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Autism and sex

VioletFenn Member Posts: 124 Pioneering
Sex can be confusing for everyone at times, But for those of us who are on the autistic spectrum, things are often even more complicated.

Although every autistic person is different, there are some things that seem to be common to many of us. Often, we struggle to communicate, we might have sensory issues and many of us seem to be missing the ‘verbal filter’ that other people have, yet when neurotypical people assume that those of us who are autistic are also sexless, they are very mistaken.

In my piece for the Metro, I spoke to several autistic people about their relationship with sex and how autism affects it.

Lila said:

"I tend to space out during sex, unless something is making me focus on my body I don’t really feel pleasure. I need my partner to talk to me or provide a lot of physical stimulation or skin-to-skin contact."

Author Katherine May said:

"‘A common response when I told people I was autistic was ‘but you wrote a whole book about sex!’ The assumption is that we’re altogether sexless."

You can read the full article here.

Do you feel that people make assumptions about your sex life because of your impairment? Has your diagnosis had any effect on your sex life? Let us know in the comments below.


  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,676 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks for sharing @VioletFenn :)
    Senior online community officer
  • Stormtrooper71
    Stormtrooper71 Member Posts: 1 Listener
    Hi.I was 45 years old when i was diagnosed with autism.That was last year in March.I am now waiting to be tested for adhd and im now 47.This might sound strange but when i was younger i used to get a lot of complaints from girls that when i had sex with them i never made a sound when it came to climaxing.I thought that was strange of them to say that as i thought it was quite normal for a man not to make a sound while climaxing.I am also easily distracted and can lose interest in sex while i am having sex,which is really frustrating for me.I have to concentrate really hard when im having sex and sometimes if the woman speaks or moves when im trying to make her climax it can be off putting for me.I have tried to have sex while listening to music,but half way through i can hear myself singing along in my head and that is off putting too.I am quite non verbal too,until i get to know the woman better.Apart from all that i have a pretty normal sex life.I have been single for 14 months.When i speak to women now and i tell them that i have autism,it puts them off me.That is frustrating.I love the fact i am autistic and unique and i believe people get the wrong end of the stick about autistic people.To be honest i dont usually post anything on groups that i have Joined and i will have sat reading what i have written over and over and waited 20 minutes before deciding wether to post it.I am quite scared on posting this and very nervous and anxious about it.I want to learn more about all aspects of my autism so i can underatand myself better.Reading your article has given me more insight into myself.I do apologise for it being so long.I am not very good at this kind of thing
  • Pippa_Alumni
    Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,798 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community, @Stormtrooper71! It's great to have you here, and I appreciate the courage it must have taken to post this. We're a friendly bunch here on the community so feel free to come and post any time.

    In terms of what you've mentioned here, you may be particularly interested in talking to our sex and relationships advisor Gill (@PSHEexpert) and our new Autism/Asperger's advisor Jack (@Jack_W). Really glad to hear that Violet's article has provided you with some insight and comfort! 
  • vysvader
    vysvader Member Posts: 133 Courageous
    edited October 2018

    I spoke to several autistic people about their relationship with sex and how autism affects it.

    Nice post, you're a talented writer but Is it about ASD in general (about the whole spectrum) or just autism (as its subcategory)? For a diagnosis, the only two common things for all on ASD those really must be met, those are: "repetitive/obsessive/overfocused behaviour" and "troubles caused rather by fewer (common) social interests". The most autistic-like person that I used to know, he'd been disabled (got just a slight problem with muscle coordination in his childhood), he was smart, however, he didn't have ASD. Just when he had been growing up, he might see how the people in that village all the time watch at him, laugh, comment, and harass him... He developed a strong social anxiety causing troubles even in speech (also acoustic because of the stress + the muscle coordination of his voice...) and social interaction, whereas many autistic don't share any of his problems, and yes, some of them do. I was the aspie having many friends as a child, whereas, sometimes, he'd got one, I was the closest one but there was no way how to get him out of the home and I gave up. Things changed later, now, we're both without a social background : )

    There were just some minor issues with double meanings, and facial expressions, where I can find multiple possible interpretations.

    More times, someone asked me "do you wanna go to drink" and I answered: "I don't drink any alcohol" (because I don't drink, but it was seen as a rejection and, in fact, I might just say something else), or other times, it was rather about different topics but with the same pattern. 

    Not sure it's about me, but I don't understand till these days that there were two siblings appealing everywhere I was just talking with a woman (just when we talked). One of them, she was more than just friendly..., meantime, from childhood in a primary school, 80% of my enemies were just her friends and I used to think that she's sending them and her boyfriends (drivers), and cousins when we were adults. On the other hand, I didn't have a problem with them when we started to speak together (without her) when she wasn't in the middle. Either way, we didn't have anything common, I wasn't interested in the box, cars, motorcycles, weapons, and her other top interests. Once, I told her that people don't like me because they don't like my uniform, the work what I did in a security. Then she started to speak that "I am not personal, think that the uniform gives me a power, uhm...". I know that she used to say that I'm a homosexual and many other non-senses, however, I'd never got any idea how to deal with her.

    For example, once I was talking with an attractive girl, however, didn't have any prior lobby to flirt or anything more. My lighter failed and I wanted to borrow her lighter. She was a foreigner perfectly speaking in my language, however, her native language was related wherein many words are pronounced exactly the same but heaving totally different meanings. There're words like "szukam" ("to sex" in my language and "to search" in the eastern languages and Polish), predohra (undertones)... She sometimes used some of the words those mean unrelated, totally different things in her native language. Perhaps, I couldn't properly read her facial interpretation before she got brutally angry after my consecutive speech. Till these days, in the consequence, some people are curious "how I speak with a girl".

    In a different time at a party, one young woman mistake me with a stripper and obviously, I wasn't a stripper, I didn't look like a stripper. I thought it's a way of her speech and she's a very sociable, funny joker when had been talking it, but obviously, she was the whole time very serious and upset when I left. Till these days, there are some consequences, she'd many upset friends...

    Unfortunately, I didn't have any problem with a sex, just once when I'd been dancing with a girl and I'd been just waiting for the moment when to jump out because she was smashed with drugs and her stomach was swimming as she reported, many times. Nevertheless, she expected a bit more excitement from my side (she was nice) and wasn't sure why the things went the way... Next days, I met her again and she felt very badly. At the time, we were more like normal mates (like you're with colleges, e.g.), not a couple. She told me to guard her against her friend, a girl everywhere with her but... I wasn't a police and she was with her voluntary, so... She went to a party where I didn't really wanna go, it wasn't in my plan, I went there because she called me there and told me that she felt for an emergency, I went inside and asked one of the guys about her. The people from the bar speak that "I was running/hunting w****s".

    Another time, I had been sleeping with a 10 another people in a room of a non-gov organization which had been doing for us a few days long training. One of them was very friendly when we turned off the light, however, It'd a bit problem to go on with her around the other 8 people, there was possible to hear each movement... Not sure, perhaps, it's a matter of aspies to mind if it's public or not, dunno.

    You know, it's a complex matter.

    Best regards,
    J. Vysvader

    You can feel free to get in touch 


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