We picked up our camper yesterday. It was a little scary because it was the first time I was out of the house in over a month. We were very careful and avoided any close contact with other people. We got our camper and is safely parked in our backyard. We had a concern that when the repair shop closed for a month, today was their last day, the unguarded camper might be vandalized or robbed.
Now we’re back in the house safely away from COVID-19. During our drive, I asked Mrs. Lion if she was going to use the prickly jockstrap she had out the other day. She said she would. She also said that I probably would have hated it if she made me wear it on our trip to get our camper. I agreed and said that I would certainly be willing to do it if she wanted. Actually, it might have been fun. We have a lot of toys some of which have not been used yet. I’m hoping that play will become a regular part of our day. It will certainly break the monotony of being home 24 hours a day.
Neither of us slept very well on Thursday night. I think it was partly because our bedroom was getting too warm. Mrs. Lion, the dog, and I throw off enough heat to keep the room warmer than comfortable for sleeping. I still don’t have many details about being furloughed. There are still two weeks to work all the details out. Mrs. Lion’s office informed her that they plan to be closed until May 1. I think that’s pretty optimistic. I would be surprised if we get out before July 1.
During our work call today, I learned that there are vast disparities between how much different states pay for unemployment compensation. For example, Florida pays a maximum of $275 a week. Washington, where we live has a maximum of $790.New York is in the middle at $504. Depending on your regular salary, the compensation can be less. I don’t think the cost-of-living is that different to justify such wide disparity. If you add the federal weekly supplement of $600, it is a little easier to take in those low-paying states. That extra money will put us fairly close to our earnings when we work. We are lucky to be in a state with such generous benefits.
Mrs. Lion and I are also lucky because our employers consider us furloughed, which means that we continue receiving our normal benefits. Mrs. Lion’s job comes with health and dental insurance. Her employer is paying their share plus hers for the duration. My employer is doing the same. We have a much larger selection of benefits. Nobody is sure right now what will be covered beyond health, dental, and vision. We have FSA’s and HSA’s, as well as 401(k)s and employer-paid pensions.
I think that we both worry a little bit that somehow our jobs will be missing in action at the end of this. We both have assurances from our employers that this would not happen. More than half the workforce in my company is made up of contractors. This was an intentional move to protect full-time people. It gets a little tricky because some of the contractors we hire have skills that none of our FTE’s possess. Then it comes down to deciding whether we bring in the contractors or discontinue the projects that require special skills.
It’s all a matter of scale. Smaller businesses, like the practice my wife works for, have a lot less flexibility in terms of financial survival. Even very large companies, like mine, don’t have endless pools of cash. It’s unlikely they will go out of business, but it’s extremely likely they will return from this crisis smaller than when they went in.
All this uncertainty doesn’t even take into account that some of us might get sick. That’s a whole other worry. COVID-19 can be very deadly to many people. A recent study by the University of Washington revealed that at least 40% of the people who were put on respirators either die or can never be taken off. Some of the feedback from the field suggests the number with COVID-19 could be even higher. We’re going to work very hard to stay out of the hospital. I had my bad year in 2019. Fate owes me a break this year.
This is the stuff that keeps me up at night. I suspect similar thoughts are on Mrs. Lion’s mind too. Somehow we have to get past it and start having some fun. Let’s party like it’s the end of the world.
Some weeks ago we took our camper for repair. When it was done we decided it wasn’t worth venturing out to retrieve it. Now the repair center is shutting down until May 1 and Lion is concerned that the camper might be broken into. I’ve paid over the phone and they’ll mail our keys to us so we’re limiting that bit of contact. It’s still a bit scary that Lion is going with me but it takes two people to connect the camper and if we don’t have to bring another person into the mix, we shouldn’t be taking too much of a chance.
The scarier thing is that Lion will be furloughed in a few weeks. His company held out as long as they could, giving all full-timers full pay. A quick check of unemployment, bolstered by the federal $600 per week, shows that we may be okay financially, fingers crossed and creditors willing.
Given the current uncertainties, it will be nice to continue things as normal as we can around here. Last night, Lion wasn’t much in the mood for sex but I did play with my weenie for a bit and he said it felt good. I don’t think either of us slept very well last night so I can’t speak to what our level of play will be today, but I’m sure we’ll snuggle together at the very least. This is certainly no time to push each other away. I’m sure as the days go by, we’ll be more apt to play.
The one thing we want to make sure we do is to continue with the blog. Not only is it an outlet for us, but it’s also an outlet for our readers. We may not have much to say, but it keeps us in contact with the outside world even more. I think I’ve been texting, emailing and on phone calls with friends more in the last few weeks than I have been in months. While it’s not the same as face to face contact, it does help with personal contact.
I’m hoping by the time this post publishes, we’ll be on the way back with the camper. I’m actually looking forward to being one of the few vehicles on the highway.
[Lion — We got back just before this post is scheduled to publish. The trip was uneventful and we managed to stay away from everyone else.]
Soon, I will be out of work. Between unemployment insurance and the $600 a week from the federal recovery program, we should be okay. The US president’s comments aside, more reliable estimates are that we’ll be here at home at least 60 more days, more likely 90. Like many companies, mine will be paying any insurance I have through them (unfortunately, health insurance is paid for by me outside the company). There’s a good chance I’ll have a job when they get back to normal. Mrs. Lion works for a small medical practice. It’s a little less certain that they’ll be able to weather another three months of being closed.
Obviously, I wasn’t in the mood for sex last night. I’m less worried about the financial impact on me than I am concerned about if, in fact, my job will actually waiting for me. Right now the company is considering which projects it can afford to lose. Once things get back to normal, it’s going to be a long time before activity grows enough to support the kind of operations we had before COVID-19.
We’ve gotten more than the usual number of comments about how in the face of a pandemic how we can write about, much less practice our female led relationship. I think there is a remarkable lack of understanding of how dominant/submissive relationships work. I’ve been on both sides of the paddle. For 20 years I was a top as well as the dominant member of a master/slave relationship. Many people, particularly wannabe submissives think that being in a D/S relationship means the dominant partner micromanages every single bit of the submissive’s life.
In fact, some years ago I had a conversation with a wannabe submissive. She was telling me all the things that she wanted her dominant to do. She wanted to be spanked, tied up, told to do things (she wants to be told to do), etc. When I asked her what the dominant got out of it, she stopped abruptly and looked surprised. She said, “Dominating me.” I pointed out that I didn’t think there was anything particularly exciting about such a privilege. She looked haughty and said I just don’t understand. At that point in time, I had my 24/7 slave for almost 6 years. I think I knew what it was about.
The woman I lived with would have loved it if I micromanaged her. I made it clear from the very start that it was not on the menu. My approach was that she could run her own life except when I decided I wanted her to do something my way. She’s a very bright person and had a very good job. She could easily handle the domestic chores she had to do without my help. In other words, I had the last word. That’s what it means to be the dominant member of the partnership.
Mrs. Lion almost never tells me what to do. I think about what she might want and I try to provide for her. We have a very loving partnership. Yes, there are some interesting differences between our marriage and most others. As you probably know, she punishes me if I need it. We divide up chores and responsibilities based on our abilities. I used to cook a lot. I like to cook. With my failing vision and bad shoulders, it’s tough for me. She’s had to take that over. I pay the bills and manage all the technical needs in our house. She’s had to pick up most of the physical tasks.
I’m allowed to be grumpy sometimes. I don’t have any special way I have to speak to her. We do some BDSM play and of course, she is the top. Over the years in this role, she has learned to be more aware of her own feelings and lets me know if I do or say things that upset her. The way she lets me know is a little different than in most marriages: she spanks me.
FLR’s are seriously misunderstood. That’s too bad. Couples that have done this for a long time seem to be much happier than their vanilla counterparts. The reason I think is that things aren’t allowed to fester. Mrs. Lion is strongly encouraged to express her feelings. I’ve always been okay about expressing mine. We communicate. She’s always been better at taking things to heart and trying to change. I’m more stubborn. My stubbornness can be overcome with five-minute meetings with her paddle. I’m not claiming it’s easy. I do know that for us, at least, it works.
A very long time ago, when we first got together, I said I might get bored with things. I didn’t mean I’d be bored with Lion. I meant I might be bored with doing the same BDSM things every night. I’m not even sure we did BDSM every night when Lion was getting his nightly orgasms. We have added many more things to our repertoire so you’d think I would have a lot of tricks up my sleeve but I might actually be getting bored with it.
Lion has made the comment more than once that I seem to enjoy CBT because that’s all I seem to do. Of all my options, that’s the one that comes to mind most often. I have more ways to torture him that way than any other way. I can spank him but he gets punishment spankings fairly regularly. They are different and maybe a play spanking would help toughen up his cheeks for those punishment swats, but I guess I’ve taken play spanking out of the equation in my mind. I can give him anal attention. He has to be able to stay on his knees for while and that’s not always possible. It also takes a toll on my back and legs, depending on how long we do it. I can make him wear diapers or panties. These are good options because I don’t technically have to do anything other than tell him what the rules are and notice him at different points during the day. And then we’re back to CBT.
I keep going back to the studies that say married couples have sex a few times a week and then that trails off to once a week and then trails off even more with age. Lion wants some sort of sex every night. I’m not saying I don’t want to give him attention. I’m just saying it’s bound to get boring eventually. I’m going to run out of ideas. It’s going to be “just” vanilla more often than not.
Maybe we need to go back to the Box o’Fun. Maybe every few days I need to pick from it to help with the boredom of tying his balls or using clothespins. If I can’t come up with something on my own, I pick from the box and see how it decides I should torture Lion. It’s worth a shot.