Feminism and other stuff

Is watching Masters of Sex empowering our sexual lives?


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We never talk about sex. We do not do it at school or at home, not with our family neither with our friends. We do not talk about it in newspapers and even when we are facing health problems, we resist the urge to talk about sex even at our doctor’s office.
We live our whole sexual life in the shadows and we discuss it only with our partners, experiencing only its most intimate dimension and ignoring the general picture.
So… What happens when a tv show approches sex in the most open minded and scientific way?
Reaching its fourth season, Masters of Sex has broken every existing taboo on sexual habits. As a matter of fact, the groundbreaking research of William Masters and Virginia Johnson  was very successful but only came close to radically change the Western world’s view on sex.
After the first shock, brought on by the revolutionary atmosphere of the ‘60s, our society put the medical discovery above all, setting aside the moral transformation that came with it and going back to the old ways.

That is why we tend to forget that the sexual freedom we experience now is due to Masters and Johnson’s discovers and revelations. Moreover we often fail to acknowledge that sex is still an unsolved issue for us.
We have been in need of a show like Masters of Sex during the last decades. Shifting the focus from sex as a medical and intimate subject to a matter that needs to be analyzed and understood as a social issue is now a priority.
Sex needs to be seen as one of the fundamental aspects of our social life, because our perception of sex affects our perception of other human beings.

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This Masters of sex season is all about Women’s Liberational Movement, aka #WomensLib: Libby’s storyline is just one astonishing example. As always the Leitmotiv is Bill and Virginia’s working and romantic relationship and it is a difficult one.
While Bill is trying to overcome his feelings for her, Virginia is fighting to battles at the same time: she desperately wants to win his love back, but she is also building her own role in society. The Human Sexual Response study would have never happened if she had not been there, but that was not enough to have people respect her completely.

Even nowadays, being a straight or a lesbian woman is not easy. Overcoming the rules of patriarchy is still a real struggle and watching a tv show, whose main goal is to tell the story of how to break every sexual and social barrier any woman has ever had to face is becoming more and more empowering.
The genuine rebellious atmosphere that is portraited in Masters of Sex makes viewers think about how they are experiencing sex and they discover that men, women, straight or gay, young or old, still live their sexual life in completely different ways. We are all sexual deviants, because “How can something deviate when there is no norm? ( Masters of Sex, Outliers, 4×05).

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In any case, both genders are still victim and perpetrators of sexual myth, prejudice and stereotypes, that lead to a misconception of sex and to misbehaviours in the bedroom.
As images and videos became the most used media in this new era, tv shows are more and more important, for they do not only represent a source of entertainment, but also can be a manifesto for an ideology.
In this case, Masters of Sex is all about the history and science of sex and  it is encouraging the conversation on this subject.

Through the dramatization of the story that lies behind the publishing of Human Sexual Response and the years that followed, the viewers can see the social evolution of the sex phenomenon and comparing those years and dynamics with their own time and environment, they will be able to understand that sex is no longer shameful as it used to be, but it still remains something we are not eager to discuss in public.
And that is a sign that the real sexual revolution is yet to come.

Masters of Sex is encouraging people to experiment and be at ease with their bodies but also to relate to others in an healthy way.

Do you watch it? Do you think it is empowering?

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