Tada! Season two of the pioneers of the science of human sexuality has begun. “Masters of Sex” had its premiere in September 2013 on US television and, now after a hugely successful first season, is rolling into its second.
William Masters (Michael Sheen), a gynecologist, and Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan), a scientist, were revolutionary thinkers and contributed groundbreaking studies on human sexuality in the Fifties (just right before the sexual revolution). What? You don’t know about “Masters of Sex”?
I can highly recommend that you look into this TV series. It’s definitely educating and funny, and comes with lots of drama. Being stubborn enough to continue with the sex study in spite of all the criticism they had to face. The enlightening research results of Masters and Johnson dramatically changed the way we look at sex today. Before them there was only Alfred Kinsey, who studied what kind of sex practices were common among people.
However Masters tried to measure sex and masturbation. He was the first of his kind. Attaching measurement devices on probands and building a dildo with a camera to understand what happens to the body during orgasm. His beautiful assistant, Johnson, was a big help in the study and made many things possible through her presence.
Between 1957 and 1965 Masters and Johnson delivered laboratory data on the anatomy and physiology of human sexual response based on direct observation of 382 women and 312 men. They stated that they studied around “10,000 complete cycles of sexual response”.
Their main findings
- Female sexual arousal: Describing the mechanism of vaginal lubrication.
- No difference between vaginal orgasm and clitoral orgasm (as Sigmund Freud had suggested differently).
- For stages model: Excitement phase (initial arousal), Plateau phase (at full arousal, but not yet at orgasm), Orgasm, Resolution phase (after orgasm)
- Men undergo a refractory period (after orgasm) during which they are not able to ejaculate again, whereas women don’t have this refractory period: this makes women capable of multiple orgasms.
- Described the rhythmic contractions of orgasms.
Of course since they did a lot of the early groundwork, they were criticized, and had their findings partially disproved by later sex-researchers. Especially Shere Hite and Elisabeth Lloyd.
The series is not just about gratuitous sex, like porn. You will be surprised to discover how well crafted the show is, both in terms of the depth of its characters, the quality of writing, and the professionalism of the editing and cinematography. Anyhow, if you haven’t caught any episodes of this phenomenal new show, just watch any one of them and I believe you’ll be hooked just like me.
Watch the Trailer for Season 2