History Of Erotica (Part 4): Cinema & Video

Its no suprise that the emergence of motion pictures led to the production of erotic films.

The first erotic short films were made in France as the early 20th Century saw the rise of ‘Stag’ films across the world from South America to Europe.

These films were deemed unlawful and censorship Laws meant that Stag films were an underground movement which continued well after World War 2 when the movies were exchanged privately and clandestine viewing events were held.

The arrival of 8mm Film saw a boom in amateur Cinematography which extended to erotic films with both ‘softcore’ and ‘hardcore’ films being produced.

Denmark and the Netherlands were the first countries to legalise Pornography in 1969, followed by Sweden in 1971 which increased the popularity and mainstream commercial appeal of Porn.

During the 1970s, Pornography saw itself as a separate Cinematic genre with a number of succesful Theatrical releases, the most memorable of which is probably Deepthroat which still stands as a Cult classic and Pop Culture phenomenon today.

Despite these initial successes, Porn did not penetrate the mass market as alternative Cinema, and it would find its true home in the videotape.

From the early 1980s, many pornographic films were being shot straight to video.

Although the industry initially tried to resist the shift to video because of its ambitions in Cinema, the affordability, privacy and revenued offered by Videotape resulted in a pivot to VHS.

This moved Pornographic films from Theaters into people’s homes on a mass scale.

The industry enjoyed massive success during the video era, but changes in technology would once again impact the industry when digital technology arrived.

The Internet offered an unlimited supply for an insatiable audience in the privacy of their homes, and for this reason, the Internet has surpassed videotapes as the main means by which erotic entertainment is made, delivered and experienced.

Today, we live in a world where digital Pornography is ubiquitous, and perhaps Porn’s constant presence in Culture and Civilization from the earliest Civilizations suggests that even though attitudes and conceptions of sexual mores may change with time, human sexual desire will always find an outlet.

Check out the state of the Porn industry in the video and digital age in the last two episodes of Pornography: The Secret History Of Civilization.

Also check out Part1, Part 2 and Part 3 on the History of Erotica as well as the discussion on the Porn Agenda and social effects of modern Porn.