Masters of Sex follows real-life pioneers of the science of human sexuality

Simone Paget, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:34 PM ET

There's no shortage of sex on TV. When we're not shaking our heads at Hank Moody's rotating door of lovers or consuming the all-you-can-eat buffet of full frontal nudity on Game of Thrones, we're being accosted by a gyrating Miley Cyrus or news of the latest celebrity sex tape.

If you had asked me whether we needed more sex on TV, I would have answered "probably not." That is, until I watched Showtime's new series Masters of Sex.

Described as "Mad Men with benefits,” the show follows William Masters and Virginia Johnson - real-life pioneers of the science of human sexuality. Masters and Johnson's bestselling 1966 study blew apart the medical community's prudish views on sexuality and dispelled Freudian myths by explaining the physiology of orgasms, making the researchers national celebrities.

Whereas Johnson's character is very much in touch with her sexuality, Masters is portrayed as a radical when it comes to science, but also as a wide-eyed innocent. When Masters earnestly asks "Why would a woman ever want to fake an orgasm?" you can't help but giggle.

Part of what makes the show so compelling is that it's set in the 1950's - long before sex-fuelled headlines graced magazine covers and Don Draper's sexual dalliances were part of our popular imagination. Masters of Sex draws attention to how far we've come as a society, but also how far we still have to go. As Masters states in the first episode, "The study of sex is the study of the beginning of human life" - and yet, despite the rampant oversexualization of pop culture, we still have difficulty discussing sex honestly and openly.

Katrina McKay, founder and CEO of Ohhh Canada and an international speaker on sexuality and entrepreneurship, believes sex warrants an open conversation. "Our appetite for sex is a lot like our appetite for food - it's natural and we derive great pleasure from satisfying it," she says.

However, she explains, "Even if you aren't divulging personal details, often times just the mere mention of the word 'sex' will kill a conversation. Sex is great and merits more discussion - definitely not less! It's about time we all got over ourselves."

Although there is no lack of gratuitous sex on our TV sets there is a shortage of really great stories, in particular ones that discuss sexuality in an honest, life-affirming, positive light. If it weren't for Masters and Johnson's work, it's very likely that many of us wouldn't possess the same kind of understanding of our own sexualities and this column wouldn't exist - all reasons why their story is one worth telling. The fact that the show is also extremely sexy is the cherry on top.

 


Videos

Photos