Hollywood has always played fast and loose with the phrase "based on a true story," so it'd be understandable if you take the bawdy (and excellent!) Showtime drama Masters of Sex with a grain of salt. All things considered, though, the series tries hard to portray the work of pioneering sex researchers Dr. William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson. (The pair demonstrated that women can have multiple orgasms—who'd have thunk?) But how many of the show's titillating escapades are real and how many are small-screen embellishments?

As it turns out, more often than not, the writers aren't faking:  Masters and Johnson really did watch hundreds of real, live humans have sex in their lab starting in the late 1950s. Strangely enough, when the show does take liberties, it's often to make events seem less strange rather than more. Here are some instances where reality, for once, was often stranger than fiction. 

Nathan Reese is a News Editor at Complex. He tweets here

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