While you may think that autism is fairly uncommon, the facts indicate that it’s actually more prevalent than you probably assume. Autism Speaks, an autism advocacy group, reports that over three million Americans have an autism disorder and that males are four to five times more likely to have the disorder than females. So, it’s very possible that you will encounter an autistic client.
Because autistic clients are very different from your traditional ones, it may be difficult to know how to provide an enjoyable experience for them. Use these tips to ensure your autistic client is happy:
- Realize that many autistic clients desire romantic relationships. Despite how autistic clients may demonstrate that they are void of emotion and don’t value the elements that go into romance, they do often wish they could engage in a romantic relationship with someone special. The problem for them, though, is that they have no idea how to create it for themselves. Flirting abilities, courtship know-how and general interpersonal skills typically evade them. They may have gotten a few tips from watching others who are successful in wooing others, but the feat may still remain unreachable to them. Because they are logically minded, they realize that they can acquire some aspects of a romantic relationship simply by hiring an escort. As you become their girlfriend for the night, don’t assume that they are in it just for the sex. You need to follow through on some aspects of the girlfriend experience in order for them to be happy.
- Lay out the details of the encounter at the very beginning. Autistic individuals fear the unknown and unexpected. They don’t enjoy surprises and don’t function well under circumstances that are out of their control. To avoid their anxiety that may be associated with an encounter, explain to the client how the booking will play out, detail by detail. When your autistic client knows what to expect and in what order to anticipate it, he will be much more relaxed and able to enjoy the experience. While you’re discussing how the encounter will occur, ask your client if he has anything specific he wants to be included. Addressing his concerns and allowing him to feel informed will put him at ease for a successful booking.
- Establish a routine for your encounters. Autistic clients get uptight when they don’t know what to expect or can’t set up a routine for their visits with you. Their lives are incredibly structured, from eating certain foods on specific days to wearing assigned outfits on a day of the week. Seeing you for the first time may completely put his schedule out of whack, which may make him extremely uncomfortable at first. If your client wishes to become a regular, you will need to work with him to arrange a time that is exclusively his consistently. For instance, if he wishes to see you monthly, your appointments may be the first Monday of every month at 7 p.m. Or, weekly might be every Friday at 5 p.m. Working out a regular schedule with a client helps him work this into his routine and makes it work with his lifestyle.
- Use literal language with your client. It’s pretty standard for autistic people to miss punch lines or comprehend sarcasm. They think very logically, and humor and non-literal speaking methods don’t translate for them. A lot of times, when an encounter gets awkward or something a little embarrassing occurs, you can laugh it off with humor. But, this won’t work with an autistic client. If you need to lighten up a situation, redirect the client or offer support for whatever just occurred. For instance, if your client passed gas (which may happen since he isn’t as adept at social cues), you could normally ignore it or make a joke. But, an autistic client won’t find it funny and he may mention it. Just accept it and move it, without making a big deal of it. Additionally, use literal statements and clear directions for what you need him to do. He won’t take inferences or suggestions effectively.
- Know that your non-verbal cues may go unnoticed. It’s common that people who are diagnosed with disorders on the autistic spectrum don’t understand body language well. The meanings of a smile, dirty look and other gestures don’t always correlate to what you intend to communicate. While you may think your smile is reassuring, your autistic client may get the impression you find him funny and become insulted. Your gentle touch up on his knee may be a violation of his personal space and be interpreted badly, instead of as a sign that he can proceed with physical activity. In lieu of communicating non-verbally, which is usually one of the most effective means to get your point across to clients, you should resort to saying what needs to be said.
- Pay attention to the environment. People with autism are hypersensitive to their surroundings. Too many lights, too much noise or too much “stuff” around is distracting to them and makes them uncomfortable. It creates overstimulation for them. Make sure your incall is quiet and comforting, with few distractions. Music may be something you need to turn off, if it doesn’t please your client. Lighting may need to be adjusted. Be prepared to make accommodations for your client, per his needs. Additionally, he may have touch sensitivities that make your leather couch uncomfortable or your silk sheets too “slick” for him. Instead of trying to make your incall suit his requirements, it may be easier to go to his place or somewhere he is comfortable at. But, once you do, make sure that you ask where to sit, etc., because he may have a particular “spot” that is his.
- Know that an autistic client’s aversion to touch is not necessarily a negative response to sex. Many autistic people don’t like hugs and avoid most forms of physical contact. (Some are just as touchy feely as anyone else, though.) But, many autistic people DO maintain successful sexual relationships, despite their touch issues. It may work best to gain permission to make physical contact with your client before engaging in deeply intimate actions. And, it may work to ask your client ahead of time the actions he wants to engage in. For instance, he may be up for cuddling, but not deep kissing. Or, he may like to touch you, but doesn’t prefer to be touched himself. Find out where his preferences are before getting in the middle of any intimacy.
- Lead the way through the encounter. Once you’ve inquired about your autistic client’s personal boundaries and his expectations for intimacy, it may be appropriate for you to guide him through the booking. Taking the initiative and making the first move may be necessary for the encounter to move along. If you wait for your client to suggest transitioning activities, he may never get the nerve up to do it. He is relying on an escort to pave the way, so gently set in motion the rest of the encounter. You may find that it’s most effective to verbally instruct your client what to do or to preface your actions with words.
- Autistic clients fear rejection. Even though they seem very self-assured through their speech, many autistic clients are highly afraid of being rejected. People who are on the autism spectrum often discuss themselves, rather than talk about others. They may get so consumed with one off-the-wall subject, that it seems they are overly confident about their abilities and knowledge. But, in reality, they are very afraid that they will mess up and you won’t want to spend time with them. Probably, they’ve been turned away in social settings before, and those bad experiences have stuck with them. Many times, they don’t even know exactly what they did that turned others off. To create successful encounters for an autistic client, you must accept his differences and constantly reassure him that he’s doing things right. Making him feel good and confident is one of the major goals of an encounter, just like it is with any other client.
- You will become his teacher. Your autistic client will turn to you as the expert in relationships, so it’s important to realize that he’s learning from your words and actions. He may repeat what he’s experienced with you when he gets a chance with another partner. Some autistic clients will even come right out and ask you to teach him how to please a woman or how to interact with her on a date. While other clients who seem to have troubles socially may ask you to help them in the same manner, an autistic client is a little different. You will need to explain things in a logical, technical manner for him to fully grasp the importance of what you’re telling him.
- Be clear about your relationship with your autistic client. While this is a given for any client, an autistic client isn’t as good at interpreting cues and other nuances. Clarifying that your relationship with him is purely professional and not personally intimate should do the trick. While other clients may read more into your words than is actually there, autistic clients take what you say literally and will understand the clear boundary. And, unless you specify other rules, such as services/activities you will NOT engage in, he may assume they are okay without asking. (Because, in his mind, if they were off limits, you would have told him.) Clearly discuss all dos’ and don’ts ahead of time.
- Never attempt to argue with an autistic client. Autistic clients see things in black and white, never in shades of gray. They are right or they are wrong. If you feel that a misunderstanding is at work, correct it immediately with logical and rational explanations. Don’t get emotional (which is unprofessional anyways), because autistic people don’t usually “get” feelings. And, if your client is adamant that he is right, don’t try to argue with him. You won’t get anywhere. He is not going to see your point of view. Try to redirect the conversation. However, if the argument is about following one of your policies or becomes personally insulting, feel free to ask your client to leave and suggest he find another provider.
- Expect your autistic client to be a late bloomer. It’s extremely common for autistic clients to be in their 30s or 40s before they reach out to an escort (or anyone) for physical intimacy. It’s a very different world for them, and it takes them awhile (typically) to figure out how to find the kind of attention they desire. Keep in mind that many programs exist for autistic children, but few carry through to adolescence or adulthood to help them transition into society easily. Due to this, it may have taken your client several years to get to the point where he’s comfortable with (or curious about) the concept of sex.
- Your client may need time alone after an encounter. Instead of the obligatory cuddle and afterglow period that many clients want to soak out of an encounter after the “fun” is concluded, your autistic client may need some space to digest what just occurred. He may leave your incall abruptly or tell you to leave immediately. Don’t be insulted. And, don’t be surprised. Even if he doesn’t want to part ways instantly, he may desire some space for a few minutes, retreating to the bathroom for some processing time.
- Autistic clients may be overly truthful. Without intention of being rude or mean, your client may be hurtful with his honesty. Because he is overly observant, he may have noticed that cellulite you try to conceal or the extra five pounds you gained recently. He may mention that you need a haircut or that your breasts are different sizes. Or, he may bluntly tell you he doesn’t like your lingerie or jewelry. He doesn’t realize that what he says can be insulting. He is truthful to a fault and says what comes to mind. If most clients were brutally honest with you, it would be easy to block them for rudeness or lack of tact. But, an autistic client can’t help it. He’s just being himself.
When you work with autistic clients, you have be willing to make some concessions. It always helps to know ahead of time that your client has a condition that is on the spectrum, but you may be caught by surprise. Most clients may not even think to mention it. But, you may be able to notice it when talking to him on the phone by robotic/repetitive language, a self-focused discussions and one-sided conversations, monotone speech. In person cues include: awkward movement and mannerisms and lack of eye contact. If you’re not willing to accommodate their needs, it’s probably best to refer an autistic client on to another escort. And, while it may be challenging to adjust to what an autistic client needs from a booking, once you do, you’re sure to have a loyal, trustworthy regular on your hands, which is what every escort wants.