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Netflix's Bonding Is Just Another Half-Baked Representation Of Sex Work And The BDSM Scene

11 16 0
29.04.2019

The Netflix miniseries Bonding was released this week, a typical indie-feel comedy with a heart of gold about two best friends with a complicated past.

The story is about Peter, a struggling gay comedian, who manages to find his confidence with the help of his plucky BFF Tiff – a psychology student by day, dominatrix ‘Mistress May’ by night. Peter is thrown into the world of professional BDSM and sex work unexpectedly, without prior discussion and with the bold statement: “If you knew what we were going to do before we did it, then you wouldn’t do it.”

Half-baked representations of BDSM on screen are common. Fifty Shades of Grey still leads the pack of problematic examples – the mysterious billionaire Christian Grey is arguably more abuser than dominant, and the books and film series have been condemned by the kink community. Anyone who takes the time to look through the forum pages on Fetlife (a social network for kinky adults) or dips their toes into a real world kink event will have heard the terms ‘safe, sane and consensual’ (SSC) and ‘risk aware consensual kink’ (RACK). The main tenet of the BDSM community is consent with a healthy dose of communication.

Any representation of BDSM that shows happy doms and subs respecting each other’s boundaries can do a lot of good for the scene. Good filmmaking can reduce stigma and raise awareness by shining a positive light in our direction and turn us from ‘those weirdos over there’ into your friendly neighbourhood kinkster. Bonding is funny and heartwarming, I’m sure that it will do good by opening the scary door into the world of kink for some people on the outside. I’m happy to give the creator the benefit of the doubt with it being too short of a format to go deep into all the details of what it’s really like to be a dominatrix or their assistant.

If we ignore the consent violations – which include a client ejaculating into Peter’s face and a tickling fetishist ending up with a mild case of PTSD after his wife discovers she enjoys beating him –........

© HuffPost