The Powers Nude Bondage Corollary

Brilliant Formulation Or Some Kind of Plot?

copyright 2005 by Pat Powers

In another essay, we set forth the principle that total nudity in bondage is dramatically more powerful than a scene with any clothing whatsoever, because it symbolizes the total control the captor has over his captive. Any article of clothing, however scanty or sexy, renders the scene less powerful because it symbolically represents a concession to the damsel's modesty. By allowing her to conceal her naughty bits, she symbolically retains control over access to her naughty bits, even though she is in fact a captive and helpless.

There's an obvious corollary to this principle, which we can call the Powers Nude Bondage Corollary: to the extent that a damsel is bound in such a way that she is able to conceal her naughty bits, she symbolically retains control over them. As a result, the more accessible a woman's sexual areas (breasts, butt, pussy) are rendered by her bondage, the more total the captor's control over her, and the more helpless and vulnerable she appears to be.

Thus, a spreadeagle with the legs spread wide (as in Cynthia Rothrock's scene in "Lady Dragon II") is much more dramatically powerful than a chair tie with the knees tied together (as in "The Naked Detective"). Rothrock is utterly helpless to prevent access to any of her erogenous zones in her scene, whereas the damsel in "Naked Detective" might be subject to having her breast fondled, but it would be difficult because of the clothing and breast ropes. The "Naked Detective" damsel's butt-related naughty bits are totally inaccessible -- you'd have to free her from her bonds just to get at her (one of the main reasons chair ties generally lack drama). She retains control over them, Rothrock has no control.

As a general rule, the most powerful bondage image, whether for DiD scenes or consensual bondage scenes, involves a damsel who is naked, gagged and bound in such a way that she must display her naughty bits to all and sundry. Whether she's bent over a hobbyhorse or kneeling face down and forced to keep her legs apart by a spreader bar, such damsels are potent images of helplessness and vulnerability. No concession has been made to her modesty or sense of decency, and she has been physically prevented from hiding or protecting her sexual areas. She is displayed to all, thus symbolically available to all, whether she wants to be or not. Her helplessness and vulnerability are total.

To my knowledge, images of naked women bound so that they are forced to display their naughty bits have only appeared in commercial bondage films. No mainstream filmmaker has had the understanding -- or more likely, the rocks -- to use them.

Mind you, mainstream filmmakers have skirted around such imagery in a variety of ways. The closest mainstream image I can think of is Nastassia Kinski's spreadeagle in Cat People. True, she was naked, true, she was spreadeagled, but the scene was so darkly lit and her pubic hair so plenteous that she might as well have been wearing a bikini bottom. In fact, you'd have seen more of her if she'd been wearing a bikini bottom in a well-lit scene.

Cynthia Rothrock's spreadeagle in "Lady Dragon II" was awesomely wide and the scene was well lit, but she was wearing silk pajamas with trousers, so there was nothing much on display. Shannon Tweed had a well-lit, naked spreadeagle in "Nightfire" but it was a "spreadeagle" in name only -- Tweed's legs were so loosely bound that she was able to keep her feet close enough together to touch her toes easily, so nothing on display there, either.

Even more absent from mainstream films are scenes in which the damsel's ankles are bound to a spreader bar, a device whose sole purpose is to display the damsel. I can only think of two such scenes, both of the exception-that-prove-the-rule variety. One is Angelica Trevana's scene in The Fixer. She's suspended by a spreader bar attached to her wrists, and she has a second spreader bar on her ankles. Unfortunately, she's wearing a leather harness and a thong, which means no display, and she's dead, which takes all of the suspense and eroticism out of the scene. The other is Carolyn Ducey's scene in "Romance" (which also contains other bondage elements that are rare in mainstream films). The scene in romance is also darkly lit, and Ducey wears panties. But her lover cuts a hole in the panties so he can insert his fingers inside Ducey, which would definitely count as a display of helplessness. Unfortunately, the pantie-cutting, fingering scene is itself cut from the version of Romance currently available in the U.S. -- in short, it's censored outright.

Frogties with ropes around the knees to keep the legs spread wide? Forget it! Wrist-ankle ties with the legs bound apart? Nonexistent! Women bound to X-frames naked? Surprisingly rare! There are scenes of women bound naked to racks, but they tend to show the women from the sides, and their legs are close together anyway.

Now, the thing is that you might assume from all the dancing around that there is some general proscription about displaying a woman's womanly goodies outside XXX. There's not. So long as nothing is going into or out of the womanly goodies, you can show them in hard R rated movies.

Frex, a Skinamax movie which contains no actual bondage scenes but is still quite good in terms of package display is "The Key To Sex." In fact, one scene is a close-up of Jacqueline Lovell's package, only partially obscured by the strap of a sex harness she wears. In another scene, you get a very lengthy, very clear shot of a woman's pussy ring and the pussy it's embedded in. While you don't see women's packages in every Skinamax film, they occur often enough that there's clearly no outright prohibition against them.

You don't ever see a woman's package on display in a Skinamax film while she is bound, however. It's very likely this is because of the rarity of bondage scene combined with the scarceness of package-display scenes. It's just a coincidence that hasn't yet happened. Or maybe with all the dancing-around that occurs in mainstream and Skinamax bondage films, maybe there is some kind of problem. Who the hell knows for sure?

Lack of rocks could be the explanation, but so could lack of understanding. Most mainstream TV and movie producers, even the Skinamax variety, have an understanding of bondage that doesn't extend beyond, "You tie someone up, right?" Everything beyond that exists in the gray fog that obscures everything except their own egos. So it's little surprise that the principle isn't understood.

But still ... but still ... there are the images which visually define the principle, and they're quite common in commercial bondage porn. It's hard to believe that no one in mainstream or Skinamax has seen the images of bondage erotica. And if you've seen the images, you understand the helplessness and vulnerability of the women, you SEE the power of the images. And if you're a cinematic greedhead as most movie and TV producers and directors are, you want that power in your own films. And it's easy enough to have it.

All you need are the rocks.

In the meantime, we offer the Powers Nude Bondage Corollary to all and sundry, not in the hope that each and every scene in movies and television will eventually be a well lit nude spreadeagle with the legs at about 180 degrees and the pubic area shorn and the damsel ball-gagged. That would ultimately become dull, as using the same elements over and over again in any scene becomes dull, as is fast becoming the case with chair ties and tape gags.

What the corollary offers instead is an endpoint -- here is where you can max out in terms of dramatic power in bondage images. At one end you have a woman in dumpy clothes tied to a chair with only her wrists secured to the arm of the chair. At the other end you have a naked, gagged damsel lying face down in a wrist-ankle tie with her ankles tied wide apart, her shorn posterior hiked helplessly in the air for all to see and use. Put your scene anywhere on the continuum that your story and your dramatic purposes demand. Just be aware that THIS is the true extent of the continuum, and that it should be the drama that drives the scene if you want maximum effectiveness.