• Sat, Sep 28 - 1:30 pm ET

The True Story Behind Showtime’s Masters Of Sex Is Just As Eye-Popping As The Show

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Showtime’s Masters of Sex premieres tomorrow night at 10 p.m. after Homeland, and if you haven’t watched it yet let me tell you – you are in for quite a ride (shameless pun absolutely intended).  The show follows Dr. William Masters and his research assistant, Virginia Johnson, as they revolutionize the way the world views sex by conducting real-life experiments into the physiological response of the human body before, during, and after sexual intercourse.  Also?  These revolutionary sexual experiments took place during the ’50s and ’60s. Crazy!

I know it’s a lot to process, even with our ultra-modern millenial minds.  What makes this show so interesting (besides the actual subject matter) is that during the entire time you’re watching, you subconsciously know that all of this stuff actually happened.  Of course it’s still television and it’s not a documentary, so dramatic and creative liberties are taken.  But Masters and Johnson are historically responsible of recording some of the first laboratory data on the human sexual response based on the direct observation of over 10,000 complete cycles of sexual responses. Come on, you guys…that’s a lot of responses!

Based on my knowledge of this era (which exists thanks to things like Mad Men and The Hours and NOT history books), I find it equal parts thrilling and mind-boggling that so many willing participants came forth to shed their inhibitions for the sake of sex and science.  Mostly because we’re not talking boring, “Missionary Joe” kind of stuff – we’re talking dildos with cameras in them!  All for the sake of figuring out the female orgasm. (I think I speak for my fellow vaginas when I nod heavenward to say a silent “thank you” to the pioneers who took part in these experiments.)

Masters and Johnson continued their research for decades, and were able to shed light on sexual dysfunction, the sexual responsiveness of aging adults (Newsflash: your grandma and grandpa still “do it”… heh heh), and patterns of homosexual sex. Needless to say, I sincerely doubt Masters of Sex will bore us in any way during its first season.

Michael Sheen and Lizzy “I have a giant LEZZZZBIAN crush on you” Caplan were fantastic to watch in the pilot episode.  Trust me, you don’t want to miss this show, if for no other reason than to talk about it with everyone else Monday morning.

Need further proof?  Here you go!

(Photo: Tumblr)

You can reach this post's author, Cassandra Hough, on twitter.
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  • Thomas Maier

    If you’d like to know more about Masters and Johnson — or my book “Masters of Sex” which is the basis for the television series — please contact ThomasMaierBooks [dot] com. On this website, there is a lot of material about the making of this new show from my biography. You can also obtain the book “Masters of Sex” at the Showtime website.