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The Pleasure Protocol is the third episode of Season 4 of Masters of Sex. It aired on September 25, 2016.


Masters and Johnson adjust to new partners, but their respective cases have them second-guessing the instinct to remain separated. A romantic prospect pushes Libby to embrace life as a newly single woman of the sexual revolution.


Bill and Virginia are taping an episode of Playboy After Dark, alongside Hugh Hefner and Sammy Davis Jr. The two discuss Masters and Johnson's work on human sexuality, and Hef insists that it would be interesting if the two got married. Afterwards, the crew insist that they get some footage of Bill and Virginia dancing with each other.

After the taping, Virginia goes home and drunk calls Dan, while Bill reminisces by re-watching the footage of Virginia masturbating, which was filmed during the first season.

The next day, at the local diner, Libby prepares for her first day working as a secretary for Herb Spleeb, when she meets Bram Keller, the lawyer working for Bill and Virginia. Keller tells her he's at a local hotel if she "ever wants to get into trouble".

Later, Bill and Virginia have a meeting with the legal team to discuss how they will move forward. Bill insists that Nancy be there for the meeting. However, after Bram says they need all their patient files, Virginia assures Bill that their secret is safe because she destroyed all the files of them working together.

Virginia and her new partner Art have an appointment with a woman, Dawn Jackson, who doesn't have a sexual dysfunction, but would rather just like to have multiple orgasms, and promises to bring her friends into the clinic if they are successful. Virginia, realizing what a cash cow this could be, promises to develop a protocol herself.

Meanwhile, Betty realizes while cleaning up after the meeting that one of the people on Keller's legal team remembers her from her days as a prostitute, and that she meant a lot to him.

Nancy and Bill have a meeting with Fran and Gary Bucksey, who are having issues--mainly Fran would like Gary to be more dominating during sex, and says she was turned on while watching a recent screening of the pornographic film The Defilers at a local theater. Gary says he was shocked to see that Fran would find this engaging as abuse is apart of the film. Bill and Nancy go to see the film, and afterwards, have a drink at a bar.

Virginia, at a bar, asks a man what he knows about orgasms, and then has sex with him at a local hotel. Back at her house, she leaves Dan another message, hoping she'd be able to talk to him soon.

The next day, Art and Virginia are informed that Dawn wasn't able to find a partner to give her "multiple orgasms", as just providing one is stressful enough. Virginia, however, asks her to come in anyway and gives her Ulysses. Dawn is depressed, hoping she could've had an actual partner. Betty is able to convince the man from the legal team to engage with Dawn.

Virginia is surprised to find Alice Logan waiting in her office. Alice tells Virginia that she and Dan have reconciled, and Virginia tells her that she was the one who broke Dan's heart, that the two of them were due at the wedding chapel in Las Vegas months ago when Virginia slept with a man at a bar and was discovered by Dan. Alice then reveals she heard all of Virginia's messages.

Bill and Nancy treat the Bucksey's, with the two in bed and Gary lightly slapping Fran's buttocks. However, after Fran continues to demand that Gary hit her harder, Gary begins to attack Fran, with Bill having to storm in to intervene. Bill suspects that Gary had severe childhood abuse, and asks for Virginia's help in the case.

Meanwhile, Keller is surprised to discover that Elizabeth Masters is Libby, and asks her to lay off the divorce charges until after Bill and Virginia's legal proceedings. Libby refuses.

Bill finds Alice at one of his AA meetings. The two get dinner afterwards and Alice reveals that Virginia isn't married to Dan. Virginia, meanwhile, at a bar is about to go home with another man, when she is encountered by Art.

The next day, Lester informs Virginia that Nancy and Art are married, as they have been photographed kissing. Bill demands they be fired, but Virginia insists that they stay on. Afterwards, she brings Art in and tells him that she has an agreement with her husband. Art interrupts to say that he doesn't judge anyone, as he is in an open marriage with Nancy.

Bill then throws away the footage of Virginia masturbating.


Main cast[]


"The Pleasure Protocol" received positive reviews, more or less on par with "Inventory".


Playboy After Dark aired for two seasons in 1969 and in 1970. Considering Woodstock (August 1969) has yet to occur, it would make sense that this episode takes place in early 1969.

However, the Defilers premiered in 1965. It would make sense that it would play in some cheap theater years later, though.