Let’s spend the night together explores how sex and sexuality provided essential elements of British youth culture in the 1950s through to the 1980s. It shows how the underlying sexual charge of rock ‘n’roll -and pop music more generally -was integral to the broader challenge embodied in the youth cultures that developed after World War Two. As teenage hormones rushed to move to the music and take advantage of the spaces opening up through consumption, education and employment, so the boundaries of British morality and cultural propriety were tested and often transgressed. Be it the assertive masculinity of the teds or the lustful longings of the teeny-bopper, the gender-bending of glam or the subterranean allure of an underground club/disco, the free love of the 1960s or the punk provocations in the 1970s, sex was forever to the fore and, more often than not, underpinned the moral panics that fitfully followed any cultural shift in youthful style and behaviour.
Drawing from scholarship across a range of disciplines, the Subcultures Network explore how sex and sexuality were experienced, presented, conferred, responded to and understood within the context of youth culture, popular music and social change in the period between World War Two and the advent of AIDS. The essays locate sex, music and youth culture in the context of post-war Britain: with a widening and ever-more prevalent media; amidst the loosening bonds of censorship; in a society shaped by changing patterns of consumption and the emergence of the ‘teenager’; existing, as Jeff Nuttall famously argued, under the shadow of the (nuclear) bomb.