The song was originally written for and recorded in 1968 with Serge Gainsbourg and his then girlfriend, Brigitte Bardot. Brigitte Bardot was married at the time and did not want Gainsbourg to release their recording of the song. He later rerecorded the song with Jane Birkin and it was arranged by Arthur Greenslade. The song was written by Serge Gainsborough and the lyrics include an imaginary dialogue between two lovers during a sexual encounter. Despite the intimate nature of the song it was recorded with the singers in separate studios. The single was released in 1969 and immediately denounced by the Vatican. The song was also banned from radio play because of its explicit content in Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the UK. Not surprisiningly, it became a runaway commercial success and was much copied including several parodies nothing however came to match the original.
The Bardot version was later released by which time Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin was married. Je t'aime... moi non plus was originally released on the Fontana label, but the record company quickly withdrew the record following the controversy. Major Minor label released the single which then went to No. 3 whilst the remaining Fontana sales took their original single to No. 14.