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Controversy over ‘Love and Leashes’ for Its BDSM Love Story

Love and Leashes BDSM
Credit: Netflix

The movie Love and Leashes, released on Netflix last week, tells a love story with BDSM. BDSM refers to those with the sexual orientation of being restrained and controlled, such as bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism. Director Park Hyun Jin said at the press conference, “I really liked how it tells the story that could ask various questions about human relationships and romance while fealing with the subject of sexual orientation. I wanted to show a romance in a slightly different composition through a character that breaks away from what’s ‘expected of a woman.'”

Seohyun shared, “It’s a ‘respecting each other’s taste’ romance that completes ‘differentness’ with ‘specialness.’ I hope you enjoy the movie with your friends and lovers.” Lee Jun Young also stressed, “I hope you enjoy the movie while thinking that it’s not wrong but just different.”

However, after the movie was released, a debate began on social media as to whether it was appropriate to bring BDSM into the light.

These are the negative reactions. It’s argued that it’s not safe to introduce BDSM in sexually-closed social and cultural environments like Korea and possibly lead to sexual crimes. Some also pointed out that it glorified violent or self-harmful tendencies. They brought up the articles that covered the increase in imitation sexual crimes followed by the box office hit of the 2015 movie Fifty Shades of Grey to further stress their point.

On the other hand, there was a counter-argument about how people must be aware of it and learn to deal with it even if it is a negative concept. Even if there is BDSM in the movie, it wasn’t consumed as something that’s just provocative since the characters make mutual agreements and sign the contract. Some also praised how it showed a female lead that’s not easily seen in other movies.

Some argued that due to its nature being a movie, the depth of the story is bound to be shallow to that of the original webtoon, hence reducing the elements that viewers could relate to.

Critic Jung Deok Hyun wrote, “It’s true that the movie deals with provocative material that has not been dealt with before.” He then added, “However, the things I thought should be handled sensitively were actually not dealt with at all in the movie. If they were able to draw viewers’ sympathy more boldly in areas that could be considered controversial, they would have persuaded more people.”

 

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Translator Kim Hoyeun: If you are a fan of K-drama, K-movie, and K-pop, I am your guy. I will continue to provide you with up-to-date K-entertainment news.

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