Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A pornographic actor or a porn star is somebody who appears in pornographic movies, live sex shows or peep shows. Many actors/actresses may appear nude in films (usually rather briefly) or on stage but even if they depict sexual behavior they are not considered erotic actors. To be considered a porn star, one must appear chiefly in porn movies and be filmed in explicit sexual acts, usually with close-up shots of the genitalia during sexual acts and where explicit nudity is involved. Most porn stars use stage names.
The first porn star with name recognition was Linda Lovelace who starred in the 1972 feature, Deep Throat. The success of this movie, which grossed hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide, spawned a slew of other films and pornographic film stars such as Marilyn Chambers (Behind the Green Door), Gloria Leonard (The Opening of Misty Beethoven), Georgina Spelvin (The Devil in Miss Jones), and Bambi Woods (Debbie Does Dallas). This was followed by what is called The Golden Age of Porn in the early and mid-eighties. Such legendary performers as Seka, Ginger Lynn Allen, Annette Haven, Veronica Hart, and Hyapatia Lee became well known in this era. The biggest name in porn today is Jenna Jameson.
Attempts in the 1970s to outlaw pornography in the U.S. by prosecuting porn stars for prostitution failed, as the courts made a distinction between someone who took part in a sexual relationship for money, and the act of portraying a sexual relationship as a performance for money.
The ability for people to view adult movies in the privacy of their own homes, due to the popularity of the VCR (and now DVD) created a new adult market that could not be ignored. The production values of adult films declined dramatically in the attempt to create product for ever increasing demand. As a result of this, there are hundreds of adult film companies today, releasing tens of thousands of shot-on-video titles annually.
Pornographic actors and sexually transmitted diseases
In the 1980s, an outbreak of AIDS led to a number of deaths of erotic actors. This led to the creation of the Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation, which helped set up a system in the U.S. adult film industry where erotic actors are tested for HIV every 30 days. All sexual contact is logged, and positive test results result in all sexual contacts for the last three to six months being contacted and re-tested.
This resulted in low rates of HIV transmission, and hence low rates of infection among erotic actors: it has been reported that not a single HIV test was positive in the four year period prior to 2004.
In 2004, a male performer, Darren James, tested positive for HIV, and there is currently an urgent search for other potentially infected partners to prevent another HIV outbreak. One fellow porn star, Lara Roxx, was identified and tested positive for HIV. James apparently had contact with 12 other women since his previous negative HIV test. Following the release of this information the heterosexual porn industry voluntarily reduced their workload for the next 30 days, as various contacts with both individuals, as well as others within the industry, re-evaluated and expanded upon their original programs dealing with this possibility.
- Glamour model
- Bondage model
- List of big-bust models and performers
- Sex worker
- List of porn stars
- AIDS and the porn industry
- Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation: Frequently asked questions
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