Given that Netflix’s BONDiNG combines elements of psychology with elements of BDSM, a Myers-Briggs® categorization of all of its characters might have even been an assignment in one of Tiff’s psychology classes. As a grad school student of psychology who’s secretly a dominatrix, she’s had time to analyze the reasons she might pursue a career in BDSM. What she doesn’t have, is an assistant/bodyguard for when things get out of hand, which is where her best friend Pete comes in.
Her relationship with Pete is a study in boundaries and control, in friendship as well as in the dungeon. The rest of the characters can, and arguably should be broken down into Myers-Briggs® personality types, given that their traits often explain their predilection for BDSM. Here are the characters of BONDiNG broken down using the Myers-Briggs® Type Indicator.
10 TIFF - ISTP
As a grad school student by day and a professional dominatrix by night, Tiff leads a life of duality. A rough past filled with men correlating her worth with her sex appeal has left her guarded, and she appears closed off in her psychology classes. However, her career choice speaks at longing for the freedom to be whomever she wishes, whenever she wishes.
Like most ISTP’s, though her default personality is aloof and practical (as self-described “fixer”), she becomes excitable with her bff Pete at her Dom sessions, as well as playing pinball with her romantic interest Doug. Her spontaneity surfaces only when she isn’t trying to conceal it any longer, but like most ITSP’s, she’s very good at hiding it.
9 PETE - INTJ
There’s a reason that Tiff chose Pete to be her assistant and her bodyguard; he, like most INTJ’s, doesn’t like uncertainty and therefore likes to have a plan in place at all times. Throughout his experiences with her and her BDSM clients, he constantly wants to know their strategy for maintaining control over whatever crazy situation they find themselves in
Pete’s insightfulness about Tiff’s lifestyle choices, while she doesn’t always like to hear it, comes from a place of thorough personal introspection. Their partnership is ideal since they both conceal some part of their personalities as introverts, but Pete has reflected a lot on the world and his place in it, which makes his advice helpful.
8 PROFESSOR CHARLES - INFJ
When Professor Charles is first introduced as the professor instructing Tiff’s psychology class, he is ridiculing students for thinking too close-mindedly. As an INFJ, he is an idealist with a different way of looking at the world. He wants Tiff, and the rest of the class, to disregard the confines of traditional modes of thought and embrace different ways of thinking about human behavior.
As an intuitive individual, predisposed like all INFJ’s to ascribe hidden meaning to situations, Professor Charles senses he’s reading romantic signals from one of his students. She shuts him down, reminding him of his duty as a teacher to maintain his composure.
7 DOUG - ESTP
The extroverted version of Tiff’s ISTP personality, Doug is a student in her class that is overwhelmingly curious about her. While she appears closed off in their interactions, he reaches out to talk to her any chance he gets. As an ESTP he craves social interaction with her, and is incredibly perceptive at sensing and processing her needs.
An example of this is when she reluctantly agrees to go on a date with him, but instead of engaging in the expected and tedious smalltalk, he proclaims they don’t have to talk at all, they can just play pinball. While he may have bulldozed his way into a date with her, he gracefully adapted to her need for comfort.
6 FRANK - ISFJ
Despite what some may think of his raucous lifestyle of spontaneous sex and weed, Frank (Pete’s roommate) is a surprisingly warm and generous individual. Though his girlfriend is constantly upset with him over trivial things, he cuddles on her lap and sleepily tells her he loves her routinely.
And while some might argue the awkward request he made of Pete was inconsiderate, he knew he needed rent money and offered to wave it for a month if Pete did what he asked. Spontaneous, friendly, and giving, Frank like all ISFJ’s is supremely likable even despite his quirky ways of living life to the fullest.
5 JOSH - ENFP
As one half of Pete’s budding relationship, Josh is definitely the more extroverted of the pair. Where Pete is timid and full of worry, Josh is, like most ENFP’s marching to the beat of his own drum. He does whatever he wants when he wants, such as go to a male strip club for brunch, or randomly take Pete to a burlesque show.
Like ENFP’s, Josh doesn’t like the routine and mundane. He likes Pete for his individuality and his sense of humor buried beneath his social anxiety. Also like ENFP’s, Josh is strongly intuitive, which is why he encourages Pete to make strides in his standup comedy routine, knowing he’ll do great.
4 KATE - ENFJ
As one of the brightest and most outspoken students in Tiff’s psychology class, Kate is a shining example of an ENFJ. Extroverted and idealistic, she wants to believe in everything Professor Charles instructs. Unfortunately, her chipper, enthusiastic nature typical of ENFJ’s makes him think she has a schoolgirl crush on him.
This is where her highly principled nature kicks in, and when he tries to engage in salacious activity with her, she teams up with Tiff to get him fired by the superintendent. While the series made it seem like Kate and Tiff couldn’t be friends, Kate’s ability to connect with anyone no matter their background ensured they would be friends and later allies.
3 DAPHNE - ESFJ
Daphne is one half of a married couple who enlists Tiff’s services for her husband. Bubbly and enthusiastic she, like most ESFJ’s, is a social butterfly who lives to make others happy. Whether it’s planning a bake sale or tracking down the dom that can fulfill her husband’s tickle fetish, she will do whatever she can to avoid discord and restore balance.
But ESFJ’s don’t just like to be the center of attention; they also make great listeners. It’s through discussions with Pete at her kitchen table, listening to his story, that she ultimately determines perhaps she has a few fetishes of her own that complement her forceful personality type.
2 MURPHY - ESFP
One evening, while Tiff and Pete are socializing at a bar, an old classmate from high school picks them out of the crowd. Her name is Murphy (a fact she had to remind them), and she, like many ESFP’s, used to excel in her high school musicals (specifically West Side Story).
Murphy loved the spotlight, but like many ESFP’s, she had empathy for others, and felt hurt when none of her friends reached out to her to maintain their friendships after graduation. When she shares her woes with Pete and Tiff, they all bond over their communal troubles, emerging all the better for it.
1 ROLPH - ESTJ
Rolph is one of Tiff’s clients whose fetish involves serving her unconditionally as his Mistress. He is her “house slave” and tends to everything from cleaning her kitchen to organizing her sock drawer. Though we don’t learn that much about Rolph personally given the confines of their agreement, there are a few reasons why he fits the ESTJ archetype.
He is extremely organized and efficient, traits which probably made him desire to take on a role with Tiff where they would shine. He’s so dedicated and loyal to her that he follows her on her date with Doug, and although he tries to give her counsel about her romantic life, she sends him home without the recognition an ESTJ would prefer.