It’s date night for both Pete and Tiff. He gets dressed with the help of Tiff’s house slave, Rolph, while she checks out Doug on social media.
Pete and Tiff get into a fight, made worse because they both know each other’s vulnerable spots. Pete needles Tiff over her reluctance to start a relationship with Doug, while Tiff brings up his fear of doing stand-up comedy.
Pete grabs some rope that is lying around and sloppily ties Tiff’s wrists.
Pete: “You like getting tied up and controlled? Do you? You can tell me to stop, and your safeword is, ‘I’m sorry.’”
He leaves, and Tiff just shrugs out of the rope.
Pete and Josh have a good time at a burlesque show, and later go to Pete’s place, where they meet the roommate’s girlfriend, Portia. She apologizes for punching Pete, and he apologizes for fingering her boyfriend.
In Pete’s room, he and Josh start kissing. Josh asks what Pete is into. We know Pete likes feet, but he doesn’t bring that up.
Tiff meets Doug in the bar he chose. He’s casual, while she changed into a revealing dress, still in her signature red.
Doug: “You look really beautiful in that dress.”
Tiff: “It’s a costume. All clothes are costumes.”
Doug’s very into her, while she wavers until she finally relaxes around him and has fun.
It falls apart when Rolph, in regular clothes and not wearing a mask, shows up. Tiff tries to send him away, but Rolph gets into a jealous snit with Doug.
Rolph: (German accent) “You don’t know her. She a flower made of steel. Beauty but beast inside. I am the fat clock man waiting. You is Gaston. I push you off the castle.”
Doug doesn’t understand this at all, though he criticizes the misreading of the Disney Beauty and the Beast.
Rolph: (shakes a fist) “I fight for Mistress May’s love!”
Tiff leaves and orders Rolph not to follow her.
Back at her place, Tiff tries to masturbate with porn, then with pictures of Doug, without satisfaction. (Nothing is on camera, just the sound of her vibrator.) Finally she stops and picks up the rope Pete used on her earlier.
Bonding is less about BDSM specifically and more about sex work and how it can scramble a person’s boundaries. Tiff’s confidence in the BDSM realm doesn’t translate into confidence in the vanilla realm. The same could be said of Pete, who doesn’t tell Josh about his foot fetish.
Perhaps it had to be about BDSM because making it about vanilla sex work would be commercially unacceptable and the project itself wouldn’t get distribution. BDSM becomes a way of indicating “extreme sex” without going over the line into actual nudity or sexuality.