I Need a Solution

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-30-2009
I Need a Solution
Sun, 08-30-2009 - 4:14pm

I love my boyfriend, who has Asperger's Syndrome (self-diagnosed, but the shoe certainly fits). He is the most intelligent man I have ever known. But we haven't even so much as attempted sex for over two years. He's not cheating, I always know where he is; he hates pornography, so he hasn't fallen prey to losing interest in me because he's spending all his energy on that; he just doesn't feel comfortable with physicality -- he "hates having a body," as he puts it.

It's not as if I have an unusually high libido, but it is in comparison with his.

I've suggested therapy, but he has no respect for the psychobabblers. He does not have any physical problems suppressing his sex drive. I've tentatively suggested the possibility of an open relationship, but, while he didn't react negatively, he hasn't given me any sign of willingness either.

I do not want to leave him. But I'm not getting any younger, and I really can't face the thought of never having sex again. I also don't want to resort to cheating. I am at an impasse, and if anyone has any suggestions: on learning to cope with the situation, on convincing him to try an open relationship, or on how to resuscitate his sex drive, that would be wonderful.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2006
Sun, 08-30-2009 - 8:34pm

Well if he isn't willing to work or discussion things with you, not much you can.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Sun, 08-30-2009 - 10:20pm

Hm, interesting problem (though hard for you, I know.)

My son has a mild form of autism. We have a family friend whose son has a more classical version of Asperger's. My son needs and seeks out connection. He recently had his first fling with a girl and he had a fantastic time. (She's bright, nice, and neurologically normal; he's bright, nice, and gorgeous, so it kind of evened out). He has still managed to maintain a relationship with her even though they live 2000 miles apart. He's definitely got a 17 year old libido and also a strong need for affection and connection, though he has other neurological oddities. My friend's son is less obviously affected-- you wouldn't know unless you talked to him for a while, with the conversation reverting back to topics of interest to him. He's also quite handsome by the way. He doesn't seek out friends, doesn't show interest in girlfriends. He enjoys companionship but doesn't go out of the way for it. He has low social needs which are easily met.

I don't know how affected your SO is. My gut reaction is that he will not be able to change his sexuality for you. He might be able to tolerate an open relationship, as long as you were still providing the things he needs from you. If you would truly like to stay with him, you could tell him you want to have sex with another person, and if green lighted, follow through and see how it goes. In my experience aspie/ASD types are not devious. Directness works best. If you are looking at having children, etc, it could all get rather complicated. On the other hand I am all for non-standard relationships that help people stay happy and meet their needs. Good luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-2007
Mon, 08-31-2009 - 1:50am

I do not want to leave him...if anyone has any suggestions: on learning to cope with the situation, on convincing him to try an open relationship, or on how to resuscitate his sex drive, that would be wonderful.

You have given us some really tight parameters for our advice. It's difficult when someone makes it clear they don't want the only advice that makes sense to me. Nevertheless:

Coping. Hmmm. Since you've said, "I really can't face the thought of never having sex again," it seems that coping means lowering your sex drive. I don't know of any healthy way to do that. I suppose you could stop thinking about sex and don't put yourself in any situations where the thought of sex might creep into your head, but then that just makes some people hornier, so that might not be the best idea. My question is: Why would you want to just cope for the rest of your life? Wouldn't you want to find someone with a similar sex drive and enjoy the rest of your life with him?

Convincing him to try an open relationship. Since he didn't say he wouldn't like this, I suppose you might try asking him directly if he would mind it. Of course, he doesn't sound like the type that would take advantage of the "open" status; it would only be open for you, so most people might find that a little unbalanced and unfair and might be inclined to say "no", in which case you're back to the other options. If you think there's someone out there that you could be sexually compatible with for your open relationship FB, then what's so difficult about the idea that there might be someone compatible with you in every way out there, leading you to end this relationship and start a new one?

Resuscitaing his sex drive. You make it sound like he had a sex drive at one point. Was that while you were involved with him or is it just something in the pre-you past he talks about? If it's talk I would take it with a grain of salt; most LL men make it sound like they're hornier than they are and always have been hornier than they are. But if you're asking how to build a new sex drive from nothing (no sex in over two years is about as close to nothing as I've ever heard of), then I'd have to say it's about as

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2007
Sun, 09-06-2009 - 9:09am

I have Asperger's. I may be able to help you. I was mis diagnosed for years with Bi-Polar. That is why one cannot self diagnose!. My wife to has always said" The one thing she really admired was that I knew something about everything." We can be VERY difficult to get along with on a long term basis. I suggest you go to Amazon, they have a ton of books on the subject.

I just bought three myself:

1. 22 Things a Woman Must Know If She Loves A Man With Asperger's Syndrome

2. Love, Sex and Long Term Relationships: What People With Asperger's Really, Really Want

3. Asperger's Syndrome and Long Term Relationships.

We don't pick up social clues well. I have a high libido and my wife doesn't and has been a big problem for us. Discovering late in life that I have this has helped a lot.

Good luck