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There is a misconception that Autistic People do not have sex or sexual urges. While this may be true for some Autistic People (because sex is a spectrum with Autistics, just like it is for non-autistic people), many Autistic People DO enjoy sex.
Autistic people run the sexual gamut from hypersexual to asexual.
While some evidence suggests that many self-identified asexuals have a formal Autism diagnosis, Autistic People are just as likely to be hypersexual as they are asexual. Some Autistic individuals may even develop above-average interests in sex and sexual behaviors.
Because Autistic People are often hyper-sensitive or hypo-sensitive to various sensory stimuli, sex can be a wonderful sensory experience (or an overwhelming one).
Many sensory seekers will find pleasure in sex because it can be enjoyable as a pleasurable sensory activity. In fact, whenever I ask the question on social media, “What IS your favorite way to stim?” someone always says sex or self-pleasure.
This tendency for sensory fixation and seeking may be why Autistics are more likely to participate in both the Kink and BDS&M comminutes – these activities often involve sensory seeking.
IS this stimming?
Dictionary.com defines Stimming as the repetitive performance of certain physical movements or vocalizations, as a form of behavior by persons with autism or other neurodevelopmental conditions; self-stimulation. This behavior is thought to serve various functions, such as calming and expressing feelings.
I’ll leave it up to you to decide if self-pleasuring in this way could be considered stimming, but I’m leaning towards yes, based on feedback from my community and the definition above.
Sex can be messy, slimy, smelly, hot, and wet, with a lot going on simultaneously.
While I find sex a fun and relaxing way to sensory seek, for some Autistic People, sensory aspects of sex are not pleasurable at all (and can even be overwhelming and off-putting).
Every Autistic person has very different sensory needs, a unique sensory profile, and different sensory things that they enjoy or must avoid, which likely plays a role in our experience of and desire for sexual activity.
Autistic People tend to live in extremes. We are all or nothing, and our sex lives are no different.
Throughout my life, I have gone through periods of both hyper and hypo sexuality, depending on multiple factors. True to my all-or-nothing fashion, I tend to be either REALLY into sex or not. There’s rarely a middle ground with me. This includes my experience of my sexuality and how I express my feelings and affections for other people.
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