Critique of the masochist victim

The case of "Public Disgrace"


  • Sofia Torre Università Degli Studi Dell'Aquila



BDSM, mainstream porn, alt porn, feminist studies, porn studies


The paper aims to investigate the relation between the representation of the woman’s body and the issue of female agency in the pornographic series Public Disgrace, one of the flagship products of Kink, the media giant of BDSM based in San Francisco. The most frequent criticism of BDSM concerns the commodification of the female body as a reading of a dynamic of sexuality characterized by dynamics of exchange, abandonment, and momentary cession of female will. Is there a possibility of a representation of an “ethical” transfer of sexual power in the context of BDSM? What happens in terms of gender imbalances and dynamics in a context that mixes alternative practices and mainstream features? The analysis focuses on case studies starring pornographic models such as Penny Pax and Riley Reid, also known for non-BDSM productions, in submissive roles, and Princess Donna Dolore as mistress, director, and producer of the series.



How to Cite

Torre, S. (2021). Critique of the masochist victim: The case of "Public Disgrace". Whatever. A Transdisciplinary Journal of Queer Theories and Studies, 4(1), 267–290.



Performance, subversion, relation: tracing queer in BDSM