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Monday, November 11, 2013
Showtime’s Masters of Sex #107 “All Together Now”
Sexless Love; Loveless Sex
Allison Janney as Margaret Scully
on Masters of Sex
By Catherine Giordano
Sexless-love; loveless sex is the topic of my review and recap of
episode 107 of Showtime’s Masters of Sex
titled “All Together Now” which aired on 11/10/13. Can you have one without the
other? Perhaps, but not usually, and not for long.
Libby Masters loves her husband, but she thinks she might be losing him
to his work. She believes a baby will
bring them closer as they raise the child together. Since Bill has said that he
did not want to keep trying for a pregnancy, Libby decides to go behind her
husband’s back. She persuades Dr. Ethan Hass to continue the fertility
treatments using Bill’s frozen sperm. This is highly unethical, so Ethan
insists that she must have frequent sex with her husband so that there will be
a plausible case for a “miracle baby” conceived the old fashioned way.
There is only one problem with this plan—Bill keeps rejecting Libby’s
overtures. He comes home late every night and claims to be too tired. (Of
course, he’s too tired. All those after-hour “experiments” with Virginia are
wearing him out. Bill and Virginia are exploring different coital positions and
their effect on orgasms quite thoroughly.) Libby knows nothing of this when she
goes to see Virginia. She confides in Virginia that her husband is too tired
for the marital act, and could Virginia please rearrange his schedule so he can
come home early.
Virginia tells Bill that their participation in the study must stop
unless Bill can do is duty at home as well in the lab. Bill is evidently angry
at Virginia, but he goes home and makes love to his wife. The sex rekindles
their love, and Bill becomes eager to make love to his wife.
The experiments resume, but Bill is cold to Virginia now. He flaunts
his new-found ardor for his wife in Virginia’s face. Bill and Libby continue their experiments in
a dispassionate way. Virginia maintains that, unlike other women, she can have
sex without love. They both strive mightily to prove that proposition.
Margaret Scully suggests to Langham that they see each other again by
coyly mentioning that her husband will be away on a business trip. They meet for
sex at Margaret’s home. Unfortunately for her, she gets a little mushy, and
this cools Langham’s ardor. His preference is for sex without love. Margaret
was just feeling affection--she wasn’t suggesting that they both divorce their
spouses and run off together, but it was enough to scare Langham off. The funny
thing is Langham was feeling affection for Margaret—he wanted to take her to
dinner, but as soon as she spoke the words, he got all jittery. This is the “can-you-cut-a-girl-a
break-and stop-over-reacting” moment of the week.
Things appear to be working out in just the opposite way for Ethan Hass.
His relationship with Vivian Scully, which started off as just casual sex, is changing. At first Ethan thought that he had to play
the role of boyfriend with Vivian or else jeopardize his job. Now, he is
genuinely pleased with their relationship. He’s no longer pretending. He is
starting to love her, or at least starting to love the relationship.
Even Margaret’s husband, Barton, is falling in love with his male
prostitute. Barton had arranged a
meeting with him to occur in the hour before he had to catch his train for his
trip to New York. Unfortunately, the rendezvous was to take place in his car in
an area known for homosexual meet-ups. Two thugs attack Barton, but when his
date arrives, the date chases them off.
Barton was wounded in the attack, but he could not go to the emergency room
for fear of exposure of his hidden life. He drives to the hospital and tries to
patch himself up, but he is discovered by Bill. Bill tends to Barton's wound while giving him a stern lecture about how he is risking everything by indulging his
Barton does not take Bill’s advice. The only change he makes is
deciding that future meetings take place in a hotel. But wait, there is also
another change. Barton’s paid lover could have just run off when he came upon
the attack, instead he risked his life to help Barton. This makes Barton feel
that the relationship has evolved beyond just sex. They have real feelings for
Due to the attack, Barton had to cancel his trip to New York. When he
arrived home, it was obvious Margaret had been entertaining a man in her bedroom. Barton doesn’t care to find
out who, and the next morning, he acts like nothing has happened. This drives Margaret
crazy. She thinks Barton’s indifference is her fault. “What is wrong with me,”
she cries out, “that you haven’t touched me in six years?” Barton doesn’t
explain, but he tells Margaret that he loves her. It’s true, but it is a
So there is love that leads to sex and sex that leads to love, and
loveless-sex and sexless-love. Love and sex, sex and love--It’s complicated.
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P.S. Each week, there is a different young couple who come to Dr. Masters for help conceiving. This week's couple was into the Kama Sutra. In response to a question asked by a reader, I'll add that the sex position mentioned in the episode was the rocking horse.