Just the Two of Us

Alice Neel Painting
Alice Neel, Cindy Nemser and Chuck, 1975

HER: As people who have been non-monogamous from the beginning of our relationship, this period of enforced monogamy has been interesting. Sex between us has always been satisfying, but we’ve rarely had to work at keeping the spark alive. The lifestyle did that for us.

HIM: Over the summer, since nearly everyone we knew was working from home and our Covid numbers in Ontario seemed relatively low, we felt safe enough to have a few two-on-two get-togethers, as well as the group getaways we’ve written about in previous articles.  But the fall brought more people back to physical work places and climbing infection rates. A coronavirus-shaped cloud seemed to cast a shadow over everything. So, there we were: just the two of us.

HER: To add to the COVID complexities, our regular sexual routine as a couple has recently been interrupted by a change in our home life. Suddenly, we have our two oldest kids (one of yours and one of mine) living with us full-time, a situation that has never happened before thanks to shared custody arrangements that usually provide lots of freedom.

HIM: We knew there would be challenges to our sex life, so the first step was to change things up at home. Our house is our house, and our bedroom is our bedroom – there wasn’t much we could do about that — but we wanted to see what we could bring in from the outside (Aside from other people). Sex toys were the obvious way to do that.

HER: In the past, sex toys for us consisted of a vibrator and a flogger. But you took things to a whole new level.

HIM: Anyone who’s visited a sex toy web site knows that there are multiple categories of accessories available. The number of options has exploded in recent years. The first thing we realized was that our flogger was merely entry level. At Naughty in N’awlins last year, someone used a heavy flogger on you, and I definitely noticed that your response was different. It seems like, when it comes to floggers, size matters. Or, more precisely,  weight matters.

HER: Yeah, I loved it. The heavy thunk really adds something.

HIM: I did a quick search at our local sex shop (before the stores all shut down), but couldn’t find anything like the one we had seen in New Orleans. Asking around, a friend told us about local artisan who made custom BDSM gear. We took a look at his website and found a whole world of options. Not only did we order a heavy leather flogger, we also ordered a double slapper. And while we were investing in custom-made gear, we decided to add a hand-built spanking bench. That’s the first piece of sex furniture we’ve ever bought, if you don’t count our massage table.

HER: The spanking bench is like the opposite of the massage table. One is gentle while the other is rough. One is about pleasure and the other is about pain. Both awesome in their own ways.

HIM: But now we had two large, incriminating pieces of furniture to keep out of sight when we had kids around. Fortunately, the massage table folds up into a flat square, like an over-sized art portfolio, so that’s not a problem. While the spanking bench separates into two parts, they’re both pretty chunky. I eventually managed to get them both tucked into the bottom of my totally rearranged closet, but it wasn’t easy.

HER: Getting deeper into impact play has been a revelation for me. At the beginning, I just enjoyed you flogging my ass, but now I really like it up around my shoulder blades and my pussy.

HIM: Yeah, I love that. I’m surprised how hard you like it there. But your enjoyment is a big turn-on for me, so I’ll do it however you want it.

HER: The problem is, though, that all this BDSM stuff is noisy. With extra ears around, there were very few opportunities to indulge in all the smacking and slapping and whipping we wanted to.  We had to find some ways to have a quieter kind of fun. We did that by bringing in a selection of dildos, strap-ons, and butt plugs. I’d say we now have a pretty impressive collection.

HIM: And we’re just getting started with them. While they’re not exclusively for me (you love to use them on other women), exploring pegging was part of my intention. It’s one of those things that I love the idea of, but the reality has been harder to adapt to. Still, there is an undeniable jolt to my libido when I see you wearing the strap-on, and I don’t mind the idea that it’s a journey that will take some time.

But even with all the extra help, we were still lacking freedom. We’re the kind of couple who likes to spend as much time naked as possible. I like to be able to bend you over the kitchen island if the mood strikes us. With our kids around almost 100% of the time, we decided to take our act on the road.

HER: We’ve managed three trips so far this fall. The first one was to a hotel in downtown Toronto. The destination wasn’t that special, but it’s close and the chance to be alone together felt like the ultimate luxury. And that’s where we discovered one of those silver linings to the pandemic. Hotel rooms are cheap! With the reduction in business, they aren’t exactly giving them away, but close. We got a suite at a downtown hotel for half price. There were no restaurants open, so we spent the weekend eating take-out and having loud sex.

HIM: And the sex was amazing. The highlight for me was when you let me take pictures of your pussy with your legs spread — something you’re usually shy about. We brought along as many toys as we could stuff into a travel bag. One of the nice things about a car trip is that you don’t have to worry about what will fit into your luggage. Our SUV was basically a big suitcase on wheels.

HER: My highlight was the trip to Victoria Secret where you bought me the little outfit I took off for those pictures.

Our next trip took us a little further. Niagara Falls is a world-class attraction that’s just a 90-minute drive away. This wasn’t just about getting to an anonymous space where we could be as loud as we wanted, but a pleasant environment far enough removed from the COVID hotspot of the city that restaurants were actually open. Again, the rooms were deeply discounted.

HIM: And again, the sex was fantastic. We must have been a little desperate, because as soon as we got in the room, we went right at it. I remember as you slipped out of your jeans, your everyday, ordinary panties looked like the most erotic lingerie in the world.  I fucked you in front of the giant windows overlooking the falls. The endless water pouring over the edge, plunging into the wet abyss was strangely erotic … or maybe it was just you. Each of the three days, we had sex in the afternoon so that we didn’t leave it until we were potentially too tired in the evening.

HER: For our third trip, we went even further afield. Montreal is a beautiful old city a six-hour drive away. So, why bother to travel that distance? Basically, because the city’s architecture is gorgeous. A quick spin through the Airbnb website showed us several beautiful properties with exposed brick walls, soaring windows and time-burnished hardwood floors.

HIM: One of the things I’ve always liked about long road trips with you is the chance to talk. Of course, we get to speak every day at home, but there’s something about sitting side-by-side hour after hour, both of us looking straight ahead, that makes it different.

HER: I also think it has to do with having no distractions. There is nothing else to do, nowhere else to be. We can dig deeper into subjects than we normally would.

HIM: Yes, even if that sometimes means getting into difficult territory. This drive got a little tense when we discovered we had seriously different views on something we both thought we had settled months ago. We never really fight, but this was a highly charged conversation with a lot of emotion. It took us about a hundred miles to dig ourselves out of the hole we found ourselves in.

HER: But we did have it settled by the time we arrived, and it was a delight to find that the apartment looked even better in person than it did online. It even had a private elevator that opened right into the suite.

HIM: Part of what drew us to this spot was the beautiful environment for taking pictures. But you were feeling a little reluctant. Why?

HER: First, I had a ton of work stuff to finish. I spent all day, every day on the computer, so it was hard to transition into a different head space. And, I have to admit that there are times when taking sexy photos seems like just another chore. Sometimes I resent that it’s my job to be our promotional spokesmodel, especially if I’m feeling unattractive because I’ve been too busy to exercise much for the last couple of weeks.  I just wasn’t feeling sexy.

HIM: The part of me that fully supports gender equality definitely agrees with you. There should be just as many pictures of me as there are of you. However, there are three forces at work keeping the camera pointed in your direction. First of all, people overwhelmingly prefer pictures of women over men. That’s just a cultural fact. Second, you’re fifteen years younger than me. Your young skin reflects the light better. Third, you’re actually a gifted model. You almost never seem to take a bad picture. Put that all together with the beautiful light and architecture in the apartment, and we got the best set of pictures we’ve ever taken. It’s hard to argue with the results.

HER: I was pretty happy with the photos. Like so many other things, I was fine once we got into it. In fact, that photo shoot lead into my sexual highlight: me wearing the huge black dildo and teasing your ass with it. I ended up using the small butt-plug on you, then turning that giant dildo on myself while you watched. That was very hot.

But the real high point of the trip for me was that I felt we reconnected. Having kids around all the time, dealing with the constant low-level anxiety of COVID and work and elections, arguing over misunderstandings: these aren’t exactly a recipe for successful intimacy.  These weekends away, though, have given us a chance to be physically close without too many distractions. To remember why we’re so good together.

HIM: Seeing all the facets of your personality close up – travel companion, hard-working employee, sexy model – reminded me again why I feel like the luckiest man in the world. It’s not any one thing, but seeing so many wonderful things brought together in one woman that has me feeling so grateful. Being forced by circumstances to spend more time together, just the two of us, has been the silver lining to our coronavirus-shaped cloud.

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