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Pornographic movie
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Pornographic movie

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.

Table of contents
1 Overview
2 Sub-genres
3 Clichés
4 AIDS and the industry
5 Sex cinema
6 See also
7 External links


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.

Pornographic movies were widespread in the silent movie era of the 1920s, and were often shown in brothels.

More permissive legislation permitted the rise of "XXX-rated" movie theaters in the U.S 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.

With the advent of the Internet and DVDs, the production of pornographic movies has become even easier but is still concentrated within a few small companies.


Current pornographic videos can be divided into a number of types:

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. They are referred to the jargon of the pornography industry as:

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.

AIDS and the industry

With the advent of AIDS, 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 (straight) US porn industry when two erotic 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 thusly 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 approxiamately 60 other actors and actresses who had contact with them in the 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.

The last HIV scare involved one performer in 1999, who tested positive for HIV. More than a dozen would-be performers have been barred from performing by the industry because they tested positive for HIV upon attempting to enter the business.

Sex cinema

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

See also

External links