Sex on the Spectrum: How we Began

A couple of months ago, after I had already started this blog, I found out that I’m autistic; on the higher end of the spectrum. I did not get diagnosed when I was young (I’m in my 40s), it was missed in me as a kid. It was very narrowly understood back then anyway, and it was assumed that it mostly affected boys, and that when it presented in girls, it was usually severe and often accompanied by learning disabilities.

But the truth is that girls from a really early age are adept at learning how to fit in, how to conduct themselves in social situations. The ones on the spectrum tend to learn by emulating the behaviour of their peers; they study behaviour and learn how to behave. It doesn’t come naturally and sometimes they mess up, but with time they learn to mask their autism, without even knowing they’re doing it.

You don’t realise that other girls don’t have to think about how they should be behaving. But you have to think constantly, you have to apply your learned rules all the time. It can be very tiring.

Autism is a spectrum disorder and the spectrum is vast. Although many of us have common shared experiences, how we are individually affected is unique to us.

About me

I was a shy kid, who wanted to grow up to be a fireman (yep, you read that right a fireman). I was bullied at school by a boy and a lot of girls. Girls confused me, I found it far easier to relate to boys. The teen years were colourful, I was this weird mixture of a rebellious non rule-breaker. In my 20s I questioned my sexuality and had crushes on women I worked with.

I’ve always been a perfectionist, I need clear instructions to be able to function. Decision making is a nightmare, but once made, I do not go back. This not going back thing extends into other areas of my personality. I can get very unreasonably upset if I have to go back the way I came, when I walk for pleasure.

I tend to depression and things can get dark for periods of time. I feel far too much. I have to put up barriers, or I will be completely overwhelmed by my own emotion. As a teen, I learned how to switch off emotion; I had to for my own sanity. But when I talk about things I am emotionally invested in this switch doesn’t work, I cry. This can be very embarrassing, especially at work.

Once I found out about my autism, I threw myself into research. I read a couple of really great factual books written by late-diagnosed women on the spectrum, written specifically about the experience of being female on the spectrum. Reading these books was an eye-opener. I identified with so many of the experiences, that were gathered from other women and portrayed in the books.

I could go on about this theme for hours, both factually and personally.

My life at the moment is full of mirrors. I look at the me in the moment and I look back on so many events in my life with the recurring realisation: Oh, so that’s why (and the sentence goes on with my realisation about the fact that the thing happened the way it did because of my autism). My life, and who I am make so much more sense to me now.

I’m still getting used to the idea that I am autistic. At first, I thought it was a disadvantage, but I was wrong. It’s just that I function differently, my brain functions differently. I’m also highly sensitive, really highly sensitive. There are some textures and some pitches that produce physical or mental effects in me that I cannot avoid.

On the whole, I see my autism as an advantage now, it’s mine, it belongs to me and I embrace the person I am because of it.

Let’s talk about Sex

I really woke up to sex when I was in my 30s, when I met my man. The sex I’d had before was sometimes good, sometimes great, but never as free or honest as it is now.

At first it was long-distance, sex was done over video calls. Sordidly hot conversations conducted through laptops. Explicit dirty-talk. I’d wear stupidly expensive lingerie, black laciness, sheer or not. At first, we would just wank at each other, but over time, he became demanding of me.

I began to walk through my days a horny mess, clit ever at the ready (you know, when you feel like you could tip over at the slightest interference) knickers wet. My days began to feel unreal. The daily video-call was my reality, always at the back of my mind, a constant yearning.

Playing with myself for him, doing as he bid me was so damned hot, but I was absolutely desperate for touch. I began to notice men everywhere. Men in the streets, on the train, the tube, a builder whistling at me, a particular man who worked in the office parallel to me; oh I remember him. We would meet now and then in the kitchen and talk, but there was such an undercurrent of attraction between us. I wanted so desperately to shag him, didn’t matter that he was 20 years older than me.

I’d feel like I could just jump into the nearest phone box with, say, that guy there with the tattoos. Or pull down my jeans and knickers and bend over a wall for those two smoking outside the pub, beg them to just fuck me, to fill my aching cunt.

One particular near encounter sticks with me; a windy evening, clouds scudding across the sky, jogging up a hill in Richmond Park, there was this man. Under the trees in full summer, the light dappling the ground through the leaves, he watched me approach him. Silver light dancing about his insolent grey eyes, his mouth in a teasing smile, a long feather in one hand, an ice-cream in the other. That feather and how he looked at me. Oh god. My clit was alive and pulsing with my steps and there was a fantasy in my head.

I faltered to a halt, breath short, my muscles ticking from my run, the wind whipping my hair into my eyes. He ran the feather over my face, down my neck. He didn’t actually touch me with his hands; but held the ice-cream to my lips and I licked it, licked the flake, took it into my mouth. There and then on that hill, he dropped his pants, revealing his enormous dick and in my hunger, I took him, wanked him off into my mouth, swallowed his cum along with the drips from his melting ice-cream.

But that would only have tickled my itch.

Meeting in the Flesh

The first time he visited, we agreed to keep our hands to ourselves, to not touch each other. We wanted to know if we really stood a chance at a relationship that wasn’t just built around our desperate sexual need for each other. Three very minor mishaps later (not bad considering he was there for a whole week) he flew home, taking my heart and my buoyancy with him. This was the first dark time I had had, since we’d found each other.

I couldn’t cope, not immediately. Took a few days off and disappeared into my darkness. He tried to reach me, but I would not be reached. I didn’t know how to come out of it. One evening when he called my mobile for the hundredth time, I finally answered.

He talked to me, he talked of love, care, fear, desire … love. He commanded me in his desperation, not to turn away from him. He held me with his voice, caressed me with his words. He made me feel safe; loved. I let my emotions in, started crying at some point, cried through the whole of the rest of the call. The release was enormous, I felt like a child, felt like I was letting all of the sadness in me out, years of saved up misunderstood sadness.

And he took my focus and turned it in a different direction. For the first time in my life, I felt that I wanted to protect and care for a man. I didn’t just need him, I needed him to need me too.

The next time he visited, we couldn’t keep our hands off each other, didn’t even try. Sessions of sex lasting for hours. Living out our dirty talk, living out our promises. He brought two belts with him and I lent him mine. I was commanded, tied up, whipped, forced; I gave up my control to him and I had never felt so noticed, loved, safe.

There were no more visits. The next time we saw each other in the flesh was a few long months later, when we met at the airport and he took me home.

Oh, so that’s why …

In our homelife, we have complete equality. Oftentimes we are equal in bed. Sometimes I even dare to take full control of where we’re going sexually.

This is what it’s like for me: when I get low, or when I get overwhelmed, I shut down. When it happens, I feel completely lost in darkness, and so very alone. I switch off my emotions, I just shut down and everything turns grey. I become unresponsive to the people around me. And I don’t know how to come back by myself other than letting time work its course.

But we discovered something beautiful. If he owns me, he can guide me back to myself through sex. Sometimes I just need to be owned and he does it beautifully, bringing the colour and light back to me, bringing me back to myself through his tender (even when he is rough, there is such tenderness) owning of me. Sometimes I need to be hurt to feel better.

So, if I feel the darkness coming, I ask to be owned. If I slip into it without noticing first, he guides me back. It binds us together in a powerfully close way.

Until recently, neither of us knew I was autistic. But we had already found ways to overcome many of the things that happen to me because of my autism. Knowing this about me has increased our understanding of each other and brought home to me the absolute beauty of our relationship, and of the honesty and the openness that we have together.

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