Feb 042021

Pete backs out of going on the stand-up stage. Tiff gets him to admit that he’s turned on by feet, and says that arousal helps people “zombie out”. She takes him back to the dungeon and gets him to do his stand-up routine in front of the staff and clients. 

Tiff’s professor speaks about the emotional hazards of psychotherapy and the necessity of distance and control, while hypocritically flirting with her and another female student. 

At his job, a customer flirts with Pete and leaves his number on the cheque. Pete takes it but can’t bring himself to call. 

Pete and Tiff talk about kink while Tiff practices bondage on Pete.

Tiff: “Dom work is about much more than just hog-tying someone. […]It’s all about the knot. […] It’s about the rope pressing against the skin, becoming safer, but becoming more dangerous with every tug. You see, Pete, masculinity is inherently constricting. Expectations, dominance and power, emotionlessness. So, men come to me to escape this crippling societal prison. Once the sexual patriarchy dies, then all genders will be equal.”

Pete: “Wow. You should say that to your class.”

Tiff: “Well, it’s not that easy. Everyone thinks dom work is just about sex work. It’s really just liberation from shame.”

Tiff once again coerces Pete, this time into peeing on Fred. Pete manages to perform by singing “Happy birthday” to himself, and Tiff joins in. He manages to urinate on Fred, who is wearing a suit and lying on a tarp. The entire scene is shot without nudity, but has a fun atmosphere as Tiff, Pete and Fred are laughing about the situation. 

I think this is more a commentary on sex work in general than BDSM in particular, as a way of maintaining emotional distance while being physically intimate, but always at the risk of going over the lines. (Much like Suzanne in Going Under.)

Rather than exploring the psychology of a masochistic client like Fred, Bonding just has Tiff monolog about kink. It’s more interested in the Tiff-Pete relationship and their development than getting to know the other characters.

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