Autism and sexual desire

I wondered wether there’s something in being on the autism spectrum and having reduced sexual desire-not come across anything in my reading yet so wondered what people’s experiences are? Oh and asking as a woman too. Thanks

  • Is this any use to you?

    " … People with ASD appear to have a lower sexual drive and minority sexual status is overrepresented compared with the non-clinical population. … " :

  • I find it difficult to understand sexual desire or how to rate any sort of emotion. There is no way of measuring these  things objectively. 

  • I generally don't feel much sexual desire for other people (and if I wanted to I'd have to try really really try hard)  I react much more to deepness, goodness and authenticity and as for sexual desire as long as its enough  so that I can have a family with someone I am satisfied. We all end up old and ugly eventually no matter how attractive we might be lucky enough to start out,  so the former qualities are by far the most important to me and also the most rare. NT people get obsessed with sexual desire, mostly for self gratification, status and or a trophy and create real messes for themselves and others. Sex is very dangerous and people usually don't find that out until they get hurt by it. 

  • I lack much sexual desire for sex with my husband but I am quite motivated towards self-gratification. Maybe because there is less pressure to orgasm to make my husband feel good, and made just because I don't have to put any effort into anyone else's pleasure either. It is completely selfish but I just really find sex hit and miss, whereas I know how to please myself and have a much higher success rate!!! 

  • i been wondering the same thing lately. i feel my lack of empathy to people makes intimacy really difficult, if not impossible. i've never understood how people stay together for years and years (my longest sexual relationship is in a few months). i just don't get it. for me, sex was this mechanical thing to get orgasm - hopefully for both parties.  but, that's it. i'm just pretty unconnected to people.

    then there's the sexual drive... that's pretty lacking in me. if i smoke pot i enjoy things a lot more - sex, food, music, etc. it slows my brain down, and i sense things from a more up place. but, i'm definitely not that into being dependent on pot. 

    i guess i'm saying sexual desire and sex are super complicated for me, as an aspie, with lots of sensitivities. it hasn't been very satisfying.

  • You just need a relationship that isn't based on sex. I've always been more attracted to people based on their personality than their physicality. I much prefer good conversation. 

    Saying that, I do have lots of challenging moments in my relationship. I often think I'd never want another relationship like this  if this one was to end. 

  • There is conflicting research in this area. Some studies suggest autistic men are more likely to experience enhanced sexual desire compared to neurotypical men (using frequency of masterbation as a proxy for libido) and that for women sexual desire is about the same as neurotypicals but less often translates into a desire for sex. 10.31887/DCNS.2017.19.4/dschoettle Other studies suggest autistic people have on average less sexual desire but are more likely to experience the extremes of high or low sexual desire than neurotypicals. 10.1371/journal.pone.0087961

    One study in particular suggests autistic men experience above neurotypical sexual desire and autistic women experience below neurotypical sexual desire 10.1007/s10803-019-04204-9 (behind a pay wall) However this study also reports that 44% of the autistic women in the study self identified as lesbian (much higher than the 1st study and higher than their neurotypical control). The mean age of participants was in the early 20s and recruitment was by internet adverts and ‘word of mouth.’ In short I’m not convinced their sample was representative.

    More generally I’m really wary of past attempts to characterise autistic people as asexual. It’s been used to infantilise autistic people before. It also creates problems for autistic people who are highly sexual. People may erroneously assert ‘well you’re too sexual to be autistic.’ Or say ’you can’t be autistic people you have a girlfriend / boyfriend or because you go around having casual sex.’ etc. Autistic people are hugely diverse and the one thing I think I can assert is we often tend to gravitate to extremes. So I find the 2nd studies finding that autistic people are more likely to be much more or much less interested in sex to be the one that rings truest to me and my personal experience.

  • I think woman are generally less open about masturbation so I don't trust any research about it personally. Even with NT friendship groups it isn't a topic that we often engage in. It is more taboo than talking about sex more generally, and even topics such as miscarriages and abortion I would say from my personal experience. 

    Masturbation isn't something that I find easy to talk aloud about and I'm pretty rubbish at holding back opinions on most topics! 

  • One of the very first electrical inventions was a machine for 'relieving tension'.  Smiley

  • I used to edit a magazine for alternative lifestyles - the thing I noticed with high-functioning auties and aspies is 'there are no limits'.    If you can think of it, and it's fun, and everyone enjoys the experience, then why not?    Lots of 'exploring the limits of sensation' stuff.