One of my severe failings is my notorious inability to “take the bad with the good,” or to “just be okay,” or to do that thing that so many people seem so capable of doing with such relative ease that makes them, by and large, happier more often than I am. Regardless of the freedoms or the privileges they may or may not have, some of these people are simply really good at synthesizing happiness. It’s been my mental illness, bipolar disorder, that has been the scapegoat and the whipping boy for much of these failings of my character, yet—ironically, in keeping with my character—I’ve always rejected the notion that such a simplistic, restricting explanation as mental illness is the full answer.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that I lack the refinement of a necessary skill that would give me a lot more peace with the cold, hard, real hardships I’m facing. Though I’m getting better at this with time and hard work, no one has been affected more severely by this struggle of mine than Eileen, for obvious reasons. These reasons include physical proximity, emotional closeness, shared love, and of course, an obvious disparity of some very personally painful privileges.

Right now, as I write this, it’s precisely that thought racing through my head: remember that it will be okay. We’ve recently had a very harsh day. Ordinarily, despite the fact that I reference Eileen a lot in my blog, I don’t often talk about her. When I do, it’s more because I’m talking about me, and even that’s guarded, for both our sakes; navigating the waters between being out and being private is very important to both of us. But right now, I want to write about my night with her.

It’s a night I don’t ever want to forget.

As I said, the day was harsh, a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs. The early hours swung wildly between comfortable laxness and debilitating pain. By the end of the day, we had found a more even keel.

Unfortunately, I began feeling ill a while earlier. It was a mild but unpleasant upset stomach that hit me first, followed by a familiar stab of pain in my feet as I walked. Later, back at home, exhaustion hit me full force and I was soon collapsed on our bed.

“What’s wrong?” Eileen asked me from her computer chair.

“I feel bad…,” I groaned.

“Bad how?” she asked.

“Physically,” I said.

She put her computer back on her desk and pushed herself out from under it in order to come give me a hug. With the painful tension in my body spreading, her hug hurt and I covered my head with the blankets and crawled to the wall. It was clear that I was feeling quite a bit worse than just “bad.”

She paused a moment and then left the bed. “I’m going to run you a bath. The water will relax you, it’ll do you good.”

“No, it’s filthy,” I said.

“Then I’ll clean it,” she said. “When I come back in this room I expect you to be naked, got it?”

I very rarely argue with beautiful dominant women who demand that I strip, so of course I agreed and quickly disrobed, tossing my clothes over the side of the bed and cocooning myself in the folds of the blankets. I heard the water going, heard Eileen shuffling about, but was too far gone to really take notice of very much.

“Where are our matches?” Eileen asked suddenly appearing at my side.

“What? I don’t know.”

“You used one to light the incense the other day, didn’t you? Where’d you put them?”

“Actually, I used the stove,” I told her.

More shuffling from her, more dizzied motionlessness from me. Then I heard a chain rattling.

A while ago, for the June 2007 Gay Pride Parade, Eileen and I bought ourselves a six-foot length of chain. It’s nothing fancy, just a regular old length of chain from our hardware store and a set of four keyed-alike padlocks. In total, it cost us under twenty dollars, and it’s one of the most versatile, often-used, and enjoyable toys in our entire bedroom.

I love heavy metal bondage, chain, and that chain specifically. It’s just like ropes, but the practicality chain and locks offer is unsurpassed, not to mention hugely psychologically impressive. When Eileen picked up that chain and I heard it rattling by the window, my mind immediately started to race towards fantasies and memories, which is arguably a very stupid thing to do.

Oh, forget about it, I chided myself. She’s just moving the chain out of the way.

She wasn’t, though, and the next thing I knew the blankets were pulled off of me and Eileen had one end of the chain looped around my collar and had it padlocked shut. She began pulling gently. “Come on,” she said as she lead me towards the bath tub.

It was mere seconds from the bed to the bathroom, but even before arriving at the bathroom my cock was as hard as the steel Eileen was pulling with. She smiled knowingly at me, and I smiled helplessly back. Then I saw the bathroom, and I nearly melted from glee.

The bathroom light was off. The room was illuminated by eleven candles, ten tea-lights and one large cylindrical candle (I counted them later). Inside the cylindrical candle was the stick of incense I had pushed into the wax the week before, lit and smoking. On the closed toilet seat within arms reach from the tub, a wine glass rimmed with rock salt held a drink—a margarita, my favorite! The bathtub was filled a quarter way with running water, and not a single smudge of dirt or grime was visible on the white porcelain.

The small room smelled of steam and spice. As I stood at the doorway, not quite knowing what to do, I could feel the warm air touching my naked skin, making the finer hairs on my body stand on end. It made me feel suddenly chilly, but it was a welcoming sort of temperature, like the feeling one might get upon seeing hot chocolate and a roaring fire after just spending an hour playing in the snow. I was so happy.

“Go on,” Eileen said, motioning through the bathroom doorway with a nod of her head. “Get in the bath.”

I’m pretty sure I said something at this point, but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was. I might have said, “Yes, ma’am,” with a smile on my face that stretched from ear to ear, or I might have just stood there agape. I was simply so pleasantly surprised at the scene that I wished I could play the moments in slow-motion.

The water in the bathtub was a touch hotter than what was comfortable, because I had to step out of it briefly after immersing my foot in the water. Eileen waited patiently as I took a moment to adjust the water temperature, and then slowly seated myself in the tub.

When I was sitting down, Eileen took the free-standing end of the chain and circled it around the piping behind the toilet. I heard a click as she padlocked it shut. The sound sent a shrill jolt of excitement through me: she’s chaining me in the bath! I knew the chain was long enough that I could probably stand on the outside of the bathroom door if I wanted or needed to, but the sight of the room combined with the feel of the chain’s presence itself was enough to fuel my fantastical imagination.

I was a harem slave, pampered and cared for so long as I obeyed my Mistress and her underlings. Or I was a simple villager caught up in some conflict and now found myself a spoil of war, being prepped for her enjoyment that she’d no doubt partake of in just a moment. Or I was a beloved human pet, spoiled rotten with expensive liqueur and kept at my owner’s whim for fun. I was all of these things, and so many others!

“Now,” she started as she straightened up, “relax and feel better,” she said. “And drink your margarita! Oh, and you can masturbate if you want to,” she added with a smile, producing our pump-bottle of Babe Lube in an instant and placing it next to the margarita.

“Yes’m,” I mumbled through an impossible smile.

Eileen took a step forward and bent down to look over me. “Yes what?” she asked, grinning at me.

“Yes, ma’am,” I said again, this time with what was evidently satisfactory volume.

“Good boy,” she said, and moved to kiss me. I dissolved into her kiss.

Sadly, the kiss was too brief. She pulled away and told me that she’d check on me, and that I’d better relax and behave. I lusted after her when she turned to go, my eyes nearly molten with liquid, my cock involuntarily splashing at the water’s surface as though it were some ecstatic child. The feeling was simply indescribable.

I took a moment to look around again when she closed the door behind her. Our bathroom, whose walls Eileen had painted with a strip of silver and blue mermaids years ago and which were now flickering in the candlelight, looked like a small washroom in some palace somewhere. The walls themselves, which are made of white, coated brick, added to the illusion. The faint gray trails from the burning incense made a single winding column of smoke that stretched halfway to the ceiling.

The hot water was, indeed, relaxing. It was soothing my muscles and washing my stress down the drain.

So much water, my fantasy narrator was talking in my head. There’s only a funnel at the drain, so all of this running water, every drop, is being spent on me. (Now, I have to laugh at my inner environmentalist who knows this was horrible.)

That fantasy narrator kept going, melding real and imagined thoughts, feelings, and sensations together.

I wonder what she wants from me. Is she going to hurt me? This is all…so nice…but why the chain?

At the thought of the chain I melted again, curling up on my side and letting the fantasy reel keep playing in my head. Every so often Eileen would appear at the door, checking up on me. She never looked sexier to me than she did from that vantage point in the bath.

Unfortunately, my stomach soon began feeling upset and my limbs could no longer find a comfortable resting position. I was feeling ill again and had to stop the water. I sat up, slouched over, holding an arm over my belly. Hearing the water stop running, Eileen came back to check on me.

“I think I need some water,” I could barely croak the words.

“Okay,” she said, and she went to get some, bringing it back in a hurry. I drank.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t drink the drink,” I said. And I’m so sorry my body isn’t playing along with this amazing, incredible creation you’ve made for me, I thought.

“It’s okay, I’ll drink the rest” she said as reassuringly as she could, “I think you should go to sleep.”

Disappointed, I had to agree.

“Will you be okay for just another minute?”

“Yeah,” I said.

“Good,” she said, and went about clearing the margarita and the lube from the bathroom, preparing our bed and turning out the bedroom lights. A minute later she was back with the keys to my chain leash and had unlocked it from the back of the toilet. “Can you stand?”

I could, and did, and she helped me out of the tub and gave me our big beach towel. I dried myself off as she led me by the chain leash, still locked to my collar, back to the bed.

“Drop it,” she said of the towel, “and get in bed.”

I did as I was told and was greeted by the warmth of several layers of blankets being pulled over me. I closed my eyes and tried to relax. I heard the chain rattling against our window’s security grate.

“Oh but…what if I need to go pee in the middle of the night?” I asked without moving or opening my eyes.

“I’ll tell you a secret,” Eileen said to me. “I haven’t locked the other end of the chain to the window, I just used a carabiner.” I opened my eyes in slight surprise and saw her smiling cleverly at me. “But I’ll only do that for emergencies or sicknesses, okay?”

“Oh, okay,” I smiled back and closed my eyes again. I spent a little while trying to fall asleep but couldn’t manage it easily. My body still hurt and my mind wouldn’t quiet. She noticed this and was soon in bed with me. We spooned. She was gently caressing my back and my sides.

After a while, when I still wasn’t able to sleep or chase away the tension in my body, Eileen started whispering in my ear.

“I like to think of you owned by me,” she said. “You, a young farm boy, no one special, though pretty, and me coming with an army to pluck you out of your life and take you away with me. I like to think of how you’d fight, how you’d struggle, how I’d break you. You’d be on your knees, being held down by two strong men, when I first see you. I’d tie you down and put a collar on you, mark you as mine.”

One of her hands found my collar and slowly pulled back on it so I’d feel it against my neck. I was silently moaning at this point in little shallow breaths that dried my mouth completely. I was so turned on, hanging on every word she said.

“You’re property,” she continued, “owned, you belong to me. I like that you breathe when I let you…” she closed a hand over my nose and my mouth, yet I only twitched nervously once, “…that you eat what I give you, that you’re living because I want you to. That’s what I mean when I say you’re mine; that I’ll care for you, that I want you.” She stopped and let the words sink in. I still couldn’t breath, and I was happy to let the fantasy of my fear of her keep me from struggling to get away.

Eventually I couldn’t help but begin to pull away from her. “Shhh…” she cooed, and I tried uselessly to relax. The lack of oxygen was growing insistent in my chest, quicker than it would have been had she not raised my heart rate with such arousal. “Shhh,” she said again, more forcefully this time, pressing her hand against my lips and tightening her fingers’ grasp of my nose even stronger. I did my best to hold still, to let my muscles sink into our mattress and my head rest limply on her arm.

I felt the emptiness in my chest growing. I closed my eyes to help myself stay relaxed. What was at first the small circle of emptiness in the center of my body seemed to expand to fill my lungs, and then began pressing at my ribs. Still I remained motionless, restful. Still the emptiness pressed against my body, growing slightly painful. I drowned it out of my consciousness with arousal as best I could.

Still, she didn’t let me breathe. My cock throbbed with my every heartbeat. I could hear her breathing calmly in my ear, the warm air passing over my earlobe and my cheek.

“Good boy,” she praised me, holding me tightly. I waited longer, longer, and yet longer. I waited longer than I think I’ve ever been able to wait for her permission to breathe, but I waited. And finally she let me, and I gasped and wheezed for breath when she moved her hand.

Her hand moved down my body to my stomach, my hips, my thighs. She touched my cock only enough to check my hardness and to feel my precum leaking from it and then moved on, chuckling softly to herself, relishing my breathless whimpers and slight, weakened writhing. Her hands continued to roam all over my body, which was really hers now, and she continued the narration of our fantasy.

I was so aroused I had forgotten my tense and aching muscles and my upset stomach. And that, really, was the point. Eventually Eileen stopped and she soothingly encouraged me to stay relaxed and go to sleep. I tried but succeeded only in falling into a fitful slumber.

I woke up less than two hours later, aching all over and still feeling slightly nauseous. I tried several times to go back to sleep but ultimately got myself out of bed, unclipping the chain leash from our window and carrying it out of the bedroom with me. The rest of the night was a mix of pain and frustration, trying to sleep but being unable to, and weathering through the aches and pains of my physical illness.

Nearing dawn, still unable to sleep, I started writing this entry. I did so because I was feeling upset, angry at the world for making me ill. Why tonight? I thought, Why now? If it weren’t for this stupid, unfair virus, tonight would have been so much better.

The truth is, that night was spectacular even though I felt pretty bad physically throughout much of it. I need to remember, I keep reminding myself now, that it was good, that everything will be fine, that I should take the good with the bad. That I should just be okay.

This is very important, but this is very hard for me. That night was not the night in my fantasies by any stretch of the imagination. Like many things, the reality of it was very different from the fantasy. That night, with its imperfections and nuisances, obstacles and truly undesired pain and discomfort, is what real sexual experience most often looks like, not the perfect creation you and I see in most pornography, the glossy sex in movies and magazines, and sometimes even in many sex blogs.

It was up to me in this moment, after it was all said and done, to make it work. Would I choose to remember this night as “if I just weren’t sick…” or would I choose to remember it as “the night Eileen did something absolutely incredible for me”? To make it work, really work, I had to make it work.

Eileen and I, we’re not just the people we write about, and it’s easy to get a wrong impression or miss out on the rest of us from simply reading about us on our blogs. It’s even easier, for that matter, to get the wrong impression about her from reading my blog, as it is about me from reading hers. Neither one of us can really do the other, or ourselves, justice on a sex blog.

That’s why when I say that Eileen is my love, my hero, and my best friend, I don’t think any of that can actually convey all of what I mean. She is all of that, and she is also so much more.

I love you.