Stories where the hard-charging protagonist is submissive or masochistic
December 21, 2013 5:12 PM   Subscribe

[NSFW?] I am looking for fiction (books/movies/short stories/TV/etc) of a non-erotic nature where a hard-charging and strong-willed protagonist is revealed to possess a submissive or masochistic side.

One example would be Oxygen (1999) where a hardcore detective (played by Maura Tierney) has an extramarital affair that is sadomasochistic in nature. It is later revealed that she has been consensually burned with cigarettes. Oxygen's writer/director explained that this subplot supported parts of her character's psychology.

Can you think of other examples? The stories should be non-erotic in nature where the BDSM angle is in the background (or not explicitly shown).

Thank you for your time.
posted by 99percentfake to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
In the 1988 horror comedy Waxwork, Deborah Foreman's character is captured and seduced/tortured by an animated effigy of the Marquis de Sade, and she doesn't appear to entirely object to the situation, if you get my meaning.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:28 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


IRL, you are talking about T.E Lawrence - A/K/A - Lawrence of Arabia!!
posted by jbenben at 5:46 PM on December 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


Accelerando, by MeFi's own Charlie Stross. One of the protagonists is a sub.
posted by adamrice at 5:57 PM on December 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


As Francesca - there are some explicit scenes but mostly it's about two people who need their submissive side to have an outlet in their private lives so that their dominant side can succeed at work.

The main character is REALLY annoying, though.
posted by bunderful at 6:15 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think there are some references to Sherlock being a sub in Elementary
posted by spunweb at 6:20 PM on December 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Secretary
posted by sammyo at 6:40 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Michael Shannon character in Boardwalk Empire.
posted by dobbs at 9:07 PM on December 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


In Warren Ellis's graphic novel series Transmetropolitan, the main antagonist, Starr, discovers a penchant for receiving anal sex.
posted by Pallas Athena at 9:08 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


It is also suggested in the Sherlock BBC series, less explicitly than in Elementary, that Sherlock has submissive desires in his interactions with Irene Adler.
posted by wrabbit at 10:03 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd think Ichi the Killer would be relevant. It is more than a bit gory, which might not be your thing.
posted by sukeban at 12:46 AM on December 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mad Men, where Don hires a prostitute to slap him (though he seems more of a dom in some of his relationships).
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:34 AM on December 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


jbenben beat me to the Lawrence of Arabia punch.

The film is 1961, I think, so the masochism is very subtle. Eg there's a scene where he performs an execution, and masochisticly enjoys it (yes, in this case is masochism, not sadism, because he enjoys his own degradation in performing the execution), but it's quite subtle by modern standards.
posted by colin_l at 7:34 AM on December 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


In Warren Ellis's graphic novel series Transmetropolitan, the main antagonist, Starr, discovers a penchant for receiving anal sex.

You're thinking of Garth Ennis's Preacher. Transmetropolitan might have a masochistic/submissive character, but I can't think of one off the top of my head.
posted by mokin at 11:53 AM on December 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, the monkey narrator in Lovelock by Orson Scott Card uses a dominatrix fantasy where his person orders him to orgasm in order to get past the neural conditioning squelching his ability to masturbate.
posted by spunweb at 8:18 PM on December 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's a little bit of that in the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo books.
posted by empath at 3:33 AM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Gillian Flynn's book Sharp Objects?
posted by cameradv at 9:45 AM on December 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


mokin: oh shit, yes. I get my foul-mouthed ranting right-the-wrongs-of-the-world-while-appalling-things-happen-to-everyone graphic novel epics confused.
posted by Pallas Athena at 9:03 PM on December 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thanks for these answers. The help is much appreciated.
posted by 99percentfake at 5:55 AM on December 26, 2013


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