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.
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.
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.
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.
Going Under is a 2004 drama film directed by Eric Werthman and written by Werthman and Jessica Gohlke. IMDB
Peter (Roger Rees), a married therapist, regularly sees a pro dominatrix, Suzanne (Geno Lechner), with the permission of his wife. On a summer when Peter’s wife is out of town and Suzanne has quit the business, they try to form a romantic relationship outside the dungeon.
POSE is a drama series set in the ballroom culture of New York City, set in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In contrast to the beauty and glamour of the ballroom scene, the performers (mostly poor, non-white, and queer/trans) make their livings through work of varying legality. The second season features a plotline about working as a pro domme.
iZombie, “Spanking the Zombie”, aired May 2, 2017 IMDB
iZombie is a TV series about a world in which an infectious disease gives people a craving for brains, though some can retain their human intelligence and appearance. The protagonist is Olivia “Liv” Moore, a police forensic scientist who investigates murders by literally eating the brains of the victims and inheriting their memories and personalities temporarily.
In this episode, the victim is Roxanne Greer, who worked as a pro dominatrix known as Sweet Lady Pain. This is literally all we know about her. Even though Liv has access to some of her memories and behaviours, all we see is a few visions of her interacting with clients. We learn nothing else about her, not her family, her background, how and why she got into this business, what she thinks of the work or the men she sees, or what she is like when she’s not being a dominatrix.
Bones S10E03, “The Purging of the Pundit”, aired October 9, 2014 IMDB
Unlike in the previous Bones episode, “The Girl in the Fridge”, BDSM is closely integrated into both the mystery and Booth’s character arc in “The Purging of the Pundit”.
Forensic procedurals are all about the puzzle, and in this case the victim’s masochism provides the puzzle. The body of a right-wing media figure, “Hutch” Whitehouse, is found partially consumed by animals. His corpse shows signs of being bound and tortured, including repeatedly struck in the testicles, but it also appears to be consensual.
Fuentes: “It’s like he was enjoying being murdered.”