Since I can speak from personal experience, it’s probably helpful I pass along brief information about Aspergers and asexuality.
The statement Tony Atwood makes on pages 308 and 309 of his book The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome,
…the partner of a man or woman with Asperger’s syndrome is more likely to be concerned about the lack of sexual desire rather than an excess. The partner with Asperger’s syndrome may become asexual once he or she has children or once the couple have formally committed themselves to the relationship.
is correct, except for the part about “becoming” asexual. Asexuality is a sexual orientation belonging to individuals who do not experience sexual attraction. Celibacy is a choice. Asexuality is not.
If, or when, an asexual engages in sex, the motive will not be the same as for someone who does have sexual desires. Generally speaking, asexuality is more common among Aspies than neurotypicals. However, this doesn’t mean most Aspies are probably asexual.
Studies suggest that around one percent of the population is asexual. This topic is fairly new, so there is a good chance this percentage is incorrect. The number is probably much higher. The percent of female Aspies in existence is most likely also reported inaccurately low.
On his blog, Life With Aspergers, Gavin covers the sensory issues associated with touch. He has spoken to a number of Aspies who find light touching, fingertips, etc., to be irritating. He is that way himself. Almost always, so am I. Gavin also states, “…many Aspies who have no problems with tight hugs, etc., will tend to pull away if they are patted or stroked. Often itching or rubbing the place where they have been touched. This will frequently send the wrong message to their loved ones.”
I can relate to this comment submitted on March 18, 2011 4:26 PM to Gavin’s post Aspies and Sexuality by Anonymous,
In my case, Tony Attwood got it exactly right. I have Aspergers and consider myself to be asexual. I did however, as Attwood describes, attempt sexual interest only insofar as to gain a partner. Once the deal was sealed so to speak, I went right back to my asexual ways. And while I never desired sex, I realized logically that it was necessary if I wanted to continue the relationship I was in. It is hard enough to find a man when you have Asperger’s, it is entirely another thing to find a man who is also okay with not having sex. So I had sex until I realized we were in it for the long haul, then I stopped (or at least greatly decreased…If I stopped completely I would probably be back on Square 1).
Penelope Trunk says she is an Aspie female. Her post What it’s like to have sex with someone with Asperger’s doesn’t cover the topic of asexuality, but it does provide her personal sexual experience. AVEN – The Asexual Visibility and Education Network provides a wealth of information about asexuality.