Up until now, all of my PP interviews have been with erotica writers and their partners, But it’s my pleasure today to interview Chris and Caroline Unity Bowness for Passionate Partners, and their story is a little different. Thanks so much for joining me, Caroline and Chris!
Chris: Relationship and Sex Mentor initially studied business for 10 years and helped people run their own businesses. I finally stumbled on my real calling after helping people with relationships and sex and who kept telling me I should go for it….eventually I took the leap and love every minute.
Caroline: Workaholic, business owner, lover of people, best friend, Mum, proof reader ….and sex toy guinea pig.
KD: Chris, we met on Facebook, as I recall. You and Caroline had read The Pet Shop together, which immediately reassured me that you were fabulous people with excellent taste. From that, our discussion blossomed to discussing sex as a celebration and a key to intimacy in relationships. Our discussion was my first clue that I was speaking to one half of a pair of Passionate Partners. It’s an absolute pleasure to have the two of you on A Hopeful Romantic
today to talk about your passionate partnership. Since then, I’ve had you on my site as a guest and we’ve had lots of conversations that have convinced me I was witnessing another one of those passionate partnerships in the promoting and celebration of sexuality through erotica. How did that journey begin, and has it always been a team effort?
Chris: Erotica has always played an important part of our journey and it’s a great tool for opening up communcation on sex and pleasure without that awkwardness of starting it yourself. However, building a relatioship thats unashamed about intimacy, sex and pleasure Caroline has to take the credit for.
Caroline: the shower scene perhaps?
Chris: yes…. 1st date, a shy teen facing the claws of the cougar…
Chris: A night out and ended up staying together for the night not sexually but intimately. Next morning Kim Cattrall here suggests showering together less a baptism of fire more an indecent drowning, and there began the journey of sex and intimacy beginning positively.
Caroline: My mum always instilled in me that sex is harmless fun… ok you may have to be safer these days… but the act itself has not changed. This is the foundation that has been our passion in promoting real sex and the discussion of such. Oh! We do love the Pet Shop though and often have our own little in jokes referencing them.
KD: Very glad to hear that you enjoyed The Pet Shop together. *smiles like a proud mother*
Chris: I recently guested on a Kay Jaybee’s website and wrote about using Erotica as a great tool in the bedroom.
KD: I understand that the two of you have a unique relationship where child rearing and work is concerned. Could you share a little bit about that with us? What did you find most difficult in your arrangement? What did you find most beneficial?
Chris: We both take an active role in bringing our children up, we both run our own businesses and there are times when one needs to be working and one of us naturally slots in and takes time with the children.
Caroline: At the weekend it’s all about family time. Saturday morning we share a family breakfast were we all sit together and discuss the week. We try to have work take a back seat over the weekend.
KD: Could you both tell us a little bit about your work, and what’s most rewarding about it. (I’m thinking in terms of how you got involved with testing sex toys and how one thing led to another.) And what’s most difficult.
Caroline: We fell into by chance really we noticed a few opportunities arise and then when we decided to take the plunge the magazine we were set to review for shut down. We then found our opportunity when an online store put a call out for reviewers and things kind of grew from there.
Chris: Obviously the upside is a constant abundance of free toys and latest products to test out. However, in recent times we’ve slowed down a little as finding time in busy schedules to test and write is a job in itself but we do like to keep our hands in. It also helps me keep up to date with the latest products and names out there so I can recommend them to clients.
KD: What has been the craziest experience you’ve shared in your mutual journey through sex mentoring and the celebration of sex in relationship?
Chris: People know what I do and know Caroline is sex positive too which puts us in the position of the go to people when people have amazing sexual experiences and want to share their story with one of us. We’ve had stories of a woman nearly getting caught giving her boyfriend a blowjob under a bridge whilst they were at a wedding (you know who you are). The stories of unashamed exhilarating one nights stands and a gay man who wanted to share his story of hot sex when his partner came home from work in the early hours and took him by surprise. What’s sad is people want to share these sexual achievements like any other life happy accomplishments but there is a stigma with doing so.
Caroline: One such story being told to me recently involved the discussion of horse tail butt plugs!
KD: Caroline, I don’t know you as well as I do Chris, so tell us a little bit about yourself. Who is Caroline Bowness, and what things matter most to her right now in her journey.
Caroline: My passion is helping others through life as it’s just far too short, family and friends are important to me. I also run my own business which involves helping others so whether it’s people who need my service or people I work along side it’s all about working as a team and making sure everyone is happy.
Chris: She does have a nickname of Hils which is short for Hilary Devey of Dragons Den fame as she is a bit of an idol of Caroline’s.
Caroline: It’s growing on me!
KD: Caroline, what do you consider your most important role in supporting Chris in his mentoring? How do you see yourself sharing in that journey?
Caroline: Kicking him up the arse *joke* Self promotion, he has supported others in business for many years but when it comes to himself he finds it hard but I think it’s because he is to close to what he does to be able to look at it in a business sense.
KD: Chris, what do you think is the most important way Caroline supports and encourages you? What do you see as the most important way you support her?
Chris: Unequivocal and unwavering support, you must know how tough the negative voices can be KD especially in regards to work that’s sex related? Having someone who is always there no matter what, is special. Furthermore though even though I’m good at putting myself in someone else’s shoes Caroline is very good at giving a deeper insight into female perspective on things.
KD: What’s the hardest part of the Caroline/Chris working partnership?
Caroline: We both work when people need us which can be 1am… Opening a bottle of red and having the phone go or someone need us and having to let go. However, we both know the responsibility and passion each of us has to help others and make their lives better.
KD: What’s the best part?
Caroline: Being able to work with your BFF.
Chris: Bouncing off each other… Being in the unique position to have a great understanding of each others work but being able to be impartial when it comes to offering advice and making decisions.
KD: What’s the best advice the two of you can offer to help couples make their partnerships run smoother?
Chris: Whether you have children or not making your relationship the main priority which is pretty easy in the beginning by taking risks and chances to be together like both taking a sick day. However, over time people loose sight of the importance of putting their relationship first. For us we see it that a happy and close us is a great foundation to build our family on.
Caroline: Open and honest communication is really important… talking without fear. One thing we have built in is a cake date one afternoon a week at a local cafe where we put time aside for each other and our relationship. Chris once joked we could swap it for a gym date…. Erm no it’s not happening Mr!
KD: Tell us something about the Caroline and Chris Team that might really surprise us.
Caroline: We don’t conform to the traditional relationship set up. Days into meeting each other we had a conversation about the importance of the friends in our lives of the opposite sex. This had caused the breakdown of previous relationships for both of us and we had independently decided that in our next relationships we’d be honest about this.
Chris: We were just lucky we were both each others next relationship and actually that foundation brought us closer. We both have the freedom to love who we want and live how we want whilst having a great relationship together.
KD: Chris, could you tell us a little bit about the difference between a mentor and a therapist.
Chris: Long term support, when and where it’s needed but also prevention not cure to problems. Also here for the good things in relationships like guiding people in exploring pleasure. The real surprise I’ve had is the amount of positive messages I’ve received that all have the same theme a
thirst for open discussion in society about positive and real sex. Many people saying they want to be able to talk but they can’t for many reasons.
KD: What does the future hold for Caroline and Chris? Exciting plans? Adventures? New projects?
Chris: I work in the local community and want to get into it more maybe open an office or have my own space people can come to me. The near future is a website providing an online space people can come to get advice but also share their experiences good or bad help each other through but also positively promote real everyday pleasure and sex. Each weekend I also put together an online magazine rounding up the sex positive news in the
last 7 days which you can find at www.bit.ly/ConsentingAdults I also produce a monthly email packed with tips and advice and it’s proving rather popular. People can sign up at www.bit.ly/BeUnity Then finally there is the exciting monthly column I’ve been invited to do for you, KD, Consenting Adults promoting positive real sex, which starts next week.
KD: I’m very excited about that, Chris, and looking forward to having you onboard.
Caroline: A house by the sea and a puppy, actually it’s all about the puppies!
KD: No doubt the world would be a better place with more puppies … and kittens … strategically placed, of course. Thank you, both, so much for sharing a bit about your passionate partnership with us. It’s been a pleasure to have you here together. And Chris, we’ll be seeing you again soon.