Toolkit for providers
Paying for sexual services
Paying for sexual services can provide a valuable space to explore sexual and sensory needs and interests, and to gain sexual experience in a non-judgemental environment. But if you support someone, you might have anxieties about where to look for the appropriate services, and you will want to make sure you are doing the right thing.
In a nutshell, if the person you are supporting is an adult and has the capacity to consent to sexual relations, you are well within the law to help them access services if they cannot do so themselves. In fact, if they have barriers to accessing services and you don't support them to access these, you may find yourself on the wrong side of the law.
The clear, contractual, consensual nature of paid encounters (also common in BDSM) where sexual needs, desires, and boundaries are explicitly discussed tends to suit autistic communication styles. They can provide a safe environment that is not fraught with the uncertainty and indirect communication common in casual sexual encounters in our neuronormative society.
Some participants said that paid sexual encounters gave them an opportunity to gain the sexual experience and confidence they felt they needed to break the cycle of avoidance and anxiety, giving them the confidence to have other kinds of sexual experiences.
Where to find service providers in the UK
You can find sex workers and other sexual service providers though many different avenues. But if you are looking for someone with experience working with neurodiversity, you may want to try TLC Trust.
TLC is a platform where fully-vetted sexual service providers who have expertise in working with people with disabilities and neurodiversities advertise their services.
The TLC Trust is a branch of The Outsiders Trust, which is a social, peer support and dating club, run by and for people with invisible and visible disabilities. This branch of the charity focuses on the provision of sexual and intimate services that are paid for by clients to service providers.
Every TLC provider is individually assessed and goes through a detailed application process to ensure their suitability for the platform.
"Is this service legal?"
"My Care worker/parent/hospice is saying I cannot use these services?"
"I don’t want to access a full sexual service. What other options are available to me?"
Find the answers to these and many other questions here
Everything you need to know about supporting people to accesses the sexual service they need here
A full list of the resources put together by TLC is here
Alternative Practices Directories and Associations
The Association of Somatic and Integrative Sexologists
The World Association of Sex Coaches
Shakti Tantra (UK)
Shakti Tantra runs workshops in pleasure and some of its practitioners specialise in seeing disabled clients
Check out this great glossary that lists the words for different sexual pleasures, acts etc. As well as the different types of sex work, as well as types of sex work and places where sex work takes place. Read it here
Sex and intimacy coaching and sexual partner surrogacy
Sex coaching and sexual surrogacy are legal in the UK for everyone who has the capacity to consent to sexual services.
Some services provided as per website:
Somatic Sex Coaching: Hands-on experiential sessions to explore and navigate sexual pleasure and erotic energy.
Conscious Sexuality Education: Developing sexual awareness, boundaries and consent, desire and intention.
Partner Sex Surrogacy: Modelling healthy sexual interactions and emotional intimacy within a therapeutic framework.
More useful resources
Touching Base Inc is a charitable organisation, based in Sydney NSW Australia, that has been active since October 2000. Touching Base developed out of the need to assist people with disability and sex workers to connect with each other, focusing on access, discrimination, human rights and legal issues and the attitudinal barriers that these two marginalised communities can face.
Though focused on the Australian context, so legal information will not be relevant for the UK context, the touching base website has some great resources and information for clients to avoid anxiety and support positive encounters. Some questions include