“S&M Sally” finds the funny in butch/femme roles


There are dozens of great films being showcased at this years Outfest including one in particular: S&M Sally. This creative and witty feature comedy was written and directed by Michelle Ehlen (Butch Jamie, Heterosexual Jill) and explores the curiosity of the BDSM lifestyle within the relationship of lesbian couple Jamie and Jill. The film delves into the S&M world in a fun and comedic way, all while keeping the integrity of the characters and the nature of the topic realistic and lighthearted.

Jamie and Jill

Jamie, played by Michelle, is a funny and sometimes awkward butch woman who prides herself on being the top in her relationship. Her girlfriend Jill, played by Jen McPherson, has a previous past in the BDSM lifestyle and often tries to incorporate that into her sex life with Jamie. The idea for the film came when Michelle herself began to indulge in the BDSM lifestyle.

“When I first learned about BDSM several years ago, it kind of blew my mind but in a good sort of way,” Michelle said. “One thing that resonated with me were the roles of dominance and submission, which every couple has to some extent in their relationship but outside of BDSM it usually isn’t as clearly defined or made explicit.”


In the film, Jamie struggles to give up her top status to her girlfriend Jill, who was always the dominant one in her previous experience in the BDSM world. Throughout the movie, you are entertained by the subtle role reversal in their relationship and by how resistant Jamie is to admit she might be the bottom.

“I loved the idea of having a bit of a role-reversal with Jamie and Jill’s butch/femme dynamic where Jill, the more feminine partner, vies for the dominant position and triggers Jamie’s insecurities about her butch identity,” Michelle said.


Due to Michelle’s experience in the BDSM lifestyle, the film offers an very real look into a world that some may not be aware of or understand. In one scene in particular, Jamie and Jill can be found in the “snack room” of a BDSM club, eating crackers and cheese while other club goers come and go.

“I wanted to bring a more authentic representation to the film and find humor in unexpected places like having a snack room in the dungeon, which every dungeon seems to have in real life but everyone who sees the movie thinks is hilarious and can hardly believe it when I tell them it’s really like that,” Michelle said. “I mean, people who do BDSM will get hungry at some point!”   


Overall the film is a fun look into how the sex life of some couples can change throughout their relationship and how the idea of the role you play in your relationship may not always be what you think it is. “As the intro credit song of the movie says, ‘Everybody’s got a kink…'”

S&M Sally plays at Outfest on July 17th.

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