7 truths about Masters of Sex

2016-07-21 06:00

Cape Town - Getting hot and steamy under the sheets “for research” sparked off the sexual revolution, according to popular period drama series Masters Of Sex (2013-current), of which season 1 and 2 are available to watch now on video-streaming site ShowMax. 

The main characters William Masters (played by Michael Sheen, star of critically acclaimed movies The Queen and Frost/Nixon) and Virginia Johnson (played by Lizzy Caplan from Mean Girls and True Blood) are based on real-life pioneers in the field of sexual research, but just how much of the show is accurate and which bits are completely fictionalised? Let’s find out…

1. The personalities of Masters and Johnson have been captured perfectly on Masters Of Sex. William is a successful obstetrician and gynaecologist who partners with divorcee writer Virginia for the sake of scientific research. From episode one, viewers will respond to Virginia’s likeable personality – especially her charm towards patients which is in direct contrast to William’s lack of bedside manner.

2. Just like on the show, the partners did “get it on” for science in real life and they became a couple. However, the real Masters and Johnson kept things strictly professional during office hours and never let their sexual desires get the better of them. All that sexual tension on the show is just for TV. 

3. A number of prostitutes were used as test subjects during the real experiments, as in the show. But the real Masters conducted tests on them in a brothel, not his lab. And not all of the test subjects were as attractive as seen on Masters Of Sex. 

4. In case you’ve forgotten, talking about sex with strangers was unheard of in the 1950s and the general public were repulsed by the research. However, Masters and Johnson’s investigative research was groundbreaking at the time and their published works really did become the point of references for future generations talking about human sexuality.

5. And what was it that they taught us? While there are a number of aspects that Masters and Johnson touched on during their years of research, season one covers orgasms, patterns of male and female sexual responses and sexual dysfunctions. Season two starts with Masters and Johnson struggling to get their research back on track.

6. All the trials, tests and research were carried out in St Louis in the state of Missouri but for TV purposes, everything is filmed in California. However, there are a number of backdrop references to St Louis, which was done with historically accurate filming and skilled editing.

7. What do the real Masters and Johnson think of the show? Unfortunately, we’ll never know because Virginia died at the age of 88 in July 2013, a few weeks before the premiere of the show. William passed away in February 2001 after suffering complications from Parkinson’s disease.

Now’s the perfect time to catch up on the first two seasons before the Golden Globe-winning show returns for a fourth season in September 2016. Go to ShowMax.com and sign up for a seven-day free trial and start watching now.

Watch the trailer here:

(Sources: Bustle.com, nypost.com, stltoday.com, Time.com.)

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