You see, internet, the thing about these posts is that sometimes we really need to talk about something.
But I don’t claim to have all of the autism-related answers.
These posts are largely an amalgamation of my personal experience, things I have picked up from other Autistic people in the community, and from my own research when it comes to writing Autistic characters.
But, when it comes to romance, like any online community, most people aren’t looking to spill their guts all over the #actuallyautistic tag about it.
And, as a young, Autistic, socially anxious introvert who hates people, I don’t exactly have a great amount of personal experience to draw on here.
All of this makes research harder, but I am doing my best.
(And, you know, in the hope of better representation in media…)
So, the Day One FAQ:
Wait, Autistic people can be in romantic relationships?
Yes. There is a stereotype that Autistic people are aromantic/asexual.
This isn’t true.
And I feel the need to stress here that some Autistic people are ace and/or aro, and I don’t mean this is sound like “don’t compare us to them” because they are completely legitimate orientations and there is nothing wrong with them.
The problem lies in the desexualisation of disabled people, which, I don’t know, I might do another long post on later.
So, does that mean I can’t write an ace or aro Autistic character?
No. I’m writing one myself. But you have to be aware of the trope and try to mitigate. Have two Autistic characters, and only have one of them be ace/aro, for example.
I have several Autistic characters, all with different orientations.
Yeah. Straight is not the only option besides ace/aro Autistics, but it can often feel like it in media.
This comes down to the fact that Autistic people are desexualised, while gay and bi people are oversexualised.
People forget that we can be gay and bi too.
So, how does flirting work if you socialise differently?
Erm, admittedly, with difficulty. I often don’t realise someone is flirting with me until they say it outright. Equally, Allistics often don’t realise when I’m flirting with them. Again, I could give flirting its own post and it’s getting late…
Okay, but what about sex?
Urgh, again, its own post. But yeah, there’s sensory stuff involved. It can be tricky. Or not. Everyone is different. Again, own post.
Did you basically write this to tell us that you’re going to do a whole series on romance?
Kind of. I’m sorry. It’s late and I’m ill.
Day One, you guys. I don’t want another 2k post…
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