Master of Sex Master of Sex

By now, Masters of Sex star Michael Sheen has gotten used to nudity and watching sex acts performed in front of him.

"We've seen so many people do bizarre things in front of you, you get used to it," Sheen said at the Television Critics Association fall previews on Tuesday. "There's a naked woman in front of you masturbating ... and you almost don't notice. I actually broke that barrier on the show."

Press Tour: Get all the CW fall news

Teddy Sears, who plays the randy Dr. Langham, particularly appreciated this tone on set since this was his first-ever sex scene. "Director John Madden told me, 'I want to protect your modesty.' He was like a nice grandfather, and then would say, 'Grab her bum' and 'put your hand on her nipple.' The environment is very caring."

And although knowledge about the human sexual response has come a long way, it's still not a part of open, everyday conversation. "People are surprised by the frank discussions of sex on the show more than the portrayal of sex," executive producer Sarah Timberman said. "The things these people talk about are not generally talked about. It makes for interesting talk in the writers' room."

The light Masters and Johnson's research shone on female sexuality especially created more equality in the bedroom. "I was fortunately raised in a household where questions were encouraged and not judged ... I was not dirty for asking these questions," Caplan said. "Virginia Johnson did this for millions of women, for generations of women to not feel ashamed. Before Masters and Johnson, women were told [sexual problems were] all their fault ... and that's some bullsh--."

Masters of Sex
premieres Sunday, Sept. 29 at 10/9c, right after the third season premiere of Homeland.

(Full disclosure: is owned by CBS, the parent company of Showtime.)