Things are pretty good at home right now. The sun is shining, and we're all basically solar powered. Tom and I have been making more effort to spend time together and put each other first, and it's paying off. His health and my work commitments still aren't predictable enough for us to plan for intense scenes, but we've done pretty well at unplanned scenes lately.
As this year has progressed I've become more active, more healthy and more productive. It's a positive curve and I'm proud of the progress I've made. It means I have a stab at achieving what I've set out to do - launch a self-funded spanking site through freelance work and my own energies alone, alongside various ongoing not-for-profit commitments. The strategy I'm working on means I have to work three times as hard as I ever have before. Firstly, I have to earn a living wage. This is getting easier the older I get, and the further my career develops; a few years ago I was living hand to mouth, but I'm now debt-free and able to put something aside each month. Which is useful, because secondly, I have to save up a couple more grand to invest in my site to get it off the ground. Thirdly, I have to save up enough to pay my bills and living expenses for a couple of months, in order to buy myself a couple of months to get all my editing finished and build the site.
This is the main reason progress has been so slow, why the launch date keeps getting put back. It's also the reason I've been working this year as if someone had lit a fire under my tail. I've been running around like a mad thing trying to earn three times as much as normal so I can save two thirds of it. And I've been winning; I have enough contracts lined up that between them they're covering my budget, and I'm not taking any more work on for other people after that. The downside is that my energy for anything other than work is peeled back to the bare minimum. I'm not keeping up with activism or political organisation at the moment. My good friends who are oft-time lovers are, at the moment, just friends; I'm barely getting enough couple time with my primary partners, and I have almost no social or romantic energy beyond that. I'm happy enough, but Tom has had to put up with me having almost no free time, and being very tired whenever we do make time together.
So instead of romantic date nights, he's started helping me with the small stuff. He brings me tea to get me up in the morning. He reminds and encourages me to do the physio exercises that D is helping me keep track of. We've started going to the gym together. He offers to rub my back. We aren't quite yet at the point of turning any of this into a formalised discipline relationship, but I respect him enough to follow his suggestions when he makes them, and his attentiveness has been both lovely and extraordinarily helpful.
All this is making it sound like he's turned into my support staff. Perhaps he has, a little; but we've always been very good at caring for each other, far better than at caring for ourselves. We support and help each other, and that has always been mutual. What's changed recently is that rather than simply picking me up at the end of my hard day, Tom has started engaging with my day itself.
And that's where we've had most success with play, lately. Twice recently, a particularly hard, frustrating day has put me in a stressed, irritable mood. Work stress, things not going to plan, the internet not working, accidentally bashing myself against pieces of furniture, headaches, backaches. I go into Tom's room and he pulls me onto his lap for a cuddle. I growl about my day. And it suddenly seems obvious, to both of us, how to fix it. I take my tea back to my desk with a 15 minute warning, and at the end of it, he comes through, quiet and gentle, and leads me to the bed.
The first time, he started with his belt. As I watched the shadow of it fall on the wall I thought I can't do this, not cold; but when the impact landed I devoured it. He wasn't going full force, but he wasn't messing about, either, and as I warmed up I slipped into a place where I couldn't take enough. Once my behind was glowing from the belt he got out a couple of canes and proceeded to make me sigh into the pillows.
The second time, one of the things making my day difficult was an aching muscle after my first squash lesson. My right glut had throbbed the day after, but the day after that a muscle in the top of my left thigh, right in the crease of my bottom, was shrieking with pain. My desk chair just seemed to be making it worse, and by the afternoon it was really pissing me off. I'd been idly wondering all day whether spanking would help or not, and I enjoyed finding out.
The impact of each smack didn't alleviate the muscle ache itself, not quite as I'd hoped it would. And my soreness made me more sensitive to the pain. Tom sat beside my shoulders and reached down my body to whack first one cheek then the other with his broad, strong palms. It felt shockingly hard, but the angle was enjoyable, with the sensitive skin on the lower half of my bottom receiving all the attention. He spent some time painting my arse various shades of pink, and amusing himself making handprints. And afterwards, the glow of endorphins managed what ibuprofen hadn't, the tension flowed out of me and my limbs bathed with good feeling.
It's amazing how much a spanking can turn a shitty day around. And it's a surefire way to guarantee that Tom and I will get distracted; the sort of spontaneous loving which leaves us feeling connected and intimate, without either of us putting pressure on ourselves beforehand to perform. I go back for another few hours of productive work, refreshed, relaxed and energised. And when we snuggle up tiredly at night, that connection is still there. It's all good.
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