Books | Science

May 16, 2009

When Masters Met Johnson

Biographer and investigative reporter Thomas Maier chronicles the couple and their research that revolutionized American attitudes toward sex.

Sara Michael

It's fitting that Thomas Maier's latest biography opens with the scene of a 15-year-old girl, later to be known to the world as Virginia Johnson, losing her virginity to her high-school sweetheart in the back of a Plymouth sedan. How else could you launch into the intimate story of one of America's pioneers of human sexuality?

Johnson is one half of the pair credited with shattering long-held myths about the physiology of human sexual response in the 1960s. In Masters of Sex, Maier's intimate portrait of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the author examines the lives of this secretive couple who brought sex to the lab and were among the first to study the physiology of the orgasm.

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Article by Sara Michael

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