The 5 Most Famous Sex Therapists of All Time
by Dale Harris
In today’s sex-saturated market, it can be easy to forget that sex was once a very taboo topic.
Many famous sex therapists struggled to find their place in the world. Even today, they are often met with resistance or criticism but persist in spite of their challenges.
These inspirational figures overcame difficulties to pioneer the field of sex therapy, and continue to influence it today. Be inspired by the work of these famous sex therapists.
1. Alfred Kinsey
Modern sexual psychology truly started with Alfred Kinsey. His work is so well-known that he has almost become a household name.
In the 1940s and 1950s, most public talk about sex of any kind was considered controversial. Kinsey pioneered the field of sex psychology at the time, even founding an institute for sex research.
Without Kinsey, the sexual revolution that came in the following decades may not have happened. He replaced outdated concepts of accepted sexuality with the idea that almost all sexual behavior could be considered normal from a biological perspective.
He studied both male and female sexuality and spent his career publishing books, giving lectures, and conducting research that’s still influential in the field today, making him one of the most famous sex therapists of all time.
2. Virginia Johnson
From the 1960s onward, Virginia Johnson carried the baton of pioneering sex therapy along with her husband William Masters.
Masters was an academic with a cold demeanor, but Johnson was personable enough to make research subjects comfortable. The couple contributed to the field of human sexuality with sex studies that brought them worldwide fame. Johnson and Masters conducted two-week-long therapy sessions for people with perceived sexual dysfunction.
She published two best-selling books and had a successful public career. Society did not always meet her work with acceptance, but the impact she had on women’s sexuality and sexuality in general is still felt today.
3. Ruth Westheimer
Westheimer, often simply called Dr. Ruth, got her introduction to open discussions of sex when she took a job at Planned Parenthood in the 1960s. By 1967, she was a project director for the organization.
She also has a doctorate degree from Columbia in family and sex therapy.
Her career was not entirely a smooth ride. When she was fired from a teaching job at Brooklyn College, she nearly gave up hope. But a lecture she gave not long after led to her being offered a radio show.
The show’s popularity helped her grow a devoted following, which led to her rapid career growth, including a television series and the publication of several books.
4. Padma Deva
In a world where we have such interesting sex devices as the Whizzinator and Fleshlight, it’s hard to imagine that anything related to sex could be scandalous. Modern-day sex therapist Padma Deva may be seen by some as more infamous than famous.
She is known as the sex therapist who sleeps with her patients. Intercourse doesn’t always happen, but nudity, massage, and sensual touch may all be part of the therapy session.
Deva is a professional therapist who just happens to have unconventional methods of treating patients. She helps male clients recover from sexual problems and fears that inhibit them from having normal relationships.
Her sexual activity with patients has brought lots of controversy. Yet the fame (or infamy) has also helped give her the publicity that creates success.
5. Laura Berman
Another modern sex therapist, Laura Berman’s work is more on the tame side. She works with media figures that are generally seen as wholesome, such as Oprah and Dr. Oz, to bring information about sex to the masses.
Berman has been on reality TV and has a nationally syndicated radio show in addition to having been featured in many major magazines. She provides another facet to the work of sex therapy, helping inform readers, viewers, and listeners across the world.
Contributions of Famous Sex Therapists
From history to the modern day, each of these famous sex therapists has had their own unique approach to the field.
Some research stands the test of time while other research is replaced with more modern findings. All these therapists made important lasting contributions to the field.
What have you learned from famous sex therapists, or what do you hope to find out? Leave a comment and let us know!