I intentionally waited quite a while before I decided to write this blog post and I am glad I did for two reasons. First, I didn’t want to be caught up in all the early think pieces on Netflix’s “Bonding” because I knew that most would either be very much in favour of the production or strongly against it. I imagined there would be very few who held a middle of the road view on the new show and based on what I read, it seems I may have been correct.
Bonding With My Family
Second, if I had written and shared this post immediately upon finishing watching the Netflix series “Bonding”, I would have missed sharing a little anecdote that perfectly summarizes why I am in favour of the show overall. See, a month or two after the show first launched my busy younger sister reached out and asked if I had seen the show yet. She also asked what I thought of it. And when I told her some of the thoughts I will share with you below, she said, “So are you a Dominatrix then? Because that’s super badass if you are.” Of course, I replied, yes.
While my sister and the rest of my family knows that I am a sex worker that primarily offers online sessions, always of a female domination nature, they had no pop culture references for what I actually do on a daily basis. The show Bonding from Netflix allowed them to see into my world without actually having to show up for viewing one of my live sessions or to watch a bunch of my fetish clips. It made understanding my world accessible to them and I appreciate that so much. It is nice to feel seen and understood by people who otherwise wouldn’t have a backstage pass.
I clarified that I could elaborate on the few reasons I didn’t think it was a perfect representation next time we saw each other in person, and I will get to that part below soon. But overall, the show “Bonding” increases the visibility of sex workers specifically and the kink/fetish/BDSM community in general. I LOVE THAT! It reminds me of how I feel about the rainbow flag at pride, yes it’s become commercialized but it still reminds everyone that I as a bisexual woman exist and there is nothing wrong with that.
My Problems With Bonding
However, as I mentioned, I do have a few problems with the show and the main thing I didn’t like is the seemingly misinformed writers. This is very common in shows about sex work unfortunately, despite the vast number of individuals with lived experience who could easily be hired on as consultants, as happens in so many other cases, for example on medical drama shows like ER and Grey’s Anatomy.
Personally, I absolutely hated the scene in Netflix’s “Bonding” where the main characater ties up her friend essentially without his consent and then leaves him in the room alone with her slave, who is a stranger to the friend. I hope I don’t have to explain how unsafe this is or could be. It made me extremely uncomfortable and I don’t know a single professional or lifestyle Domme who would act the same. There are a few other scenes in Netflix’s “Bonding” that also lack understanding of basic concepts a Dominatrix, especially a trained pro with years of experience, would know all about.
The show writers and producers could have done a much better job at highlighting the current lived realities of professional Dominatrices as a result of sex work being illegal in most locations. The show briefly highlights these concerns in the last few scenes, where violence occurs, but it could have easily gone deeper into who the laws directly caused the conditions in which violence occurs. For example, even in Canada where selling sex is legal, it is illegal to hire security and it is illegal to advertise for more than one person offering services. Both of which are common tactics for staying safe while working in this field.