TV Club: Masters Of Sex: “Two Scents”

When Al Neely was asked on an intake form to describe his initial attraction to actress Isabella Ricci, he wrote, “She was 20 feet tall.” Neely remembers watching Ricci at the movie theater. As she was projected onto the screen, she overwhelmed his senses and ignited his desire. Now, some time later, they sit in Masters and Johnson’s sex clinic wondering where that fire has gone. Neely insists that the problem is with his wife, and he’s right, in a way. No, Ricci isn’t frigid—Masters determines as much in short order—but she does suffer from a different physical deficiency: She is not 20 feet tall.

Rather, Ricci is a human being, with all the complexities and imperfections that entails, and the longer Neely and Ricci are together, the more he sees her humanity. Thus the exciting fantasy grows distant. The giant woman in Neely’s …

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