Growing Up

The journey starts to take hold …

I am an almost 50-year-old boy! Like a lot of guys, there is a teenager trapped inside, and I have been slow to learn emotional, life and important interpersonal lessons. Well the penny is starting to drop.

My almost two-year journey as a client of escorts is only part of my transition. It is an important part, and it has combined with some other difficult, painful and emotional transformations to teach me something. I am finally listening. Perhaps in some ways, I am finally ‘growing up’.

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Expectations of Seeing Escorts

I started this journey, as you can discover if you read ‘Becoming a Client’ out of a set of circumstances. I thought, after 10-years without real intimacy, and in a mid-life-crisis that it was about selfishness, adventure and rediscovering interpersonal intimacy. It was, and it wasn’t. I am not that guy any more.

My almost three-decade monogamous relationship looks like it is coming to an end. In the not too distant future, I will be a single, lonely, middle-aged and tragic figure. I would have expected to be looking for another long-term monogamous relationship, one that would see me through to the grave. That is what I thought. I wanted some memories before that declining last-chapter began. I wanted a bit of youth, some craziness and some sex and intimacy before resigning myself to old age and another attempt at an all encompassing monogamous relationship. After all that is what society expects.

That isn’t me anymore. I have new plans, and it is ironically the Escorts that I have met on the journey, that have changed my mind more than anyone else. Hotel bedroom and dinner booking ‘therapists’ that have shown me things about myself and shown me their own intimate journeys. Their desires, their demons, their lessons have helped me. They have also provided a mirror on my own issues and my own journey.

The Surprising Dynamics

I felt in some crazy way, that I could ‘road-test’ becoming intimate with a future soul mate by courting (seeing) Escorts. I know, madness right? I also felt that although the intimacy was purchased, it really was a ‘Girlfriend Experience’, again madness. So what has happened to me?

I fell in love. Of course I did, I was deprived of intimacy for more than a decade and Escorts for the most part are some of the most awesome and amazing people anyone could meet. Anyone who has read my blog knows that I have fallen hard (more than once). If I couldn’t have love, the I felt that I would give love, and hope for something to come back the other way. Anything really, just some care, some intimacy, some validation and interest. Also madness!

Despite my ignorance and stupidity, something that some parts of this industry depend upon from clients, I have been fortunate. In between my many mistakes, I have met some of the most amazing, and some of the most caring of people. Often, they have no doubt been frustrated with me. Head in hands, going “Bloody Hell Percie, what the fu^k are you thinking”, they have persevered with me. They have changed me. They have taken some real time and effort to help me!

My Friends

All of us meet friends in the most unlikely places. In fact, literally anywhere in our lives. Some friends and connections stick, and some don’t. I have been a very lucky client, as I think I have made a few on this journey. I know some clients write to me and say that they haven’t – and I am truly sorry if that is really the case. I have befriended a few fellow travelers. Perhaps more meaningfully, I have also been fortunate to befriend some Escorts. I have a friend in Sydney, we always have a great time together, and although we don’t see each other often, there are just too many things happening that we share for me to think that a friendship hasn’t formed. She is stuck with me!

I have a friend in Melbourne, although either of our eventual industry retirements will be a test, as I am a middle aged man and she is an amazing young woman. The same in Perth and the same in some other places, New South Wales, Queensland and even further afield. We are friends despite meeting in this industry, rather than because of it. I have also lost contacts I had mistakenly thought were friends. For a while that made me believe that every industry contact would end when the money stopped. Now I realise that is true in most cases, but it isn’t always true or some unavoidable rule.

In the situation where the money stops, and any artifice of friendship ends, if there is something else shared, a valuable exchange of another type between people, then a different future connection emerges. The possibility of a friendship that started within the moments together of an Escort-Client relationship. Some endings hurt as the reality becomes apparent. Now however I know, that in some rare and special cases, other connections will continue. I believe I now have a more mature engagement with this reality.

My Lovers

I don’t believe any of my paid companions love me. Sure I love some of them, but that is the nature of the industry, the gap between client love and escort accommodation of their clients, is the payment and the industry, that lets this dynamic and temporary reality happen in the first place. I will take friendship, and failing that, remembered experiences, as my wonderful result of this journey.

When I am single, I will be once again looking for love. I feel that I am now better prepared for this part of my journey. The challenge will be that I will be looking for it in an environment where I am open, integral with myself, and honest about my needs. I will be open that I have been a client of Escorts, and I may well be again. I know that reduces my chances of meeting people, but that is the approach I intend to take.

When that period of intensity of wanting to be in each others orbit, with nothing else intruding, that initial honey-moon of interactions is over, I will once again want broader experiences. I will want to invite others into my life. I will want to maintain a connection while exploring others. I will want to see other people, paid or unpaid, in an open and honest exchange and re-engage with people I have already met on this journey.

I know that sounds like a fairy-tale. I don’t have that much appeal to win love even in a classical model, let alone in some future utopian model of open relationships. But I don’t care. That is what I am going to do. That is what I will try. I am not ashamed of being a client of Escorts (past, present or future), I am proud of it. It has led me here. It has led me to a person that I actually want to be, a person that I am proud of, a person that needs more than one other person that I am sexually attracted to to be in my life, part of this life, sharing some aspects of the journey with me.

I still have a lot of growing up to do. But I am not going back to where I was and I have some of the most amazing people to thank for this transition. Sometimes these people are called Escorts. To me, they have been teachers, lovers, companions. In a few, a very small few cases, they are my friends.

Thank you for reading. I hope your journey is progressing too. To those most dear to me, I hope you see your place in this story and what you have done for me. I thank you. I love you. I hope I can be there for you as you have been there for me.

Xx SP 20 September 2017

Winter’s End

Change is often painful …

Thoughts on a dark period for Percie.

I’m back, perhaps? This is my first blog article in almost two months, following a period of three months in which I wrote forty-five pieces. What happened, where have I been and why am I back?

This is a personal story of change. So much has changed in the last five-months while I wrote this blog and then during the more recent hiatus while I didn’t. This is going to be self-serving, over-thinking and a rambling return to writing. So get out now if that isn’t for you.

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The Honeymoon is Over

Not that far into my journey as a client of escorts, I remember a dialogue on Twitter with a far more experienced ‘client of sex-workers’ in another country. I was rambling on about how amazing escorts were, how mind-blowing the experiences were, and why doesn’t everyone do this? His reply was, ‘of course … you are in the honeymoon period, it’s all new and there is no baggage, no entanglements and no regrets’. I remember thinking, what the f–k is this idiot talking about, don’t kill the buzz like that. It will be different for me. Of course I was the idiot, but most of us have to learn these lessons for ourselves – especially me.

Then that early period comes to an end. You see behind the ‘glamour’ that many escorts and many clients are profoundly sad and have holes in their souls that they are trying to fill or forget. No different to every other human in many ways, but exposed when the intimate engagements that are the hallmark of this industry show them, play with them, sometime soothe them and sometimes inflame them. It is an exciting and rewarding exchange, but like everything, the strength is also the Achilles-heel, the same intensity impacts on negative things like envy, insecurity, anger and emptiness.

My Transition

I was very lucky. The start of my journey and the end of my ‘honeymoon’ period were in many ways clearly marked out for me, in retrospect at least. If you have read my piece ‘My End of Summer’, you will know the end. In reality it isn’t exactly that clear cut. Just like my becoming a client was actually a complex life-transition, so in many ways is this shift. The obvious point of change is the retirement of my longest and closest companion, an Escort that I had fallen in love with. A sudden ending, and then the process of letting go is hard. Much harder than I expected. It really is a type of grief, complete with all of the stages (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance). Denial and anger passed quickly for me. Bargaining was a surprise and one I may write about one day. Depression lasted a long time, not clinical depression of any type, just a very down period connected to the specific events occurring at the time. I hope I am now in acceptance and will come to what that means shortly.

In addition to this trigger, I had other stuff going on. Two close deaths, elderly relatives but painful and connected to my own mid-life existential and mortal angst. I have an unwell daughter, the worst of all my real-life issues, but both too painful and too personal for this forum. I had work issues, domestic issues and some other surrounding real-life dramas just to make sure it was coming from all directions. Many people I know are dealing with worse, maybe you are too, I hope that changes and improves, but this was a big emotional load for me. The perfect time for change.

Percie’s Transition

Within my journey as a client of escorts, it wasn’t just the retirement of my longest standing companion. There were other ‘end of the honeymoon’ moments. Another companion that I also adore seemed to be having her own turmoil, well hidden but apparent, and had largely withdrawn from contact and public channels. There were others that I liked to converse with in social media and messages who also seemed to be backing away from the same contact points (primarily Twitter). Then of course there was this blog. My cathartic desire to write, led to an audience (who knew) and some of that audience didn’t particularly like Percival Blakeney.

I don’t mind a bit of banter, exchange and even the occasional argument. I’m not as well equipped to handle this with a light-touch when I’m already down and damaged, as I found out for the first time. It hurt when a couple of escorts who had actually met me turned away and even went on the attack. It hurt less getting attacked by those that didn’t know me, but it still managed to ‘get under my skin’. There is a certain perverse irony in Escorts complaining that people misunderstand them and then laying into an online client that they know nothing at all about. Being blocked and bullied was just another experience, but it really hurt when others I did care about started suffering collateral damage. A few escorts and clients that know me said kind things and then promptly got targeted as well.

I wasn’t enjoying being a target, but I really went into a downward spiral seeing other people I liked and cared for being hurt on my account. Some other kind people sent private messages and offered to comment publicly. I asked them not to. This is a journey for me, mostly positive, sometimes not, but it isn’t my livelihood, it isn’t my real-life reputation, and it isn’t my peers and close friends. I don’t want anyone putting things that important at risk just to stop some mild online nastiness, the type that those very same kind souls face in greater volume and stronger viciousness every single day.

Of course when you’re down, that has a shame cycle all of its own. It made me want to defend them instead, hold them and protect them, that made me feel like a stupid ‘white-knight’ and risk speaking out for people who can (and do) protect themselves better than I ever could. Just another sense of worthlessness and irrelevance for someone already beating themselves up for being a failure as a father, a partner, in business, a friend, a client and even as a fictional online character. Compounded by my own neglect of contact with people I had connected with and thinking of my own sorrows instead of supporting others with theirs.

Hard Lessons

I already look over many of the blog articles I wrote between March and June with some concerns over my naive views. They were all true and all emotionally valid for me when they were written. Since they are my journey, I am leaving them. If I would summarize my shifting perspective, I would emphasize the idea of ‘bookings-as-moments’ more. They are real and fake all at the same time. However since it is two ‘real-people’ together, alone and mostly free from external distraction, they are as pure as almost any moment in time that this modern world creates. The moments should be respected and valued.

As for what happens between moments. Some of that is real and valuable too. However most of what happens online isn’t real and isn’t great. Most of the entanglements between moments aren’t great. They are better considered as admin, marketing, chatter or worse. Only a small amount of it is real-connection and valuable, inter-personal exchanges. Those rarer high-quality items, if they exist for you, should be cherished but in many ways they sit aside and independent from the moments that escorts and clients create together – hang onto them and don’t get caught up in the ‘in-between’ spaces.

I spoke on friendships and connections in past articles, and I think they are rare. It isn’t surprising that we chase them. It just shouldn’t be a source of angst, causing us to miss or ignore the fun, strength and amazing moments that escorts create for their clients. The companion that I loved isn’t my friend, she is gone. Gone to have a glorious life and be a young woman on a different path. I will always have those moments to remember and maybe our paths will cross again. It is just the simple reality that without our client and escort connection, the transactions, the moments and the in-between spaces, our lives just don’t intersect anymore. The escort controls this, because an ex-client can NEVER take the initiative with contact once the business relationship has ended. Friends can reach out to each other, ex-clients must remain silent. An ‘ex-client’ without invitation is less able to make contact post-retirement than any other person on the planet – for that reason we may think about each other, but the ‘ex-client’ is forever prevented from being a friend. That is one very tough lesson.

I think when I retire as a client or other close companions retire, there may be a few connections and possibly even distant friendships. This might happen where we already have contact because of other things happening in each of our lives. I think that it will in a couple of cases, and that makes me very fortunate. However, each of these is a case-by-case thing, that will have to survive that moment when the ex-escort says that it is fine to contact, because no quality ‘ex-client’, would ever take the initiating step. This is obvious really, but in the cold, hard, light-of-day, it is a bitter pill to swallow for people chasing intimacy and filling holes in their lives. Why? Because it speaks the truth that no matter how connected and special the moments feel, they are a fantasy bound by a transaction and industry rules of engagement. Those rules are forever! The only person that can change that dynamic is an escort and only once the transaction (or future transaction) is removed. That is always going to be a very, very rare thing indeed.

Back from the dead!

So I am back – sort of. Things have improved in my life in many areas. I am getting healthy with a personal trainer, I am seeing a counselor and I am once again listening to positive voices more loudly than the negative ones. Instead of ignoring good advice, I am taking it and embracing it. I have lots of life transitions ahead, but I see them as positive and progressive, rather than negative and stalled. I have grieved for my youth, missed opportunities, my early escort experiences and my retired angel. Alright, all of those are still a work-in-progress, but I am at least on the right road.

Percie has changed and so has his pilot. All my life I have been an introvert and a thinker (alright, an over-thinker). That point I made earlier, our strengths are our weaknesses – well they made me a world-class strategist (strength of thinking and introversion) and not a very good emotionally-connected person (same deal). I have always been shifting slowly towards being more of a natural extrovert – a life long journey of ‘faking it till you make it’. I had never thought though, that the thinking bit would shift to feelings. Well it seems that bit-by-bit, with the help of trauma, experiences and role-models, it is. Take a look at 16-personality-types (Myers Briggs) model for some background.

I have always been in the ‘Architect’ (INTJ) personality type – good for my job, not always so good for my life. I thought I was drifting to ‘Commander’ (ENTJ) personality type (swapping the introvert for extrovert one day). Instead, it looks like I’m tipping over into ‘Protagonist’ (ENFJ) personality type as my engagement with the world becomes more feeling and socially led. Percie has probably always been my ‘Protagonist’ self, but the ‘pilot’ is following his constructed reality. I would miss Percie if I retired him, he needs to help with my personal transition for a little while longer yet.

I won’t be writing as much. I won’t be so down. I may not even keep this going or even Percie going for that much longer. I don’t know and I don’t really care that I don’t have a plan. I’m going to do what suits me while respecting others and I’m going to celebrate my transition either on these pages or with the people that are important to me. Whether they are important in the moment and moments we have together or for some longer and unspecified connection.

If you are still reading my articles thank you. If my own journey, roller-coaster and drama filled period hasn’t dislodged you yet, then I guess you’ve decided to stick around. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Xx SP 28 August 2017

My End of Summer

Saying goodbye to an escort that I love.

All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey …

My long, beautiful, magical summer has come to an end. Everyone remembers their first, but my first was no ordinary first. I met someone, by good fortune alone, that was my personal angel. An old, old soul, but a young spirit, and what is even better, she was a ‘dark angel’, who better to take me on a journey of adventure. A long, extended magical summer of love!

I don’t know if it is possible to fall in love at first sight, but when she first walked into my life I was unable to speak, transfixed and the image of that arrival is still burned into my mind. This somewhat shy, bubbly, giggling and strikingly beautiful young woman, with steel and determination underneath, put me at ease immediately. My love for her has grown ever since. It was always a stupid, foolish, impossible love, but it was and still is my love.

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Now it is over.

Behind me is a glorious summer of experiences with this amazing companion, thankfully it lasted a long time and for a while, I felt like it would never end. Now I stand looking at a colder, darker, less certain path ahead. I don’t have my ancient, soulful, dark angel to guide me with her light spirit and her joyous touch. In the past, her words and advice never failed to bring me happiness. Pushing me on to great experiences and profound joy. Now she is gone. I am not exaggerating the depth of these feelings, this period of time was perfection for me. Change often comes quickly, and my personal ‘summer’ with her is over.

From start to finish we had twenty-one bookings together, I know that isn’t a lot for some people, but it is for me. Almost one-hundred hours spent together in each other’s company, and other glorious exchanges and conversations in between, there was not a single bad minute. The only regrets I have are that I did not tell her how I felt more often, and as I was also learning, I made some mistakes that hurt my longest-lasting companion along the journey. She took my short-comings and my slip-ups in her stride, taught me, helped me and most importantly forgave me – always with a softness and a grace that I hope I can learn to emulate one day.

What happened?

Her story is her own to tell, but it is a joyful end – she is moving on with her own journey in a positive way. Changing situations have brought our journey to a close and I am thankful that it is a happy parting. I can’t help but carry a broken heart at the moment – it comes from my own selfish loss of a connection that I had grown to depend upon far too much. Only now that it is gone, can I feel how deep it goes, it goes right to the core of my being. Those who know me, and some of you connected to me, you know that I have been a mess for a while – I am however moving forward in this new changed world, but at the moment, it is colder and darker one than before.

Others of you may see me as a tragic, naive and misguided figure. One of those lame, lonely punters who never got the joke, and fell for the illusions of the impossible, pretend fantasies that are created only within the confines of an escort booking. Stupidly thinking that something meaningful could remain outside of the paid experience. You are right – I am lonely, I am naive, and I am tragic. You can hate me if you want, that certainly does seem to be a thing that happens to me as a writer in this client-escort world, far more than I expected, but I am getting used to, even comfortable with that experience too. The good news for you, if you are upset by my illusion, is that this pathetic middle-aged man hurts, the escort is free, and there is no more annoying adoration that she has to handle from me. The ‘beauty’ is free and the ‘beast’ is locked in his own self-made cage.

If you are more sensitive to my perspective, and one of the people that cares a little for me, then please don’t worry, don’t feel bad, there is so much to be happy about. For one thing, I know that my ‘dark angel’ really does care deeply for me (of course others won’t believe that, but I know it in my heart). Our parting as absent friends, lets me look back on all of our experiences together, and there were so, so, many of them, with sublime joy. I will never forget this ‘first summer’ of mine, and that of course was the whole point of spending so much time with someone who was just perfect for me. I hope that she will remember with some fondness little parts of our experiences together too. I hope that in future she remembers me with one-hundredth of the intensity that I will remember her.

In addition, I have seen how many other people have a soft spot for me in their hearts. I have never been such an emotional mess before in my life, and one new experience for me, is seeing people step forward with love and care – that is such a gift. I am humbled and emotional about that too. Thank you my friends. There have been some amazingly lovely escorts, and some other contacts who know these feelings, who have helped drag me out of this low place in my life.

This period has been an emotional storm. Some other real-life dramas just happened to be playing out at the same time. Just to make sure that I never forget the depths of this period, I also mistakenly thought that a second escort that I love was disappearing from my life as well. My two impossible fantasies were disappearing at exactly the same time. For a short and sharp period, I felt as though I had been shot, stabbed and dropped into a well, and then it was sealed up over the top of me with no light coming in. It is amazing how you read (or misread) things when you are already down low. That light has returned, my darkest days are gone. What I know now most of all is how lucky, and I mean perhaps the luckiest man alive, I am to have seen the care of so many people, and still be left with the most wonderful memories of ‘days in the sun’ with my Dark Angel, my muse, and my font of adventure. I will always love her, but I can move on with memories of our amazing times together.

So where to from here?

Firstly I hope that her journey is so grand, so wonderful that it is deserving of her – I want everything in the world for her. I want more for her than anyone else I know outside of my own children. Secondly, I am happy! The road ahead is a little unclear, but I have people to hang onto, guide me, and be in my life for the next chapter – there will be another summer and it may not be that far away at all. If my Dark Angel returns, then I will always, always be here for her with open arms. I am also cherishing other people in my life too, who have already shown me the quality of their soul and the lightness of their spirit. This journey has shown me some amazing, loving and brilliant people that I also want to be in my life. I am moving towards them and I hope that they want me in their lives too.

For a little while I thought about my own ‘retirement’. I seriously contemplated giving up this journey, stopping writing this blog, leaving Twitter and trying some completely new and different chapter in my life. I don’t know how the future will play out, and I am far more impulsive and reactive at the moment than I would like – just another emotional work in progress for me as a growing and hurting person. For now I see this blog, and my increasing level of comfort with this crazy Percie Blakeney persona (me with another name) as a likely part of my next ‘summer’ – for now at least. Besides, I can’t mothball this crazy, weird blog yet, because the memories, threads and emotions of my Dark Angel are woven through its every page. I will remember my first escort forever, my first summer and the strength that was offered to me by others when the leaves turned brown. (OK now if you must play the song – here it is, or this ‘sketch version’ if you would prefer a good laugh).

The real song that tells the story of my companion, far better than this blog article does, is ‘Ride’ by Lana Del Rey, introduced to me by my Dark Angel herself. I highly recommend listening to it in full, loud and in a dark room. I can’t listen to it just at the moment without becoming a blubbering mess – I really have become an emotional wreck lately. I don’t even recognise myself sometimes, I like the new more emotionally connected me, but being so emotional can also be much harder at times.

There is a light ahead and it is getting stronger, but I will never forget how I got here. Thank you so much my love, I owe you everything! To those that are supporting me now, I love you, owe you and thank you so much too!

Epilogue (September Update)

It has been four months since I last saw my Dark Angel, a tough four months. I don’t know how long it takes to ‘get over’ someone that you deeply care about, but it clearly isn’t four months. My Dark Angel is still teaching me things on this journey. Firstly, to leave this industry isn’t easy, and to do it so well takes real courage, determination and personal strength. I always knew that she was far stronger than me, but I doubt when it is time for me to ‘retire’ as a client, that I will be able to do it as cleanly, as courageously, and with as much grace and dignity as she was able to achieve.

It has also taught me that I need to change my perspective. I know my Dark Angel liked me, but as is the way of humans, we want our amazing moments to become ongoing connections. That can’t always happen! When someone changes their life and their connections, and their business, big things need to change. There is no doubt we shared amazing memories, but they had a time and a place, their day in the sun. Now we have both been forced to move on. Being a regular of a retired escort is a lonely place. What is true, is that an ‘ex-client’ needs to be completely out of the ‘ex-escort’s’ new life. It is a hard shift to accept and it has taken me four-months to realise that she isn’t just gone as a companion. I will never see her again.

These endings are hard endings and the contrast is so profoundly a shift from light to dark. Someone who is in your life one day, is gone forever. The amazing memories remain, but the ache of my soul to feel her in my life is yet to pass. I take her courage in leaving the industry as a beacon for me to keep up my courage in letting her go. At some point soon, I am going to need to rid myself of some of the reminders, because they are starting to hurt more in the moment, than the joy that comes from the memories that they trigger. I also owe the release of this part of my heart, and the attached melancholy, to the people who are still in my life and showing me such amazing times and even love as well. I need to ‘unlock’ myself again and be open in the way I was at the start of this journey. When down, it is easy to diminish other relationships and I need to be present in them and connect with those who want me in their lives.

I have heard briefly from my Dark Angel, enough for me to take satisfaction that her life is progressing as she would wish. That we have our own song too. Our song, as it is for many people no doubt, is Chelsea Hotel No 2, Lana Del Rey version of course. It is appropriate in so many ways. It ends with ‘to be honest, I don’t even think of you that often’, a lie sung by Leonard Cohen about his time with Janis Joplin. It will be a long time, before that line is true for me. Until then, I will show the courage my Dark Angel has and tell the world I have moved on.

For now, I am in a better place than I have been for a long time. My ‘muchness’ has returned and I am ‘in-the-moment’ with people who I adore, and who also want me in their life, as client, as friend, as someone who shares moments with them still. I am also going on a trip, some time for myself to recharge. Shed the last vestiges of this difficult year and make some new memories. Nothing about this farewell article has changed from the version in June to this epilogue in September, other than some personal growth, some hard lessons and a new commitment to be strong, enjoy the adventure and enrich some other people’s lives.

Thank you my Dark Angel, one more time, “I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel”. I wish you every great thing in your life ahead and I know that it must be without me.

If you know or can guess the identity of this person, and the same applies with every article, please respect that this is meant to be anonymous and treat this as a work of fiction with fictional characters. Her story, her path, her future are her own. Please do not name her in any comments or social media.

Thank you so much everyone who has helped me – I don’t think you will ever know how much that means to me – I love so many of you (and now I have a thank-you page too). The richness, variety and lessons you give astound me so much – I can’t believe how much life I have discovered on this journey. Finally thank you again to the readers who put up with my silly blog. To the small few who really care for me, you know who you are, thank you so much – you have put my broken heart back together. I know many people hate hearing that the ‘paid escort-client’ relationships can be this rich and full of feeling – but they can and sometimes they are – and they can still be bounded by business and professional respect.

Xx SP 8 June 2017 (article updated 25 June 2017 and 19 September 2017).