Netflix dipped its toe into BDSM and especially the female domination culture with this first season of Bonding by creator Rightor Doyle. In this Netlix Original series, gay wannabe comedian Pete, is introduced to the depths of dungeons by his estranged best friend and successful dominatrix, Tiff. Hilarity ensues as the shy and quiet Pete goes from bodyguard to assistant of “Misstress May”.
Tiffany Chester is a young, beautiful woman and psychology student who earns her living by working in a dungeon as dominatrix Misstress May. She is confident, intelligent and loves her work. In her private life, Tiff seems to be unable to form meaningful relationships, romantic or otherwise. Tiff hires her best friend from high school, Peter Devin, to be her bodyguard and assistant. It seems that Pete is the only person in New York who knows about Tiffs profession. Even though the two of them are estranged initially, they bond over the experience of working together. Both open up about their struggles in life and their hopes for the future.
Tiff is mostly the typical “strong female character” (with a live-in slave) that we often see in TV shows or films. Her dominatrix side is not very interesting and mostly just a side-note to her character. Luckily, Tiff appears more real through her interactions out of costume. She has to deal with the same bullshit many women have to deal with. Sexual discrimination, assault, molestation, attempts of rape. Throughout the first season, she makes some important d ecisions about what kind of woman she wants to be.
When we meet Pete, he enters a dungeon to meet Misstress May for the first time. He is completely in shock from what he sees there. Pete is sexually inexperienced, introverted and has difficulties admitting to his desires. He is in constant need of cash, which is the only reason he agrees to work with Tiff in the first place. But in the course of the series, Pete gets more and more confident in his own person and in his needs. By witnessing and fulfilling the various desires of Misstress May’s clients, he accepts his own sexuality and embraces it.
Let’s face it. You can’t expect much from this series. It will probably not blow your mind, it will not teach you anything about BDSM that you didn’t already know. In fact, you might cringe at some of the depictions in Bonding. But if you want some light humor and charming characters with a dash of BDSM to binge, Bonding is a series for you.