Autistic People Often Misread Sexual Cues

Two images side by side, one is of a white woman with long, blonde hair and a flirtatious look on her face, the other is a man of indeterminate heritage with facial hair, a suit and tie, and a smoldering look in his eyes with text that reads, "I can't tell if you want to have sex or punch me right in the face".

This is a bit embarrassing, but I have to ask this, am I the only autistic person who can’t tell a “let’s get it on” look from a “I want to slug you in the face” look?

I have ALWAYS had trouble with that, which may explain (partially) why I’m so attracted to mean or angry-looking people.

I can’t tell if someone is mad, turned on, or they just have really bad gas! The facial expressions are very similar to me.

Sexual desire, anger, frustration, and physical pain can look very similar to me in the way they shape the face; the narrowed eyes, the eyebrow lift, the lip curl that could be a seductive smirk or a sign of disgust, the prolonged eye contact.

I don’t know if the person wants to get undressed or chase me around the woods with an axe!

OK, I’m trying to make this funny, but seriously, do other autistic people struggle with this?

Neurotypicals, do you find your partner trying to make out with you when you’re mad and run from you when you’re in the mood?

Maybe this is why??

(Oh, and by the way, I also can’t MAKE the correct facial expression for desire, either. I either look mad, high, or like I’m about to sneeze. 🙄)

If you are romantically involved with an autistic person, you may think they are not interested in being with you sexually, but it may be that they just can’t read your cues!

Learn more about romance and the autistic mind by checking out the books below.

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2 Responses

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