The Gift of Distance

I often say that the hardest part of what I do is NOT fucking the gents who come see me. We share such deep intimacy, physically and often emotionally as well, it is difficult for me to maintain my boundaries. I overshare about my life, my past, my dreams, my family, and sometimes my work. My naïveté constantly reasserts itself, despite occasional reminders of poor behavior, and so I need constant reminding from myself and my loved ones to keep a certain level of reserve. While my instinct is to open myself fully and completely to people and experiences, I have over the last several years developed habits that add an element of distance to many of my interactions. With my friends who aren’t aware of my profession, I must take care of how loudly I’m talking near them and what I’m talking about with them. I have to distance myself with phrases like ‘I read somewhere’ and ‘I know someone’ when discussing issues critical to my industry’s public image. That distance pains me, much as the distance I require myself to maintain from my clients pains me. Depending on our level of trust and intellectual intimacy, I scale how and what I share and those of you who have heard my civilian name are counted on one hand.

This is not my natural state. Initially, it was the nature of my practice that kept the distance. I only saw out-of-towners and had few regulars, so the opportunity to become closely tied with a client was limited. Our brief and singular trysts were delightful, but I was in no danger of growing too close. Then one day I did. One of the most difficult conversations I’ve ever had in my life began “I think I’m falling for a client.” Hours and tears later, my partner and I decided we were too important to risk and so I never saw that client again. I sometimes wonder how his life turned out. More often, I wonder how our relationship might have been had I been as careful then as I am now. Would we still be on good terms? Would I still occasionally visit for waffles and a romp? Would I at least know that he moved on to a greater life? Because I did not maintain carefully the gulf between professional intimacy and unprofessional fantasy I will never have him, a beautiful man who deserves a beautiful life, as part of mine.

There is nothing like a tragedy to bring us to our senses. After I lost what could have become a beautiful relationship and risked my life partnership, I began creating artificial distance in my practice. Though I still sometimes find it difficult to maintain professional distance, I am pleased with the lasting results of my efforts. I have cultivated deep, meaningful, highly sensual, professional relationships with kind, respectful, intelligent gentlemen of all shapes and ages. I have watched them become as close as friends, as dear as lovers, as playful as family, and always sexy. I have translated this drive to be clear in both intent and distance into my personal life, garnering respect and love from newly founded relationships. Without the gift of careful boundaries you and I share, we would not be able to delve so deeply into each other, sharing in lives we would never have known any other way.

To my beautiful, beloved clients: thank you for acknowledging and understanding the distance that allows us to flourish. Thank you for never pressing, but being open. Thank you for your continued support and the careful but abundant joy you bring. Thank you for the gift of loving, sustainable boundaries that comes back to all of us tenfold.

Merry Christmas and happy New Year!