Can you be Aspie and affectionate?

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Sarthos
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28 Aug 2012, 6:48 pm

Okay, so, growing up my knowledge of autism was very limited, only knowing of it as being something that some special education students had. My parents are sort of the type of people that believe that there are 3 types of people: Good people, normal people who are lazy/drug seeking/etc, and severely handicapped people. Asperger's or autism that didn't involve severe retardation would've fallen under the category of "misbehaving kids who are shy because they're little wimps". So, my knowledge of the condition was limited to a little bit I had heard here and there, one of the things being that autistic people don't like to be touched.

Anyway, after hearing things I've heard from other people, tv shows, etc. I'm now wondering if that's entirely true. I'm not sure whether or not I could be an Aspie, I have some of the characteristics, although I never particularly hated being touched, which I thought meant I likely wasn't. Basically, what happens is that if someone makes a sudden movement towards me I'll flinch a bit, but if I realize their intention is anything affectionate then I absolutely love it (at least if it's a female (sometimes awkward if a guy tries to give me a hug or pat me on the shoulder or something). Hugs are pretty much my favorite thing I've ever had, since I've never really kissed or cuddled (although I am at times obsessed with the idea of them). Anyway, can a fascination/obsession with affection like that be just as much an Aspie thing as complete aversion to touch?



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28 Aug 2012, 7:02 pm

Of course you can. I am an Aspie, and do not have a physical affection phobia at all. From what I've read on here, it can go one way or the other. The Aspie may either have an extreme dislike of physical contact and affection, or an extreme love of it. I am the same extreme as you. I am an absolute cuddle monster.

I think it is due to our heightened sensory perception. If you happen to be a person who finds physical contact pleasurable and comforting, your heightened sensory perception as an Aspie will mean you will find it even more so. But, if you are a person who finds it frightening and invasive, your heightened sensory perception will mean you will find it even more so. Autism often leads to extremes that are on either side of the "middle" zone where the NTs are.

I find that my tremendous love of indulging in physical affection has put me in the situation of severely angering other people when I wouldn't let them go and stop hugging them after they had decided it was time for the hug to stop. I still wanted it to carry on, and couldn't let go. So I have had to train myself not to hug people any more.

Hope that helps.



Last edited by Plodder on 28 Aug 2012, 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Fnord
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28 Aug 2012, 7:02 pm

Q: "Can you be Aspie and affectionate?"
A: Yes.

The only difficulty I have is determining when it is appropriate to show affection.


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NoGyroApproach
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28 Aug 2012, 8:35 pm

Hi Sarthos-
Yes aspies can be affectionate. They may not outwardly show it in the same way that an NT does. The other thing I hear that really gets me down is when I hear that people on the autistic spectrum are unemotionally. That one for me really hurts. I may not express outward emotion the way an NT does but that does not mean a person with aspergers or autism is heartless and emotionless.

I wish you luck in your quest :)


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28 Aug 2012, 9:14 pm

Of course an aspie can be affectionate! You're an individual aren't you! Why do people think that just because you have a diagnosis of asperger's, you must meet EVERY textbook criteria for that diagnosis?! Even my son's teacher's were shocked when he had to slow it down a bit in math, science, and technical education. SO ridiculous. It isn't fair what the world does to us.
asperger's is a part of our personalities, it's not the personality itself. SHEESH!!



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28 Aug 2012, 9:46 pm

I like to cuddle, play with other peoples hair, carry babies around, kiss (on the cheek), hug, tug on peoples ears and other such things. But only with certain people. Mainly my brothers, because it bugs them and I can wind up wrestling with them, which is fun. However, I feel uncomfortable touching people who are older than me :? I haven't hugged my mom for almost a year and the most I do is touch her shoulder to show affection. That makes me feel guilty, cause I love her a lot.
I also don't like to be touched; I'm more comfortable initiating the contact. I tend to run up to my baby sister or brothers, glomp them and run off again. One of my autistic brothers is like that too, hugging or smacking someone and then running away.
I've never dated, so I've never touched someone with that kind of affection before. I want to though. However, I must be able to trust him absolutely, so it would probably take a long time for me to be able to touch him easily.
Kind of sad, I only know and have felt familial love before.



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28 Aug 2012, 9:52 pm

Absolutely - like another poster said it is usually one extreme or the other.
I happen to be at the cuddle monster end of the extreme and have a diagnosis.

Cuddle monsters of WP unite! :razz:

*hugs everyone in the thread*


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Last edited by Kjas on 29 Aug 2012, 2:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

metaldanielle
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28 Aug 2012, 11:55 pm

Kjas wrote:
Absolutely - like another poster said it is usually one extremem or the other.
I happen to be at the cuddle monster end of the extreme and have a diagnosis.

Cuddle monsters of WP unite! :razz:

*hugs everyone in the thread*

I second this. :)



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29 Aug 2012, 12:05 am

Kjas wrote:
Cuddle monsters of WP unite! :razz:
+


UNITE!! *huggy*huggy*



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29 Aug 2012, 12:14 am

Cuddle cuddle cuddle cuddle!

:thumleft:



Sarthos
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29 Aug 2012, 1:54 am

I'll say before anything else that I have never actually been diagnosed with Asperger's or any other condition. Also, for some reason I felt the need to respond to everyone who posted :p

Plodder wrote:
I think it is due to our heightened sensory perception. If you happen to be a person who finds physical contact pleasurable and comforting, your heightened sensory perception as an Aspie will mean you will find it even more so. But, if you are a person who finds it frightening and invasive, your heightened sensory perception will mean you will find it even more so. Autism often leads to extremes that are on either side of the "middle" zone where the NTs are.


So, in that case as a matter of heightened sensory perception, do Aspies who like physical contact usually like it from both genders? Cause that's sorta how I'd think one would react to the sensory things, yet I don't particularly like it from guys. Or can it be the case that as Aspies, it's easy to misinterpret the significance of acts of affection? Sorta like, where one person might think that a girl hugging you is just a girl giving you a hug, an Aspie could think a hug means she likes you or something like that. Otherwise, could the negative stigma of guys hugging guys are gay be sufficient to actually cause the physical sense to be unappealing?

Plodder wrote:
I find that my tremendous love of indulging in physical affection has put me in the situation of severely angering other people when I wouldn't let them go and stop hugging them after they had decided it was time for the hug to stop. I still wanted it to carry on, and couldn't let go. So I have had to train myself not to hug people any more.


I know what you mean, I sorta base my actions on what other people do, so if I get a hug, I let go right after they let go. Otherwise, I would gladly just hold on for the next few minutes, hours, days, or however long I could :oops:

Fnord wrote:
The only difficulty I have is determining when it is appropriate to show affection.


I hate that one, around certain people I'm just constantly thinking "I wanna hug you, I wanna hug you, I wanna hug you" but don't act on it and just hope that they offer one.

NoGyroApproach wrote:
The other thing I hear that really gets me down is when I hear that people on the autistic spectrum are unemotionally.


I've always heard that people on the autism spectrum can be really sensitive but that they don't always express emotions normally.

RightGalaxy wrote:
Of course an aspie can be affectionate! You're an individual aren't you! Why do people think that just because you have a diagnosis of asperger's, you must meet EVERY textbook criteria for that diagnosis?! Even my son's teacher's were shocked when he had to slow it down a bit in math, science, and technical education. SO ridiculous. It isn't fair what the world does to us.
asperger's is a part of our personalities, it's not the personality itself. SHEESH!!


I don't know what all the "textbook criteria" are, I just know that seeing the exact opposite of a common symptom isn't something I'd usually expect. For example, I wouldn't expect a schizophrenic person to keep everything completely neat and organized. But I too had to sorta slow it down a bit in math, science, social studies, English, spelling, etc. (I barely remember it anymore, but apparently my kindergarten teacher wouldn't call on me because I'd raise my hand before everyone else and actually know the answer, and I know I was the only kid who could answer the question "If there are 100 days in the school year and half of them are done, how many are left?"). Anyway, since I didn't do horribly in school, my parents would have never considered that I could have a mental condition so that went unnoticed until many years later. And only by me, parents still don't believe Asperger's exists.

AutisticBelle wrote:
I haven't hugged my mom for almost a year and the most I do is touch her shoulder to show affection. That makes me feel guilty, cause I love her a lot. I also don't like to be touched; I'm more comfortable initiating the contact.


I used to hang on my mom's shoulder a lot when we were walking through a mall, grocery store, etc when I was younger, but I remember getting bitched at once when going through a mall and that was the end of that. And I'm not comfortable initiating the contact, but I think that's mostly because I'm unsure about when it's acceptable to give a hug or whatever. When I had female roommates, I liked one of them (which was why I agreed to the lease) and thought she was being honest when she said that I'd get to be her boyfriend when she wasn't so stressed with overworking and school and stuff (later turned out that she was just a terrible person who used her belief that I had Asperger's to manipulate me with promises of affection), but I could never just initiate affection. I always had to ask permission first, but I kinda drove her nuts when I'd ask her if I could have a hug bye-bye before she left to go somewhere (which was invariably answered with a no :( )


Kjas wrote:
Cuddle monsters of WP unite! :P

*hugs everyone in the thread*


*hugs back*

metaldanielle wrote:
I second this. :D


Okay!

BlueMax wrote:
UNITE!! *huggy*huggy*


Sorry, none for you! :evil:

Plodder wrote:
Cuddle cuddle cuddle cuddle!


Agreed!



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29 Aug 2012, 9:06 am

Sarthos wrote:

BlueMax wrote:
UNITE!! *huggy*huggy*


Sorry, none for you! :evil:

Plodder wrote:
Cuddle cuddle cuddle cuddle!


Agreed!


Thanks for hugging me, but why doesn't BlueMax get a hug? Is it because he's male?

:huh:

In real life I would be wary of hugging males I was not related to, and would not hug strangers on an Internet forum, either. But this is not real life. It's a forum. We're only pretending to hug. :wink:



Sarthos
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29 Aug 2012, 10:27 am

I'm joking about pretending not to hug him cause he's a guy :p

Fine, I'll pretend to hug him *hugs* happy? :p



JanuaryMan
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29 Aug 2012, 12:29 pm

Of course you can be an affectionate Aspie :)
Just read some of the threads in L&D with hearts pouring out. Plenty of love and affection in the Aspie Kingdom.



Sarthos
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29 Aug 2012, 3:44 pm

Well yes, I've seen quite a bit of love, caring for others and such, but I wasn't reading much about the actual physical part and being touched. On the one hand, this troubles me because I'd sorta like to think I don't have Asperger's or any other condition. However, the idea of having Asperger's is a huge relief because I don't want to think my odd behavior is schizophrenia. Quite torn, really.



Stalk
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29 Aug 2012, 3:53 pm

I can relate, the OP described it so well, pull away until the intention is understood and welcomed. I was a hug monster in my 20s. I went on this holiday camping trip with my friends from Tech. I asked every girl that walked past our cottage if she wanted a free hug. Nope that did not work at all. I guess my motive was wrong :D



Last edited by Stalk on 30 Aug 2012, 3:14 am, edited 1 time in total.