Virginia Johnson, the first lady of Sex Therapy has died this week aged 88. She was co-author with her husband and obstetrician-gynaecologist to 2 best selling books Human Sexual Response in 1966 and in 1970, Human Sexual Inadequacy.
Accordng to BBC News, Susie Quilliam, a psychologist and author of an updated version of the Joy of Sex, told the BBC that Dr Johnson “was hugely important“. “There had been studies before (the Kinsey report) but Virginia Johnson was the first woman to seriously input into scientific research in this area. She brought a female perspective to William Masters’ work. She helped break the silence and brought scientific insights into sexuality.“ Ms Quilliam said people did “snigger” about sexual therapy, but said Masters and Johnson had helped give the field respectability. “They actually measured what they called sexual incidence in the laboratory – 10,000 ‘sexual incidents’ and about 700 people. It was the first time that had ever been done.”
Paula Hall, a sexual psychotherapist with Relate said: “Masters and Johnson were absolutely critical. What they did was to demystify sex and sexual problems. And they legitimised it in a way by making it scientific. They saw it as something very important and took sexual problems seriously as part of people’s lives.” She added: “The thing that was really groundbreaking was how much they talked about the couple and the woman’s sexual function.”
Virginia Johnson received many awards and is fairly widely recognised as one of the most important women in science in the 20th Century. Here we are now in the 21st Century where the taboos have been lifted yet how many relationships are still dancing around the topic which is so often begging to be talked about? In honour of all her work, perhaps it’s good to consider our own sex lives. Sex continues to be used as a weapon worldwide today, even in our western society, however it’s also a powerful and amazing experience when treated correctly. Let’s not be afraid of it, let’s embrace it as part of our lives and not let it be a taboo subject within our relationship.