I am posting this in desperation because I cannot find anything like it on the internet and I want to try and find some hope, somewhere, that our relationship isn't dead in the water.
I've been dating someone for a while now who I care about very deeply and can even see a future with, but they are unable to be intimate due to severe negative feelings (the word "dirty" has been used) after the event occurs. They're fine with cuddling and hugs but kissing or anything sexual triggers it. Has anyone else experienced this? Is there any way to deal with it or mitigate it? They are currently waiting for a diagnosis but presumed by themselves and those who know them to be somewhere on the spectrum. Most things I can be patient and caring and accept but this one is just too much of a challenge. I don't want to lose them, they're an amazing person.
Am I being stupid to think that this could ever change?
This will be tricky on an open public forum.
From the way you write I'm assuming you're talking about a male partner? Have you actually spoken to them about their views on intimacy and how they see it? What don't they like?
Blokes are simple devices but are easily distracted by noises, discomfort, temperature etc. so there's a lot you can do to focus the mind to make a pattern of more positive experiences - and intimacy can mean a whole lot of things - there's an entire industry of things to make it more 'fun' rather than a task to dread.
Communication and imagination are your friends.
Yes we have discussed it quite a lot, and yes, he is male. From what he's told me it sounds like he wants to participate in intimate acts but the "price" is too high. It doesn't seem to be the act itself that's a problem.
I'm not understanding when you say price? Does he have hang ups about his body or is it all internal shame? Is it a cleanliness thing?
'Dirty' makes it sound more like this is religious inhibition or guilt rather than asexuality and lack of interest (the latter is relatively rare, but more common among autistic people). I suppose it's also possible that the intensity of feelings is too great. I'm not sure what he means about the 'price' either. Could it be something about prospect of parenthood?
Just wanted to suggest looking through the forums as I've often read related (although not quite the same) stories about intimacy told from either 'side'.