Couples is a 1968 novel by John Updike which focuses on a promiscuous circle of married friends in the fictional Boston suburb of Tarbox. Much of the novel (which takes place in 1963) concerns the efforts of its characters to balance the pressures of Protestant sexual mores against increasingly flexible American attitudes toward sex in the 1960s. The book suggests that this relaxation may have been driven by the development of birth control and the opportunity to enjoy what one character refers to as "the post-pill paradise." Its publication created a mild scandal and elicited a cover story in TIME magazine.
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