Gender is an ongoing performance, one in which scripts change over time, and one where plot twists, requiring each person to exhibit theatrical talent, spontaneously contrived or calculated from 'second nature' yet the female gender role stereotypes which focus on submission are of late subject to disdain. A four year qualitative research project explored three related contexts where females are generally submissive, and males always dominant: (a) Real world theaters where corporal punishment melodramas are staged, including voluntary associations and 'therapeutic' professional practices; (b) Internet web-sites, the employees of which film such melodramas as acted by professional models and sell them, and (c) The actual imagery of both, where events in these productions are photographed or drawn and exhibited on the internet. All three contexts are shown to be idealized spaces where social roles that are not available either empirically or ethically in wider social reality can be portrayed.
Key words: Gender, role performance, disciplinary theater and internet, erotica.
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