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Pleasure on the Spectrum: Interview Series with Dr. Lynette Louise - Final Video

Author: Tsara Shelton
Author Contact: @TsaraShelton on Twitter
Published: 26th Apr 2021 - Updated: 29th Sep 2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication: N/A
Additional References: Disability and LGBT Sexuality Publications

Summary: Sexual Diversity conversations with Dr. Lynette Louise (The Brain Broad) during Autism Acceptance Month.

Main Document

April is both Autism Acceptance Month and Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. In this series of conversations with Dr. Lynette Louise topics range from sexual education and understanding to abuse prevention and healing.

Autism and Sexual Assault: These are two topics I have experience with and ideas about. I'm in the habit of writing on these topics all year round, and April is no exception. However, during April I'm more of a listener. Trending hashtags and stories, people feeling encouraged and safe, men and women recognizing themselves in others and sharing how that feels, or not recognizing themselves and sharing that loneliness, maybe even risking so much to be a brave newcomer offering a different perspective and story - these things are closer to the surface during an awareness month and I like to lose myself in it; surround myself by their experiences and beliefs rather than my own so that, when I find myself again, I am more.

I also do share during April, because I want to contribute my story and ideas as well, to play more than one role. But largely, I listen.

This April, Dr. Lynette Louise ("The Brain Broad") offered to share her experiences, knowledge, and stories with me on video - so while I listen, you can too. Not only is Lynette an international brain change and behaviour expert specializing in autism, but she is also the mother of eight now adult children, six were adopted and four had autism as well as other cognitive and social challenges. All of her adopted children had experienced abuse, including (for some) sexual abuse. With unstoppable energy and a willingness to think way outside the box, Lynette helped all of her children grow beyond expectations. It was a home of loud love and blunt language. I know because I was there. I'm Lynette's oldest.

Please take time to view the video. Mom and I are planning to talk together about Sexual Diversity once a week throughout April, creating videos that will add value and perspectives to the awareness discourse. Next week we will be discussing the particular vulnerability to assault disabled people face. If you have anything you want mom to discuss during this time, I hope you'll let us know! Or if you feel more comfortable keeping your questions private, you can always email her. (Contact info is available on her websites and ) Keep in mind that asking questions out loud allows others to learn along with you. So, if you are comfortable, consider it.

Learn and listen with me during this awareness month.

Let's take what it teaches us into tomorrow and beyond.

First Week's Conversation:
Sexual Diversity: Autism

Second Week's Conversation:
Sexual Diversity: Sexual Assault and the Special Needs Person

Third Week's Conversation:
Sexual Diversity: Preventing a Perpetrator

This Week's Conversation:
Sexual Diversity: Pleasure on the Spectrum


Tsara Shelton 0:02
Once again, we have Dr. Lynette Louise aka the brain broad,

aka my mom,

international autism specialist, brain expert and mom extraordinary. And we've been talking about sexual diversity during autism acceptance month and Sexual Abuse Awareness Month. Some of the topics have been pretty intense, but all of them have been helpful. Well, intense subjects are worth exploring. So thank you for exploring them withus so well. And today, we are going to talk about autism again. And we're going to try to keep it lighter.

Dr. Lynette Louise 0:45
Yeah, it's not that hard, actually.

Tsara Shelton 0:49
If you don't mind me saying, actually,I love that you said that. Because when I talked to a producer one time, a long time ago, and I mentioned I thought you should be on her show to talk about autism. She went, Oh, no, no, that's too sad of a topic. And I was like, No, that's what we want to change. You should really have my mom on the show.

Dr. Lynette Louise 1:13
Well, you know, just a follow up about one time on, I won't name names, but I was one of the big organizations that tries to raise money to help autism I went and took the mic, I started talking and they unplugged my mic. And he came over and said to me, You can't talk like that. It's a tragedy. And you have to talk like it's a tragedy. So you can raise money? So I left the stage. I was like, Well, I was accidentally put here then. Because you, you don't know who I am apparently. Yeah, no, that was that was an interesting one. Yeah. Interesting. It's a good place to start. Because, yeah, it is the tragedy. You know, I feel for my kid, I feel for Dar that he I just said to him, "calm yourself down and sit down on the couch and put a blanket on until you feel better." I feel for him, that I had to do that for him, that I had to say that, that he couldn't just do that for himself on occasion. You know, we all need help on occasion. And it's a tragedy in one light that he's had this life that he's had before I adopted him, it was a tragedy, the things that happened to him, the things that have to happen to him because of misunderstandings in the world, were tragedies. But we kept addressing them just like you do with all your kids and all kids, you had tragedies. You weren't autistic. I had to, you know, I remember when you were a teenager in the middle of the night, let me find that guy, and we're walking up and down the street. Everybody has tragedies, okay. Um,

Tsara Shelton 3:14
and actually, a lot of our tragedies stem from, I mean, from the world, hard things happening to us, but a lot of our tragedies - regardless of if we're autistic or neurotypical, or whatever, - stem from how we think. We do our tragedies to ourselves.

Dr. Lynette Louise 3:32
Right. Right.

Tsara Shelton 3:35

Dr. Lynette Louise 3:36
And, and so the blessing in autism, I'm going to mention Dar again, same son, I don't want to confuse everyone with all the names. So he's the only one that's still at home, all the rest of the kids have managed to become independent. And there were lots of them. So that's a you know, that's a good for me, I know what I'm doing. Good for them. They worked really hard. And continue to. And they're successful in their lives. But Dar will always be my best buddy.

You left me. So he's my best friend. And that's a real, that's a real thing. Like, we'll probably go to a retirement home together. That's kind of my version of a group home for him. When I'm 78. And he's 55. We'll go to assisted living. So I have a friend for life. And he really loves me, and he's just a delight to travel with. I'm excited to travel with him. He's, I mean, so is it a tragedy? Yeah, but no.

And I think it's our job to go this is the hand that was dealt. And let's find something beautiful here. And let's go to our subject matter. Yeah. So you're dealt autism, you've got a sensory issue. Lucky you, because Wow, your sex can be like a kaleidoscope of colors, and sensations, and smells. Now, in the same way that it can be the most intense experience positive, it can also be negative. So you'll have to discover yourself. Just like any autistic person, or any normal person or any person in a wheelchair would have to go - now, how am I gonna do this? and, and where are my limitations? And that's for all of us, really. But on the light side, let's look at the plus side. So with autism, you can have things like synesthesia. And that can mean that you taste shapes, that you see sound, that you hear color. You can even have this most intensely swirling, beautiful, what other people have to take mushrooms for, trip by allowing your sensory system to be fed. And there's no better feed than a good sexual experience. The trick is to find a good sexual experience.

You know, I remember talking to this one autistic man. He says, I can't do sex, I can't do sex, there's hair where you don't expect it. Right? I mean, it's adorable. But he was also stuck. He felt like, well, I can't do that. Because I might come across a hair, right? And I said, Well, you know, this is the thing you can talk to your person about. Someone might do laser, they might make sure they're fully shaved in all the spots, it might tell you where all their hairs are, you could have some fun with it before you even have sex, you could take a little marker, and you could circle all the hairs. It'll take a while. He means body hair showing up somewhere where he didn't want it, right. Um, pimples. I've seen people not be able to engage in an enjoyable sexual experience because someone has pimples on their back. Well, that happens to neurotypical people, by the way, as well. But the intensity, right? So yes, you have a challenge here, right? Clearly, you have a label because you have a challenge. Because you're different, you have a different ability. But you probably also have some very intense blessings here. And it's it's about discovering them.

And if you're the parent guiding the person, it's about helping them to discover them. If you've watched this series, you heard the story where my son was thinking he was being private because he was in the bathroom with the door locked, but he was, you know. We were at a dinner party and he was in the bathroom and the door locked and they were a very quiet dinner party with very, very, very uptight people. And he's in there having a full on sensory experience, right? He's got, he's fully nude, he's laid down the towel, he's making sure every part of his body feels it, he's going Oh, oh, and oh, and I'm like, oh, excuse me, I have to go talk my son out of doing what he's doing. So -

the point being, there's a lot to learn and you want to help your child learn it. But can it be wonderful? Yes. Can your sexual life be a huge driver for you, but not an obsession. Hm, you can try. There's a good chance, there's a good chance that if you have autism it'll be a little bit of an obsession.

Maybe till you're 40 ish, but that's okay. That's um that's about learning how to cope with your obsession and it's a very healthy obsession to have. Having, you know, an orgasm is wonderful for your brain and your body. It helps your skin be supple, it helps your brain sort of relax out of the intense state you were just in and come into a different place, it releases, bonding hormones. All these beautiful things that it does for you to help you go,"okay." So you can use it as a reset button. My, my son that was in the bathroom that day. He was doing a class and I was going with him because he's also got Tourette's and he's also got fetal alcohol syndrome. He is adopted. I didn't give it to him. And he has retardation, or did. Right now he's considered normal. But yeah, the bottom end of normalcy still, you know, is who he is. And so we were doing the GED class so that he could at least get some basic knowledge that was, you know, how to do his bankbook and things like that. And we did it together so that he could get through it because it was difficult for him. And every time he'd start to tense up and have a hard time, I'd say, "just go in the bathroom and masturbate dear. And then you'll be fine. You'll be able to refocus. But make sure you close the door and you have to be quiet." He'd say,"It's a stall." And I'd go, "well, be very quiet." Now, this sounds like what, why!? But it worked. He went from this sensory build up, he went in, he had an orgasm, he came out, he continued his studies. Whoops, he went in, he had an orgasm, he came out, he continued his studies, he went in... And because he had that, he literally - I just made up some reason why he had to leave a lot for the teacher - And he literally stayed on task with this stuff that was really beyond him, and became possible for him. Because he had this way of not building up and over stressing and, and resetting in a beautiful way. Had he not done that, then he'd of probably ended up you know, giving up, walking out, having a temper tantrum. Much more edgy. Right? Right.

And so this is an example of how you can take this thing that's obsession and make it useful for you. Most people that have autism, not all but most people that have autism, come into puberty very intensely. And so if you don't have an accepting family, that can help you with that, they can help you to know about privacy, and that can help you to know when and where and how to use it, you end up - you know - usually drugged and and stopped from evolving into the beautiful young man or woman that you could be. So I really think that maybe you could help take a moment, help your child take a moment, to be grateful for this beautiful, intense sensory system they have and benefit from it. And then learn how to avoid the things that trigger disgust response. And you know, it'll be okay. It'll be a beautiful thing. I can honestly tell you since I'm at this point in my life, I'm old enough to tell you stories about me. One of my best, one of my best sexual experiences was with an autistic man. And I don't know what it was about it but I think it was that he was so sensory. And it made it so sensory for me and I have my own, you know, quirks so yeah -

Tsara Shelton 13:16
We all do.

Dr. Lynette Louise 13:17
- a touch of Asperger's. Right. So all I needed was someone to ignite that. But Wow. Yeah, it's really beautiful. And you should embrace it and help your child embrace it.

Tsara Shelton 13:30
I love that. Thankyou. I think that, actually, this is the best way to end the series. That's beautiful. Yeah.

Dr. Lynette Louise 13:36
Well we promised light, I hope it was light and fun. Now, forever you're gonna see your child studying and think "oh, should I tell him to go....?"

Tsara Shelton 13:44
"Should I tell him to masturbate?" No, but that's awesome. I mean, it was light and fun. And again, useful. I mean, this is actually really good information. So thank you.

Dr. Lynette Louise 13:59
I hope so.

Tsara Shelton 13:59
Yeah, no, I love it. Thank you. And I think it's neat that you had a wonderful sexual experience with an autistic man.

Dr. Lynette Louise 14:08
Who was also a reporter and wrote a really good article about us.

Tsara Shelton 14:13
Now I know who you mean. I remember him. Awesome. I love you mom.

Dr. Lynette Louise 14:22
I love you too, honey.

Tsara Shelton 14:25
Alright, but honestly, thank you very much for doing this. I think it's made a big difference. For me, it's been very important and valuable. For me. So thank you,

Dr. Lynette Louise 14:33
-and hopefully, for others. All right. Bye bye.

Author Credentials:

Tsara Shelton, author of Spinning in Circles and Learning From Myself, is a contributing editor to

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• (APA): Tsara Shelton. (2021, April 26). Pleasure on the Spectrum: Interview Series with Dr. Lynette Louise - Final Video. Retrieved April 13, 2024 from

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