Virginia Johnson is the second exceptional woman to be featured on our International Women’s Day countdown. As this year’s theme is #BeBoldForChange, we wanted to highlight a few of our favourite women who were not only bold for change, but achieved it.
A pioneer in female sexuality, Virginia Johnson changed everything. During the 50’s, an era of relative modesty and one in which women were not “allowed” to feel pleasure, she managed to confront the world with the true workings of the female orgasm – and much more.
Twice divorced and with two children in her charge, she decided to return to university to complete her psychology degree. It was there that she met Dr. Masters, an expert in obstetrics, gynaecology, and fertility. Beginning only as a research assistant, she soon became absolutely fundamental to the investigation. Together they carried out the most extensive sexual experiment in US history. Her work was published in 1966 in “Human Sexual Response” in which she explained how the body functions during sex. It was the beginning of the greatest sexual revolution in the country.
Virginia successfully managed to posit female pleasure as something natural and healthy – and this is all the more revolutionary considering that she was working in both a modest era, and a world dominated by men.