by Dynamite Jet Moom
As an autistic person I have always struggled to acquire, maintain, and enjoy work. Executive dysfunction, having a social battery that only lasts a few hours, having to mask my arse off to the point where I definitely deserve an Oscar (for any neurotypical readers masking is a common technique autistic people use to try and pass as 'normal' by emulating mannerisms, emphatic talk and behaviours they have observed from their neurotypical peers), being easily distracted and having sensory issues really makes the typical workplace a challenge. To safeguard my sanity I can only work part time, which is very limiting and sometimes having to do extra hours to make ends meet results in exhaustion and neglecting other aspects of my life, such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle, housework, relationships and hobbies.
I started an OnlyFans in August 2019, after having to leave a domiciliary care company that made me work without a DBS (but charged me for one), lied about the job being a zero hour contract and promised me reasonable adjustments for my disability then changed their minds after. They owed me two weeks' wages and I did not receive any reimbursement for fuel costs. I was feeling very disheartened, incredibly anxious and trapped, and, having been a model three years prior to this, I thought selling content would be a good opportunity to try and start a new chapter. I did not have much ambition at the time, just the hope that it would take the pressure off financially whilst working part time. It's now become a passion, a job I love, a reason to take better care of myself and a sense of achievement seeing more progress being made each month.
In many ways it's an outlet for my creativity too, as I love dressing up and creating themes and looks. One of my 'special interests' is eighties and early nineties glam, I have a large collection of Playboy magazines from this time and find that soft focus, high cut, dreamy blow-dried era of glamour modelling enchanting and inspiring. This fascination with old school Playmates has heavily influenced what outfits I choose in my photos, the way I style my hair and the way I do my makeup. For those few hours of shooting I am escaping from the 100mph reality of 2020, with it's relentless distractions, shitty homogenous music and unattainable beauty standards. It might as well be 1988, with Ratt's 'Invasion Of Your Privacy' on full twat, rollers in my hair and a vintage lacy Frederick's Of Hollywood teddy ready to strip out of.
Creating content has not only given me back my self esteem and made me feel sexy again, but it has opened up doors for me financially and given me freedom and control. I can work when I want, from home, where I regulate the environment. I have less meltdowns and feel less stressed. Nobody is telling me how I should and shouldn't work, nobody is telling me what to do. Nobody is going to bully me, sack me or discriminate against me based on my condition. I am my own boss, the model, photographer, editor, accountant and marketing agent.
In online sex work, other creators somewhat replace conventional 'colleagues', so I feel like a part of a community, and have made some new friends (which is nice for someone who doesn't have many friends). I know if I am having a bad day or a sex work related problem I can talk to them, and vice versa. We lift each other up, we celebrate our diversity, we compliment each other and we laugh together. The people in this community rarely judge others (maybe because this community is so frequently judged by society), so I feel like I can be myself. My authentic, autistic self.
Here are my 3 top tips for autistic content creators:
Use your quirks and originality as a selling point, and make sure you show them in your content. People love to see individuality, and as there are so many creators out there now you need to stand out. Talk about your interests, use your interests for content ideas and this will attract people who are into the same things. So for example if you like abandoned buildings do a shoot in an abandoned building, or if you like Star Trek do a Trekkie cosplay set.
Be careful. Promo is a huge part of creating content, and most promo accounts are genuine. But some take advantage of creators, especially newbies, and ask for free uncensored photos in exchange for a few retweets. If this happens, block them instantly. You may get messages from dodgy looking Instagram accounts asking for money in return for a post on their page. If you want to promote this way then check if their followers aren't fake and check how much engagement their posts get. If you're unsure about anything, don't engage with these accounts. Also, people may try and steal your content. Be sure to check blogs like 'thefappeningblog' and 'nudostar' regularly, so you can act fast if anyone does this.
Network! It's great to make new friends in the industry and be a part of this amazing community. If we all help each other out and build each other up it makes our job so much easier and more enjoyable. Real time socialising is difficult for a lot of autistic folks, but it's easier online because you have more time to think about what to say and to digest what other people say to you. If things get too overwhelming you can always have a little break from your phone and go back to your chats the next day.