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I am 27 years old and have Asperger's Syndrome and am from the Northwest part of the United Kingdom. I am attracted mainly to women, but slightly to men, a sort of 95% women, 5% men, with women being emotional/sexual and men emotional mainly (less about the sex). With a man I could see myself doing all the same couply things a male/female do, except possibly the sex (although my opinions on this could change, I suppose our opinions on things change during our lifetime).

I've realized there is nothing wrong with it; if the special person in my life happens to be male, then so be it. If they happen to be female, then that's OK, too. As long as the relationship's non-abusive and consensual, that's the main thing.

When I was younger (about 23/24) I visited a gay bar in my nearest big city but had no confidence to actually talk to anyone. It was not obvious the bar was a gay one inside; outside there was an LGBT flag hanging up from a footpath that ran alongside, but it was on an otherwise normal main street/pedestrian zone.

I've passed it only once or twice, but am not confident enough when I'm in there; yet, the irony is, I am in "conventional" bars
(i.e. ones populated mainly by heterosexuals). Not that I agree with labels, but that's beside the point, really.

I would like to be able to get attention from people but am not confident in a gay bar; I deliberately did this to push myself out of my comfort zone and to try and see if I could make friends different from my usual social circle (as well as the 5% attraction to men mentioned above). I went in open-minded, refusing to believe the stereotypes mentioned on TV, thinking that's all they were, but lacked any confidence to make friends there.

I would like to be able to flirt with the men, or at least get attention off them, but how is a geekish 6footer like myself supposed to do this in a gay bar? (if you can imagine a sort of Leonard off The Big Bang-theory type with a British accent, the best way I can describe myself without revealing too much personal info).

It is not my sexuality or Asperger's syndrome that is the issue, it's gaining confidence; I am confident in most other situations, but for this one, I want to be more confident.

I would appreciate any advice on this and I hope it helps any other individuals with Asperger's with this.

Answer
Hi Another

I definitely have some advice for you, and good for you for wanting to wade into scary territory. It will pay off for you.

There are three things that come to mind:

1. Psych yourself out! That is, when you're in the gay bar, check your behavior and try to force yourself to match how you behave in a straight bar. This may be easier as you go back more frequently. It's always a little awkward if the surroundings are unfamiliar, so the more you go there, the less unfamiliar it will be, and the easier it will be to pretend you're in your comfort zone.

2. Fake it 'til you make it. This works for a lot of shy people, and it can work for you. It's probably the scariest, but it really works. Just pretend you're an actor playing a part. And the part you're playing is that of an extrovert. A center of attention kind of person. Start with the obvious target... bartenders. They are there to help, and that means talking to you and being nice. Push your limits with them, as far as bending your natural personality. Step as far outside your normal behavior patterns as you can, and try to be as outgoing as possible towards the bartenders. Then, as you get comfortable with that, start interacting with some of the other people near you at the serving counter. And if you're getting eye contact from anyone, they are interested in you and will be more responsive to your initiation of conversation. You'll get a positive response and that will bolster your confidence. Just keep it going until you truly feel comfortable in this role.

3. If both of those sound too scary to you, the sure fire (and emotionally safer) option is to find the person in the bar who IS the attention whore. There are always a few in every bar. This is the guy who will talk to the barstool before he'll sit quietly and not interact with others. Find this guy and stand close to him. Sooner or later, he'll start chatting you up. All the better if you can find one you think is attractive. When he starts chatting you up, try to bring others into the conversation as well. Soon, you'll be chatting with a small group of people, and whether you even like Mr. Chatterbox or not, you'll soon have made a connection with a few other people, and some of them you may be interested in.

Best of luck. I hope that helps!

Tedd

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Tedd Adams

Expertise

I can answer questions related to gay life in general, but also specifically questions about gay youth, coming out, dealing with family issues, religion and homosexuality, and workplace issues. I have also visited many of the popular gay travel destinations and can give you advice on what is worth seeing and what is not.

AVISO: También, puedo responder a preguntas en español.

Experience

I have been a volunteer facilitator for a state-sponsored gay youth support group, where we dealt with all of the issues mentioned above. I have also been active in the local chapter of PFLAG.

Organizations
Human Rights Campaign Oklahomans for Equality Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

Publications
Tulsa World, Muskogee Phoenix, Tulsa Family News, About Business Magazine, Contributor to the book "I Can't Believe You Asked That!", by Phillip J. Milano

Education/Credentials
Associates degree, Biblical Studies, Kentucky Christian College
Bachelors of Science, John Brown University, Psychology
Masters in Organizational Management, University of Phoenix (Tulsa OK campus).

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