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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Feb 192021
 

As I watch Bonding, I’m torn between my impulse to say to Tiff and Pete and Bonding in general, “That’s not the way you do this!” and my recognition that, in reality, some people play fast and loose with BDSM’s supposedly sacred principles. Especially if they’re inexperienced and/or money is involved. Likewise, pro-domme work might be a calling for some, but for others it’s a way to pay the bills. My problem isn’t that the show is unrealistic, but that it is unflattering. 

In Season 2, for the first time, Bonding breaks out of the narcissism of the Pete/Tiff dyad and shows there is a kinky community and what they do in it matters. 

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Feb 162021
 

Pete wakes up next to Josh and has a good day until he goes to the dungeon and finds that Tiff is AWOL and he has to deal with her client, a grumpy guy in a penguin costume. 

Pete tries to send him away, but Penguin Guy not only refuses to leave, he intimidates Pete into putting on another penguin costume and wrestling him. 

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Feb 102021
 

It’s date night for both Pete and Tiff. He gets dressed with the help of Tiff’s house slave, Rolph, while she checks out Doug on social media. 

Pete and Tiff get into a fight, made worse because they both know each other’s vulnerable spots. Pete needles Tiff over her reluctance to start a relationship with Doug, while Tiff brings up his fear of doing stand-up comedy. 

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Feb 052021
 

The third episode of Bonding has the least to do with BDSM so far. 

Tiff and Pete struggle with their inhibitions. Tiff avoids giving a class presentation on why she wants to be a psychiatrist, while the jock-ish guy who has been flirting with her gives a heartfelt, vulnerable speech. Meanwhile, Pete still hasn’t called the guy who gave him his number.

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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. 

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Feb 012021
 

Bonding is a dramedy TV series, launched in 2019. (IMDB)

Tiff, a grad student who works as a pro domme, recruits her friend Pete as her driver and assistant. Pete, a milquetoast, sexually inexperienced gay man and would-be stand-up comedian, is our window into this world. He is overwhelmed and confused with this new underworld, though that seems to be his response to everything. We see his discomfort with his roommate’s sex life and his inability to go on stage as a comedian. 

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