Breaking rules is so much more fun than following them. It's no surprise that the height of cocktail culture was during Prohibition. Modern pornography (as in photographs and films depicting sexual acts) was born in the prudishVictorian Era, and wife swapping and nudism entered the American vernacular in the repressed 1950s.
As Senator McCarthy was trying to call out communists, and as TV and magazines depicted perfect nuclear families, with father knowing best and mom pulling a hot ham from the oven, and the two kids studying at school and playing sports, there was just as much sexual libido as any other generation. Perhaps suppressing it only made it that much more exciting.
As any reader of this blog knows, I'm a huge fan of the flower power hippies and back to earth kids of the late 60s and 70s. Those skinny dippers at Woodstock and beyond really knew how to be natural out in nature, and are all the sexier for it. And while I completely advocate for an open and honest acceptance of human nudity in nature (see my other blog Naked Outdoors), I have to admit that a world without censorship and prudes would be a little dull. Some of the fun of stripping off clothes is the thrill of it being a little "inappropriate."
That's why I find this image so erotically charged. Just her nude body could belong to any era, but with the hairdo and cat-eye glasses, this is clearly the 1950s. She's maybe late 20s, early 30s? For the time period, she's probably a housewife somewhere in a new American suburb. Her husband has a steady 9-5, and in this post-war boom, they own a home. A nice white one-story ranch. And the home has a front yard with a driveway for their new chromed Chevrolet, and a big backyard.
Perhaps when her husband is at work and she's finished the dishes and laundry because she owns new washers and dryers and housework is done by modern machines and not by hand, she has more time for herself and relaxation. Perhaps she takes a towel and paperback novel into her big backyard, and in the sun, lays out, buck naked. It's something neither her mother or her husband would approve of, but that makes it all the more empowering.