When I was fifteen I knew I wanted a career in educating people about sex. When my parents asked me what I wanted to do when I was older, I responded ‘I want to be a sex therapist.’ My father looked stunned and replied, ‘That’s not a real career’. This response didn’t deter me from my dream career, and that when I managed to get my hands on a book by Masters and Johnson, and that book for the starting point of something amazing and helped lead me to where I am today. I still own my copy and now have collected loads of sex books written by and about Masters and Johnson.
On the 24th August, Virginia Johnson, passed away at the age of 88. In her 30s she was a struggling mother looking for work, which lead to her being hired by Masters as his assistant. Together Masters and Johnson started to work in the field of sex research, and helped change the way society not only researched human sexuality, but how we saw it too. During their partnership Johnson and Masters also became lovers, which no doubt meant that they were able to experiment their research further, in their own lives too. They eventually married and where known as one of the greatest power couples involved in sex research.
One of the greatest things about Johnson’s input in the field of human sexuality was that she was able to bring a new light onto female orgasm and sexual performances. Even after reading loads of old sex manuals and books, which were published before this particular research, I have found very few which were able to talk about how the female body works. There were a few female writers before Johnson who looked into female sexuality, such as Mrs Monteith Ersine in 1925, however many of these women’s information was overly scientific and some were rather religious. But Virginia was able to bring a sound and intelligent voice into the world, and became a mainstream hit, even to this very day.
Even after Virginia Johnson’s death, I am certain that her input in the world of sex research will never stop going unnoticed, and while I have never met her, I strongly admire her work and life.