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Virginia Johnson Today - Before Carrie Bradshaw, Madonna, Sex and the City, Dr. Ruth, She Was Pioneer of Female Sexuality for American Women

The following excerpted from the new biography, "Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, The Couple Who Taught America How To Love," (Basic Books).
For those who knew her well, there was something disturbing about Virginia Johnson’s ignominious fate. How could one of the most remarkable American women of the 20th Century – who witnessed more about human sexuality than anyone in the world, who explored its multitude of physical wonders and emotional expressions -- be relegated to such obscurity? How could an independent-minded woman who embodied so many cultural changes in the world’s view about female sexuality be so unappreciated? Where were the 1970s feminists and the sexually confident young women of Generation X, those who emulated “Sex and the City” and text-messaged men asking for a date? These urbane, sophisticated women -- as much as any conservative suburban wife who might sneak a peek at Masters and Johnson’s books -- owed a debt …

"Masters of Sex" Book Launch at New York Academy of Medicine with Author Thomas Maier, Guests Gay Talese, Laurie Garrett and Robert Kolodny

Here's the opening remarks for the book launch of "Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love", which took place April 27, 2009 at the New York Academy of Medicine. Author Thomas Maier introduces one of the guest, legendary writer Gay Talese, and recalls Talese's questioning of Masters and Johnson's own love life -- in front of a convention of newspaper editors!
The theme of the evening was "Sex in America, Then and Now: The Lasting Legacy of Masters and Johnson", at the NYAM sponsored by the Hugh M. Hefner Foundation.
Distinguished author Thomas Maier offers an unprecedented look at Masters and Johnson, experts on the subject of sex, and their lasting impact on the love lives of today's men and women in his new book
To mark the launch of this new biography of sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson, Maier joins a distinguished panel looking at America's sexua…

Tonight: Gay Talese, Laurie Garrett, Dr. Robert Kolodny on Panel for Launch of "Masters of Sex" at NY Academy of Medicine

Apr 27, 2009 • 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Sex in America, Then and Now: The Lasting Legacy of Masters and Johnson
Location: The New York Academy of Medicine
Speakers: Thomas Maier, Gay Talese, Dr. Robert C. Kolodny, Laurie Garrett
This event sponsored by: Hugh M. Hefner Foundation.
Distinguished author Thomas Maier offers an unprecedented look at Masters and Johnson, experts on the subject of sex, and their lasting impact on the love lives of today's men and women in his new book "Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love".
To mark the launch of this new biography of sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson, Maier joins a distinguished panel looking at America's sexual attitudes since the 1960s and how it influences today's generation.


The guests include legendary writer Gay Talese, author of newly-reissued "Thy Neighbor's Wife," and Dr. Robert C. Kolodny, former associate d…

New York Times: "Gay Conversion" Debate from Masters and Johnson Biography

Faked Evidence of “Gay Conversion”?

By JOHN TIERNEY
Did Masters & Johnson fake their evidence that they’d successfully “converted” more than 70 percent of men and women who were dissatisfied with their homosexuality? That claim was made in the 1979 book, “Homosexuality in Perspective,” by William Masters and Virginia Johnson. But it’s questioned in Thomas Maier’s new biography of the sexologists, “Masters of Sex.”

Mr. Maier summarizes his doubts in Scientific American, explaining that doubts about validity of the case studies arose among the staff at the Masters and Johnson clinic before the publication of the 1979 book:

Most staffers never met any of the conversion cases during the study period of 1968 through 1977. . . . Clinic staffer Lynn Strenkofsky, who organized patient schedules during this period, says she never dealt with any conversion cases. Marshall and Peggy Shearer, perhaps the clinic’s most experienced therapy team in the early 1970s, says they never treated homosexual…

Scientific American: Hugh Hefner as Patron of Masters and Johnson, Book Launch for "Masters of Sex" At NY Academy of Medicine

Apr 23, 2009, Scientific American

Got a sexy science project? Call Hugh Hefner for funding

By Adam Hadhazy in 60-Second Science Blog
If you show up to the New York Academy of Medicine the night of April 27th, you'll hear journalist Tom Maier discuss his new biography of famous sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson. (Maier reveals some of what he dug up on the truth behind "gay conversion" therapy in this Perspective for ScientificAmerican.com.)

What you'll see if you look at who sponsored the event, however, is another familiar name: Hugh Hefner.

The Playboy founder's sponsorship of next week's event through the Hugh M. Hefner Foundation is in keeping with the Foundation's support of freedom and sexuality, says foundation spokesperson Matthew Pakula. Masters and Johnson were, of course, the husband and wife team often credited with starting the practice of sex therapy for couples. They studied the psychology and physiology of lovemaking from 19…

Doubts About Masters and Johnson's "Gay Conversion" Cases Cited in Scientific America, More Fully Explained in New Biography

Today, the Scientific American published a short, adapted online excerpt from my new biography of Masters and Johnson, detailing the doubts about the "gay convertion" case studies cited in their 1979 book about homosexuality. It's interesting to how the media treated this book in the past (see video of Tom Brokaw's question to William Masters) and what I learned in the research and interviews for my new biography, "Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How To Love."
But this SciAm piece is only a small part of this debate and I urge anyone who is interested to read this chapter carefully and thoroughly.


From Scientific American, April 22, 2009
By Thomas Maier
A British survey published last month found that one in 25 therapists would assist gay and bisexual patients attempting to convert to heterosexuality. That's despite the fact that many medical groups, including the American Medical As…

Doubts Surrounding "Gay Conversion" Case Studies of Masters and Johnson

Can Psychiatrists Really "Cure" Homosexuality?
Masters and Johnson claimed to convert gays to heterosexuality in a 1979 book. But did they?
By Thomas Maier

A British survey published last month found that one in 25 therapists would assist gay and bisexual patients attempting to convert to heterosexuality. That's despite the fact that many medical groups, including the American Medical Association, have for years condemned such practices, saying they don't work and can actually cause harm.
It may not be surprising that Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson and televangelist pastor Jerry Falwell, among many others, have supported programs designed to convert homosexuals away from "sin" and into the arms of God-fearing heterosexuality. But what may surprise you is one of the research sources cited by the Catholic Medical Association in 2006 when it declared that science "counters the myth that same-sex attraction is genetically predetermined …

O - The Oprah Magazine Reviews "Masters of Sex" -- Here's the Full Review

It's shocking to realize how little we knew about the physiology of sex—female sexuality, in particular—until the 1950s, when gynecological surgeon William Masters set up a semiclandestine laboratory at a university in St. Louis and, together with his assistant, Virginia Johnson, employed the latest technology (a plastic penis equipped with a camera!) and volunteer subjects to record what happens during the act. Illuminating the previously misunderstood and underestimated female orgasm, their findings (published in the 1966 best-seller Human Sexual Response) were an important factor in heating up the sexual climate of the 1960s. The increasingly successful researchers helped many grateful couples, who flocked to their clinic with their most intimate problems. But science failed to do much for Masters and Johnson themselves. Sex with her boss was understood to be part of the job description for Virginia Johnson, an attractive divorced single mother, yet when Masters finally left hi…

NEWSWEEK: Masters of Sex is "exhaustive" bio that asks 'What is This Thing Called Love?' Are 20-Somethings better at true love than Boomer parents?

Andrew Romano
NEWSWEEK
From the magazine issue dated Apr 27, 2009
Bill Masters may have been the 20th century's most unlikely romantic. Bald, thin-lipped, stocky and bow-tied, with a white shirt, white ballpoint pen and starched white lab coat, the brusque St. Louis Ob-Gyn appeared almost antiseptic in person, and his milky, wandering left eye convinced most acquaintances that he was as cold and clinical as he looked. Then there was his day job. As the driving force behind Masters and Johnson, the biggest brand in postwar sex research, Masters spent 40 years exploring the physiology of coitus, often with the help of a vibrating optical dildo called Ulysses—hardly the most sentimental of occupations. Least amorous of all, though, may have been Masters's love life. In the late '50s, he persuaded partner Virginia Johnson to have sex with him, but only, he explained, "as a way of further comprehending all that they were learning through [laboratory] observation"; they r…

Podcast about "Masters of Sex": Let's Talk About It -- All 430 Pages of This New Book!

Not really. Just a few minutes with author Thomas Maier (the invisible wizard of this blog) chatting about the new Masters and Johnson biography. Hope you enjoy.

Booklist gives starred review to "Masters of Sex": Calls it a "wonderfully written and totally absorbing look at an amazing couple."

Booklist magazine of the American Library Association gives a starred review to "Masters of Sex", saying that it "offers a wonderfully written and totally absorbing look at an amazing couple." Another review can be found at O - The Oprah magazine in the current May issue.

O - The Oprah Magazine Reviews "Masters of Sex" -- Loveless Marriage of M&J Part of Their Mystery

In the brand-new May 2009 edition of O - The Oprah Magazine -- Francine Prose reviews Masters of Sex by Thomas Maier, "a strangely chilling story of two sexual pioneers."
Prose recounts the story of Masters and Johnson and underlines the remarkable modern Pygmalion-like story of Virginia Johnson. "Sex with her boss was understood to be part of the job description for Virginia Johnson, an attractive divorced single mother, yet when Masters finally left his wife for her, their marriage was a chilly professional partnership, sadly devoid of love -- a mystery their experiments had left unexplored."
As Prose concludes, "Masters of Sex, Thomas Maier's new book about the couple's career, may strike some readers as unusually graphic for a biography, but this unsettling story of sex and science in theory and practice is ultimately more cautionary than titillating."

Kindle: "Masters of Sex" now an Amazon e-book version of Masters and Johnson biography

Starting today, Kindle is selling e-book versions of "Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, The Couple Who Taught America How to Love."
Praise for “Masters of Sex” by Thomas Maier
“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.
"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"
“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 neve…

"Masters of Sex" - Listen to Interview About New Book