Things are still not back to normal around here. If anything, they are worse. We’re both snapping at each other. Lion keeps pointing out chores that need to be done like he doesn’t think I see them. And no matter what I try to do, I seem to be wrong.

I brought out the yoga pillow so we could try it out. Lion annoyed me earlier in the day by saying I hadn’t specifically invited him to my son’s wedding. The only thing I said was whether it would be better for him to go with me or stay home – which was less of a problem. Stupid me. I assumed he realized when the invitation came that it was for both of us. It might have been addressed to me, but he hasn’t really had much contact with my kids over the years.

Anyway, it took a bit to figure out how Lion should position himself on the pillow and then I was hitting too hard and in the wrong spots. The pillow didn’t open his ass like I’d hoped but maybe there’s another position we should try. I don’t think his buns were even a little pink when we stopped. There’s always tonight. [Lion — The position I took on the pillow had me kneeling on the bed with my chest on the pillow. I’m not exactly sure why, but that position intensifies the pain in ways I find very hard to handle. When I am more stretched out with my legs straight, it is easier for me to take the pain.]

We snuggled for a bit and I don’t remember why I moved but Lion asked if we could snuggle again like we hadn’t snuggled at all. In both cases, I was rubbing his chest and he was watching TV. I think we’re both feeling so far apart that we don’t quite know how to get back together. Our marriage is not in trouble. We’re just not communicating very well. It’s not a case of one person giving in first. Maybe we’re both caught up in how the other one is snapping that we can’t see past that.

Julie gave me a nice comment about massaging each other with no expectation of sex. It would be a good way to be close without pressure. We can certainly give that a try. Neither of us would say no to a nice massage.

Beyond that, I think the television has got to go. I don’t mean physically ripping it off the wall. For a long time, I’ve said one of the problems is the TV. We use the bedroom for everything. The TV is usually on. Lion is quick to point out that we can pause or mute it at any time. Since he’s said we need more kissing and hugging, I’ve seen no evidence of the TV being paused or muted. If I’m snuggling with him, trying to get my weenie’s attention and he doesn’t pause the TV, then I assume he doesn’t really want attention. [Lion — Itisn’t just the TV. Mrs. Lion immediately picks up her iPad and begins playing games. If the TV is off, she is still playing with her iPad.}

At this point, though, I think the biggest hurdle is Lion thinking he’s a chore and that we’re not really having sex if it’s all for him. If we have to wait until I’m “fixed” then we might be in for a long dry spell. I’m hoping he’ll take pity on me and let me give him attention again. [Lion — It isn’t that I’m not letting Mrs. Lion give me attention. I just find it hard to react to the standard routine we have.]

I want to thank Collared Michael for his great post and review of Fan Mail. I love his blog and respect his opinions. A couple of small corrections to his review: I removed the spanking scenes from the story. They didn’t help the plot and probably would turn off vanilla women. Also, the cover is different. I reworked the art to be a little easier to see as a small image on Amazon. The second book in the series, Hacked, is more than half done. Writing fiction is hard work!

We have been sex-free here for quite a while. On Friday night Mrs. Lion tried to get me aroused. I don’t know what happened, but I wasn’t responding well. I imagine it’s the problem I wrote about in my post, “Sexual Charity.” I feel guilty when Mrs. Lion tries to play with my cock. It isn’t just guilt. It’s also knowing that it is work for Mrs. Lion. I have no idea how we can fix this, but all I can say is that what we are doing doesn’t feel like sex. Speaking of sex, the last time we had vaginal sex was in March 2018. On that occasion, Mrs. Lion didn’t feel turned on. She knew I wanted her to ride me. Charity.

There aren’t many ways to fix this. Obviously, if Mrs. Lion gets her libido back, we have our solution. That’s unlikely. The only other possibility I can think of is that she finds something that is fun for her to do that includes some sexual activity for me. I had hoped male chastity would provide her entertainment. It doesn’t.

BDSM is another thought I had. So far, I don’t think anything we have tried is particularly entertaining for her. It might pay for her to do some research and experimentation. Until now, I’ve been the sole source of ideas in that department. If I can convince her to do some concentrated research into things she might do to/with me that don’t involve sexual arousal, perhaps something might strike her as fun.

She enjoys catching me breaking rules. I suggested more rules so that she has more opportunities to observe and catch me. Nothing yet. She may get some pleasure out of spanking me. I know it isn’t fun for her, but maybe she could enjoy my reactions. It’s hard for me to offer any ideas. Mrs. Lion rarely lets me know what she does and doesn’t like.

This isn’t just an issue in sexual matters. Finding birthday and Christmas gifts for her is next to impossible. She says, “I don’t want anything.” She isn’t lying. Mrs. Lion has spent her life learning to avoid expectations. I’ve been unsuccessful in helping her have some. Maybe the pleasure she gets catching me break rules is progress. When she catches me, she doesn’t seem disappointed. She appears to be happy. I don’t think she is happy that I broke the rule. She won. She got me. Spanking me may also be fun in a sense she demonstrating to me that she caught me. It’s a game I’m happy to play.

I have spent the past few days digesting Lion’s post Sexual Charity. As it is in most cases, you see what you want to see. I was checking back through our posts and the earliest mention of my libido being gone is in April 2014. That’s over a year after Lion started wearing a chastity device. And, I still wanted sex for a while after I locked him away. His sexual desert was largely because I got tired of always initiating. I knew he was bad at it, but come on, why was I doing all the work? Yes, sex can be work. If I’m charged with getting him turned on, it stands to reason that I don’t have time or energy to get myself turned on. [Lion — That’s my job. Once I’m turned on, I can be pretty good at getting her motor running.]

Maybe that’s the real reason I don’t want sex anymore. It’s not because Lion is a chore. Maybe my body took the cue that sex for him was more important and flipped the off switch. I don’t know. Changing medications doesn’t seem to have worked. I’m going to the doctor again next week to talk about weaning myself off of the anxiety meds. I guess we’ll find out if I’m completely off of them when I feel the need to beat Lion’s butt for breathing too loud. Assuming it’s a medication issue, I should regain my libido at some point thereafter. If my body flipped the off switch, that’s more of a problem. How do you reset the circuit breaker on your brain? It may take therapy to undo it.

The other thing that has me scratching my head is Lion saying we need to hug and kiss more. The intimacy is gone. Okay. I agree that we may have become a bit more distant lately. But we really never had much foreplay. It was mostly “You ready?” “Sure. Let’s go.” A few months ago, Lion said he wasn’t a piece of meat (not his words), he needed some buildup to sex. I was rushing him. His reasoning is that I wanted to be done with the chore. Nope. It’s just the way we always did it.

The night before his post was published, (we normally read each other’s post before it’s published), I moved over to snuggle with Lion. He remained under the blankets, watching TV. Did he move over to hug or kiss? Nope. I tried to wake up my weenie and Lion, if I remember correctly, fell asleep. Not exactly intimate. Last night, I moved over to snuggle again. He continued to watch TV. I played with my weenie until the uncomfortable position I was in started to get to me. I had to move.

I can’t do it all. I can initiate. I can give Lion sex even if I don’t want sex myself. (And I do like doing it for him. It’s not a chore. He’s not a chore.) But I can’t hug and kiss myself. Well, I guess I could, but it wouldn’t have the effect Lion is looking for. I don’t think I caused the problems we’re having. Of course, if my brain flipped that switch, maybe I did. I didn’t mean to and I’ll do whatever I can to unflip it. By the way, because I guess I have to state things emphatically, I don’t think Lion caused the problems we’re having either. But I can only get halfway to intimacy. He has to meet me in the middle.

I re-edited Fan Mail. It still has plenty of rather kinky sex but no spanking sessions. It is just too much all at once. I imagine that men had no trouble with the original version, but women might find the spanking offputting. I am introducing a radical sexual idea: sharing a committed partner with another. It is difficult to convince female readers to suspend disbelief when the heroine allows her partner’s ex-wife to get him off. I think it works in the story’s context, but I’m not sure a female reader could put herself into the heroine’s shoes and do that.

Could Mrs. Lion imagine letting a friend masturbate me? I could (and did in the book!) imagine that. But it feels like a giant reach for a woman to imagine herself allowing that. Even if she could accept the concept, could she take the bigger risk of including another woman? This is what I think is the biggest challenge in writing fiction. It’s easy to identify with a character who solves mysteries and does heroic deeds. That is standard fare for romantic fiction. It’s also easy to identify with a woman having passionate sex and falling in love. Going further seems very risky.

Fifty Shades of Grey combined female-submission with romantic adventure. It was an enormous success. Obviously, the BDSM included in the story would be a stretch for most readers, but the underlying premise is very standard romantic fare. The genre is full of examples of women captured and forced into some sort of servitude, only to fall in love with their captors. Grey is no different. The only variation is that our heroine is involved in consensual BDSM. The reader has to leap into imagining consenting to accept what will be done to her.

The vast majority of people can get aroused thinking of being in a submissive position, especially if submitting includes orgasms. Women, who are the majority of romance novel readers, enjoy imagining themselves in this role. The author of the novel doesn’t have to do much character development work to advance this story.

What happens if the heroine takes the dominant role? If we start with her being sexually dominant, we almost certainly have limited ourselves to a mostly-male audience. I want to reach a much larger female audience. I can’t explain why I want to lead the ladies into suspending disbelief and imagining themselves as dominant. I don’t mean BDSM-mistress dominant. I am thinking of a much deeper, more subtle dominant role.

My heroine starts as a vanilla, sexually inexperienced woman. She meets a man who is as inexperienced as she. He has an established problem with initiating sex. She senses this and responds by taking the lead. She finds the power arousing. Here is where I think the trap lies. Just because it turns her on to control sex doesn’t mean she is ready to discipline him. In Fan Mail, she gains self-confidence and a strong sense of security. One way she expresses this is to share her partner in limited situations. That is the big stretch for the reader.

Like spanking, it isn’t essential to the story. I see this story arc being similar to BDSM in Fifty Shades of Grey. It’s an expansion of the female role in the relationship. It’s a sexual expression of power and security. At least that’s my thinking as the author. I want my heroine to use her power in a feminine way to express the deep love she has for her partner.

The logical question I’m sure you may be thinking of asking is: Would I want this with Mrs. Lion? Well, the truth is that I don’t know. She is already in charge, and unlike the edited heroine in Fan Mail, she does spank me. She also does other BDSM things for me. I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t want to include anyone else in what we do. If she did, I trust her enough to accept. Just because my fiction discusses a topic doesn’t mean I am asking for it in real life. If I do a good job as a writer, the reader can see her/himself in those roles. When I read the book, I can imagine myself in the hero’s shoes. For the record, when I am writing, I am too busy working on getting things right to get sucked into the plot. That makes it fun to read the book from end to end once I am done with writing and editing.