You can be autistic and have a sexual orientation at the same time.

glittery-cyan-skies asked: 

Me identifying as Demisexual and being on the autism spectrum goes hand in hand for me sometimes. Some days I feel like I'm completely valid because I often exhibit traits of being Demisexual, such as only truly experiencing sexual attraction at least once with someone I had known for a very long time. Then other days I feel completely unsure again because I remember that my autism means that I often only like people after knowing them for a long time. So am I demi or am I just being autistic?

Realsocialskills answered:

I can’t tell you what your sexual orientation is — you’re the only one who can answer that question. Whatever your sexual orientation is, it’s valid. It’s also ok not to be sure. Some people know what their sexual orientation is from a very young age; some people take longer to figure it out. Everyone has the right to be who they are. 

Just about anything we experience as autistic people will be influenced by our autism, including sexuality. That doesn’t make our experiences any less valid — it just means that they’re autistic experiences. Different autistic people fall different places on the gender and sexuality spectrum — we have the same range of sexual orientations that anyone else does. 

Some autistic people find that their experience of sexuality is somewhat different from nonautistic people who share their sexual orientation. For instance, if you’re demisexual, you might find that there are some differences between the circumstances that can lead to attraction for you and the circumstances that seem to lead to attraction for nonautistic demisexual people you know. That doesn’t make you any less demisexual, it just means that having a disability that affects how you relate to people sometimes affects how you relate to people. It’s ok when it turns out that autism matters.

You might find that your experiences with sexuality are somewhat different from those of nonautistic people who share your sexual orientation, or you may not. If your experiences are different, that doesn’t make them any less valid. It’s sort of like language: As an autistic person, you may communicate differently from others, but that doesn’t mean you’re any less of an English speaker — and it *definitely* doesn’t mean your question was actually written in French. You are who you are, and it’s ok that autistic difference is sometimes part of that. 

One way to think about it might be to keep in mind that you’re only one person. Don’t try to separate out a part of you that’s autistic and a part of you that’s valid. Your whole self is valid, and you can be autistic and have a sexual orientation at the same time.

 

 A cartoon protest sign on a pride rainbow background with the text "you can be autistic and have a sexual orientation at the same time"

A cartoon protest sign on a pride rainbow background with the text "you can be autistic and have a sexual orientation at the same time"