« Bound 1 | Main | The Sex Scene within Bound »

Bound's sex scene

This is a feminist scene because challenges the traditional, patriarchal notions of sex. As Kessler points out, the sex scene manages to “avoid phallocentrism in that it focuses on[Violet’s pleasure]…not penetration.? The butch/femme distinction is important here because the scene “stages a struggle over hegemonic interpretations of female sexual iconography? (Noble). As the PowerPoint notes, one critique of such labels said that they replicated the gender roles of the patriarchy, where the femme took on the traditional feminine traits, and the butch took on the traditional masculine traits. While Bound certainly addresses these stereotypes, it goes further than that.

Yes, Corky is portrayed as the butch with her boots, pants, tattoos, and men’s underwear, but she would be considered the submissive/passive partner in the sex scene. Violet, on the other hand, with her short skirts, make-up and tights, is portrayed as the femme but also as the sexual aggressor. She is one who initiate both sexual encounters, and she is the dominant one in the bedroom scene.

This is what Kessler calls a “reversal of behavior expectation,? and it uses the stereotypical notions of butch/femme to show that people cannot be so easily labeled. The placement of the characters in this scene is important because Violet is the dominant character. Had Corky been the one to initiate sex, she would have adopted the “masculine? trait of being sexually aggressive, and then the scene would have simply reinscribed the traditional patriarchal notions of sex.