Emerging from COVID Isolation

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Matthew Barney, DRAWING RESTRAINT 9 (Film Still), 2005

HER: The last few months have been some of the strangest of our lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has effectively shut down the world. For many of us, it’s been the most concentrated time we’ve ever spent at home with our partners. And, as people who have been in the lifestyle since the very beginning of our relationship, it was the longest we’ve ever been monogamous together.

HIM: We’ve been so lucky to have each other through this. (Neither of us likes thinking about what this lockdown would look like with our exes!) But I have missed the spark that being with other people brings to our relationship. It’s something we look forward to experiencing together, and talking about after. And it makes sex between us so much hotter.

HER: We experimented with new toys, bondage, and afternoon massages to keep things interesting during those long months, and it was fun. We kept up with our friends through video chats, and I was starting to feel like I would be okay if we never went out again.  In fact, I was a little anxious about the world reopening. But one night in May, we had a Zoom wine date with longtime friends Dominic and Maria. Talking to them made me realize how much I was missing the touch, the smell, the voices of other people. And the sex. I really did miss the sex.

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HIM: It was clear that Dominic and Maria were missing it, too, so we decided to explore the possibility of getting together the next day for some fun. We started by discussing in detail the safety measures we had each observed during the pandemic and it turned out we had all been extremely cautious. Maria happens to be a doctor (who does not work with COVID patients), and she made an excellent point that we hadn’t considered: as things start to open up, we’ll all be more exposed to the coronavirus. That’s unavoidable. Getting together before society let down its collective guard would be the safest we could hope to be for the foreseeable future.

HER: Another incentive to get together sooner rather than later was that their girlfriend, Isabella, had been visiting them from Italy when that country closed its borders. She had been isolating with Dominic and Maria in a poly triad for nearly three months and would likely be heading home soon.

HIM: Imagine — they had replaced their regular sex life with a steady diet of FMF threesomes. Definitely not the worst consequence of a pandemic! We met Isabella at their wedding in Italy last summer, and she is sweet-natured and gorgeous. We were thrilled to be getting three swingers for the price of two!

HER: You had something else in mind, too. You’ve been obsessed with capturing video of our sexual exploits ever since you taped me having sex at Desire with Jay from ‘That Couple Next Door’. So you asked our three guests if they would mind being filmed and they seemed excited about it. They even agreed to come over in the afternoon to catch the best light

HIM: This was working for me on every level. Of course, I was excited about the sexual possibilities, but the creative side of me went into planning mode. The exciting thing about shooting you with Jay was that I was capturing an authentic experience. It’s the opposite of porn, if you think of porn as a carefully scripted encounter between people who would not otherwise be having sex. So that means the videographer has to get it right in the moment, no retakes. If I had asked you and Jay to repeat something because I wasn’t in the right position to capture it, the magic you were creating together would have been broken. That’s when I came up with the idea of the Ceiling Cam.

7BD9BCE6-3128-48A8-9F80-1394C5798319HER: I thought you were nuts. There you were, thirty minutes before our guests were supposed to arrive, taping an iPad to the ceiling.

HIM: The idea was to create an all-seeing ‘eye in the sky’ that would record the action from above. I knew I wanted to film as much as possible by hand, but I also wanted an overall point-of-view that was more objective.

HER: I actually liked that you used the forward-facing camera. It was like having a mirror over our bed, just like at Hedo. If you’ve been there, you know: being able to see yourself fucking from above is very hot. But unlike a mirror, the iPad would make a perfect record of everything. It’s surprising how often, even just an hour later, you and I can remember the same events completely differently. Of course, it’s even worse when we’re trying to write about it a few weeks later. But not this time! Let’s go to the tape and see how things got started…

0F31384C-492E-4169-B15D-4F8EA6E2AAF5HIM: After a few drinks in the kitchen, we all proceeded to the bedroom. The first thing we see in the video is Dominic flogging Isabella. A few minutes later, you and Maria slid under her to kiss and lick her breasts.

HER: Which, of course, led to kissing and licking her pussy and using a vibrator on her while Dominic continued with the flogger. Later he switched to the riding crop. I think I surprised him when I spread my legs so he could spank my pussy with it.

HIM: That was extremely hot. I zoomed in with the camera as he started with light taps and slowly turned up the intensity.

HER: This went on for a long time: the women giving each other oral while Dominic spanked and then fucked us from behind. I was able to make both girls come, which was gratifying, but I kept looking around for you. Didn’t you feel like you were missing out by not participating?

HIM: Not at all. It might seem funny, but a strange thing was happening. For me, filming became part of the sex. In my mind there was no separation between the observer and the observed. I was right in the middle of things, using the camera the way Dominic was using the flogger, as just another means of interacting. I didn’t feel like the camera was making anyone self-conscious (take that, Susan Sontag!). At no point was that more evident than when Maria slid into the strap-on harness to fuck you.

9DA9FAD6-B086-43FB-8283-84AA5E278C17HER: Yes! This was my highlight of the day. Unfortunately, we bought the strap-on with pegging you in mind, so the penis attachment wasn’t as big as I would have liked. But, when she hovered over me — teasing my clit with her silicone cock, pressing her gorgeous breasts into me while we kissed and I grabbed her ass — I wanted it so badly! The moment she put it in, I moaned, ‘I could SO be a lesbian.’ And I meant it. Sorry.

HIM: No offense taken. Our relationship isn’t a competition between different sexual identities. It was a beautiful, fleeting moment, and I honestly believe we wouldn’t have remembered it except that it was captured on video: a spontaneous expression of your particular erotic genius that would have been lost otherwise. Of course, life is mainly made up of moments that aren’t recorded anywhere except in the deepest fabric of our being, but it’s nice to catch hold of a few every now and then.

HER: While Maria was doing me with the strap-on, Dominic was behind her admiring the view. I know she loves anal, so I suggested he put his cock in her ass. It’s always been a fantasy of mine to be on the bottom of a pile. I love to imagine you fucking me while a guy enters your ass, but I know you’re not quite there yet. So, having Dominic thrust into Maria, and feeling her tense and thrust into me was the closest I’ve ever come to that fantasy coming true. And it was so amazingly hot!

HIM: I have to admit, it was nice to see that a man could still play a part even when you were lost in a swirl of girl-on-girl ecstasy. I was happy to participate by capturing it all, especially knowing how much you’d enjoy looking at the footage later. And what footage! As the group combined and recombined in various sexual geometries, moving from the bed to the massage table to the cushioned ottoman by the window, I got caught up in finding the right angles and the best lighting.

57EB1F58-EFA3-482E-96EB-E585CD00EE51HER: Well, I have to admit, I was happy when you finally put the camera down. You were getting pretty hard watching me and Isabella play with my vibrator while Dominic did me from behind until he came. Maria noticed, too, and reached out for your cock.

HIM: I bent her over the bed and fucked her from behind, alternating between slow, deep thrusting and hard pounding. Eventually we switched and I laid down on the bed so she could ride me. I remembered from previous times together that she has a way of coming that requires a man to lie perfectly still while she bounces up and down on his hard cock and plays vigorously with her clit.

HER: You mean she needs a human dildo?

HIM: Yes, a role I was very happy to play. If there is such a noun as ‘orgasmer,’ Maria is a spectacular orgasmer. The thing that’s unique about her is that, from the moment her climax becomes unstoppable, she takes longer than most women to get to the summit. She seems to spend a lot of time in the imminent ecstasy zone. It was great to have the best seat in the house for that show!

HER: Too bad we don’t have any video of that, since you obviously were distracted from your job as cameraman at that point.

HIM: But sweetie, that’s where the Ceiling Cam comes into play. I haven’t gotten to it yet in the editing process, but you can be sure that moment is recorded like all the others.

HER: Right – the all-seeing ‘eye in the sky’. That camera was a genius move. We all enjoyed taking turns under that screen. I guess it’s one thing to be in the middle of a bunch of sexiness, experiencing the sensations, but it adds a whole new layer when you can see yourself at a remove. And, after hours of play, we all lay under that camera, sweaty and satisfied. I looked up and realized, this is what I had been missing: not only the sex, but the unique connectedness you feel when you share yourself with other people.

So, do you ever worry that we may be addicted to sleeping with other people? That it’s so much a part of our relationship that we couldn’t be us without it? I mean, after only three months of monogamy, we were craving other people. Isn’t that unhealthy?

HIM: Not at all. You are the greatest thing that ever happened to me, without a doubt. I’m happy to explore the opportunities we have to play with others while they are available, but you are the center of my universe. I had sex with you well over a hundred times last year, and perhaps a half dozen times with other women. All of my best moments — the most spontaneous, the most adventurous, the most revelatory — were with you. The pandemic only reminded me of something I already knew deep down: I could enjoy you without the lifestyle, but I couldn’t enjoy the lifestyle without you.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. C & D says:

    Just finished your Medium article and follow your Twitter Account closely. You two are doing important work. You are great writers that can effectively convey emotions, motivations, and aspirations in a way that informs and guides us. Sexy and brilliant! Many thanks and stay safe.

    1. Him and Her says:

      Thank you so much for your kind note! We set out to be as honest and clear as possible about not just the physical experiences but also the emotional ramifications of our adventures. We’re glad it resonates!

  2. Leyna Nguyen says:

    Hi! Would love to have you guys in my show on non-monogamy. Find me in Twitter @LeynaNguyenTv or email. Thanks!

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