Bowels of Earthly Delights

The Sixties Sexual Revolution was not like the American, French or Russian Revolutions, but it was momentous and long lasting. I can say I played a small role as a minor revolutionary. I art directed Screw magazine, which was arguably one of the earliest manifestations of sexual free speech; I was co-publisher (at 17-18 years old) of The New York Review of Sex, which was busted by the NYC police and challenged the state’s pornography statutes; and I designed and co-edited The Best of the Underground Sex Newspapers, a now extremely rare compilation culled from the NYRS, Kiss (published by The East Village Other) and Pleasure (published by the underground paper, The Rat).

The underground sex press began, more or less, when it was determined that most of the left wing political undergrounds, only sold well when female sex was on the cover. The New York Free Press (below top) was a primary example of strange bedfellows coming together.

(Illustration (below bottom) by Brad Holland for The New York Review of Sex)

One thought on “Bowels of Earthly Delights

  1. Adam

    I imagine Screw as less the sexual revolution’s avant-garde than its Thermidor. Ellen Willis, the late social critic–and no prude–wrote of Al Goldstein in her 1973 review of Deep Throat: “Die-hard (so to speak) porn liberationists like Al Goldstein of Screw are embarrassments to what is left of the hip subculture that spawned them—as out of date as skirts up to the thighs or inspirational speeches hailing groupies as the vanguard of the cultural revolution.”
    To which he replied:
    ELLEN WILLIS’S RECENT REVIEW OF “DEEP THROAT” [NYR, January 25] IS TYPICALLY FEMININE AND TYPICALLY STUPID. I AM NOT A MEMBER OF THE “HIP SUBCULTURE” AS SHE MAINTAINS, BUT A ONE-TIME HEARST PHOTOGRAPHER AND INSURANCE SALESMAN.
    PLEASE MUZZLE YOUR FEMINISTS.
     

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