Celine is a Witch and Mystic with lived experience of anxiety, major depression, bulimia, and ADHD.
Greatest Weakness = Greatest Strength
A key part of the experience of being either neurodivergent and/or traumatized (typically both, since it is nearly impossible not to be traumatized living in a world that is hostile to us) is hypervigilance. We develop this as a survival strategy - to survive abuse at home, or to survive difficult social situations, or to assess who is and is not safe to reveal ourselves to, for example. Hypervigilance can take many forms, ranging from superhero-like powers (acute hearing, smelling, seeing) to debilitating paranoia and getting startled at the slightest sound. The aspect of hypervigilance I’m focusing on in this article is related to reading the body language, feelings, and energy of others.
If you’re hypervigilant like I am, you know what I’m talking about – we can read a person’s mood by the sound of their footsteps, or small changes in their facial expressions or tone of voice. Sometimes picking up on all of this extra input can drive us mad and lead to paranoid thoughts, such as when someone isn’t as friendly as they typically are to us, and we assume we must have done something to upset them and begin spiralling in our head, trying to figure out what went wrong.
However, our greatest weaknesses, seen from a different perspective, also have the potential to be our greatest strengths – and one of the upsides to reading others so well is that we are, on average, excellent sexual partners. Specifically, we are excellent sexual partners in an intuitive and adaptable way. I’ve had sex with a range of people of different genders, backgrounds, and neurotypes, and overall, the sexual experiences I’ve shared with neurodivergent folks have blown neurotypical folks out of the water. I also know, from the neurodivergent folks I’ve talked to, that being commended for their sexual ability is often a commonplace thing. And not in a grandiose way – but in a, “I get these specific compliments over and over again from different partners” kind of way.
This is what hypervigilance feels like: OVERWHELMING.
Hypervigilant = Hyper Tuned-In
One perk of being hyper-aware of the movements, expressions, and non-verbal body language and feelings of others (many neurodivergent people also fall under the umbrellas of empaths, Highly Sensitive People, witches, mystics, etc.) is that it means that when we have sex, we receive a lot of information from our partner(s) bodies. And all of this extra information is often enough to guide us what to do next; how to touch them, where, how much pressure, what angle. All of this extra information also leads to extra ideas – spontaneous, new techniques to try that we hadn’t planned (or perhaps have never done before), but we feel that they would like. And a good deal of the time, they do; often, we need only minimal verbal instruction to know what to do. Not to brag, but I have had someone ask me if I drugged them, because by the end they felt so deeply calm (I didn’t drug them!). I have had people ask me what on Earth I did to them that gave them a particular sensation, and explained it. I have also asked that question to a partner who also has ADHD, and he explained his technique. Our brand of sexual skill is so incredible because it’s intuitive and spontaneous. Few of us have sex the exact same way twice. Sometimes, it can’t be replicated at all.
The neurotypical people I’ve had sex with (not all; I am generalizing here) seem to cycle through positions or techniques as if they’re going down a list in their head, trying to see what will work and what won’t. To me it seems clumsy, particularly in contrast to the experience I have with neurodivergent partners – they may need to try a thing or two before they get to what I like, but they learn quickly. Also with neurotypicals, sometimes the sexual activities are totally disparate; there is no transition, no Flow. I think this is because Flow is inherently spontaneous, and they are following a sexual roadmap.
Throw away the map!
Neurodivergent sex is off-road. Sometimes it’s way, way off-road, in the middle of nowhere, just you both/all and the stars and the dirt. The path isn’t marked on a map – it is created, spontaneously, by following a series of organically occurring prompts, one after the other, until you are wonderfully and deliciously Lost. Flow necessitates surrendering to the experience and allowing the experience to wash over you, to guide you. Neurodivergent folks are excellent at this, because we are tuned into SO MANY sensations and feelings and experiences pretty much all the time, and sometimes it feels hugely overwhelming, but we have no choice but to go with it.
We experience feelings so large and so intense that they cannot be resisted, and so we have to bear them. We have to sit with them, or medicate ourselves into oblivion to numb them (and even that generally stops working after a while). We experience these intense feelings, sensations, thoughts, etc. in addition to the “normal” input that everyone else is experiencing. I spent years wishing I could shut it off, that I could just be “normal,” but no amount of guilt or self-censure or even substances shut it off. Neurodivergent people are therefore, in my opinion, experts at Surrendering, whether to our benefit, or to our harm.
Some people hold back in their sexual experience because the sensations are so intense that they perceive them as scary. For neurodivergent people, that is a cornerstone of our experience, so being able to experience an intensely GOOD feeling is an amazing and welcome change from just straight-up, unpredictable intensity. We love intensity! We live there. And honestly, speaking for myself, I find it difficult to settle for any less, sex included. We are intense people, and sex can be, when entered into consensually and co-creatively, an incredibly intense experience.
Apart from the intensity, many Traumatized and Neurodivergent people are also people-pleasers, whether this is because of co-dependency, fear of social ostracization, or because we had to be pleasing in order to survive. People pleasing comes with many drawbacks (like not feeling safe enough to fully be your Authentic Self), but, being so eager to please makes many of us, once again, excellent sexual partners. By being so eager to please, we are often more fixated on the pleasure of our partner(s) than on our own. This is true regardless of sexual orientation, roles, or preferences. I’ve seen this to be true, variously, of tops, bottoms, switches, queer people, nonbinary people, straight people, and people with all kinds of sexual backgrounds and desires.
“Sex is a portal - a vehicle through which to change frequencies, since during sex we are vulnerable, or if the experience is healthy and consensual, receptive.
Since sex is a co-creation of a different space and frequency, this makes sense. We are not in the 3D when we have sex (well, not only in the 3D)– we go somewhere else, somewhere higher (or lower, if the experience is traumatizing).
Sex is a portal (in a literal, physical sense, it can be a portal where the potential for new life enters, if pregnancy occurs); sex is a vehicle through which to change frequencies, since during sex we are vulnerable, or if the experience is healthy and consensual, receptive. Being receptive is a Spiritual state – it is the way of the body. The body receives food, receives touch, receives sensation; it is bathed, clothed, perfumed. It receives messages and attention from others. Sex is, neutrally, a receptive state. Even if you’re a stone top, you are still receiving the wants, desires, sounds, smells, tastes, and energy of your partner(s).
And what do neurodivergent folks, traumatized folks, mentally ill folks all have in common? Receptivity – receiving much more stimuli and information than the average neurotypical. If you have ADHD, OCD, or Anxiety, you receive many more thoughts, sounds, and ideas than the average person. If you are autistic (this is from what I understand; anyone autistic reading this, please correct me or leave a comment, I’d love to know more), you also likely receive many more bodily sensations, textures, colours, and so on. If you have PTSD or C-PTSD, you also receive more sounds, sensations, and thoughts than the average person.
"We are masters of Receptivity, because we have to be, and much of what we experience is highly intense."
And many of those things, as I believe I’ve outlined here, happen to line up with being a Sex Wizard (no big deal, though). So the next time you feel down about the drawbacks of your ADHD or Autism or Trauma, remember that there are probably still people reminiscing about having sex with you, because it was that good. I’m not saying you should base all or most of your self-worth around that (speaking from experience), and I’m not saying this is the only perk of neurodivergence (there are so, so many perks), but hey, it’s nice, isn't it?
P.S. If you’re asexual or demisexual and reading this, then maybe this wasn’t your article, but I’m sure you have many other perks to profit from!