Mar 142022

Love and Leashes is a 2022 Korean romantic comedy, currently streaming on Netflix, about two office workers who begin a dominant/submissive relationship, based on a webcomic.

Note: I do not speak Korean, and I’m going entirely by the dubbing and subtitles. There are likely many cultural and linguistic nuances I am missing. E.g. “Master” is frequently used, but not “Mistress”. 

Jung Jihoo transfers to the public relations department of a corporation, where he meets a woman with a nearly identical name, Jung Jiwoo. She’s highly intelligent and competent, but ignored or belittled by the department’s sexist boss. Jihoo is actually her superior in the hierarchy, but he tries to listen to her and compromise. 

Jiwoo is attracted to Jihoo, but is reluctant to act on it. Her mother and friend both urge her to act on it, but in a stereotypically “feminine” way, which is at odds with her direct personality. 

Because their names are so similar, Jiwoo accidentally picks up a personal package delivered for Jihoo, and finds a studded leather collar and leash with the nameplate “Miho”. Jihoo tries to cover for this, but she figures it out, and says nothing. 

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Mar 092022

I discuss the BDSM-themed Korean romantic comedy Love and Leashes with my friend and colleague TammyJo Eckhart, a historian and author.

Currently on Netflix, Love and Leashes follows a submissive man and and a dominant woman as they learn about each other and deal with a prejudiced society. You can also read the English translation of the original webcomic.

Dec 122021

Shooting of season 5 of Billions was interrupted by COVID, and the second half of the season didn’t air until 2021. Of the various plot threads picked up, the only one that concerns us is Chuck’s sex life. We last saw him involved with the sexually adventurous Cat, but as of S05E08 “Copenhagen”, it’s over.

Chuck: “I liked it. Of course I liked it. Give me pistachio ice cream, I’ll eat it and smile, as Diamond David Lee Roth would say. But it was uncomfortable. Just too many limbs. Too many questions. Oh, what to do? Give me rum raisin, on the other hand, I’ll inhale the whole point and root around the fridge to find another one. Then that’s what I was missing.”

Other guy: “Cat seems pretty liberated. Have you broached the subject of what you really want?”

Chuck: “As you said, she’s smart and she’s sensitive and she saw, she saw that it would never work, not all the for me, not without, you know… [clicks tongue] And so she said something along the lines of, ‘We’ll always have Paris.’ Only the words she used were harsher, and all about wasting her time.”

Earlier seasons of Billions made Chuck’s masochism a major part of both his personality and his relationship with Wendy. Now it’s been demoted to the same importance as his taste in ice cream. Apart from snide comments from other people, Chuck’s sex life doesn’t come up again.

Note that trailers for season 6 suggest that Chuck will continue to practice kink and he may even see Troy the pro-domme again.

Mar 122021

The season 2 finale wraps up various plotlines. 

Portia has departed, but she left a note for Frank instead of ghosting him. 
Rolph still hangs out with Pete, apparently as his “friend who knows your whole schedule” rather than his submissive. Pete has put Josh behind him, but is still uncertain about Tiff, and his career in comedy.

Tiff and Doug have reconciled. She says she loves him, and knew it was because she was vulnerable to him. She even offers to show him around the dungeon sometime. 

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Mar 052021

Josh’s coming-out to his father goes disastrously wrong, as his father, MJP, thinks this is actually about him being kinky, because that’s how he knows Pete.

MJP takes off his tie, undoes his shirt and reveals his padlocked collar. 

MJP: “I’m kinky, Josh.[…] Kinky sub masochist, owned by my mistress, blissfully so. I’ve wanted to tell you for so long.”

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Mar 042021

Penguin Guy returns. Pete, in his own penguin suit, puts his heart into his performance, waddling around the dungeon looking for his egg. There’s an improvisational give-and-take, as Penguin Guy finds Pete’s reference to global warming to be a “boner killer”, but Pete adjusts and carries on. 

Tiff comes in (in regular clothes) and says using Mistress Mira’s dungeon isn’t allowed. Pete is being kind of a dick. Not only is he poaching clients from Tiff, he’s jeopardizing her future career as a domme by goofing off in class and using the dungeon to see clients without permission. 

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Mar 032021

Pete is late to a training session at the dungeon, and is told that May said to start without him. He later takes out his frustrations in his stand-up, using kink as a gimmick. The club’s manager tells Pete about how she never mentions her wife in her stage performance; the importance of boundaries.

Inside, Mira and Tiff are having a scene with a man in a full-body bondage bag and a gas mask for breath control. In between letting him breathe, they talk about Tiff’s past and future in the pro-domme business. 

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Feb 252021

As Mistress Mira’s class proceeds, through ball gags, corsets, strapons, floggers, and straight jackets, the rift between Tiff the teacher’s pet and Pete the class clown grows. 

Mira decides Tiff/May has come far enough to handle a scene with her personal submissive, a wealthy man known as MJP who is a masochist and finsub. Tiff explains financial submission to Pete and says “we” will take it. 

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Feb 242021

Most of the second episode is Tiff going back to school. She’s one of many women (of various ethnicities and body types) who are in Mistress Mira’s intensive course, though the other women give her the cold shoulder. Pete is the only man present, apparently on the grounds he is “Mistress May’s” assistant.

Mira enters and announces that she had to remove their links from the dungeon website, because of SESTA-FOSTA, much to their disappointment. (This suggests that all of these women are pro-dommes.) 

Mira brings up puppy play as an example of a key concept in their work: ownership. She notices that Pete and Tiff are talking in class, and calls Tiff up to the front. 

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