Sexual and Gay Liberation

Campbell

Many of these articles were done to inform and reassure the gay community, and to orient them as to what there was to be expected and not to get too worried about it. I don't remember any of these articles ever saying things about wearing condoms, or abstaining from certain sexual practices. This was the peak and the tail end of the seventies when sexual liberation was extremely important.


Hughes

Was it a conscious aim on your part not to say, "Stop and desist"?


Campbell

It just didn't even seem to be an issue at that point. It seemed like the whole community was so oriented toward pleasure from sex, and getting to know oneself sexually, that saying, "This stuff has got to stop," would be really out of step with the culture.

I don't remember any gay people putting out such messages at that point. Even the straight community would be in the direction of sexual liberation at that time. The people who would like to close the bathhouses or opted for safer sex were not being heard.



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Hughes

Do you think there were those voices?


Campbell

I'm sure there were a lot of those voices, but they may have felt themselves politically incorrect.


Hughes

Now, you're talking pre-AIDS, right?


Campbell

Yes. I'm talking 1979, and even 1980; there would have been absolutely no awareness.