BDSM and Autism – Personal Musings

I’ve been trying to write an article about writing BDSM, and so I’ve been doing thinking as of late about my relationship with BDSM. For example, why exactly *do* I enjoy letting someone tie me to a X-cross in a sex dungeon and beat me? As one wonders if one likes such a thing. I came up with some thoughts that I felt might fit on this blog as a post, so here it goes. Future blog post about writing BDSM in fiction to follow at another time.

Image is of a BDSM X-cross with chains in the top corners

There’s a sort of stereotype I’ve encountered from people who don’t know any better that people who like BDSM (bondage and discipline, domination and submission, sadism and masochism) are damaged in some way. In particular, women like myself who like to be submissive. That we’ve endured some kind of trauma in childhood (or adulthood) that makes us broken, so we need to express that with ‘deviant’ sex lives as adults. I have no trauma, something I’ve eye-rollingly explained to a few people who wanted to know what issues drove me to this dark and disturbed pastime. I had a mostly happy childhood, have no daddy issues, my parents are happily married, and no one ever hurt me. This confuses people who then want to know, well, why DO you like all these kinky things then?

The answer really is as simple as, “It’s fun.” I like the adrenaline rush, endorphins, anticipation, thrills, and passion of it all. I’m horny and someone holding me down (in the right context) turns me on. But I realized something a little deeper than that lately that adds to my enjoyment: I get to be free. Ironic, since ropes, shackles, and chains are usually involved.

What I mean by “I get to be free” is that as someone who’s autistic, I have to control myself a lot. There’s a social coping technique used by a lot of autistics (whether consciously or subconsciously) called masking that I have a decent handle on, where you put on a front to the world and hide all the quirks that make you seem neurodivergent as to not upset the neurotypicals around you. No covering your eyes to shut it all out if you’re overwhelmed, no happy flapping your arms, no bouncing your leg up and down, no rambling on favored topics or special interests. Mimic the people around you so you can pass as normal and make people like you, or at least be willing to tolerate you. Make eye contact; give people you don’t know hugs to avoid confrontation as to why you’re not comfortable with it. Over the years, I’ve internalized so much of masking that it’s hard to undo and figure out what’s really me underneath it all. I still have my stims (self-stimulation behaviors such as fidgeting), but I feel the need to hide them in most company that’s not accustomed to me.

Image is of a riding crop and a collar

In BDSM scenes the way I’ve been lucky enough to experienced them, I don’t have to repress myself. I can scream when something hurts – in fact, it’s encouraged rather than repressed. There’s nothing more cathartic than being told, “I want to hear you scream.” It’s sexy because I’m into that kind of power play, but it also allows me freedom to react instinctually, and I can’t get enough of it. Someone wants me to be me. If I want to thrash against my restraints or press my face against the spanking bench I’m tied to, no one tells me not to. When there’s pleasure, I’m allowed to moan and tremble. I’m allowed to surrender to it however I like, to lean into a dominant’s touch and say that yes, I do love it. That I crave more, or that it’s too much. I can have my eyes blindfolded so I don’t need to deal with looking anyone in the eye and just focus on the experiences.

And, in all of this, even though I’m giving up power to someone else, I always have control. With safe words and pre/post scene discussions, I say what goes and how much of it. No one is telling me that I have to endure anything I don’t want to if something is too uncomfortable or overwhelming, different from in real life where autistics are told to endure things or denied accommodations because a neurotypical doesn’t get what the problem is – not dissimilar to a bad dominant who thinks safe words are suggestions and is too wrapped up in their own experience to care for their submissive.

I’m certain I’m not the only person who feels this way, who finds that release and freedom in losing control, but I do think that being autistic has a heavy hand in it for me. I wouldn’t suggest it for everyone, of course. It’s a specific taste, and there’s way more to enjoying it than having a certain neurology. But, for me, this is my experience and why BDSM is the perfect outlet for me as an autistic woman. Hope my musings amused!

Are you autistic? Do you have a similar experience with BDSM? Leave a comment! If you liked this post, give a like, comment, and follow for more content and check me out on twitter at @EternalEvelyn or Facebook. Stay tuned for information on my upcoming paranormal romance novel! Subscribe to my newsletter to keep up with new developments here.

2 thoughts on “BDSM and Autism – Personal Musings

  1. I am autistic (Asperger) and while I never had any experience with sex (other than a rape) I’m very attracted to bdsm. I agree that it’s probably related to giving control and not having to hold in, I hate dancing exactly because I feel unable to loosen up, but I wonder whether if getting dominated is just a way of handing off this control problem to someone else and burdening them with a problem that I can’t even solve myself. Additionally, I’m bad at communicating about problems (one of my accommodations got screwed because I held unto problems until they became too much and it was too late to find a satisfying solution) so maybe the emphasis on communication in bdsm (safewords, aftercare) could help. Then again, I haven’t had any experience.

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    • I totally get the communicating issue. I have trouble with communicating sometimes too. What helps a million is doing the communicating beforehand for me, but not in person. I like to do that via messaging or texting. I find I’m able to take the time to get the right words in that way, which leads to the best outcomes for in-person experiences. A good Dom/me knows nothing goes without prior consent, and they’ll communicate with you about what exactly you want. If they’re not a good one, you don’t go back to them, no exceptions.

      Don’t think of it as handing off the control as a burden or a problem you can’t solve. You’re gifting control to someone who enjoys having it – though ultimately you have control still (safewords, hard limits, etc.) and that’s important to remember. Submission is a gift you give to someone you trust, a gift that the other person does/should appreciate and respect. All good bdsm, sex, and relationships should have an emphasis on communication which absolutely helps make everything better. Heck, even vanilla sex should have mutual aftercare, in my opinion. “How was it, did you enjoy this, do you want more of that, are you feeling okay? I really liked it when___, wow this part was so hot, I’d love to try this again, let’s not do this other thing it felt a bit weird to me,” etc. can count as part of aftercare for vanilla or kinky sex. When you find someone you trust to explore bdsm with, ask them about how they usually go about aftercare, feel free to make suggestions if you have them, and always cement your safewords and limits. (as a side note, it’s good to have nonverbal safewords just in case. Mine is snapping my fingers in addition to saying yellow or red)

      Whether you have experience or not, you know what turns you on! 🙂 I knew I was into bdsm way before I even had sex for the first time, though the reality is definitely more intense and there are a few things that I’ve changed my opinion on after trying them. Just take it slow the first few times to get a feel for it. Also, just want to gently say that I personally feel sex is for you, not against you. ❤ If it's against you, you don't need to count it as experience with sex if you don't want to.

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