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Hardcore pornography, or hardcore porn, is pornography that features detailed depictions of sexual organs or sexual acts such as vaginal, anal or oral intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, fingering, anilingus, ejaculation, and fetish play. The term is in contrast with less-explicit softcore pornography. Hardcore pornography usually takes the form of photographs, films and cartoons. Since the 1990s, hardcore pornography has become widely available over the Internet, making it more accessible than ever before.
A distinction between "hardcore pornography" and "borderline pornography" (or "borderline obscenity") was made in the 1950s and 1960s by American jurists discussing obscenity laws. "Borderline pornography" appealed to sexual prurience, but had positive qualities, such as literary or artistic merit, and so was arguably permitted by obscenity laws; "hardcore pornography" lacked such merits and was definitely prohibited.In Roth v. United States (1957) the government brief distinguished three classes of sexual material: "novels of apparently serious literary intent"; "borderline entertainment ... magazines, cartoons, nudist publications, etc."; and "hard core pornography, which no one would suggest had literary merit". Eberhard and Phyllis Kronhausen in 1959 distinguished "erotic realism" from "pornography"; in the latter "the main purpose is to stimulate erotic response in the reader. And that is all." Most famously, in Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964), Potter Stewart wrote:
In Jacobellis v. Ohio and other cases, the United States Supreme Court ruled that only "hardcore" pornography could be prohibited by obscenity laws, with the rest protected by the First Amendment. The category of "borderline obscenity" thus became obsolete. The 1970 report of the President's Commission on Obscenity and Pornography said:
[M]ailers dealing in sexually oriented materials define "hard-core pornography" as "photographic depictions of actual sexual intercourse with camera focus on the genitals and no accompanying text to provide a legal defense". This, of course, is not a legal definition.... Some judges have employed the term "hard-core pornography" as a synonym for "material which can be legally suppressed". In this Report, the term is used as a synonym for "under-the-counter" or covertly sold materials. This is, in effect, the definition of hard-core applied in the marketplace. It can be argued that because of the confusion about the meaning of the term, which stems primarily from an undefined legal concept, it would be well to avoid the use of the term altogether.... There is one genre of sexually oriented material which is almost universally sold under-the-counter in the United States: wholly photographic reproductions of actual sexual intercourse graphically depicting vaginal and/or oral penetration.... A[t] present, distinctions between materials sold openly and those sold covertly have become extremely unclear.
From the 1970s, the salient distinction was between hardcore pornography and softcore pornography, which may use simulated sex and limits the range and intensity of depictions of sexual activities. For example, William Rotsler's 1973 classification subdivided the X rating for erotic films: "The XXX-rating means hard-core, the XX-rating is for simulation, and an X-rating is for comparatively cool films."
The prehistory of modern pornography is the classical American stag film, also known as blue movies, a body of clandestine short pornographic films produced during the first two-thirds of the 20th century. While the exact corpus of the distinctive stag film remains unknown, scholars at the Kinsey Institute believe there are approximately 2000 films produced between 1915 and 1968.Stag cinema is a form of hardcore film and is characterized as silent, usually filling a single reel or less, and was illegally made and exhibited because of censorship laws in America. Women were excluded from these private screenings that were shown in American "smoker" houses such as fraternities or other exclusive institutions. In Europe, films of the same kind were screened in brothels. The mode of reception of the all-male audience of stag films was raucous, collective sexual banter and sexual arousal. Film historians describe stag films as a primitive form of cinema because they were produced by anonymous and amateur male artists who failed to achieve narrative coherence and continuity. Today, many of these films have been archived by the Kinsey Institute, but most are in a state of decay and have no copyright, real credits, or acknowledged authorship. The stag film era inevitably ended with the beginnings of the sexual revolution in the fifties in combination with the new technologies of the post war era, such as 16mm, 8mm, and the Super 8. American stag cinema in general received scholarly attention first in the mid-seventies by heterosexual males, e.g. Di Lauro and Gerald Rabkin's Dirty Movies (1976) and more recently by feminist and queer cultural historians, e.g. Linda M. Williams' Hard Core: Power Pleasure, and the "Frenzy of the Visible" (1989) and Thomas Waugh's Homosociality in the Classical American Stag Film: Off-Screen, On-screen (2001).
The distribution of hardcore pornography had been widely prohibited in many countries until the second half of the 20th century when many countries began to allow some dissemination of softcore material. Supply is now usually regulated by a motion picture rating system as well as by direct regulation of points of sale. Restrictions, as applicable, apply to the screening, or rental, sale, or giving of a movie, in the form of a DVD, video, computer file, etc. Public display and advertising of hardcore pornography is often prohibited, as is its supply to minors.
Most countries have eased the restrictions on the distribution of pornography, either by general or restricted legalization or by failure to enforce prohibitive legislation. Most easing of restrictions has been by way of changes to the criteria of a country's movie classification system. The anti-pornography movement often vigorously opposes legalization. In 1969, Denmark became the first country in the world to legalize pornography.In the U.S., legal interpretations of pornography in relation to the constitutional right to free speech differ from state to state and from city to city. Hardcore pornography was legalized in the UK in 2000.
The Independent reported in 2006 that Nielsen NetRatings found that more than nine million British male adults used Internet porn services.The study also reported a one-third rise in the number of women visiting X-rated sites, from 1.05 million to 1.38 million. A 2003 study found that one third of all British Internet users accessed hardcore porn.
A 2005 study by Eric Schlosser estimated that revenues from hardcore porn matched Hollywood's domestic box office takings. Hardcore porn videos, Internet sites, live sex acts and cable TV programming generated US$10 billion, roughly equal to U.S. domestic box office receipts.
Berl Kutchinsky's Studies on Pornography and Sex Crimes in Denmark (1970), a scientific report commissioned by the Presidential Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, found that the legalizing of pornography in Denmark had not (as had been expected) resulted in an increase of sex crimes.
A study conducted in Denmark in 2003 and later published in Archives of Sexual Behavior found that men and women generally believe that hardcore pornography has a positive influence on their lives.
Pornographic films (pornos), erotic films, or sex films are films that present sexually explicit subject matter in order to arouse and satisfy the viewer. Pornographic films present sexual fantasies and usually include erotically stimulating material such as nudity (softcore) and sexual intercourse (hardcore). A distinction is sometimes made between "erotic" and "pornographic" films on the basis that the latter category contains more explicit sexuality, and focuses more on arousal than storytelling, but the distinction is highly subjective.
Pornography in the United States has existed since the country's origins and has become more readily accessible in the 21st century. Advanced by technological development, it has gone from a hard-to-find "back alley" item, beginning in 1969 with Blue Movie by Andy Warhol, the Golden Age of Porn (1969–1984) and home video, to being more available in the country and later, starting in the 1990s, readily accessible to nearly anyone with a computer or other device connected to the Internet. The U.S. has no current plans to block explicit content from minors, as many other countries have planned or processed to do.
Softcore pornography or softcore porn is commercial still photography or film that has a pornographic or erotic component but is less sexually graphic and intrusive than hardcore pornography, defined by a "lack of penetration" including stripteases, lingerie modeling, simulated sex, and emphasis on the sensual appreciation of the female or male form. It typically contains nude or semi-nude actors involved in love scenes, and is intended to be sexually arousing and aesthetically beautiful.
Pornography laws by region vary throughout the world. The production and distribution of pornographic films are both activities that are lawful in many, but by no means all, countries so long as the pornography features performers aged above a certain age, usually eighteen years. Further restrictions are often placed on such material.
A stag film is a type of pornographic film produced secretly in the first two-thirds of the 20th century. Typically, stag films had certain traits. They were brief in duration, were silent, depicted explicit or graphic sexual behavior intended to appeal to men, and were produced clandestinely due to censorship laws. Stag films were screened for all-male audiences in fraternities or similar locations; observers offered a raucous collective response to the film, exchanging sexual banter and achieving sexual arousal. In Europe, stag films were often screened in brothels.
Pornography in Europe has been dominated by a few pan-European producers and distributors, the most notable of which is the Private Media Group that successfully claimed the position previously held by Color Climax Corporation in the early 1990s. Most European countries also have local pornography producers, from Portugal to Serbia, who face varying levels of competition with international producers. The legal status of pornography varies widely in Europe; its production and distribution are illegal in countries such as Ukraine, Belarus and Bulgaria, while Hungary is noted for having liberal pornography laws.
Cartoon pornography is the portrayal of illustrated or animated fictional cartoon characters in erotic or sexual situations. Animated cartoon pornography or erotic animation is a subset of the larger field of adult animation, not all of which is sexually explicit.
In 1969, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Stanley v. Georgia that people could view whatever they wished in the privacy of their own homes. In response, the United States Congress funded the President's Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, set up by President Lyndon B. Johnson to study pornography.
Pornography is the portrayal of sexual subject matter for the exclusive purpose of sexual arousal. Pornography may be presented in a variety of media, including magazines, animation, writing, film, video, and video games. The term does not include live exhibitions like sex shows and striptease. The primary subjects of present-day pornographic depictions are pornographic models, who pose for still photographs, and pornographic actors who engage in filmed sex acts.
Color Climax Corporation ApS (CCC) is a Danish pornography producer headquartered in Copenhagen. It had been one of the leading producers of European pornography up until the 1990s. Since then, CCC has recessed most of its assets, but because its earlier works attract admirers of classic pornography, CCC still functions today via the Internet. Color Climax Corporation (CCC) began in 1967 with the publication of the porn magazine ColorClimax, despite pornography being illegal in Denmark until 1969.
The term "Golden Age of Porn", or "porno chic", refers to a 15-year period (1969–1984) in commercial American pornography, which spread internationally, in which sexually explicit films experienced positive attention from mainstream cinemas, movie critics, and the general public. It began with release of the 1969 film Blue Movie directed by Andy Warhol, and the 1970 film Mona produced by Bill Osco. These films were the first adult erotic films depicting explicit sex to receive wide theatrical release in the United States. Both influenced the making of films such as 1972's Deep Throat starring Linda Lovelace and directed by Gerard Damiano, Behind the Green Door starring Marilyn Chambers and directed by the Mitchell brothers, 1973's The Devil in Miss Jones also by Damiano, and 1976's The Opening of Misty Beethoven by Radley Metzger. According to Warhol, Blue Movie was a major influence in the making of Last Tango in Paris, an internationally controversial erotic drama film, starring Marlon Brando, and released a few years after Blue Movie was made.
Berl Kutchinsky was a Danish Professor of Criminology at the University of Copenhagen. He became internationally famous for his studies in the public health effects of pornography.
The Victorian pornographic tradition included French photographs, erotic prints, and printed literature. As technology has advanced, pornography has taken diverse forms and become more widespread in society. In the twentieth century the production of pornographic magazines and films developed, and by the twenty-first century pornography was available by telephone, on television and via the internet. However, access to pornography has generally been more restricted than it has been in comparable Western countries.
An obscenity is any utterance or act that strongly offends the prevalent morality of the time. It is derived from the Latin obscēnus, obscaenus, "boding ill; disgusting; indecent", of uncertain etymology. The word can be used to indicate a strong moral repugnance, in expressions such as "obscene profits" or "the obscenity of war". As a legal term, it usually refers to graphic depictions of people engaged in sexual and excretory activity.
Pornography in Turkey has been produced since the 1970s.
Pornography in Canada has changed since the 1960s when the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1968-69 that suppressed various laws related to sexual norms was passed. There has been a shift in the mode of determining whether a material is obscene or not with the R v. Butler judgment. The obscenity laws were challenged as violative of freedom of expression in R. v Butler. Obscenity is defined as follows under the Criminal Code: "the undue exploitation of sex or of sex and one or more of the following subjects; namely, crime, horror, cruelty and violence." The court held that the term “undue” should be interpreted on the degree of harm which flows from such exposure that predisposes people to act in an anti-social manner. The court ruled that pornography is harmful if it contains violence or explicit sex which is degrading or dehumanizing and which creates a substantial risk of harm, as it harms a person's right to be equal. Therefore, there is a shift from the community standard's test to the harm test post the Butler judgment.
Pornography in the Philippines is defined by Philippine law in the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines and Republic Act No. 7610. According to this Philippine legislation, pornography are illegal doctrines, publications, shows, and other similar material or portrayals that advocate human immorality, obscenity, and indecency. Philippine legislations penalize participation in these unlawful activities, which extend punishment to those that harbor abuse, exploitation, prostitution, and discrimination of children.
A Free Ride, also known as A Grass Sandwich, is a stag film of the silent era, considered the earliest extant American hardcore pornographic movie. It depicts a motorist who picks up two women from the roadside and later engages in several sex acts with them. Although most scholars consider A Free Ride a 1915 film, some sources claim that it was produced later. The film's director used a pseudonym and the cast remained anonymous. The filming location is not known, although it may have been produced in New Jersey. Two contradictory theories have emerged regarding the identities of the cast: some sources suggest they were people with low social status, but others assert the opposite. The Kinsey Institute has a print of the film in its collection. A Free Ride was screened at the inauguration of the Museum of Sex. In 2004, Lisa Oppenheim, a New York-based artist, remade the film.
United States obscenity law deals with the regulation or suppression of what is considered obscenity. In the United States, discussion of obscenity typically relates to pornography, as well as issues of freedom of speech and of the press, otherwise protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Issues of obscenity arise at federal and state levels. The States have a direct interest in public morality and have responsibility in relation to criminal law matters, including the punishment for the production and sale of obscene materials. State laws operate only within the jurisdiction of each state, and there are a wide differences in such laws. The federal government is involved in the issue indirectly, by making it an offense to distribute obscene materials through the post, to broadcast them, as well as in relation to importation of such materials.
Phyllisand Eberhard Kronhausen were a husband-and-wife team of American sexologists, mainly active in the 1960s and 1970s. They wrote a number of books on sexuality and eroticism, and they also amassed a collection of erotic art, which traveled around Europe in 1968 as the "First International Exhibition of Erotic Art" and then found a home in San Francisco as the Museum of Erotic Art (1970-1973).