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about the author

Barbara Williamson was born in the Midwest in 1939. She graduated high school and moved to the West Coast to create her own path, rather than one dictated for her by society at large. Williamson began working at a male-dominated Fortune 500 company, where she quickly moved up the ranks. But upon reaching the “American dream,” she felt unfulfilled.

That is when she met her life partner and founded the Sandstone Retreat, a rebellious, sexually charged commune where sexual freedom and expression were encouraged and celebrated.

She’s now currently residing in Fallon, NV with ZZ kitty cat. The big cats that she really loved were all deceased. The last one to go was the Bengal Tiger in 2012.

about the book

One of the Sexual Revolution pioneers, Barbara Williamson, shares her story for the first time ever as cofounder of the highly successful and controversial Sandstone Retreat in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Sandstone Retreat quickly became outrageously popular with membership reaching five hundred, and numerous newspapers, magazines, books, movies, and television shows clamoring for interviews. It became known as the hub of the sexual revolution. Barbara’s life partner John was branded as “The Messiah of Sex” and Barbara herself as “The Most Liberated Woman in America.”

University professors nationwide rushed to visit this new kind of unstructured free love community to view and study members joyously living and alternate lifestyle. The dress code was optional but most everyone preferred nudity. The goal at Sandstone was understanding society and setting it free. They believed in the sexual self as being at the core of organized social behavior. When sexuality is distorted, it leads to a distortion of the basic self.

"Barbara Williamson gives to the world probably one of the most insightful views of the changing times of the late 1960's and early 70's. Her book is indeed a window looking at the significance...

Sheila Ellington

"Barbara tells her story from early childhood until the death of her husband, John. And an extraordinary life it was! She relates her journey with humor and vitality. There is never a dull moment...

Ruth S. Anderson

"This book expertly weaves together the elements of love and life, in addition to true commitment and adventure, and how beneficial it is to have such a happy life full of change. Barbara tells...

Donita Petean

Book Trailer

TV Interview

press release

Sexuality is our Birthright

Free Love and the Sexual Revolution is a memoir about your life, marriage, and founding of a free love nudist community in California. Why was this an important book for you to write? Read more

Free Love and the Sexual Revolution: Finding Yourself by Removing Sexual Boundaries

I feel liberated just reading this book! I was totally caught by surprise by how much I loved this book. Read more


The New York Times Book Review is a weekly paper-magazine supplement to the Sunday edition of The New York Times in which current non-fiction and fiction books are reviewed. It is one of the most influential and widely read book review publications in the industry. Read more


In this episode of Naked Age we meet Barbara Williamson, a pioneering figure of the sexual revolution frequently referred to as “The Most Liberated Woman in America”. Read more



From a simple farm girl to becoming “The Most Liberated Woman in America,” Barbara Williamson has lived a life quite out of the ordinary—boldly breaking barriers to pioneer a sexual revolution like no other. Read more



The late 60s was a time of extreme conservatism, but Barbara Williamson was one of the bold few who burst the conservative bubble in the name of sensual freedom. From her humble beginnings... Read more

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