Candid Client Interview: A Very Unconventional Relationship
Underneath the sexually suggestive blue-steel photos, seductive wordplay and media fascination with sex workers are real people with real lives and real relationships.
I guess the difference between someone like myself and the average guy you might meet in a bar or on Tinder is perhaps my unusual desire to please and a commitment to a particular path and line of work.
I don't buy into the hype, especially not my own. Regardless of whatever talents I may possess or skills I have acquired, I don't claim to be god's gift or an all-singing, all dancing glorified dildo in human form. I'm a man who loves women, enjoys his job and tries to deliver the best experience possible.
So, I was really grateful to have the opportunity to interview a special client who has spent a considerable amount of time with me and is certainly not afraid to speak her mind.
This is the transcript of a telephone conversation that resulted in an intimate and impromptu interview between two people who share a strong connection and a very unconventional relationship.
I hope you enjoy reading it.
Madison: Why did you first contact me? Did you feel as if there was something missing in your life?
Client: Yes, like many of the clients you speak about in your recent Times article, I was missing physical intimacy and sex in my life. I have a long term partner whom I love. We share a wonderful fairy tale life on many levels, and get along well together like great roommates, but we no longer had a sex life. Over the years, it had dwindled down to the point of being truly non-existent.
Madison: Can you tell me how you felt when you first contacted me?
Client: Thinking back, I was comfortable and relaxed about contacting you as you had laid everything out about 1st-time experiences on your website, and I liked the way you presented yourself in both your press and your blog.
The breadth, depth and clarity of your writing made me comfortable that you were likely to be the same in person as you presented yourself in writing. And, I resonated with your emphasis on both self-development and on nurturing your clients.
I can understand from other people’s perspective that contacting you may feel like a big leap, but I feel like every step of my own journey of sexual healing and development has been progressive, and I didn't really hesitate at all in sending you a message.
By all outward appearances, I have it all. An attractive and successful husband, money and freedom to travel, and a social life filled with friends, the arts and grand adventures. But I remember confiding my sexual frustration to my yoga teacher, and she recommended a female sexological bodyworker to help me get back in touch with and to reawaken pleasure in my own body.
I enjoyed my experiences with the female bodyworker, and then she recommended two male bodyworkers, one of whom was also a surrogate. I enjoyed and benefited from my experiences with each of them. So each one of those people was one step further down the path, which eventually led me to you.
As for meeting you in person, I was excitedly nervous in a good anticipatory raised energy sort of way. I also made sure that I had time and space to relax before meeting up with you.
Madison: How do you feel about our first encounter?
Client: By the time I met you in person, I had already read everything on your blog more than once, and we had talked on the phone quite a bit, so I felt as if I already knew and liked you. But as for our first session, I felt like I wasn't ready physically, because it was somewhat painful. If I were doing our first experience all over again, I would have given us more physical time to connect in my schedule.
Madison: Do you mean painful in terms of us being intimate?
Client: Yes, part of that I'm sure comes from the fact that I hadn’t been sexually active in a long time. So, of course, it would take a while to reconnect physically. I think that was part of it but beyond that, and I'm not blaming you at all because I think you were great, but for me, I just wasn't ready.
But in spite of that, I still decided to engage you for a long trip together with a substantial leap of faith and financial risk in order for us to be able to continue to explore and connect.
In retrospect, I am very glad I took a risk to make that decision. I am also very glad that you were receptive to my forwarding you a translation of The Seven Veils and that you were also supportive of my suggestion that we incorporate it as part of our next meeting.
Our Seven Veils experience together was truly revelatory and expansively pleasurable for me. In particular, I specifically recommend it to women who think they may need more time to rekindle and develop their own sexual pleasure. I hope that The Times gets it right when they proposed 2019 as the year when ‘female pleasure’ hits the mainstream.
Madison: How does the fact that you pay for my time affect you emotionally?
Client: Paying for your time is not an issue for me. I pay trainers, coaches and consultants all the time for their services. Why wouldn’t I be willing to pay you too?
For me, the real question is, “Do I feel like I am receiving a good return on my investment in you?” I look at our relationship from a financial perspective, what else could I be spending my money on that would give me greater happiness. But it's also about emotional equity, and whether I feel like you're adding value to my life in a way that works for me.
Most of the time, I feel emotionally connected to you, and I am happy and grateful for our relationship. But every once in a while, particularly when we haven’t seen or spoken to one another in a while, I feel disconnected.
I think to myself, “Madison does and says the same thing to everyone.” I then also think, “Even if I feel connected to him, does he feel connected to me?” This is a much harder question to answer and gets to the larger question of what is real and genuine in our relationship.
Madison: How can you tell the difference?
Client: That's the thing, you can't. We had a conversation about that the other day where I said that you can't assume someone is thinking one thing or another. You can only go by what they say and do, and you don't really say much in that regard so it comes down to what you do.
It's like one of your recent testimonials that you put up where the woman mentions that you placed your hands on each other's hearts and whispered intentions. She wasn't sure if that was something spiritual between you two or whether it was just well-honed technique. I guess that's what goes through everyone's mind.
It goes beyond whether I feel there's a connection, it's about whether I feel that the connection is real for you too - because there's a difference. That's always an uncertainty.
Madison: How do you reconcile that uncertainty?
Client: Sometimes I don't. I just decide not to come to a conclusion and go with how I'm feeling at that moment and try not to question it too much. I don't think there is ever 100% certainty in any relationship. It's a matter of making peace with the fact that this is just the way it is with this kind of relationship and whether the benefits outweigh the negatives or not. I think that's the hardest part for me.
You brought up the fact that other people in both your personal and professional life have asked you why are you not jealous and don’t you care if they are seeing other people. From my perspective, you feeling or acting jealous doesn't do anything for me. What does move me is the positive feeling that you care about me uniquely.
I don’t take comfort or enjoyment from the fact that you may be jealous of me spending time with others. That has no value to me, and I think it's a negative and not very helpful way of navigating and evaluating the dynamics of open relationships.
Madison: How do you feel about having a relationship with someone like me given the intensity of the experiences that we've shared together? Meaning, things that we've done together are usually reserved for a husband or a boyfriend so how do you feel about that?
Client: I feel different things at different times. I guess overall I'm grateful for the opportunity and the experience but there are certain times when I think 'Oh my god, what am I doing' but in general, maybe 95% of the time I'm just really grateful you're in my life and I'm glad that I have the opportunity to share these experiences with someone who I feel I resonate with.
Madison: Given the fact that we've spent so much time together, it's inevitable that there are going to be differences of opinions and disagreements. How do you feel we handle conflict?
Client: For the most part, I think we handle conflict well together. You are very good at remaining calm and centred. You are also good at communicating in a loving and peaceful way. Where I think you need more work is at anticipating and then being able to adapt to changing circumstances.
I'm not terribly good at conflict resolution when I think I'm in the right or when I think I've been wronged. And when I'm in that kind of mood I can be argumentative, with that said, most of the time overall, I think you set a very good example of how to communicate.
You're far from infallible (laughter) but what I do respect is your ability to take feedback and acknowledge responsibility when you feel the occasion calls for it and that you're willing to (sometimes with a lot of prodding and pushing) consider working on it.
I think you are better at conflict resolution than I am but I think I am better at pre-empting situations and identifying things that may become problematic.
Your adaptability skills could be improved as you can be resistant to change when you have a difference of opinion. And in order to grow, sometimes you need to change.
Madison: How do you see things between us evolving in the future? What would you like?
Client: I am both curious and energetic and I am on an intense journey of spiritual and sexual development. I consider myself to be a happy and grateful person who is generally positive, but my natural energetic drive and curiosity has been called relentless by others. I rarely stay in a state of stasis for any period of time, as I'm constantly moving on to the next thing.
So, yes, I'm seeking a partnership with someone who is both interested in and who is also energetically able and mentally and emotionally adaptable enough to be able to keep up with me on my journey of spiritual and sexual development. I hope that you may be able to be that person.
Madison: How do you reconcile your desire to embrace this journey with someone else other than your partner?
Client: My partner and I are testing out a new agreement between us that separates out the sex from the rest of our life together. Right now it's feeling pretty good as he seems to be ok with it and I'm certainly ok with it. In an ideal world, I would be taking this journey with him, but given that he’s not open to my path, I'm really grateful that right now, I feel in alignment with my path and in agreement with him.
I don't feel like I'm abrogating trust, nor do I feel I'm doing anything wrong. But it’s still not something that I talk about with other people because they wouldn't understand.
Maybe there's a little guilt, maybe there's a little shame but it's not overwhelming compared to what its been like in the past - it's much much better. So for all of that, I'm grateful.
Madison: So is your partner aware that we have been intimate?
Client: My boyfriend is aware that I had sexual relations outside our relationship in the past. He is also aware that in the future I intend to explore my sexuality with a Tantric man or men on a Tantric path.
Madison: How does he feel about that?
Client: He says he's not sure if he'll be emotionally available for me forever but at the very least we'll be friends. It's one thing to say you are open to your partner having sex with other people, but it's another thing altogether to be confronted with it. We haven't really tested that yet.
Madison: What does it feel like to be intimate with a man who's not your boyfriend?
Client: Sometimes I feel it's real and sometimes I feel you may just be going through the motions. Sometimes I feel like I should be experiencing this with my boyfriend and other times I just feel totally present and in the moment and grateful.
It's actually really hard to answer because it's not just one instance we're talking about. So it's difficult to say it feels like this or feels like that because it varies.
In some sense, it's like a proper relationship because we've spent so much time together and for better and for worse, you don't treat me entirely like a client. There are things that you may take for granted about me but there are also things that you do for me that you probably wouldn't do for a ‘client’. Our relationship is similar to a real relationship with all the attendant ups and downs.
I don't think any of this surprises you does it?
Madison: No. But I like the fact that our conversation is very honest and doesn't paint me as some superman like they usually do with myself and others in this profession because we're not. I think you give a fair account of how you feel about me and our relationship at this moment in time and I appreciate that.
Client: How about you Madison? What would you like to happen in our relationship moving forward?
Madison: I would like us to be able to continue to grow and evolve together. I think there are boundaries that are constantly being pushed and I want to be able to support you and embrace that with you.
Like I said in the past, I'm very open to you seeing other men in the profession should you choose but at the same time, I would like to be the one who you share those experiences with because I enjoy you and the intimate nature of our relationship.
We haven't seen each other for the last 3 months and I do actually miss you.
Client: You sound like you're surprised.
Madison: No. Hold on, are you saying I sound surprised about the fact that I miss you?
Client: (laughter) yes.
Madison: Oh behave. Anyway, what I was saying is that I would definitely like to be able to give you what you want. I think the interesting thing about you is that because you are always evolving, there is no space for stagnation so it's about us being honest with each other about whether we're looking to move forward in the same direction.
We've had differences in the past with issues that needed to be resolved but ultimately I like the path that you're on and I want to be there for you.
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