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November 19, 2010 7:07 AM   Subscribe

You think it would be really fun to have sex with me. Because, I think you can tell from my posts, I’ll do anything. But maybe you can also tell from my posts that it’s a little bit weird. Because you know that I’ll say anything, too, but sometimes, I make you cringe.

I think I’m that way in bed, too.


What it's like to have sex with someone with Asperger's.
posted by shakespeherian (106 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
> I make you cringe

Yeah, narcissism has that affect on me.
posted by 0xdeadc0de at 7:19 AM on November 19, 2010 [14 favorites]


PTrunk is an unreliable source. I think she diagnosed her Asperger's herself, based on a careful study of google-bait search terms.
posted by Ideefixe at 7:22 AM on November 19, 2010 [21 favorites]


I can peg my ovulation to the hour if I check every half-hour, which I can do because I can stick my hand in my vagina anywhere—even in a job interview, if the person leaves the room to get some water.

what
posted by jquinby at 7:26 AM on November 19, 2010 [26 favorites]


Knowing that Penelope Trunk had Asperger's ahead of time would have saved me a lot of wondering why the hell she writes like that.
posted by Madamina at 7:27 AM on November 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


I read her blog- sometimes it's offbeat, thoughtful, helpful life advice, and sometimes it's crazy over sharing that I don't understand the point of. She runs some business (what it does, I really don't know) and presumably wants investors- do they really need to know she might stick her hand in her vagina when they have their backs turned?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:29 AM on November 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


I can peg my ovulation to the hour if I check every half-hour, which I can do because I can stick my hand in my vagina anywhere—even in a job interview, if the person leaves the room to get some water.

In my professional opinion, that's not an Asperger's diagnosis, that's a forme fruste of the Jim Rose Syndrome. She should eat two broken lightbulbs every four hours, followed by naps on a bed of nails.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:31 AM on November 19, 2010 [12 favorites]


Penelope Trunk is one of the more entertaining lunatics on the web -- and a lot of what she writes about business is true: if you're autistic. Readers of Brazen Careerist know that she's been in and out of romance with some guy she identifies as "the Farmer" (a real farmer), and that now she's married him, moved onto the farm, and is in the process of making his life (I suspect) more miserable than he could ever have imagined. That poor bastard, my heart goes out to him.
posted by Faze at 7:32 AM on November 19, 2010 [17 favorites]


See, I thought this was about Bones.
posted by HuronBob at 7:32 AM on November 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


PTrunk is an unreliable source. I think she diagnosed her Asperger's herself, based on a careful study of google-bait search terms.

Knowing that Penelope Trunk had Asperger's ahead of time would have saved me a lot of wondering why the hell she writes like that.

BAM. SEO linkbait.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 7:35 AM on November 19, 2010


do they really need to know she might stick her hand in her vagina when they have their backs turned?

They might not need to know, but something tells me they'd really appreciate the heads-up.

And perhaps decline to shake hands....
posted by zarq at 7:35 AM on November 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


See, I found this fascinating. She may not be An Expert on autism spectrum disorders or whatever; she may not even has Asperger's at all. But I'm not sure I care. This is clearly an aspect of her own experience that she's put a lot of time into thinking about. So for me it's like, "Wow, hey, that's an interesting way to experience sex. It's not like that for me, so I never would have guessed it was like that for you. Thanks for sharing!"
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:38 AM on November 19, 2010 [11 favorites]


Yeah, narcissism has that affect on me.

So does whatever it is you just did.

I love it when people work this hard to articulate the differences between the way their mind works and the way most other people's do. What you learn from them might not always be pleasant, but I think it's very important to have constant reminders that the world is full of people whose thoughts are nothing like you'd imagine -- sometimes there is a clear reason for it, and sometimes there isn't.
posted by hermitosis at 7:38 AM on November 19, 2010 [18 favorites]


May not even has Asperger's? May not even have Asperger's. (I can has autizm spektrum diagnosiz?)
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:39 AM on November 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Does this mean I can write an article about what it's like to have sex with a handsome black man that wears glasses and has watched too much Battlestar Galactica? If that's not enough, I can throw in the diabetes thing, that really does it for some people.
posted by nomadicink at 7:40 AM on November 19, 2010 [13 favorites]


If Asperger's means "having a crappy personality", it's being dramatically under-diagnosed.
posted by facetious at 7:41 AM on November 19, 2010 [17 favorites]


Yeah, I'm going to call this interesting. I've never read anything by her before, so I don't have any previous biases against the author.

Like nebulawindphone and hermitosis said, it's a good reminder to know that people experience things much differently than I do. I have my own set of mental gremlins, and when I sit and explain my thought process to my wife, I realize everyone doesn't think like I do. When I feel completely overwhelmed, and everyone else seems fine, I have to sit and force myself to realize that not everyone perceives things the way I do, so it's ok for me to feel overwhelmed while everyone else seems fine. Our perception is just different.

So, in this article, I learned that this person perceives sex differently than I do. That little bit of knowledge will just add to whatever else I have, and if I happen to come across someone like this in meatspace, I'll already have a point of reference.
posted by SNWidget at 7:42 AM on November 19, 2010 [6 favorites]


I can believe that she's somewhere on the autism spectrum, because this reads like someone who doesn't really get humor trying to do a stand-up routine about their sex life. This bit stands out:
“I don’t know where the hole is.”

“What? Are you kidding me?”

“There are a lot of holes down there. I don’t know which one is for sex.”
Given the later bit about how her mom taught her to do Kegel exercises before she started her period, how is this remotely possible?
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:42 AM on November 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


If that's not enough, I can throw in the diabetes thing, that really does it for some people.

"Come here and gimme some sugar, baby." ?
posted by zarq at 7:42 AM on November 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


Indeed, I'm going to write about my syndrome, which manifests itself as the remarkable inability to feign interest.
posted by I EAT TAPAS at 7:43 AM on November 19, 2010 [6 favorites]


May not even has Asperger's? May not even have Asperger's. (I can has autizm spektrum diagnosiz?)

i can has azpburger?

sorry
posted by Kabanos at 7:45 AM on November 19, 2010 [9 favorites]


SEO linkbait attention whore. She will say anything, but it's for links, not because of any medical condition.
posted by letitrain at 7:45 AM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


If Asperger's means "having a crappy personality", it's being dramatically under-diagnosed.

...we have clearly spent our time on two totally different internets.
posted by griphus at 7:46 AM on November 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


If Asperger's means "having a crappy personality", it's being dramatically under-diagnosed.

Also: PMS is just women acting hysterical, depressed people just need to cheer the fuck up, and people who attempt suicide are just looking for attention.
posted by hermitosis at 7:46 AM on November 19, 2010 [17 favorites]


Given the later bit about how her mom taught her to do Kegel exercises before she started her period, how is this remotely possible?

You can teach someone kegel exercises and help them strengthen their pelvic floor muscles without explaining sexual intercourse, or how a penis fits into a vagina. They're used by many people to improve bladder control.
posted by zarq at 7:47 AM on November 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oh. Penelope Trunk? That's the woman that tweeted she had a miscarriage in a boardroom meeting, right? Worst kind of attention-seeking behavior ever.

She blogs about her ex-husband's sexual failings, her son (who also has Asperger's), pretty much anything that will get her in the spotlight.

She has a lot of start-ups, (well, this varies between saying she has two or three) like Brazen Careerist,where she claims she is an expert on business, though I can't really see any examples that support this.
posted by misha at 7:48 AM on November 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh. Penelope Trunk? That's the woman that tweeted she had a miscarriage in a boardroom meeting, right?

Ok, can this this post be deleted then?
posted by nomadicink at 7:53 AM on November 19, 2010


hermitosis: "Also: PMS is just women acting hysterical, depressed people just need to cheer the fuck up, and people who attempt suicide are just looking for attention."

I think the danger here is that Internet self-diagnosis is about romanticizing a medical condition that is actually not very romantic, which become clear if the self-diagnoser were to actually meet someone with autism (as well as his or her guardian or guardians).

The imagined and Internet-romanticized version of this condition becomes the basis for a kind of defiant rationalization for some frankly childish and borderline anti-social behavior, such as sticking your hand up your genitalia at a job interview.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:55 AM on November 19, 2010 [33 favorites]


You know, I had to get a Facebook account in September for a temporary work reason, and then I let a bunch of acquaintances and a couple of family members "friend" me because apparently it's rude if you don't (super, another source of pointless social obligation, fab). And I like all these people just fine. They are lovely persons. But sweet Jesus, I would pay cash money if, in the 5 or 6 times that I've scrolled down the endless pile of stuff that evidently appears all day long on my page, any one of them had posted anything even remotely as frank or worth a glance as this item, the first PTrunk I've read.

I mean, come ON: "Got all the leaves raked and the garden squared away for winter this weekend." "Watching the sun come up on the porch with a big mug of tea -- what could be better?" "If you love your kids, post this noxiously trite blurb thingie as your status thingie."

At least Trunk is writing about something, and with an actual perspective. She also sounds extremely in voice, subject matter, and style to several people I've known who were markedly neuro-atypical (and had the MRIs to prove it).

Her Guardian column about tweeting her miscarriage is excellent. And I say that as someone who can be pathologically private and appreciates the same in others. Thanks for the interesting post, shakespeherian.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:00 AM on November 19, 2010 [22 favorites]


Worst kind of attention-seeking behavior ever.

Assuming she does have Asperger's, (and nothing has been posted here to indicate she doesn't,) then my (layman's) understanding is that she fits the typical Asperger's "no filter" model.

If you're all going to accuse her of being an attention-seeking liar, then at least have the decency to back that up with concrete examples of why she can't possibly have Asperger's.

Ok, can this this post be deleted then?

If you don't like her, or think she's lying about a medical condition, then take it to fucking MetaTalk and stop threadshitting.
posted by zarq at 8:00 AM on November 19, 2010 [21 favorites]


...such as sticking your hand up your genitalia at a job interview.

Perhaps I'm a bit over-concerned with manners and appropriateness of behavior, but I refuse to believe that anyone who does not have some sort of genuine mental condition would do this.
posted by griphus at 8:03 AM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe "probable" was the word that I was looking for, zarq.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:07 AM on November 19, 2010


There are videos of Penelope Trunk doing public speaking. She's really charismatic, as narcissists often are. I'd hire her to speak at my company any time -- just knowing that she's liable to say anything.
posted by Faze at 8:08 AM on November 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


I had never heard of this woman before this post. Reading a few of her entries ... yikes. She totally needs to become a character on "Community" as the love interest for Abed.
posted by jbickers at 8:08 AM on November 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you don't like her, or think she's lying about a medical condition, then take it to fucking MetaTalk and stop threadshitting.

Thank you zarq, for elevating the discussion to a positive and friendly note.
posted by nomadicink at 8:12 AM on November 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


Bullshit. Not Asperger's. Insulting to people who actually have Asperger's.
posted by koeselitz at 8:16 AM on November 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


If you don't like her, or think she's lying about a medical condition, then take it to fucking MetaTalk and stop threadshitting.

I'll dissent and suggest that it is not threadshitting to discuss the subject of a thread, in a thread about that person, even if the discussion is critical.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:16 AM on November 19, 2010 [6 favorites]


She totally needs to become a character on "Community" as the love interest for Abed.

That would be a bit too much like The Big Bang Theory right now. (Last night's "Community" was awesome, BTW)
posted by drezdn at 8:19 AM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why is she checking her downstairs area every half hour? Can't she at least wait until she gets home? Is the interview gonna be like:

"So, do you have you have any questions you want to ask us?"
"Yes, can you fuck me because I think I'm fertile right now!"
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:20 AM on November 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


– and that's not meant as a simple dis of Penelope Trunk. Seriously, this is insulting. I know people with Asperger's; and I happen to know that they've, well, had sex before. And I also know enough about them to know it wasn't remotely like this. This is not "what it's like to have sex with someone who has Asperger's" any more than my adolescent fumblings could constitute a definitive "what it's like to have sex with a white person." I appreciate that she identifies with the diagnosis, and that's fine as it goes; I also accept that it's possible that she does have Asperger's, though I really wonder. But the characterize a whole group of people that way – and in the title of the article – well, I don't like it.
posted by koeselitz at 8:20 AM on November 19, 2010 [10 favorites]


She may or may not actually have Asperger's* -- although having read her blog off and on over the years, I've observed a dramatic shift in tone and content of her writing that are indicative of something suddenly changing in her personality, which is not consistent with Asperger's.

*Self-diagnosis is somewhat controversial but not entirely unreliable. Given that diagnosing adults is incredibly difficult (all DSM criteria for AS are centered on children) and that diagnosing women is even more difficult (AS and ASD skew male in the extreme, and it's only been in the past few years that women on the spectrum are being specifically considered) and, finally, that finding a psychiatrist with enough experience diagnosing adults is also a challenge -- well, you're left with Tony Atwood's excellent books and a number of wonderful autobiographies. But again: autism disorders exist on a spectrum and manifest differently per individual.
posted by gsh at 8:22 AM on November 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm not threadshitting. I think this is an interesting post, and I enjoyed the unqiue perspective. I don't know whether "Penelope Trunk" has Asperger's or not. I have no reason to doubt her on that score.

But that doesn't mean I can't ALSO think she is entirely cognizant of what she is doing with her "unfiltered" posts and that she is all about the business of promoting herself too.

And I don't think my opinion is any less valid because it happens to be negative.
posted by misha at 8:22 AM on November 19, 2010


You know I read that earlier Penelope Trunk column in the Guardian and I thought it was a very interesting and well-written column about something that rarely if ever gets discussed in public. Maybe because women who do write about things like that run the risk of being called attention-seekers As a woman, it amazed me that I knew so little about that millions of women go through. Hell, my mother had two miscarriages and I just assumed that it was a non-event, like one day you were growing this little organism inside you and the next day you weren't and you found out when you got checked up at the doctor's office.

I found this article fascinating as well, mainly because I think about these things a fair bit too. Also, it is totally possible to know what Kegels are and even be able to masturbate easily to orgasm and not be able to guide a penis into a vagina, from personal experience.
posted by peacheater at 8:24 AM on November 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


I really liked her work in making the man's approach to the budoir less stressful through better lighting cues and reduced noise.

Oh wait, that was Temple Grandin, cows, and abbatoir.
posted by condour75 at 8:35 AM on November 19, 2010 [28 favorites]


I have no problem with people voicing negative opinions. That was not what I was referring to as threadshitting.

However, if you're going to call someone who says they're disabled a liar, I think I'm within my rights to suggest that you should have the decency to back up such insulting speculations with facts and concrete examples.

Thank you zarq, for elevating the discussion to a positive and friendly note

You've been here plenty long enough to know what FIAMO means. Asking for a post to be deleted in the body of that thread is classic threadshitting.
posted by zarq at 8:40 AM on November 19, 2010


I really wish Temple Grandin had written this article.
posted by hermitosis at 8:51 AM on November 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


I've just undiagnosed myself with aspergers after reading that. Doesn't sound like me at all. Fuck Yea ! I'm just a wierdo
posted by Ad hominem at 8:52 AM on November 19, 2010 [7 favorites]


Thanks for the Guardian link, FelliniBlank. It sort of rang a bell, and it took me a minute to figure out why. When I was a teenager, I had the good fortune to spend a bunch of time on a BBS where there were a few women with Trunk's attitude towards sex and body stuff.

They weren't mentally ill, they weren't desperate for attention: they were engineers. Detailed discussion of cervical mucus? Hell yeah. Longwinded reverse-engineering of sexual norms and attitudes? But of course. Odd personal approaches to love and intimacy? Well, in some cases, yes — and that stuff was fair game for discussion and debugging too. If one of them had miscarried while logged in, of course she would have posted about it.

It was the best sex ed I could have hoped for. Not on the mechanics of Where Babies Come From — I'd known about that for a long ass time. But here they were actually demonstrating, in public, how to have level-headed conversations about foreplay and birth control and a gazillion other things that were totally shrouded in mystery everywhere else. We even had one of the good sex-ed programs in school, one that explained condoms and the pill and how to find an abortion provider. But on the subject of communication, it just said, you know, "Talk to your partner about birth control." "Ask if your partner has had an STD test." I had no earthly idea how real people went about having that sort of conversation — and if it hadn't been for those horrible hamburger hamburger "oversharing" women, I might never have realized how straightforward it could be.

I'm willing to buy that Trunk is a big annoying weirdo in all sorts of other ways, or that she's a lousy consultant. (Then again she may not be, and luckily I don't have to hire her, be in a room with her, or even share a BBS with her, so who cares?) But the idea that this is some sort of act, that she's lying about her feelings and experiences, or that she's a narcissist or a creep or an asshole just for discussing them openly, seems really screwed up to me. Letting people share this sort of stuff is what the internet does best as far as I'm concerned, and I'm glad it's out there.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:58 AM on November 19, 2010 [21 favorites]


Seriously, this is insulting. I know people with Asperger's; and I happen to know that they've, well, had sex before. And I also know enough about them to know it wasn't remotely like this. This is not "what it's like to have sex with someone who has Asperger's" any more than my adolescent fumblings could constitute a definitive "what it's like to have sex with a white person."

I agree completely, although really its only the title that makes the claim that this is an accurate description of what sex is like for anyone other than the author. The headline was probably purposely designed to be more provocative and interesting than the actual content.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:59 AM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


He among you who haven't fisted yourselves at a job interview may cast the first stone.
posted by dr_dank at 9:07 AM on November 19, 2010 [24 favorites]


I really would like to understand why people think she's lying, automatically. I've read other stories that aren't so far from this from other people that are "on the spectrum". It seemed potentially accurate to me.

I mean, sure, she could be trolling, maybe Penelope Trunk is a pseudonym or something, but I can't imagine a non-spectrum person posting that kind of stuff under their real name and picture under what ostensibly is a career blog.
posted by zug at 9:15 AM on November 19, 2010


He among you who haven't fisted yourselves at a job interview may cast the first stone.

Thanks, dr_ uh... dank.
posted by hermitosis at 9:15 AM on November 19, 2010


Ah, yes, Faye Kane. And yes, I'm aware the name is a suspicious pseudonym, but *somebody* is allowing a large number of compromising naked pictures of herself to be plastered all over the internet.

Anyway, Faye talks about sex much like this women. Very graphically but not in a way that seems particularly desired to be sensual. It's more like somebody microscopically analyzing the details of sex and vaginas, which I admit, are kind of weird in that weird/cool way.
posted by zug at 9:21 AM on November 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Some of this rings true- as a person with Asperger's and who's had a lot of trouble with relationships, some of the problems she describes are extremely frustrating. It's difficult to be definitive though.
posted by malusmoriendumest at 9:28 AM on November 19, 2010


Maybe it is the title or people's previous reading of Trunk that is off-putting, but the only place I can find in her post where she uses a plural pronoun about people with Asperger's (or what they believe to be Asperger's) is in reference to her family:

"But my family has such a high proportion of people with Asperger’s that this video, honestly, is not far from what our life is like."

And she apparently does have a child on the autism spectrum (or one she believes to be).

In any case, it's sort of immaterial whether she does or doesn't have X medical condition because at heart, she describes only her personal experience of sex and related matters. I could write a post on How It Feels to Have Sex with Someone with Arthritis. That doesn't mean it would reflect how it feels to have sex with everyone or most people with arthritis, just me. I don't think titling my article that would be either overgeneralizing or attempting in bad faith to cynically misrepresent and capitalize blah blah blah.

And in terms of content, she has some fascinating info here. We live in a culture in which everything is sexualized 24/7 -- in a juvenile, smirking, "we can look at it and do it; we just can't talk about it matter-of-factly" way. I can easily imagine a person who avidly wanted to conceive a child checking their cervical mucus every 30 minutes; I can imagine that seeming more important than a job interview. I know people who can't go that long without checking their fucking voicemail for inane messages. How many millions of people routinely take the opportunity to do some "icky" but necessary (to them) adjustment of a distracting dangly hair or booger or testicle or wedgie or chunk of earwax during a break in a job interview? We just don't talk about it. Because we have tact or something.

And the masturbation-on-camera stuff is spot-on. Masturbation = giving yourself pleasure. The most efficient and enjoyable ways to do that are often not entertaining for someone else to watch. Sometimes they are. I can easily understand a person who doesn't always get social nuances (for whatever reason), thinking, "You asked me to masturbate, but apparently what you really want me to do is something else entirely."

I get that many folks might think this is stupid, boring, pointless, or unpleasant stuff to write and read about. I just don't get the "and Penelope is a bad and disingenuous person for writing about it" part.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:46 AM on November 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think Trunk decided that she's on the spectrum because in my estimation, she's very savvy about self-promotion, seeming to be at the right place at the right time, and re-inventing herself, her resume, her achievements, and her situation numerous times. She may have consulted a medical professional, but I tend to doubt just about everything she writes. She's got a great prose style, and an uncanny sense of the zeitgeist. Plus, if you claim that you're an Aspie, you can get away with all sorts of "oops!" stuff.

Others have dissected her claims in detail.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:46 AM on November 19, 2010 [7 favorites]


SEO linkbait attention whore. She will say anything, but it's for links, not because of any medical condition.

I don't think you know how these things work. There's a lot of competition out there for terms like "sex" and "vagina" and even "Asperger's." Now, you can bet Ms. Trunk's site is going to perform well for queries involving all three - but not for straight-up 'sex' or 'vagina' or even 'hand.'

So, if you query 'Asperger's vagina sex,' you'll see Ms. Trunk's site on the first page of results on Google. But I should point out that if you query that term, you are one of two people in the universe to have done so (the other one being me, just now, to help make the point).

So what you're talking about as "SEO link-whoring" really doesn't fit that bill. I don't think Ms. Trunk woke up and decided to "own" a bunch of ridiculous low-volume terms. I think that she enjoys writing, and likes having her writing read. I think that what she writes is fairly compelling to some readers. And that, my friend, is the best way to "do" SEO—create compelling content. We should all be such free viagra canadian pharmacy online casino.
posted by Mister_A at 9:48 AM on November 19, 2010 [8 favorites]


Why I personally doubt Penelope Trunk's claims, since you asked.
posted by misha at 9:59 AM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Free viagra canadian pharmacy online casino
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:01 AM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Did someone say FREE VIAGRA CANADIAN PHARMACY ONLINE CASINO?
posted by Mister_A at 10:08 AM on November 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


Amused by her Asperger's High link.
posted by dgaicun at 10:13 AM on November 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: if you query 'Asperger's vagina sex'
posted by jquinby at 10:13 AM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


As another person on the autism spectrum, I feel it bears repeating that this is not what it's like to have sex with someone with Asperger's. This is what it's like to have sex with that one particular woman.

I don't want to accuse her of making it up, autism is different for everyone, but I've spent a lot of time with Asperger's/HFAs, we have talked about sex, and this woman's experiences are not common.
posted by troika at 10:16 AM on November 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


Picture her: The professional ballet dancer who had just quit, and to celebrate, she got breast implants. And me, the aspiring professional beach volleyball player.

Together, they fight crime!
posted by reynir at 10:17 AM on November 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hey, we're on the first page of Google results for Asperger's vagina sex.
posted by Mister_A at 10:24 AM on November 19, 2010 [16 favorites]


To be honest, she seems sketchy to me but it's really grating to see how the take down that Ideefixe posted is full of sexist language (and how it's seeped into this thread a few times)- they actually call her "Penelope Cunt", "honey", refer multiple times to prostitution and "attention whoring", oiled bikini babes, and the villainous "feminist career bloggers" who say "you go, grrrl!". By all means, call her out because she lies on her resume, but responding to one woman with over-arching anti-woman language is really repellent.

On preview- thanks for a better link, misha.
posted by Thin Lizzy at 10:27 AM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Does this mean I can write an article about what it's like to have sex with a handsome black man that wears glasses and has watched too much Battlestar Galactica?"

I like this idea, but only if I can be your co-blogger and present the counterpoint. Since I've never watched any Battlestar Galactica.
posted by Eideteker at 10:48 AM on November 19, 2010


how it's seeped into this thread a few times

I read this thread again and I just don't see much of any language that is disparaging of women. Can you please elaborate what you mean?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:48 AM on November 19, 2010


Just want to point out the extreme folly of trying to assess someone's Aspergeriness from how they come across in their writing. One nice thing about communicating with people via words is that you can take the time to craft your language and (to some extent) shape how you come across to others. It's possible to be a textbook AS in real life and be perfectly charming and personable on your blog.

That said, I'd kind of like to shit on this thread just because I read the post and ended up without a whole lot of insight into the advertised topic.
posted by Pants McCracky at 10:55 AM on November 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is not the Aspergers porn I was hoping for.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:09 AM on November 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


Well, now I know why I don't want to have sex with Penelope Trunk. Or shake hands with her. Or eat a sandwich she's prepared.

As for "a person with Asperger's" I have had sex with some of them, and it was not at all like having sex with Penelope Trunk sounds like.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:10 AM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Go on.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:12 AM on November 19, 2010 [6 favorites]


I don't know about Asburger's (I mean I have no idea), but from some interviews on youtube it seems to me that she's definitely "gaming" the social system. She knows what she can say that will provoke a reaction and she divides her time between provoking reactions (often sexually, it seems) and giving straight-faced rundowns of how to "game" other social systems (getting a job, apparently).

Would someone on the Asburger's spectrum find her intentional social transgression (put your pants back on) so funny? To me she lines up with a lot of high-functioning sociopath types that I've known. But, again, I have no experience with Asburger's.
posted by cmoj at 11:19 AM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Seriously, this is insulting. I know people with Asperger's; and I happen to know that they've, well, had sex before. And I also know enough about them to know it wasn't remotely like this.

Sort of a part of the entire "spectrum disorder" thing is that you're not going to find two people with said disorder who behave in the exact same way.

I realize there are a lot of people on the internet who take a 20-question, multiple choice quiz, select the answers they feel sound Aspergersy, and then go around trumpeting their self-diagnosed condition as a defense of asshole-ish behavior. But don't let that cloud your ability to understand that this is, in fact, a real cognitive disorder, and that no two people on the spectrum behave in precisely the same way. Assuming she's a liar and an attention whore just seems awfully glib and frankly depressing.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:53 AM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey, we're on the first page of Google results for Asperger's vagina sex.

And now this thread is showing up as #1! The actual article is way down at #5, so we appear to have out-SEO'd her. I'm sure MeFi is raking in all that Asperger's vagina sex money as I type.
posted by wildcrdj at 12:19 PM on November 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


Asperger's vagina sex money is the best kind of money, brah!
posted by Mister_A at 12:22 PM on November 19, 2010


Penelope Trunk is so spectacularly full of shit I have to read everything she writes.
posted by Gamien Boffenburg at 12:24 PM on November 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


This adds another (probably unreliable) layer to her Tim Ferriss Hate Date, previously discussed on Metafilter.
posted by darth_tedious at 12:40 PM on November 19, 2010


Assuming she's a liar and an attention whore just seems awfully glib and frankly depressing.

Well, she says herself that she's a liar and someone who's desperate for attention. In her own writing.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:53 PM on November 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah, but how reliable is that?
posted by Mister_A at 12:55 PM on November 19, 2010 [8 favorites]


Well, she says herself that she's a liar and someone who's desperate for attention. In her own writing.

OK, let me rephrase that: as someone who's worked with people on the autistic spectrum for the past 10 years now, assuming that this person doesn't actually have Aspergers but is just lying and seeking attention is depressing to me.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:56 PM on November 19, 2010


MetaFilter: I can stick my hand in my vagina anywhere—even in a job interview
posted by Splunge at 1:25 PM on November 19, 2010


Whoa whoa whoa, I thought MetaFilter was intrigued by unreliable narration.
posted by everichon at 2:27 PM on November 19, 2010


Sort of a part of the entire "spectrum disorderhuman" thing is that you're not going to find two people with said disorder who behave in the exact same way.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:38 PM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but how reliable is that?

"This statement is a lie."
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:39 PM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I haven't had sex with all people with Asperger's syndrome, but her story is very particular to her and the complete lack of information she'd started out with. My aspie sex is not her aspie sex, but that's okay.
posted by Phalene at 3:18 PM on November 19, 2010


MetaFilter: I make you cringe
posted by bwg at 3:30 PM on November 19, 2010


I like it when people at least try to talk about how sexuality is for them. There is such variety. I kinda liked her post.
posted by stonepharisee at 3:40 PM on November 19, 2010


Seriously, this is insulting. I know people with Asperger's; and I happen to know that they've, well, had sex before. And I also know enough about them to know it wasn't remotely like this.

Asperger's is extremely misunderstood--and like many similar disorders (autism especially) it 's different for every person who has it. It's mainly a social condition--or its effects mainly manifest themselves that way, no? That is, they their mental functions are otherwise perfectly fine. They are smart, capable people who just can't figure out how to communicate non-verbally--some times verbally.

What Penelope Trunk is doing is this: making the mind of someone with Asbergers accessible (somewhat) to those who don't have the condition. This is essential for understanding these folk.

Nor is she claiming that all people with Asberger's have the same (or even similar) sexual experiences. But I don't think she really needs to spell it out for you and say she isn't doing that either. Why would she? It's "someone" with Asberger's, and that "someone" is her. Not your friend.
posted by hpb2earnest at 4:08 PM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


What Penelope Trunk is doing is this: making the mind of someone with Asbergers accessible (somewhat) to those who don't have the condition. This is essential for understanding these folk.

What if she's just making the whole thing up? Maybe she's giving all kinds of bad info out because she's a creative writer. Her writing could actually do damage by reinforcing false views about Aspergers. Penelope Trunk : Aspergers as James Frey: Addiction Recovery.
posted by humanfont at 8:10 PM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


What if she's just making the whole thing up?

I understand that Trunk doesn't have the most sparkling reputation around here, but still, couldn't you say the same thing about almost all of the "inside the mind of a..." posts on Metafilter?
posted by mreleganza at 8:24 PM on November 19, 2010


I'm thinking about starting a cancer blog, myself.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:59 PM on November 19, 2010


Nor is she claiming that all people with Asberger's have the same (or even similar) sexual experiences.

Well, she did name her post "What it's like to have sex with someone with Asperger's" when it really ought to have been named "What it's like to have sex with Penelope Trunk". If that ain't the Lorax claiming to speak for the trees I don't know what is.
posted by Spatch at 9:34 PM on November 19, 2010


Is that her in the picture? I wonder if I could secure a grant to do some empirical analysis.
posted by Xoebe at 9:57 PM on November 19, 2010


It seems to me that a lot of her most shocking posts include juicy SEO tidbits, such as "job interview". I admit to reading PTrunk and it's quite an adventure. I take some stuff, leave others. Now that she's disclosed her trauma background, I do wonder if it's that she has Asperger's (she may) or that she has dissociation, boundary problems and other issues that fall out from that, given that she can be quite charismatic on video.....
posted by acoutu at 11:44 PM on November 19, 2010


I like it when people at least try to talk about how sexuality is for them.

I, on the other hand, just wish they'd just stop it already.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:44 AM on November 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I understand that Trunk doesn't have the most sparkling reputation around here, but still, couldn't you say the same thing about almost all of the "inside the mind of a..." posts on Metafilter?

We'd pick those apart to of the writer wasnt credible.
posted by humanfont at 4:07 AM on November 20, 2010


I really liked her work in making the man's approach to the budoir less stressful through better lighting cues and reduced noise.

Oh wait, that was Temple Grandin, cows, and abbatoir.


The principles are basically the same.
posted by Ritchie at 6:58 AM on November 20, 2010


Oh. Penelope Trunk? That's the woman that tweeted she had a miscarriage in a boardroom meeting, right? Worst kind of attention-seeking behavior ever.

What's wrong with saying on the internet that you've had a miscarriage?
posted by John Cohen at 8:34 AM on November 20, 2010


BTW, what was most controversial wasn't that she said she had a miscarriage. It's that she said she was glad she had a miscarriage since she wouldn't have to go through a waiting period to have an abortion. But why isn't it totally reasonable to prefer a miscarriage to an abortion (with the abortion happening later)? To me, that Twitter post was an interesting glimpse into the kind of experience many women have had, that I as a man will never have to experience. Why put her down for being honest about her experience?
posted by John Cohen at 8:38 AM on November 20, 2010


It's that she said she was glad she had a miscarriage since she wouldn't have to go through a waiting period to have an abortion. But why isn't it totally reasonable to prefer a miscarriage to an abortion (with the abortion happening later)?

I'm assuming she made this tweet on moral grounds only. She is either lying, or didn't know she would have to endure a medical procedure (known as dilation and curettage) following her miscarriage. The procedure after an abortion is somewhat similar in essence, although the fetus is at a different stage of development. Both miscarriage and abortion require invasive medical/surgical treatment. As much as I don't want to dismiss her claims, this really makes me wonder if she really is Aspergic or a hack.

PS: On a totally different note, does anyone have any tips or advice for hyper-sensitive/perceptives getting along with aspies (or dissociatives) ? I've never known an aspie who has been kind to me, and as a result, I write-off aspies as lost causes/assholes/sociopaths.
posted by GEB's fun world at 8:29 PM on November 20, 2010


If you read the article, it explains that her state had a legally mandated waiting period before getting an elective abortion. She was annoyed about the waiting period — and so then she was happy because the miscarriage meant she wouldn't have to jump through that particular hoop.

PS: "I've already written you off as a lost cause and a sociopath" is not a great conversation starter if you're looking for insight on how to get along with someone.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:01 PM on November 20, 2010


As someone properly diagnosed through extensive testing, and found to be on the Asperger's/autism spectrum, I suppose I could give my opinion on the topic.

Quick note: I'm on the Asperger's/autism spectrum, that doesn't mean I have Asperger's exactly, just a related disorder. As multiple people said above, the idea behind a "spectrum" is that everyone's diagnosis and psychology is different. Thus I (nor anyone else in this thread, unless you know her personally) have no way of verifying if Ms. Trunk's post.

Yes people with Asperger's over-share, but this just takes it to an entirely new level. Her post indeed seems to be more about getting attention than actually informing her audience about anything. I just can't imagine not knowing some of the things she says she didn't know, that is unless she didn't have a basic sex-education class in school. If that is the case, then who knows.

Many people, including myself, on the spectrum do everything they can to feel "normal" - to fit in, to be seen as a real person, not some ... freak.

I mean she apparently checks her ovulation during job interviews. Anyone with half-decent parents, peers, coworkers or friends would know that's inappropriate. I know, it's difficult to make friends if you have Asperger's, but most people have someone who can help them understand what's right and wrong. Knowing what lines you can't cross is very difficult if you don't understand nonverbal communication, but that one story is just crazy.

Posts like this are just detrimental to the desires of many people with disorders. Sure, they're entertaining, but they push people with mental disorders further from the mainstream.
posted by Political Funny Man at 5:03 AM on November 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


PS: "I've already written you off as a lost cause and a sociopath" is not a great conversation starter if you're looking for insight on how to get along with someone.

Obviously, it would be. But I could never imagine saying that directly to anyone, ever.

Maybe I've put my foot in my mouth here in this thread. I am going to explain myself as best as I can.

As off-topic as this is - to clarify - I was looking for tips/anecdotes/hope for dealing with hyper-sensitivity/insecurities when befriending/working with aspies or dissociative types, as in the past I've known quite a few who have all personally hurt me very deeply, and as a result I wrote them off once I discovered they were Aspergic. I acknowledge this is unfair, unjust and prejudiced, which is why I bring it up. I am aware of it and am looking for ways to change my attitudes because I know they are unjust.

I think my attitudes aren't entirely unique to me, as you can see from the comments from others in this post (among the general societal attitudes) point to some intolerance of those on the Autistic spectrum.

I also would like to retract my statement about PT being a hack. For now I'm undecided.
posted by GEB's fun world at 7:49 AM on November 21, 2010


Both miscarriage and abortion require invasive medical/surgical treatment.

I do not care about Ms. Trunk's tweeting or blogging about anything. But I wanted to say for the benefit of someone stumbling upon this comment in the future that this is not true. Just wanted to make sure that was clear. Miscarriage sometimes requires invasive treatment, and many times does not.
posted by jeanmari at 9:22 AM on November 21, 2010


Miscarriage sometimes requires invasive treatment, and many times does not.

Thank you for saying this.

For further clarification: as long as a woman passes all of the tissue related to the pregnancy out of her uterus, there is no need for a D & C. I'm not positive, but I believe that most miscarried pregnancies do not require invasive procedure afterwards.
posted by zarq at 4:26 PM on November 21, 2010


I think it's also possibly instructive that there exists, somewhere on her site, a post in which she 'reveals' that she has AS and pouts, "Don't tell me I don't have it. It's different in women."

Which, yes, it frequently is but . . . wow, tone and really?? It just comes across as someone in desperate need of a label, rather than the more typical reaction* which is, "Oh my god -- you mean there's a reason for all this stuff I do and feel and think? For the weirdness??" Which is more revelation and less "my . . . preciousssssss".

* As with all things, however, YMMV.
posted by gsh at 8:33 AM on November 22, 2010


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