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'Ave You Got A Male Assistant Please Miss?

'Ave You Got A Male Assistant Please Miss? (1973) - courtesy of the BFI

The Magazine's sex education film festival

Each day this week, the Magazine is charting how attitudes to sex education have changed by featuring a classic public information film of its time. The fifth and last excerpt in our series on sex education films is from 1973's 'Ave You Got A Male Assistant Please Miss?.

This film marks a major step forward for the British sex education film.

Coming out the year after Alex Comfort's famous manual The Joy of Sex, beards are the order of the day.

The Magazine's sex ed film festival
Five excerpts from films from the BFI's DVD The Joy of Sex Education - one a day for a week. The films so far:

The protagonist, who heads out on a quest to buy condoms, has plenty of head and face hair, but the chemist he meets has a truly extraordinary level of hirsuteness. This guy makes Jerry Garcia look shorn.

Compared with other films of the era, this effort tries vigorously to be forward-looking.

The central message is an encouragement to buy condoms accompanied by a reminder about the number of abortions that happen every year.

"This is an unreservedly hairy promotion of the prophylactic in avoiding unwanted pregnancies," says James Piers Taylor, curator (non-fiction) at the BFI National Archive.

"A wave of period details situate the film in both time and milieu. The culture of its audience, 1970s students, is evoked and displayed via a mattress on the floor, an ethnic rug, the kilim bedspread, homebrew jars, denim clothes and by hair."

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