The hedonistic feeling of the 1970s in Europe

The hedonistic feeling of the 1970s in Europe

Do you know it, when some foreign words just don't want to be memorized in your brain? There is this word that I sometimes need to describe a lifestyle that looks good in nude photography. It's about hedonism.



Funnily enough, I associate the word with a 70s lifestyle. Perhaps inspired by the Emmanuelle films with Sylvia Kristel. A time when sports cars had crisp shapes. And all seemed to be right with the world. I was only born in 1976, so I can't speak from experience.

But that's what I've been told.


The term hedonism comes from the ancient Greek word "hēdoné" which means pleasure, joy, or even delight. In general, it refers to an attitude to life that aims for happiness, enjoyment and the pleasure of the moment.

Hedonistic Freedom

The 1970s in Europe was marked by a sense of liberation and a rejection of traditional societal norms. People sought pleasure, self-expression, and indulgence. It was a time when individuals embraced their desires and lived in the moment, pursuing enjoyment and personal fulfillment.

Somehow this sounds quite attractive to me and for pictorials that I produce.

Sensual Sports Cars

The sleek and crisp designs of 1970s sports cars embodied the spirit of hedonism. Brands like Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Porsche created vehicles with dynamic shapes, evoking a sense of power, luxury, and the thrill of speed. These cars symbolized freedom, excitement, and the desire for exhilarating experiences on the open road.

It is somewhat different from what cars look like today and therefore again, highly interesting for photos I take.

Cinematic Exploration

Movies like Emmanuelle (1974) epitomized the hedonistic spirit of the era. These films explored themes of sensuality, sexuality, and the pursuit of pleasure. They offered a glimpse into a world of uninhibited desires, exotic locations, and glamorous lifestyles. They captured the essence of European hedonism, enticing viewers with a tantalizing blend of luxury, freedom, and indulgence.

The most hedonistic part of Emmanuelle is arguably the scene set in Bangkok's Oriental Hotel. Emmanuelle and Mario engage in a passionate and uninhibited display of intimacy, exploring their desires without reservation. Their encounter is characterized by a sense of mutual exploration and the pursuit of pleasure, emphasizing the hedonistic nature of their connection. The scene is sensual, provocative, and visually captivating, with the camera lingering on their bodies and capturing their unbridled passion.

Something that I find visually highly attractive because it's the exact walking on the edge that I intend to do in my own work.

Fashion and Style

Hedonism in 1970s Europe was also reflected in fashion and style. Bold, vibrant colors, daring cuts, and flamboyant patterns were popular. People embraced disco-inspired fashion, with glittering outfits, platform shoes, and flashy accessories. The fashion choices were a celebration of self-expression, decadence, and the desire to stand out from the crowd.

Much better than the type of fashion I see hanging in the stores today. Don't get me started on that topic or I'll have to write about pants that are cut like diapers and so on.

Live in the moment, embrace the joy, and let the spirit of hedonism guide your path to happiness.

Music and Nightlife

The hedonistic feeling of the 1970s was further amplified through the pulsating beats of disco music. Nightclubs became hedonistic havens, where people danced the night away, immersing themselves in an atmosphere of freedom and self-gratification. The disco era represented a carefree escape from daily routines, as people sought pleasure and euphoria on the dance floor.

Even though the birth of the synthesizer had a huge impact on the music back than, it still felt more natural and human than many of the stuff they play on the radio these days.

To sum things up

In summary, the hedonistic feeling of 1970s Europe can be described as a time of sensual freedom, where people embraced their desires and pursued pleasure without restraint.

Hedonism in the 1970s wasn't just about individual happiness but also about a sense of community and togetherness. People came together to celebrate and share in the joy of life. This lifestyle emphasized the importance of living in the present moment and finding pleasure in the simple things.

My photography is very much about a feeling. That's probably why I'm so receptive to such — perhaps somewhat romanticized — depictions of the past.