On Vulnerability & Connection
I’m in the process of writing a bigger piece on intimacy…how it’s created, how it’s experienced, and how it’s maintained, as well as how to separate the individual experience of intimacy from something that is shared (whether that is true or not).
To be clear: I view intimacy as deep connection (no matter how fleeting…), and this goes beyond the physical or romantic ideas that may be often tied to this word within professional companionship.
Vulnerability is often a component of connection and intimacy, to varying degrees. One has to have the courage to express their viewpoints, thoughts, desires and feelings in an open and honest way, even if they are different than others, and be possibly subjected to scrutiny. When one takes such risks, and is rewarded with love and acceptance, it is a powerful exchange. This is an exchange I offer regularly when people share their secrets, fantasies, guilt, sadness, fear, loneliness and insecurities.
There is something to be said about offering this type of service to the world… Those of us including components of intimacy, compassion and acceptance within our work help fill the void, and model how this can happen. We show what it can feel like to those who have little to no outlet for this type of exchange. This is more common than we realize in a world where many have been raised to over-compartmentalized feelings, and deny the needs of the human spirit.
But where it get’s tricky is in the authenticity of that exchange… I am a paid companion, but I am also a human being. I am often in a position of power and authority (because of my position as a professional) to those seeking to ease the longings of the heart and soul (and other things… *wink* ). To do right by others, not only as a professional but as a fellow human, I must be sensitive to the needs of those I spend time with, and provide the proper care in how those needs are met.
Talking about this openly, and facing it head on, is not easy… Many visit lifestyle consultants and companions as an escape from lives they are not fully engaged in already. It provides an outlet and excuse to revel in the pleasure that is missing or lacking in our everyday lives. I’m here for that, and understand that life is complicated…but creating illusions in that exchange that go unchecked is, in my opinion, reckless at the very least, and manipulative in worst case scenarios. I am not upholding myself as an ethical professional, nor with integrity as a compassionate human being, if I allowed others to project their needs onto me and pretended to go along with them unchecked. It’s not fair to me, and it’s also not fair to my clients and friends that have entrusted me with such vulnerabilities.
Relationships take time to develop…any and every kind. Even when you have chemistry and a spark, that is simply one factor in the exchange. Given the experiences we have in everyday life in our other relationships, ours can feel like we took the express train to connection, which can make it easy for people to share secrets with me more easily, and on a different timeline than what we might with others in our everyday lives. I often have people sharing deeply personal experiences, fears and emotions that one would never think of expressing to any other person they just met. I welcome that, and understand how this outlet might be the only place for you to share such things. But this can be confusing, and create more than what we realize sometimes… I know this from personal experience, in both my personal and professional lives.
Today I am better practiced in emotional intelligence and boundaries, mostly from learning those lessons the hard way (my favorite way it seems…lol). When I learned to recognize how my earlier expressions of vulnerability were entangled in trying to get certain needs met, and what expectations that (unfairly) created on my relationships, it shifted me out of a cycle of highs that ended in hard crashes to now being able to enjoy more of the passion and connection that is possible in any exchange. My relationships can just be what they are meant to be, with less underlying entanglements.
My lessons, and these boundaries, have not closed me off, but rather shown me how much more I can do and experience with others when I am mindful of what I share and why. Boundaries don’t limit what you can do, they allow you to explore safely and actually give a sense of freedom when you don’t have to worry you will fall off a cliff… And boundaries are movable, and can shift as needed depending on the circumstances. This is true for all relationships, where each should have it’s own set of definitions and guideposts to address the needs of each individual, as well as what can be shared.
As I strive to evolve past the fantasy of the GFE to something that is more organic, authentic, and bolsters emotional skills that enhance your everyday life, practicing how and when to share vulnerabilities, as well as all that goes along with that, is an essential element in this goal. At the end of the day, I want you to be able to just love what you want to love, and be what you want to be…safely.