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Actress Jade Elysan on Neflix’s Bonding, Masochist + Sadist Behavior, and Sexual Egos.

June 29, 2019

Actress Jade Elysan is no stranger to acting and knowing the hard work that goes into it. She began her career as a makeup artist to playing in three productions this past April. Like Elysan, as an artist, sometimes you forget where you started, but this is not done on purpose. Elysan explains her contributions to the Netflix series Bonding, which is about high school friends who reunite and dabble into the sex world. She also describes the different sexual play as if it is an art.

ATM: Describe the different definitions of Bonding in this series.

JE: In the realm of a dominatrix, it bonds you to a contraction with the people who participate in it. Another way to describe it is by bonding together. They came together because of not seeing each other since high school. Also, bonding to the inner truths of the character. The main character is associated with psychology. She has a bond to her beliefs and how you view people. I love the turning point with the professor in the script. She stood truth to the truth with how women were treated. This is written in the current time. It was loosely based on the director’s and writer’s life. It was a lot embellishment in it like the pink feathers. We shot in a dominatrix chamber. 

ATM: Is there a softer side to a dominatrix?

JE: Yes, whether it is the series you are watching or in real life. I happen to know some dominatrix via friends. It is what the client pays for. It is like going to an actual show in New York. It is more like someone the client will trust. They have safe words. It could be an assertive person like the main character. She was stern and assertive. There could be a tainted dominatrix. My character was very timid and tainted. It was a dialogue with the other character. Going forward, I am curious to know if my character would get written as assertive or tainted. My character does not know what time of day it is. She is always in a dominatrix chamber.

ATM: What are examples of safe words during sex?

JE: There were some in the series. It could be anything like apple or dinosaur or something crazy. It might not have anything to do with the moment. This is so you can hear the word.

ATM: How did your role make you think back to who you were in your acting career in the beginning?

JE: This is a great question. In a funny way, it brought me full circle. I played a cat for Halloween. I played a cat in a comedy. I played a mom on my first commercial role. I do not look at myself like this. 

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ATM: In life, it is funny how you go through experiences and look back at the journey. 

JE: Absolutely. I appreciate you saying this. As an actor and also for you as a creator, it feels like if we are not doing it, then we are not providing our value. I sometimes get down on myself and think I should be further in my career. I loved what you said about looking back at your journey. I did this before last week in my appreciation journal. It is not ironic that you said. I had three things come out this past April. As an actor, this is a dream. You want to play a variety of things and not get pigeonholed. 

ATM: In the industry, it is expected for one to think in the present. You go years and decades of thinking in the present. Then you go, “Wow, I cannot believe I made it to this point.” 

JE: Gabrielle, this is so beautifully said. This is precisely how it is. I have a close friend. Our journey had taken us from when we were makeup artists together. We went into the sales arena. We thought this was the right thing to do. You buy a house and get good paychecks. She was an actress before me but did not pursue it. I was talking to her recently and telling her the journey of it now. She was said, “You have come so far. You have been doing this for years. Some actors do not make it past the first three years.” It is like speed dating. You go so many times receiving a no. 

ATM: What are the ups and downs of a sadist?

JE: This person might have been someone living a mellow life. There might have been a point in their young teens or while hitting puberty where they had a teacher they were attracted to. This teacher might have yelled at them, and they liked it. They grew up and went to work on Wall Street. They did the 9 to 5 job. This is their excitement in their life. They like to get yelled at. There is a cause and effect to everything. The thing that would interest the sadist or the client is rooted in this form of entertainment. 

They could have grown up in a buttoned-up family or reading books. They could’ve had an older cousin or brother who watched pornography and found their stash. It is funny because it could be a person you would never know. It is a very introverted person. I just got goosebumps. This is what my higher self is telling me. They want to feel this new release of energy they are feeling inside. Right? 

ATM: Yes, people have different ways of sexual gratification. A strong person would dabble into the position not being dominant and assertive. Sex is like a performing art. 

JE: The clientele on Bonding was embellished of a friend of a friend who cannot speak about their clients. The people who are clients are in power positions. The people who are telling people what to do also want to be told what to do.  

ATM: The opposite of this is the masochist. This is the person who inflicts the pain on their client or sexual partner. This is the ego of someone who is like the clientele in real life. This is the ego of someone who is the clientele.

JE: Yes. Let’s say the clientele comes in and they get any dominatrix who is available. If you and I go to a hair salon, then we will find a stylist that we like. You find the dominatrix that you like and keep going back. Gabrielle, it was a good analogy that you used with the mirrors of the egos. Europe is very open sexually. They have naked news. They have nude beaches. New York and New Jersey have nude beaches in specific areas. If you want to be nude at a beach or see a girl’s top off, then no one is going to say anything. It is just normal. It is the USA’s media who suppress it. You need cable or HBO to have these kinds of sexual type things.

This is why people love Billions. There is the power position and sexual chemistry between the wife and the main character. This is why people pay for cable. People love Game of Thrones because of power and the change of power. I think everything is a part of the economy. If people did not have people paying for it, then the show would not be so big. You want to pay for the premium and pay for the VIP. It is like the premium for entertainment. People want to pay for the stuff you cannot get on NBC and other stuff. They want to pay for the booby shot. 

ATM: They are available at night when everyone is asleep.  

JE: CBS is starting to have some racy things. They are having some side imposed content where the girl might be naked, but you cannot tell. It is just enough to keep the viewer interested. 

ATM: It is to keep them engaged but not to the point they realize what they are watching. Not for them to say, “Wait a minute, what am I watching.” 

JE: Yes. You are starting to have curse words after ten o’clock. They realize it is just words.

ATM: In the past, the regulations regarding television would permit curse words. You could not say them on TV. You could not say things after a specific time. This is where the split up with daytime and primetime begin. You knew what to expect on the daytime and primetime. It has been lenient and loosened up. Today, it is the norm to hear profanity on television.  

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