Masters and Johnson are two famous scientists who studied the physiology of sexual response. William Howell Masters is a gynecologist from Ohio born in 1915. And Virginia Eshelman Johnson is a female psychologist from Montana born in 1925. They have been studying sexual disorders, sexual excitement, and all other parts of sexuality since 1957. They also have become experts in sexual therapy.

They acted as a follow up to the human sexuality research performed by Alfred Kinsey. They wrote a follow up to Kinsey's Sexual Behavior in the Human Male with the book Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. These books allowed for more open discussion on sexuality. Many people were hesitant to talk about sex during this time, but these began a revolution of sexual awareness. Their primary contribution defines sexuality as a healthy human trait and the experience of intimacy and pleasure during sex as socially acceptable. They were the first to describe the physiological changes during sex. They documented the inevitability of an ejaculation after a certain point in the sexual response cycle. The male refractory period was first discovered and documented by them. They discovered that sexual response relating to intercourse and masturbation is basically universal. And they wrote first on the capacity of females for multiple orgasms.

They began their research by building a machine to record human sexual response. They researched on over 700 men and women during different situations such as intercourse and masturbation. The recorded over 10,000 episodes of activity. Based upon their findings they wrote a book in 1966 titled Human Sexual Response. See Sexual Response Cycle. They became celebrities as the book became a best seller and sexuality became more accepted. Soon after the book's release Masters divorced his wife and married Johnson.

In 1970, they published Human Sexual Inadequacy. This book dealt with dysfunctions such as premature ejaculation and impotence. During this time sex therapy was also born.

Their next book Homosexuality in Perspective, described the sexual responses of gay men and lesbians, and was published in 1979. We can thank this book for the rejection of the idea that homosexuality as a mental illness. However they did say that people could change their sexuality. This obviously brought much controversy from the liberal straight and gay communities.

The last book they wrote was published in 1988 and was titled Heterosexual Behavior in the Age of AIDS. This was not well received, because it encouraged condom use in the heterosexual community.

Unfortunately their expertise on relationships could not help them. After 30 years Masters and Johnson divorced. During their time together they did start a sex clinic in St. Louis called simply Masters and Johnson. This clinic was based on research and therapy.

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