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Bound

It is in the movie Bound that I have realized for the first time how many lesbian sex scenes reminded me of and reified the conventional ideas of heterosexual sex acts. With the combination of the Kessler and Noble reading and watching Bound after that, I was able to complicate my own understanding of queer sexuality in a heterosexually dominated film industry. It is for this reason I believe that the sex scene is definitely feminist in many aspects. Throughout the movie Both Corky and Violet are consistently placed into the stereotypical understanding of femininity and masculinity. This act of placing them into the typical understanding of gender had made me at first very uncomfortable and disappointed, however after our class discussion I had realized that the very understanding of the social construction of the “male? and “female? gender roles was being put under strict scrutiny by this movie. Throughout the movie and especially in the sex scene these roles of gender are put on display and yet in the same time complicated. While the sex scenes stayed true to the reality of lesbian sex the directors still worked on keeping their mostly heterosexual audience captivated and interested. While I understand that the movie wasn’t just targeted towards a lesbian audience, I still wonder would specific changes or decisions were made in order to make the heteronormative audience feel comfortable. Kessler mentions this by explaining that “Bound to draw favor from both heterosexual and lesbiancrowds: (1) images of desire that work for both lesbian and heterosexual viewers, (2) strategic use of stereotypes, and (3) camp or parody of the prototypical
Hollywood gangster? Even though this movie drew in the heterosexual crowd it was able to stay true to the reality of the lesbian sexuality. For example in the first sex scene the positioning of the two female bodies doesn’t try to replicate heterosexual sex. Intercourse is not defined by some phallic object or any type of penetration by a symbol of masculinity. The “butch? female is the one that is shown to be penetrated by the “femme?. “This scene presents a type of lesbian sexuality that is not often shown in heterosexual films: lesbian sex without the need of any phallic object.? (Kessler) It seems that the usual concentration on the breast and the typical male gaze and close up shots looking at the butt or breast was also omitted in the scene. It was interesting to know that this scene was viewed by many lesbians as authentic, since one is exposed to so many male driven images of lesbians.