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bee33
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08 Mar 2024, 8:21 am

It seems like a lot of people on the spectrum develop special interests that are related to academic fields of study or other serious topics, and those are interests that one can be proud of and even become experts in. Then there are interests in particular characters, animation, or video games, that are perhaps less serious in nature but still there are a lot of other people who share that passion so it doesn't seem to be an embarrassing interest.

But that can run into problems too, if the interest doesn't seem age appropriate, or if an otherwise serious and studious person also loves animation that is considered to be made for children.

For me, I've had interests that I am reluctant to talk about, though I have with people I was close to, and looking back it's kind of embarrassing.

For a while a few years ago my interest was male fashion models. It was not sexual. They are much younger than I am, for one thing, and they are these pale skinny tall guys who look like a slight breeze might knock them down. They are pretty, but in the same way that butterflies are pretty. They're kind of ethereal. I had a tumblr about male models and there was a community of people on tumblr who also followed male models and men's fashion, which I also found fascinating. But who can you tell about this? For one thing they would assume that it's a physical attraction, so it's even hard to explain, that it's a kind of aesthetic and akin to liking cute animals.

I've also had special interests in bands whose fans were usually much younger than me.

Do you have or have had special interests that are hard to explain?



ToughDiamond
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08 Mar 2024, 12:24 pm

My special interests tend to be rather fragmented into medium-sized obsessional projects that have somewhat trivial goals. Example at the moment is that I'm trying to figure out how to create a surround-sound file that will play in a surround sound system to make the sound of a car driving round the room. After that I might make another one with music where each of the 5 speakers will have a different instrument coming out of it.

So I guess that meets the criteria - frivolous, useless, and of little or no interest to others. I suppose it's age-appropriate though. And if I get to my goal, I'll still be proud of it, regardless of what the rest of the world thinks. It will mean I've mastered a technique that most people haven't. I think a lot of it is brain exercise and meeting intellectual challenges. I tend to get bored if I don't have such a project going on.

It usually starts with me suddenly having some random, capricious desire to get some result or other that happened to occur to me, something I could see some kind of path by which I might be able to achieve it. Doesn't seem to matter what it is as long as it requires careful, intelligent work and it expands my repertoire of abilities. Such projects are usually very much off the beaten track.

The exception is music, which is a fairly conventional pursuit.



ElmersTrueLove
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08 Mar 2024, 12:43 pm

Looney Tunes. It's seen as immature nowadays, especially with it being shown or referenced on shows like Sesame Street (although that also has an adult fandom, including most of the Muppets Fandom in general!). The worst was when someone made fun of me for it due to The Stupid Cupid, which has Elmer Fudd wearing a diaper as Cupid. It's pretty obvious the franchise gets kinda weird after a certain point.


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DazyDaisy
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08 Mar 2024, 1:23 pm

As for interests that are considered as unappropriate for adults, like cartoons, honestly, I couldn't care less what other people think. I like cartoons for myself not for other people. Other people won't feed me if I get hungry, won't pay my bills, won't take me to their homes if I lose mine, I owe them nothing. And if people close to me find my interest (like that) ridiculous, label me as stupid or make fun of me because of it, I also wouldn't care, even if I'm going to lose them over it. I don't se how I am doing harm to anybody by watching my favorite cartoons, in MY home, during MY free time. Or even if I share it on my social networks. They always have an option not to click on it.

The same goes for your interest of photos of young male models. Nothing wrong if you admire their beauty. No wonder why young models, both male and female, are taken to advertise even products for much older people. Youth is equal to health. And I, personaly, have nothing against it as long as it doesn't become the terror of youth and that it is a must to look young as long as you can. I want to age gracefully, natural way, by taking care of myself the best way I can, by eating healthy food, doing healthy things and not by injecting botox or doing plastic surgery. Otherwise youth and anything youthfull is ok to me.


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CockneyRebel
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08 Mar 2024, 2:24 pm

German wartime stuff. It's pointless, but I enjoy it.


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Elgee
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10 Mar 2024, 1:35 am

I go crazy when I see a man with "good stubble." I don't mean just ANY stubble. It has to be a certain kind. I will stare and stare when he's not looking at me. But if we're in conversation, I can't stare at his stubble because he'll wonder why I'm "looking down there" instead of at his eyes. However, since my ASD diagnosis, if I meet an autistic man with "good" stubble, I will look there in conversation, because he won't wonder why I'm not giving him direct eye contact. I want to run my fingertips along good stubble, but I just can't go around asking guys if I can do this. Only in my dreams. I was thinking of paying for an escort service just to feel the stubble. Nothing else. I'd have to see a picture of the man first, to make sure he had the good kind of stubble. I'd arrange to do this in a public park in daylight, just feeling his stubble while he just sits there. This is on my bucket list.



jamie0.0
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10 Mar 2024, 3:32 am

I used to have a fascination with watching mukbangs

It's hard to explain why but I find people eating large amounts of food very satisfying



CockneyRebel
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10 Mar 2024, 5:34 am

jamie0.0 wrote:
I used to have a fascination with watching mukbangs

It's hard to explain why but I find people eating large amounts of food very satisfying


That's because those people have healthy appetites and it can be a real treat to see a video of a person with a healthy appetite doing what they love the most.


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jamie0.0
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10 Mar 2024, 6:11 am

CockneyRebel wrote:
jamie0.0 wrote:
I used to have a fascination with watching mukbangs

It's hard to explain why but I find people eating large amounts of food very satisfying


That's because those people have healthy appetites and it can be a real treat to see a video of a person with a healthy appetite doing what they love the most.


This is true. It's nice to see someone indulge their appetite.



ElmersTrueLove
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10 Mar 2024, 6:31 am

jamie0.0 wrote:
I used to have a fascination with watching mukbangs

It's hard to explain why but I find people eating large amounts of food very satisfying


I had a Nikocado Avocado phase for the memes. I noticed he is losing some weight and is getting less toxic with Orlin last time I checked.


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Jason Thayer
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10 Mar 2024, 6:39 am

I used to read comic books regularly, but since I can't afford them anymore, I have difficulty keeping up.


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autisticelders
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10 Mar 2024, 7:52 am

I collected model horses and made their tack (saddles, bridles, etc) until well into my 30's... collect rocks and fossils today ( as well as stuffed animals and a few other frivolous things) Its OK to do what makes you happy, no judgement. As long as we don't harm others, anything is "fair game". Who says hobbies and interests have to have noble or redeeming purposes.????? Hogwash!! !

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Double Retired
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10 Mar 2024, 1:40 pm

When I was young (a very long time ago) for a few years I was interested in VW Beetles and distinguishing their age by looking at their exterior.

I lost that interest more than half a century ago. But I suspect I could still sort some Beetles by age.

Note: Old-style Beetles!


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auntblabby
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10 Mar 2024, 1:55 pm

up conversion [resolution-wise] of old pictures, sound recordings and film/video recordings.



Daisy_Eyes
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10 Mar 2024, 2:46 pm

Most of my interests, like European folklore and history and biology are considered pretty normal and a lot of people like those things, but then I have things like being fixated on old commercials and repeating them constantly that are considered a bit more frivolous and niche.

I actually dated someone who liked to watch old commercials with me so that was really cool because unlike a lot of my interests that is one I never really got to share with people.

Most of my echolalia is me repeating things from 1980s toy commercials.



SocOfAutism
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11 Mar 2024, 2:55 pm

The "autism" in OPs statement is not the embarrassing special interest, it is the idea that every person does NOT have an embarrassing interest.

The difference between neurotypical and autistic special interests is that neurotypical people do not really draw energy from time with their interests. They help us relax a little, but they don't help us to the degree that special interests help you guys. Which is maybe why when an interest is embarrassing it seems like more of a big deal.

My husband is super into high end outdoor bags. He is not an outdoorsman. A few years ago he was really into mountain climbing. But never climbed any kind of mountain. He just read all about it and watched a lot of documentaries. He also watches cooking videos for food he would never eat in real life. For hours and hours.

Like I said, I am not autistic, but I also have embarrassing interests. I used to have a huge collection of barbie dolls. I had hundreds. I made myself give them away to some poor children years ago and now I don't allow myself to buy them anymore due to space limitations. I have another embarrassing thing I do with my sister in law where we have cats who look almost exactly alike. She and I will take silly photos of the cats or videos of them being brushed and send them to each other throughout the day. We're middle aged women and it's stupid. I wish I had an interest that was cool or useful but it hasn't happened yet.