Essays — November 30, 2015 10:52 — 0 Comments

Sweet Amy Nicole: An Interview With Benefits

For lack of a better term, some might say Sweet Amy Nicole is a business woman, a working girl, or even a professional, but professional or no, she made me feel like a pro… I’m a Journalist, for an arts & entertainment magazine and my contemporaries might ask that I defend contacting a woman with Amy’s expertise, but I’m also a Gonzo Journalist, possessed by a demon. “Go for it-” it says, “Have another drink. Talk to her. The power of Journalism compels thee!” After a little foreplay, not only did Amy agree to an interview, but looked forward to the possibilities.

I first had to make it clear that I’d take every precaution in regard to her identity. Yes, research is paramount to the success of any journalistic endeavor, but protecting a source is sacrosanct and in any case, I was less interested in digging up facts and more interested in learning about Amy’s thoughts on sex, love and relationships. In a characteristically long and desperately worded e-mail, I summarized my idea by writing, “What I hope to ask is what you think. I’m interested in your honest opinion. If you’re willing to share it’d be a radically different article from anything I’ve ever done, certainly the most challenging and for me the most exciting, the opportunity to report on nothing but the honest feelings of someone else.” We finally met at a cafe in Downtown Seattle. It wasn’t my ideal place for a rendezvous, but Amy has a screening process: beginning with an exchange of e-mails, followed by an identity check, after which, she chooses when and where to meet… she walked in and ordered an Italian soda (to go), then sat patiently while I explained the structure of the article.

“I don’t do a standard Q & A format-” I said. “I try to tell a story and my interviews run more like a conversation. I’ve brought some notes, with topics of conversation, but I only have three actual questions I’d like to ask.” The first was purely practical. I wanted to know how I should refer to Amy’s skill and after some discussion we agreed that “companionship” was the most appropriate. The next question was more challenging, “What do you want to tell me?” I knew I couldn’t ask anything to endanger her privacy, but supposed she wouldn’t have agreed to speak unless there was something she wanted to say. There was a degree of apology in her answer, “You’re probably going to hate this, but there’s nothing I want to tell you.”

Amy does what she does because it represents an opportunity. She likes meeting people and loves new experiences. Talking to me is nothing if not an experience and getting back to me was equal parts curiosity and professionalism. In her words, “It’s a job skill to get back to people quickly and to be receptive to weird ideas.” I asked why it made sense to her to be interviewed in an arts & entertainment magazine. She blushed, “I consider my talent a leisure item. You don’t need it. You need food, you need water, but I’d like to be a person you can spend your free money on. It’s definitely an entertainment. Is it an art? Do I consider myself an artist? Yeah, to some extent.”

I can only envy those lucky enough to indulge in the fullness of Amy’s artistic ability, but there’s also a fine art to conversation and in many ways a conversational interview is like a first a date. Amy & I were both in uncharted territory, exploring and discovering something new. I was doing my professional best to make her feel at ease and she was doing the same. Before I knew it, the din of the cafe disappeared and Amy was all that mattered.

in amy's eyes 01

If you’re bold enough to look for her online you’ll find Amy in lace, corsets and shadows. She talked about having a classical aesthetic and mentioned the word “courtesan.” I was interested in the term, because it conjured visions of the great female personalities of ancient Venice. It recalled the old, the romantic and the rich, so I asked what the word meant to her. “It’s about presenting an image,” she said. “If you don’t have a story, people aren’t going to be interested and they’re not going to reach out. If you’re going to create an alternate identity, you should probably pick a good one. Something that people will be intrigued by.” She met me wearing yoga-pants and a tank-top, but was intriguing nonetheless and continued to explain why she admired 18th century paramours, “They were like the rock stars of their time. They were also some of the only women who were self-employed and managed their own business.” From the moment I contacted her, there was no doubt that Amy was in charge and I wondered whether that sense of independence was what interested her in companionship. “In the beginning, it was all about business-” she said. “But in the last few years it’s almost been like an alternative dating style.”

Dating is something that’s been on my mind… a female friend of mine was recently lost and her absence has left me wanting for the feminine perspective. Like most victims of the internet, I tried to fill the void with online dating. I went looking for love, but confided in Amy my amazement at the explicit nature of online ads. She laughed saying, “They’re pretty wild aren’t they?”

Wild doesn’t begin to cover it. Quotes from a variety women include: “Not interested in lovey-dovey BS.” “I have plenty of stamina and talent to keep us busy.” “I especially love being spanked, tied up and bitten, so that I have bruises that last for days.”

In a storm of lust, there was a ray of sunshine. A woman in her 30’s was looking for a meaningful relationship, with sensual perks. She wrote, “Ideally we would connect on multiple levels, so the sex is that much more enjoyable.” It occurred to me that most people were drawing a line between love and lust… and that for most of my life I’d been doing the same. I mentioned the sunshine-ad to Amy and asked her about the perceived disparity between body and soul. “You’re a whole person-” she said. “You’re going to have needs. Some are emotional, some are physical, some aren’t even needs, but they’re really nice ‘to haves,’ like getting laid. The question is, can you give up getting laid [for love] or can you approach that as a professional service.” She continued, “I’d really like to find someone that can serve all of my emotional and physical needs for the rest of my life. Just count me in the bucket that’s a little skeptical that you can put all of your wants, needs, et cetera, on a single person. But if that woman finds it, then awesome. She didn’t have to compromise at all.”

“Compromise” was another interesting term. It sounded to me like the woman in the sunshine-ad was looking for a compromise, or at least a balance between emotional and physical need, but my online experience was that all other ads fell into one of two very specific categories: the first was lust and people were clear about that, the second was love, but more often than not it was all too clear that people were looking for a romantic ideal and in that case they’d put together a bullet-pointed list, outlining their perfect match.

Favorite quotes from women in the match category include: “I’m looking for a personal Cheerleader.” “You love your car as much as you loved your first action figure.” “Seeking quasi-brilliant, engaging, successful, handsome/debonair/fit man for adventure and mutual growth.”

in amy's eyes 02

Dating apps like Tinder take bullet-points a step further, demanding users confine their dreams to a few selfies and a description of no more than 500 characters. It only takes a second for querents to consider the highlights, then swipe a picture left or right, indicating yes or no. That kind of experience may be fine for people looking for a quick emotional fix, but it’ll never reproduce the thrill of looking into a woman’s eyes and wondering what she’ll say next. Amy turned her hazel eyes toward me and asked, “Do you think anyone can be reduced to a set of bullet-points?” I said, “No.” She smiled and reiterated, “You can look for what you want and you can look for it all in one person, or not. That’s an evaluation each of us is going to have to approach differently.” Her thoughts on strict monogamy were so well organized that I’ve had to reexamine my own, but I’m still sure that connecting with anyone isn’t about expecting a bullet-pointed ideal and the exciting thing about it is finding someone who isn’t preconceived, who can surprise, or even challenge us with notions outside our own… discovering the unimaginable by letting go of the imagined.

The all in one, imaginary ideal is probably a fantasy and the importance of fantasy was something I hoped to talk about. I was sure that in many of her encounters she’d found it beneficial to reflect a person’s wants, or needs, and I asked if there was any fantasy in that dynamic for Amy. “Definitely-” she said, “I was an intensely awkward teen and wanted to be something that, at the time, I wasn’t. Confident and able to talk to people.” I talk to people through journalism. Amy connects with a little more sincerity and her companions appreciate it. She receives rave reviews and in one I read, “Talk about GFE, Amy’s at a whole new level!”

GFE is an acronym that stands for Girl Friend Experience. That experience is defined in many ways. All that mattered to me was Amy’s definition and in short, it means that when someone spends time with her, it’s in a safe setting, free of apprehension. “There are lines I wont cross-” she said, “I firmly believe that you can always ask for what you want. If you had a deep love of blood play, I wouldn’t criticize you, but am I going to let you stab me with a hundred needles? Probably not. Do I hate you for asking? No. But if it makes you happy, we can talk about that.” It sounded to me like what Amy really offered was a more emotional experience. “Is that a fair assessment?” I asked. “Yes, and I would emphasize an absence of judgment. Talking to people is hard and asking for what you want is nearly impossible. Providing a safe space for people to ask is a big deal.” It is a big deal and it was such a novel concept that I had to make sure I understood, “You provide that space?” “Exactly-” she said, “I’m not judging people for their desires.”

I had a burning desire to ask my third and final question, beginning with another of Amy’s reviews, in which, a very enthusiastic companion wrote about her use of “a favorite toy.” For the sake of clarification, I wondered, “Do I understand the word ‘toy’ to mean… what I think it means?” “Probably. What do you think it means?” I wasn’t sure how much of our conversation could be overheard, so I used my notepad to draw a picture, of a pickle-shaped object, surrounded by wavy lines (indicating vibration). We both laughed. “I don’t remember that specific instance-” she said, “But yes, that was probably the toy, or something in that category.” The reason I brought up the toy was to mention an ex girlfriend, who kept pressuring me to have sex. “I love sex-” I said, “but I like to get to know someone first. It helps me to create trust and intimacy, both of which are major turn-ons. I think the reason this girl was so anxious is because to her, sex was just proof that she & I were in a relationship. Even though I wasn’t sure about starting a relationship with her, I was sure that I wanted to know more and since sex was the only way to get that chance, I caved.”

My preferred type of intimacy is between two people, but before she & I had sex and before she had any idea of what I was capable of, my ex wanted to bring out a toy. Amy understood, “I’ll bet you were like, ‘What?!?'” “Exactly-” I said, pointing to the picture in my notepad. “This isn’t me. I view this as someone else and wonder if it’s something that’s OK for most men to be afraid of?” “If you really think of it as a third person then yeah, you’re probably going to have weird feelings about it. But maybe you should think of it as a part of her.” I was stunned, but curious. Amy continued, “Sex is a difficult subject and a lot of women are raised without understanding it. Many girls, including me, weren’t taught how their bodies work. There was a time when I couldn’t orgasm without a vibrator. I’ve finally figured it out, but had to wait from when I started having sex, to now.”

in amy's eyes 03

I confess to never having considered the toy issue from a woman’s point of view. My first sexual experiences began early and I figured out how my body worked pretty quick. On the other hand, my first time didn’t happen nearly as quickly as I would’ve preferred, but by a strange irony, I was lucky enough to have held a job in the adult entertainment industry and made use of the experience by reading every adult book I could steal. I assumed that because women had access to the source, I was just catching up and since my first woman was very well versed in her anatomy, I concluded that every other woman was too.

Before concluding our interview I asked Amy if she had any final thoughts. She didn’t, so I can only end with a few of mine: it doesn’t matter how many books you read, or articles in Cosmo, every woman is different. Between consenting adults the only right way to have sex is to be honest about your wants and receptive to your partner’s needs. We can benefit from Amy’s wisdom, considering that none of us needs to do anything we don’t want, but we’re all different and should never feel ashamed of being curios. For me, not knowing something is a thrill, because it means I get to ask… being vulnerable is one of the most exciting things about being human and the only thing that tops it is when it’s rewarded by someone who’s just as open.

Amy is an extremely open person and it was my pleasure to tell a small part of her story. Stories are important and I worry about telling a good one, because I’m afraid that we’ve all been telling the same stories for a long time. Most of them are about one boy and one girl, but this century offers an opportunity for a broader spectrum of stories, including boy & boy, girl & girl & boy, boy & toy & girl, et cetera. It’s not for us to judge or even to help create the next century, we can only contribute to it by moving forward one step at a time and Amy is one of the brave, stepping forward with an open mind and her head held high.


Words and pictures by: Poster Bot

Leave a Reply

The answer isn't poetry, but rather language

- Richard Kenney