Help with representing adult ADHD and Asexuality

Hi everyone!

I am currently writing a story with a character who has ADHD and another who is Asexual. Now I have done quite a lot of research on both but I would love to hear about first-hand experiences to help make my story more accurate.

Thanks in advance for all the help!

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I’m asexual. What are some things you want to know?

Hey, thanks for answering!

What do people generally get wrong when they think about asexuality? And how it changes the view on dating?

The main thing that annoys me is when people assume asexual = aromantic. Whenever I talk about having a crush on someone, finding someone “sexy,” and so on, people always say “but you’re asexual” or something similar. Just because I don’t want to sleep with a person doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate how they look or can’t want to be in a relationship with them.

Another assumption is that Asexuality means you can’t have sex. Sex is an action, not an identity. Some asexuals still have sex for their partner or even for their own enjoyment. I’m sex repulsed so I can’t relate, but it’s aggravating to see people deny someone’s identity because they have biological children for example.

Asexuals can have libidos and can enjoy porn. Not all of them do obviously, but it’s possible to like watching porn / reading smut without wanting to engage is sexual activity or without being sexually attracted to any one gender.

In regards to relationships, it’s different from person to person. I only date asexuals myself, but there are some asexuals open to having a relationship with allosexuals. This could be because they are willing to have sex with their partner or they are willing to be in an open relationship. Or maybe their partner doesn’t really care about having sex in the first place. It’s all about communication and compromise. Other than that, asexual relationships function similar to any other relationship, minus the sex in certain cases.

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I’m both asexual and have ADHD. I can try to answer any questions as well!

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Would you say that asexuals tend to form more in-depth romantic connections with their partners? I’ve ran into a few notes about this during my research.

I don’t personally think so, because someone’s asexual identity doesn’t necessarily correlate to romantic alignment or desire.

I second what the post above says. I’m a sex-repulsed asexual who has only dated allosexual people, and it’s complicated. I would have loved to date other asexuals, but I’ve only ever encountered them on the internet, limiting my dating pool. I do have sex even though I find it painful and uncomfortable. I don’t mind compromising in my current relationship, as my partner compromises as well by having sex less often to suit me. Different people in ace/allo relationships are comfortable with different levels of compromise, but one of my pet peeves is the assumption aces can’t consent to sex if they don’t enjoy it.

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My opinion is similar to the post above. Romance in asexual relationships are basically the same as in allosexual relationships. I haven’t seen much of a difference personally. Asexuals do tend however to put more emphasis on other forms of love such as romantic and platonic.

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I’m also a sex-repulsed asexual, but I’m romantically attracted to guys.
Some common misconceptions I’ve encountered are:

  • Not being attracted to anyone. I find guys attractive but I don’t feel like ‘Oh, he’s so hot! I want to have sex with him!’ Fully clothed guys are more attractive to me than one that’s semi (or completely) naked. I don’t get sexually turned on by seeing a guy naked, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate his looks.
  • Not caring about our appearance. I care about my appearance, I wear makeup, and like dressing up and getting my hair and nails done because it makes ME feel good. It’s not about dressing up to attract someone or ‘turn them on’.
    -Not wanting kids. Yes, I want kids. Yes, I want to get married as soon as I find a guy who is willing to accept me and shares my values and is compatible with me. If I have to have sex in order to have kids, I will, but that doesn’t mean it’s something I crave or desire.
    I was in a relationship with an allosexual, and sex was uncomfortable and painful with him. I did it because it was what he wanted.

I also value platonic relationships, and they are as important to me as romantic ones.

Everyone’s experience is different, but I thought I’d share mine just so you can have different perspectives on the matter.

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I’m an adult with inattentive type ADHD. I went completely undiagnosed most of my life, which is apparently common in females with ADHD/ADD. A few things that might be helpful to know is that there’s more to ADHD/ADD than the hyperactivity element that is typically associated with depictions of people/characters with ADHD. We’re not all attracted to “shiny” things and all like “OH SQUIRREL!” and bouncing all over all the time. It’s also important to note that some people will describe their hyperactivity as internal rather than external (as in it’s their brains that are hyperactive).

Some general points:

  • There’s ADHD hyperactive, inattentive, and combination types. Being inattentive type, I do not have the hyperactivity element.

  • ADHD affects executive function. ADDitude mag (website) and How to ADHD (YouTube) are good resources to use to learn more about how this looks.

  • Rejection sensitive dysphoria (RSD) is very common in people with ADHD. As is emotional dysregulation.

  • It’s not that people with ADHD can’t focus or pay attention, it’s that we have a hard time regulating our attention and priorities. Hyperfocus is a thing.

Just a few things off the top of my head. Feel free to ask me any questions.

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