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Though she is agnostic about how she found those dates, she never placed an ad in the paper.“It seems like the dark ages compared to how people meet now,” she says. The pill really changed things.” At every party, she says, at least one joint was floating around.
One such of these copycats on the West Coast, the , was the subject of a 1977 psychology journal article, “Courtship American Style: Newspaper Ads,” which attempted a deep dive on what it called “a fascinating new development in the field of courtship and marriage.” Coastal differences and similar names aside, the two papers were remarkably alike, and provide a revealing window into heterosexual dating at the time.
“You never knew where the drug came from, whose lips were on that before you, you never even thought about that stuff.
In a strange way, it was a very innocent decade of time,” she says.
At least at first.) But before was more intellectual, bookish, so I think there was this idea, that we would be somewhere in between.” One German-Israeli-American “executive” in his early 50s sought a woman who was “lively, buxom, flexible, non-intellectual.” That was their target audience.
was the first, and largest, “singles newspaper” in the city, and promised “real ads… real responses…” from “100’s of eligible singles.” A fresh romantic life could be yours for just 75 cents a copy.
“Once you were on birth control, you thought there was nothing to worry about.
People having unprotected sex, things that I did when I was in Europe …
One man searched for a “mature Twiggy-type woman who is also unpretentious,” while another wanted an “Angie Dickinson type.” Women were usually less specific: someone “warm, self-confident, with it,” though taller men were preferred.
(Correspondingly, the men seem to have fudged a little—many listed their height as at least one inch above the average.).
She walked in and was introduced to the owners of the small press that put out the paper, all men.
One of them came up to her, she recalls, put out his hand, and said, “Per-‘suede’ me.” Now nearly 74 and still quite glamorous, Appleberg says, “I was extremely … And then I turned out to be a romantic.” For the next three years, Appleberg edited the paper alone, under the intentionally gender-ambiguous moniker “MJ Appleberg.” Her résumé from the period, kept in a locker in the East Village co-op she has lived in since 1969, describes her as “responsible for editorial concept of pioneer monthly Singles News, geared to the interests of unmarried New Yorkers.” Appleberg found contributors, wrote much of the content herself, supervised the graphic design, oversaw sales, distribution, typesetting, photo sources, printers, and more. Box, “in case someone wanted to sue.” In the first half of the 20th century, you might marry your childhood sweetheart, the child of your father’s business partner, or a nice boy or girl you met at church or synagogue. In the meantime, after the pill “liberated” women in 1960, dating had evolved.
Women stress those physical attributes, while men speak of status, occupation, or financial security.