Recently my husband and I discovered the on demand section of FiOs. And my my my, were we happy! I managed to find the Showtime section, and found “Masters of Sex”, a show based in the late 1950s about Virginia Johnson and William Masters, pioneers in the science of sex when even talking about it was considered “smut”, let alone watching people in the act!
So far, I have made it through approximately eight episodes – it is fantastic! I think it is the new Mad Men for me. I can’t wait to get home from work and put on the next episode. I love how they weave everyone’s personal lives into the study, particularly that of Masters & Johnson. How their relationship goes through ups and downs at any moment. I won’t spoil it for anyone who has not seen it yet. If you have yet to watch – what are you waiting for?!
Masters and Johnson helped to pioneer research into human sexual response and the identification and diagnosis of disorders in this area. The initial phase of their study lasted from 1957 until 1965, with direct study of 382 women and 312 men. Their findings debunked numerous myths of the era, such as women being unable to orgasm as not just being “frigid”, lubrication was vaginal, not from the cervix, and clitoral and vaginal orgasms were identical and therefore women were capable of multiple orgasms.
This study took place through Washington University in St. Louis, and initially used prostitutes as the subjects. Prostitutes were thought to be isolated, outcast, and were more willing to participate and were good because of their expertise in sex. This however proved problematic due to the numerous cases of STDs they had found, and soon they were recruiting numerous outside couples. Most were married, upper class, white couples. Some were single and arbitrarily “paired” with someone as well.
They wrote two texts from their studies: Human Sexual Response (1966) and Human Sexual Inadequacy (1970). The described sex in the following four phases:
-Excitement phase (initial arousal)
-Plateau phase (full arousal, not yet at orgasm)
-Resolution phase (after orgasm)
They also discovered that men undergo a refractory period where they are unable to orgasm for a period of time, while women do not experience this; as a result, they are able to achieve multiple orgasms.
Pretty interesting stuff, huh?! The show makes no qualms about delving deep into these findings and showing/going through how they got there. As some of you may know, Masters & Johnson even become study participants themselves!
I highly suggest this show to anyone who is interested in this field, science, sexuality, and of course vintage lovers! The décor and style of this show is to die for – I keep telling my husband “I want that! I want that too! OMG I need those!” 😉
I bought the book a few months back at Penn Station when I was still working in Manhattan, and have yet to read it. I am going to have to right that ship starting this weekend and let you all know how it is!
Stay Tuned: The flood of Viva Las Vegas 17 posts are on their way! 🙂