ace nymph like me – is it an autistic thing?

this is a complicated topic, both in general and for me.

I’m hesitant to wear those old narrative grooves—of autistics as asexual and awkwardly sex-repulsed, or as inappropriately sexual little animals—in any deeper; yet I think I have to because those both apply to me?

It’s taking me a long time to figure out how to be sexual in a healthy way. Or at least to be understood as appropriately sexual in a normatively recognizable way. For me there is no real middle ground. I am hypersexual and I am asexual (Touch me—don’t touch me) and my trauma has divided me deeper into both extremes. I ricochet between them, and most people can’t follow. My sexuality is chaotic, disjointed (of course. eyeroll.) and dizzyingly volatile. Maybe there isn’t anything abjectly wrong with me, but I know I’m not healthy because I’m so traumatized, and because sickness seems to invade my soft squishstretch tissues so much more easily than it does in other bodies, and my trauma has deadened my protective responses so thoroughly that there are noticeable physiological consequences: my tissue repair, for example, especially in my lower body, my legs and genitals, is prolonged and weak.

I have a(n apparently monstrously) high sex drive, and yet I am sex-repulsed. Through the trauma of assault and bearing an uncooperative body, my arousal sometimes crashes right into “sexual dysfunction”. What do I do with that?? How do I live inside that pendulum swing? These are questions I ask myself in disbelief. There is no script. There is nothing in this world that was there to prepare a stim-seeking kid like me for what was to come. Nobody looks for you in the liminal space between wandering into the moist, hot, carnal spaces you’re warned against and suddenly not wanting to be there. Once you’re in, the door locks behind you and there is no Exit sign. This results in such conditioned weirdness as my having learned to get off on my own disgust, humiliation, pain. These feelings have been so much more reliable than anything else in my experience that they’ve grown into their own twisted form of pleasure for me; straightforward pleasure with no poison in the mix just hurts me and shuts me down. I don’t know what to do with it.  I have no idea how I’ve survived.

One of the most perplexing parts of the whole thing for me is that people Don’t Talk About Sex. I think if they had, I would have been able to keep myself safer, but I don’t know. I knew the facts (I was a child who, before the age at which most adults will assume you can talk, would wander up and babysplain How Babies Are Made to pregnant strangers in the grocery store, as if they didn’t know… and then proceed to clam up when they tried to engage this inappropriate and precocious child stranger in return. Awkward? It is once you’re no longer perceived as an innocent kiddo. I have ALWAYS been this person.) I witnessed the panic, I absorbed the cultural disgust and simultaneous obsession—but nobody alerted me to the feelings. Not the physical sensations (though those land unbearably and ecstatically on my autistic body) but the stirrings inside. The certain something that bends you around a clusterfuck of desire that comes from nowhere and doesn’t seem to pass the way other whims do. It’s that hormonally-driven hunt. The Want beyond wanting. The switch I can’t switch back off on my own. The feelings I mean are the ones which drove me to incomprehensible (to me) actions and sex acts with social implications I still struggle to make sense of… apparently scratching my itches qualifies me as depraved? Slut? Nympho? But not being itchy is also wrong. Until the floodgates crash open I’m the oblivious, asexual weirdo. I think you’re supposed to be a specific level of itchy but only scratch the itch a certain percentage of the time, under specific conditions, which people-except-me just seem to know and agree upon, and there are innumerable rules about who can’t scratch your itches with you and when… I frankly just don’t get it.

Kinkiness adds another layer. I somewhat resent being qualified as kinky, because my “kink” is really just me acting on my instincts and desires, all of which, it seems, happen off-script. There is no sex for me without submission—to engage with my sexuality whatsoever is already an act of surrender and ecstatic masochism and erotic disgust. To engage with a partner (any partner) always just felt like a natural elaboration on what it took for me to even acknowledge that I desired one. Where do you draw the line? How do you even draw one? How do people acquire boundaries? I never got the point of the games or the elaborate seduction or the dance. The chaos of “the wrong person” gets lost for me in the chaos of my whole world. Red flags hidden in plain sight. Don’t people just have sex with whoever is there at the right time? They seem to get married that way. “Good enough. You’ll do.” I don’t know. I lose the forest for the trees a lot… or is it the opposite? I am easily abused.

One of the problems of being subby, and bisexual, and girl-type-people in combination is that the people who seek me out tend to be men who mistake my submissiveness as naturally emerging from my gender, rather than a big part of why I am read this way. Am I submissive because I’m a girl, or do you count me as Girl because I’m submissive? The ugly truth is that it’s both. But before I am either of those things, I am autistic. I am everything I am, autistically.

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