Drew a cleaning woman for sex
commentsThere arent many people who would be happy to see their friend begin a romance with their boyfriend.But for Drew Barrymore the fact that Kristin Wiig is dating her ex, The Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti, simple isnt an issue.In fact, knowing them both so well, she says it is fitting.All grown up: Drew Barrymore poses for the new issue of Allure as she talks about how marriage and motherhood have changed herIt all seems so wacky and incestuous, but thats kind of how life works, Drew tells Allure magazine.It seems fitting that they would find each other. I was like, Right, of course, that makes perfect sense.Of course Drew has no reason to feel bitter she is happily married with a new baby, daughter Olive.She tells the magazine that her art dealer husband Will Koppelman is her perfect match.We have opposite experiences, but were not opposites, says Drew.Young at heart! In her interview Drew explains that she still doesnt feel like a grown upWere both very particular and detailoriented. We love art and music and adventures, and we laugh our asses off together.And she has embraced married life, after the two said their vows earlier this year while she was pregnant.Im a Kopelman now, said Drew.I have stationery that says Drew Barrymore Kopelman.I love to sort of honor and be a part of the family business with Chanel, and then I try to do a little something funky and me. I wear a lot of Chanel now.Seems fitting: Drew and thenboyfriend Fabrizio Moretti in 2005 and with his new girlfriend, her friend Kristen Wiig, earlier this monthHer fatherin law, Arie Kopelman, is a former Chanel CEO and Drew chose a Chanel gown for her wedding.While she is now happily settled, the former child stars unhappy and troubled childhood has been much documented.the 37yearold says motherhood has helped her understand her past.The mistakes, the potholes, the journeys, the bad patterns all of it is so much clearer to me now, she explains.But I still dont totally feel like a grownup. Maybe I never will.Living the life: On Monday night Drew left her daughter Olive at home as she headed out for the evening in Los AngelesAnd she says of her attitude to life: I will always commit. Its like this makeup line she is launching her own line: I can tell you every single detail about how and why we got here. I want to be that kind of mother.Im that kind of friend. Im that kind of producer. I do everything in this lifeordeath wayThe only thing Ive tried to get better at is starting to believe maybe its not life or death.But the level of commitment hasnt changed or wavered.Drew also talked about her approach to her body image, saying of dieting: I cannot live a life where Im deprived. Id much rather be five, ten pounds heavier.Cover girl: Drew fronts the December issue of Allure, on sale nowRead more:
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show adFeminist inventor created the worlds first selfcleaning house because she was sick of housework: Centenarian built a giant dishwasher home that washed and dried itself using 68 devices but lost the patent and passed away in anonymityFrances Gabe of Newburg, Oregon grew tired of housework in the 1980s while raising two children and created a house that would clean itselfThrough its own patent, comprised of 68 individual patents, she crafted a series of sprinklers and drying machines that would channel water into drains that led outsideShe received notorietyduring the homes heyday, but disappeared from the public eye later in lifeGabe was called difficult by friends and was not liked by her neighbors because of her eccentric tastesShe passed away relatively anonymous, having divorced and outlived her two childrenAn earthquake decimated the technology of the home in 2001 and is now inhabited by a man who uses it as a wintering habitat for honeybee colonies and campground for traveling cyclists
Adrien DewismeAdvertisement Continue Reading BelowIve spent decades protecting my last name like a younger sibling, defending it against confused teachers, frustrated government employees and customer service representatives. Ive whiled away hours of my life spelling it out over the phone: Z as in zebra, A as in apple, N as in Naples... Ive had clerks question my true identity and received letters addressed to the likes of Mr. Drew ZondopelaSnard (or some highly creative variation thereof). Mailing lists have always grappled with the fact that on top of having a complicated last name, I am also a woman with a traditionally male first name.My full name is Drew Lenore ZandonellaStannard. I did not master its full spelling until the ripe age of eight. At some point, Ms. Judy held me back from recess and suggested we practice my signature, tracing the cursive letters over and over again.RELATED: 15 Celebrities Real NamesBut I didnt need to know how to spell my name in order to understand its true meaning. My parents gave me a short first name knowing that each of their last names was guaranteed to complicate things a bit. In 1984, the year I was born, two women having a baby was revolutionary. I was raised by two mothers, each of them fighting fiercely together to carve out a place for our family in a predominantly homophobic society. The pride I feel for my parents and our history is encapsulated in my name, one they chose for me before I was born.My husband, Jacob, was the first man I dated who didnt care whether or not I kept my name when we married. In my previous relationships there had been a lot of back and forth about carrying on the line and being the only male heir. Im still confused as to what, exactly, my exboyfriends were due to inherit andor carry on, as none of them were actual royals andor cast members on Downton Abbey.Advertisement Continue Reading BelowRELATED: 9 Things You Can Never Ask Your Husband To DoThe majority of my married friends have taken their husbands names. Many of them have confided in me after the fact that they went through a sort of mourning period for their old names, feeling like they left something behind. Some are happy to be rid of names they disliked their whole lives. Others are proud. But no one is ambivalent. When Jacob and I got engaged, one of my best friends texted me, joking that I should add the second hyphen. That seemed like a good idea until I actually said it out loud. You see, once a third last name gets added to the mix, your family begins to sound like a law firm.People Im not especially close to will ask, Are you keeping your last name for professional reasons? or Do you not like your husbands last name? or even What happens when you have a baby? Jacob, who remains my absolute favorite person (which is a lovely coincidence because he happens to be my husband) once suggested that we create a new name for our family, given that we have nearly endless letters to choose from. In return, I proposed giving our children only first names, like Cher or Prince (this did not go over so well).RELATED: What Women Do With Their Married Names After DivorceThese days, I receive more and more junk mail addressed to Mr. Drew Conklin, Conklin being my husbands last name. While Jacob and I plan for the future ahead, I find myself torn between retaining my individuality and wanting our family to be recognized as a whole. So how many hyphens can one house hold? Im smart enough to admit that I dont have all the answers, so please dont ask what well name our future offspring. I do know that for me, keeping my last name honors both my family history and my path to creating a new home with my husband. For now, thats all that matters.Advertisement Continue Reading Below
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Maryam Mirzakhani Drew Her Way to Mathematical GreatnessBy GARETH COOKDick GregoryThe Lives They LivedRemembering some of the artists, innovators and thinkers we lost in the past year. For readers tributes to loved ones who died this year, see The Lives They Loved .By THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINEB. 1977She drew her way to mathematical greatness.By GARETH COOKPeering through a window into the landscape of numbers: Mirzakhani in 2014. Credit Thomas LinQuanta MagazineMaryam Mirzakhani was a mathematician, but she worked like an artist, always drawing. She liked to crouch on the floor with large sheets of paper, filling them with doodles: repeated floral figures and bulbous, rubbery bodies, their appendages sliced clean away, like denizens of a lost Miyazaki anime. One of her Stanford University graduate students said Mirzakhani portrayed problems in mathematics not as daunting logical conundrums but as animated tableaus. Its almost like she had a window on the math landscape, and she was trying to describe how the things living there interacted with each other, says Jenya Sapir, now an assistant professor at Binghamton University. To her, its all happening at once.Mirzakhani grew up in Tehran with dreams of becoming a writer. In sixth grade, she started at Farzanegan, a school for the citys most gifted girls, and earned the top marks in all of her classes except math. Near the school years end, the instructor returned a math test marked 16 out of 20, and Mirzakhani ripped it up and stuffed the pieces in her bag. She told a friend that shed had it when it came to math: Im not even going to try to do better. Mirzakhani, though, was constitutionally incapable of not trying, and she soon fell in love with the subjects spare poetry. As a high school junior, she and her best friend, Roya Beheshti, became the first Iranian women to qualify for the International Mathematical Olympiad, and the next year, in 1995, Mirzakhani took a gold medal with a perfect score.Mirzakhani moved to the United States in the fall of 1999, for graduate school at Harvard. Her passion was geometry, and she was particularly drawn to hyperbolic surfaces, which are shaped like Pringles potato chips. She explored a universe extreme in its abstraction with moduli spaces, where every point represents a surface and dimensions that exceed our own. Somehow Mirzakhani was able to conjure aspects of such spaces to consider, doodling on a white sheet of paper to try an idea, or remember one, or search for a new one only later would she transcribe her adventures in the conventional symbols of mathematics. You dont want to write down all the details, she once told a journalist. But the process of drawing something helps you somehow to stay connected. Her Ph.D. thesis began with counting simple loops on surfaces and led to a calculation of the total volume of moduli spaces. This allowed the young scholar to publish three separate papers in top mathematical journals, one of which contained a surprising new proof of the famous Witten conjecture, a milestone in theoretical physics connecting mathematics and quantum gravity. Mirzakhanis mathematics is treasured for its great creative leaps, for the connections it has revealed between distant fields, for its sense of grandeur.When Jan Vondrak, who would become her husband, met her in 2003, he had no idea, he says, that she was a superstar. Mirzakhani was finishing up at Harvard, and Vondrak, now a Stanford mathematics professor, was in grad school at M.I.T. they met at a party, each recognizing a kindred spirit who didnt especially enjoy parties. Vondrak introduced her to jazz, and the two went for long runs along the Charles River. Mirzakhani was both modest Vondrak learned of many accomplishments through common friends and bracingly ambitious. Vondrak recalls her dreams of future discoveries in moduli space, but also her resolve to explore more distant fields, like number theory, combinatorics and ergodic theory. She had, Vondrak said, 100 years of plans.Three years ago, Mirzakhani, 37, became the first woman to win the Fields Medal, the Nobel Prize of mathematics. News of the award, and the obvious symbolism (first woman, first Iranian, an immigrant from a Muslim country) sat uneasily with her. She was puzzled when she discovered that some people thought mathematics was not for women it was not an idea that she or her friends encountered growing up in Iran but she was not inclined, by personality, to tell others what to think. As she became a major celebrity among Iranians, people would approach her to ask for a photo, which she hated. The Fields Medal was also announced when she had just finished a grueling treatment for breast cancer.In 2016, the cancer returned, spreading to Mirzakhanis liver and bones. Everyone who knew Mirzakhani describes her as unwaveringly optimistic they always left conversations feeling energized. Eventually, though, it became impossible for Mirzakhani to continue with what her young daughter, Anahita, called her painting. At a Stanford memorial service, Curtis McMullen, Mirzakhanis thesis adviser and chairman of Harvards Department of Mathematics, said that when she was a student, she would come to his office and pose questions that were like science fiction stories, vivid scenes she saw in some unexplored corner of the mathematical universe strange structures and beguiling patterns, all in motion and interconnected. Then she would look at him with her bluegray eyes. Is it right? she would ask, as if he might know the answer.Gareth Cook is a contributing writer for the magazine. His most recent article was about a future of policing with no traffic tickets.B. 1936She defined the idea of women in the workplace while constantly in search of herself.By TAFFY BRODESSERAKNERThe smile that turned the world on: Moore in 1966. Credit Philippe HalsmanMagnum PhotosThere was a scene that Robert Redford wanted for Ordinary People in which Beth Jarrett, played by Mary Tyler Moore, takes a cake out of the refrigerator. The cake has a circle of cherries on top, and the only action in the scene is Beth, the cold, bereaved mother, looking at the cake, adjusting the cherries, then putting the cake back in the fridge. Moore was alone in the kitchen. Redford wanted to capture Beth in an unobserved moment what was this woman really like? How was she coping with the accidental death of her older son and the recent suicide attempt of her younger son? Had she escaped into her fastidiousness and her uptightness?He shot it once no good. He shot it again no good. She tried to bring a motivation to each take: Was this cake good enough? Or, Did the cake need more cherries? And each time hed say: No, no, clear your mind. Lets go again. Every time the kitchen was set up for another scene, Redford used the opportunity to try the shot again. Moore called it the bane of the production. He shot it over and over, 26 times in total in front of a mystified crew, she wrote in her memoir.
WhatsappMy analyst and I grew more intimately connected each week of treatment...but I never saw this indecent proposal coming.Its the waning moments of my fourth session with a new therapist. Im holding back and she knows it. My entire body feels tense, not ideal for the setting. I try to relax, but the plush leather couch crumples under me when I shift, making the movements extraordinary. Ive barely looked into my therapists blue eyes at all, and yet I think the hour has gone very well. Of course it has. On the surface, when the patient has been highly selective of the discussion topics, therapy always resembles a friendly gettogether.Well, my therapist, Lori, says, the millisecond after I become certain our time is up and I might be in the clear. I dont think I should let you go until weve at least touched on what was put out there at the end of last weeks session.I so supremely wanted this not to come up. My eyelids tighten, my mouth puckers to the left, and my head tilts, as though Im asking her to clarify.When you said youre attracted to me, she continues.Oh, yeah, I say. That.Back in session three Lori was trying to build my selfesteem, the lack of which is one of the reasons Im in treatment. Within the confines of my family, Ive always been the biggest target of ridicule. We all throw verbal darts around as though were engaged in a massive, drunken tournament at a bar, but the most poisonous ones seem to hit me the most often, admittedly somewhat a consequence of my own sensitivity. Ive been told it was historically all part of an effort to toughen me up, but instead I was filled with towering doubts about my own worth. And since 2012, when I gave up a stable, tenured teaching career for the wildly inconsistent life of a freelance writer, Ive had great difficulty trusting my own instincts and capabilities. I told Lori that I wish I was better at dealing with lifes daily struggles instead of constantly wondering if Ill be able to wade through the thick.She quickly and convincingly pointed out that I work rather hard and am, ultimately, paying my bills on time, that I have friends, an appreciation for arts and culture, and so on. In short, I am, in fact, strong, responsible and pretty good at life.Then Lori heightened the discussion a bit. I also feel that it is your sensitivity that makes you a great catch out there in the dating world, she said, to which I involuntarily smiled, blushed and quickly buried my chin in my chest. I was too insecure and too single to handle such a compliment from a beautiful woman.Why are you reacting that way? Lori asked.I shrugged my shoulders, only half looking up.Is it because youre attracted to me?I laughed a little, uncomfortably. How did you know?She gently explained she could tell the day I walked into her office for the first time, after I flashed a bright smile and casually asked where she was from.Now, a week after dropping that bomb, Lori asks, So, why havent we talked about it?I was hoping to avoid it, I suppose. I tell her the whole notion of having the hots for a therapist is such a sizable clich that I was embarrassed to admit it. For Christs sake, I say, throwing my hands up, Tony Soprano even fell in love with his therapist.Lori snorts, rolls her eyes. I knew you were going to say that.I smile, shake my head and look around the room, denying acceptance of my own ridiculous reality.Its OK, Lori says, grinning. We can talk about this in here.I look again at her stark blue eyes, prevalent under dark brown bangs, the rest of her hair reaching the top of her chest, which is hugged nicely by a fitted white tee under an open buttondown. She jogs often, Id come to find out, which explains her petite figure and ability to probably pull off just about any outfit of her choosing.I still cant speak, so she takes over.Do you think youre the first client thats been attracted to their therapist? she asks rhetorically. Ive had other clients openly discuss their feelings, even their sexual fantasies involving me.What? I cackle, beginning to feel as though Ive moseyed onto the set of a porno.Its true, she says, acknowledging her desk. Whats yours? Do you bend me over and take me from behind?Nailed it.If thats what youre thinking, its OK, she goes on, earnestly, explaining that shes discussed sexual scenarios with her clients before so as to normalize the behavior and not have them feel their own thoughts are unnatural. By showing the patient a level of acceptance, she hopes to facilitate a more comfortable atmosphere for the work her painfully accurate pseudonym for psychotherapy.I take a second to let the red flow out of my face, and ponder what she said. Im a little unsure about this whole technique, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. So I go home, incredibly turned on and completely unashamed. One of the great breakthroughs Ive had in the thirteen months since I began seeing Lori (who agreed to participate in this article, but requested that her full name not be published) is a new ability to accept the existence of dualities in life. For instance, Ive always had a tremendous sense of pride that, if it doesnt straddle the line of arrogance, certainly dives into that hemisphere from time to time. Im great at seeing flaws in others and propping myself up above them by smugly observing my character strengths. Ive never liked that about myself, but the harder concept to grasp is the fact that I can be so egotistical while also stricken with such vast quantities of insecurity.In treatment I came to realize that all people have contradictions to their personalities. Theres the insanely smart guy who cant remotely begin to navigate a common social situation, the charitable girl who devotes all her time to helping strangers, but wont confront issues in her own personal relationships. In my case, my extreme sensitivity can make me feel fabulous about the aspects of myself that I somehow know are good (my artistic tastes) and cause deep hatred of those traits I happen to loathe (the thirty pounds I could stand to lose).My next session with Lori is productive. We speak about relationships Ive formed with friends and lovers, and how my family may have informed those interactions. One constant is that I put crudely high expectations on others, mirroring those thrown upon me as a kid. Im angered when people dont meet those expectations, and absolutely devastated when I dont reach them. Lori points out that it must be exhausting trying to be so perfect all the time. I am much more comfortable than I was the week prior, and can feel myself being more candid. Im relieved that the whole beingattractedtomytherapist thing doesnt come up.Then, a week later, Lori mentions it, and I become tense again.I thought Id be able to move past it, I say, adding, We aired it out, and its fine.As definitive as Im trying to sound, Lori is just as defiant.Im glad you feel that way, she begins, but I think you owe yourself some kudos. This kind of therapy, she shares, isnt something just anyone can take on. Such honest discussion doesnt simply happen, it takes tremendous guts, and Lori can see that I am dealing with it relatively well, so I should praise my own efforts.Shit, we both should be proud of ourselves, she says. Its not easy on the therapist either, you know.Why not?Because talking openly about sex is risky at any time, much less with a client. She explains that therapists are warned any semblance of intimacy can be easily misconstrued. We learn in our training to not personally disclose, for example, she says, but adds that, occasionally, transparency can be helpful.Still, with you, she continues, until I raised the question, I didnt know for sure that you would go with it for all I knew youd run out of here and never come back to risk being so uncomfortable again.Shes building my confidence more, and Im learning that I play a much bigger role in how my life is conducted than I often realize. My treatment wouldnt be happening if I werent enabling it.Then she says, And dont think its not nice for me to hear that a guy like you thinks Im beautiful.Crippled by the eroticism of the moment, and combined with the prevailing notion that no woman this stunning could ever be romantically interested in me, I flounder through words that resemble, Waitwhat?If we were somehow at a bar together, and you came over and talked to me, she says, then flips her palms up innocently, who knows?I laugh again and tell her thered be almost no chance of me approaching her because Id never feel like I had a shot in hell.Well, thats not the circumstances were in, she says. But you might. Who knows?Im confused Is she really attracted to me or is this some psychotherapeutic ruse? Im frustrated I told her I didnt really want to talk about it. Shouldnt she be more sensitive to my wants here? Im angry Is she getting an ego boost out of this? Most of all, I dont know what the next step is Am I about to experience the hottest thing thats ever happened to a straight male since the vagina was invented?There were two ways to find out:1) Discontinue the therapy, wait for her outside her office every day, follow her to a hypothetical happy hour and ask her out, or2) Keep going to therapy. A week later, Im physically in the meeting room with Lori, but mentally I havent left the recesses of my mind.Where are you today? she asks, probably noticing my eyes roving around the room.I dont know.Are you still grappling with the sexual tension between us?Here we go again.Yes, I say, with a bit of an edge in my voice, and I dont know what to do about it.Lori, ever intently, peers into my eyes, wrinkles her mouth and slightly shakes her head.Do you want to have sex with me? she asks.We both know the answer to that question. All I can do is stare back.Lets have sex, she announces. Right here, right now.What? I respond, flustered.Lets go! she says a little louder, opening up her arms and looking around as if to say the office is now our playground, and, oh, the rollicking fun wed have mixing bodily fluids.No, I tell her, You dont mean that.What if I do? she shoots back. Would you have sex with me, now, in this office?Of course not.Why of course not? How do I know for sure that you wont take me if I offer myself to you?I wouldnt do that.Thats what I thought, she says, and tension in the room decomposes. Mike, I dont feel that you would do something that you think is truly not in our best interest, which is exactly why I just gave you the choice.Her offer was a lesson in empowerment, helping me prove that I have an innate ability to make the right choices, even if Id so desperately prefer to make the wrong one.I see what she means. Im awfully proud of myself, and its OK to be in this instance. Im gaining trust in myself, and confidence to boot. But, as the dualities of life dictate, Im successfully doing the work with a daring therapist, while at the same time not entirely convinced she isnt in need of an ethical scrubbing. I dont have another session with Lori for nearly three months, because she tooka personal leave from her place of employment. When our sessions finally resumed, I could not wait to tell her about my budding relationship with Shauna.Ten minutes into my first date with Shauna right about the time she got up from her bar stool and said she was going to the can I knew she would, at the very least, be someone I was going to invest significant time in. She was as easy to talk to as any girl Id ever been with, and I found myself at ease. Plans happened magically without anxietyinducing, twentyfourhour waits between texts. Her quick wit kept me entertained, and I could tell by the way she so seriously spoke about dancing, her chosen profession, that she is passionate about the art form and mighty talented too. Shauna is beautiful, with flawless hazel eyes and straight dark hair, spunky bangs and a bob that matches her alwaysupbeat character. She is a snazzy dresser and enjoys a glass of whiskey with a side of fried pickles and good conversation as much as I do.Things escalated quickly, but very comfortably, and since wed both been in our fair share of relationships, we knew the true power of honesty and openness. So upon the precipice of my return to therapy I told Shauna about Lori, and admitted to having mixed feelings about what I was getting back into. I told her I was at least moderately uncertain if my mental health was Loris numberone concern since she always seemed to find the time to mention my attraction to her.The first two sessions of my therapeutic reboot had gone great. Lori appeared genuinely thrilled that I was dating Shauna and could see how happy I was. I wasnt overwhelmed with sexual tension in the new meeting room, though it wasnt actually spoken about, and in the back of my mind I knew it was just a matter of time before it would start to affect my ability to disclose my thoughts to Lori again.Then, while attempting to ingratiate myself with my new girlfriends cat by spooning food onto his tiny dish on the kitchen floor, I hear my phone ding from inside the living room.You got a text, babe, Shauna says. Its from Lori.Im so impressed with you and the work youre doing Shauna reads off my phone from inside the living room, inquisitively, and not happily. I stuff the cat food back into the Tupperware and toss it into the refrigerator. I make my way into the living room, angry at myself for not changing the settings on my new iPhone to disallow text previews on the locked screen. Shaunas walking too, and we meet near the kitchen door. Whats this? she says, holding up the phone. Your therapist texts you?I take the phone from Shauna and say the most obvious, clichsounding thing: Its not what it seems.As I text back a curt thanks, Shauna tells me shes going to ask her sister, a therapist herself, if its OK to text patients.Dont do that. I say, a little more emphatically. I promise, this is nothing to be worried about. Were not doing anything wrong. I explain that Loris just trying to build my selfesteem.The only reason Im even bringing this up is because you said you werent sure about her in the first place, Shauna reminds me. I can tell she regrets looking at my phone without my permission, but I completely understand her feelings.At my next session I tell Lori that Shauna saw her text and wasnt thrilled about it.She probably feels cheated on to some degree, Lori says. A relationship between a therapist and a patient can oftentimes seem much more intimate than the one between a romantic couple.Lori goes on to point out that the reason she feels we can exchange texts, blurring the lines between patientdoctor boundaries a hot topic in the psychotherapy world these days is because she trusts that Ill respect her space and privacy. Youve proven that much to me, she says.On my walk home, instead of being angry at Lori, I understand her thinking behind the text. But Im also nervous about how Lori and Shauna can ever coexist in my life.Isnt therapy supposed to ameliorate my anxiety? A week later, Lori begins our session by handing me a printout explaining the psychotherapeutic term erotic transference written by Raymond Lloyd Richmond, PhD. It says that erotic transference is the patients sense that love is being exchanged between him or herself and the therapist the exact sensation I was experiencing with Lori, of which she was astutely aware.According to Richmond, one of the primary reasons people seek therapy is because something was lacking in their childhood family life, perhaps unconditional nurturing guidance and protection. Upon feeling noticed and understood by a qualified therapist, sometimes a patient can be intoxicated by their therapists approval of them. A patient may in turn contemplate that a love is blossoming between them, and, in fact, it sort of is.From an ethical standpoint, Richmond argues all therapists are bound to love their patients, for therapists are committed to willing the good of all clients by ensuring that all actions within psychotherapy serve the clients need to overcome the symptoms which brought them into treatment. This takes genuine care and acceptance on their part. However, a patient can easily confuse the love they feel with simple desire. Theyre not quite in love with their therapist, so much as they yearn for acceptance from someone, and in those sessions they just happen to be receiving it from their doctor.Lori tells me that, all along, she has been working with what I gave her and that because I flirted with her a bit, she used that to her advantage in the treatment. In employing countertransference indicating that she had feelings for me she was keeping me from feeling rejected and despising my own thoughts and urges.Theres two people alone in a room together, and if theyre two attractive people, why wouldnt they be attracted to each other? says Dr. Galit Atlas. A psychoanalyst whos had her own private practice for fifteen years, Dr. Atlas has an upcoming book titled The Enigma of Desire: Sex, Longing and Belonging in Psychoanalysis, and I sought her as an independent source for this essay to help me understand Loris therapeutic strategies.Dr. Atlas explains that there are certain boundaries that cannot be crossed between therapist and patient under any circumstances like having sex with them, obviously. But many other relationship borders can be mapped out depending on the comfort level of the therapist, as long as they stay within the scope of the professions ethics, which complicates the discussion surrounding erotic transference.As a therapist, I have a role, Dr. Atlas says. My role is to protect you. She says it is incumbent on the therapist to not exploit the patient for the therapists own good, but admits that the presence of erotic transference in therapy brings about many challenges. Attraction is part of the human condition, she observes. In therapy, the question then is: What do you do with that? Do you deny it? Do you talk about it? How do you talk about it without seducing the patient and with keeping your professional ability to think and to reflect?I ask her about the benefits of exploring intimacy in therapy, and Dr. Atlas quickly points out that emotional intimacy though not necessarily that of the sexual brand is almost inevitable and required. An intimate relationship with a therapist can be a reparative experience repairing childhood wounds but mostly its about helping the patient to experience and tolerate emotional intimacy, analyzing the clients anxieties about being vulnerable and every mechanism one uses in order to avoid being exposed.Dr. Atlas says this topic speaks to every facet of the therapeutic relationship, regardless of gender or even sexual orientation, because intimacy reveals emotional baggage that both the patient and therapist carry with them into the session. But this isnt a symmetrical relationship, and the therapist is the one who holds the responsibility.Freud said that a healthy person should be able to work and to love, she says. In some ways therapy practices both, and in order to change the patient will have to be known by the therapist. That is intimacy. In order to be able to be vulnerable, both parties have to feel safe.After I briefly explain all that has gone on between me and Lori, Dr. Atlas steadfastly says she does not want to judge too harshly why and how everything came to pass in my therapy. I dont know your therapist, and I dont know your history, she says. But she offers that I should explore the possibility that I might have created and admitted my sexual adoration of Lori because one of my fears is to be ignored, not noticed.Then I offer: Maybe this essay is being written for the same reason.Exactly.Maybe I wanted to interview Lori about erotic transference in my therapy sessions for that same reason as wellto stand out as the most amazingly understanding patient ever. I want to be very clear that this was never about feeding my own ego, Lori says about her approach to my treatment. We were always doing this in your best interest.Im in Loris office, a tape recorder rolling and a pad and pen in my hands.I felt I was doing a disservice to you if I didnt out what I felt was weighing on us, which, honestly, felt like a heavy secret, she says, pointing out that she discussed my therapeutic process for many hours in her required supervision meetings.In order for Lori to advance in her field as a social worker, she has to attend 3,000 conference hours with another professional to go over casework kind of like therapy quality control.We talk about all of this during one of my scheduled sessions, for the entire hour and go over by a few minutes, too.Lori says that when she began her career as a social worker, she decided she wasnt going to shy away from any subjects. Its typical for a client to have a habitual desire to sweep things under the rug, she observes, especially about taboo topics. It can become a cycle of behavior that Lori seeks to break.I refer back to the time when, unprovoked, she brought up my attraction to her.She says she mentioned it to avoid what therapists call doorknobbing, which is when a patient will purposely mention some huge reveal right at the end of a session so as to sidestep a lengthy conversation about it.My only question for you is, was I wrong for bringing it up? she asks. Only you can answer that.Loris great at forcing me to reflect.I guess when I said I was over it and could move on, that was an example of my strict blackandwhite thinking, I say, throwing back some language shes used often to describe my challenge in accepting dualities. In my mind, I was either attracted to her and shouldnt see her anymore, or I wasnt attracted to her and could still have her be my therapist. There was no in between.I realize now that she wasnt wrong for mentioning my feelings for her, even when I didnt want her to. Lori noticed that I was frustrated with myself and wanted me to know that an attraction to a therapist is so normal and happens so frequently that there are technical terms for it.I turn my attention towards the presence of countertransference in our session. Im trying to come up with an actual question here, but, really, I just want her to confirm her feelings for me are real. So I say, referring to her feelings, with a great degree of difficulty, Its funny that they seem genuine to this day.They are genuine, Lori says, adding a moment later: I think it might be a good idea if we explore why our discussing it suggests a lack of authenticity.It doesnt, necessarily, I begin, then stammer through a few sentences, worried I might offend her by implying shes been dishonest. I finally settle on, I guess it comes back to my selfesteem issues. Why would a beautiful woman think Im attractive?Lying in bed with Shauna a few months into our relationship, I ask her what she thought about me the moment she first saw me. Im fishing for a compliment. But we met on Tinder and I just hope that seeing me in person wasnt some kind of letdown for her after swiping right on my handpicked glamour shots. Obviously she isnt going to say something so awful after having committed to me for so long. Its a slamdunk ego boost.She says she liked the fact that I was wearing a blazer and a tie on a first date. She adds that I was a little shorter than she anticipated, but was content with the two of us at least being the same exact height.What did you think when you first saw me? she asks, turning it around, naturally.Staying committed to my honestyatallcosts policy, I say, I thought you were really beautiful, but not to the point where I was intimidated by you, which was very important because if I was, you would have gotten a very unconfident version of me, and we probably wouldnt have hit it off as well as we did.Shauna thinks about that for a second, and eventually nods OK.I explain that my insecurity could often get the better of me in dating situations. It was easy to convince myself that Id be rejected by the girl I was with, especially if I thought she was out of my league. I would then slip into a nervous and reserved state that isnt at all reflective of my true self.Im essentially saying that I was so thrilled to not find Shauna so extraordinarily pretty that I couldnt accept her being on a date with me. That thought made so much sense at the time I said it, but Ive since come to realize it is as ridiculous as it is insulting. After ten months of being with Shauna, Im still completely floored by her, on every level, including a physical one. It gives me great pride to walk into a room with her, and I dont imagine that changing. Therefore, she actually did meet a confident version of me. The way people look doesnt drastically change in ten months but a persons perception of self can. It seems my emotional workouts in erotic transference were just beginning to produce results. People fuck up, Lori informs me during one winter session. Therapists have slept with clients before, just like politicians have had sex with their interns. But, so you have a full understanding of how this works, we can date. She explains the parameters as outlined in the social workers code of ethics. One of the many stipulations is that we wouldnt be able to see each other, under any circumstances, for at least two years before dating. She tells me she loves her job, and theres no way she would ever sacrifice my safety or her career for anything, so she would strictly follow all the dictated rules. If you truly want to date me, there is the option. But its ultimately up to you.I know what shes doing here putting the onus on me, just like last year when she said we could have sex. The difference this time is the answer I want to give is on par with all of my involuntary urges.I dont want to stop the work were doing, I say. At this point, its far too valuable to me, and, really, I know very little about you. Shes beautiful, exercises, is smart, funny, professional, enjoys good TVand thats about it. Aside from whether or not wed even both be single in two years, and if wed be in the correct mind frame to explore a relationship, there are several other things Im considering here: Would Lori and I really be compatible in every way? Would she ever see me as a lover, a partner, an equal, and not a patient? Could I ever reveal a detail about myself, or even just a shitty day of work, without wondering if she was picking it apart and analyzing it?Frankly, all those questions could be answered in the positive. But, even if I wasnt in a happy relationship Shauna makes this choice much easier, for sure I wouldnt go that route. Id be out a therapist. Its a beautiful spring night in New York and only sidewalk seating will do. Shauna and I are out to dinner at a restaurant near her Queens apartment, and were both in good spirits. The weather and the alcohol consumption are partly to blame for that, but, on cue with the seasons change, I feel Ive turned an emotional corner. Work payments that were past due are finally finding their way into my bank account. As it turns out, my shortterm money troubles were not an indication that I had no business being a writer, or that my life changeup was as irresponsible as unprotected sex at fourteen years old.Id told Lori as much that afternoon. I took a mental step back from my current situation and realized that in spite of my recent hardships, I was succeeding. I summarize my session for Shauna, who nods in agreement, lovingly pointing out that shes had the same challenging freelancer experiences as a dancer.Youre doing great, babe, she says matteroffactly.Thank you. That means a lot, I respond. I guess if Im going to be a writer I just have to accept all this and have faith in myself. The way Lori put it was, You just have to go allin.Good, Shauna says. You should listen to the women in your life.