Jump to content
ohmygosh

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

Recommended Posts

ryn2

Using the word “want” to mean a desire to have something accomplished and off your to-do list - “I want to get my flu shot,” “I want to get the dishes done before bed” - is common, fine, okay, and valid.

 

Using it to mean desire itself - “I want another bowl of ice cream so bad,” “I want her so much I can taste it,” - is also common, fine, okay, and valid.

 

The two usages aren’t equivalent, though, so - in settings where people are okay with the latter but not the former - it’s probably better to go with a term that’s less potentially confusing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Philip027

 

16 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'.

Uhh, no, consenting to something absolutely does not inherently mean you want it.

 

I consent to going to the dentist.  It does not mean I want to go to the dentist, because it means a long drive, a long wait in a boring office, often some degree of discomfort and pain, and other sorts of related things that make the experience overall unpleasurable.  But it means I'll probably keep my teeth.  That's the thing I want.  If I somehow could get that in a simpler, easier, less painful manner than I would with going to the dentist, the dentist would get kicked to the fucking curb, because I don't want to go to the dentist.  See the difference yet?

 

Also, imo someone that "wants" to have sex with you (general "you") isnt ace in the first place.  That to me is the very thing that makes someone sexual, not ace.  In all likelihood, what the ace actually wants is not the sex, but rather to keep you happy (or keep the relationship).  A sexual person would legitimately want the sex, no strings attached.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
5 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

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

That depends on what you mean by “want” which is what makes it a poor word choice for this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
1 minute ago, Philip027 said:

 

Uhh, no, consenting to something absolutely does not inherently mean you want it.

 

I consent to going to the dentist.  It does not mean I want to go to the dentist, because it means a long drive, a long wait in a boring office, often some degree of discomfort and pain, and other sorts of related things that make the experience overall unpleasurable.  But it means I'll probably keep my teeth.  That's the thing I want.

 

Also, imo someone that "wants" to have sex with you (general "you") isnt ace in the first place.  That to me is the very thing that makes someone sexual, not ace.

Good example of what I meant above, Tele...

 

This usage of “want” in this case always has a (sometimes unspoken) qualifier. I want to go to the dentist because...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MrDane

“Do you want to have sex tonigth?”

”what!?”

”sorry, what I meant was: I could really like having sex with you tonigth. I know it is not a desire of yours and would probably require some mental preparation and accepting loss of (not that much!) sleep or postponing the next netflix-episode”

”oh, I see!” 

(Looong pause. No response)

“Are you okay with us having sex tonigth?”

”well, yeah, kind of...!”

”would it make you happier, if we didnt or do you think you migth actually enjoy it, once past the awkwardness and discomfort?”

”I think, I migth bring myself to enjoying giving and perhaps even some of the touching and getting touched. Expect closure on certain things. And can we not waste to much time on the infligth?”

”so...? A quickie, where we both get a little bit of adult intimacy? And lowering my expectations to almost be a help with masturbating! And if I touch you, then you let me know if it is no-go?!”

”?”

”let me rephrase. You say stop, and I will immidiately stop. No grudging. If you move my hands, I wont put them back! I will be ever so happy, if this is one of those times, where we can share a good, intimate time. If it is just for me, then I know that you did it out of love. If it isnt going to be, then I know you tried out of love and understanding.”

”ok”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

Fine. Let us declare that ambiguity and ambivalence simply don't exist.

 

Maybe a better way to put it is that there are things we want in the short term and things we want in the long term, and sometimes one outweighs the other.

 

I simply can't accept that short of a direct threat, choosing to do something doesn't mean that in some way, even with reservations or ambivalence, we don't want to do it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anisotrophic
1 hour ago, ryn2 said:

This usage of “want” in this case always has a (sometimes unspoken) qualifier. I want to go to the dentist because...

Another qualifier (in the other direction) is "an asexual does not intrinsically want sex"? I empathize with @Telecaster68 being dissatisfied with language that seems to exclude the "because" version (if that's what he's being). When trying to reach a new equilibrium with my partner, it felt like he was supposed to reject asexuality if he wanted to assure me it's okay to ask for sex. I don't feel so sensitive to the semantics now...

(Tangentially sad this morning as he affirmed sex once every six months is basically the same as 1-2 times a week for him... which is not a surprise, and I know I shouldn't be sad or feel "rejected". I'm still working on the incorrect emotional response, it still rears its head sometimes.)

And 😂 thank you @MrDane, it is so real! 😆 I do feel loved, I'll remember that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
alibali
1 hour ago, ryn2 said:

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

Exactly, when I "wanted" and consented to have sex it had nothing whatever to do with a desire to have sex.  It was my choice, whether that was positively: curiosity, a loving act, to procreate, or negatively: to try and keep the relationship going, because I felt I ought to, felt guilty etc....

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IronHamster
5 minutes ago, alibali said:

Exactly, when I "wanted" and consented to have sex it had nothing whatever to do with a desire to have sex.  It was my choice, whether that was positively: curiosity, a loving act, to procreate, or negatively: to try and keep the relationship going, because I felt I ought to, felt guilty etc....

I don't think anyone should have sex just to keep the relationship going.  If someone truly loves their partner they should want them to have the best, and that includes the best sexual experiences.   You can't be the best at something you have no real interest in no matter what that is.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

Honestly, I'm not even thinking about this in relation to sex, just the logic and semantics.

 

Another angle to come at it from: my inner child might really not want to go to the dentist because of potential pain. My inner adult does, because it means keeping all my teeth. I go to the dentist. Is it more meaningful to say I don't want to go to the dentist, or I do want to?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anisotrophic
15 minutes ago, alibali said:

It was my choice, whether that was positively: curiosity, a loving act, to procreate, or negatively: to try and keep the relationship going, because I felt I ought to, felt guilty etc....

It really helps me, as a partner, to know it can be a positive act! Without being sex being desired in itself. :) Stumbling over the semantics, on my part, has been about how to describe that state.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Philip027
15 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Another angle to come at it from: my inner child might really not want to go to the dentist because of potential pain. My inner adult does, because it means keeping all my teeth. I go to the dentist. Is it more meaningful to say I don't want to go to the dentist, or I do want to?

It's probably most meaningful to say "this shit fucking sucks but I'd rather keep my teeth"

 

I don't know anyone, even adults, who say they want/enjoy/[any other positive descriptor here] about going to the dentist, even though (at least) the adults still know why they're doing it anyway.  I think that's a pretty normal sentiment amongst dentistgoers, frankly.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68
Just now, Philip027 said:

It's probably most meaningful to say "this shit fucking sucks but I'd rather keep my teeth"

You could actually admit I've got a point rather than sidestep it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Philip027

My point was that

 

- both of your options sucked as far as "meaningfulness" goes (focusing on whether you "want" the dentist visit or not, which is apparently vague and open to semantics)

- I instead offered a third, superior one (a clear, unambiguous statement that represents both your opinion of dentistry and your slavery to it, without any vagueness or interpretation)

 

To me though, in my mind at least, your situation is perfectly clear.  The want is for keeping your teeth, not for the dentist visit.

 

You can extrapolate from that if you wish and say that by extension, it means you "want" the dentist visit, but I see it as needlessly introducing ambiguity and it's probably going to just earn you quizzical looks, seeing as how I have never met anyone else who says they want to go to the dentist; most people will actively proclaim they don't want it.  Maybe some that say they *need* to visit one (like, if they're overdue, or need an extraction or root canal or something) but I've never heard want.  "Need" in this case carries the strong implication of "I really don't want to, but I know it's for my own good"

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

I simply can't accept that short of a direct threat, choosing to do something doesn't mean that in some way, even with reservations or ambivalence, we don't want to do it.

 

The extrinsic piece is the threat.

 

If I don’t work out, I will get fat.  If I don’t go to the dentist I will suffer intense pain and my teeth will fall out.  If I don’t work I won’t get paid .  If I don’t save for retirement I will end up homeless.  If I don’t have sex my partner will be depressed.  If I don’t have sex my partner will leave me.

 

The italics are all threats.  They may not be explicit threats made by someone outloud at the time but they are implied (justifiably or not) and factor into consent.

 

Even with an explicit threat, we agree to do the thing because the result of not doing it is something we perceive as worse than the thing itself.

 

We want not to face the negative consequences.  We want to do the thing because (the qualifier) that keeps us from facing the negative consequences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2

I don’t know why the font size is weird but on my phone I can’t fix it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
1 hour ago, anisotropic said:

Another qualifier (in the other direction) is "an asexual does not intrinsically want sex"?

Agreed.  The asexual is always going to want (“want”) sex because [benefit, avoided cost, etc.].

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
1 hour ago, MrDane said:

 

“Do you want to have sex tonigth?”

 

Unfortunately for those of you who are sexuals with ace partners, part of being in a mixed relationship means adjusting to the fact that this particular question will never get the reaction you probably hope.  It’s either going to get a lie (delivered with varying degrees of enthusiasm, mock sincerity, carefully-schooled facial expression, etc., depending on the personality, ethical code, skill, and mood of the ace partner) or some honest variant of “no.”

 

Like any other chore, lovingly performed or otherwise, the better question is some flavor of “can we have sex today?”  Also like any other chore, if you’re in a good place with one another, it’s okay to slip, say “want,” and then catch yourself and laughingly add “well, maybe want is the wrong word but you know what I mean.”

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
alibali
1 hour ago, IronHamster said:

I don't think anyone should have sex just to keep the relationship going.  If someone truly loves their partner they should want them to have the best, and that includes the best sexual experiences.   You can't be the best at something you have no real interest in no matter what that is.  

Well asexuals can't provide the best, they can just do their best. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2

...part of that is because someone asking “do you want to wash the dishes while I deal with the cat’s litter box?” isn’t really asking the same question as a sexual person asking “do you want to have sex?”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Philip027

I get that sort of thing a lot with my partner when it comes to the subject of sleep.

 

>evening, one of us yawns

>"aww, do you wanna head to bed?"

>"I don't WANT to... (but I should)"

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
Just now, Philip027 said:

I get that sort of thing a lot with my partner when it comes to the subject of sleep.

 

>evening, one of us yawns

>"aww, do you wanna head to bed?"

>"I don't WANT to... (but I should)"

Yeah, if you’re in a place where you can joke about it it’s less of a Big Awful Thing.  But that’s probably difficult and painful for someone who feels personally rejected by the “I just stepped in a hairball!” look that flashed across their ace partner’s face...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anisotrophic
5 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

the better question is some flavor of “can we have sex today?”

Oh, +1000.

I don't think I've asked it the wrong way since... idk... when we realized what asexuality was.

I can't see the downside, unless you're trying to set yourself up for a negative response?? If your partner isn't ace, it's not going to turn them ace.

re "the best sex" prostitutes can be great at sex, and it's not because they're attracted to their customers. my partner is better than most sexual partners I've had, one could speculate that's because he's only doing it for me?

I love joking about it. "OK! I'm done! Does anyone want to make out with me??" Him: "Very funny. :)" (See, I know using "want" is a joke. Then I laugh and hug him and do some other stuff.)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anthracite_Impreza

I was expecting a big argument about autism, I am relieved :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Philip027

I feel like I've been taking the reins in exercising my own little definition debate in this thread and I am on the autism spectrum and it's quite possible that I'm being so headstrong about this partly because of that, so you could technically make the argument that it's still a big debate about autism... sorta.

 

To be honest, I'm surprised a mod hasn't come in here to tell me to shut up and stay on topic yet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

In retrospect, a thread about autism is probably not the best place to argue that a word about emotions is ambiguous and heavily dependent on context. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Philip027

Hence my surprise.  Mods have cracked down on topics for far less than this, imo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anisotrophic

Back on the topic, sort of, yes an increased % of ASD identify as ace (particularly women). But as always, it's correlations and self-identifications, it's segments of demographics.

At some point I searched the net for ways to control libido (pretty sure this is standard allo-partner behavior, hah), and ran across this thread about controlling female libido in some autism forums. But it might actually be consistent with libido but not wanting to bother with partnered sex. https://wrongplanet.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=87436

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Janus DarkFox

The romantic dating with or without sex and the world of work, though Autism is not a barrier to physical ability to work or to have sex, the social non-verbal/written rules that dictates a local culture is often a significant barrier to wants or desires.  Plenty of autistics will excel without this barrier, while others of course can't due to the neurological implications or associated co-morbidities with a range of physical and mental illness/disabilities that may make either impossible, or even neither couldn't possibly be understood, even if given explicit sex-ed or work skills awareness.

 

The social world could completely shut out people of doing either or both, regardless of actual want or desire of either.  I know Autistic that are really "into" their sex or work to the point it is nothing else they think or function away from.  Often the want or desire for either, is often tied into sociality, rather than the work subject matter or desire for sex itself.  Both proven in a medical context, one more than the other of course required to be proven in a medical court of law for disability benefit access.

 

Neither sex or the desire for work exists within myself due to the severity of autistic symptoms with co-morbid related physical and mental illness/disabilities, the mechanics of a job means work placements cannot insure my own physical safety as well as the safety from social exploitation.  Like sex my enthusiasm and intrigue for specific areas relating to the Information and Business data systems to the computing world, leads to areas of intrigue for say, data in a betting shop to AVEN's own forum structures technically, right down to the socio-political system at play its and any system involving people with varying roles and powers.

 

Indeed dating, though rather unconventional because the BF is learning disabled anyway, likes dating if sex is not on the table, dating usually means a movie, though love the company rather than most of anything else, there's also the exposure of the cinematic system as well, the tech and computer systems behind the projectors and the business ticket and food sales along with differences between different cinemas, all because of the frequent exposure to that dating ritual we have.

 

Sex between us is often risky due to physical problems, lack of libido, lack of many things, the BF is understanding if I couldn't have sex due to reasons.  His own libido is low though higher than mine, both of us share the same fetishises, likes his boys as girls like me hmm..... Quite a lot like me in a lot of ways and circumstances, like have no concept of money, time or the world of work due to the same learning disabilities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
uhtred

I think that asexuality combined with any lack of ability to sense emotions in others is a misery-inducing combination.

 

An asexual person who is sensitive to others will recognize the problems in a mixed relationship, and either end it or find some accommodation. 

 

An asexual person who is not sensitive will never really understand what is going on. They will be happy, and unable to understand how someone else is unhappy in the same situation.   They will likely see their sexual partner as selfish and unreasonable since their partners desires  / wishes simply don't make sense to them. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...