Are you afraid to date someone with autism? Do you feel it will be like having sex with a “robot?” Do you think the sex will be bad and passionless, and your needs will not be met?
Neurodiverse relationships can, and do, work. Ashley Grubbs, a licensed professional counselor who practices in Colorado, Texas and Virginia, specializes in neurodiverse couples counseling and knows first-hand that these relationships can be everything a partner is looking for. She is happily married to a man on the autism spectrum. Just because the neurodiverse brain works differently, doesn’t mean it is broken, she explains.
The brain processes information differently, which means the person’s view and expectations of sex will be different from their partner’s. Begin the process of understanding how your partner thinks, and what his/her perceptions are regarding sex and intimacy. Start the communication and conversations. Autistic people may have difficulty expressing love or empathy because they are unable to label their emotions and feelings and verbalize them. What comes to us naturally, is not a natural process for them.
On the positive side, the autistic partner is open and honest about what they are thinking. They also are loyal, kind and thoughtful – that is how they love us. They feel so deeply, but they struggle with expressing those feelings – they don’t know how to assign words to their feelings. The ultimate goal is that both people in the relationship will have their sexual needs met. There are barriers to overcome, but once they are resolved, the relationship can be satisfying, pleasurable and fulfilling.
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