Gay Sex in New York City During the 1970′s

     Gay Sex in the Seventies (70′s) is a 2005 documentary by Joseph Lovett. This movie takes you back just after the Stonewall Riots to a time when Gay men were exercising their newfound rights and sexual freedoms that was nonexistent in the previous decade of the Sixties (60′s).

     In the 1960′s it was illegal to be gay (basically) and by 1969 the LGBT community had been driven/pushed into a corner and the retaliation was destined to begin. At the turn of the decade the laws were laxed and the Gay Sexual Revolution had begun.

     The outlets for gay sex were endless and in Forgedaboudit, just about anywhere you could think of became a place for sex.

     The abandonded piers on the Hudson river, the truck trailers under the Miller Evevated Westside Highway, and the many bathhouses throughout the city (Man’s Country, Club baths, St. Marks, the Continental, the Everard, and the Mount Morris Baths and others  throughout the city at the time).

     There was also the Anvil or Mineshaft to get down and dirty and if you liked the the fresh air there was ‘s The Ramble where you never knew who you might see or step on in the bushes.

     The sexual liberation of the Seventies was basically out of control, yeah there were STD’s (sexually transmitted  diseases)but nothing a shot, pill, or cream couldn’t take care of. The use of condoms during that time was considered a taboo, as two gay men you didn’t have to worry about pregnancy so why wear them.

     By the next decade (1980′s) there was a growing problem that was destined to stop the sexual freedoms being exploited throughout the city, and it wasn’t the Police. The problem was a “new” Gay Cancer that there seemed not to be a cure for and patients were dying fast and at an alarming rate. This changed the face of the Gay community in such a short time.

     The city began closing the sex clubs and bathhouses because patrons were having unprotected sex in plain sight in these establishments. Even after the AIDS epidemic was in full swing people didn’t want the fun times to stop. Some clubs, bars, and bathhouses survived the closings making it under the radar of the New York City Health Department.

The eighties would be a wake up call to the Gay men to change their sexual habits, inturn what really happened was Gay men became scared some regressing back into the closet. They would have a “wait and see” and when they felt it was safe, they made their way back to the bars and clubs.

     When they did start to return the familiar faces that they were accustomed to were gone and a whole new generation of gay men had replaced them.

     The nineties brought a new gentrification to the city, Disney moved in where there had been Porn theaters and live strip shows and the city closed or relocated all adult oriented business’ out of and zoned them to an area of Midtown Manhattan.

     At the millenium The AIDS crises had slowed down, but was still being adressed. The new thing during this time was the new technology (personal computers, cell phones, Ipods) that are being used. A new medium to cruise or “get -off”, where you can arrange a date online or just satisify yourself.

     This documentary is an important example of LGBT life in the Seventies, it opens the doors and gives us valuable insite on what it was like to be there and the fun times that were had by all.

     “Free Love, Free Sex. Get It, Bust A Nut and Keep going”

     Thank You Joseph for your look back to the seventies because we have to know where we came from to get to where we are going.

Documentary – Gay Sex in the 70′s UK trailer – Peccadillo, Courtesy of peccadillopictures. Thank you

2 Responses to “Gay Sex in New York City During the 1970′s”

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  1. boscobear71 says:

    Great film…if you haven’t seen it you need to! Thanks BITG!

  2. Cisco says:

    Definitely a great addition to our history and addition to our best of movie/documentary. Thanks again Joe & Larry for taking the time to put this together and showing us what New York City looked like backinthegays!

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