Over on Maybemaimed, my friend maymay is ranting about the shallowness of some people who use Halloween as a mini-Mardi Gras.

Have at it, May. Me, I’m about to get all bitchyjones about something much bigger.

TV. That is, night-time adult dramas. More specifically, those night time adult dramas that fall all over themselves in trying to attract more jaded viewers by “breaking new ground.”

In the last few years, television shows have attracted viewers with their teasing promises of kinky sex; in the last couple of years alone I can think of a handful that have gone over to use some BDSM theme – mostly that of female domination. CSI & ER come to mind; CSI made one a recurring character, and of course Desperate Housewives built half a season around the concept. Dominatrix characters have made spot appearances in several other shows, and I find that I’m having mixed feelings about this: while I appreciate the eye candy, I’m becoming increasingly irritated by the inane and stereotypical story lines. Tuesday night’s episode of Nip/Tuck was just the latest example.

After being teased for weeks about the appearance of the delicious Tia Carrere as a dominatrix with the ridiculously hackneyed name of “Mistress Dark Pain” in the new season’s first episode, what the viewers were treated to was a few scenes with Ms. Carrere dressed in normal business clothes, and a scene with her dressed in black (the traditional dominatrix color, you know) lacy things that could easily be found in the back of a Victoria’s Secret shop. Her dialog was right out of femdom wanker porn, and one scene in which she casually dropped off a sub/bottom who was in need of medical attention simply validated the undeserved impression that the general public has come to believe about people who need “that kind of thing.”

Naturally, this particular sub was a high-powered executive – the head of a media production company – who needed to be dominated as a form of therapy because his job required him to be totally in control. A session with Mistress Dark Pain gave him release from his daily need to be in charge.

Oh for fuck’s sake! We all know that the reason why anyone is submissive is because they have a high-powered job as an oil, manufacturing, or finance magnate, right? It’s all that whatchacallit – compensation, you know?

It goes without saying that Christian – the smarmy good-looking one – was intrigued by Ms. Pain, and Sean – the prissy weenie – was totally put off by the entire thing (somehow he learned nothing after the last 5 seasons) and used words like “sick”, “perverted” or “sicko” when discussing the topic.


Thanks, Nip/Tuck, for being even more stereotypical than “One Night at McCool’s” and even less helpful than “Desperate Housewives.”

I’m trying to imagine a tv show or a movie that shows, for example, a male bottom who is smart, funny, strong-willed, and who works at a regular old job. One who isn’t a CEO for some multi-national conglomerate, and who does not keep a dominatrix-slash-mistress in a Manhattan penthouse. And maybe, just maybe, he can be paired up with a regular woman who enjoys spanking or even knife play, but who isn’t a deranged psychotic bitch or who is completely indifferent to his emotional needs, or who dumps the guy as soon as he stops paying her car loan.

Naw. Never mind. That kind of scenario would be way too fantastic for most people to believe.

About Tom Allen

The Grey Geezer Dauntless defender of, um, something that needed dauntless defending. Dammit, I can't read this script without my glasses. Hey, you kids, get off my damn lawn!
This entry was posted in BDSM, Beyond the Edge, Culture, D/s, D/s & BDSM, Femdommery, Fetish & Kink, Media, Television. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Lip/Suck

  1. bitchyjones says:

    I think what you’re saying Tom, is I need my own TV show. Right?


  2. maymay says:

    Even though I loved the movie, there was a scene in Mr. and Mrs. Smith where Angelina Jolie pretends to be a dominatrix call-girl or something in order to assasinate an obviously rich and powerful man of some foreign descent.

    Meh. I also look forward to the day when submissive men aren’t portrayed as evil people in need of assasination.


  3. Tom Allen says:

    Except the producers would be asking you to change just a little bit to make the show more accessible for the viewers. You know, wear thigh-high leather boots and a corset. And more leather. Oh, and be thinner. And taller. And younger. With bigger boobs. Oh, and not be quite so dominatrixy. Maybe show a softer side. Oh, and get into trouble and have a man bail you out every week. Less bossy and more flighty. And more leather. And blonder, with longer hair.

    In fact, by the time the show got to production, you’d be played by Jennifer Aniston in a lacy teddy.


  4. Tom Allen says:

    I also look forward to the day when submissive men aren’t portrayed as evil people in need of assasination.

    Or whiney, simpering idiots.
    Or clueless sex maniacs.
    Or hapless perverts.
    Or pathetic losers.


  5. Susan says:

    Or people portrayed as repressed simply because their sex lives don’t involve whips and chains.

    Irony meter explodes, takes half of Tom’s blogroll with it:)


  6. Fusion says:

    We’re talking hollyweird here, nothing will change, at least for a very long time. Most people are too uptight or uncomfortable with the subject to handle the idea of realism, because then it might the neighbors could be into it…or thier kid’s teacher…or the milkman…


  7. UpToHer says:

    Thanks for making this a topic on your blog, Tom. My wife and I sat down to watch the episode with such anticipation and ended up being so disappointed and, to be honest, saddened. I found myself actually cringing whenever Sean would refer to Ms. Pain’s clientele as “sickos” and “perverts”. For a show that likes to view itself as soooo cutting edge, I found it’s treatment of the whole D/S dynamic backwards and embarrassing.


  8. Steve says:

    I agree but tv blows……..everything out of proportion. Gays get wacked pretty hard too.

    Of course the problem is that if they ever did a show about my life, a regular guy in a wife-led, no leather, marriage, it would appear like anyone elses EXCEPT I’ve acknowledged that she is the boss.


  9. Cat says:

    Umm well I look for the day when I can see diversity on television. When there is more than one black person in the entire town…I mean where the heck do these folks live? Not to mention a female character who is not a bitch OR a doormat…I think your best bet Tom is to finish the latest book on your nightstand and just turn the television off. I mean was television even created for people who read?


  10. Tom Allen says:

    Sue, maymay’s ranting notwithstanding, there’s plenty of irony to go around. It’s funny that the generation that scandalized their parents and grandparents by popularizing “free love”, unmarried sex, and shacking up without marriage were famous for suggesting that their forebears were repressed for not enjoying sex – as if only children of the 60s and 70s discovered orgasms. Yet these are some of the same people who are repelled by people who enjoy a different aspect of sexuality. Not better mind you, just different.

    But I well understand the frustration which makes some BDSMers lash out. There are very few places in the US now where being publicly known for co-habiting would cause any issues, but certainly being known to have any involvement with BDSM is a problem for many people who are concerned about their jobs, or child custody, or certainly being able to maintain some dignity with their family and friends.


  11. Tom Allen says:

    Fuse, Up, & Steve – TV and movies are what they are – mindless entertainment for the most part that drives advertising. But once in a while I like to think that a few of them will “break new ground” not by being more titillating, but by actually being more sensitive.

    BDSM, apparently, is teh new gay.

    Cat – Black people? There doesn’t need to be more than the one token couple in town; I mean, don’t they get their own shows? :-\

    And this explains why when the rest of the family is channel surfing or arguing over the remote, Tom is blogging or net surfing. And at night, I read an ebook on my Palm in bed.


  12. pbaslugger says:

    Apparently FOX is about to launch a new show called When Women Rule the World. Find information here:

    Does anybody think this show will be anything other than a train wreck? Or am I too cynical? Supposedly FOX thinks we’ll all laugh and cheer at the hapless men scurrying about to satisfy the endless silly, irrational demands of scantily clad women basking in their newfound power. Talk about cliche.

    Give me a thinking drama about a loving relationship with a female head of household and her husband that adores her as she is and works hard to make her happy. Avoid the dime store humor about his being “whipped”. Portray the marriage as rock-solid, with both partners working together to create a loving family environment, and with him working to enable and encourage his wife. Maybe a show like this would encourage real discussion. It wouldn’t be dripping in sexuality…but if you want a show which champions the female-led lifestyle, my vote is that it should not.


  13. maymay says:

    Apparently FOX is about to launch a new show called When Women Rule the World.

    My problem with that show(‘s description, at least) is that it is so clearly not even the least bit interested in what it claims to be “exploring.” It’s complete bulllshit.

    The participants will be brought to a remote, primitive location where the women will have the opportunity to “rule” as they build a newly formed society[…]

    Newly formed society? Of, what, like 30 people? Yeah, right.

    In order to win, the men must accede to the women’s every demand, 24/7. Here, women command and men obey. Over the series’ duration, the men will be eliminated by the women until one last man is standing.

    Did I miss something, or is this completely ass backwards? Why would the women want to lessen the amount of men who served them? This is just another typical male jack off fantasy marketed as subliminal femdom.

    I’d might buy the porn remake of the show after it’s run its course, though. Could be hot, and potentially far less bullshitty since, y’know, porn.


  14. slavekal says:

    That is the only reality show I would ever consider auditioning to be on.


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  16. Toni says:

    nip/tuck is brilliant television, it is destined to represent this decade the way that Miami Vice is linked to the 80’s! I don’t know what you guys are complaining about, there seem to be plenty of assertive women thrown in the mix with the bimbos. And as for the sub guy being some CEO type, yes it is a cliche and I doubt any of the CEO types I have met in my life would be into that kind of thing, although who can tell, in business people tend to keep their private lives very discreet. Still most of the high rollers I knew strike me more as the sadistic type, having said that most cliches are cliches because there is a strong element of truth in them.


  17. maymay says:

    as for the sub guy being some CEO type, yes it is a cliche and I doubt any of the CEO types I have met in my life would be into that kind of thing, although who can tell, in business people tend to keep their private lives very discreet.

    The private, discreet lives of CEOs become much less private when you are friends with sex workers. You do the math.

    Still most of the high rollers I knew strike me more as the sadistic type, having said that most cliches are cliches because there is a strong element of truth in them.

    The cliche of the high-powered business man enjoying sexual submission is common because, surprise surprise, it’s common. Balance is important for all of us, and some people find this kind of emotional balance through sexual expressions that are opposite of their non-sexual expressions. That doesn’t make it any more universal than any other absolutist remark, because it’s not universal. It’s just common, just like the opposite situation, high-powered business men enjoying sexual domination, is also common.

    Sex isn’t a zero-sum game.


  18. Toni says:

    Ok, maybe I should specify the CEO types that I have met in my limited working life, which is a very narrow field. For many people engaged in my business, life is a zero-sum gain and that includes sexuality. It is true enough that when you can have what ever you want it is easy to become jaded, I have been in that situation, while I didn’t achieve the levels of wealth that many others did I was based in a third world country. I know many sex workers but I wouldn’t call them friends and I doubt they would regard me in that light. In the cities I have lived in sex work is just a means to survival, but I guess it is different when the price of a lap-dance in New York is what you can pay to screw a girl for the night. Funnily enough it is the rich countries in Asia where S&M is more common, I remember my first trip to Tokyo, were a Japanese executive, if he is so inclined, can beat the living shit out of a girl for a couple of thousand bucks. It was 1990 and as far as I can remember the cost of the experience was based on the nationality of the girl. Japanese guys apparently like beating Korean girls a lot. Anyway there were no safe words, I am quite sure most of those girl were lucky to get out alive. I think the cost back then was about $20,000. Mind you, I think this service was offered to high ranking executives, rather than the elite who actually ran the companies, perhaps they took their frustrations out on these poor girls because they were never going to join the board or reach the highest levels.


  19. Tom Allen says:


    My comment got out of hand, so I kicked it upstairs into a new post.



  20. Pingback: Balance & the submissive CEO « The Edge of Vanilla

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