Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sex. We all need it, think about it at times and are either satisfied or disgusted with ourselves afterwards. Years ago there were   Masters and Johnson who investigated all the questions about sex that people were afraid to ask. Today we have Dr. Oz who has become a bit if a snake oil salesman with his colleagues at Columbia University trashing some of his recommendation’s    for   various health topics. Or Dr. Drew that films and displays some of the most personal torments celebrities have in their personal lives. Or Dr. Phil who will judge just about anyone on topics he is no doctor professional. Somehow they all won the trust of the general public and make millions.

When TV was black and white and attitudes towards sex were too there was a book called Human Sexual Response that detonated more intrigue than the Shades of Grey book. It was all shocking in April, 1966. It was all about a physician and at that time his research assistant had been doing laboratory studies of people actually having sex that was eye opening. Dr. Bill Masters and Virginia Johnson   was deliberately cooling down a hot topic.  Thomas Maier wrote a Biography of the two. He noted that the two were proving that women had a greater capacity for sex than the male partners. They revealed that older people can enjoy sex. On the cable channel Showtime there is a series called Masters of Sex that shows in graphic detail how Gynecologist, Johnson began his research in 1954.

They were observing prostitutes in secrecy at Washington University in St. Lewis to see what happens to a woman during sex. Johnson was a mother of two without a college degree. Masters pressured her to have sex with him as part of their work. Today that would be called sexual harassment but in those days she did what he wanted to keep her job. In 1970 Masters divorced his wife of 29 years and almost immediately married Johnson but by then their names were famous. Like proctor and Gamble they became a brand with 5 published books. Sex and Human Loving, The Pleasure Bond, Masters of Sex, Black Masters and   The Passage of Power.

People thought Virginia Johnson deserved equal credit even though she did not have a college degree because she played a key role in designing the approach to sexual therapy that took off. They reported an 80% success rate for treating sexual therapy. Their therapy only took 2 weeks. They taught couples how to touch one another again. Literally how to communicate physically. Playboy’s Hugh Hefner helped bankroll their work as the national dialogue on sex became more candid and open.  It was all good until the publication of their book on Homosexuality in 1979 came out to speak. Masters was ridiculed for saying that if they wanted to a person could be converted from being a homosexual to become a heterosexual.

Then even after that controversial statement they decided to get a divorce in 1992 after 21 years of marriage. He left her for another woman. I guess they were mostly known for at least bringing the subject of science and sexuality together.  He died in 2001 and she died in 2013. Now their once famous names are already practically forgotten. Other guru names on relationships and sexuality have taken their places. Meanwhile we all still struggle with our personal views on sexuality in all shapes and sizes genders and forms.  Recently we have been flooded with the gender problems of the athlete and reality star,   Bruce Jenner. I could care less about him who wants to be her now, I got my own problems.  

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