X-rated Netflix series Bonding is slammed by real-life sex workers for ‘painfully inaccurate’ portrayal of dominatrix community

JO TWEEDY FOR MAILONLINE

A new Netflix series about the sex industry has been slammed by the dominatrix community it claims to represent.

Bonding NetFlix
One critic commented: ‘We want a show made for sex workers by sex workers, we want proper representation’

Bonding, which launched on April 24th, tells the story of Tiff (Zoe Levin), a student who moonlights as a dominatrix, and drags her best friend Pete (Brendan Scannell) into her late night New York antics. 

However, real-life sex workers have slammed the show for inaccuracies, saying those who make their living from dominating clients are not accurately represented at all.

The programme was created by Rightor Doyle, who has based Pete’s character on his own experiences in New York at 22, when he was employed to be a dominatrix’s bodyguard. 

However, social media has been awash with criticism from those in the industry, with much of it aimed at Mistress May, the fictional Twitter account that uses the handle @bondingnetflix and was set up to promote the show. 

Real-life sex workers are often banned completely from social media platforms or have their profiles made harder to find, a practice known as shadow-banning. 

@TiffanyTeal420, who describes herself as a webcammer, wrote of the show: ‘No, we don’t want another season of this. We want a show made for sex workers by sex workers, we want proper representation. We are sick of seeing you profit off us.’ 

Bonding NetFlix
The show sees Levin’s character rope in gay best friend Pete (Brendan Scannell)…but real-life sex workers say the show isn’t an accurate representation of their community
Bonding NetFlix
The show’s narrative is based on writer Rightor Doyle’s experience in New York at 22, when he was employed to be a dominatrix’s bodyguard
Bonding NetFlix
‘Highly fictionalised’: Writer Doyle has defended the drama saying its loosely based on his own experiences

Another Twitter user, @chesapeakshippr, blasted: Nothing exists in a vacuum. if they’re going to profit off of sex work while actual sex workers are dying & being driven off of sites the use to gain clients, the least @bondingnetflix should do is highlight safe/sane/consensual practice. That’s bare minimum.’  

@nihilistblues_ added: ‘The show sets such a bad example and could be dangerous to people who this is their first experience of seeing BDSM! Also the writing is terrible. And they miss all the important stuff like consent! Could have been done ten times better ten different ways.’ 

Doyle has defended the programme as ‘highly fictionalised’, saying in a New York Post interview: ‘I’m not that interested in a show about me, but I’m interested in a show about what happened and what I learned.’

Written exclusively for Female Fetish Federation

One response to “X-rated Netflix series Bonding is slammed by real-life sex workers for ‘painfully inaccurate’ portrayal of dominatrix community”

  1. Hi, Tiffany Teal here! Thank you for including my words in this article. It means a lot when folks recognize sex workers and share our voice. I appreciate you and this very well written article! <3

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