It was pre-AIDS. Hep C wasn’t that prevalent. Herpes was still a niche disease. Sure there was the clap, syphilis, chlamydia and the crabs, but there were medicines available on demand. The 70s were The Age of Sex in rock.
Oh, there were plenty of perversions and activities that would get you shunned, blacklisted and arrested today–which could explain why so many survivors of the era are reticent to, er, reminisce about the good old days.
Neil McCormick has this look back in The Telegraph:
A key word [John] Lennon used is “groupie”, a term for the kind of young women who actively and vigorously pursued encounters with their idols. Rock biographies and autobiographies of the era are full of allusions to and direct accounts of licentious sexual debauchery, with a general acknowledgement that rock stardom offered abundant access to women. Robbie Robertson of The Band claims he was recruited into rock with the promise “you won’t make much money but you’ll get more pussy than Frank Sinatra.”
Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman recorded sexual encounters in his diary during their early tours, and claimed to have slept with 265 women in one particularly active year touring period “’cause you used to have three or four a night sometimes.” Gene Simmons of Kiss has been among the most boastful about his proclivity, asserting that he has had sex with 4,800 women. Asked how he could be so specific, he explained that he took Polaroid photos of each conquest. “It just proves you can be an ugly bastard and if you’ve got the right job you’ll have access.”
Read the whole thing here.