Being Alone With Arousal

Note: this post talks about my eating disorder, including mentions of purging through vomiting, and my experiences of being sexually abused, including subsequent dissociation and general difficulty being alone with arousal. If any of those are tough for you, give this one a miss – I’ll be back on Saturday with a post about why you might find more autistic people than you’d expect in your local kink scene!


My fear of wanking came up in eating disorder therapy.

This is not wholly a surprise. Lots of things come up in eating disorder therapy, because eating disorders are deeply rooted, born of decades of cultural conditioning, dysfunctional coping mechanisms and adverse childhood experiences. But the more I’ve reflected on it, the more I’ve come to realise that my fear of wanking and my fear of food are two heads on the same beast.

One common starting point for eating disorder therapy is to consider what we’re actually afraid of. In my first round of it, two years ago, we unpacked a lot of my internalised fatphobia and my fear of taking eating to its extremes, which is an offshoot of my anxiety: it’s pretty common to consider the logical, if unlikely, extremes in any scenario. But I only got six sessions, and we didn’t have time to dive any deeper.

This time, I get a whole eight.

The thing that scares me about food is that I enjoy it. Enjoying things, I have learned, is scary and dangerous and often has real and terrible consequences. Having lived with abusers during a few critical formative periods, I learned and internalised that nothing good is without cost and that the more pleasant the calm is before the storm, the more devastating the storm will be. Best not to let my guard down, enjoy anything too much, or trust my senses to tell me when something is safe or nice.

Then there’s the complicating factor of having learned to wank through being groomed. As well as reinforcing my existing belief that my own sensory pleasures must always come at a cost, it created some really specific associations between the physical act of masturbation and a strong sense of danger. Specifically, fucking myself with an object when nobody is watching feels so wrong that it’s akin to practising a secret handshake on your own,  and fucking myself with fingers is very much the same. If there’s no webcam between my legs, nobody watching my face and nobody talking dirty to me – if there’s no audience to validate my pleasure and benefit from it – it not only feels asymmetrical and disconcerting, but dangerous.

Indulgence has always led to violence in my life.

I am now, of course, free of all the abusers who have made and reinforced that connection, but that doesn’t undo it. It’s wired into my brain like the connection between an object flying at one’s face and one’s inclination to duck. And because I’ve had so much else going on, and so many spectators available to me, I haven’t had time to rewire it.

Being horny alone feels like being in pain. It’s frightening and distracting and I don’t want it. If I do attempt to masturbate, I usually dissociate, failing to orgasm and also failing to feel my own face or entirely remember where I am. If I don’t, I have this constant nagging sensation somewhere in my physiology that feels like an alarm going off, reminding me that indulgence is possible, and therefore, so is danger.

I am fucking sick of it.

I wrote out a plan for a Masturbation Boot Camp (and yes, I titled it exactly that) which instructs me to spend day zero practising mindfulness, day seven touching my body and exploring sensation, and day fourteen actively attempting to come, with every day in between requiring an incremental step towards these goals. I showed it to my tipsy, dyslexic girlfriend, who saw straight through me and said, “And how much of this is procrastination so you don’t actually have to wank?”

It’s a great idea and it’s one I’m going to try, but she’s right. I live in fear of my body and the pleasure I can experience within it, and even the idea of self-massage or watching porn for fun fills me with sickening dread. I suck at most mindfulness activities because, between the chronic pain, the chronic trauma and the violations I’ve been subject to when I have indulged in pleasure, I don’t want to be in my body. I don’t want to ground myself in it. It’s a horrible place to be.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any other vessels to contain my soul (this is a Kingdom Hearts joke), so I’ve got to get used to this one.

I’m getting better at indulging in food, and even at indulging in food without punishing myself. Sometimes I devour cheap kebabs with gusto, and sometimes I go halvsies on a £27 Hotel Chocolat Easter egg with my partner and savour tiny mouthfuls of gourmet chocolate. I’ve managed to bully myself out of the bulimic practice of purging my meals – at first, this was because I was and am on oral hormonal birth control, and consider it a consent violation to jeopardise that without notifying anybody who might jizz in me, but over time, once I’d detached the act of eating from the act of puking, the mere hassle of purging became enough to deter me from it. Eating can still be a challenge, but it’s a rewarding one.

I’ll get back to y’all about my success with Masturbation Boot Camp. I’m hoping it’ll be a challenge, but a rewarding one, and I’ll learn to indulge in self-pleasure like I’m about to indulge in a sliver of salted caramel chocolate.

Smut Saturdays #13: Through The Window (Part 1)

Stock image of a wine glass on its side with corks spilling out of it. The background is plain black and the corks are a traditional corky brown.

Content note: This is a fantasy story which portrays stalking in detail and makes mention of blood. If either of those are difficult for you, give this one a miss! We’ll be back next week with a post on my new protocol proposal system, and in the meantime, you can always follow my Twitter for anecdotes, memes and more.


Every fourth Saturday, I’ll be posting erotica I’ve written, based loosely on my own real life experiences or fantasies, for your wanking enjoyment. They’ll all be under the category ‘Smut Saturdays’ and if you’ve got any feedback or requests for smut scenarios, put ‘em in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @KinkyAutistic!




I have my laptop on my pajama-clad thighs, and I’m in the process of signing on to the agency through which I do some of my freelance captioning work. The pickings are slim: it’s a Saturday, after all, so there are fewer business-y projects to caption, and the vlog-type ones left available are being snapped up before my dyspraxic fingers can reach the ‘claim’ button. I allow myself to be distracted by Twitter for a few long moments, until I hear something at the window.

I pause. I’m not often perturbed by odd noises – I’ve been living with mild, usually stress-induced psychosis for a couple of years now, so I often assume that my brain is misfiring when I hear or see things that don’t make sense. And something at the window doesn’t make sense: I live in a weird, labyrinthine, formerly industrial building and my window opens onto, seemingly, more building.  Unless it’s a bird or a squirrel (in which case it can’t harm me anyway), it’s likely to be a hallucination. I make a mental note to mention it to my Daddy when he phones me after work, and I turn my attention back to my work website.

The noise – which is, by turns, tapping and scuffing against my window – persists. I’m too anxious to check it out, and too comfortable, so I jam my earphones into my ears and claim a five-minute Pixlr tutorial to caption. Once I’ve finished, the noise has stopped.


I sleep lightly and have nightmares every single night, unless I get drunk or high – and even then, it’s 50/50 as to whether I’ll wake up in a cold sweat. So when I snap awake at what my microwave clock tells me is 2:49 a.m., I assume it’s my brain and shut my eyes again.

Until I hear a whisper.

“Morgan.”

I scrabble for the light switch, adrenaline forcing the taste of blood into my mouth. In only a second, I think about where I left my kitchen knives (on the draining board, fuck), where my huge steel dildo is (at my Daddy’s house, fuck) and whether I could fend off an attacker with a four millimetre knitting needle from my bedside drawer. (The fuckers bend – I know that from sitting on them.) My fingers find the switch and flood the room with light. I squint against it, anxious to see who spoke my name.

At nearly 3 a.m., common sense does not suggest that this could be a hallucination or a nightmare. But that’s fine, because common sense would have been wrong anyway.

Standing at the foot of my bed is a stranger.

I wonder if I should scream, but I don’t know who he is, what he wants and whether he would kill me if I did. So I slowly, slowly sit up, and take in his face. It’s a narrow face (if you were being unkind, you might call it scrawny) with a beard, a beanie hat covering his hair, and huge, huge eyes staring right back at me. I try to gauge his height based only on where my bedframe comes up to him: he’s probably not that much taller than me. Even in his big hoodie, he looks slim, and I’m already mentally rehearsing what I’ll do if I need to: eyes first, bollocks second, get to the door while he’s incapacitated, scream for my corridor-mates to phone 999. I run my thumb over the fingernails on my right hand, and mercifully, I haven’t bitten them off recently, so I could theoretically dig them into his skin.

Except he isn’t moving. He isn’t speaking. There is a bizarre moment in which I think he might be as scared as I am.

“I’m sorry,” I begin, in a parody of my own Britishness, “I’m not sure who you are.”

“You don’t know me,” he says, still staring unabashedly at me. I’m glad I slept in pajamas rather than nude, even if it means another human witnessing my ratty knitting society T-shirt. “I’m sorry. I just, I couldn’t help it any longer. I’ve been following you.”

I press my thumbnail into my fingertip, hard, and it hurts. Not dreaming. “Oh,” I say. I still can’t gauge how dangerous this man is. “Why?”

“Because, um.” He finally stops looking at my face and instead becomes intensely interested in his own hands. “I’m in love with you.”

Well, you’re not, I think. We’ve never interacted. At best, you’re infatuated with me.

Out loud, I only say, “I see.”

I can’t tell by my bedside light, but I think he might be blushing. “I know it’s stupid, and weird, and I know how fucking creepy it is that I’ve broken into your flat, but -”

“Well, you haven’t exactly broken in. I left the bloody window open.” God, he’s got such big, sad eyes. He looks like a puppy straight out of a Dog’s Trust ad. “Um, can I ask your name?”

“It’s Anthony. Friends call me Ant.” He finally looks at me again. “I’m really sorry I came in. I wasn’t even going to wake you, but you looked like you were having a nightmare and I couldn’t bear it.”

I pull some sort of weird, rueful face at that. “If I was woken up every time I had a nightmare, I’d never get any sleep at all.” I’m still not convinced this is really happening. “Ant, it’s been lovely to meet you, but I need to be up at seven tomorrow.”

“I know.” Fucking hell. “I’ll head off. Uh, through the door, rather than the window this time. But, you know, if you ever want to talk, um.” He pulls something out of his pocket. I take it from him, leaning forwards and trying only to bring my hand, nothing else, close to him, just in case, and I see it’s a business card. A fucking business card. It holds his name, his number and his email address. “Thank you for not freaking out.”

I nod slowly. “I’m just glad you weren’t burgling me. There’s fuck all to burgle here anyhow.” I glance towards the door. My flat is so small that I can see my kitchen from my bed, and the only door other than the front one leads to the bathroom (sans bath). “D’you know how to get out? I think there’s fire exit signs that should point you in the right direction.”

“Yeah, I’ll be fine. Don’t get out of bed just for me.” He starts towards the door, but pauses with his hand on its handle. “Morgan?”

“Yeah?”

“I will make you love me.”

And with that, he left.


I don’t tell anybody.

At first, I assume it’s a dream. I crawl out of bed at 7:20 and open a can of Relentless before I even think about breakfast, as is my tradition. I get dressed. I have nearly half a crumpet in my mouth when my eyes fall on his business card.

A fucking business card.

After that, I don’t tell anybody because I know they’ll worry. They might call the police. There are CCTV cameras on my corridor – they could find him. And he really didn’t seem to mean any harm.

Maybe my blasé attitude regarding a stranger breaking into my home is exactly why everybody would worry about it.


I don’t call or email him. I don’t Google him. I lie down for bed every night, hoping for and dreading a visit from him.

Three days after our first meeting, he starts leaving me gifts.

The first is in my postbox. It’s a large bar of salted caramel Galaxy (my favourite) with a note sellotaped to it.

Wanted to make sure you don’t forget about me. Loved the dress you wore yesterday.

– Ant

I carefully peel off the note and stash it in my coat pocket. I don’t want anybody to see it (least of all my Daddy, who would worry the most) but I would feel exceptionally mean just throwing it away.

I share the chocolate with my 20th Century Poets And Politics seminar group, and I don’t tell them where it came from. It tastes amazing.


The second gift comes only a day after the first, again in my postbox. This time it’s a giftcard – to Ann Summers. The note reads:

I know you want their new baby pink lingerie line and I know you don’t want to give them your money. This should work online. If you want me to see you wearing it, post pictures on your Twitter or email them to me – otherwise, just enjoy.

– Ant

How the fuck did he know that?

Has he actually, physically been following me? Was he a few feet behind me in the city centre when I lamented to a friend that I wanted that bra so bad but didn’t want to put my money into a company like Ann Summers? Was he listening to me through my phone? Was he canvassing my friends about my lingerie tastes?

The reality begins to set in now: he really has been following me.

I am scared by how little this realisation scares me.


The gifts stall for two days and I begin to overthink it. Maybe he’s hurt that I haven’t acknowledged the first two. Maybe, because he’s hurt, he’s going to hurt me. Or someone I love. That thought makes me so cold with fear I can ignore the other nagging worry I’ve begun to have: maybe he doesn’t like me any more.

I bite the bullet and text him. It takes me twenty minutes to compose a 62-word message.

Hey Ant, I wanted to say thank you for the chocolate and the giftcard. I would have said something sooner but (as I assume you already know) I’ve got that mad anxiety 😂 Sorry it’s taking me a while to adjust to the news that you’re in love with me. Can we text for a bit and see how it goes? Morgan x

I don’t know why I put a kiss on the end. Britishness? Being AFAB? I don’t stop to consider any other reasons for it.


Hey Morgan, no worries about the presents – they’re gifts, I don’t expect anything in return for them! I would love to keep texting. There are lots of other things I would love too, but I know you don’t know me as well as I know you 😉 Ant xx

We start flirting.

I tell my partners I’m flirting with a boy (because I’m not a douchebag) but don’t mention how we met. I learn that he’s at my university, which is where he became interested in me, so I tell people that he has friends in my seminar groups and that’s how we got chatting. It’s only sort of a lie. He keeps leaving gifts – sweets and chocolate, giftcards to places he somehow knows I want to shop, six balls of some yarn I decided was too expensive to buy six balls of – and includes notes with them:

I don’t know what you did with your hair yesterday but it was stunning. I couldn’t choose between the white chocolate and the milk so I got you both – feel free to share them with friends/partners or to save them for a rainy day.

– Ant

 

Literally cannot stop thinking about you. I saw you trying to befriend that cat near the tram stop – that was too cute for words. I think I got the right colour yarn but I’m not sure it’s the right thickness – I can always exchange it for you if not.

– Ant

Once, when I’m hungover, he leaves me orange Lucozade, paracetamol and a voucher for a bacon sandwich, with a note that reads:

I cannot find a compliment that’s appropriate about the way you looked last night. They all involve wanting to do stuff to you that we haven’t talked about yet. Anyway here’s some hangover supplies – if you need anything else I can come over. Or if you don’t want me over you could always get in touch with your partners, I know they have your back. (And I would be honoured to be their metamour) Have a gentle day

– Ant

Eventually, I can’t deal with the tension any more. I want to pick his brains – what does he know about me? How has he found it out? What made him fall for me like this? I give everybody the necessary heads-up that I’m inviting a boy over, and I text him:

Want to come to mine to talk? I’m actually dying to see your face again. I’m free on Wednesday nights and alternate Fridays xx

His reply, unnervingly fast, is, Absolutely. Please. Wednesday? Any requests for snacks or anything? xx

When I tell him No, I’ve got plenty to eat, but that’s sweet of you xx, he responds, You know I’d do anything for you. ANYTHING xx, and I’m stupid enough to shoot back: You can prove that on Wednesday 😉 xx


On Wednesday morning, about seven hours before Ant will knock on my door, I find another gift in my postbox.

It’s a little vial. It’s filled with dark red liquid. It has a cute cork keeping it airtight.

I realise it’s blood.

The note says:

Okay I 100% realise logically speaking that this is probably not what you meant when you said “prove it on Wednesday” but I got it into my head that I could give you some of my blood and I couldn’t shake the idea. I’m really sorry if this grosses you out, I’ll happily take it back and get rid of it, or I’ll show you the results of my most recent blood tests if that helps. Just, I really, really mean it – I would do anything for you. I would do anything to be yours.

– Ant

I stand so my body shields my postbox from view and nobody can see what’s in my hand. I tilt the vial this way, then that, watching its glass sides get painted red. I wonder whether he knew this would evoke good autism feelings in me – I have a real fondness for deep red tones, especially when they’re translucent or glittery – and how he collected the blood. There’s only, at a guess, 5 millilitres in there, which is less than I tip out of my menstrual cup after a good night’s sleep.

I slip the vial into my coat pocket and head to class, sometimes stroking the smooth, cold glass as a stim while I walk.


When I arrive home, he’s in my bedroom. This is not a surprise, although I know it should be. I hang my coat up and kick off my trainers. He’s just standing there, like he’s not sure whether he’s allowed on the furniture. He’s still in a big hoodie and jeans, like the last time I saw him; I feel a weird yank in my midriff, like fondness, as I pull out my desk chair and point to it.

“Sit,” I say, and I notice with a wince that it’s my dom voice – the same one I use when I’m bossing a submissive partner around. I pray he doesn’t know this. “Do you want a drink or anything?”

I hear him swallow. His anxiety is palpable. “No, thank you,” he says. I pull out my only other chair and perch on it. “This is the first time I’ve ever been this close to you.”

He’s right – when he stood at the end of my bed, his body was at least four feet from mine. Now our knees bump together when I move. I have goosebumps and raised arm hairs even though it’s warm in here, and I’m pretty sure I can feel my heartbeat everywhere.

Yeah, everywhere. I realise, in a sinking sort of way, that I want him. Badly.




In spite of the option of serialising this story losing the poll I ran on Twitter about it, I’m going to leave this hanging until next Smut Saturday. I recognise that it’s not terribly smutty thus far, but the fanfic writer in me can’t resist a slow burn, and I personally might need to go wank based on the stalking setup alone. Let me know what your thoughts are on longer-form smut and on serialising Smut Saturdays pieces!

Putting The Men In Menstruation

Stock image showing the moon in all her phases through some sort of long-exposure photography, including a normal full moon on the left hand side and a reddish full moon on the right. The moons are displayed over a city with many lit-up buildings, but the sky itself is pitch black.

This post is my contribution to the Menstruation Matters meme, an excellent project started by Sub-Bee with the intention of encouraging frank discussions about all sorts of periods from all sorts of people. Naturally, it contains references to menstruation and blood, and also discusses my experiences of dysphoria as a nonbinary human with a womb. If that’s hard for you, come back next week, for a post I haven’t planned yet more scintillating content!


I have infuriatingly textbook periods.

They were a touch erratic throughout puberty (especially when I wasn’t eating), but as soon as I started using hormonal birth control at age 17 they became so regular you could set your watch by them. Every fourth week, on a Sunday evening or (if I’m stressed or run down) Monday morning, I start to bleed. I have annoying-but-not-debilitating cramps for the first two days, when my flow is heaviest, which vanish by a Thursday morning at the latest, and then the bleeding tapers off and ends on the Friday afternoon.

I don’t bleed spectacular amounts, I don’t have life-ruining PMS, I don’t even break out unless I’m also stressed and not caring for my skin.

And yet I still fucking hate my periods.

Actually, it’s not that simple. My periods themselves are fine. I like the tangible evidence that I’m not pregnant or experiencing organ failure, they’re so predictable and chill that they’re not even a nuisance, and I find menstrual blood fascinating, rather than gross, so it doesn’t even unnerve me in that regard. By all accounts, I’m one of the luckiest period-havers I know.

But I’m also nonbinary.

Leading up to a period, the body retains water and its weight increases. You might find that your breasts feel heavier and more tender, appear larger and spill out of your bra. You might also find that 99% of all period products are marketed in such an aggressively gendered manner that walking down the “feminine hygiene” aisle makes you want to cry. Additionally, PMS-related hypersensitivity means you’re more likely to notice gendered terminology like “womanhood”, “Aunt Flo” and other instances of menstruation being conflated unequivocally with femininity. This might make you feel somewhat murderous.

My periods would be fine if they didn’t bloat me and gender me and force me into the feminine hygiene aisle of Tesco. The latter issue is one I’ve mostly mitigated by investing in an armful of menstrual cups (an armful because if I have just one, I can and will misplace it every single month). Even the ones whose websites are pink and flowery are more comfortable than using pads and tampons, since the cups themselves aren’t big enough to display any patriarchal bullshit on them; they just have 7 and 15 millilitre markings on them, to encourage my fascination with the blood and gunk that they collect. (They’re also a blessing because, unlike pads and tampons, they aren’t scented and they don’t produce any plastic crinkling sounds, which means that they don’t set off any Autistic Rage™ inside my hormonal soul.)

Menstrual cups can’t fix our cisnormative society, though. (Even if you throw them at people.)

Once a month, a nagging pain in my abdomen reminds me that people think I’m a woman. Washing blood from under my fingernails after emptying a menstrual cup reminds me that people think I’m celebrating a feminine, womanly experience when in reality, it’s just another bodily inconvenience, like my knee hurting, or needing to pee in the middle of an important video game boss battle that I don’t want to pause. My boobs being fuller and more sensitive makes me convinced other people are looking at them, and if they’re looking at them, I know they’re assuming that they’re girl boobs. And to top it all off, my moderate flow and easily-ignored cramps make feel guilty for hating my periods with the passion that I do. I’ve read in depth about PCOS, endometriosis and diagnosis-less nightmare periods and I know full well how lucky I am, but I also know full well that dysphoria is a hideous experience that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.

And I know that other nonbinary and transmasculine folks will benefit from hearing about my very ordinary, very detestable menstrual cycle. They don’t have to be the typical Periods From Hell to make you feel hellish. I want other transmasculine people to feel seen and to have space for their anguish even if it doesn’t look like typical menstrual anguish. I also want to point out that there can be something deeply masculine and primal about tipping the contents of a menstrual cup slowly into a toilet bowl and admiring the crimson aftermath, and few things sound more manly than walking around, continuing your day whilst one of your organs sheds half its contents into your clothing and nobody is any the wiser.

Menstruation Matters