they troubled those waters all night long
I agree with the Kessler reading in that the sex scenes in Bound between Corky and Violet allow for approval from both heterosexual male and lesbian audiences. However, every person's opinion on this matter is going to be influenced by their experience with viewing sex scenes and pornography, which makes the situation more complicated. So in the instance where the Kessler reading compares the Bound sex scenes with scenes from both movies made for lesbians audiences and girl on girl pornos intended for straight males, the comparisons won't really hold much practical meaning for someone with limited experience in both or either of those film genres. So, to some extent every person is limited in their perspective in arguing what the Bound sex scenes do and do not allow for. On the other hand, with every person having a unique experience and therefore perspective, the scenes most likely allow for any number of interpretations. Again as in the Kessler reading, the camera's pov doesn't make hetero males the exclusive audience, because the filmmakers opted for "objective" framing of the women.
There is no man to bust in and "enhance" the action, but the straight male audience is not excluded either as the 'goods are on display' so to speak. In this way I think the sex scenes allow for a wide variety if not infinite inclusion of audiences. Also, out of all the films I've seen in this class, I rate Bound up there with Persepolis as one of the more feminist films. The fact that the Wakowskis sought out the help of a top notch lesbian sex expert not only points to their integrity as film makers, but also (whether they care or not) makes the film that much more authentic and therefore empowering to any woman. Not to say that Corky and Violet aren't stereotyped. However, the fact that those stereotypes didn't permeate the sex scenes (as far as I can tell they didn't, it was just hot sex) was quite remarkable. I'd say Corky's representations in both the scenes is definitely more submissive than Violet's. In the first scene Corky's is being bossed around by Violet in a kind of tame dom/sub interplay where Violet is all like "you shall be my slave, etc". In the second scene Corky stays in the passive role, but Violet is the outright pleasurer. So Corky steps into even deeper passivity one could conclude. HOWEVER, I haven't decided whether Corky plays an active role in Violet's pleasure from pleasuring, or not. Because really, Violet is still the pursuant, the one who actively has been and is still seeking out Corky. And we really haven't seen Corky do anything but appease Violet. Somehow it seems to me that Corky actually holds more of a dominant role over Violet, because it was Corky's prerogative to accept the sexual advances. I think that interplay informs the butch and femme representations in the scenes, because it seems like neither Corky nor Violet's appearance do much other than to create an immediate bias as to which is more butch or more femme. If all we saw of Corky and Violet were photograph stills, the butch and femme labels would be easy to pin. But because they speak, breathe, and sleep together, the whole dynamic is utterly disorienting. I honestly think that if the characters had switched positions, the film would have lost a layer of depth. In the film Corky submits to Violet's trust in the cash heist, and so it was kind of a nice little foreshadowing and thematic mirroring of that in the sex scene. Also Violet needed to further substantiate her position as the mysterious and powerful femme fatale, which I think was aptly portrayed in the sex as well.