A Very (VERY) Brief History of the Women’s Sexual Revolution

As we’re sure we’ve mentioned, Lovecraft opened in Yorkville in 1972. What on earth was a sex store doing opening in 1972? We thought we’d give you a (very) brief history how sexual health and empowerment culture came to be – a history of the Sexual Revolution.

After the Second World War, women were still pretty sexually restrained (and not in the good way). In a predominantly patriarchal society, women were limited strictly to sex only within marriage, and anything outside of that was looked down upon.

In the 1960s, women wanted to increase the acceptance of sex outside traditional monogamous relationships, and could stand waiting no longer. Young and old alike united in what would be an historic push to enjoy themselves whenever and however they pleased.

Gregory Pincus stepped up the sexual liberation game by developing Enovid, or “The Pill”, which first became commercially available in 1960. Within 5 years, over 6 million women were on it, according to historian Nancy Cohen. About time, right? The Pill dramatically lowered risks associated with sexual activity for women, and you can imagine how liberating that would be.

Sexual attitudes among young women changed to a focus on the self and personal satisfaction. It was around then that the first  commercial sex toys emerged, developed by women.

There have been some incredible improvements. While attitudes toward sexuality, and freedom to express desire became more liberal, there was room for progress to be made. There was opposition from all sides, as there is now, but we all know who ends up enjoying themselves more in the end.

Our first Lovecraft location opened up in 1972 in Yorkville to mixed reactions. The shop was charged twice for obscenity, but we beat those charges both times! We also sold out our first weekend, so we knew we were loved by many!

By the mid-1970s, the sexual revolution was in full swing, in part thanks to the influence of media and popular culture- and over the years, while always met with some opposition, we have reached an absolutely unprecedented degree of sexual freedom in Western society.

Celebrate the wonderful women in your life, and be sure to celebrate yourself, ladies – because, damn, you did pretty well. We can only move forward from here.

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