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Bondage Is Bad

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"Mona's Mum was crying and her face was all red, but she wasn't thinking about anything much. Her dad had the same creepy crawly things in his mind that he ALWAYS has. Money, and tied-up women, and all the different kinds of drugs he sells. Yeuk."
Elaine from Lucifer, 12 years old and unhappily telepathic

The use of a character's interest in BDSM to reinforce the idea that they're evil, probably because of the Cold-Blooded Torture symbolism. Portraying them as creepy and hideously unsexy can also ramp up the "ick" factor.

Some media dress their villains up in "S&M gear" in order to make them stripperiffic (because they're villains, after all), and don't actually have them engage in BDSM. If played straight, it's often reinforced with hints of Putting on the Reich or whatever. A woman who's Dressed Like a Dominatrix will often be portrayed as a villain in fiction — or at least a violent type — for this reason.

With the rising mainstream acceptance of alternative sexualities, using this trope straight will often raise the ire of many real life practitioners.

Depending on context, Bondage Is Bad is often a subtrope of Sex Is Evil, Sexy Villains, Chaste Heroes, or both. It is also a Sister Trope of Fetishes Are Weird. Compare Too Kinky to Torture, where someone is so tough that torture gets them off, and Combat Sadomasochist. Contrast Safe, Sane, and Consensual, Casual Kink and the Obligatory Bondage Song. See also Brains and Bondage, where highly intelligent characters have a taste for BDSM, and Whip of Dominance for when whips are associated with sadism or BDSM. Note that a work can include a villain in S&M gear and/or who happens to also enjoy doing BDSM without being this trope (as long as this is true of one of the non-villainous characters). This is for when either S&M gear or an interest in BDSM are used to make someone seem evil. Pink Is Erotic can be invoked with pink weapons and equipment.

Well, bring out the gimp, and the examples!

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Air Gear: Arthur is a Depraved Homosexual masochist who displays sexualized behavior towards his antagonist Agito. He also frequently releases heart marks whenever he's reveling in the feeling of pain.
  • Berserk has the Godhand, which are clearly inspired by Clive Barker's Cenobites, and several of which have a pretty marked sexual sadist streak — Slan, the sexy demon of the group and who at one point in the manga has Guts restrained as she draws pain from his Brand and basically molests the guy; and Femto, who has Casca restrained by demonic tentacles as he's raping her during the Eclipse.
  • Episode 20 of Black Butler features Sebastian chained to the wall and being whipped by an evil angel decked out in S&M gear and describing the excruciating sweetness of the pain being inflicted upon him.
  • Bokura no Hentai has one of the protagonists, Osamu/Parou, develop an unhealthy taste for S&M. Osamu himself is a toxic and broken person for a good chunk of the manga, and in the epilogue he starts passing himself around any doms that would take him as a way of punishing himself.
  • In Cheat Magician Life That Started From Being Judged Useless is Olivia, one of the three bosses of the Volzard entertainment district, and is the most vile of all three. Her clash with protagonist Kent Kokubu came about when he chanced upon a child slave, in collar, as he was walking down the street, in Volzard, where slavery is illegal, and the child was being chased by her enforcers. He learns that an entire warehouse of children who were illegally enslaved in neighboring Rosenburg, as a direct result of the attacks of a corrupt noble going by the name of Margrave Havre Calvine, who was trying to frame him. Olivia not only has a long, long history of murder in her background, and hiding it by feeding the corpses to monsters, but planned to sell these poor children to perverted nobles as sex toys. She first makes an appearance in the story proper having her own son Dozzio in chains and smacking him with a paddle with clear sexual intent and later does similar with a riding whip, even hitting him in the crotch all while he's calling her "Mama" and clearly enjoying it. It's considered Fandisservice in universe.
  • Digimon gives us LadyDevimon, an evil humanoid Digimon clad in skin-tight black leather and chains. It is not hard to imagine what kind of data she spawned from...
  • Gauron from Full Metal Panic! is into BDSM. He's shown in the novels to have a thing for erotic asphyxiation (as he strangles the female scientist in Khanka, and they both enjoy it). And numerous times, he's described to get off when he makes others "submit" to him and "break their will." The author even jokingly lampshades how Gauron is into S&M — in an episode of Lucky Star (that the author had a hand in), there's a doujinshi for Full Metal Panic shown, with Gauron molesting a chained up and bound Sousuke. To further follow this trope, seeing how he's the domineering aggressive one, he's a dangerous serial killer lunatic that should be feared.
  • The main character of Gushing over Magical Girls is a BDSM-themed magical girl, and she's fighting for the bad guys. Not that she has a choice...
  • Team Chain in Hand Shakers. Break is portrayed as very cruel and sadistic to his partner, keeping her in bondage and torturing her in attempt to get all the power he can from her.
  • Somewhat averted with Combat Sadomasochist Gamagoori from Kill la Kill and his three-star uniform, which has a heavy BDSM motif and builds strength the more he's hit (with very sexual overtones.) However, even though he's a villain, he's defined more by his Noble Demon status and Undying Loyalty to Satsuki, and even the uniform and methods of using it are explained in the context of disciplining himself to set an example to the rest of the student body (Ryuko is still creeped out by it, though.)
  • Legend of the Blue Wolves: Captain Continental uses bondage on Jonathan, beats him up, and whips him, when attempting to force him to sexually submit to him. Jonathan refuses so the Continental simply ties him up again and rapes him. In the beginning of the movie he also whips a subordinate for not addressing him as "sir" before engaging in sexual activities with him.
  • Monochrome Factor: Kou, in the anime adaptation, is implied to have a bit of a bondage fetish, present for no other reason than to creep Aya out after she beats him up and he begs for more.
  • In the Impel Down arc of One Piece, Sadi-Chan is one of the worst examples of this Trope. Her devil-themed Dominatrix outfit along with the whip gives the image, and she is clearly the most sadistic member of the prison staff, using bondage methods as Cold-Blooded Torture on the inmates, often to death.
    • The Wano arc introduces a new villain, King, who wears a gimp suit under his Nazi-uniform-esque jacket and is described as a "sadistic pervert."
  • In Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, this is played straight with Big Bad Corset, who has a corset he tightens up and is a Combat Sadomasochist. Subverted with Garterbelt, who explicitly practices self-flagellation and is Corset's rival of sorts. Likely played straight with Stocking, who throughout the series likes it kinky and at the ass-end of the series becomes a villain.
  • Katsuragi of Sakura Gari ties Masataka up with rope before raping him, uses physical force on Masataka if he pisses him off, and tortures him by whipping him.
  • Many of the phantoms in Tokkô are shown wearing bondage gear like ball gags and leather masks.
  • Many villains in Violence Jack wear S&M gear as regular clothes and like to capture, tie up, and sexually torture any female character they can get their hands on. This is especially prevalent in the Harlem Bomber arc, where the villains have their own S&M dungeon to make captured girls into sex slaves. Plus, the woman who runs it, Rose, is a Psycho Lesbian dominatrix who rapes a girl's friend in front of her as a way to desensitize her to sex. The Big Bad of the series, Slum King, also has two quadruple amputee sex slaves that he keeps on leashes and treats like dogs.

    Comic Books 
  • Lampshaded in Avengers Academy when Hawkeye claims that Emma Frost's S&M-inspired outfit is proof that her Heel–Face Turn was just a ruse.
    Hawkeye: I knew someone who dresses like that couldn't stop being a bad guy.
  • Harley Quinn seems to be a fan of this in the New 52, both as the dominant and the submissive. To give an obvious example, one issue starts with her waking up in her rather messy apartment with last night's date behind her, duct-taped to the wall; two pages later, she sees a patient dressed in a gimp outfit (her treatment consists of "integral psychotherapy" through "introspection and dissection", a fancy way of saying she hogties him). Unfortunately, this leads to a horrific nightmare where she's in bed with Mason, who turns into "Mistuh Jay" mid-embrace.
  • In the first album of Lucifer, Casual Kink and this trope are both expressed as attitudes held by characters: Jill has a speech about how she's not into BDSM herself but doesn't mind it as long as it's consensual — while Elaine writes a story within the story where her way of establishing the bad guy as bad is to state that he fantasizes about three creepy things, one of them being tied up women. (The other two are money and selling drugs. It should be noted that since this is in the first issue, Elaine is still an immature and inexperienced 12-year-old psychic.) See page quote.
  • In Marshal Law, many superheroes (well, "heroes") became extreme sadists or masochists after having their ability to feel pain removed and took to violent crime as a result. Law himself wears full bondage gear as his costume and is not a nice person.
  • New Gods villainess Lashina very much has overtones of this, featuring a whip as her main weapon and an S&M-esque mask.
  • Anyone in Preacher who has a fetish of some type is going to be a villain.
  • The Red Skull's daughter, Sin and her boyfriend Crossbones are really into the extreme kind. To the point of getting off on torture.
  • Satan's Hollow: The Devil's Queen oversees a coven of leather-clad dominatrices who torture the newly-arrived souls of Hell.
  • In Scott Pilgrim, Ramona's inner desire to be with her abusive ex-boyfriend Gideon is represented as an image of her sitting by him, on a leash, wearing mild bondage gear.
  • Blue Eyes from Sin City is apparently into bondage (or at least thinks it's a common enough kink amongst men) and is an evil assassin. On the other hand, Gail is a Hooker with a Heart of Gold that has a pair of handcuffs.
  • DC attempted to introduce a new Superman villain named "the Masochist," a young woman clad in a leather outfit with the phrase "Hurt Me!" written on the chest. Backlash led to DC changing the character's name to "Anguish" and removing all of the bondage and S&M imagery from her costume.
  • During the events of Civil War (2006), the Thunderbolts tie-in features lovers who took up both of Mark Scarlotti's codenames of Whiplash and Blacklash with this theme. Then again, around the time of his death, Scarlotti himself dressed in BDSM gear.
  • Wonder Woman: The Wonder Woman (Rebirth) version of Eviless talks to Steve Trevor in a very suggestive way and wields a long whip and dresses in a skintight black leather dominatrix outfit. This in an interesting interpretation of the original character who certainly had a twisted dominatrix like relationship with Steve but wore sweats and a loose sweatshirt and was of course fighting the Golden Age versions of Wondy and Steve who were very overt in their interest in BDSM.
  • X-Men: The fetishistic BDSM-type outfits worn by the Queens of the Hellfire Club, beyond the fanservice, are pretty much a visual shorthand for their low moral character. Pictured at the top is Madelyne Pryor (a clone of Jean Grey) when she decides to torture one of her underlings in an issue of Uncanny X-Men. Other Bondage-loving Hellfire queens include Emma Frost and Selene Gallio.
  • In Zatanna an S&M club is shown to be frequented by demons, supernatural serial killers, and psychotic mob boss who trades in human souls. However Paul Dini, the writer, included a bondage club in an issue of Detective Comics that was portrayed in a much more positive and tolerant light and Batman was even shown to be a friend (as much as Batman is ANYONE'S friend) of the owner, having helped her out during a riot at the club weeks before. So the club in Zatanna is probably more Author Appeal and possibly a homage to the kinky Cenobites of Hellraiser.

    Fan Works 
  • Kristoph in Cup of Tea into BDSM, knifeplay and waxplay and is not a good person.
  • Dark as Snow, a Frozen (2013) non-royal, non-magical AU, still has Hans as the villain, only there, he marries the poor, unsuspecting Anna to dominate and torture her sexually. Also, he's The Bluebeard.
  • In My Life as a Teenaged Von Neumann Device, Queen Vexus manages to infiltrate a Wild Teen Party Jenny is attending when she's mistaken for a dominatrix, and gets rather into sexually tormenting humans.
  • Subverted in Your servant, Mistress, a Maleficent fanfic. Diaval gets interested in BDSM and the first person he talks to is a man who uses BDSM as an excuse for abusive behaviour. When this man tries to convince Diaval that a real submissive would just obey every random dude and not want boundaries, Maleficent appears and "saves" Diaval, who, in a Shout-Out to the original, offers to be her servant. She accepts and they start a BDSM relationship wherein Maleficent treats Diaval like a beloved pet while he does everything in his power to protect her from this story's version of King Stefan.
  • Sailor Mac's Sailor Moon fanfiction had this mentality. Two notable examples were Serena having a nightmare in which Darien asked her to hit him with a whip and begged for more despite being in pain, and Amy trying it with her boyfriend only to run away in tears thinking she'd become a monster for it.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In 9 to 5, Judy Bernly's ex-husband Dick pays her a visit at her boss Frank Hart's house, which she claims she is housesitting for a friend, until she gets mysteriously called away by the noise of her boss breaking free of his bonds. Dick finds Judy's boss Frank in what he thinks is bondage gear, and starts thinking evil of his ex-wife for having an affair with her boss in this manner. Judy retaliates by reminding Dick of his affair with his secretary, and shoves him out the door to be rid of him.
  • Blood Widow: When the killer has Laurie tied up in her basement, she cuts Laurie's pants off and whips her legs with a cat-o-nine-tails.
  • Subtly used in The Cell; it just so happens that every woman in the 'menagerie' is stuck in what are real life kinks (doll play, pony play, medical play, statue fetish)... in the mind of a sociopathic serial killer. In the real world, he is also shown to act out bizarre necrophilia/bondage fantasies that are definitely not SSC.
  • In the Cheech & Chong film Cheech & Chong's The Corsican Brothers, The Evil Fuckaire (yes, that really is the name of the villain in this movie) is not only flamboyantly gay, he's also into whips and chains.
  • Child's Play: Chucky, who's a vile and brutal serial killer, is hinted to have an affinity for BDSM. In Seed of Chucky, during preparation for a soul transfer, Chucky attacks Jennifer Tilly and binds and gags her with sadistic glee. When he asks her if the ropes he's used to bind her are too tight, she responds in the affirmative, to which he counters, "Ain't no such thing." His wife Tiffany (another murderous human/doll) may also have some interest in the practice, as she's shown sporting leather fetish type clothing during some scenes of Bride of Chucky, and in the same film also handcuffs her boyfriend to her bed under the guise of foreplay (though truly just to awaken Chucky).
  • The Clovehitch Killer: Tyler finds bondage pornography in his father's truck, and everyone in his Christian social circle is disgusted by it to the point of ostracizing him. Don's obsession with bondage porn is an early sign that he's the Clovehitch Killer, who binds his victims.
  • Cyber Seduction: His Secret Life: Justin's descent into unpopularity begins when he shows his friends S&M porn, pretty much the closest in the entire film to resemble pornography that would be considered extreme and not just women in their underwear.
  • One of Sol's high ranking henchmen in Doomsday is a gimp.
  • Played for laughs in EuroTrip when Cooper visits a legal brothel while in Amsterdam. It turns out to be a place that specializes in BDSM, and Cooper is forced into kinky sex acts because he can't pronounce the outrageously long Safe Word.
  • Faust: Love of the Damned: M's Dark Mistress Claire is a sex-obsessed sadist with a fondness for torturing and killing her partners. After apparently killing her boss, she locks up Jade in a BDSM dungeon before proceeding to torture her with whips and an electrified cage.
  • From Beyond: The deviant Dr. Pretorius is revealed to have been way into BDSM when the main characters discover his secret dungeon after his disappearance. It's a sign that Katherine is starting to lose her mind when she suddenly gains an interest and tries out one of the costumes.
  • In The General's Daughter, Captain Campbell's sexual practices (seducing her superiors and then engaging in extreme BDSM sessions with at least one of them) are quickly used to establish that she had become mentally unhinged before her death. Brenner can't even stand to look at the tapes she shot, stating that it couldn't be the same woman he met a few days ago.
  • James Bond: Xenia Onatopp from GoldenEye is really into S&M. And crushing men's chests with her thighs.
  • The Cenobites from the Hellraiser films are literal extradimensional monsters (who were once human) dedicated to exploring the boundary between pleasure and pain on anyone stupid enough to summon them. Physically they look like leather-clad corpses with horrible bodily mutilations. This was made during the height of the '80's disapproval of bondage, and writer/director Clive Barker is very interested in the transgressive.
  • Played for laughs with Harvey Korman and Cloris Leachman in High Anxiety.
  • In Ichi the Killer, Kakihara is a masochist with a dominating personality, while Ichi is a sadist with a submissive personality. Both are batshit crazy murderers.
  • The Ledge: One of the problems in the marriage between Joe and Shana is his desire to dominate her sexually. This desire for dominance is definitely not discussed in terms of Safe, Sane, and Consensual. Once he kidnaps his wife, his first priority is to get her Bound and Gagged. Naked, of course. The camera angles are very modest about this: the fetish fuel is for Joe only, not for the audience. It also implies that all bondage is sexually abusive, which is interesting for a film made in 2011 as opposed to decades ago.
  • Little Shop of Horrors has Orin, Audrey's abusive boyfriend and a psychopathic sadist. It is heavily implied that he acts as a dominant in a BDSM relationship with her. There's also a silly masochist played by Bill Murray, used as a humorous foil to Orin.
  • In The Man Who Knew Too Little, Wallace Ritchie encounters a septuagenarian dominatrix and immediately assumes she's Dr. Ludmilla Kropotkin, the "evil lady torturer". Subverted though in that she isn't. The actual Dr. Kropotkin is completely normal looking and unassuming.
  • In Nymphomaniac, BDSM will make a woman find her lost sexuality... but also obsess over her master so that she neglects her child and leaves her husband.
  • Perfect Addiction: It turns out that Jax pushed Sienna into bondage (specifically being tied up by him) when she really didn't want to, and later does the same with her sister Beth. Though she acknowledges some women do genuinely want this, it's made clear he manipulated them. No genuinely consensual bondage is portrayed.
  • The Pet, an Author Tract about human trafficking, depicts modern day slavers as closely connected to the BDSM community.
  • The rapist pawn shop owner and police officer in Pulp Fiction have a "gimp" in their basement.
  • Bondage and domination are the focus of R100 which plays with the trope. This surreal dark comedy plays its S&M sequences for weirdness and dark comedy. The dominatrixes are villains, but the main hero is an unabashed masochist who is treated sympathetically.
  • Reefer Madness: The Musical: Played for Laughs. After Mary Lane smokes that evil reefer for the first time, she starts to fantasize about being a dominatrix to show her descent into debauchery!
  • In Seven (1979), the Hermit—the most sadistic of the seven crimelords—is heavily into BDSM. When Drew is explaining to Alexa how the Hermit's weakness is women, the screen shows him flogging leather clad, bound women.
  • Joe in Student Services is the closest that the film gets to a villain and two of his two scenes of assault on Laura involve forcing her into bondage situations.
  • Ted Bundy: One of Lee's first clues that something is wrong with her boyfriend Ted Bundy is when he ties her up so he can have very forceful sex with her. She indulges his request but doesn't enjoy it, which turns him off as well.
  • Subverted in Tightrope (1984). Clint Eastwood plays a cop implied to be not that different from the sex killer he's trying to catch, because he visits prostitutes and has sex with them while they're handcuffed. But his issues are based on fear of intimacy, which is far different from those of the psychotic rapist.
  • Warlock III: The End of Innocence: Played with. Lisa and Scott are shown engaging in some light, consensual BDSM that neither party is villified over. However, the Warlock later twists their fantasies into hellish torment to fuck with them.
  • In the horror-comedy Waxwork, the Marquis de Sade is counted among "the most evil people who ever lived"; the heroine ends up in a light bondage scenario with whips and chains which she seems to enjoy, but after being rescued by the hero it's implied that she was brainwashed.

  • Alasdair Gray: A lot of his work involves deeply flawed and often unsympathetic protagonists who are also sado-masochists. The flaw and the kink may or may not be related, but they're usually both there. One novel features a character who claims to be a "rational sadist", which apparently means his ideal partner is not a masochist but a weaker sadist — someone who wants to hurt him but can't. The word "consensual" never comes up.
  • In Angels Flight, Detective Harry Bosch's investigation leads him to the apartment of a dominatrix. He winds up discovering the dominatrix in full fetish gear, with one of her customers handcuffed and chained in a closet. The third-person narration calls it "a depressing male fantasy".
  • The Culture: There's some hints of this.
  • Dragonquest: Rannelly is horrified to find bondage marks on Kylara's wrist, courtesy of Meron. Kylara herself thinks about their respective tastes. As anyone who's read this book knows, these are two of the more villainous characters in the book.
  • East of Eden: In this story by John Steinbeck, Kate, who works at a whorehouse, starts using chains and whips and razors on her "customers." This is coming from the same lady who killed both of her parents, shot her husband, and left her twin babies after telling her husband that he should throw them in a well.
  • In Fifty Shades of Grey, Christian's obsession with BDSM is tied mostly to the fact that he is a damaged, traumatized individual with aggression issues. This stems from mommy issues and his much older girlfriend raping him and making him her sub when he was a teenager. He's naturally "cured" of it at the end.
  • Girls Don't Hit: Joss, the Villain Protagonist, and her lover Echo (her apprentice in the art of contract murder) are into mild BDSM. However, it at least is shown to be fully consensual and loving, rather than bad in itself, so this is a bit downplayed.
  • How NOT to Write a Novel: Advises against this trope, citing its Unfortunate Implications.
  • Island in the Sea of Time: Doctor Hong in this story by S. M. Stirling. After Nantucket is transported into the Bronze Age she is just a doctor with an S&M fetish (admittedly one that has been declared persona non grata at every pain club on the East Coast) that becomes the chief physician of William Walker's renegade empire-building islanders. Once Walker has used his twentieth century know-how to obtain power for himself she begins to torture people for fun. She eventually claims to be an avatar of the goddess Hecate and begins a cult dedicated to mass torture as a form of sacrifice to the gods (although it also teaches useful medical knowledge). In addition to torture for religious and recreational purposes she also has some practical uses for her skills, such as castrating slaves to make them more docile.
  • Judge Dee: Many of the more degenerate villains have a thing for whipping women (usually prostitutes or servants, sometimes also their rape victims), sometimes to death. This being 7th-century China, the idea of consent never shows up.
  • Mercedes Lackey: Run — relentlessly, inexorably — into the ground in the oeuvre of this author. Any faint taste for a manner of lovemaking that involves physical restraint or power leads inevitably to sorcerous torture and blood sacrifice, usually of children.
    • Mornelithe Falconsbane in the Mage Winds trilogy uses restraints, rape, and inventive torture (mental, emotional, physical) to Mind Rape his victims into his obedient slaves and spies (one description is their very bodies are puppeted by him into a new persona… while the real person is bound, gagged and screaming while watching this occur).
    • The German porn shop owner in Burning Water, who at least shows very real callousness when he didn't check that a sub had a rubber/latex allergy and caused her death from anaphylactic shock.
    • Mage Wars: Subverted Trope in this trilogy, Black Gryphon and White Gryphon specifically. one of the protagonists, kestra'chern Amberdrake, is implied to have extensive knowledge of BDSM techniques, even going so far in White Gryphon as to call one of the villains an "amateur" for restraining himself and another character incorrectly (restraining for looks than function, using silk ropes that slide very easily). Also, several of Lackey's works have a message of tolerance and acceptance for all walks of life, so long as they do not cause undue harm to others.
  • Neuromancer: In this William Gibson story, Peter Riviera can't get off sexually unless he's betraying his partners. So he dates girls in oppressive regimes, makes sure they turn political, then turns them in to the secret police and watches as they are tortured. Also, Molly's experience killing someone as a meat puppet prostitute. Although the implication is that Molly herself killed only the john who has been using her to carve up women for his amusement (after the meat puppet brothel discovered she was using her earnings to pay for her combat cybernetics, particularly after she got the finger blades). Any previous victims were the result of the meat bop using Grand Theft Me as their MO for their hookers. (Not a bad deal, if you can stand it, and they play straight with you. Your brain actually sleeps through the whole thing, unless, as in Molly's case, your extracurricular cybernetics interfere.)
  • Night Huntress: Inverted Trope in this series. The hero Bones blindfolds the heroine Cat and ties her wrists to the headboard. She has multiple Immodest Orgasms and makes him promise to do everything again next time before she falls asleep.
  • The Otherworld (Women of the Otherworld): Repeatedly in this series by Kelly Armstrong. In No Humans Involved, one of the earlier suspects is the leader of a BDSM cult thingy, and the main character admits that she believes sadists indulge in BDSM as a substitute for rape. Though she isn't proven right, she isn't proven wrong either. In Personal Demon, Carlos Cortez, is established as a nasty piece of work by his interest in BDSM.
  • Outlander: In this series, Captain John Randall definitely fits this trope to a "T." A Depraved Bisexual (who leans more towards the Depraved Homosexual side), he apparently can't get excited unless he's beating up or torturing the person he's trying to rape. Or unless he's having sexual tension with Jamie. According to Dougal, he appears to be in sheer bliss and acts like a guy who's crushing on a girl when he finds the possibility of being able to whip Jamie.
  • The Player of Games: The protagonist reacts to porn involving bondage with surprise/unfamiliarity, seemingly implying it doesn't exist in the Fetish-Fuel Future Culture, and sees it as indicating cruelty and inequality. On the other hand, the society producing this bondage porn also provides scenes of rape and torture on the same censored, rulers-only channels, and the story provides no real basis for the reader to surmise that the bondage content is in any way safe, sane, or consensual.
  • Sword of Truth: Plays this straight with the Mord-Sith, who use bondage and torture extensively, on their victims and on each other. (They function as one of the first book's Big Bad's groups of high-level minions, and later perform such functions as being the hero's bodyguards and, on at least one occasion, executioners.)
  • Ties That Bind: Averted Trope. Guy Baldwin takes the stand that bondage is actually good.
  • Weathercock: Averted Trope, where the protagonist Dominic is struggling against his 'evil' sadistic desires. He considers BDSM, but notes that the only problem is that kink is consensual, whereas he needs his victims to be unwilling if he is to get off.
  • In Gabriel's Inferno, Julie and Paul both are disgusted by the fact that one of their professors engages in BDSM. While the professor does do some very unethical things such as trying to seduce both of them at different points, they treat the practice of BDSM itself as something unhealthy and completely incompatible with having a loving romance with another. Gabriel also seems to hold this view, treating the period of time he was in a relationship with that professor as a natural result of him acting unhealthily to avoid lapsing back into drug addictions, essentially describing it as the lesser of two evils.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel:
    • Several of the employees of the demonic law firm Wolfram and Hart are into BSDM. Of course, the lawyers at Wolfram and Hart are evil for a lot of reasons, but not their interest in BSDM.
    • In the DVD commentary of the episode "Conviction", Joss Whedon actually notes his use of this trope, and states for the record that he does not believe bondage practitioners are actually evil.
    • The Groosalugg, who's from the alternate dimension of Pylea, knows only of conventional slavery. When he has to visit a brothel to acquire a paranormal prophylactic before sleeping with Cordelia, he's understandably alarmed to see a man in chains. Angel sets him straight… kinda.
  • The Blacklist: Villain-Of-The-Week Rebecca Thrall is a cold-hearted villainess who has a private bondage relationship with her submissive partner in a crime. She kills him using a breath-play gag when he proves to be a liability.
  • Boardwalk Empire: Mob boss Gyp Rosetti's interest in Erotic Asphyxiation is used to establish him as a deviant after he's already been established to have Ax-Crazy murderous tendencies.
  • The writers of Bones seem to have a thing about this. One episode declared that bondage and kink were for people who were unsatisfied and bored with "real" sex, with implications that the activity indicated emotional imbalance.
  • The Boys (2019): In "We Gotta Go Now" it's shown Homelander and Stormfront enjoy giving or receiving pain, as seen by their ending scene together. She asks Homelander to laser her in the chest with his eye beams, which he does to her delight. Further, she enjoys being thrown around into walls by him (and throws him into them back too) before the two have violent sex. They're the worst characters on the show, and thus far the only ones who have a sadomasochistic tendency.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The episode "Dead Things", which shows the Buffy/Spike relationship at its most disturbing, starts with Spike offering handcuffs to Buffy (and it's strongly implied that she used them). However Buffy is also shown to be unusually cheerful the next day, implying that our heroine (who was in the midst of a year-long struggle with depression) found the experience rather cathartic.
    • Soulless vampire relationships in general tend to be played more kinky than the human ones. Particularly notable with Spike, who has a sexual relationship with Buffy both before gaining his soul and after. When they're together in season 6 and outright shown to be engaging with bondage, their relationship is also very clearly a Destructive Romance. When they're together in season 10 and their relationship is quite healthy and happy, while their sex-life is implied to still be rough and passionate, handcuffs and the like are never used anymore.
  • Averted in Castle; the vampire fetishists are treated respectfully. Ditto the BDSM episode; it's even implied that Beckett is into BDSM (and outright stated that Castle is).
  • A 1980 episode of CBS Reports entitled "Gay Power, Gay Politics" purported to be about the increased political power of the gay community in San Francisco. Instead, producers focused on BDSM to imply that the rise in power of the gay community had led to a rise in BDSM-related deaths. The footage that was supposed to show the gay BDSM scene was actually shot in a straight club. Outrage sparked by the sensationalized report led CBS to issue an on-air apology to the gay community.
  • On Community Pierce, while not villainous, is a Dirty Old Man, and the fact that he has a "secret gym" in his mansion only reinforces the creepiness even if it's Played for Laughs.
  • In the fifth season of Dexter one of the serial rapists/murderers he and Lumen are hunting is shown having (consensual) sex with a tied up woman. Though in fairness, he seemed more interested in just plowing her. The woman actually had to remind him to finish tying her down in mid-coitus.
  • This appears to be the Peacekeepers' hat in Farscape: As a faction they're all Hell-Bent for Leather and they approve of casual sex but not actual romantic relationships, while Scorpius is a Torture Technician that looks like Palpatine in gimp clothing.
  • Bryan in Flesh and Bone is suggested to be irredeemably sexually disturbed when he hog-ties Mia against her will half-way through a previously consensual act. His penchant for bondage appears again when he restrains another girl during sex by wrapping his hand tightly in her pony-tail.
  • A Zig-Zagged Trope in the Forever (2014) episode "The Ecstasy of Agony". Molly Dawes, aka Mistress Iona Payne, is a Yale-educated psychologist and a morally decent woman who works as a domination therapist, who is suspected of causing the death of a patient but is ultimately proven innocent. She has been using BDSM as an integral part of successful therapy for the victim when all other therapies had failed. However, the trope is played straight with the perpetrator, who used a distorted, twisted version of BDSM practices to torture and kill the victim in question and later to torture Henry. It's indicated that he's only interested in BDSM because of past abuse and trauma leaving him warped and dangerous, and he gleefully declares that he'd always been in the receiving end, but inflicting pain is fun, too!
  • Game of Thrones: Gendry discovers this in "Second Sons" when he correctly picks up that the Red Woman doesn't have kinky sex in mind after she ties him up seductively. She does mount him briefly, but that was just to get his blood up so she can put leeches in that area to drain it for its magic powers.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit played this quite straight in the first season episode "Stocks and Bondage". The Victim of the Week had it coming for being into BDSM. Her own mother just keeps spitting on her grave (with the protagonists comforting her for the burden of having such a perverted daughter). And each individual who accepted her kinky side without moralizing over it turns out to be a horrible person. It seems they got some quite harsh feedback for that episode: In later episodes, that have nothing to do with BDSM, the Captain just keeps reminding the protagonists that SSC BDSM isn't a bad thing, so they should be careful to not do an Abuse Mistake.
  • Mohawk Girls: Zoe gets into BDSM, with this being steadily shown as a symptom of sex addiction until she gets treatment at last.
  • Penny Dreadful has Evelyn Poole, the Big Bad of the second season, engage in some bondage with her lover in order to reinforce how sadistic and evil she is.
  • The Punisher (2017): Colonel Morty Bennett, a dirty colonel who helped Agent Orange and Colonel Schoonover smuggle heroin from Kandahar in the bodies of KIAs, entertains every Saturday night at home like clockwork. To elaborate, this involves being "punished" by a dominatrix. He gets regularly mocked for it, like when Frank Castle shows up seeking to get Bennett's phone cloned:
    Frank Castle: Well shit, Morty. Looks like I got here just in time.
  • Red Dwarf: In "Demons and Angels", Lister runs into a deranged Enemy Without version of Rimmer who combines the Creepy Crossdresser, Depraved Homosexual, and Bondage Is Bad tropes all in one. He's dressed in some sort of "Dominatrix Dr. Frankenfurter" outfit while he attacks Lister with a whip before promising to torture and rape him.
  • The RoboCop: The Series episode "What Money Can't Buy" features a villainess who frequently made references to bondage.
  • In the miniseries Scarlett, an already villainous character has his sleaziness cranked up when we see that he's tied his Sex Slave to the bed, strongly implying that whatever he did to her on this particular night was especially horrific.
  • Mackenzie Crook's psychotic gangster character in Skins is depicted as a bondage freak.
  • In Smallville, Darkseid, while possessing the body of Gordon Godfrey, feeds on the dark energy in the souls of dominatrix club goers.
  • Supernatural has Crowley, a sexually sadistic (and ambiguously bisexual) demon. His proclivity for S&M becomes a problem when Sam and Dean try to torture him for information, and he simply enjoys it.
    Crowley: What are you gonna do to me that I don't do to myself for kicks every Friday night?
  • In Uh Oh!, a children's game show, the character who dumps slime on incorrect contestants is known as The Punisher, and is released from a cage every episode. He however wears something similar to a gimp mask and other non-dominant apparel.
  • The Vow (2020): As DOS grew, plans were discussed to establish a dungeon furnished with BDSM toys, including restraints and cages. For those most dedicated to self-improvement and self-empowerment, obviously. In the series' defense, the emphasis is less on the 'bondage' and more on the 'lack of consent' (consent under coercion isn't consent at all). The lead prosecutor specifically points out that in the BDSM community, consent is key and can be withdrawn at any time, but with DOS and "Collateral," the ability to withdraw consent had been removed.
  • In Wire in the Blood season six, in the episode "Unnatural Vices", the story logic is that if you get into BDSM you are a serial killer or in very dangerous company. A character gets "outed" as being into BDSM and it means the end of their job as a teacher. A cop is also outed and it not only damages their career, they too end up the victim of a sadistic killer. It is suggested that BDSM is part and parcel of the policeman's relationship being loveless and destructive. To cap it off, this relationship ends up driving his ex-girlfriend into the arms of the killer.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In the original Championship Wrestling From Florida and FCW, Kevin Sullivan often kept "The Fallen Angel", a woman who had pledged her soul to his Army of Darkness, bound to him by a chain and she seemed to enjoy this, as well as being smacked around by him.
  • Shelton Benjamin's Smackdown valet, Shaniqua, was revealed to be a dominatrix but this really didn't come into play until she switched from his valet to manager of the Basham Bros, who were totally submissive to her and Shaniqua started attacking their opponents with "The Magic Stick". Tazz and Ernest Miller were about their only supporters; not even Shelton approved.
  • Of the three Vandal boys, Johnny has often been called the Black Sheep, especially after he started partaking in bondage with Trina Michaels in "The Scene" of Full Impact Pro.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The 3rd edition Book of Vile Darkness supplement has rules for all sorts of evil activities like mass sacrifice, trafficking with fiends, devouring souls, and BDSM.
    • Loviatar, the goddess of pain in the Forgotten Realms setting, is literally the deity of this trope. She's a favorite patron of Sadists and masochists, is herself known as the Scourge Mistress, and is often depicted Dressed Like a Dominatrix and wielding a whip.
  • Zon-kuthon from Pathfinder is an evil god of torture whose cultists eagerly give and receive pain as a religious obligation. Most of what they do is deep in the realm of Malevolent Mutilation, but they often default to a distinct BDSM aesthetic.
  • Dark Eldar in Warhammer 40,000 personify this with the Wracks and Haemonculi. Then again, they're evil for lots and lots of different reasons — BDSM simply comes with their general gig as sadomasochisic hedonists who literally feed on pain and suffering.

  • Iron Curtain has Miss Hildret, a stage director from East Berlin who carries around a crop and gets turned on by torture. She is open to inserting a few more gags into the play, having quite the collection herself.

    Video Games 
  • Gimpy, a devil room item in The Binding of Isaac, is a black leather gimp mask that has a chance to spawn soul hearts whenever you take damage.
  • About three quarters of the enemies in BloodRayne 2 (turned vampires are decked out in bondage gear, the minions in the first level are masochists according to combat dialogue, most other minions practice body modification, etc.), the last quarter being Eldritch Abominations.
  • Brütal Legend has the Tainted Coil faction as the game's villains. They're demons decked up in S&M outfits, and their emperor Doviculus wears what is essentially a gimp mask.
  • Champions Online has three enemy types (two entire factions, even) dressing up in what looks like bondage gear: The Ax-Crazy Knife Nuts known as Maniac Slashers, the demon-worshipping Trey Kings gang and the Eldritch Abominations from the anti-existence realm of Qliphoth.
  • Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project has killer robot dominatrices as enemies with regular or electric whips. Also averted by the fact that Duke Nukem himself is into BDSM.
  • Dungeon Keeper: The Dark Mistresses are leather-clad, claw- and whip-wielding Combat Sadomasochists who love inflicting and receiving torture with equal enthusiasm. Being a Card-Carrying Villain, you can recruit them as minions if you have a torture chamber for them to play in.
  • Fable II has a touch of this. If your character is evil, then the off-screen sex scenes include lines such as "Do as you're told!"
  • In the original Final Fantasy VII, Don Corneo's evil is reinforced by his sex dungeon, though we only see him actually use it to capture Kotch (and perhaps as a holding pen for Tifa). Sephiroth's outfit also includes fetish-inspired details like leather, belt details and o-ring harnesses.
  • Downplayed in Grand Theft Auto III. Asuka Kazen, the Affably Evil leader of the Yakuza, is into BDSM and one cutscene implies that she practices it with Maria in a Safe, Sane, and Consensual manner. However, later in the game she also seems to enjoy torturing Miguel (The Dragon of the game) way too much.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas:
  • Cain in Galerians fits the "villain who dresses in S&M wear, but doesn't actually engage in it" bill. Probably because he looks fourteen… and is technically even younger than that.
  • Leisure Suit Larry's "bad" characters tend to be into BDSM (Mama Bimbo being a particularly chilling example), although in Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude, one of the three endings has the young Larry Lovage get such a relationship.
  • In Max Payne, we have the nightclub Ragna Rock owned and operated by Jack Lupino, the belly of which is a gothic theme park that according to Max "began with bondage games and led to the nasty stuff from there", becoming a den of drugs, occultism and depravity.
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater's Colonel Volgin is into BDSM, torture and electrocution, and he also happens to be one of the most malicious characters in the Metal Gear canon. Also an example of Depraved Bisexual. Yoji Shinkawa, character designer for the series, has said that he based some of the designs off of BDSM fashion.
  • Played nightmarishly straight in the Bratva nightclub level of Mother Russia Bleeds.
  • No More Heroes: One of the many reasons Travis considers Bad Girl a "perverted killer" is her extensive use of gimps. For batting practice.
  • No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle: Travis meets up with Cloe Walsh, an assassin bound inside a container. She is possibly the most utterly evil assassin in the game (considering that she seems to have more control over herself than Matt Helms while still being just as sadistic), and one of the first things Travis says to her is "You're lucky I don't have a bondage kink."
  • Chie's Shadow from Persona 4 is a hooded dominatrix armed with a whip. Contrast that with her heroic Persona form, which is basically a badass Bruce Lee Clone.
  • In Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh, Therese coerces Curtis into coming to a BDSM club with her and then repeatedly has kinky sex with him. While Curtis enjoys it (albeit with a small Freudian Excuse), Therese herself is a totally psycho stalker.
  • Postal 2 features regular NPCs in gimp suits, along with their own club. After being kidnapped by rednecks, you also get to wear one.
  • Bondage Queen is one of the possible Evil endings in the Raising Sim game, Princess Maker 2. Achieving this one is heavily frowned upon, although it doesn't stop people from doing it, of course. It is in the same vein as Crime Boss, High Class Prostitute, and Princess of Darkness.
  • Saints Row: The Third allows bondage costumes as one of the styles for your gang. Considering the Boss is quite the Villain Protagonist, this trope comes into play. Hilariously, using Gimps in your gang makes it come off as a Casual Kink, since they're otherwise very friendly and have perfectly ordinary idle chatter.
    • Fully realized in the Morningstar gang, who use a colossal bondage club as a front for human trafficking, drug running and extortion rackets. Unlike the Boss and the Saints, who typically come off as the Lesser of Two Evils, the Morningstar are pure evil, and it's implied many of their Gangbangers like to avail themselves of their own "services".
    • Averted with your teammate Kinzie, who offhandedly mentions her safewordnote , which implies she's submissive, and keeps a collection of restraints and toys in her hideout. Otherwise, she's probably the least villainous of the Saints, though depending upon how you play, that might not be saying much.
  • Soulcalibur:
    • Ivy Valentine is a subversion: She is introduced into the series as a cackling bitch who wears a damn-near bondage harness to fights and wields a whip sword, and all of her voice clips are dripping with innuendo, but in her storyline, she's a Knight Templar redeemer who is trying to destroy Soul Edge so that it can't destroy the world. She's also a Chaste Hero because Soul Edge is in her blood and she does not want to pass this on.
    • Voldo is frequently depicted in stripperiffic, vaguely bondage-y outfits, and though he's more of a neutral force, he's considered by many to be very, very creepy and straight out of the Uncanny Valley.
  • You wouldn't think this would come up in a parody game based around raising slaves, but Slave Maker has bondage being a sex act frowned upon by both major religions, hits your slave's Morality stat when practiced and requires a high Obedience score to do. To be fair, the game's creator isn't big on the harder sex acts, so this is probably a matter of personal preference than anything else.
  • Watchmen: The End Is Nigh Part 2 has the entire last level take place in Twilight Lady's mansion turned S&M dungeon.
  • Phantom Thief Silver Cat: The main focus of the story is the villainous Minkeo capturing and torturing the Silver Cat with whips, bondage, hot wax, and the like.

  • In anti-HEROES, the webcomic's Doublethink premise make this trope played straight and yet simultaneously averted as Casual Kink. The Official Couple is apparently into this, but considering she's a thiefling and he's a necromancer with Heroic Comedic Sociopath traits...
  • In Casey and Andy, Satan gets squirted with holy water and tied up when she goes to save Andy. After the holy water dries off, she refrains from freeing them because she really enjoys being tied up.
    Satan: Do we have any rope at home, sweetie?
  • Collar 6 more or less averts this as a whole due to the nature of the entire planet; however, an example still exists with Mistress Butterfly. She's not called the sadist from hell for nothing. Funnily enough, the only people seen to have "vanilla" sex, Evita and Michael Kappel, are the villains.
  • In Erfworld, Wanda's treatment of Jillian early in the story blurs if not obliterates the line between a BDSM session and serious interrogation by torture. Admittedly, the fact that all injuries heal every turn already blurs the distinction between controlled pain and real injury.
  • Girls with Slingshots plays the trope straight with Candy (a Jerkass sadist) and subverts it with Clarice (a professional dom on the weekends who would like to be a librarian).
  • Our Home Planet has Queen, an evil mercenary clearly supposed to evoke the dominatrix figure.
  • Sinfest plays this trope straight with its portrayal of BDSM as it apparently relates to patriarchy: The devil's publicity man/bouncer and the comic's go-to symbol for rape culture, porn culture, and objectifying women is a large male demon wearing gimp-esque bondage gear. As the comic tends to be rather blunt with its allegories, the author's attitude toward BDSM is implied to be less than charitable.
  • Sunstone averts this completely. Word of God has stated that the comic exists to show healthy BDSM relationships accurately and educate people on the falsehood of this trope. Also deconstructed, as the comic acknowledges this popular view of BDSM,, and also looks at how BDSM can realistically go wrong when people let it go to their heads or don't give it the needed prior planning.

    Web Original 
  • Subverted and inverted in the Chakona Space stories, foxtaur society generally disapproves of male-on-female bondage, since vixens are supposed to be the stronger sex (no word on how other sex combinations are treated). But after Garrek is pheromonally raped by his sister he finds it very therapeutic to tie up a four-breasted vixen and mount her repeatedly, consensually of course.
  • Riley of The Guild is an over-the-top stereotype of an FPS Gamer suffering from Testosterone Poisoning (despite being a woman). This extends to being an abusive dominant in her relationship with Zaboo.
  • 4chan's /tg/ board averts this with their homebrew Dungeons & Dragons deity, Ardarvia the Iron Maiden, whose domains are BDSM and love. She is Lawful Good, and her followers tie themselves up, or even amputate their own limbs, as a sacrifice for her. The religion goes so far as to include the concept of Safe, Sane, and Consensual as one of the cornerstones of the faith.

    Western Animation 
  • Surprisingly enough, when Abis Mal brainwashes Jasmine to evil in an episode of Aladdin: The Series, she dresses up like a textbook dominatrix complete with whip.
  • Eska from The Legend of Korra seems like she's into bondage from what is seen from her "betrothal necklace".
  • ReBoot: When Megabyte rebuilds Hexadecimal, he gives her what looks like a black leather corset and other dominant clothes. He then keeps her as a tightly restrained prisoner, and it's revealed that she could have escaped whenever she wanted to but "likes being tied up". The characters are both villains, of course, and siblings.