Dominic Boden-Tebbutt

Dominic Boden-Tebbutt

Department of English Literature
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD title: Staging Women: Masochean Masochism and Female Agency in Restoration Comedy 1670–1700
SupervisorsProfessor Gillian Wright, Dr Jennie Challinor and Dr Sebastian Mitchell
PhD English Literature


  • MA English Literature (Queen Mary, University of London)
  • BA English Literature (The Open University)


I completed my BA English Literature degree in 2018, and my MA English Literature in 2020. My Masters thesis investigated the changing perception of relationships, marriage, and female agency within the works of William Wycherley, John Vanbrugh and Susana Centlivre.


I am a PhD tutor with The Brilliant Club


My thesis explores both male and female Restoration playwrights’ depictions of sex and marriage and the growth of female sexual agency through the application of Gilles Deleuze’s theory of Masochean masochism. Applying this psychological construct of erotic fantasy and the pleasure of denial to Restoration comedy 1670–1700 exposes this period’s prevalent male anxieties around virility and perceived female dominance: specifically exploring how unreciprocated libertine desire creates a male sexual identity crisis. In the plays of the period, men are feminised and rendered submissive while women are granted sexual agency to inflict mental pain through humiliation and emasculation. My research combines Deleuze’s conceptual vision with meticulous historical research to consider whether this submissiveness becomes a fetishistic desire that satisfies men’s sexual fantasies, ultimately affirming masculinity.