You think it would be really fun to have sex with me. Because, I think you can tell from my posts, I’ll do anything. But maybe you can also tell from my posts that it’s a little bit weird. Because you know that I’ll say anything, too, but sometimes, I make you cringe.

I think I’m that way in bed, too.

This post is about work. And sex, which are two of the essential areas of life one needs to be able to function in before you can feel like a normal adult. And both sex and work are governed by a set of rules that many people are able to learn just by being in the world.

Asperger Syndrome compromises one’s ability to read nonverbal social cues. A simple example of this deficit is answering the question, “How are you?” It is loaded with so many nonverbal issues that I simply freeze. Even if you tell me, “Just say fine,” sometimes the situation looks special to me, and I can’t figure out why it’s special, so I can’t talk.

So I’ve spent my life teaching myself the rules for what to do in each social situation. I study people, make notes for myself, and then test the notes to see what other situations my notes apply to. To get a sense of how awkward this looks, here’s a video that is supposed to be a parody of people with Asperger’s interacting with each other. But my family has such a high proportion of people with Asperger’s that this video, honestly, is not far from what our life is like.

In my experience, the places with the most rules are work and sex. So, you can teach yourself the process of becoming better at work by applying the process of learning the rules about dating and sex. And vice versa. I, for example, am great at work rules and terrible at sex rules. So I teach myself using the reverse mechanism.

1. You can tell you need help if you are not having fun.
When I think about my sexual history, I think it is me basically not understanding that there are rules.

In college, where most people are experimenting with the rules of sex, I was missing them. Maybe because I was raised by my grandma, I honestly believed that if you had sex, it meant you were getting married. So I lost my virginity to a guy who said he’d marry me.

And on that day, I had no idea how sex worked. I don’t know why I had not bothered to find out.

He was propped up on his arms when he couldn’t find my vagina with his penis, so he said, “Put me inside.”

I said, “What?”

“Inside you. Use your hand.”

“I don’t know where the hole is.”

“What? Are you kidding me?”

“There are a lot of holes down there. I don’t know which one is for sex.”

“You are so stupid.”

He eventually put his penis in. He said, “Am I in?”

I said, “I don’t know.”

Then he came. And I returned to doing homework.

2. If you can start by pretending it feels right, eventually it will feel right.
After college I posed nude to make money. A guy who paid a lot of money for a shoot looked at me for one second and said that I’m too uptight to be good. Another guy did soft-focus for Penthouse. I signed a release. He told me to undress, showed me a dressing room, and gave me a robe. I said, “I don’t need this,” and I undressed right in front of him.

“What should I do?”

“Lay down, and enjoy yourself.”

“Enjoy myself? Do you have a book I could read?”

“No, I’m going to take pictures now. I mean you should masturbate.”

I didn’t know what to do. I only need one finger to move one inch back and forth to masturbate. He wouldn’t see it. I told him I thought all the other women were faking it for him because masturbation is not visual.

“Okay. Can you fake it for me?” he said.

I tried, and then we both agreed that I couldn’t. So I left.

3. Surround yourself with people who can effectively guide you through rules.
I tried having lesbian sex. I answered an ad. Picture her: The professional ballet dancer who had just quit, and to celebrate, she got breast implants. And me, the aspiring professional beach volleyball player.

She spent the whole evening talking about how smart I am and how many books I’ve read and how strong I am.

I spent the whole evening talking about how hot she is.

I did not realize that this exchange meant that I had to be the aggressor in bed.

I said, “Are we going to kiss now? We can’t do this whole date and not kiss.”

She said, “I need you to seduce me.”

I said, “What? Are you kidding? Just take your clothes off. How are we going to have sex if we keep putting it off?”

She said, “It’s not like that. There has to be a game or something.”

I said, “Okay. You do the game. What should we do?”

She pouted. I did not realize it was part of the game.

I told her that we were really ineffective together and I thought we needed some guy there with us to run the show. We never did that. We never did anything.

4. If you don’t learn the rules for navigating, life gets boring and repetitive.
I am fast-forwarding through things that are largely repetitive of the above situations. For example, there was the guy who asked me out while I was an arbitrage clerk at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He was on the phones, picking up orders, and I’d stand in the British Pound pit, flashing hand signals to him to tell him what was bid and offer. He’d flash back a hand signal like, buy ten at twenty. Then he started using other sorts of hand signals (open-outcry hand-signals are way more than just market indicators, believe me.) He flashed the sign for do you want to have lunch (spooning food into mouth for “eat” coupled with pretending to break something between your hands, for “break”). I went.

We dated. To get rid of him, I told him I was a lesbian and I only wanted to date him if there could be another woman there, too. That didn’t just make him pursue me with more fervor. It made the whole trading floor pursue me. And I had no idea why.

Notice how there’s one theme here: I have no idea how other people think about sex.

5. Do not get obsessively sidetracked by things that do not require social interaction.
So then I get married. The first time. We both have Asperger’s. We both like reading about sex, but having it is more traumatic. He would not go down on me, so I started writing obsessively about his not going down on me. Like the time he told me he couldn’t do it because he had a toothache.

We had sex, but he didn’t like that it was messy, and I liked writing about it better than doing it.

We had sex two times in six years after we had a kid. And I got pregnant both times because I have studied my ovulation since I was 24, and I’m an ace at sticking my finger up my vagina and 1) gauging how open my cervix is and 2) pulling out some mucus on my finger and checking to see how elastic it is.

Even now I can’t help getting excited about ovulation. Go to the bathroom right now and check your cervical mucus. It’s fascinating. If it’s elastic you are ovulating. I can peg my ovulation to the hour if I check every half-hour, which I can do because I can stick my hand in my vagina anywhere—even in a job interview, if the person leaves the room to get some water. So that’s why I was able to have a kid (and a miscarriage) only having sex two times.

6. Rules never stop coming at you, they just get infinitely more nuanced.
And now, here I am with the farmer.

At this point, sex should be low pressure for me. I am one of the one percent of women who can have an orgasm just by thinking about having an orgasm. I’m not sure why this is. Maybe because my mom taught me to do Kegel exercises before I even got my first period. I can orgasm ten times before the guy has one.

But the nonverbal cues you do to get to the sex really stress me out. It seems like a dance. When you date, there’s the official dance date you do, which I can handle. I’ve been dating enough to know you do dinner, talk, go to someone’s house, move close, kiss, lay down, get close to sex, go to bed. That’s the dance. I know where we are and what’s coming next.

But if you’re married, there’s no dance. You are just there, in bed. So the dance becomes a micro dance. There are little cues you give the other person, a careful touch in a spot you don’t usually touch, a kiss that is a kiss that means this-is-not-a-goodnight-kiss, a pointed question like, did the kids fall asleep? These are tiny cues that have to come with other, tiny cues.

I tell the farmer, “I can’t take it. The subtle stuff. It’s too much. Just tell me you want to have sex.”

So a day went by, and he did that. He said, “I want to have sex.”

I said, “Okay.”

Then I said, “Hold it. This isn’t fun. There needs to be something else.”

So we went back to the dance. And I tried to pay close attention to nonverbal cues and then respond with the appropriate nonverbal cue.

Sometimes I can do that. Like if I take a Xanax. But a lot of times, he gives one nonverbal cue, like breathing warm and wet next to my ear. And I curl up in a ball.

I curl up in a ball and tell him I’m too anxious to have sex. Even after we have had sex hundreds of times. I still do it. At first he couldn’t believe it. But then he saw that I don’t know left and right, really, and my math skills end, largely, at third grade, and I am an idiot savant when it comes to memorizing statistics about Gen Y tendencies at work. So now he’s learned to believe anything. And he has learned that the only way to get me uncurled is to talk to me.

He does facts. He says what he’s doing with his hands, what he is feeling, what we will do, what I have done, he tries to stick to facts. And he narrates his movements as he goes. And he does not expect me to move or speak, until I’ve heard enough verbal cues to get back in the game.

Sometimes, when the farmer was dumping me, and people were saying, how can you stick with him? I would say, “He’s so good in bed.” And now you know what I mean.

260 replies
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  1. Lee Reynolds
    Lee Reynolds says:

    I think that Asperger’s is a lot like ADD.  A real condition that some people truly suffer from, but that a whole lot more people pretend to have as an excuse to avoid dealing with their own bullshit.

    Also, if one goes into a career where they spend vast amounts of time and mental energy focusing on things that do not have a social component, their social skills are going to take a hit.  Doesn’t mean they are borderline autistic, It just means they need to get out more.

    Most people are so easy to read that even when they try to conceal their emotions and intentions, they cannot.  The few who really are good at concealment tend to be people you can’t trust because they are usually up to no good.  When it comes to social situations, there no “rules,” only an understanding of what the other person is thinking and feeling.  If someone truly cannot experience what others are feeling and perceive their state of mind, then I’ve no idea what could possibly help them.  I only know that trying to come up with a set of rules, an algorithm for navigating social situations – won’t help.  People aren’t deterministic.

  2. PepeLePew
    PepeLePew says:

    Me either (uf…recovering breath).

    Chem, so sad you actually can’t get satisfaction, seems to me that whoever fall asleep did some job at least and enjoy it.

    What?… what do you want the guy after enjoy himself his part of the sex? make a pancake? is his ENTIRELY …job (???) or obligation to make YOU have an orgasm???, aren’t two sex partners there???…

    …but you take too long to understand your part of the business; no, you don’t have to rebuild Egypt pyramid, or some…weird witch poison with two thousand ingredients and old books, to still get a prince out of a frog…. IT’S A FROG godd#mmit!

    It is a simple act that any animal (yep, that animal you call men, too) know, SO EASILY do it and enjoy every single time. Yep

    Please, don’t let me even start trolling here…

    It is sad actually that we (men) get so easily to orgasm and women are so stressed about it, looping around some social…spaghetti in their head.
     
    Really, I wish you can ‘get YOUR job done’ like us, 1,2,3.

    Many married couples would keep married if this happen if you gals.

    Ok ok, I teach you gals how, but, pay attention:

    ….just….

    .. don’t think about it!!!!,

    because, there is nothing to think about it!!!. 

    Why you can’t understand you are so beautiful just, naked!  You know?

    ‘Ohhhh…he is not following the rules of seduction…’    ….don’t…or “I’ll make you cringe”

    (Sight…)  It is in your gene…

  3. Ellen Moody
    Ellen Moody says:

    I don’t mean to insult you but I don’t believe much of this, e.g., the business about how you get pregnant so quickly or can have an orgasm on self-command. At any rate, I have many Aspergers traits and for what it’s worth I am very unlike this.

  4. Graham Stoney
    Graham Stoney says:

    Fascinating post; thanks for sharing it. I’d like to challenge you on something though: Consider the possibility that you don’t actually have Aspergers. And neither does anyone else. It’s just a label our society applies to very intelligent people who haven’t been taught good social or emotional mastery skills. If a significant proportion of your family “had Aspergers”, then you had poor role models from whom you learned your social and emotional skills. I teach men how to be more confident, and these skills are a big part of it so I know they can be taught.

    The anxiety you feel and the need for the Xanax is a clue that, like many people in Western society, you haven’t yet learned the skill of emotional mastery. It’s not your fault, and there’s nothing wrong with you. Rather than looking at a set of arbitrary rules for social interactions, consider social skills as bundle of knowledge about relating to people that you just missed out on learning as a kid. When you learn to master social skills, your emotions and the skill of empathy, you’ll find less need to label yourself as having Aspergers. Then who would you be?

    Cheers,
    Graham

  5. shreena
    shreena says:

    I completely identify with all of this.  I can come across as a pervert to people because a) I read/watch so much to do with sex and b) I don’t know where the boundary is when you’re talking to people about it.  And then by contrast when it comes to the real act of having sex I don’t know what to do…I mean I know on paper what to do, and I know all the weird positions and kinks and dirty talk, but *I* don’t know what to *do*.  And there’s so much adventurous stuff I want to do, and I have this image of me being sexually confident, to the extent that I’m really jealous of promiscuous girls, pornstars, and prostitutes.  

    And then there’s that stupid fucking dance you mentioned.  How can I get from here to there with all that social bullshit in the way?!

    There’s so little out there about adult autistic women, let alone how they experience relationships (most of the things I read talk about how great it is that someone can hold down a job or speak two words to another people, and don’t mention anything emotional.  I mean, we might not act like it, but we do feel, intensely).  So thank you so much for writing this.

  6. Lenny
    Lenny says:

    Maybe it’s just my personal tendencies, but I can’t touch myself down there. Much less read about someone else doing it to check mucus without vomiting.

  7. Carrie
    Carrie says:

    Penelope, this is an amazing and personal post, thank you for sharing. I’ve tried to research Aspergers online, but most of what I found says its just beginning to be researched.

    I’ve been dating my boyfriend for three years now. My father met his mother at my mother’s funeral. Within five minutes, my father told me my boyfriend’s mother had mild Aspergers, and that my boyfriend probably had it too. My father was a psychology major in college, and went on to become a lawyer.

    How do you find out if you have Aspergers? I’ve looked up basic cues, and I think my Dad may be right, but I’m not certain.

    I appreciate any guidance you can offer.

  8. Dan
    Dan says:

    This chick is hilarious. I stumbled on this from a link on bashing the four hour work week (book I’m reading). Can I get these “blog” things emailed to me when they come out?

    Can one of you creepy followers email me and tell me how. Thanks Dan dpryor@ocnetworking.net.

  9. lisa
    lisa says:

    Hi i have a partner who has aspergers i am expecting his baby how can i help him cope with the changes thats coming he seems to be going backwards and repeating himself and needing constant reasurrance I just dont know how to help him or cope with him now i have a 5yr old daughter from a previous relationship and i need to focus on her and this baby please anyone who has experience on this case could you help

  10. dan g
    dan g says:

    I first found out what sex was around the age of 11 by opening the encyclopedia to a random page. After that, I was passively curious for many years about what relationships and sex would be like, all the while observing how such affected other people’s lives around me. At age 33 I made a decision to try to introduce some of this strange world into my life. I never expected that 99.9% of all women I tried to talk to would be playing some “game” that still makes no sense to me. No matter how I pleaded with them to refrain from engaging in any such games, the number who even had a clue that there could be any other way to behave I could count on the fingers of one hand. After two years of this, I decided I would give up any such pursuits but would not stop talking to anyone I was already talking to. I had already developed strong emotional ties to several women, all of whom considered me “friend material only” and most of those continue to this day. One of those “friend” ties eventually began to monopolize nearly all my attention and still does. I thereby achieved most of what I had ever hoped to achieve from such pursuits, and more, without ever having had sexual intercourse. By limiting myself to nothing more than friendship, I was able to disinvolve myself in the “games” required to meet people for sexual or relationship purposes. From where I sit, nothing on Earth could possibly be worth trying to deal with all that crap. I say: Those who have sex can keep it, and I’ll keep never having it; to each their own. I don’t need it. What I found instead is far better.

    I embrace and respect the fact that some aspies are like me, while others are like Penelope, regardless of gender. My twenty-something “friend” has never had sexual intercourse either, though most people she went to high school with have several kids by now. I’m pushing 40 and I look still older, and out of all the women I talked to, only one past the age of 30 ever even gave me the time of day; the rest were younger. All had major emotional problems and appreciated my sympathetic ear. One whom I actually survived two dates with (more than with anyone else) I have since mentored through several successive relationships over a year and a half, despite never having engaged in such myself, and she appreciates my insight, especially since she’s not aspie herself. She is now sure she has found “the one” and I am confident that she is right. She also tries, without much success, to reciprocate in mentoring me in my dealings with my “friend” mentioned above. My position in everyone’s friend zone is well-earned indeed, despite my often being short or abrupt with people I care about.

    Lastly, I want to speak out against the utter bullshit most of the previous commemters have been spewing, especially the neo-Bettelheimian vitriol about abuse. From what I have seen, maybe nine out of ten autistic women (and yes, autism is clinically indistinguishable from Asperger’s, which is why the term “Asperger Syndrome” will officially pass into history in the USA next year) have experienced some form of sexual abuse in their past, but this is because the condition makes them prime targets, and certainly not vice-versa. Other previous commenters have bickered about whether their fellow commenters and/or Penelope are or are not really autistic. I say it’s really none of their business. Whether the general public accepts it or not, some of us are different in ways most others can never fully understand. It is not a disease or disorder, but merely a deviation from the norm, which is what diversity is all about. I do not believe it’s practical to teach everyone what autism is all about. I instead believe that if you have an autistic friend or relative you genuinely care about, then you already know enough, and if you don’t, then there’s no real point in your knowning anyway. All that’s important is for you to have the capacity to respect others without regard to your perception of whether they respect you or not, since when dealing with autistic people, this perception is highly likely to be wrong.

    Our culture teaches us to trust that perception anyway, while at the same time, most religions teach us to overcome it, some more effectively than others. A majority of autistic people are atheists who lack the capability of understanding any merit to theism. Most of the rest seem to take pride in their theism. I see this divergence as yet another example of the healthy diversity of the human race. All in all, there are no bad people, and there are no good people. There are only people. Generally, people suck, but our responsibility is ourselves not to suck, rather than to concern ourselves with the suckage of others. Can’t we all just get along?

  11. jen
    jen says:

    i know this post is really old.. but in case anyone else sees this site trying to learn about aspergers in themselves or someone they know… i have to say that the parody video (although i understand what they were trying to do) is moving awareness in the wrong direction. Yes they said that they exaggerated the behaviors but the general public does not know enough about asperger’s to get that they are joking. they think this is how people with AS are… and they are but not to that extreme. One of the main reasons people dont know more about it or dont accept it is because it isn’t visible. there is nothing physical to set us apart.. people think we are pretty functional and write us off as weird or simple or difficult or whatever else. people need to be shown how SUBTLE aspergers is or we are just doing more harm than good. – i dont get offended easily and i did find the video funny but only because i already know what to take and not take seriously. it makes me mad because this is exactly what people think of when they think of AS and if you dont act to that extreme you cant possibly have it.

    -a 25 year old female with aspergers.

  12. deila
    deila says:

    I found this very interesting, actually I started following your blog, then I shared your posts with my hubby. He of course found the sex post and read it to me. I have never read about asperger’s. I find it very interesting. When I read this, I was wondering if you have seen the movie “Real Genuis”, there is a girl in it, super intelligent, but now I reflect on her character, talking constantly, and follows the guy into the bathroom, unaware he is uncomfortable… anyway, maybe asperger’s. thanks for sharing your very open thoughts. I homeschool as well. my last son is dyslexic, probably ADD. Hubby is too. Love your blog.

  13. Rich
    Rich says:

    In a long-term relationship, couldn’t you just work out a non-verbal, but not subtle cue. For instance, if he touches you in a particular way, it means he wants to have sex. If you don’t want to, you don’t respond. If you don’t want to have sex, but do want to fool around, you touch him in a particular way. If you do want to have sex, you take off his clothes or grab his penis, depending on if he is already naked.

  14. Daniel
    Daniel says:

    Your #6 doesn’t make any sense. Even the title is weak sauce. They don’t just get more nuanced, there are more of them added almost hourly by the world around you. Not adding at least a few of them day to your routine will make you lazy and slothful unto yourself in more ways than one.

    And a good note to takeaway, listen to your parents and [anchor] friends as much as possible. They’re the goto people who know you the best from birth on.

  15. Tina
    Tina says:

    My mother always taught me… “Go with your gut; if you think that someting’s wrong, then their probably is.”. Now I figure, whether somebody does this emotionally OR logically…it’s just a good rule to remember. :). Thanks for posting, because a lot of these things I don’t know anything about :)

  16. rufus
    rufus says:

    “The farmer”. What a thing to call and publish as the name of the father of your children. I think you have not yet learned the first rule of being a decent human being.

    There is a side to some aspergers that is so cold it is almost scary. I recently met a woman who would make the most overt come- ons, To be followed by the most callous remakes. I was wise enough not to have sex with her. Still, she was at heart I believe a kind person; perhaps made selfish by her wiring but not so callous she would publish a callous remark about the father of her children.

  17. Miranda Roberts
    Miranda Roberts says:

    i think i can relate to this. i too have asperger’s but i also have ADHD and autism spectrum disorder as well. so to the thing about masturbating (forgive me if this sounds TMI) i dont get any arousal from it. so i can kinda relate to this.

  18. Arthur Li
    Arthur Li says:

    What an incredibly beautiful piece! The last 3 paragraphs describes in a personal way what is perhaps the most moving and touching expression of love between two people I have ever read!

  19. Scott
    Scott says:

    When I first read this I misinterpreted what the author was saying. I thought she was mocking the man when she called him “the farmer”. Now I see she actually cares for him and sex isn’t just “getting off’.

    Those who have dealt with an Aspie might bounce between “this person is the most gentle soul I’ve ever met” and “this person has the sensitivity of a concrete block.

    Thanks to the author and Arther Li’s comments for giving me an understanding of these folks.

  20. Scott
    Scott says:

    Your such an incredible writer. The Asperger woman I know has this incredible mind. Truly profound. She can converse on any subject. Yet when she texts me- after much prompting I’m usually at a total loss as to what she is trying to say. Today’s text. “rather sleep planets yours”. At first I thought she would lapse into periods of psychosis and that’s when i would get her texts. But if I call her right after the text she is completely lucid. I couldn’t grasp what the heck was going on.

    So I just got it that I should talk to her and never text. No wonder she was resistant to text in the first place. Duh.

  21. I Want Sex
    I Want Sex says:

    Thank you so much for the great read. I literally spent half an hour on this page. Can’t believe I found it in Google. Now I understand my wife better and I’m sure the read will make my life more easier. Thank again!

  22. james
    james says:

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  23. james
    james says:

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    the past 6 months, I have been so depressed after losing my fiance to
    another woman. My money situation worsened so much that I thought I’d
    have to file for bankruptcy. I had a huge amount of debt and I didn’t
    know what to do. Out of complete and total desperation, I contactedq
    many of those so-called aindividuals who promised powerful magic,
    witchcraft or black magic. None of them worked and none were as
    wonderful, affectionate and warm as Dr.odubu has been. He is definitely
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    hearing about the promises he had to offer. He carries an air of
    purity and divine strength that is as pure as fresh snow on the
    ground. I requested Dr.odubu most powerful spells and I was relieved
    right away that I had someone to solve my problems for me. His spells
    worked wonders and I am now back with my fiance and my money troubles
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  24. Lindsey Compton
    Lindsey Compton says:

    Penelope, thank you for making this post. I have two friends with Asperger’s who are in a serious relationship. They’re having problems with sex and asked for my advice because I’ve studied Sexology. But, I know next to nothing about how autism affects sexuality. I’ve mentioned your blog to them and said that I would ask for your help. Any input you can provide would be very much appreciated. Or if anyone else reading this thinks they could help please feel free to email me. Thanks!

  25. deanb
    deanb says:

    i found myself a girl with asperger. and similiar to your story, i’m a farmer. for now i’m trying to let her be comfortable with me, so i barely do anything to her, she doesnt want to take her clothes off, instead we have really unusual foreplay which we love. i’m open and say to her how i feel about everything between us. i asked her countless times but she never told me what i really mean to her, she just says that she wants me to stay and she wants me to be her. i guess there is no way she’ll be more open than that, ever? she doesnt really want to have sex for now too, i’m okay with that but i wonder how long it’ll be before she decides that she wants to do it with me? i’m afraid i’m pushing her too hard too with words. this is the hardest relationship i ever had, and the most important too. and after i’ve read what you wrote, i dont even know if when she kisses me, she means it, or it’s just dance.

  26. Mandy
    Mandy says:

    You are my idol. When I try to write stuff like this, my husband/friends/family get embarrassed and I delete it. I can’t get over how much I love what you write, even when I completely disagree with you! YOU ROCK!

  27. Shell
    Shell says:

    My husband was recently diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Although, it explains many things about our interactions, this is a new “world” for me/us. I’ve read a couple of books about Adults having Asperger’s Syndrome. My intention is to stay with him. We both have lots to learn and will figure life out as we go. I am wondering about “care”. Is it manufactured? I believe he loves me. He shows me that he loves me by trying to learn social cues. But can he care about me?

  28. TK OHearn
    TK OHearn says:

    Penelope,
    I am deeply in love with a doctor who has Asperger’s. I loved your essay-it reminded me so much of our interactions and conversations-that i really miss. It is such a privilege when someone gives you that rare love into such an intimate, beautiful story about the way someone loved them, I think about him every day-he was a lot more guarded than you. But reading this is the first time I really felt comforted since we broke up and i don’t feel so stupid for feeling what I did for him. He too had a lot of the same issues you describe with intimacy. I also read your other articles and love them.

  29. Herbal weight Loss
    Herbal weight Loss says:

    I don’t even know how I ended up right here, however I assumed this post was good. I do not understand who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger in the event you are
    not already. Cheers!

  30. Anthony Freire
    Anthony Freire says:

    This is by far one of the most entertaining, informative, witty, well-written stories I have ever written. I wish there was more to read! :) well done

  31. S Williams
    S Williams says:

    My drs. and therapist told me I was free to diagnose myself as “high functioning,” but that I clinical diagnosis and/or testing at my age (50+) wouldn’t accomplish anything.

    But, I could have written this blog. Things have gotten considerably worse this past year. I’ve become far more analytical, I’ve lost my creative edge (talent), and it is becoming clearer and clearer to me how socially inept I am.

    I am also overly consumed with wanting to know 1) what’s wrong with me, 2) why I connect to people’s personalities yet can’t always identify them by sight or name, and 3) why I’ve become so obsessed about (rules). Even though I may not follow them, I am consumed with watching people who *don’t* follow rules, and understanding “what makes them tick,” and “how they get away with it.”

    I even find I want to be like them….. Do I take my dr’s suggestions to “self-diagnose?” and if so, are there paths I dan follow and learn and connect with others? I’ve met others with AS and they are nothing like me (that I can ascertain. but, then again, I am always second-guessing myself)

  32. jonathan gagen
    jonathan gagen says:

    i have asperger’s with ocd tendencies and i have to say lol!!! if you don’t get any of this you might be an aspy. personally i was looking for information on whether asperger’s syndrome is matriarchial culture and whether it complies with eastern or western styles of living. what ancient writings such as fung sway (which i’ll get corrected on i’m sure) and the tao de ching are specifically chareteristic of individuals with asperger’s. whether their are any personallity or career tests specifically for individuals with aspergers, whether their are any accomadations that should or can be written into the online hiring process and what are specific characteristics of asperger’s culture such as hygeine, fashion, nonverbal functioning (rather than non functioning), how do asperger’s asperger’s and asperger’s non asperger’s relationships work (and are initiated) via men and women and vice versa, cuisine, and how specifically does an aspy initiate a relationship or is it too much of a struggle to initiate a relationship with individuals who have a neurotypical perspective? also, what is the neurotypical compared to the aspy ratio population wise in other cultures such as… is greece or israel primarily asperger’s syndrome indivuals and taking this into account are there more asperger’s women versus men? where are there more men compared to women or women compared to men? also, language? and finally, are there more aspergers indivuals in large cities or in rural areas in the united states? where are the men and where are the women primarily located? rural or large cities? if you don’t understand this post you most likely have a neurotypical view of anthropology which is largely a world view.

  33. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    Not all people with Asperger’s do disgusting things like touch their own genitals in public. They don’t stick their finger up their butt either. In fact, most have too much common sense to do things like that. It is a generalization to say all Aspies do stupid things like that. It is also a generalization to answer the question “what is it like to have sex with a Asperger’s person” because each Aspie is different. Many Aspies have no trouble with sex, and the discomfort with touch is more with people they don’t know well. If they have trouble with touch from their partner, they often can resolve this problem little by little, as a person with a phobia may learn to. If not, then I hate to say it, but the relationship probably will not last long, unless their partner has accepted that the relationship will be celibate. Many Aspies cannot find a boyfriend or girlfriend in the first place.

  34. Evy
    Evy says:

    Hi, Penelope
    I’m a 43 year old woman, I have a 8 year old son who got diagnosed with asperger 5 years ago. I have recently began wondering if I too have Asperger. I keep searching the internet for clues and reading blogs by asperger women. I guess me reading your blog and not finding it neither shocking or weird would be a clue :-)
    I never found sex to be a problem until I was in a serious relationship. I used to be “great in bed” and quite promiscuous – partly because I didn’t seem to manage the whole thing of “getting a boyfriend’ and partly because this was something I was technically very good at. But somehow when sex is supposed to be a way of showing love, it gets very difficult.

    I wish more of the previous comments would have been from women who would share their struggles, not just people who wanted to dissect and diagnose your wonderfully straight and honest blog.
    Thank you

  35. Cindy
    Cindy says:

    Hahahaha. I can’t believe this. You’re really funny. I can’t imagine myself writing about things like this publicize to the whole world.
    I came from a traditional Asian family you know :-)
    Happy New Year.
    Cindy

  36. Cindy
    Cindy says:

    Hi Penelope,
    I come from a background where we do a lot of innuendos and lots of nonverbal cues. There is little direct communication. We say thing in code, metaphors. I learned it from a young age to pick up these things.
    What I need to learn now is to be more direct and just say what I mean to say.
    It’s really refreshing to know people who think/behave like this.
    Thanks,
    Cindy

  37. Moomala
    Moomala says:

    I am a late diagnosed “Aspien woman”. don’t you think that that term sounds like some kind of superhero… or maybe a shield maiden or something? I love it so much! I may just replace my Batman tee with an Aspien woman tee; once Batman falls to rags and bits that is.

    Anywhooooo…I am posting because I strongly believe that every man should go down. If he expects you to go south, then he should go too. And if he doesn’t and won’t, leave him because he is very inconsiderate.

    I know, peeps will say..Blah blah blah true love etc. Fine, if you can stand a life without that kind of leg stiffening, toe curling joy, then stay. However, this is my opinion and I wanted to share :) bye

  38. liz
    liz says:

    This is great! I’ve recently realised I may be aspergers, at 24 (every single aspect of life suddenly made sense, and the fact that I was thoroughly enjoying scrutinizing every small social situation from my childhood and seeing how my possible aspergers affected it, seemed to confirm it too!)

    One of the things I’ve enjoyed doing recently is looking back through the parts of my first long-term relationship and laughing at just how incompatible we were, and finally understanding why.

    There was a lot of frustration from both parts, disagreeing with things like, just exactly how sarcasm was meant to work, and how far the conversation boundaries that he let me push with him, could be crossed in public. (I was often referred to as not only crossing the boundaries, but sprinting a mile past them without even noticing, wile.e.coyote style).

    The sex stories reminds me of particular occurrences where my boyfriend would try and flirt ‘sexily’ with me to start the sexual proceedings and I would be competely oblivious. Him coming up behind me, putting on his version of a sexy voice and whispering ‘hey baby’ in my ear would set me off in fits of giggles, much to his annoyance. I would genuinely believe he was taking the piss and would go along with it a bit, doing over-the-top raunchy movements back at him, thinking we were playing some silly game, but enjoying this game we were playing at the same time. He always said I’d ‘ruined the mood’, for me to reply ‘Oh we were gonna have sex? No I really wanna have sex.’ And then end up frustrated that I’d missed my chance. When he’d say that he was actually just trying to be sexy I couldn’t help but laugh in his face and say ‘you’re not sexy though, it’s just like you’re acting, it’s really cringey.’ It would probably be the same for any other long-term relationship and I’ll be aware of this in the future. But without me realising, what I was doing, I’m sure I didn’t do his self confidence much good!

    But for me it’s a learning curve. Because I’ve come to realise that the way I see the world means that small, discrete movements and a sense of emotion hold so much more meaning to me. A lot of clinical diagnosis’ of aspergers will say that those with aspergers don’t see the smile or the frown and can’t detect emotion. But for me, personally, I see it that we just sense true emotion, a lot deeper than a smile or grimace, and so the initial expression comes across as an act and we therefore automatically disregard it, as we are concentrating on the qualities of a person which are held a lot deeper than a controlled facial movement. For example, I notice tiny, embarrassed smiles which are very genuine and impulsive, more than I pay attention to a big smile of happiness. Hence me seeing flirting as a big ‘act’ that I can’t do without feeling ridiculous, or pointless.

    Personally, until recently I always thought that giving a guy the signal that you were keen was to sort of do a bit of a hop and a skip when you met up with them and show them your happiest grin. Which, for most guys, will be seen as me putting them straight into the friend zone. I can’t do all the false subtleties of a coy grin or a bat of the eyelashes. The thought of me even attempting it makes me chuckle.

    Recently, at a festival, I was asking the workers of a bar that was built especially for one brand how it all worked. I needed to fit in how this bar was different from the other bars for my understanding. One of the managers came over and asked me what was up. I asked him a question about the bar and he replied “maybe”. I sensed a lot of aggression coming off this man, but persisted in my questions, to try and get to the answer. All I received were coy responses ‘something like that yeah’ and more and more aggression towards me. I felt like he really wanted me to leave his bar and stop asking questions he felt were beneath him.

    When we left, my friend, who had been with me announced “how badly was that guy wanting your body!”. I was incredulous “no he just wanted me to leave.” She explained to me that he had been so in my face and his eyes had been completely focused on me, the entire time I had been talking (me, oblivious to it!). Which was where I had sensed aggression from him. She said that him not answering my questions was just him trying to flirt with me. I was dumbfounded, as I had left there thinking ‘what a horrible man’. It’s very bizzare having someone else watch your social situations to you and explain exactly what was occurring. All I sensed was the aggression (probably horny male testosterone) and became frustrated that he wouldn’t just answer my question!! I think I need a little voice in my ear to explain these things to me as I go about finding my ‘best friend’!

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