Jazz Age: The Decade of Sex in LA
The 1920s was one of the naughtiest decades in the 20th century… it was a decade of experimentation and “free love” long before the 1970s.
Sex was everywhere in Los Angeles during the 1920s, making LA the naughty city it is now. It was in advertising and early cinema.
It was in art. It was on the radio, it was in roadside motels and it was in the back seats of cars.
The 1920s shaped the ideal of the female body and how it would be displayed to the world. The Flapper Girl was the new It Girl and every girl wanted to be one.
She represented freedom and change from the strict Victorian ways.
The Jazz Age and the Flapper Girl had a huge influence on Hollywood and, by extension, the rest of the world.
Hollywood had a young population, making it a haven for sexual experimentation.
Young fans weren’t just watching the Hollywood films, they were imitating what they saw on screen.
For many this was the first time they saw scantily dressed women, people kissing, women speaking dialogue laced with double entendres and couples acting out love scenes on screen.
Movies weren’t just for entertainment. They taught male viewers how to kiss a woman on areas of her body other than just her lips, and taught female viewers how to boost their sex appeal by dressing and looking like Hollywood starlets.
The early 1900s were the first time in Western history that women were making enough money to live on their own and realize that having money meant freedom.
Women weren’t sitting around at home anymore waiting for male callers—they were out on their own meeting gentlemen friends at bars, restaurants or dance halls.
Women were calling the shots and men were taking notice as Flapper girls were hiking up their skirts, gyrating to the Charleston, boozing, staying up till dawn and necking and more in the back seat of cars.
Unfortunately, this newfound sexual freedom and expression didn’t last long as the Depression hit Americans hard and the Will Hays Codes, in Hollywood, banished racy content on the silver screen.
Just as we were starting to come out of the uptight Victorian Era, the Will Hays Code brought us back into it.
It would be an additional forty years before Naughty LA had another sexual revolution (which, sadly, would again be short-lived with the rise of AIDS in the 1980s).