Asperger's + visit to brothel = good times?
September 20, 2006 2:51 PM   Subscribe

I'm toying with the idea of taking my friend who has Asperger's to a brothel before he returns to Canada. Good idea or am I insane?

I've had a friend from Canada staying with me in Australia on a working holiday for the last few months and he's due to go home at the end of October.

He's a nice guy and from all accounts not bad looking, but has rather severe Asperger's, which has been compounded by almost no social interaction outside his family since highschool (by choice, and he's 24 now). I haven't seen him since then, and it's pretty obvious that without the forced socialising from school he's quite a bit stranger now than he used to be. Nice people, when they meet him, twig right off the bat that he's rather odd, and not so nice people can be pretty mean.

His parents, who he lives with in Canada are pretty much as messed up as he is, and between that and them also having to deal with his fully blown autistic sister means that I'm not sure what'll become of him when he returns home. When he first got here I had to tell him when to shower and push him into doing things like applying for jobs (wound up getting him one with a friend of the family) and eating properly.

What this is leading up to, is that I'm fairly sure that left to his own devices he's not going to find a sexual partner any time soon. Judging by the few times I've accidentally walked in on him hurredly closing things on his computer and doing up his fly (the man does not seem to understand door locks) he's got the average young male sex drive.

As I said before, we're in Australia, and prostitution is legal here. Brothels advertise quite openly in the newspaper with fairly tasteful ads, all things considered, so while I've never been to one myself, I know where they are. And as it's all above board I don't think it's much more risky than your average one-night-stand, provided proper protection is used.

Anyway, is this a good going away present for him or a really bad idea?
posted by Silentgoldfish to Human Relations (32 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

It seems that he would be the only valid judge in regards to the appropriateness of the gift.
posted by bitdamaged at 2:55 PM on September 20, 2006

My guess is that it would scare the shit out of him, and that this is the kind of endeavor that rarely ends well outside of movies. But that's just my opinion.
posted by vraxoin at 2:56 PM on September 20, 2006

Has he expressed interest in a brothel visit? I think you should try and talk with him about whether he would be interested in it. Maybe start with a frank conversation about sex and whether he has had it/likes it, etc.
posted by sulaine at 2:56 PM on September 20, 2006

On the face of it, why not? But I would worry that I was setting up a lifetime precedent, i.e. sending him the message that he'll never get free sex or real intimacy.
posted by miss tea at 2:59 PM on September 20, 2006

This is a really bad idea. I had a slightly mentally imbalanced acquaintance who, after a trip to a brothel, became totally mentally imbalanced. Not saying this will happen to your friend but you are playing with fire.
posted by grouse at 3:00 PM on September 20, 2006

I think it's a really bad idea. You could offer it to him, but I wouldn't surprise him. I have mild AS, and I personally wouldn't be too keen on it (but then again, I am female. That might be a little different).
posted by bolognius maximus at 3:15 PM on September 20, 2006

If this guy doesn't understand that you should lock the door before wanking one off, I can't imagine what going to a brothel would do to him.
posted by MrZero at 3:20 PM on September 20, 2006

Try having a conversation with him about brothels in abstract. It is a fascinating social difference between Australia and Canada, after all. That conversation will allow you to gauge whether he has any personal interest in visiting a brothel.
posted by rhiannon at 3:24 PM on September 20, 2006

I think you should ask him. I bet he'll say yes.
posted by aeighty at 3:24 PM on September 20, 2006

Hell, this doesn't even end well in movies. Remember The Last Picture Show?

I agree that you should ask him, and if he isn't 100% totally into it right from the start, drop it immediately and permanently. And even then, I would want to consult his therapist. Playing with fire, man!
posted by equalpants at 3:32 PM on September 20, 2006

Bad idea to surprise him-- there's too many ways it could unintentionally go wrong, as grouse and miss tea have suggested.

I mean, are you even sure he's straight? What if you buy him an innie and he really wants an outie?

Prostitutes are easy to find in any country. If he's interested in this he's probably already done it.
posted by InfidelZombie at 3:38 PM on September 20, 2006

Prostitution's not illegal here, either. There aren't generally brothels, but there are tons of ads for in and outcall services in every free (and some pay) papers. Assuming he lives in a town with more than a few thousand people, and the guy can make a phone call, he could certainly have hired a hooker if he was interested.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:53 PM on September 20, 2006

I'm coing to chime in on the bad idea chorus. If he's not had any experience with girls yet, this isn't the way to start. Let him figure this out on his own, and process it in his own way. That's the only chance you've got for him turning out normal with respect to this.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 4:23 PM on September 20, 2006

I'd bring it up casually when he's down there, but yeah, no surprises and no pressure. If it's his choice, it'll likely turn out better...
posted by ninefour at 4:34 PM on September 20, 2006

if you have to tell him when to shower and what to eat, there's no way in hell that he'll know what to do with himself in front of a woman IRL. But I say go for it just to watch the aftermath of your "gift" turn his aspergers into full-blown autism.
posted by naxosaxur at 4:37 PM on September 20, 2006

Please let us know what happened here. I don't think this is such a great idea, but I second you asking him.
posted by sholdens12 at 5:00 PM on September 20, 2006

Take him to a strip club. The way he deals with that will tell you if the brothel is a good idea or not.
posted by teleskiving at 5:24 PM on September 20, 2006

Bad idea! This would be a remarkably traumatic first interaction with a female for him.
posted by iamthedivebomber at 5:37 PM on September 20, 2006

People without severe Asperger's might find the idea of a pity fuck from a prostitute really disturbing. I can't imagine how someone with difficulty interacting socially might be affected by it. Put me in the "terrible idea" column.
posted by jesourie at 5:45 PM on September 20, 2006

Also, you're treading on questionable ground here in terms of informed consent.
posted by jesourie at 5:48 PM on September 20, 2006

What are you trying to accomplish? This trip would not teach him any kind of confidence or normal skills, it's teaching him to pay for sex, which isn't any better than him playing with the computer.

Will he enjoy visiting a brothel? Quite possibly. Will this help him in any way? I think it's unlikely. Could it make things worse? Yes, I think this could further hurt his normal interactions and behavior, and previous comments also indicate this.

Talk to him. If he'd be happier with changes, I'd encourage him to move out of his parents' house (he's 24 and likely to get worse if he stays with them, IMO) and join structured social groups if that's what he responds well to. Join a darts league or bowling, a trivia group, anything to get him out of the house and socializing in a shared interest group.
posted by empyrean at 5:50 PM on September 20, 2006

I cannot jump on the bad idea bandwagon. I think it could be equally a good idea. Without knowing what he is thinking on a moment to moment basis, until you do it, you'll never know.

Maybe you could do it without him knowing. Call a brothel and set up a "chance meeting" with a working girl at a local pub that leads to sex. You could pay seperately without him even knowing it was paid for.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:17 PM on September 20, 2006

If he's already got difficulty dealing with others in social situations, making his first experience of the most intimate things you can do with another person something that takes place in the context of commerce is unlikely to provide him with anything good to build on. And it might well have bad effects you can't predict, including just plain making him feel weird(er) about sex. In other words, another voice in the "bad idea" chorus.
posted by BT at 7:08 PM on September 20, 2006

Probably not a good idea. But, can I be your friend?
posted by Wet Spot at 7:56 PM on September 20, 2006

It occurs to me that he might not actually enjoy actual sex if he's not had it before, and might not be able to come.

There's a heap of "previously" here and in Dan Savage's column about how men who are used to masturbation can find it hard to come when having actual penetrative sex with a condom (do a search for "death grip").

So, although I don't have anything against the idea in principle, that's yet another way in which it could go wrong and turn into a wholly negative experience for hiim.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 8:12 PM on September 20, 2006

Bad idea. But teach him about locks, and emphasize how much you appreciate being able to use them for doing Private Stuff.

It's always nice to be able to jack off without your mom walking in.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 8:15 PM on September 20, 2006

Seconding strip club instead. Clearer rules about the relationship between patrons and dancers, which will be easier for him -- short but important list of rules to learn, bouncers to enforce them, no need for him to interpret much in the way of social cues.

'Course, that doesn't get him laid. But it'll also probably be more fun than the brothel-sex idea, for both of you.
posted by desuetude at 8:26 PM on September 20, 2006

Response by poster: I appreciate the comments, good and bad! To the definite no's, does it make a difference that I'm talking about a place like this (site remarkably tasteful, thought probably not a good thing to be caught on at work) and not illicit back alley blowjobs?

As for it being something he would have arranged himself if he'd wanted to, this is a guy who I had to basically order into the shower once a day or he wouldn't clean himself when he first arrived and whome I still have to nag into picking up food he leaves on the floor of his room. He's not exactly the most proactive guy! I'm fairly certain he doesn't even know prostitution is legal here considering he didn't realise we had beaches when I asked him if he wanted to go to one.

I'm not a fan of the strip club idea, it's always seemed fundameltally less honest than a straight out brothel since it's more of a paid cock-tease.

But, I'm no expert in any of this!

By the way, of course it's not something I was ever planning on surprising him with! It's not the kind of thing you surprise anyone with, male, female, asperger's or not! Well, IMO, of course. I thought I'd poll random strangers before I talked with him about it to see if I should even go that far. I'm still undecided.
posted by Silentgoldfish at 10:36 PM on September 20, 2006

Best answer: As someone who's touched quite a few undressed autistic people, I can tell you that a lot of them don't like to be touched, even when it's a nice doctor in a white coat. The ones who can understand language can respond well to clear explanations: "I'm going to look in your mouth now," boundaries: "I won't do anything that hurts." and escape clauses: "tell me if you need me to stop."

But I'm not sure you're going to be able to trust your garden variety sex worker to know how to do this, not to mention that the kind of touching she does is orders of magnitude more intimate. I think that to the average autistic-spectrum person I see, even a lap dance would be terrifying and unpleasant.

Actually now that I think about it you'd probably be better off with a dominatrix. They understand this stuff, it forms the basis of their work.

But honestly, just ask the guy, and try to do it in a way where he's not going to feel you're judging him based on how he chooses to answer. If he feels like you're going to think him less of a man if he refuses, it's just going to be a miserable experience for him no matter what happens.
posted by ikkyu2 at 1:37 AM on September 21, 2006 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I have been with my Aspie husband for 20 years. Although he is not as far along on the spectrum as your friend, I echo the comments above. Firstly discuss this in a very matter of fact way. As in "I was thinking of going along to a brothel and wondered if you...."
then immediately leave him to think about the idea for as long as he needs.
Many, many Aspies have a problem with touching, but quite a few don't. He may be one of these and I find your attempt to get him laid endearing. It may just give him the start he needs to think about forming relationships. If he says he'd like to try it, I would discuss with him exactly how he feels about being touched so you can inform the sex worker. As for his feelings about a "pity Fuck" I can practically guarantee that won't be an issue. Empathy tends to be a problem for Asperger's, he's far more likely to see it from a very pragmatic point of view. He won't be offended, and may be curious enough to try it.
But whatever you do, discuss it fully. I'd be happy to talk you through how the conversation is likely to go (addy's in the profile) but got to work now!

and for those Asperger's who object to me using the term Aspie, which some find dismissive, I use it as a term of affection, and having lived as the S.O of an Aspie for 20 years I damn well deserve to call it whatever I want Rant over
posted by Wilder at 4:13 AM on September 21, 2006 [3 favorites]

Adding to the choir above, this is a horrible idea.
posted by chunking express at 7:12 AM on September 21, 2006

Playing with fire. Even "normal" guys who start by having sex with a sex worker end up a. less desirable to "normal" women and b. with a twisted idea of what a relationship with a woman should be like. This sounds like a TERRIBLE idea. And to those who believe that a person with Aspbergers knows what they are getting into and can handle it, I think you are absurd. After watching my ex's cousin (who was an aspberger) go through multiple suicide attempts after getting into a first sexual relationship which was AT her own pace and VERY much wanted, I don't think you offer this to him. Instead, pat yourself on the back for helping him become more socially functional and consider yourself a winner if you can get him to engage in regular social activity like a pub game, darts, or a soccer team.
posted by zia at 5:12 PM on September 24, 2006 [1 favorite]

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