What exactly does a “romance concierge” do?
What I do is create intimate, erotic, and adventurous date nights for couples. And what each date night entails is for couples to come together, reconnect, slow down, tune into each other in really intimate and loving ways. My date nights start at $1,500. That is a small investment to make in their marriage. Now I have a lot of marriage counselors and therapists reaching out for their clients.
How did you end up in this business?
I had a wedding company for 25 years. We designed dresses and we also coordinated weddings. And I would ask my clients, “Do you want us to go in and create a more intimate room for your honeymoon?” Years later, I got calls from these same clients who said, “Therez, remember what you did for our honeymoon night? Can we kind of do something like that and kick it up a notch?”
So are we talking romance as in “reading poetry and roses” or more, you know, “bedroom activities”?
Actually, both. I remember talking to one client, and she said, “I really don’t want to have sex with my husband. I just wanna connect with my husband.” Now, I don’t know what they did on their date night, because it’s a very personal thing. But I give instructions to my clients that they can follow or not, because sometimes you walk into your hotel room and then it’s like, “Well, what do we do next?”
And what exactly do couples do?
The evening begins with the intimacy cards and really reaffirming each other—saying what I like about you, what you did this week that I appreciate, what I would like more of from you, you know, and why I fell in love with you. I had one couple and they were like, “Some of the questions on these cards, we never talked about in 19 years of marriage.” What’s really missing in many relationships is communication. In the instructions, it’s like tell your partner how you would like to be touched. A lot of times, women will say, “Can I say that? Shouldn’t he know?” Well, if you don’t share this together, then your spouse or your lover will never know.
You spent most of your life in New York. How did you end up in Dallas?
I got married about eight years ago, and then I got divorced, and I moved away. When I was in New York, I had an adult toy company called Therez’s Playhouse. I realized when I had that company that couples were looking for ways to add more excitement to their relationships, and they just really didn’t know what to do. They didn’t know how to go and set it up. I moved back to Dallas about three years ago because I like the city and I wanted to launch this new company here.
Did you see a gap in Dallas’ market?
Totally. When I got divorced, I went on a yearlong intimacy trek—mentally, physically, and spiritually. On my journey, I came across an interview with Iyanla Vanzant. She had a panel of men and they were talking about intimacy. One man said, “Men and women think about intimacy completely different. Men think intimacy is sex.” So I took it upon myself and interviewed 60 men between the ages of 30 and 60. From that, I created a book called Men and Intimacy, Real Talk. Real Answers. When I got to understand that men get equally as bored with sex and intimacy as women do, I realized that there really is a niche here that needs to be filled.
Did this research change how you approach relationships?
I think being married I was not fully self-expressed. I did not understand emotional intimacy or what was required to develop and sustain this in our marriage. And here we are in this union where we’re supposed to be creating a covenant together and not just being in these contracts together, really coming together to create. And I didn’t know how.
And now you’re helping others.
I don’t want it to come across as just being this whole kinky little sexy type of thing. I really want it for couples to look at and say, “Wow. We get an evening of really just playing together and discovering together and having a safe place to fall together.”