In the last chapter of Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, Mary Roach discusses Masters & Johnson’s perhaps deservedly little-known final research project, Homosexuality In Perspective published in 1979.
Roach points out that the study was somewhat deprecated because half M&J devoted the second half of the book to, um, misguided strategies for helping gay and lesbian people “turn straight.” The first half of the book, however, Roach says, is pretty interesting.
One tidbit that I’d think would have been worth the price of the book (Masters and Johnson’s I mean, Roach’s book is priceless) relates very nicely to the tradition of Osbasso’s Half-nekkid Thursday and issues of body consciousness in general. I highlighted the key pieces in the third paragraph.
For five years, Masters and Johnson observed and compared the laboratory sexual encounters of straight, gay and lesbian, and “ambisexual” couples. (The team coined the term to refer to nonmonogamous sexual opportunists who show no preference between men and women throughout their very busy sex lives.)
While some of the subjects were having sex with their spouses or long-term partners, others were doing it with a stranger — not a stranger of their choosing, but one assigned to them by masters and johnson. These latter men and women would show up at the lab, chat with the researchers, and, following a short orientation session, get down to business with a man or woman they had never laid eyes upon. While Masters and Johnson observed.
The team did mention that many of the men and women who had been assigned a partner worried that this person wouldn’t find them attractive. Oddly, the reverse anxiety never surfaced — no one seemed concerned about whether they themselves would feel any attraction to the strangers whose genitals they were about to experience in almost every way imaginable: manually, orally, coitionally.
Source: Bonk, pg. 298-299
Pretty wild when you think about it, right? Everyone worries more about how they look than how their prospective partners — even drawn out of a hat partners! — will look. It’s certainly borne out when you look at all the thousands of Thursday photos folks have posted over the last three years — how the harshest criticism, and the biggest trepidation, has almost invariably been from the poster him or herself… and from the occasional, random, and pretty-obviously-flame-seeking troll.
While it’s not actually related, I’m a bit embarrassed by my wrinkly/baggy clothes. Turns out, though, I’d have been even more embarrassed if they were tighter and neatly pressed. :-)
Happy HNT (or Half-nekkid Thursday!)