​Masters & Johnson: They wrote the book on having sex

Then, the prevailing success rate treating sexual problems: maybe 15 percent.

They reported an astonishing 80 percent.

The best part: The treatment only took just two weeks.

"Essentially what they did was they taught couples how to touch one another again, literally how to communicate physically, where it had broken down," said Maier.

Playboy's Hugh Hefner helped bankroll their work. As the national dialogue about sex became more candid, they informed the conversation, one way or another:

Johnny Carson: "You have just done what Masters and Johnson would call a premature ovation."

The laughter was good-natured, until the publication of their book on homosexuality in 1979. Masters was ridiculed for claiming that people could be converted from homosexuality to heterosexuality, his conversion results questioned.

Teichner asked, "Do you, in your heart of hearts, believe that at some level Dr. Bill Masters exaggerated, or fabricated [the conversion numbers]?"

"Oh, at least exaggerated," replied Kolodny.

And then came the bombshell: the couple who taught other couples about sex was getting a divorce, in 1992, after 21 years of marriage. Masters left Johnson for another woman.

"Regardless of the tragic way their love story ends, fundamentally, their story is about bringing medicine and science into the discussion of sexuality," said Maier.

Masters died in 2001, Johnson in 2013 -- their once-famous names practically forgotten, replaced by the more familiar names associated with sex: Viagra, Premarin ...


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