Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Pornographic movies appeared shortly after the creation of the movie technology that made them possible. Pornographic films have much in common with other forms of pornography. Pornography is often referred to as "porn" and a pornographic work as "a porno".
The movie camera has been used for pornography throughout its history, but pornographic movies were for most of that time typically only available by underground distribution, for projection at home or in private clubs.
More permissive legislation permitted the rise of "XXX-rated" movie theaters in the United States in the 1970s. There was also a proliferation of coin-operated "movie booths" in sex shops that displayed pornographic "loops" (so-called because they projected a movie from film arranged in a continuous loop).
At that time, pornographic movies even approached acceptance into the mainstream movie industry, with films such as Deep Throat, Behind the Green Door and Gerard Damiano 's 1972 film The Devil in Miss Jones being shot on film with high production values , and grossing substantial amounts in movie theaters.
With the arrival of the home video cassette recorder in the 1980s, the pornographic movie industry grew massively, allowing people being able not only to view pornography in the privacy of their own home without having to go out to a theater, but also to make their own pornography. Video production is much cheaper than shooting and editing on film, and has thus displaced production on film for almost all pornographic movies.
Current pornographic videos can be divided into a number of sub-genres by the sex of the performers, the types of sex act portrayed, and the intended audience:
- Straight porn, designed principally to appeal to heterosexual men
- Couples porn, designed to appeal to both heterosexual men and women
- Lesbian, "girl-girl", or "girl-on-girl" porn designed to appeal to heterosexual men or nonheterosexual women
- Gay, "boy-boy", or man on man, porn for homosexual men or nonhomosexual women
- "Bisexual" porn, involving both heterosexual (and often lesbian) and homosexual male acts
- Shemale porn, involving transwomen (male-to-female transgender persons) that have female breasts (either through hormone replacement therapy or through breast augmentation and usually other female secondary sex characteristics), but who have not undergone genital reassignment surgery, in other words, women with penises (often called 'chicks with dicks').
- "Gonzo" porn, which purports to recruit amateur performers off the street (but does not actually do so, because of the need for HIV testing)
- Spanking and BDSM porn
- Fetish porn
At the same time, a distinction can be drawn across all genres between those movies with some semblance of a story and those which are simply assemblies of sequences of sex acts. A related distinction is between regular and "amateur porn", in which performers are or appear not to be professional porn stars as seen by the lack of noticeable makeup, overblown dialogue, or discontinuous plot and motives. Third, porn involving roleplaying puts the performers into occupations which often are in real life thought to be unethical, unprofessional, or otherwise troublesome to have sex with another, for the thrill of forbidden relations, such as between doctor and nurse, cheerleader and team member, dad and babysitter, or professor and student. Another divides softcore and hardcore porn, the former common on premium cable channels which do not show genitalia or bodily fluids at any time in the movie, and the latter on adult channels which can and do.
Pornographic movies are notable for their extensive use of sequels, probably due to the lack of plot: a successful new movie will often generate dozens of numbered sequels in essentially the same format.
There are various subjects that are common in pornographic movies of the late 1990s and early 2000s. These sex acts are typically presented in a ritualized manner not representative of common sexual behavior and often objectifying one or more of the performers. In the jargon of the pornography industry they are referred to as:
- Anal: anal sex is engaged in various positions, equivalent to the various vaginal sex positions. Additionally, this is, obviously, the most common type of gay pornography.
- Orgy: group sex, more than two partners having sex at the same time. Specific types of orgies are:
- Double penetration (DP): a woman is penetrated by two men, one inserts his penis into her vagina, the other into her anus.
- Double vaginal (DV): a woman is penetrated by two men, both inserting their penises into her vagina at the same time.
- Double anal (DA): a woman or man is penetrated by two men, both inserting their penises into her or his anus at the same time.
- Cumshot or Money Shot: a man withdraws his penis before ejaculating onto his partner's body, usually onto the face, sometimes onto the sex organs, belly, or the backs of the hips. Some cumshots are more specifically called:
- Gape: a gaping body orifice, usually an anus, occasionally a vagina.
- Anilingus: contact between the anus of one person and the mouth and tongue of another.
- Ass to mouth (A2M): indicates the removal of a penis or other object from a partner's anus followed by the insertion of the penis or other object into the same or other partner's mouth. A2M scenes are only considered properly done if they are filmed in one camera take, without later edits.
AIDS and the industry
With the advent of AIDS in the 1980s there were many deaths among pornographic movie actors. As an attempt to prevent further deaths, the pornography industry instituted a system of testing for HIV. Often the pornography industry does not depict safer sex: mainstream pornographic movies now depict a range of behaviors including anal sex that are high risk activities for STD transmission, as if the taboo status of these activities has made them more thrilling for the consumers of pornography. Anal sex and other similar activities are now part of heterosexual pornography in a way that was unprecedented before the outbreak of AIDS.
The industry's voluntary system involves testing actors once a month for HIV. If the actor does not pass the test, he or she is barred from performing in any more pornographic scenes. While there are actors who perform non-sexual roles in pornographic films, testing HIV-positive would most likely ruin an erotic actor's career.
In April 2004, an AIDS scare rocked the heterosexual US porn industry when two pornographic actors tested HIV positive in California, the hotbed of US porn production. Following this outbreak, the porn industry voluntarily shut down for 60 days while it tried to deal with the situation. The gay porn industry, among the professional level, is more adamant about condom usage and thus had less to fear.
The two actors testing positive, Darren James and Lara Roxx, are barred from further sexually explicit content production as are the approximately 60 other actors and actresses who had contact with them since their previous HIV test. The 60 other actors are barred from working until their next round of HIV testing is completed and they are declared HIV negative (later at least 2 more have been tested positive).
James most likely contracted HIV while filming a pornographic movie in Brazil and then passed it to Roxx, with whom he had performed a scene. Currently Roxx, 22, is broke and homeless, living with friends. Understandably, she was shocked by the news of her HIV status, believing porn actors to be cleaner than the general public. The status of James is unknown, though he is reported to be in San Diego.
Due to this outbreak, the US government is considering regulating the industry. Some speculative provisions would require the wearing of condoms during sexually explicit scenes. Industry insiders say this would ruin sales of their wares since the unprotected content is one of the selling points of some of their films. They say the wearing of condoms ruins the sexual fantasy of many viewers. Insiders say that such regulation would force the industry off-shore or, more likely, underground where it would be more prone to health risks for performers. The non-profit Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation is working with the government, trying to develop policies that both the industry and the government would find acceptable.
A sex cinema is a movie theater specialized in showing pornographic movies.
Famous pornographic movies
- Behind the Green Door
- Debbie Does Dallas
- Deep Throat
- Flesh Gordon
- Mona - The Virgin Nymph
- The Opening of Misty Beethoven
- The Devil in Miss Jones
- The World's Biggest Gang Bang
- The Good Old Naughty Days
- Sex - The Annabel Chong Story
- Sex worker
- Sex industry
- Pornography by country
- Pornography in the United States
- Pornography in Japan
- List of porn stars
- AVN article on the 2004 HIV outbreak (Warning: explicit content)
- Adult Film Database Warning: contains explicit pornographic content
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