Based on Irving Wallace's novel that was based on the Kinsey Reports, the film was originally conceived for 20th Century Fox to attract customers with discussions and depictions of sexual matters that would not be allowed on American television. Darryl F. Zanuck was having problems with Fox during the production of two widescreen epic spectacular films for the studio in Europe, Cleopatra and The Longest Day at the same time. When Fox would not do the film, Zanuck offered the property, his son the producer, director Cukor and the female stars to his friend and rival Jack L. Warner.
Warner Brothers replaced the film's planned male leads with their own Warner Brothers Television contract leads who received no extra money to do the film. Warner Brothers felt that casting these performers would attract their fans to the film, while at the same time pleasing the stars who had requested more interesting and different material than they had at Warners.
Costume designer Orry-Kelly dressed each of the different female characters in only one color throughout the film.
As many as seven different writers worked on the film with Gene Allen, who was contracted to Cukor's organisation delivering the final screenplay. The film attracted much criticism during its production by the Legion of Decency amongst others.
After a screening at San Francisco where Cukor claimed the audience liked the film, the studio recut the film. At the Legion of Decency's insistence, Jack Warner had Michael A. Hoey reedit the film and wrote a different ending with Zimbalist and Duggan saying that American women were rather normal sexually, a message at odds with the rest of Cukor's film. A different director was brought in to reshoot it. Cukor himself said of Bloom: "Claire is not a nice Nellie. She has no inhibitions, and she is not as cold as some people say".
The film attracted criticism for being "the sexiest mainstream movie ever made". Upon the film's general release, The New York Times said "the four adapters use four case histories of abnormal sexual behavior of upper middle-class women of a Los Angeles suburb who subject themselves to the testing of a psychologist's team of investigators. They touch, unfortunately only superficially, on a frigid type, a nymphomaniac-alcoholic, a confused, bored mother and a gay, flighty intellectual seeking enlightenment in romance. The interplay and lack of depth in the treatment of these glimpses at the intimate life sometimes appear more prurient than scientific. And a viewer's emotions rarely, if ever, are fully engaged in following the affairs."