Which brings us to House and Cuddy. The episode’s title obviously originates in the issue created by House’s massage (or more specifically, his choice of masseuse—a hooker with whom he’s had a sexual relationship).
(It’s no secret that House has used hookers to satisfy his physical needs; they’ve provided him with sexual release while allowing him to avoid any pretense of intimacy. We’ve also known him to have friendly relations with them that have less to do with sex and more to do with some sort friendly acquaintanceship.)
So, as Cuddy leaves House’s flat after a romp in bed, she is met by House’s masseuse-hooker. House uses massage to ease the pain in his leg, and throughout the series, we’ve seen House turn to massage to keep it under control. So this (in Cuddy’s words) “slutty” young woman, it appears, has been both to House.
House is honest with Cuddy, explaining that before they were together, he got a massage—and a happy ending from this young lady of the night. But now it’s just a massage—no “happy ending.” This is just not acceptable to Cuddy, who may buy the idea that House is no longer having sex with his “masseuse” but is unimpressed by House’s assurances that her therapeutic hands are the only ones that can ease House’s pain.
Her reaction is understandable. I’ve always believed that House is a pretty monogamous guy. But when not in a serious relationship, he’s relied on the relief over involvement. But that’s not really what this is about. Is House trying to bend his relationship with Cuddy to test its security? He’s been known to do that (most obviously with Wilson). What are her limits? He would have known that Cuddy and the masseuse are likely to run into each other. She doesn’t just randomly stop by House’s apartment; he would have had an appointment. Cuddy is meant to encounter her.
House is also still feeling insecure about the relationship, so House is even more likely to put it to the test. When Wilson wonders whether House has yet interacted with Cuddy’s daughter Rachel, House lies to him, insisting that she’s “boring” and has no burning desire to be part of the domestic side of Cuddy’s life. “She comes over, we hook up, she leaves... You get the sex, dinners and video game partnership and a full night's sleep." Idyllic. But it’s not—and House doesn’t think so either. But it’s a very typical House comment, and we’re meant to understand it as Wilson does: House is being commitment-averse and he’s unwilling to take a step forward.