“Open” relationships and ASD

Page 1 of 4 [ 51 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

GadgetGuru
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 9 Oct 2021
Age: 53
Gender: Male
Posts: 266
Location: Northern Nevada, USA

17 Oct 2021, 10:19 am

One of the most intriguing aspects of ASD (to me) is the seemingly VERY strong correlation between an ASD diagnosis and “unconventional” attitudes / practices / identity regarding intimate relationships, sexuality, gender, etc.

It would seem that whether one finds one’s self to be just pre-diagnosis “different” or knowingly intra-spectrum, that every conventional attitude toward such things is open to question, experimentation or just intense consideration.

I’m now realizing that every one of the 4 or 5 relationships I’ve been in has had elements of either Polyamory or “just swinging”, ranging from merely basic discussions of these matters to full-blown open attempts to “make it work”.

As far as I can tell, despite my rational side telling me that “of course, all intelligent humans should be capable of maintaining multiple simultaneous fully and openly honest sexual and/OR romantic relationships!" (Damn you, Robert Heinlein), for me, and many of the others that would express that same rationalization, being TRULY “open” is just not practical or even possible in actual practice.

And if I’ve all along been unknowingly “playing a role” in such matters (masking), how could adding additional inscrutable people to the mix be anything other than a disaster plan of epically failure-prone proportions?

I’m curious to know the experiences of others in this matter.

"It Ain’t What You Don’t Know That Gets You Into Trouble.
It’s What You Know for Sure That Just Ain’t So..."


_________________
Zen Objectivist, Iconoclastic conformist, Laser-focused dilettante, Skeptical psychonaut, Boy genius and stoopit man, Altitudinous observer of the Sturm und Drang.
Practicing the fine art of Enlightened Self Interest.


Mona Pereth
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 11 Sep 2018
Age: 63
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,639
Location: New York City (Queens)

08 Jan 2022, 12:19 pm

GadgetGuru wrote:
One of the most intriguing aspects of ASD (to me) is the seemingly VERY strong correlation between an ASD diagnosis and “unconventional” attitudes / practices / identity regarding intimate relationships, sexuality, gender, etc.

It would seem that whether one finds one’s self to be just pre-diagnosis “different” or knowingly intra-spectrum, that every conventional attitude toward such things is open to question, experimentation or just intense consideration.

I’m now realizing that every one of the 4 or 5 relationships I’ve been in has had elements of either Polyamory or “just swinging”, ranging from merely basic discussions of these matters to full-blown open attempts to “make it work”.

I was into in poly relationships in my twenties, thirties, and forties. Sometimes they worked well, sometimes not.

"Making it work" is a whole lot easier if you have a bunch of other poly people (not just your partners) with whom you can discuss how to make it work. Figuring it out entirely on your own, or with just your partner(s), is much harder.

GadgetGuru wrote:
As far as I can tell, despite my rational side telling me that “of course, all intelligent humans should be capable of maintaining multiple simultaneous fully and openly honest sexual and/OR romantic relationships!" (Damn you, Robert Heinlein), for me, and many of the others that would express that same rationalization, being TRULY “open” is just not practical or even possible in actual practice.

And if I’ve all along been unknowingly “playing a role” in such matters (masking), how could adding additional inscrutable people to the mix be anything other than a disaster plan of epically failure-prone proportions?

To make it work, both you and your partner(s) need to NOT be "inscrutable." Clear, assertive communication is essential.

Luckily I managed to avoid the kind of heavy-duty masking that many autistic people do.


_________________
- Autistic in NYC - Resources and new ideas for the autistic adult community in the New York City metro area.
- Autistic peer-led groups (via text-based chat, currently) led or facilitated by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group.
- My Twitter (new as of 2021)


Last edited by Mona Pereth on 08 Jan 2022, 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rse92
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

Joined: 14 Oct 2021
Age: 62
Gender: Male
Posts: 80
Location: Buffalo, NY

08 Jan 2022, 12:23 pm

Chacon a son gout, but I don’t think preferring to see multiple sex partners has anything to do with autism.



Mona Pereth
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 11 Sep 2018
Age: 63
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,639
Location: New York City (Queens)

08 Jan 2022, 12:35 pm

rse92 wrote:
Chacon a son gout, but I don’t think preferring to see multiple sex partners has anything to do with autism.

The main connection is simply that just about any sexual minority orientation or practice has a high correlation with autism.

For example, autistic people are more likely than NT's to be LGBTQ+. This is still only a minority of autistic people, but a larger minority among autistic people than among NT's.

Ditto for poly, kink, etc.

Another connection is that autistic people (or at least those of us who are NOT into heavy-duty masking) are more likely than NT's to question mainstream cultural norms. This again, however, is probably relevant only to a minority of autistic people, albeit a larger minority among autistic people than among NT's.


_________________
- Autistic in NYC - Resources and new ideas for the autistic adult community in the New York City metro area.
- Autistic peer-led groups (via text-based chat, currently) led or facilitated by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group.
- My Twitter (new as of 2021)


GadgetGuru
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 9 Oct 2021
Age: 53
Gender: Male
Posts: 266
Location: Northern Nevada, USA

08 Jan 2022, 4:27 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
"Making it work" is a whole lot easier if you have a bunch of other poly people (not just your partners) with whom you can discuss how to make it work. Figuring it out entirely on your own, or with just your partner(s), is much harder.

This seems like very important advice. Although in today's connected world, one can find podcasts, forums, etc. dealing with Polyamory or virtually any other "non-standard" way of life, having actual people present in one's life with whom you can share such experiences must be a better way to understand and cope.

Mona Pereth wrote:
To make it work, both you and your partner(s) need to NOT be "inscrutable." Clear, assertive communication is essential.

I'm considering the way that I've managed to discuss sensitive topics like sex with people over the years. I've noted that quite often, I end up in very deep, revealing conversations with people I've only barely begun to know. Some would say to me "I've never told anyone this, but...", for example.

I certainly did not "enjoy" such intimate conversations in my solitary years, but after coming out of my self-imposed shell in my 30s, I very quickly found myself willing and able to go deep with anyone I felt comfortable with. I suppose this has something to do with the "unfiltered" way in which many ND people communicate?

Darron


_________________
Zen Objectivist, Iconoclastic conformist, Laser-focused dilettante, Skeptical psychonaut, Boy genius and stoopit man, Altitudinous observer of the Sturm und Drang.
Practicing the fine art of Enlightened Self Interest.


FleaOfTheChill
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 31 Jul 2020
Age: 307
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 1,177
Location: Everywhere

08 Jan 2022, 5:59 pm

I've been in non-traditional relationships. I guess I'm in one now.

I've had mixed experiences, some good, some not so good. My perspective, it takes a certain type of person to be in a poly or swinger type relationship (I've done both) and a lot of people think it sounds like fun... but then when it happens, they get hit with a lot of feelings they were not prepared for.

In the past, I've had to deal with jealousy issues from partners. I don't know if I'm capable of feeling jealousy, so that's not been an issue for me. My issues come from struggling to be a good partner to one person, let alone more. I require a huge amount of alone time to be okay, so if I have a partner who requires a lot of my time and/or energy, there's no way I can handle more than one person at a time. Now if my partner is an introvert or a busy person, then yeah, I'm fine with more than one. And I never care if they have more than me. By all means, please do so. It gives me more me time. :lol:

I tend to like these types of relationships because I dunno... I guess I'm not built for monogamy. I don't want to be everything to someone, and I don't expect anyone to be everything to me. I like the idea of getting to know and experience different people in different ways. I like knowing that the people I am with can do the same. If they meet someone who makes their heart jump, I want to hear all about it. I want to be happy for them and let them be happy for me as I do the same. It's sharing an adventure with someone you value and want happiness for. Same can be said for swinger type situations. You get to live out fantasies with someone you like and are attracted to, how cool is that? It confuses me when people don't want these things, but I know this sort of stuff isn't for everyone. I totally respect that.

Quote:
I'm considering the way that I've managed to discuss sensitive topics like sex with people over the years. I've noted that quite often, I end up in very deep, revealing conversations with people I've only barely begun to know. Some would say to me "I've never told anyone this, but...", for example.


I feel that on a spiritual level. :lol: People seem to share things with me that they don't tell others. I don't think I come across as especially approachable, but I must on some level because it happens a lot. I don't much mind it that people open up to me, a lot of what they say I find way more interesting than superficial small talk. And I have no issues discussing personal issues myself. I'm an unapologetic open book and I rather like it when others are as well. People can be fascinating creatures.

But yeah, I'm not sure why I'm like this. Nature? Nurture? Both? I don't know. I know I'm not typical in a lot of ways and kind of shrug at 'supposed to's'. Things like societal norms are things I brush aside if they don't work for me. I have to wake up in my own skin every day and live my own life, so I try to live on my own terms to the best of my abilities. *shrugs*



txfz1
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 13 Dec 2021
Age: 63
Gender: Male
Posts: 364
Location: US

08 Jan 2022, 6:20 pm

FleaOfTheChill wrote:
People can be fascinating creatures.

I don't want to be everything to someone, and I don't expect anyone to be everything to me.



I have the jealous gene and couldn't do it. TBH, it is a trust issue. I don't trust myself, so I don't trust people. Irony is, I could do it as I'm a slut but the hypocrisy guilt would be too much for me.

Watching people is one of my special interests.

My romantic mind wants to try to be everything, even tho I know it's impossible. An unrealistic desire or one destined for failure.

Thanks for sharing your story.



FleaOfTheChill
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 31 Jul 2020
Age: 307
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 1,177
Location: Everywhere

08 Jan 2022, 7:32 pm

txfz1 wrote:
I have the jealous gene and couldn't do it. TBH, it is a trust issue. I don't trust myself, so I don't trust people. Irony is, I could do it as I'm a slut but the hypocrisy guilt would be too much for me.

Watching people is one of my special interests.

My romantic mind wants to try to be everything, even tho I know it's impossible. An unrealistic desire or one destined for failure.

Thanks for sharing your story.


Jealousy is real to a lot of people. Frankly, I wish more people accepted the fact that they are jealous before trying to ignore it and dive into things and mess up relationships thinking they can handle it when they can't. It hurts when people get hurt.

Some folks can deal with jealousy and overcome with open and honest communication, but a lot of people can't handle that either. It can be scary to be that open. That much I understand.

I don't understand the wanting to be everything to someone bit. I know some people want that but how and why? To me, that feels big and heavy, like a chore that can never be completed to anyone's satisfaction. I've heard people say it's romantic or such, but I think it sounds overwhelming. I'm curious what is the appeal there for you?



txfz1
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 13 Dec 2021
Age: 63
Gender: Male
Posts: 364
Location: US

08 Jan 2022, 8:22 pm

FleaOfTheChill wrote:
Jealousy is real to a lot of people. Frankly, I wish more people accepted the fact that they are jealous before trying to ignore it and dive into things and mess up relationships thinking they can handle it when they can't. It hurts when people get hurt.

Some folks can deal with jealousy and overcome with open and honest communication, but a lot of people can't handle that either. It can be scary to be that open. That much I understand.

I don't understand the wanting to be everything to someone bit. I know some people want that but how and why? To me, that feels big and heavy, like a chore that can never be completed to anyone's satisfaction. I've heard people say it's romantic or such, but I think it sounds overwhelming. I'm curious what is the appeal there for you?


I think the origin of the romantic notion is growing up in front of the TV watching the Hollywood propaganda machine. Movies was a big influence on my people watching skills as I mostly grew up in a very rural area. It was our families only entertainment. On Saturday night, we would drive to a small town, get six hamburgers for a dollar, and then go to the drive in movies. Bonnie and Clyde was risky for us kids, my parents were hoping we would be asleep by the bedroom scene. I've since learned being Cary Grant in "To Catch a Thief" has always been unrealistic endeavor that will just bring disappointment, still a good daydream.



Minuteman
Raven
Raven

Joined: 23 Jan 2020
Age: 56
Gender: Male
Posts: 120

08 Jan 2022, 8:39 pm

People on the spectrum tend to value loyalty. It would stand to reason that they'd be more inclined to have exclusive relationships rather than one-night stands or multiple partners.

But as many have said on here, they call it a spectrum for a reason.



txfz1
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 13 Dec 2021
Age: 63
Gender: Male
Posts: 364
Location: US

08 Jan 2022, 8:53 pm

Good point.^

In general, because of developing moral codes via systemizing instead of empathy, there is a strong desire to live by the rules and expect fairness.



FleaOfTheChill
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 31 Jul 2020
Age: 307
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 1,177
Location: Everywhere

09 Jan 2022, 5:48 am

txfz1 wrote:
I think the origin of the romantic notion is growing up in front of the TV watching the Hollywood propaganda machine. Movies was a big influence on my people watching skills as I mostly grew up in a very rural area. It was our families only entertainment. On Saturday night, we would drive to a small town, get six hamburgers for a dollar, and then go to the drive in movies. Bonnie and Clyde was risky for us kids, my parents were hoping we would be asleep by the bedroom scene. I've since learned being Cary Grant in "To Catch a Thief" has always been unrealistic endeavor that will just bring disappointment, still a good daydream.


That makes sense to me. Thank you for the explanation. It is appreciated.

A bit of off topic randomness... I wonder if drive ins exist anymore. The one in my town got tore down over twenty years ago at this point. I didn't go there often, I'm not a movie/tv person, but I still think it's a cool experience to have and it seems a shame to me that there are people around who have never been to a drive in movie in their lives.



FleaOfTheChill
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 31 Jul 2020
Age: 307
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 1,177
Location: Everywhere

09 Jan 2022, 5:56 am

Minuteman wrote:
People on the spectrum tend to value loyalty. It would stand to reason that they'd be more inclined to have exclusive relationships rather than one-night stands or multiple partners.

But as many have said on here, they call it a spectrum for a reason.


Agreed. From what I've read around here anyway, it seems like that's fairly accurate. I'd also have guessed a reason people on the spectrum might be more drawn to monogamy is due to being introverts and needing a lot of alone time.



Descartes
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 8 Apr 2008
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Posts: 6,249
Location: Texas, unfortunately

10 Jan 2022, 8:42 pm

I can't say an open relationship would be for me, and I am currently in a relationship. I wouldn't call myself the jealous type, but I don't like the idea of my partner being intimate with someone else while he's supposed to be with me. Then my mind would start to wander, like, "Does this other person have something that I don't have?" or "Does my boyfriend like being with this other person more than he likes being with me?" That kind of stuff.


_________________
What fresh hell is this?


txfz1
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 13 Dec 2021
Age: 63
Gender: Male
Posts: 364
Location: US

10 Jan 2022, 9:21 pm

FleaOfTheChill wrote:

That makes sense to me. Thank you for the explanation. It is appreciated.

A bit of off topic randomness... I wonder if drive ins exist anymore. The one in my town got tore down over twenty years ago at this point. I didn't go there often, I'm not a movie/tv person, but I still think it's a cool experience to have and it seems a shame to me that there are people around who have never been to a drive in movie in their lives.


I'd also say music has an influence on my literal mind. Just curious about how long, on average, do your relationships last? No judgement.

I travel a lot and every once in awhile you will see the facade, last one I saw working. No cars, just lawn chairs.

Image



FleaOfTheChill
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 31 Jul 2020
Age: 307
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 1,177
Location: Everywhere

11 Jan 2022, 7:43 am

txfz1 wrote:

I'd also say music has an influence on my literal mind. Just curious about how long, on average, do your relationships last? No judgement.

I travel a lot and every once in awhile you will see the facade, last one I saw working. No cars, just lawn chairs.

Image


Regarding the music talk; I'm curious how. Would you mind elaborating?

My relationship times vary. I've been married twice. The first time for six years (I was 17 when we got married, should have known it would be short one...) and the second marriage lasted about 18 years with a nearly two year separation in the mix. I had one long-term partner during my second marriage and she and I were on and off for over ten years (we'd not be physically involved if one of us was having a rough patch in our respective marriages) but remained good friends the entire time regardless. Those were the longest ones. I've had a few as short as a few months.

I'm glad to hear drive ins still exist here and there. I'm not sure I'd want to go to a lawn chair one though. My town has a lawn chair movie event in the summer. It's a crowded, chaotic mess. I like the idea of being able to hide in a car. :lol: