Masters of Sex
All Together Now

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 43 USERS: A
YOU GRADE IT
The High Striker

So the point of the thought experiment is this: Imagine a woman giving you something -- whether you're a man or woman, gay or straight -- and then imagine her feeling large, strong, gorilla-chested, virile, powerful, luxuriating in your weakness. And then understand that you are imagining the truth of things, because you are. Even in 1957, that's still going to be true. There's a lot of performance surrounding the transaction, a lot of lace-aprons and doormat poses -- debasement in the sphere of love isn't restricted to the bedroom; that confusion of Mommy vs. Lover permeates every interaction we have -- but the truth is that we are all walking on the same path: Giving is also always taking. Whether I bake you a cake or carry you over a puddle in my arms, I am doing it for the exact same reasons.

Is Virginia fucking him as a way of saying thanks for the lateral promotion? Yes. She's also doing it because their relationship is so oddly gerrymandered at this point that by fucking him she's refusing to fuck him. Even when they're not talking, in this first instance of participation in the study, they are having a conversation that echoes throughout the entirety of the episode, every scene practically, always with the faces and roles and dynamics changing, but still the same conversation, which goes something like:

Q: "How is it okay that we are doing this?"
A: "Because it's a transaction."
Q: "Tell me it's not a transaction, tell it means something."
A: "It's not a transaction, it means something."
Q: "Then how is it okay that we're doing this?"
A: "Because it's a transaction."

We -- people who sleep with men -- are so used to doing these double and triple deals, half over and half under the table, you have to really slow down your thought process to even see it happen. Which is one of the reasons I'm so grateful for beautiful Dale, who has such a light touch with everybody, because his existence queers the gender aspect out of it, like a cross-multiplied equation: If you can imagine Dale and Barton having this conversation, you can imagine Margaret and Austin, or Ethan and Vivian -- or Margaret and Barton, or Jane and Austin -- having the exact same conversation.

Because we are, and because the fucked-up secret at the bottom of it is that when we talk about love, this is the conversation we are having. This is the equation we are solving.

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Masters of Sex

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