Worf's relationship with Dax hits a rough spot, and he plans to discuss his feelings during their vacation on Risa. But things go from bad to worse when they — along with Bashir, Quark, and Leeta — arrive on the beautiful, climate controlled "Pleasure Planet." Worf learns that the Temtibi Lagoon's "social director," Arandis, is the former lover of Curzon Dax. Pascal Fullerton — Chairman of the New Essentialists Movement, a group bent on "restoring the moral and cultural traditions of the Federation" — approaches Worf. Fullerton's goal is to shut down Risa.

Worf immerses himself in New Essentialist literature and attends the group's rally. Fullerton makes a speech warning that Risa's focus on pleasure is just one example of how the Federations citizens have become soft and weak — traits which will render them defenseless if an enemy attacks. Later that night, a group of Essentialists storm the Risian Solarium, armed with phaser rifles.

Worf realizes that the attack is just a stunt to convince the Risian vacationers that they are vulnerable. That evening, Worf accuses Dax of not taking their relationship seriously. The next day, Worf sees Dax with Arandis, assumes the worst, and is overcome with jealousy. He goes to Fullerton's chambers and announces he knows how to drive the guests from Risa.

Soon afterwards, a powerful storm rocks Risa, putting an end to the resort's outdoor activities. Arandis realizes that rain indicates a problem with the planetary weather grid. Fullerton and Worf arrive and reveal that Worf has rigged a tricorder to sabotage the grid. Risa will experience its normal rainy climate for the next few days.

A furious Dax accuses Worf of destroying Risa because he does not trust her. He reluctantly reveals that his restrained attitude results from a childhood incident when he accidentally killed a human boy while having fun. Dax begins to understand, but the moment is shattered when a powerful earthquake shakes Risa. They rush to Fullerton's headquarters and Worf takes back the doctored tricorder, ending the shaking. He then reminds Fullerton that trust is also a traditional Federation value. After the weather grid restores the resort's pleasant climate, Worf is ready to enjoy what's left of their vacation, now that he has learned to trust Dax.