The Difficulties of Being a Passing Aspie


Moderators, feel free to delete if this post is inappropriate for this forum. I understand it might not be the right place. But if these gets seen by only a few eye balls then I will at least feel like I have been heard. I promise to turn this back towards porn addiction at the end.

I have Asperger's Syndrome. There I said it. I have not been formally diagnosed, but I've read just about every article and book I can find on the subject, have read over the symptoms and signs of it, both in children and adults, and I hit just about every single one. You wouldn't know it if you met me. I am pretty normal when it comes to eye contact. The feedback I have received from other people is that sometimes I come on a bit strong with the eye contact, with too much of it, or holding it at inappropriate times. What people don't know is how many years of practice it has truly taken to get this good, and how much I enjoy, and find refuge in the moments when our culture has told us it is okay to release it. I am pretty good at holding a conversation, but the detailed observer would notice a penchant for keeping the subject to a few core subjects, the ones I know a lot about. This has gotten better as I have gradually learned that it is okay not to know things, in fact it makes life infinitely more enjoyable and more fun to talk to people about things you don't know. Learning is lots of fun. I enjoy it thoroughly. What people might not guess is how much I avoid certain subjects like social history and sociology: subjects that are all about understanding how people behave, and how they think. I got by in history classes by obsessing over things, not people. I loved learning about weapons, and their design. Now I am learning all about the history and design of jewelry in my gemology classes. And I love it. Learning about things, that is. People are more marginal.

But I never got that savored Asperger's diagnosis. I got diagnosed with ADHD, which I do in fact have. I started doing better in school once I started medication for that. I started performing well academically, and even socially. But the social part was always more of an act (see the Journal of Best Practices by David Finch to understand what this means). It was always a role I played. And I wasn't always very good. But I was "good enough". I was always, just "odd". I was the guy that didn't get social cues, but could get around that. I was the guy that could talk the talk and walk the walk. Enough to get dates. Enough to have a social circle.

I hated David Finch's Journal of Best Practices when I first read it. Mostly because it struck to close to the core. He described me so often that I sometimes forgot it was not my own biography. But last night I went ahead and searched his name on Youtube and watched him speak. And OH MY GOD! He was JUST LIKE ME! You could hardly tell he has Asperger's, in fact. I bet that most neurotypical people don't know that he does. Just like me, he got away with being normal for most of his 30 plus years. Seeing him speak on stage was the clincher for me. I finally knew that I was just like him. That I had it.

Being "normal" isn't an option for me. Unlike the vast majority of NOFappers and recovering addicts on here, being normal will not be the end result of this process. But quite frankly, I don't really care.

I promised myself today that here today, I hereby quit the journey to become "normal". It quite simply does not interest me. And it never has. I like rocks. I like gems. I like antique and historic jewelry. I like fossils. And more than that, I like talking about these things.

For me, porn and alcohol were never something that sucked me in, like light into a black hole. They were a way to turn my brain off, to slow it down. Quite frankly, my always spinning brain unnerved me quite often. I sometimes wondered what those "normal" guys in the frat clubs were doing on a Saturday night. And I soon got sucked in.

I now largely regret those decisions. I feel like I probably would have had a better dating life, and more than that, better relationships with significant others, if I had never come into contact with boozing and porn. I lost so much out of the experience of studying and "making learning my full vocation" by doing these things. I thought these things were cool at the time, but they are actually really gross, petty, and boring. Partaking in these things, and letting them suck me into their orbit, ended up being a huge waste of time.

What I am trying to say, in a warped, overly convoluted way, is maybe being an Aspie, and not knowing about it, actually sent me on a full on collision towards porn. Maybe my incredibly frequent inability to recognize when women were flirting with me left me with some form of frustration, and my stupid solution to that was to go to porn. Maybe I used it to soothe a sexual frustration, rather than simply figuring out how to converse with women, which would have ended up getting me in a better direction.

I will defintiely keep all this in mind when my own son, now 2, ends up going through all of these phases, as I am 99.99% sure that he has inherited my Asperger's, that I got from my Dad myself (whom also refuses to question whether he has it; apparently not noticing incredibly obvious problems runs in the family.)

I don't worry for my son's future. I am not one of those people. Maybe actually having Asperger's helps? I don't know. I just know that my son will be fine. Especially because I am going to tell him to stay the hell away from porn, from booze, and you know what.......if you want advice on dating women......................................It might be a darned good idea to talk to your peers............................who are women.


Active Member
Your post is interesting to me because i've had some aspects of asperger's myself. I took the AQ and turned out not to have it, technically (though I thought the questions were too focussed on lifestyle variables and not enough on enduring characteristics). I also spent a lot of time clubbing and drinking as a young man that I regret. I reckon that at Unversity (college, if you're american), I should've studied hard, hit the gym and socialised with women sober, likely at a society of some kind. Most of my male friends preferred getting drunk and hitting on women.

I've also had problems dating. About half my problems were not picking up on clues that women liked me and the other half were not knowing what to say when I did pick up on the clues. So I can relate to your story. You'd think that the problems dating with aspies would mean they are overrepresented on this forum.

I also recommend the film "A Story of Luke", which is about a guy with asperger's and his problems socialising and dating.