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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » LGBTQA Relationships » Self concious about my aspergers at LGBTQ youth group

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Author Topic: Self concious about my aspergers at LGBTQ youth group
Jill2000Plus
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I don't know if this is specifically about being LGBTQ, but I wasn't sure where else to put it. I am attending an LGBTQ youth group and while I really love being there, I sometimes worry about forming meaningful friendships because I think that I'll always be left out of social circles due to being an aspie, of my four close friends, three have aspergers and one is an older woman who works at the college where I attend, so they know about aspergers and other conditions that can affect learning patterns and support needs anyway. This is probably based on nothing as I seem to be getting along with many of the attendees very well, and haven't had a big argument with anyone, plus I get invited out to bars afterwards and at least some individuals would appear to quite like me, but I'm not sure, and I just have so many bad memories of being bullied and not being invited to parties and age peers finding me to be at most a tolerable, slightly amusing and rather strange annoyance (not that they should think of me or anyone that way, but that is how I was treated), that I tend to be a little doubtful that my company is ever really appreciated, even now. Plus, not that I am saying "I'm soo horny and must find someone to relieve me this minute or I'll explode from blue ovaries, just like my cousin's friend's bandmate's sister's boss's mail courier did", but I do get upset that I don't think I'm in control of my body enough (I sometimes pee myself and I'm terrified of others noticing) to have a sexual relationship and that others think of me as naive and not of any sexual interest or capable of being an equal sexual partner. Please someone give me brilliant advice, and once again sorry if I put this in the wrong place.

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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Ecofem
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Hey Jill,

First, I want to compliment you on your very active posting on the boards, adding your interesting perspective to various threads and conversations. [Smile]

Second, I would like to refer to you a favorite Scarleteen article on the very topic of sex and disability, in case you haven't already seen it: No Big Deal: Sex & Disability

Your conversation is in the right place. [Smile]

I come to this as someone who is very social but also knows what it's like to be shy. I realize that having Aspergers is different than "just" being shy, but I think the concerns you have about making friends are ones that most people have when joining a new group! [Smile] LGBTQs tend to be pretty welcoming places and it sounds like your group is no exception there. Although most participants may not be able to relate to being bullied for having Aspergers, they probably can relate to feeling "different" or left out or even bullied for their sexual orientations , etc.

Going to meeting and then going out to bars afterwards in a group sounds like it's been working well for you-- awesome! Is that something you keep wanting to do? As for feeling your company is not appreciated, I would say that most people like or at least don't dislike most others. I would assume that applies to you; from your replies on the boards, I think you're probably an interesting and introspective conversation parter. [Smile]

As for your concern about dealing with bodily functions, is this something you've talked to your doctor or a therapist about? For example, the urination concern: while it's perhaps less common among university-aged people, it's something that more people deal with that you think. That said, any close romantic or sexual relationship (or even platonic friend a la sharing a bed at a sleepover) does mean a more acute awareness of bodily functions. Furthermore, to quote Heather Corinna's fabulous article [url=http://www.scarleteen.com/article/pink/an_immodest_proposal]An Immodest Proposal[/ur]l,
quote:
Embarassment or shame about normal body functions and fluids would seem quaint and archaic: after all, sex is about wanting to crawl as deeply into the muck of someone else as is humanly possible and roll around in it with the relish of a pig in mud. Someone, at some point, will do something that seems completely instinctive and really sexy, but which is actually quite silly. Someone will have laugh out loud and it will be easily interpreted as an expression of joy rather than a potential insult. No one will be stressed out over how long itll all go on for because every few seconds are stretched out like taffy and feel like hours: if all the sex is over an hour later, both are surprised because it felt like mere moments and days at a time, all at once.
OK, those are a few things for starters. I'd like to continue this conversation more, but if you could check out those links and tell me what you think, we'll take it from there. [Smile]

[ 05-08-2009, 07:52 PM: Message edited by: Ecofem ]

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Jill2000Plus
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The thing about peeing myself, in my particular case, it's not so much about having less muscle control than others do (not that I'm saying that would be anything bad or of which one should feel ashamed), than about leaving things till the last minute, I tend to leave everything, whether it's doing chores, going to bed, homework, all sorts of stuff, till the last minute, so I tend not to go to the loo until I'm bursting, I did have problems with wetting the bed until my early teens, but now it's more to do with procrastination than anything else, habits I developed in childhood. I definitely have been annoyed that some will think I'm asexual because I have aspergers and I've heard all sorts of bullcrap about aspie men being incapable of being caring respectful partners from supposedly feminist sources (I am a radical feminist), which A) is contradicted by the aspergers having and no worse on average than anyone else aspie men I know (in fact one of them is downright lovely, I have a bit of a crush:), and B) is a generalisation, and actually seems like it's based on the following "reasoning" man=logic and science, woman=emotion and instinct, therefore aspie=logical=male=hypermasculine in the worse possible way=innately problematic, BURN WITH FIRE or at least SCORN HARSHLY. I'm not sure there are all that many stereotypes about aspie girls, probably because we are widely suspected not to exist, but I am very annoyed about the way that it's sometimes presumed that my sexuality will be stunted in some way, that it's innately disturbing and pathological, I talk quite a bit about sexual liberation (when I don't think I'll get beaten up for it) and I worry that someone will be thinking "there she goes waffling on about her special interest again, how typically obsessive", not to mention that someone can talk endlessly about something that interests someone else and they won't be called obsessive, the general definition of obsessive interest is "interest that someone brings up regularly that I don't have any interest in, even though I do the exact same thing but I'm talking about normal stuff so that makes it different", plus those who are obsessed with policing what others do with their own genitals don't tend to get marked as obsessive, just referred to as "principled", and another thing is the way everyone always says "aspie guys will often tell their girlfriends that they would like if they were prettier or that they want them to have bigger breasts, because they don't understand that these remarks are insensitive"... no, that would be because they're porn-schooled men who just happen to have less of an ability to pretend they actually love their girlfriends the way they are, not all aspie guys are like that, and it just reinforces notions about gender roles and that all men really want a girlfriend who looks just like a porn star (note I am not knocking any women who does look like the stereotypical image of a porn star, just the societal expectation that all women look this way, even if it involves having surgical operations that have a risk of death for crying out loud) but aspie guys actually say it and that's what's really wrong, as if it wouldn't matter if a guy thought that all the time but just didn't say it? I have ADHD too, but I guess I haven't really thought about that that much for the past few years, except that I have noticed that apparently we are all supposed to have conduct disorder and are probably pyromaniacs... though I do think fires are pretty [Smile]

I do love going to bars with everyone, aside from the silly drink prices ($2.34 for a cola... yeah great, but I only have one anyway, so I can cope), it's really fun, hanging around and joking and laughing and talking.

What you said about sharing beds reminds me of the "that first period talk" article about the picture of the MURDER-I mean menstrual blood leak on the bed sheets, it's silly that everyone makes such a huge deal about that, I know that anyone who'd ostracize me for having incontinence problems isn't a real friend, but it doesn't make it any less rubbish being treated that way. I'm also scared in case I forget to shower (which occasionally happens, sometimes I wake up late and haven't got the time before college) and then end up making out with someone and they can tell, but I'm sure I wouldn't be the first individual to do that.

I guess one aspect of close friendships I really like is being able to share sexual stuff (I'm aware this might be not so easy if a close friend had suffered sexual abuse), that kind of confidence has a nice intimacy to it and it's good to reassure each other, particularly since one of my friends had a somewhat less liberal upbringing than I did and I don't think they've ever really felt comfortable discussing sexual things with their parents, but I'm scared if I participate in any conversation about that kind of stuff at the youth group then others will talk about me behind my back and make fun of what I said, which I guess is paranoia really, as most of the attendees are quite open sexually, and not likely to make fun of you about stuff like that (I think).

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

Posts: 840 | From: UK | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ecofem
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Hey Jill2000Plus!

Here's my quick and zippy response to your post... you make some very interesting points on assumptions about people with Aspergers, especially with the parallels with feminist thought. [Smile]

As for putting off going to the bathroom, that just sounds like something to work on. I am infamous among friends for having to pee a lot; I probably go 10-15 times a day (I never counted bc I'm scared to find out what it truly is [Wink] ), even twice in an hour in the morning but then not for 4 hours in the evening. (Wow, you're learning probably more than you ever wanted to know in terms of my bathroom habits! [Wink] ) With my job, I usually can't usually just get up and go when I get the urge (thankfully, actually) so I schedule them in my morning. Seriously, do you think you could work on a toilet schedule?

As for hanging out with the LGBTQ group members and more at bars, it sounds like something you really enjoy and something that's working for you. You know, enthusiasm is contagious and I'd think that people like having you along not only for your conversation but your upbeat attitude. [Smile] (But, yes, sheesh, those prices can be exorbitant!)

As for showering, hey! I think we all can miss a day or two there and unless we have very strong body odor or regularly run a 10K, it's ok. I had a roommate I took a hiking class with once; we got back totally exhausted and often felt like just passing out. However, things got a bit, uh, strong on her part; I gently would let her know and she appreciated it. Just as I appreciated it when she told me that my room mess was getting too messy! I think there's something nice about friends who can be that kind of direct and honest. Same for relationships. It's not always easy getting to that point but pretty great when you do. I think that the person who you're with will get that; I hope so!

As for talking about sex with friends, I'm definitely with you there. Whether it's talking shop, sharing saucy experiences or pondering philosophical goodies, it's a favorite topic of mine. It can be hard to break the ice and I've found that there are just some friends I can talk to more about it than others; that's ok. I just recommend you proceed slowly and see how things go with various groups... I know you're around Scarleteen a lot and would assume you're all read up on articles and what not. [Smile] Being the go-to-grrl for safer sex and sexuality stuff can be a cool way to start discussions (or have people come to you.) What about talking to the group about doing something LGBTQ-sex ed related, whether you just read and discuss some articles on the site or invite a speaker?

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Jill2000Plus
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I'm not sure whether I should start a new topic for this, but here goes: I've been looking at resources on sexuality for those with autism and aspergers and I keep on finding books recommended with titles like "The Difference Between Boys and Girls", I tried reading some of the stuff recommended on scarleteen and some of it seems gender normative or says stuff like "if you sleep with a girl and then don't stick to the commitment you made her older brother might beat you up", which strikes me as missing the point somewhat, which is that you shouldn't be dishonest about your intentions when you're doing something sexual with someone else because they might not consent if they did know what you aren't telling them. Why isn't every sex ed book out there challenging gender roles and emphasizing the importance of body ownership, because if the popular view is that everything should be simplified in an essentialist and inaccurate manner for those with learning difficulties or autism or aspergers then we really have a long way to go. Sometimes, when I think what my parents could have done to me in terms of denying me sex ed or giving me flat-out inaccurate information (and about what they actually did get wrong, like never explaining body ownership to me and thus leaving me vulnerable to sexual assault and rape, and leaving discussing some things far too long so I ended up with a shame complex despite their later efforts) I curl up in a ball on my bed and cry, because I remember exactly what it was like to be a teen with aspergers, I never stopped fearing my parents and my teachers and the absolute bullcrap that I knew they had legal carte blanche to fill my head with, I was acutely, painfully aware that there were many people out there who either though my sexuality was disgusting and to be ignored or viewed me as an easily manipulated set of holes, a toy (which was also to do with societal misogyny, but the disability thing played into it quite a bit), I realized today that I still have some of the stuff my parents got wrong and the lack of belief I have that others will ever like me sexually with me, like that even though I'm twenty and if I find someone I like who consents then would want to do sexual things, I don't carry condoms, because I'm afraid my dad will find out and then ask me lots of questions or get some weird daddy's little princess thing about it, and because I really, on some level, don't think there's even the slightest chance of me ever using them, unless I want to date the douchebaggy forty year old men who occasionally try to chat me up, which I don't (seriously, I hate having conversations with guys old enough to be my dad where they stare at my breasts, it seems like my three dating options are guys twice my age looking for a young plaything they can control and feel all manly about dating and guys my own age who aren't interested because they're looking for a girl who looks like a porn star with a cosmo makeover who they can feel all manly about dating, or other women who I guess might be interested but I'm way too scared I might think are interested when they aren't to ever ask out, plus most of the women I know who are bisexual or lesbian I haven't known for that long and I don't want to rush anybody into anything or ignore the pleasures of platonic friendship).

[ 06-03-2009, 04:24 PM: Message edited by: Jill2000Plus ]

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

Posts: 840 | From: UK | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mottobedis
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I'm a dyspraxic autistic queer. I just thought I'd tell you. Oh, and we share a birthday. :-)

Jessica Kingsley Publishers has a lot of books about Autism/Aspergers. The only one focusing on sex I can think of is Sex, Sexuality and the Autistic Spectrum, by Wendy Lawson. But I know there's little tidbits in a lot of them. I have a book list somewhere. I'll hunt around for it, if your interested.

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Jill2000Plus
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We share a birthday? That makes us a little like twins! Ok not really but still, it's a small world and all that. I'd appreciate the reading list, and welcome to the forums, mottobedis.

Just to say, I'm sorry if what I said came off to anyone as suggesting all guys want a girlfriend who fits perfectly with what is considered conventionally attractive, I don't think that really, it just never seems like guys like me that way and I'm quite large sized and I do sometimes wonder if I am just being dismissed on the basis of my looks (which I'm sure is true sometimes but not all of the time), of course I haven't asked every guy I've ever met how they felt about me so for all I know someone may have really liked me and just not said so.

[ 07-21-2009, 09:30 PM: Message edited by: Jill2000Plus ]

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

Posts: 840 | From: UK | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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