a film by Joseph F Lovett
2005 | 71 mins | US
›› Gay Sex in the 70s
the naked truth to a libertine decade.
Gay Sex in the 70s by Joseph F Lovett If you have ever wondered what it was like to live through the hedonistic days of gay sex in the 70s, then this remarkably frank documentary provides the naked truth to a libertine decade that I dare say was more unrestrained for some, than others.

Only it remains somewhat ironic that the American free love movement of the 70s was born out of a lifetime of sexual repression, that of an era in which consensual sex between two men was illegal in every State of America, bar one. Then there was the Stonewall riot of June 1969 and thereafter everything changed. Casting aside the shackles of decades of prejudice and persecution, sexual freedom was the order of the day and with it came an unparalleled period of wild gay abandon. Sex was King and New York was but a giant cruising ground, be it on the subway, by the docks, out on the piers, in trucks, in Central Park, in the bushes, behind the trees, in the bars, in the backrooms, at the bathhouses or even in the clubs to the sound of the disco beat. And then there was the pleasures to be found on Fire Island.

Gay Sex in the 70s by Joseph F Lovett True not every gay man in America was getting it on to this degree, at this time. But thanks to a series of talking head recollections, coupled with archive footage and photographs of the era, Joseph F Lovett’s cinematic time machine takes you back to what for many was a gay sexual utopia; albeit one that would eventually come at a cost. Yet whilst the closing ten minutes detail the onset of AIDS, Lovett throughout is not afraid to comment on the often overlooked dark side of the period, namely widespread drug and alcohol abuse, the worrying rise in STDs, dead bodies found floating in the Hudson and the risks you took to your very life and limb in the pursuit of a sexual high.

Touching, yet equally shocking, this is a story that has longed to be told, even if tragically all too many souls are no longer with us to relate their personal experiences. Only in detailing times that once were, this absorbing work remains too focused on the Big Apple, being in effect, gay sex in the 70s, New York style. That other cities equally had a major gay scene is all but amiss here and as a consequence, so too is a true reflection on gay sex in America at this key period in time. That said, Lovett thankfully does not judge, preferring instead to let the honesty of the interviewees speak volumes. The result is an alarming, if fascinating tale of a bygone age, when sex was rampant and protection all too sadly, seldom used.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - sexually intensive. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 

›› Available to buy from Amazon.com.

›› Available to buy from Amazon.co.uk.
available on DVD as part of the Peccadillo Pictures catalogue: 26.July.2010 / UK.
screened as part of the 20th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, 2006.
featuring "talking head" contributions from:-
Bob Alvarez / Hand in Hand Film Productions, Alvin Baltrop / Photographer, Barton Benes / Artist,
Tom Bianchi / Photographer, Scott Bromley / Architect Studio 54, Mel Cheren / CEO, West End Records,
Arnie Kantrowitz / English Professor, Activist, Writer, Larry Kramer / Writer, Activist,
Joe Lovett / Filmmaker, Rodger McFarlane / Foundation Director, Writer, Activist,
Lawrence Mass / MD, Addiction Specialist, Ed Murphy / Stonewall Doorman,
Susan Tomkin / Asst to Bruce Mailman, The St Marks Baths,
and with Ken Unger / MD, Internist.
Copyright 2010 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #298
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