A clip from Masters of Sex season 3, episode 5 “Matters of Gravity”, which was first broadcast on 9 August 2015.
After his speech at Washington University, Doctor Masters answers a cynical question about why love is not mentioned in his and Johnson’s research.
Farber: Leslie Farber.
Masters: Go ahead.
Farber: No-one knows how your work will be received in the future, but I find myself concerned about the hidden risks it poses. Your science takes the relationship between man and woman, husband and wife, and renders it in numbers, graphs. Sex is reduced to a mechanical process without any reference to the human psyche, qualities like modesty, chastity, fidelity, shame and most glaring of all, nowhere in your book does the word ‘love’ appear.
Masters: So, what was your question, sir?
Farber: My question, Doctor Masters, is where is the love?
Masters: Uh, in 1687 Sir Isaac Newton discovered what was then known as the law of universal gravitation. Gravity. Take two objects, the larger object exerts an attractive force on the smaller object, pulling it towards itself, as it were. An apple falls from a tree. The earth, by far the more massive object, pulls the apple to the ground. Simple enough. Only, Newton’s theory left scientists a rather puzzling problem.
To paraphrase you, Doctor Farber, where is the gravity? It’s not something you can see, or touch, it’s not something you can put under microscopes or examine from a telescope. Well, 230 years after Newton, a German patent clerk in Switzerland finally realised that scientists had been asking the wrong question all along. They would never find an object, in all the immensity of space, called gravity, because in point of fact gravity is nothing but the shape of space itself.
That clerk, Einstein, posited that the apple does not fall to the ground because the earth exerts some mysterious kind of force upon it; the apple falls to the ground because it is following the lines and grooves that gravity has carved into space.
And when we talk about sex, we do not talk about love, Doctor Farber, because love cannot be rendered into columns and graphs as if it were the same as blood pressure, or heart rate. Love is not a force exerted by one body onto another, it is the very fabric of those bodies. Love is that which carves the lines and grooves. The curvature of our desire.