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Sexy Boudoir Photos from the 70s

Culture | June 6, 2018

The nude, or nearly nude, female body has been a popular subject of photography since as early as the 1800’s. Early on, the pin-up girl has been very desirable to male audiences and that has not changed in history since. Early erotic photos have, most definitely, influenced boudoir photography.

Boudoir photography dates back many, many years and is typically characterized by the empowerment of its female subjects. Early on, the photo subjects may have been seen as exploited. Beginning in the 70’s, however, women became willing and eager participants rather than paid models. Women were taking charge of their own lives.

Sensual portrait (Getty Images)

Enter the boudoir photo session…

Boudoir photos have made many men wish to turn back the hands of time to women wanted to be revered as sexual beings. During the counterculture, some women were part of the movement wherein they wanted to be seen as equal. Others, however, were just fine being admired as delicate, sexual beings.

The nude, or nearly nude, female body has been a popular subject of photography since as early as the 1800’s. Early on, the pin-up girl has been very desirable to male audiences and that has not changed in history since. Early erotic photos have, most definitely, influenced boudoir photography.

Bou·doir is a French word pronounced [ˈbo͞o dwär]. It is a word commonly used when speaking of a woman’s bedroom or some other private room.

Boudoir photography dates back many years and is typically used as a vehicle to characterize and empower female subjects. Early on, these types of photo subjects may have been seen as exploited. Beginning in the 70’s, however, women became willing and eager participants rather than paid models. Women were taking charge of their own lives.

Boudoir photos from the 70’s show the Sexy side of the counterculture.

Cathee Dahmen by Peter Knapp (Vogue 1971)

During the counterculture, women, like many other minority status groups, were looking to stand up and be heard. During this era, women became very vocal about being taken seriously. They wanted to be considered for their brains and contribution to society. It is curious, however, that during this time, boudoir photography became popular, seemingly throwing the women’s lib movement out the window.

Uschi Obermaier by Jeanloup-Sieff (Vogue Italia, 1972)

Women who had boudoir photos made were the true pin-up girls of the 70’s.


Joan Collins was a sensual woman who was onboard with the boudoir photo sessions, although you never had to be a celebrity to have your photo taken. Celebrities and regular women went crazy for this!

Women’s lib was a topic of the counterculture women’s era. Women were interested in furthering their causes. One of the causes was for a woman to be in charge of herself. Boudoir photography allows women to decide how they want to be viewed and also show a softer side while remaining in control.

Not all boudoir photos are kept private. In theory, they are to be kept private but sex sells, people. Celebrities have often been depicted in these types of photos for publicity. Vogue magazine published some very racy boudoir photos in the 70’s.

Boudoir photography from the 70’s shows a different side to the hippy generation woman.


Many times, women will give boudoir photos to that “special someone” as a gift. It is not unheard of, however, for women to have these photos made just for themselves. Women are sensual beings and they don’t mind capturing that on film. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so it is said and every woman feels beautiful when she feels sexy.

Boudoir photography is known as a style of photography that highlights intimate, and sometimes erotic images of women in a private setting. Boudoir photos are not for public circulation and are primarily intended for the sexual, private pleasure of the subject and/or her partner and is usually more suggestive rather than explicit. Rather than to portray tasteless nudity, it is meant to merely stimulate the viewers curiosity and, in most cases, lead to sexual arousal. It’s a win/win!

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Rebeka Knott

Writer

Rebeka grew up in the 1960’s & 1970’s and has always subscribed to the theory that a positive attitude will take you far! She is a wife and mother of 3 with a fun-loving spirit, believing that family and relationships are invaluable.