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Parents' Guide to

Love and Leashes

By John Sooja, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

BDSM-themed romcom has sexual violence but no nudity.

Movie NR 2022 117 minutes
Love and Leashes Movie Poster

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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In many ways, Love and Leashes is progressive for Korea, as this film features a submissive man wanting a dominant woman master (but not a "dominatrix" exactly). It tries to flip the conventional sexual power relationship featured so prominently in Fifty Shades of Grey. Right out of the gate, the film wants to establish that it's "sensitive and with the times" by not allowing a "homophobic" presence in their company where the two main characters work. The film tries to call out sexually inappropriate behavior and comments in the workplace. And it tries to differentiate between respectful or genuine BDSM men from "bad ones" who just want to dominant and rape women. But the film also starts with the premise that, "no relationship can be equal, power-wise... there's always one who is dominant and one who is submissive."

Additionally, given how little actual sex or directly sexual pleasure is represented (all of Ji-hoo's reactions to being hurt show some glimpses of "pleasure" but that's it), this film is clearly not meant to represent the kink community. Further, many might take issue with the fact that this film continues the myth that romance and BDSM relationships need to be and are mostly kept separate and apart. This myth is largely perpetuated by the female-as-dominatrix paradigm wherein the dominatrix (her body) is conventionally off-limits, untouchable. Indeed, the only and entire conflict or threat the film builds toward is only propped up by this misunderstanding. Basically, both adults want to date each other or be romantically involved but feel they can't because of their contractual BDSM relationship.

Movie Details

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