The shower was hot and my bathroom steamed into a thick warm fog. I stood under the shower head, cupping the water above my breasts before letting it find its way down my body. You know how people talk about waking up and their lives being different? Waking up from a dream that wasn’t a just a dream? Sometimes I fantasise that the whole world disappears and it is just me left in my shower. My own little bubble. I’ve pictured many different things on the other side of that bathroom door. I picture myself turning off the taps, twisting the water out my hair, and sliding through the fog to wrap a towel around my body. Then slowly I turn the door knob and the world has been devastated, in ruins, fire and mayhem. Or the world has been abandoned and I open the door to some urban jungle. I spend too long standing under that flow of hot water and think the steam might be affecting my brain.

This morning I am lost in thoughts. I’m slipping into a steamy haze which pulls me to open the door and reveal the latest fantasy to take centre stage. Ben. I open the bathroom door in my mind and the room is so dark. The light trickling in from the bathroom is useless, and dissipates with the steam following it. I step into the dark and squint to see but it doesn’t help. I don’t feel scared but I know my skin it prickling. I wipe myself down with my towel and move to go to where my light switch ought to be. Knowing it’s all the way on the other side of my room, around the bed I toss my wet towel and leave it on the bed. He comes out of no where, a thick heavy strap finds is wrangled around my neck and the force pulls me backwards. The strap tightens and I comply with it’s motion, stepping backwards, my arms flailing awkwardly until I my body meets his. I reached my hands to my throat, instinctually wanting to pull at the strap. In the pitch black he knew me and urged me to “shhh and stop”.

My panic was palpable but so was was my need. I let my arms fall to my sides and relaxed into the restriction around my throat. There was pressure there but enough that I could still breath easily. My body still damp from showering was soothed by his rough hand fetching a feel and grabbing handfuls of my flesh. He’s squeeze me in his grip and the dull aching sensation burned handprints into my skin. I felt his hand travel further south and become gentle with intent. Breath escaped my lips and inhaled sharply, I reached my hands up to cup behind his head and pressed my body into his with little strength to move him. Right then, his fingers brushed my burning core and I almost lost my balance.

I put my hand out to steady myself and was met with cold, wet ceramic, realising I was not in my room. I was not in the dark and there was certainly no sexy Dilemma. It was just another normal Friday morning. My room was the picture of chaos and bed left sprawled in and unmade. I muttered to myself as I paced around the room about getting it cleaned up later today. Ben and I had plans this weekend, and at this point nobody had been to either persons house. The jury was still out and it could go either way? I finished drying off and went to throw my towel on the bed, almost identically as I’m done in the alternate universe in the dark. I paused and waited. Disappointedly amused to find I was imagining the whole thing, I giggled to myself and threw my body down on the bed too. My arm reached out to grab my phone and access the button for the screen. No messages. I was thankful to not be waking up to a hoard of missed calls or text messages. It allows me the peace of mind the start my day, quietly, with no pressure. I finished rolling around naked on my bed, stretching out my limbs and such then hurriedly got dressed for work.

A way slowly making my way home that early afternoon and reached into my hand bag to check the phone. Ah, finally! A message from Ben! There were two others from Mum and Leah but I’d get to them soon. I flicked the text open as I continued to wander in the direction of home. He wanted to find out if I was packed for our day trip tomorrow and to ask me if I’d been doing anymore research. Which I had, but had not communicated, yet. I needed a little more time to process what my own thoughts were as the subject seemed controversial depending on what you were reading, and who it was being written by. Safewords and consent.

I somehow got the feeling from what I read that my affliction for loving adrenaline, danger and boundary pushing wasn’t going to match the stock standard overly policed constructs that some people in the BDSM community liked to roar about. I was still trying to make good sense of this before opening a discussion with Ben. Also, I wanted the opportunity to do in when were were in the same room, and not via the veil of a text or screen.

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