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ohmygosh

Why is Autism a dirt word on this site? There is a strong link. Thoughts? Experiences?

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ohmygosh

Why did I look at this while trying to go to bed tonight!  Ehh... 

 

I guess it’s because I feel sometimes that I can find answers to the questions that rotate within my mind - despite internal the beating that I give myself while wanting the answers. 

 

The weird questions that I can’t ask my friends because they wouldn’t know what the heck I was talking about.  They know stuff, but haven’t experienced it.  Or worse, wonder why any of it even matters - since they cannot relate to it and think I’m a total weirdo. 

 

Okay, they already know I’m a weirdo!  I just hit a wall with insight, I suppose. 

 

Your comments were almost overwhelmingly interesting.  Some see it  (the loose topical question that I posted) from a way of picking apart words, some see it as a social thought that could lead to verbal-labeling isolation, others see it from personal experience.  Some want to share.  Some want to correct.  Some want to teach. Some are invested in helping others.  

 

Its ALMOST overload for me.  So, with that, I truly thank all who gave their own perspective thoughts.  I’ll have to sleep on it all.  

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glyders

Just chiming in to say that I am the aspie and the sexual in our relationship.

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RaHock

Hi. I am new here. I am both asexual and autistic. I am not sure if the two are related or not.  I am pretty new at being both. I was just diagnosed with autism about a year and a half ago.  It really did explain a lot and wish it had been diagnosed sooner.  I have been asexual all my life. I was sexually abused as a child. Not sure if that causes it or not.  I have always been highly intelligent and socially awkward.  I have had social phobia my whole life and am currently working to overcome it and stop self isolating. Anyways, I have never meet other asexuals and would be interested in any information about it and dealing with asexual issues. 

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Sally
On 8/7/2018 at 4:12 AM, anamikanon said:

I think what he meant was that several challenges faced by autistic people can make sex too complicated to be pleasurable, so autism could be a factor in asexuality in some cases.

 

I would think autism could be a factor in someone not attempting to engage in sex, not necessarily not wanting sex.   The challenges faced by autistic people could cause sexual people, as well as asexuals, to avoid sex.  

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alibali

I find the conversations here more interesting than the ones pretty much purely for asexuals even though I identify as asexual and (now) aromantic. I used to be heteroromantic. The change has come about more because of experience and acceptance that the majority of couple relationships have sex as part of that and therefore I don't want to form those relationships any more. 

 

I expect there are some asexuals who are also on the autistic spectrum, but one can't label others. I had a libido when I was younger, I had and wanted relationships. I was curious about sex, it just wasn't something I desired for its own sake, and for that reason it didn't occur to me that it was something that would strengthen a loving relationship. It didn't make any difference to the way I felt to my partners.

 

My point is that everyone is an individual (including those on the autistic spectrum) and are trying to form some argument that ties asexuality with autism is more about sexuals trying to find a reason than about their asexual partners.

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Telecaster68
2 hours ago, Sally said:

I would think autism could be a factor in someone not attempting to engage in sex, not necessarily not wanting sex. 

That is a very, very nice distinction.

 

If they're choosing not to engage in sex - ever, because they'll always have sensory issues or whatever the autism-related issue is - isn't that the same as not wanting sex?

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Serran
3 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

That is a very, very nice distinction.

 

If they're choosing not to engage in sex - ever, because they'll always have sensory issues or whatever the autism-related issue is - isn't that the same as not wanting sex?

Sorta. But, there is a big difference in I want but I cant because it would hurt me and I dont want. 

 

I love ice cream. I dont have it because it makes me ill. I still very much want it though... even if I decline it because its bad for me. 

 

Just like you may decide to give up something for your partner, so technically dont want - but still desire it even if you have reasons for turning it down. 

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Telecaster68
8 minutes ago, Serran said:

ust like you may decide to give up something for your partner, so technically dont want - but still desire it even if you have reasons for turning it down. 

The other way of looking at that is that you do want to give up something for your partner, even if it's 'on balance' rather than unambiguously. You've still made that decision, of your own freewill, regardless of the reasoning behind it. Saying that's not the same as wanting to give something up is really hairsplitting.

 

Someone may choose to exercise despite knowing they'll be aching and sweaty afterwards. Does it make any sense to say they don't want to exercise when they choose to, over and over again?

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Serran
9 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

The other way of looking at that is that you do want to give up something for your partner, even if it's 'on balance' rather than unambiguously. You've still made that decision, of your own freewill, regardless of the reasoning behind it. Saying that's not the same as wanting to give something up is really hairsplitting.

 

Someone may choose to exercise despite knowing they'll be aching and sweaty afterwards. Does it make any sense to say they don't want to exercise when they choose to, over and over again?

Mmm. I hate exercise. I dont want. I want to not die of 50 diseases my family tends to get, so I do a little. 😛

 

An asexual can hate sex, never want to do it again and cry after every time and still choose to do it because they dont want to lose their partner more.

 

Granted, I would personally say still desire rather than want. I desire eating a bucket of ice cream. A partner may desire something but choose to give it up because they get tired of seeing their partner cry every day because of it. An asexual may desire a sex free life. We can choose to act against our desires, but we cant get rid of them. 

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Telecaster68
4 minutes ago, Serran said:

Mmm. I hate exercise. I dont want. I want to not die of 50 diseases my family tends to get, so I do a little.

Nobody's making you do it. You're choosing to do it because the pros outweigh the cons. So in fact, you do want to do it.

 

When it comes to sex, an asexual might choose not to do it because the cons outweigh the pros, or the pros might outweigh the cons, so they choose to do it. Nobody has completely free choice, devoid of consequences, over anything, but that doesn't mean we never want to do anything. I don't think these things are neat, clean decisions.

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Philip027
2 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

If they're choosing not to engage in sex - ever, because they'll always have sensory issues or whatever the autism-related issue is - isn't that the same as not wanting sex?

Nah, not really.  Some of them may totally want sex.  They still just never would.  If you were to somehow get into these people's minds, and then get into the mind of an asexual, I guarantee you'd feel the difference.  But as long as these people only exist to you in terms of how likely you are to have sex with them, then yeah, you aren't going to see much difference.  Doesn't mean it isn't there.

 

In my book, it's the difference between being celibate and abstinent.  They both mean you aren't having sex, but the latter implies you want to yet something is stopping you.  It may be a temporary condition, or it may be lifelong.

 

2 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

Nobody's making you do it. You're choosing to do it because the pros outweigh the cons. So in fact, you do want to do it.

No, they don't want exercise, they want its benefits.  Again, there is a difference.  Some people legitimately love to exercise; they find it invigorating and energizing.  They *want* to keep doing it.  This is miles apart from someone only going through the motions because a doctor strongly recommended they should, and would really rather be doing anything else.  (I would have thought most sexual people who've attempted a relationship with an asexual person that tried to compromise with sex would understand this firsthand, to be honest...)

 

A similar comparison can be drawn with working a job.  Most people don't want to (and the few people that do, that find a job they actually truly love doing, are considered the lucky ones).  They do it anyway because the bills must be paid, not because they actually want to work their job.  These two groups are not the same, and you can usually see it vibrantly painted on their faces.

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Telecaster68

You're describing the difference between 'enjoying your work' and 'wanting to work'. You can want to do something you don't enjoy. 

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Philip027

Personally, I can't.  If I don't find something enjoyable, I don't want it.  I don't fucking want to go to the dentist every 6 months; I only go because the consequences of not going are worse.

 

Likewise, most people don't truly feel deep down that they want to work.  What they want is the money, not to work.  (Which is why I and a lot of other people get stymied at the common "why do you want to work for us?" job interview question.  Why the fuck do you think I'm here, because I was just feeling charitable, or what??)  Once you get past having to come up with some kind of bullshit enthusiastic response to your interviewer, you'll quickly find that most employers don't give a flying fuck whether their employees actually want to be there, so long as you do your hours and the job gets done.

 

It's a little bit different with sexual interactions.  When one person is there not because they actually want to have sex with the other, but rather just because they feel like they just have to be there to preserve the relationship or to satisfy the other or for X other reason, it kinda sours the experience for the other.  (Right?)

 

There is a fine, fine line between wanting something, and wanting what becomes of it.

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ryn2

I think there’s some semantics/usage here around the word “want.”

 

Exercise isn’t a bad analogy.  Some people really love to run.  They love it in the moment.  They would do it even if it weren’t for any extrinsic gains.  They might well even keep doing it if it turned out to be unhealthy rather than healthy.  It’s just something they really enjoy.  I don’t know that they’d say they “desire” running, just because we don’t usually use the word that way, but they might agree that they crave or hunger for it.

 

Other people don’t enjoy running in the moment, at least most of the time, but they do enjoy the benefits it brings them (e.g., improved fitness, mood regulation, weight control, more attractive legs, time spent with friends, “runner’s high,” etc.).

 

Both groups may say they “want” to run, but what they mean by it is different.  For the latter group, running is the price they pay to get the results they want.  For the former, running IS the result they want.

 

I do think there’s a subtle difference between desiring sex and yet not having it and not desiring it at all.  Lactose intolerance and food allergies are good examples of something like the former.

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Philip027

I don't see what's so difficult to understand about it, to be honest.

 

If you legitimately would enjoy the Thing on its own merits, you (probably) want the Thing (regardless of whether you actually do or can have it)

 

If you actually can't fucking stand the Thing but you only tolerate it because of Something Else, you want Something Else, not the Thing.

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Telecaster68
9 minutes ago, Philip027 said:

f you actually can't fucking stand the Thing but you only tolerate it because of Something Else, you want Something Else, not the Thing.

But if you do The Thing because it means get to have Something Else by doing The Thing, you want to do The Thing, in effect.

 

This is devolving into the usual AVEN dichotomy about whether there's some kind of platonic pure version of something (especially motivation), or whether life is mixed up, uncertain, and complex.

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ryn2
1 hour ago, Philip027 said:

But as long as these people only exist to you in terms of how likely you are to have sex with them, then yeah, you aren't going to see much difference.  Doesn't mean it isn't there.

This.

 

To the track coach, the boss, etc., it makes little difference (and may be minimally visible) if you’re in enthusiastic pursuit of the thing itself or of its extrinsic benefits.

 

From the inside, though, the two things are very different.

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ryn2
3 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

But if you do The Thing because it means get to have Something Else by doing The Thing, you want to do The Thing, in effect.

The key phrase here is “in effect.”

 

In the first case, you desire the thing.  In the second case, the thing is the hurdle you must jump to get the effects you actually desire.

 

To the outside observer who desires having the thing done, the why of your doing it doesn’t matter because the end result is the same.

 

The reason it’s an issue with sex seems to be that, at least for some sexuals, people don’t just want the result.  They want to attain the result with someone else who desires the thing that gets you there.

 

It’s like a boss who believes the work should be a true calling and labor of love for the workers.

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Telecaster68
3 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

From the inside, though, the two things are very different.

Surely the only difference is enthusiasm level, and whether there's some 'pure' wanting.

 

Most runners say it hurts, even when they're in the 'I love running for its own sake' school. They would prefer it not to hurt, but they want the high or whatever. They want to run, nevertheless.

 

I can't think of wanting something where there's no downside that you take into account. Chocolate. Exercise. Sex. Money. 

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Telecaster68
2 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

They want to attain the result with someone else who desires the thing that gets you there.

That's presuming the result is orgasm. It isn't. The result is intimacy.

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ryn2
1 minute ago, Telecaster68 said:

That's presuming the result is orgasm. It isn't. The result is intimacy.

It’s not presuming anything specific; just that there’s something you as a sexual directly/intrinsically enjoy sex for.

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gaogao

Hmm this discussion reminds me of my brother. He is allergic to seafood but he loves it and misses it all the time. I seriously hate the taste of cooked seafood and don't want to eat anything that has that fishy taste, but I'm not allergic.

 

If we go to a restaurant with a set menu with my family, he chooses all the non-seafood things and lets them know that he's allergic. I just sort of tag along and say "I'll have what he's having" and eat the same menu as him - even though I'm not allergic. 

 

It's one of the saddest and most ironic things ever. The result is the same because we're both choosing the non-seafood menu, but what's going on inside is very different?

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ryn2
3 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Surely the only difference is enthusiasm level, and whether there's some 'pure' wanting.

From the outside observer’s perspective, yes (and perhaps not even that).  On the inside it’s the difference between really looking forward to something and really looking forward to having it done with.

 

5 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Most runners say it hurts, even when they're in the 'I love running for its own sake' school. They would prefer it not to hurt, but they want the high or whatever. They want to run, nevertheless.

Tom Hiddleston is a good example of what I mean here.  When he’s interviewed about his running, his whole face lights up.  He goes on and on about how running is just like dancing forward rather than dancing in place.  I’d have to guess that he’s suffered pain and gotten injured but he never mentions that.  He doesn’t even talk about health benefits.  He just gushes about dancing forward.

 

It’s very different than hearing someone talk about having taken up running for extrinsic gain.

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ryn2
4 minutes ago, gaogao said:

Hmm this discussion reminds me of my brother. He is allergic to seafood but he loves it and misses it all the time. I seriously hate the taste of cooked seafood and don't want to eat anything that has that fishy taste, but I'm not allergic.

 

If we go to a restaurant with a set menu with my family, he chooses all the non-seafood things and lets them know that he's allergic. I just sort of tag along and say "I'll have what he's having" and eat the same menu as him - even though I'm not allergic. 

 

It's one of the saddest and most ironic things ever. The result is the same because we're both choosing the non-seafood menu, but what's going on inside is very different?

Yes, exactly!  To the chef who wants to sell you the expensive oysters that will be going bad tomorrow it’s all the same but to you and your brother it couldn’t be much more different.

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Philip027
24 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

But if you do The Thing because it means get to have Something Else by doing The Thing, you want to do The Thing, in effect.

Key words.  Hint: it's not the same.

 

Again, pretty much every sexual in a mixed relationship with an ace who at least attempted to conpromise sexually should be able to pick up on said difference.

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Telecaster68

It's not the same, but that doesn't mean the asexual doesn't want to have sex. Assuming they have mental capacity, they've consented, they want to have sex. They might want it differently, but that's clearly different to 'not wanting to have sex'.

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gaogao
1 minute ago, ryn2 said:

Yes, exactly!  To the chef who wants to sell you the expensive oysters that will be going bad tomorrow it’s all the same but to you and your brother it couldn’t be much more different.

Eugh, oysters. They are so gross they make me gag ;_;

 

That also reminds me of another parallel. Before my brother discovered his seafood allergy, my parents used to buy oysters "as a treat". I had to choke them down because my parents thought it was rude for me to refuse the expensive oysters they bought. I had to eat them, to make my family happy and not waste their money.

 

My brother ate them because he liked them.

 

Now he can't eat them anymore so my parents don't buy them and thank fucking god I never need to swallow oysters like that ever again.

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ryn2
25 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

This is devolving into the usual AVEN dichotomy about whether there's some kind of platonic pure version of something (especially motivation), or whether life is mixed up, uncertain, and complex.

Only because some sexuals have strongly stated that doing the Thing without intrinsic motivation is not good enough and is in some cases worse than not doing it at all... and that better acting is an unacceptable solution.

 

Perhaps what makes sex different is that (unlike a lot of the examples we’ve discussed here) one of the desired results is a level of closeness that typically requires complete honesty on the part of all participants to achieve.  That’s not generally true of exercise, work, and the like.

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ryn2
3 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

It's not the same, but that doesn't mean the asexual doesn't want to have sex. Assuming they have mental capacity, they've consented, they want to have sex. They might want it differently, but that's clearly different to 'not wanting to have sex'.

Consent is agreement to have sex.  It has nothing to do with wanting to have sex.

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Telecaster68
2 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Consent is agreement to have sex.  It has nothing to do with wanting to have sex.

But on some level they do want to have sex, or they wouldn't have consented, short of threats of physical force. 

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