Power struggles/power play – Showtime’s Billions

Showtime broke ground when they introduced their new financial drama series by having a woman put out her cigarette on a tied up man, and then peeing over him. And the fun has only continued. After a long wait (or does it only seem that long?), the fourth season of Showtime’s Billions finally red in March. I cannot wait to see what sexy scenes this season will bring.

Showtime’s Billions

This show centers around three people: Bobby Axelrod (Damien Lewis), Metallica fan and owner of a highly succesful hedgefund on Wall Street; Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti), a District Attorney with a fascination for pursuing “Axe” and erotic submission; and his wife Wendy Rhoades (Maggie Siff), who is the in-house psychiatrist/performance coach to Axe’s company and looks great in leather. This (2016 – ) Showtime tv show is groundbreaking in at least two ways: it counts a BDSM consultant amongst their staff; and has a non-binary person (Taylor, played by Asia Kate Dillon) in one of the leads.

BDSM in Billions

The presence of BDSM in this show is visible from the first scene, where we see Chuck hogtied on the floor. A then unrecognizable Domme walks up to him; puts out a cigarette on his chest; and pees over the same spot (nice of her to put the fire out, right?). This Domme later turns out to be Wendy, Chuck’s wife. Under the guidance of BDSM consultant and professional Domme Olivia Troy, the scenes in this show are realistic and fun. Furthermore, it is refreshing to see a show that is not about BDSM so much as that two highly successful people in a loving relationship built on mutual respect just happen to practice BDSM together. And boy do they practice. Whenever Chuck is under a lot of pressure, he craves the release. For their sessions, they visit a professional Dominatrix in her dungeon, as in the following clip:

Thought provocations

Though BDSM is not the main topic, the show does bring up interesting issues and questions related to it. They show BDSM as an alternative to couples therapy in season 3. This is brings up issues of trust and growing self-awareness, as well as the healing narrative in BDSM representation. See for example the 2002 film Secretary, which will be discussed in a later post.

In season 2 the question of what is and is not monogamy is brought up in relation to not explicitly sexual BDSM. When Chuck and Wendy go through a tough spot, Chuck approaches the pro Domme he and Wendy frequent about a private session. She then scolds him for considering to cheat on his Domme. However, when Chuck is out of town and visits a dungeon while on the phone with Wendy giving instructions in his ear, this appears to be allowed. The question of monogamy then, is challenged and stretched.

In season 3 there is the threat of their activities getting out and ruining both their reputations and careers. There’s a funny moment in the first episode of the new season, where Chuck’s father says in anger: “I’d slap you in the face if I was not worried you would actually enjoy it”. (Chuck tries to explain that’s not how it works, but his defense does not appear to take hold).

In conclusion: Showtime’s Billions is a great show by itself, with respectful and hot BDSM scenes. Definitely a need-to-watch for fans of both financial drama’s and kink. I personally cannot wait to see what the rest of this fourth season will bring.

2 thoughts on “Power struggles/power play – Showtime’s Billions”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *