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Butch/Femme in Bound

Although I can’t claim to be any sort of an expert on what “real? lesbian sex looks like, I thought the scene between Violet and Corky was distinctly different from most representations of queer love on screen. Kessler gives a few examples of this: the scene lacks of any sort of phallus, but it is clear that this is sex. In addition, the two women are portrayed as somewhat ordinary people, not just stereotypes. Finally, there is very little romanticism involved- no teddies- it’s really just sex. I can imagine that for these reasons this scene would be far more appealing to queer viewers than the “chicks kissing each other is hot? Hollywood attitude.



The conceptions of butch and femme are really played with in this film, to a degree where it becomes complicated to tease apart. On the surface, it’s clear who is butch and who is femme. But when it comes to the sex scene(s) this is challenged. I think the positioning of the camera says a lot about the sort of egalitarian, give and take sexual relationship this is. The camera pans around the whole bed, concentrated on Violet and Corky’s bodies together, not as individual pieces. Also, as Kessler points out, there is a lot of attention paid to the pleasure this elicits- emphasis on faces, breath, toes curling, etc. I also found it interesting to look at how the stereotypes were played with and occasionally mocked- like when Violet says “Of course? to Corky owning a truck or when she asks, “Are you surprised you know what it is?? By mocking these stereotypes they show that they are not encompass them as individuals and don't necessarily define them.