Within traditional sociology, the body has often been treated as an 'absent presence' (Shilling 1993, p.9). Historically, the discipline has rarely focused on the body as an area of investigation in its own right, yet its concern with the structure and functioning of societies has inevitably led to an analysis of some aspects of human embodiment. In the main, individuals have been treated as disembodied decision-making agents (Featherstone et al, 1991). However, increasingly over the past decade, academic sociology has begun to recognise the centrality of the body for a sociological understanding of human life and social interaction. To date, sociologists have been predominantly concerned with developing theoretical analyses of the body (Falk, 1994; Scott and Morgan, 1993; Shilling, 1993; Turner, 1992). A key issue discussed within this literature is the ways in which individuals are able to control their bodies and at the same time have them controlled by others. This is a central theme of this chapter.