Talking about intimacy can be really scary.
For many of us, our upbringings forced us into a place where we were unable to even connect with our bodies and our desires – and least of all actually talk about those things frankly with our partners. Shame is a potent and poisonous tool, and it spreads like wildfire. As much as it breaks my heart when a client tells me how their spouses have shut the door in their face over their fetish, it’s important to remember that the shutdown comes from a place of ingrained shame, too. We are all just trying to do our best, and that kind of deep-level programming is really tough to overcome.
I was lucky enough to have a very liberal upbringing, but it still took me years to come to terms with some of my darker desires, and to be able to communicate about them without shame. A fear of rejection comes into it also – nobody wants to stick their neck out, and have their head chopped off.
And even when there are no fetishes to speak of, communicating about what feels good and what doesn’t can feel like a minefield.
This may come as surprising to those of you that know me, but there was a time that I found it impossible to ask for what I wanted, or to initiate conversation about the desires of my partner. It was engaging in professional companionship that changed all of this for me – how could I provide a stellar service if I was afraid to communicate? How could I create a safe space for my clients without being able to ask what they wanted?
So, I steeled myself, and I learned. And as I learned, I realized how very, very important communication is in terms of consent. And more importantly, I realised that ‘no, thank you’ or ‘this doesn’t feel so good, can we do [x] instead?’ weren’t as terrifying to hear (or to say!) as they had previously felt. Years of Hollywood sex scenes (and porn!) taught me that if an encounter was to flow organically, not a word could be uttered – and now I know that this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Talking is sexy. Talking about what you want is sexy. Asking me for what you want… the sexiest.
The shame cycle is hard to break, but with the right companion, it can be life changing. Being able to access a safe space, where consent can be freely given – and most importantly, revoked – without embarrassment, can lead to immense personal growth across all aspects of our lives. I know that it’s been life changing for me.
I am so grateful to have been able to be a part of so many journeys like this – and I’d love to be invited into yours.