William Masters and Virginia Johnson became famous in the 1960s for their groundbreaking and controversial research into the physiology of human sexuality. Instead of just asking people about their sex lives, Masters and Johnson actually observed volunteers engaging in self-stimulation and sexual intercourse. Changes throughout their bodies during arousal were measured with medical equipment.
A new Showtime series premiering in September tells their story. It's called Masters of Sex, and it's based on the book by Thomas Maier, who is also a consultant for the series. Until Maier's book, Masters and Johnson's research techniques remained shrouded in secrecy. Maier was able to uncover information through interviews with their friends, family and former colleagues, as well as extensive interviews with Johnson, who on July 24 at the age of 88.
Masters of Sex was first published in 2009, but a new paperback edition of the book has just come out. Maier is also the author of books about the Kennedys and the famous pediatrician Benjamin Spock. He joins Fresh Air's Terry Gross to discuss Masters and Johnson's discovery of multiple and fake orgasms, as well as Masters' use of prostitutes and sex surrogates. (Shortride)… (more)
Critically acclaimed biographer Thomas Maier offers an unprecedented look at William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the famous sex research team who dramatically transformed American sexuality, yet whose private relationship was just as complex and dysfunctional as any of their parents’. Masters and Johnson conducted their research at their not-for-profit institution in St. Louis and were inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame. (booksense)… (more)