As England enters a second lockdown, I thought it worth reflecting on some of the lessons I learnt from the last. This isn’t about the general rush of not panic buying toilet rolls, or the best way to work at home with kids screaming at your feet. Rather, I'm thinking about the kinky, sexual parts of our lives that can be thrust into full relief as we're stuck inside for 23 hours a day for weeks on end.
Here we go again
My initial reaction when the first lockdown started as a sigh of relief, not just that someone was finally doing something to stem the spread of the virus. It also looked like an opportunity to take some time out, work on a few personal projects and invest time in my kinky side. Since Tinky's cancer diagnosis our BDSM and rubber play has been thin on the ground, so perhaps I could play alone while she, a keyworker, was at work. An idea that met with her blessing, I hasten to add.
All was set for a productive, energising few weeks of focus on my perversions and fetishes.
Lockdown was less kinky than I thought
Sadly this was not to be. Barely a week into lockdown and I'd managed to "rubber up" (as we call layering on the latex) for a couple of mildly disappointing hours. No longer constrained by 9-5 office hours, my work became a meandering mess of demands that I felt compelled to honour. Then came the implied threat that at any moment I might be summoned to a Zoom call and have to present myself on camera in all my rubbery glory.
Anticipating less work, I refocused on some of my personal projects. Painfully aware I'd not published an ebook in some time, I started a new title. It was intended to be a continuation of the Black Mistress / white slave tales that feature an interracial couple and intense race play. Then Black Lives Matter kicked off (rightly so) and my urge to produce something featuring strong racial humiliation (albeit with a Black dominatrix) faded.
This title was not alone. In all I started six titles. Half-way into them I'd become distracted or lose the desire to complete them. They now sit unfinished and forgotten on my hard drive. Although I did manage to do some filing.
As for this site, dear reader, it fell a little by the wayside. My flat is small and pokey to say the least, and sitting in the same four walls unable to see more than a few metres ahead does take its toll. The daily walks may have refreshed and rejuvenated to some extent, but a distinct lack of stimulation had an effect. Updating became a chore, one that I have neglected to keep up over the past few weeks. For that I apologise.
Frustrated by isolation
All of this swirled into a whirlwind of frustration. I couldn't do a photoshoot, not that I'd intended to do one before we were locked down. My writing suffered from a lack of motivation. Things that didn't matter suddenly became incredibly important because I couldn't do them.
Even masturbation became unsatisfying. Pre-lockdown I'd wank once a day, maybe every other day. Three weeks in and I was tugging away 3 or 4 times. I sacrificed the prolong exploration of my fantasies for the instant hit of a 5-minute jerk-off. Like an addict, the more I took, the less satisfying it became, so I took more. When I spent two hours downloading videos on Pornhub without watching a single one to the end, I realised I had a problem.
The highlight was time with Tinky. We decided to play every week, and we more or less kept to it. Not that BDSM featured high in our time together, we usually lay in bed together and made out. We did manage one bondage session, which ended with us both deciding we were too demotivated to enjoy it properly. The cancer is still casting a shadow over us.
Time to turn a corner
I promised you some lessons at the start of this post, and I will keep that promise. As the country started to emerge, we decided to stay under lockdown. Rather than carry on as before, we decided to reset how and what we did. This made the time until we started to see normality return far easier.
Perhaps the most important lesson was not to set unrealistic expectations. My frustrations emerged because I expected to walk straight into a 24/7 latex lifestyle that simply wasn't practical. Nor was it realistic to churn out a 25,000-word ebook just because I'd be shut in the flat all day. The former was hindered by a lack of clear boundaries around my work and kink life, the latter by the simple fact that wasn't how I worked.
Just as I blocked time and set goals for my vanilla and work life, so I did the same for my kinky one. Specific periods were set aside in my diary to write, to dress up, so play. I linked them together, so I wore latex for a selfie shoot, or spent an hour watching porn before working on the next chapters. Nothing happened without Tinky knowing, and we'd talk about it as part of our usual conversations. It felt good when I had to justify I'd completed what I set out to do.
Let's talk about wanking
Then there was the thorny issue of masturbation. First, I separated my kink and vanilla work on my laptop and set aside an old iPad for fetish work. This took away the temptation to switch to porn hunting during work periods, and prevented accidental zoom calls during fetish moments.
Next, while I am the dominant in our relationship, Tinky does act as a service top when called upon. Masturbation was limited to specific sessions set out in my calendar, or longer sessions in the sleep sack under her guiding hand (she's become quite skilled at edging). As a last resort (or sometimes not), I used my chastity cage to prevent "accidental" wanking.
Finally, we took time to be kinky together. Zentai was re-introduced into our play as a soft, non-threatening fetish that was relatively easy to incorporate. Then came bondage and aspects of BDSM. Nothing heavy, just something to help us take the stress away and reconnect. A reminder we have fetishes we share.
All of this may seem pre-planned and organised, perhaps lacking the spontaneity of a kinky lifestyle. Maybe it does, but this helped no end in the extra weeks of isolation we found ourselves in. We had something to look forward to, and a sense we'd achieved something when playtime came to an end. When all you have to look at for 23 hours a day are the same four walls and the same two people this can be quite the godsend.
Bring on Lockdown 2: we're ready
With the new lockdown arriving, we feel prepared for what is to come. My kink and vanilla sides are split on my technology and time is being blocked in the diary. I have a small number of projects to complete while Tinky remains at work. We're going to up our masturbation games, and Tinky has begun to ask to stretch limits back towards where they were a couple of years ago.
I think we'll find this period of enforced isolation a lot easier.