Someone found my blog today by googling “seduce asperger,” and it inspired me to come up with a list of handy tips to get a little closer to the special Aspie in your life:

 

1. Ask the Aspie about his or her special interest.

2. Listen to the Aspie talk about about the special interest.

3. Listen some more.

4. Keep listening.

5. Flat out tell the Aspie that you’re trying to seduce him or her, because that fact will probably not occur to your Aspie on his/her own.

Advertisements

I developed a bit of a fondness for improv in my adolescence. For me, it was just like socializing: I had to perform and think on my feet. But when I did it on stage, I got applause and laughter.

One of the highlights of my mildly illustrious improv career was pinch hitting for a theatre sports team from beautiful Thorold, Ontario. They needed a fourth member and a girl to be able to participate in a school board-wide competition. I had nothing better to do because I had no life. It was a match made in, well, Thorold, Ontario.

I became quite fond of my teammates. They reminded me of a lot of the geeks I had known in my three years in the self-contained gifted program and month in a Dungeons and Dragons club (I didn’t play, but I did pretend to in exchange for getting to spend winter recesses inside) and I had a soft spot for most of their kind back then. But I had an even softer spot for one particular member of the group.

R was most definitely geeky, but he was also about as good-looking as I thought that a boy with short hair could get back then, which made him both accessible and dreamy. We got along well, we shared an interest in improv and we both enjoyed my sense of humour. Even with my chronically low self-esteem, I figured that I had a good shot.

My original plan was to make my move after the competition, but an irresistible opportunity presented itself backstage before the show. As we were psyching ourselves up for battle, the boys started talking about butter fetishes. Having recently gone through a 70’s film phase, I figured that I knew exactly what to say to impress him. And so I flashed R my best attempt at a naughty smile and I made a perfectly timed Last Tango In Paris reference.

But it didn’t exactly go over as well as I’d planned. R just kind of looked at me blankly and moved on. I slunk away and hung out with my parents until showtime. We won the competition and I scored some platonic hugs and platitudes out of it, but it wasn’t enough to lighten my mood.

It never occurred to me that the problem might have had more to do with my reference than me back then. I had begun to learn to start conversations at the beginning and provide context when talking, because other people couldn’t read or follow the thoughts in my head at that point, but I was probably still a year or two away from realizing that different people have different cultural references.

On that night in the late nineties, I genuinely believed that every sixteen-year-old boy knew their Bertolucci. And I knew for a fact that I was the only girl to ever fail to get a sixteen-year-old boy’s attention with an anal sex joke.

PRELUDE

Despite my Asperger’s, misanthropy and general surliness, I did manage to have two extremely brief relationships in my teens.

J1 and I went out for a few months when I was in grade seven. Everything seemed to be going well until he started calling me on the phone and expecting me to call back. I was pretty fond of him but, to paraphrase Meatloaf, I would have done anything for like (but I wouldn’t do that). If analogue clocks are the Sauron of my autistic odyssey, telephones are definitely the Saruman. I didn’t hate the part where I actually talked to him, but making or receiving calls proved to be more than I was willing to invest in a relationship with a boy who loved Metallica over me, so I just stopped calling. He ended up dumping me and taking up with another girl while I was home with pneumonia. I felt nothing but relief and gratitude.

J2 and I had a brief flirtation when I was sixteen. We spent half of our summer watching movies and making out. Then I decided that I wanted to share one of my favourite films, Videodrome, with him. He thought that I was showing him a porn flick to get into his pants. He was half right: I had been trying to get into said pants, but whatever yearning I had for him quickly fizzled in light of his assessment of my precious Videodrome. Didn’t he get any of the underlying themes of mass media control? Did he really think that I just sat around at night, rubbing one out to the new flesh? Could I really fuck someone who wasn’t smart enough for Cronenberg?

As it turns out, I couldn’t. And so he moved on to someone whose genitals weren’t governed by Canadian cinema and I spent the rest of the summer trying to write scathing songs about him with lyrics like “But he thinks Videodrome is just about sex/ And his eyes went blank when I said ‘McLuhanesque.’”

Unfortunately, it turns out that girls who rhyme “sex” with “McLuhanesque” don’t get to have the former in high school. It wasn’t for lack of trying, though. The language of love is supposed to be universal, but my adolescent self desperately needed an interpreter.