caught saying their name and looking the picture, then perhaps it will lead you neatly into a discussion of why his behaviour makes you feel uncomfortable.

The other thing you could do is talk about your ex-lover's bodies when he makes remarks about his. Give him a taste of his own medicine.

Of course, these are all reactive things and while they will help him to understand, they won't solve anything. The solution is simply to establish a "hard limit". Things which are off the menu for discussion or perusal. All ex-es should really be hard limits in all relationships.

I hope things get better.

Gavin.

alcinoe said...

This has been an eye-opening post. I struggle to say I'm NT as I have some of my own issues (depression, anxiety) and I'm a bit introverted but definitely not Aspie.

My husband, I think, must be.

We always struggled with our sex life. He liked cuddling and so forth, but sex was always a struggle for him. He could not do oral, recoiled from certain touches and complained he could not get sensation inside me. He blamed this on me being 'loose' despite difficulties during penetration (he's quite big). He blamed me a lot for the difficulties in our sex life and as a woman I internalised this. I mean 'what man doesn't want to have sex'? So it HAD to be me. It wasn't.

But we got on well enough until I (by a miracle) got pregnant. After the birth of our son he became agitated all the time and verbally and emotionally abusive.

After years of rejection and no sex and trying everything I could think of I had an affair. I discovered there was nothing wrong with me sexually and it's been bliss exploring that side of my personality again. Though, of course, it's hardly ideal.

I've had enough. For my own sanity I have to get out. We've slept in separate rooms and haven't had sex in two years because I refuse to initiate only to be rejected 95% of the time. But yet he recently said he thought things were better. I guess they are better for him because I don't make many demands on him and avoid conflict like the plague - accepting unacceptable behaviour just for some peace (he rages when challenged). But I'm absolutely miserable. He simply can't seem to see that and if I tell him how I'm feeling he tells me I'm wrong.

This post has given me a lot of answers to my questions but no happy solutions.

Unknown said...

My ex girlfriend is asperger and she is a prostitute. She just learned that as a kid in Cuba and is what she knows.

She happen to be super attractive. When I met her she was a waitress and we started to talk and she was ok, very charming. But very soon I realized she has problems, she couldn't keep a conversation, she was way too naive, very co dependent. No way she could make up her mind. Her friend used to manipulate her all the time and one day I had an argument with her and I yield at her: don't you have common sense? And she freaked out and hid in the bed.

I realized a year later she was asperger, everything made sense. Unfortunately she met some people who put her into parties, drugs and now she is a prostitute.

is impossible to make her react, she just does not get it and if her clients do not want to use protection she just go for it like that.

I did my best but that was it. She felt into that.

Anonymous said...

I dated an Aspie man. NEVER AGAIN. Sex with him was beyond terrible. He would NEVER initiate sex. He would simply lie next to me in bed and hope that I would initiate sex. Then, he would try to talk dirty but he would say strange things like "I'm going to stick my penis in your crotch," and other weirdness. He had no idea of what foreplay meant or how to engage in it. Sex with him was so frustrating that I eventually cheated on him and ended up leaving him.

I felt like a complete pedophile having sex with him because he acted like a child in the bedroom. I would have to put his hand on me. He would just rest it there, not moving, just waiting for me to do the next thing. HORRIBLE. Never, ever again will I date an Aspie.

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Sudoku said...

I found this really interesting. I was diagnosed with Autism/Aspergers back in college and have always struggled with sex. I don't dislike naked bodies (I'm an artist, so used to examining people in detail) and see the benefits of having sex if you want kids or enjoy it. I also grew up in a 'medical family', so find biology fascinating. I just don't like being involved myself. I would be happy watching others and I'm very interested in roleplay fetishes where I can stay in my clothes and not have to 'perform' as if I am turned on. But regular sex with another person doesn't do anything for me. I enjoy reading erotic stories and drawing/writing for other people. Really weird fetishes interest me and I like reading about these too. Especially the psychology behind them. I also enjoy power-play (S&M type stuff when I get to tie people up, discipline, or boss them around) and I'm told I'm very good at this.

My problem is that my current boyfriend knew I was asexual (I didn't know that was the term, but I told him I disliked regular sex) when we met and he said that was ok. We moved in together and I changed everything around in my life so it fit around what we both wanted. Now he says it is not enough and he wants regular sex with me.

I like his company and the security of being in a relationship (I can be affectionate and talkative if I know the other person understands my intentions), and don't want to have to rearrange everything in my life again as it's taken me years to build new routines where I can function normally. I also don't think I will find another person I like who is also suited to me. Past relationships have all been terrible and I am a difficult person to live with.

I have tried to learn to enjoy normal sex. I can get turned on occasionally when I am alone (although it takes some psychological effort), but this doesn't happen with another person so it hurts if I try anything physical. I have tried everything my GP and others have suggested - lubricants, dilators, porn, other toys, etc. I still cannot enjoy normal sex. I think I'm just broken in that area and I am worried my partner will eventually leave, as he already points out other women and says he is finding this difficult with me.

I don't know if autism/aspergers and asexuality are related or not. I find a lot of things difficult, but have found ways to cope with most of these - I can hold down a proper job, higher education, talk to people at work or in public, etc. I do things a bit differently and need time to rest afterwards, but I have found ways to function without everyone thinking I am a total idiot. I'm pleased with that. Except for the sex thing. It's the one issue I haven't been able to solve yet.

Has anyone had any luck changing this? Any at all? I am open to all suggestions. I wouldn't mind my boyfriend having sex with a stranger as one-off encounters, but my concern is that many people bond through sex and he might end up leaving anyway if he formed an emotional attachment elsewhere. I'm really not sure what to do! : /

ckb313235 said...

"Sexually active Aspies are often a little more experimental than the general public and have less understanding of boundaries."

They have an understanding of boundaries that is different from you and what you call the general public. You imply that you have the RIGHT understanding of boundaries but that doesn't make your approach more rational. It is bigotry at best and arrogance of knowledge in the worst case. Better refrain from being pretentious.

Anonymous said...

i am asexual im 14 but i like this boy hes funny haha i have aspergers i like math its fun im learning sigma notation and arithmetic notation i really love it:)

full jimanson review said...

Asperger’s is part of the autism spectrum. It has many characteristics, but generally have difficulty knowing what someone is thinking, explaining our thoughts verbally, and interacting socially with our peers.

Anonymous said...

to anyone who is NT - how do you get past the loneliness and lack of intimacy? I have had depression for years and have slowly realised that it is Cassandra syndrome and that my husband is undiagnosed Aspergers - most people who know him would agree including healthcare professionals. We have two female children and have not had sex for over 13 years - it is killing me, literally and emotionally. I have gained weight and feel so low most of the time that its hard to pick myself up. I didn't see anything wrong to start with - it's only now I've realised that he is so typically AS.
I ask God for guidance and trust that He is 'in my corner' but I can't go in much longer - it's soul destroying and I am lost in every way.
How do I get past it?

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Creep

Anonymous said...

I´m a 32 years old female with asperger´s. I have always had difficulties with sex. I consider my self nearly asexual. I do have a sex drive (a low one) but very seldom with other. It doesn´t hurt, like others sayed, but I just feel very uncomfortable, like I´m in a situation I deffinetly don´t want to be in; it just feels horrible, like a total invasion of my privacy and personal space. I´ve had some good expirences, but very few. The first time I just did it to feel "normal", and because of that I´ve had some very bad expiriences for me. I can totally live without sex. I like holding hands. I could have a relationship without sex, but is very difficult to find someone who agrees with that. Is not that I need a relationship, I like being on my one, but sometimes when I happen to like someone I just wonder. Maybe another aspie who thinks like me?? I don´t really see sex as a loving thing, it could be, but generally I just see it as a way people choose so achieve pleasure. I get more pleasure and intimacy talking about something intresting with someone. It will help if someone comment and tell what they think.

Anonymous said...

I´m a 32 years old female with asperger´s and I´ve always had problems with sex. I consider myself nearly asexual. I do have a sex drive, (a low one), but it seldom happens with someone. At first I just did it to be "normal", and that just lead to very bad expiriences that I wish I didn´t have. It doesn´t hurt, like others sayed, but I feel VERY uncomfortable, like I´m in a situation that I really don´t want to be in. I´ve had some good experiences, but very few. I can totally live without sex and be happy, I don´t need it. I find it very far away from what I´m, I don´t know if I´m being clear. I could have a relationship without sex, but is very difficult to find someone who agrees with that; maybe and aspie who thinks like me. Most of the time I think that I don´t want a relationship, I like being alone and spending all my time on my special intrest. But sometimes when I like someone I just wonder; but then the issue of sex comes to my mind and brings me down. I just almost never get arroused and I can´t feel connected. I don´t see sex as such a loving act, of course it can be, but generally I just see it as something people do to achieve pleasure. I get more pleasure and intimacy by having an intresting conversation. And I do like holding hands and other kinds of non sexual contct with people I love.