Supporting Autistic Adults' Intimate Lives

Research Project

A participatory research project about autistic adults' intimate lives



SAAIL (Supporting Autistic Adults' Intimate Lives) is a participatory qualitative research project that aims to explore and represent autistic adults' intimate lives in affirmative ways.    

This sex-positive project will  build rich accounts of autistic people's intimate lives in all their diversity.

The motivation behind SAAIL:

Our society is set up according to neurotypical dating and relational scripts. A lack of awareness amongst non-autistic (allistic) people around experiences of neurodiversity and how communication, relational and sensory differences may play out in dating and intimate situations can cause barriers for autistic people. This project aims to help address this lack of awareness, asking autistic people how they would like their intimate lives represented and supported.   

SAAIL is funded by the National Institute for Health Research's  School For Social Care Research (NIHR SSCR), under the broad remit of improving adult social care in England. The project is informed by the social model of disability, which focuses on how normative society can be exclusionary and inaccessible. 

Who the project includes: 

If you are an autistic adult living in England, this project includes you! We aim to include all genders and sexual identities and communities. We want to hear from people of all relationship configurations, from all age groups and ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Help us make SAAIL as diverse and inclusive as possible by participating. 

The project will also map out the service providers, social care structures, self advocacy groups, and other individuals and organisations that are already supporting autistic adults' intimate lives. If you know or are part of an organisation doing this work, please get in touch. 


Our Research Questions

Client 8


What are autistic people's experiences of intimacy, relationships, dating, and sex? What would they like to see change to better support their intimate lives?

Client 8


Who are the people, organisations, communities, and authorities that need to be mobilised to support these changes?

Client 8


How do we make these changes happen?


If you would like to get involved, offer suggestions, or hear more about SAAIL please call or get in touch via

email or Twitter


  • Twitter

Participate in SAAIL

You can participate in:


Focus groups  

Help us to identify existing resources, support, service providers and stakeholders who are already working to support autistic adults intimate lives

Help co-produce digital toolkits 

Provide suggestions and advice 


Our partners and collaborators

NIHR SSCR logo (002).jpg

Research findings

We'll share our research findings and project-related outputs below

SAAIL Autscape 2021 Presentation