Burhan Canbaz, a Dutch 18-year-old living in Turkey, turned to Reddit seeking advice on initiating sex.
But it actually (surprisingly) worked out!
Canbaz’s original inquiry, posted with the title, “I'm autistic and I don't know how sex happens,” read, “Hi everyone. I am autistic, and of course I know how it physically works, but how exactly is the part before you start making out and stuff? How do you let someone know you are sexually attracted? How do you know someone is sexually attracted to you? And how do you set up a situation where sex happens?Reddit, usually known for Internet trolls and snarky users hiding behind screen names (from my very limited use of it, at least), came to Canbaz’s aid and skipped any shaming or bullying, opting instead for mature, usable and sometimes even vulnerable information, going so far as to ask Canbaz for context to better assist him.
Canbaz himself was surprised, at one point commenting, “Wtf this is so weird, I'm on the Internet, but people are actually helping me instead of making fun of me. Thank (sic) everyone so much.”
Over 400 users added to the thread, which Canbaz says was remarkably helpful in an interview with Tonic.
“The problem is, my mum is Muslim and very conservative, so she couldn’t help me. My friends are also very conservative. They can’t do shit, man. Then I ended up at a very religious high school in Turkey where they didn't teach sex ed. So everybody’s on their own,” he says.
But with advice from his new Internet friends, including knowing how far consent goes, staying verbal about what you like and being honest about his difficulty with social cues, Canbaz says he definitely benefited from his shot in the Reddit dark.
“It turned out quite a few people wanted to help. I actually learned something that was useful. There’s a lot more for me to learn, obviously, but it was a great start,” he says.