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This Is What The Sexual Revolution Looked Like In The 1960s


Marcia Goldstein, the publicity director of Planned Parenthood, shows a sign advertising birth control that would soon be displayed on New York buses, on Dec. 14, 1967.

H. William Tetlow / Getty Images

Marcia Goldstein, the publicity director of Planned Parenthood, shows a sign advertising birth control that would soon be displayed on New York buses, on Dec. 14, 1967.

The 1960s were a turning point for sexuality in the West. What became known as the sexual revolution was spurred by the approval of the Pill in the US and motivated by a newfound energy behind feminist and civil rights movements. In art, cinema, and music, human sexuality was something to be celebrated and explored, while the ongoing war in Vietnam thrust an entire generation of young people into an early adulthood.

From the normalization of pornography and premarital sex to erotic expressions of fashion and art, these pictures capture the lasting legacy of the sexual revolution during the 1960s.

A group of women march under a "women's liberation" banner and in support of the Black Panther Party in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1969.

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A group of women march under a “women’s liberation” banner and in support of the Black Panther Party in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1969.

A nurse teaches a group of young women how to properly use a diaphragm contraceptive in 1967.

Paul Schutzer / Getty Images

A nurse teaches a group of young women how to properly use a diaphragm contraceptive in 1967.

A pharmacist sorts 150,000 Volidan birth control pills in London on Aug. 17, 1965.

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A pharmacist sorts 150,000 Volidan birth control pills in London on Aug. 17, 1965.

Demonstrators remove their bras during an anti-bra protest outside a San Francisco department store in 1969.

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Demonstrators remove their bras during an anti-bra protest outside a San Francisco department store in 1969.

A pair of Playboy Bunnies pose for a photo at the Playboy Club in New York in 1962.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

A pair of Playboy Bunnies pose for a photo at the Playboy Club in New York in 1962.

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner arrives at the London Airport from Chicago with an entourage of Playboy Bunnies on June 26, 1966.

Ted West / Getty Images

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner arrives at the London Airport from Chicago with an entourage of Playboy Bunnies on June 26, 1966.

Left: Model Valerie St. Helene shows off the latest bikini fashions at the Trend Swimwear Show in London in 1969. Right: Model Twiggy poses for Vogue in a signature Sant'Angelo suede dress in 1967.

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Left: Model Valerie St. Helene shows off the latest bikini fashions at the Trend Swimwear Show in London in 1969. Right: Model Twiggy poses for Vogue in a signature Sant’Angelo suede dress in 1967.

A poster for the pornographic film Confessions of a Sexy Supervixen, directed by Russ Meyer, in 1967.

Movie Poster Image Art / Getty Images

A poster for the pornographic film Confessions of a Sexy Supervixen, directed by Russ Meyer, in 1967.

Pop artist Andy Warhol and actor Mario Montez on the set of his film Chelsea Girls, in New York City, 1967.

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Pop artist Andy Warhol and actor Mario Montez on the set of his film Chelsea Girls, in New York City, 1967.

Left: A poster for the German release of Paul Morrissey's 1969 film Andy Warhol's Flesh. Right: A poster for the German release of Andy Warhol's 1969 film Blue Movie.

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Left: A poster for the German release of Paul Morrissey’s 1969 film Andy Warhol’s Flesh. Right: A poster for the German release of Andy Warhol’s 1969 film Blue Movie.

Left: A go-go dancer swings at a discotheque, 1968. Right: Singer Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones poses for a portrait session, circa 1969.

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Left: A go-go dancer swings at a discotheque, 1968. Right: Singer Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones poses for a portrait session, circa 1969.

American actors Elliott Gould, Natalie Wood, Robert Culp, and Dyan Cannon in a promotional still from the film Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, directed by Paul Mazursky, 1969.

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American actors Elliott Gould, Natalie Wood, Robert Culp, and Dyan Cannon in a promotional still from the film Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, directed by Paul Mazursky, 1969.

Left: Julie Newmar in costume as Catwoman in a promotional portrait for the television series Batman, circa 1966. Right: Fashion model Donyale Luna takes a cigarette break during a fashion show, 1967.

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Left: Julie Newmar in costume as Catwoman in a promotional portrait for the television series Batman, circa 1966. Right: Fashion model Donyale Luna takes a cigarette break during a fashion show, 1967.

Brigitte Bardot on the set of the French program Sacha Show on March 13, 1969.

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Brigitte Bardot on the set of the French program Sacha Show on March 13, 1969.

An NYPD detective examines erotic books during a raid on illegal pornographic materials in 1960.

New York Daily News Archive / Getty Images

An NYPD detective examines erotic books during a raid on illegal pornographic materials in 1960.

Theater marquees featuring sex shows in Times Square, New York, in 1967.

New York Daily News Archive / Getty Images

Theater marquees featuring sex shows in Times Square, New York, in 1967.

The cast of And Puppy Dog Tails, an off-Broadway gay liberation play, poses for a portrait during the 1969 theatrical season.

Jack Mitchell / Getty Images

The cast of And Puppy Dog Tails, an off-Broadway gay liberation play, poses for a portrait during the 1969 theatrical season.

A group of Marines ogle a pinup outside their bunkers at Khe Sanh, South Vietnam, on Jan. 2, 1969.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

A group of Marines ogle a pinup outside their bunkers at Khe Sanh, South Vietnam, on Jan. 2, 1969.

Left: Marine Cpl. Billy Winn's helmet scrawled with political slogans in 1968. Right: Off the coast of Vietnam, actor Joey Heatherton entertains the troops on the aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga in 1965.

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Left: Marine Cpl. Billy Winn’s helmet scrawled with political slogans in 1968. Right: Off the coast of Vietnam, actor Joey Heatherton entertains the troops on the aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga in 1965.

Young Mods make out in a London park in 1964.

John Pratt / Getty Images

Young Mods make out in a London park in 1964.

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A group of naked hippies lounge on the beach during the Isle of Wight Festival in 1969.

David Redfern / Redferns

A group of naked hippies lounge on the beach during the Isle of Wight Festival in 1969.

A nude man bathes in the San Francisco Civic Center Plaza fountain, as a crowd of 12,500 peace marchers converged to protest the draft and the Vietnam War. He later managed to escape when police gave chase.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

A nude man bathes in the San Francisco Civic Center Plaza fountain, as a crowd of 12,500 peace marchers converged to protest the draft and the Vietnam War. He later managed to escape when police gave chase.

A pair of naked hippies stroll on the beach during the Isle of Wight Festival in 1969.

David Redfern / Redferns

A pair of naked hippies stroll on the beach during the Isle of Wight Festival in 1969.



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