5 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching Masters of Sex (Photos NSFW)

Within the span of three days, I received text messages from each of my (divorced) parents insisting that I watch “the new sex show” on Showtime. Mind you, my parents assume that my newly-minted bachelor’s degree in Sexuality Studies grants them permission to send me a daily smattering of sex-related articles, which I usually find sort of endearing and only slightly annoying. For whatever reason, I decided to give this particular suggestion a go. And oh. My. God.

I shouldn’t have been so surprised. Showtime has only brought me fabulous things in the past (hello, Weeds and The L Word), but Masters of Sex may really be the cherry on top of my delicious cable television sundae. Okay, maybe I went too far with that metaphor. Let me break it down – here are my Masters of Sex selling points.

5) It’s Educational

Masters of Sex successfully narrates a history of the development of sexology in the 1960s. Emily Nussbaum calls the pilot “Mad Men with Benefits,” at times too trite and attention-grabbing. As far as I’m concerned, if all it takes is some camera magic and playful sexiness to shine a spotlight on an important piece of history that often goes unnoticed, then by all means, shine away! I am confident that this show has a far-reaching audience, and that means that people who may not ever learn about the scientific study of sex are gaining access to this information. So far, it gets my Sex Educator stamp of approval.

4) It’s Gorgeous

Hello, cinematography. Hello COSTUMES. The styling, camera filters, and wide shots are to die for. I will now let these pictures speak for themselves.

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3) “Historical Accuracy” (Read: Ulysses)

All my fellow sex geeks will appreciate the glory that is “Ulysses,” the combination camera/dildo based on a real device from Masters and Johnson’s original study. They did a pretty good job, too – compare Ulysses to these other “vintage” vibrators.

Dr. Masters takes Ulysses for a spin

Ulysses

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2) Lizzy Caplan is a Fierce (and FINE) Feminist

I have been waiting so very long to see an empowered, sex-positive, respected female character on television. It feels like we’ve been drowning in a sea of media mis(s)representation of women, and I’d be lying if I told you I hadn’t begun to feel downtrodden. But then, like a Botticelli painting out steps my girl Janis Ian. And she’s as fierce as ever. 

Caplan’s Ginny is simultaneously sexy and strong – you’re not quite sure if you want to be her or if you want to do her. Probably both. Tara Aquino and Ross Scarano say it perfectly:

“[Johnson] is trying to fashion a life for herself in the face of overwhelming social structures that doom you from your first breath, son! These structures seek to keep all of us in the dark about how our private parts work! These structures trap women, gays—anyone that’s not a white heterosexual male who’s been told he can hump any chick he wants and then roll off and go to sleep—within strict roles and then allow for no deviation.”

Michelle Dean offers a more critical perspective, pointing out that there’s no way that Caplan could have made it as Johnson in the late 1950s. But that wouldn’t be fun to watch, now, would it?

1) It’s HOT. Like seriously hot. 

Okay, so we’re down to the most obvious reason this show is so awesome. It’s about sex. There’s a lot of sex. It’s sexy. Just…sex. Do you know what this means? Now we all have a reasonable excuse to openly enjoy hot sex scenes on television (not that we should ever need an excuse, but it’s nice to have a backup plan). Once again, I’ll let the screenshots speak for themselves.

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I’ll take it even further- it’s not just an excuse, it’s actually a hot new conversation topic. How cultured and evolved will you sound when you offer a critique of modern sexuality through the lens of the history of sexology? Yeah. Exactly.

So Mom and Dad, if you happen to stumble across my tiny corner of the blogosphere, congratulations, because this is the only time you’ll hear it – you were right. Perhaps you do know me better than I know myself.

About Michaela

Michaela

Michaela is a recent Seven Sisters graduate with a self-designed degree in Sexuality Studies. When she's not blogging, you'll find her teaching Health and Wellness and A Cappella to high school students, helping women find properly fitting bras, and working as an editor on a documentary. She hopes to continue her education one day with a PhD in Feminist Anthropology.