Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love

Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love

by Thomas Maier

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Now a New Showtime Original Series

Showtime's dramatic series Masters of Sex, starring Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan, is based on this real-life story of sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson. Before Sex and the City and ViagraTM, America relied on Masters and Johnson to teach us everything we needed to know about what goes on in the bedroom. Convincing hundreds of men and women to shed their clothes and copulate, the pair were the nation’s top experts on love and intimacy. Highlighting interviews with the notoriously private Masters and the ambitious Johnson, critically acclaimed biographer Thomas Maier shows how this unusual team changed the way we all thought about, talked about, and engaged in sex while they simultaneously tried to make sense of their own relationship. Entertaining, revealing, and beautifully told, Masters of Sex sheds light on the eternal mysteries of desire, intimacy, and the American psyche.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465044993
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 07/02/2013
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 424
Sales rank: 273,653
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Thomas Maier is the author of The Kennedys: America's Emerald Kings, which was adapted for Warner Home Video DVD, and the critically acclaimed Dr. Spock, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 1999. He is a special writer at Newsday. He lives in Long Island, New York.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Phase 1

1 Golden Girl 3

2 Heartland 14

3 Mrs. Johnson 22

4 Never Going Home 30

5 A Wonder to Behold 39

6 The Fertility Expert 47

7 The Good Wife 57

8 Academic Freedom 66

9 Through the Peephole 76

Phase 2

10 The Matrix 87

11 The Experiment 95

12 Volunteers 103

13 Noah 116

14 Masks 121

15 Leaving School 134

16 A Matter of Trust 141

17 Revealing Secrets 150

18 The Human Response 156

Phase 3

19 The Excitement of Release 171

20 Focusing Feelings 176

21 Sexual Healing 185

22 Surrogates 196

23 Playboys and Patrons 203

24 Repairing the Conjugal Bed 211

25 The Scent of Love 218

26 Betrayals 225

27 The Marriage Compact 231

Phase 4

28 Feminist Movement 241

29 The Business of Sex 252

30 The Pleasure Bond 260

31 Guide to the Stars 270

32 Conversion and Reversion 281

33 The Promise of a Future 299

34 Beauty and the Beast 307

35 Crisis 319

36 Breakup 331

37 For the Roses 339

38 Couples 345

39 In Memoriam 354

40 Forget-Me-Nots 367

A Note on Sources 377

Notes 379

Selected Bibliography 391

About the Author 397

Index 399

What People are Saying About This

Gay Talese

"A well-written and insightful account of Masters and Johnson, who, in a clinical sense, probably knew more about sex and marital love than any other couple in America"--(Gay Talese, author of Thy Neighbor's Wife and A Writer's Life)

Nelson DeMille

"The subject of this book-sex and love-should interest just about everyone. As a bonus, Thomas Maier is a very fine writer, an accomplished biographer, and an astute reporter. If you read only one biography this year, it should be this first-ever look at the secretive lives of Masters and Johnson."--(Nelson DeMille, bestselling author of The Gold Coast and The Gate House)

Hugh Hefner

"Thomas Maier has written the intimate, engaging biography that Masters and Johnson deserve. Critics often accused the pair of 'dehumanizing' sex with their research-of removing its mystery. But as Gini Johnson told Playboy in 1968, mystery is just another name for superstition and myth. The more we know about the physiology of arousal, the better we can enjoy the uniquely human experience of sex for pleasure. Masters and Johnson showed tremendous courage in their research."--(Hugh Hefner, editor in chief, Playboy magazine)

Pepper Schwartz

"It's hard to imagine any sex researcher or serious student of sexuality who wouldn't profit from reading this book. The information revealed in Masters of Sex has never surfaced before-and besides being a real contribution to the history of science, it's a totally captivating read!"--(Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D., Past President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, and author of Prime: Adventures and Advice About Sex, Love and the Sensual Years)

Debby Applegate

"Masters of Sex is a terrific book about the unlikely couple who touched off the sexual revolution. More than a biography, this is an intimate history of sex in the twentieth-century."--(Debby Applegate, Winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Biography for The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher)

Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer

"No novelist could come up with something as remarkable as the real life story of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the married experts giving advice to America on sex and love. With insightful reporting and writing, Thomas Maier has captured this extraordinary relationship between these male and female sex researchers, a legacy that transformed the way couples live today."

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Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Grady1GH More than 1 year ago
Thomas Maier has successfully brought to life the lives of two of the more important figures in the history of scientific investigation of human sexual behavior in a manner that would doubtless have made the subjects of this biography giggle in retrospect. MASTERS OF SEX is a well written, solidly researched ('based on interviews, Masters' unpublished memoir, and clinic documents') near exposé of the fascinating lives of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, two creative thinkers who disrupted their private lives to engage the country in a mass retrieval of sexual behavior, characteristics, follies, fantasies and abuses that lead to their magnum opus HUMAN SEXUAL RESPONSE. By detailing the investigating techniques and the manner in which the couple drew throngs of eager workers to carry out their detailed questionnaires distributed throughout the country makes for reading that is peppered with borderline taste and daring and makes a book about 'scientific investigation' as fun to read as a plain wrapper novel! But the end result in reading this lengthy book is best tied to the subtitle of Maier's choice - 'The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love'. For all the dalliances Maier takes in uncovering the skills of his workers and the rather rocky life patterns of the subjects of this biography, he still convinces the reader that the work by these two strange but important people truly altered the way we have grown into examining sexuality today. Without their work we may have still been in the Victorian era! Well written and always entertaining, this is a book from which we learn, and a book we enjoy as a bit of a racy novel. Grady Harp
jerry_s More than 1 year ago
This was a very frustrating book because I came away with the feeling that there was a deeper, even more interesting, story to be told about the motivations of the various individuals. I was never sure whether this was conjecture on my part or was being hinted at by the author. On the other hand, I did come away wanting to understand their work, as it is seen today, more fully
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can be a bit disjointed in some parts, but overall a great read.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kiss the back of your hand 3 times.Then repost to 3 other books.