Neuroqueer Intimacies in Online Dating Apps


  • Francisco Trento The University of The Arts Helsinki



neuroqueerness, intimacy, online dating, stigmatisation, autoethnography


What can we learn from the intimacies bypassing neurotypical understanding of relationships? Drawing from neurodiversity studies (Yergeau, 2018, 2020; Egner, 2019; Kapp, 2020), I question the widespread notion of intimacy connected to neurotypical familial sexual relationships. This paper includes a bibliographic review of neuroqueer intimacies, followed by autoethnographic journal entries that recall the experiences of a neurodivergent, autistic person seeking intimate connections on dating apps. I comment on Remi Yergeau’s critique of the ‘Cassandra Affective Deprivation Disorder.’ CADD is allegedly a condition that would affect neurotypical partners of autistics. CADD’s tropes stigmatise neurodivergent traits as being male-based and a societal burden. It erases the neurodivergent folks who are neither heterosexual nor cis-gender identified (Bertilsdotter Rosqvist et al., 2020). Cassandra’s bias reinforces a normative view of how some bodies should perform (Yergeau, 2020), and the traits of a normative performance are scrutinised in intimate platforms. In dating apps, there is a constant requirement to prove the ability to perform neurotypical traits, like constant eye contact and linguistic and gestural displays of affectivity.


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