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Adult film

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Pornographic movies are movies that explicitly depict sexual intercourse and other sexual acts, for the purpose of sexual arousal in the viewer. They 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". Older names for pornographic movies include "adult film", "stag film", and "blue movie".



The movie camera has been used for pornography throughout its history, but pornographic movies were for most of that time typically available only by underground distribution, for projection at home or in private clubs.

Pornographic motion pictures are nearly as old as the medium itself. According to Patrick Robertson's Film Facts, "the earliest pornographic motion picture which can definitely be dated is A L'Ecu d'Or ou la bonne auberge", made in France in 1908"; the plot depicts a weary soldier who has a tryst with an inn servant girl. Robertson notes that the Argentine pornographic film El Satario might be even older; it has been dated to somewhere between 1907 and 1912. Robertson notes that "the oldest surviving pornographic films are contained in America's Kinsey Collection." One film demonstrates how early pornographic conventions were established. The German film Am Abend (c. 1910) is, as Robertson writes, "a ten-minute film which begins with a woman masturbating alone in her bedroom, and progresses to scenes of her with a man performing straight sex, fellatio and anal penetration." (Robertson, p. 66)

Pornographic movies were widespread in the silent movie era of the 1920s, and were often shown in brothels. Many pornographic films were made in subsequent decades, but given the usually clandestine nature of the filming and distribution, details of such "stag films" are often difficult to obtain.

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 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.

With the advent of the Internet and DVDs, the production and distribution of pornographic movies has become even easier and it is a huge business involving at least hundreds of filmmakers all over the world, and thousands of performers. With ~20,000 feature length films a year in the US alone, the pornographic movie industry is the biggest branch of film industry in the world.


Current pornographic movies 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. Some of the most popular include:

  • Straight porn, designed principally to appeal to heterosexuals. It has been said that the majority of straight porn is marketed towards men, and that only a minority of women enjoy it, thus leading to "couples porn" (see below).
  • Couples porn, a slang for a subset of straight porn designed to appeal to 'both' heterosexual men and women, as most straight porn is supposedly marketed to men's urges, and not something the majority of women can enjoy.
  • Lesbian "girl-on-girl" porn designed to appeal bisexuals, lesbians and heterosexual men. It is debatable whether or not lesbian porn is in fact, geared more towards heterosexual men than lesbian women.
  • Gay (see Gay porn) "man-on-man" porn designed primarily to appeal to homosexual men, but also to heterosexual women. Unlike lesbian porn, its primary aim is not disputed.
  • Bisexual or Bi-Sexual porn, involving both heterosexual, lesbian, and homosexual male acts, most commonly made in MMF threesomes or sexual group arrangements.
  • Animated porn, for example h-anime, h-manga, and h-dōjinshi (called hentai outside of Japan)
  • Pregnant and Milking porn, involving sex with pregnant women and/or drinking and squirting of breast milk (although this does not necessarily require a pregnant woman).
  • Shemale porn, involving transwomen (male-to-female transgender persons) that have 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 .
  • Gonzo porn, which often purports to recruit amateur performers off the street (but does not actually do so, because of the need for HIV testing, and to satisfy record-keeping requirements in the age verification of the performers)
  • 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, the latter sometimes referred to as "wall-to-wall". A related distinction is between regular and "amateur porn", in which performers are not 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 today. These sex acts are typically presented in a ritualized manner not representative of common sexual behavior. 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. This is the most common type of gay pornography.
  • Orgy: group sex, more than two people having sex at the same time. Specific types of orgies are:
    • Threesome: group sex of three people.
    • Gang bang: one woman, or one man, having sex with more than two men at the same time. Gang bang can also be done with one man and three or more women, that is usually called a reverse gang bang.
  • Double penetration (DP): a woman is penetrated by two men: one inserts his penis into her vagina, the other into the 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 person is penetrated by two men, both inserting their penises into the anus at the same time.
  • Creampie: a man ejaculates inside a woman or man's anus or woman's vagina leaving the semen dripping out the orifice.
  • Cumshot or Money Shot: a man withdraws his penis before ejaculating onto the person's body, usually onto the face, mouth, sometimes onto the sex organs, or the buttocks. Some cumshots are more specifically called:
    • Bukkake: a group of men ejaculating on a woman or man's face, mouth or eye often while the person is kneeling, usually followed by the consumption of the sperm. This originated in Japanese movies.
    • Facial: ejaculating on a woman or man's face.
    • Pearl necklace: ejaculating on a woman or man's chest.
  • Gape: a gaping body orifice, usually an anus, occasionally a vagina.
  • Rimming (anilingus): contact between the tongue and the anus, usually licking.
  • 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 considered properly done only if they are filmed in one camera take, without later edits.

AIDS and the industry

With the outbreak of AIDS hysteria in the 1980s, the pornography industry instituted a system of testing for HIV, the virus responsible for 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.

The system seemed to work well, with very few AIDS cases among porn actors until famous male star Marc Wallice, a known IV drug user, tested HIV positive in 1998, sending some shockwaves throughout the industry. 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. The straight segment of the porn industry voluntarily shut down for 30 days (a 60 day moritorium was originally announced but it was lifted early) while it tried to deal with the situation.

As of August 2004, estimates put condom use in the straight porn industry at around seventeen percent of adult performers, virtually the same usage rate as before the industry scare. The gay porn industry at the professional level is more adamant about condom usage and thus had less to fear.

Two actors Darren James and Lara Roxx, initially tested positive, and were barred from further sexually explicit content production. 60 actors who had contact with them were barred from working until their next round of HIV testing was completed and they were declared HIV negative. A total of five actors were diagnosed with the virus by the end of the moratorium: one male and four females, including one transsexual.

James most likely contracted HIV while filming a pornographic movie in Brazil and then passed it to the other women, excluding the transsexual who was considered an unrelated case. Roxx was shocked by the news of her HIV status, believing porn actors to be cleaner than the general public. This belief is now in doubt.

Due to this limited outbreak, the California State government is considering regulating the industry. Some propose to mandate 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 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.

Sex cinema

A sex cinema is a movie theater specialized in showing pornographic movies.

Famous pornographic movies

Alice in Wonderland
Behind the Green Door
Debbie Does Dallas
Deep Throat
Flesh Gordon
Once Upon a Girl
Power Tool (film)
Smart Alec
The Devil in Miss Jones
The Good Old Naughty Days
The Opening of Misty Beethoven
World's Biggest Gang Bang (see also Sex - The Annabel Chong Story)


  • Patrick Robertson: Film Facts, 2001, Billboard Books, ISBN 0823079430

External links

Home | Up | Children's film | Family film | Adult film

Movies, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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