Autism and Casual Sex (M22)
I’m not really sure how to word any of this properly so I’m hoping this all will make sense to someone out there. Hell, I’m not sure if this is the appropriate place to post this, but here goes.
So I’m pretty “late” to the party here (M22), but I finally feel comfortable with myself to start exploring this whole thing I’ve been missing out on. As the title may suggest, I’m autistic, but I hide it very well. My problem with it is that I cannot for the life of me hold a steady flowing conversation, nor can I pickup what seems to be extremely obvious cues whether it be social or sexual. It really is a bummer since I’m hoping to explore my sexuality and preferences, but find it extremely difficult to start the process of finding and establishing either a ONS or a FWB.
I think what I’m trying to ask is what I could do on my end to overcome some of these obstacles. What should I be looking out for in my case, if anything? How do I even bring up the topic without being creepy about it? Besides rules 1 and 2, how can I prepare myself to enter an environment where this can occur? Would being autistic be a turn off for some people if they notice I have it?
I apologize again is this is hard to read. I just don’t really know how to deal with this issue I have. Thank you in advance.
adishforashes: I’m on the spectrum and I didn’t start having sex until I was 25. I find it difficult to navigate how to form sexual relationships with peope. I’ve found that finding FWB or ONS on platforms (tinder, okc, even reddit) where others are looking for the same thing to be the easiest because it’s direct and not camoflauged. Also, I don’t think your ONS or FWB needs to know that you’re autistic, unless it’s something you want to share with them!
CowboyBoats: Meeting partners is a challenge – I don’t think I have anything that’s going to completely blow your mind, but just a few thoughts to share.
> As the title may suggest, I’m autistic, but I hide it very well.
You don’t have to consider this “hiding it”; your internal characteristics are not the business of every person you ever bump into, or even make friends with. You didn’t have to tell us, although I’m glad you did since it seems central to your question.
> My problem with it is that I cannot for the life of me hold a steady flowing conversation
People enjoy all sorts of conversational rhythms, you know. Not everybody expects you to be Stephen Fry or some phenomenally talented conversationalist, especially at 22. It’s perfectly cool to just hang out with someone, just chatting about whatever comes to mind, even with intermittent silences. (I wish more non-autistic people would get this lesson, actually).
> nor can I pickup what seems to be extremely obvious cues whether it be social or sexual.
Don’t feel bad; that is a common problem. Hints are not really a very good strategy if you want to hit on someone, for exactly that reason. You can be respectful and straightforward: “I like your face and I’d like to kiss you.”
> How do I even bring up the topic without being creepy about it?
The topic of sexual activity, you mean? Bringing it up in a way that seems “out of the blue” will almost always be perceived as creepy. In my experience, there’s a pretty hard-and-fast, unspoken rule, even among fairly sexually libertine people, that most in-person hookups tend to begin with making out before the possibility of sex is discussed or even acknowledged.
> Besides rules 1 and 2, how can I prepare myself to enter an environment where this can occur?
Relax, be your (best) self, and most importantly, come to an agreement with yourself that it’s not going to upset you if you don’t manage to meet anyone that night. If you walk in without any sense of entitlement, and without feeling some desperate need for a girl (or whoever) to talk to you, people will be able to sense that and you will seem much more attractive than someone who comes off as needy or desperate.
> Would being autistic be a turn off for some people if they notice I have it?
This is just a guess, but I doubt it. I suspect that anyone who’s going to be turned off automatically by the concept of autism is probably going to be the last person to be able to recognize it in the wild.
adaava: Just learn how to express what you want, explicitly, in an attractive way – that’s what has worked for me. To be honest I think a lot of the “subtleness” people try for in seduction just comes from fear of rejection and embarrassment of saying things out loud. I don’t think relying on “cues” people may or may not be giving you is good practice in general, but it certainly isn’t if you can’t read people well/quickly.
Meeting a woman for sex can be straightforward. If you prefer meeting people in person, ask a woman, maybe a friend of a friend (or someone you know from some common activity) if she’s single, then if she’d like to get drinks with you. Be friendly and straightforward, and learn to take rejection well. Being cool with what the person wants pays off, because that’s how you meet other people. If a woman isn’t into you but you’re real cool about that (and keep treating her the way you always have), she might think of you next time her girlfriend is looking for a date. Online dating is also really great for people who prefer straightforwardness. Don’t send messages like, “Hey babe wanna fuck”. Just write in your profile that you’re not looking for a serious relationship right now because of your busy schedule (for example), and that you’re just looking for people you click with to have a good time with, who ideally are in the same position. This clearly means sex, but comes across as more genuine and mature, which is exactly what women looking for casual sex are looking for in a profile.
As for autism turning people off in conversations and stuff – I don’t think that has to be true, although again, you have to frame it a certain way. Don’t fumble around trying to read people. Just learn to be comfortable expressing what you want and asking what the other person wants. E.g. ask a woman out for drinks. (If she accepts, she’s probably interested and in any case shouldn’t be surprised when you hit on her.) At the bar, hang out for a bit and (if you two seem to click) mention pretty quickly that you aren’t looking for a serious thing, but enjoy her company. Compliment her. If you tend to come across as shy or rude, mention it and crack a joke about it or something. Tell her to let you know if you’re making her uncomfortable, that you’d totally back off. After not-too-many drinks (and probably some food and water) ask her if she’d like to come back to your place. If making out is escalating at your place, tell her you want to fuck her and wait for her reaction. If it’s unclear, ask what she wants. If she’s interested in casual sex with you, none of the explicitness I’m describing will be a turn-off – it’ll be a good thing. If she’s not interested, your straightforwardness will let her give a straightforward reply, and allow you to understand the situation without misreading her and becoming pushy/creepy.
Zuberii: So, I am also on the spectrum, and what I find is helpful is just pure honesty. I tell everyone up front that I am autistic, and may need prompting because I have trouble keeping a conversation flowing (unless I’m just info dumping about a topic). I also state my intentions up front (looking for a friend with benefits or what have you).
People aren’t used to this level of directness, and for some just being autistic is a turn off. But this still results in much better success than trying to hide/lie about it, and doesn’t run the risk of them finding stuff out later. You’d be surprised how many people find it refreshing and actually like it. Just being yourself. Then they know exactly what to expect, you can relax and enjoy yourself (which may actually reduce the conversation issues) and things will be more pleasant for everyone.
I also prefer to use online dating apps. Text conversations are more lenient on conversation flow and you can vet potential partners much more efficiently (just unmatch) which helps keep from wasting anyone’s time. It will be a whole lots of misses for every successful matches where you actually hit it off, but that’s really the case for everyone. Nobody is universally attractive. Even the pretty and neurotypical ones strike out a lot once they open their mouth just because there’s SO MUCH difference in people and what they like.
zadlerol: Sex is a social activity, and it would seem like you’re putting the cart before the horse. ONS and FWB might seem like casual endeavors that don’t require emotional intimacy, but they do. People who tell you otherwise are immature and/or lying to themselves. You have to be vulnerable with people, and you have to be comfortable with them and trust them (otherwise the sex is a wasted activity and someone is bound to be disappointed by it).
Also, i’m not sure if you meant it this way, but if you feel like you have to hide your autism from people then you’re not ready to have a sexual relationship with anyone, because you don’t trust them enough with this information.
“Cues” are a formality. A good partner will tell you what they want.
But I would work on the conversation part of your dilemma, not even just for sex. People are social creatures and communication builds relationships; be open, honest and vulnerable. I assume since you’re looking for FWB that you have some friends in mind for this? Just be yourself with them, they’re your friends after all, and if something develops, that’s cool! Otherwise you still have a friend!
yocray: I don’t think the fact that you have autism should be a turnoff for anyone. If you really hide it as well as you say, I doubt anyone will even notice.
civil_lingonberry: I (21F) am borderline autistic / autistic-typical, and this was a big source of frustration early on for me when I was trying to have more casual sex. I probably have it easier overall than you do because men are expected to initiate sex. So if I wanted to, I could probably just wait for a guy to essentially pick me up at a bar and not have to do any work. But that’s not how I like to roll all of the time. I prefer having sex with friends/established acquaintances, and I like initiating sometimes. And eventually I would like to have sex with other women. Still getting up the courage to do that one though (I have a super hard time talking to other women, I have no idea why).
First, I strongly recommend friends with benefits – they are much, much easier to establish than one night stands.
Second, something that helped me personally was just talking to guys as friends, and trying to frame the conversation to myself as a conversation with a potential friend who I wanted to get to know, etc. Thinking of it as something inherently coded sexual made me get nervous and I’d freeze up. And the friendship framing gave me plausible deniability. If someone ends up not being into me that way…I can just (honestly!) say that I am primarily interested in them as a friend. It also gave me time to figure out if I was into someone that way at all, and it gave them a little time to figure out if they were into me.
Finally, I recommend reading ‘PUA’ (pick up artistry) tips on conversation starters, kino escalation, etc. I feel super conflicted about directing you to this because there are some pretty loathsome aspects to PUA culture (namely, sexism!), and that can sometimes come out in the kind of advice they give…but they also have invaluable advice for people who do not pick up naturally on social cues. There are PUA sites that literally break down social interaction and tell you what signs specifically there will be if a woman is interested, what you should do in those situations, how to build connection/attraction specifically, etc. Some things to be on the lookout for, though: “negging” (i.e., giving an insult disguised as a compliment to) girls you want to bang in order to bring down their self-esteem and “freezing out” (basically suddenly becoming cold and denying intimacy to a girl who is making out with you but does not feel ready for sex in order to punish her for not having sex with you/ pressure her into doing it), anything related to “LMR” (last minute resistance – when a woman “resists” sex at the last minute when you thought you had it in the bag). Some of the good stuff: their tips for conversations starters, building attraction, and kino escalation. Just be careful if/when you read this stuff. If something seems like it might be morally problematic, trust your instincts and ignore it. Here are some links.
[http://www.thepuaschool.com/f2m-attract/](http://www.thepuaschool.com/f2m-attract/) (on this page in particular, see the indicators of interest)
Best of luck.
P.S. I recommend not telling your dates that you are autistic unless you trust them very much as a friend and/or they seem super awkward themselves. It seems like a lot of times, if you are just OK at masking it, the people who believe you might start to see your behavior through the lens of exaggerated autistic person stereotypes and get turned off by it. And if you are fantastic at masking it, there will be people who just…don’t believe you.
In general, people will assume that you are NOT autistic if you seem semi-functional – you don’t need to worry about people “noticing.” They will attribute any awkwardness or sensitivity to personal quirks that you happen to have. The only scenarios where someone suspects you are autistic are scenarios where (a) they are autistic themselves or have friends/family on the spectrum (in which case they’ll probably understand!), or (b) you literally start throwing fits or something.