“Masters of Sex” – the search for orgasm through the keyhole

Posted: Ieva Gabrėnaitė Date: 2014-01-06 07:36

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A still from "Masters of Sex"

Can you imagine that just 50 years ago a concept of sex was a taboo, not to mention that sex before marriage was in general considered immoral? 

How would the modern society react if we started to discuss sexuality and orgasm? We would say it is normal because internet is full of this kind of information but if we came back to 1940’s, any attempt to find out more about sexuality would be a scandal. “Masters of Sex” invites us to take a look at the beginning of sexuality studies.

The Plot

“Masters of Sex” is a new TV series developed by Showtime and created by Michelle Ashford. Is based on the biography of Thomas Maier “Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love.” Like the famous “Mad Men” this series also takes you into the past where cigarettes are not the cause of a lung cancer and drinking alcohol at work is like a tea break during these days.

The action takes place in about 1940’s when the world was not obsessed with sexuality and woman’s place was in the kitchen. The entire Washington University community despise Dr. William Masters (Michael Sheen) and Virginia Johnson’s (Lizzy Caplan) study where they are trying to find out what is going on in a human body during sexual intercourse.

The series perfectly reflects the details of that time – house interior, cars, clothes, everything just fits perfectly. It is fun to see the primitive medical tools, instruments used by the doctors at that time.

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still from “Masters of Sex”

It is also great that the humour is found even in desperate situations and it is like a fresh wind on a hot day. It is amazing how the main character Dr. Masters learned that women sometimes fake orgasm. He often looks like a lost teenager in a biology class.

A shocking theme caused considerable difficulties in obtaining the approval of the university to continue their studies. When Dr. Masters was expelled from the hospital, he moved his sexuality research to a brothel where he faced much bigger difficulties such as homosexual relationship which, according to Masters, are not suitable for further analysis since it is not a statistical norm.

And even though the story of the series is quite shocking, the characters who are unified by their liberate opinion towards sex which is completely extraordinary at that period of time are more intriguing.

Characters

Absolutely amazing actors Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan perfectly fulfil the story and present their perceptions of the sexual relationships. She is a divorced mother of two children and wishes to be more than just a secretary – she wishes to become an equal partner in this sexuality research. He is a cold gynaecologist who does not like to socialize but is a star of the university. Unfortunately, he achieves victory at work but not at home. Masters’ wife Libby (Caitlin FitzGerald) – ideal wife desperately trying to get pregnant. Libby is obsessed with the thought that she has to give a baby to her husband and if not – she is worth nothing. Their relationship is strange but it is just because of a doctor. Sex is organized according to Libby’s ovulation schedule and not passionate as pyjamas and nightdresses are essential attributes of this complicated love scenes.

On the contrary, his work partner Virginia is a self-confident and has a healthy appetite for sexual life. She believes that love is often mixed with lust and starts a romance with a young doctor (Nicholas D’Agosto) who immediately becomes crazy about her. After some time Virginia seduces doctor Ethan Haas who wants to marry her even though Virginia just wants to have to fool around with him.

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still from “Masters of Sex”

Other characters which sometimes are tragic and extremely funny vitalize the series. The prostitute Betty (Annaleigh Ashford) was the first to believe in doctor. She let him observe him her sexual interaction with a client through a hole in a wall. Dr. Austin (Teddy Sears) – sex addict who is married but still agrees to cooperate with the Masters. A college lecturer and Master’s friend Barton (Beau Bridges) who is in every way opposed to the study of sexuality but through not very fair rules of the game is forced to work with Masters.

In each series characters become more open and more complex. The longer we follow them, the more we want to know them better. This is a great strategy chosen by the creators of the series because once you start watching it is very difficult to stop.

The Details of a Series

The series has received a lot of positive feedback. According to one critic “Masters of Sex” is one of the most intriguing and tempting television series aired last autumn. Indeed, it is difficult to object to this observation. The creators managed to discover something that was not shown on the TV before. Delicate humour, distinctive characters, great figuration give a lot of positive emotions. Great directing, absolutely great acting and amazing cinematography are perfect. “Masters of Sex” unambiguously can be called one of the most wonderful television projects of this time.

Verdict 9/10

Nowadays we are used to things which would be inappropriate to our grandparents. Promotions of sex toys and demonstration of a nude body is a part of our culture and it would be hard to find people who try to protect their virginity till the wedding day. “Masters of Sex” is about the days when everyone believed that the stork brings babies and non-marital sex is only prostitutes or sluts. However, this series is addictive. You can hear absurd questions about sex, sexuality or even sexual organs about which these days children are taught in school. It is snappy, interesting and true story which we recommend for people who have no taboo.