Curiously, the overall nature of the relationship between Humbert and Lolita — which would have keept the film from being greenlit even a few years earlier — wasn’t an issue for censors. That was odd because, for most of its existence, the Code forbade any depiction of “sex perversion,” including homosexuality, incest, and pedophilia. But times were changing, and audiences were becoming more accepting of such adult content, as seen in imported films from Europe and Japan, which didn’t need a Hollywood Code seal to be made or marketed.
Nonetheless, Kubrick felt the censors had forced him to compromise too much in depicting Humbert’s sexual fixation. “Because of all the pressure over the Production Code and the Catholic Legion of Decency at the time, I wasn’t able to give any weight at all to the erotic aspect of Humbert’s relationship with Lolita,” Kubrick said in an interview, years later, “and because his sexual obsession was only hinted at, it was assumed too quickly that Humbert was in love.