Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Best Is Yet to Cum Come

I stumbled across an article today on Alternet entitled “Why Sex is So Much Better Today.” As you can guess, the article discusses numerous valid and intriguing reasons why sex IS better today (while acknowledging that it isn’t quite yet perfect).

I really appreciated this article because I am currently reading Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, The Couple Who Taught America How to Love by Thomas Maier. As the title indicates, it tells the story of Bill Masters and Virginia Johnson, who were the first people to study and report in depth about human sexual response. Their first publication, the aptly titled Human Sexual Response, came out in 1966 and was the culmination of a decade of research. What set them apart from Kinsey was that they studied and experimented with human sexuality and response (documenting thousands of orgasms in the lab), while Kinsey gathered information from surveys. They were quite revolutionary- they worked hard to understand what other scientists and researchers failed to even recognize as worthy of understanding. Also, the male and female dynamic of their research partnership gave their work both a female perspective and focus. They were the ones who first discovered a woman’s multi-orgasmic abilities, which (arguably) helped fuel the sexual revolution.

It is interesting how different society was back then (when Masters and Johnson were conducting research) regarding attitudes toward sex. My mother told me how her own mother never discussed sex or puberty with her when she was a young woman, which made her want to be sure to educate my sisters and me on the subject. I also was fortunate enough to receive comprehensive sex ed in my middle school (though obviously, this is still a contested issue…).

It also makes me glad that my friends and relatives who are members of the LGBT community can “be who they are” much easier than if they’d lived a few decades ago. Now, I am not saying that things are perfect in regards to our society’s treatment of LGBT people; a lot of disparities and inequalities still exist. I am simply saying that Things Have Gotten Better. And it makes me hopeful; if we, as a society, have come as far as we have in such a relatively short amount of time, perhaps it won’t be too long of a wait for The Best, as it Is Yet To Cum Come.

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