The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject.(January 2014)
A sexploitation film (or sex-exploitation film) is a class of independently produced, low-budget  feature film that is generally associated with the 1960s  and early 1970s, and that serves largely as a vehicle for the exhibition of non-explicit sexual situations and gratuitous nudity. The genre is a subgenre of exploitation films. The term "sexploitation" has been used since the 1940s.  Sexploitation films were generally exhibited in urban grindhouse theatres, the precursor to the adult movie theaters of the 1970s and 1980s that featured hardcore pornography content. The term soft-core is often used to designate non-explicit sexploitation films after the general legalisation of hardcore content. Nudist films are often considered to be subgenres of the sex-exploitation genre as well. "Nudie" films and "Nudie-cuties" are associated genres. 
After a series of United States Supreme Court rulings in the late 1950s and 1960s, increasingly explicit sex films were distributed.  In 1957, Roth v. United States established that sex and obscenity were not synonymous.  The genre first emerged in the U.S. around 1960. 
There were initially three broad types: "nudie cuties" such as The Immoral Mr. Teas (1959), films set in nudist camps like Daughter of the Sun (1962) and somewhat more "artistic" foreign pictures, such as The Twilight Girls (1961).  Nudie cuties were popular in the early 1960s, and were a progression from the nudist camp films of the 1950s.  The Supreme Court had previously ruled that films set in nudist camps were exempt from the general ban on film nudity, as they were deemed to be educational.  In the early 1960s, films that purported to be documentaries and were thus "educational" enabled sexploitation producers to evade the censors. 
Nudie cuties were soon supplanted by "roughies," which commonly featured male violence against women, including kidnapping, rape and murder.   Lorna (1964) by Russ Meyer is widely considered to be the first roughie.  Herschell Gordon Lewis and David F. Friedman's Scum of the Earth! (1963) is another film that is cited as among the first in this genre.  Other notable roughie directors include Doris Wishman. 
In the United States, exploitation films initially played in grindhouse theatres,  as well as struggling independent theaters; however, by the end of the decade they were playing in established cinema chains.  As the genre developed during the 1960s films began showing scenes of simulated sex.  The films were opposed by religious groups and by the MPAA, which was concerned that sexploitation films were cutting into the profits of major film distributors.  Customers who attended screenings of sexploitation films were often characterised by the mainstream media as deviant, "dirty old men" and "raincoaters." 
In the mid-1960s some newspapers began banning advertisements for the films.  By the late 1960s the films were attracting a larger and broader audience, however, including couples rather than the single males who originally made up the vast majority of patrons.  The genre rapidly declined in the early 1970s due to advertising bans, the closure of many grindhouses and drive-in theaters and the growth of hardcore pornography in the "Golden Age of Porn."  Many theaters which had screened sexploitation films either switched to hardcore pornographic films or closed down. 
In the late 1960s, American obscenity laws were tested by the Swedish film I Am Curious (Yellow) .  After the 1969 ruling by the Supreme Court that the film was not obscene   because of its educational context, the late 1960s and early 1970s saw a number of sexploitation films produced following this same format. These were widely referred to as "white coaters," because, in these films, a doctor dressed in a white coat would give an introduction to the graphic content that followed, qualifying the film as "educational." The ruling led to a surge in the production of sex films.  Language of Love and other Swedish and American films capitalised on this idea until the laws were relaxed. 
In the 1960s Argentine sexploitation films were made within a regular basis. The biggest national stars in that genre were Isabel Sarli and Libertad Leblanc. The genre rapidly declined during the 1980s, particularly with the advent of democracy in Argentina since 1983 onwards, and it disappeared completely in the 1990s, except for some low budget direct-to-video productions.
Although these movies were released in their home country, government censorship at the time (Argentina alternated between democracy and dictatorship for most of the 60s and 70s) was prone to -or had the steady habit of- heavily editing the films before their release, threatening with a full ban if the studio or the director did not comply. Armando Bó, who made several sexploitation and erotic films with his romantic partner and muse Isabel Sarli, is one of the most well-known cases in Argentina of having disputes with the censors who wanted to either put him in jail for making "obscene material" or ban his films, which were released mostly in a truncated form, and with many scenes excised from his movies at the time of their release.
One of the most notorious agents of government censorship during that period was Miguel Paulino Tato, who worked during de jure and de facto administrations as the director of the Argentine Ente de Calificación Cinematográfica (Film Rating Organization). In that capacity, Tato censored -banned or heavily edited- dozens of erotic or sexploitation films (from Argentina and from all over the world) during the 1960s and 1970s; he also banned or cut hundreds of domestic/international films of any kind and genre during the same era, always using the pretext of a righteous and moral fight against either "Marxism", "anti-catholic" or "subversive" movies who were, in his view, trying to "contaminate" the country's values and national identity. Although he exercised a mostly bureaucratic role, Tato was keen on giving interviews to the media describing his far-right authoritarian views and even boasting about being "a nazi" on several occasions. He was also -and proudly- a racist, and quite famously said on television, at the time of the Argentinian premiere of Shaft in Africa (1973): "Negros go back to Africa!" ("¡Negros, al Africa!"). 
Libertad Leblanc's rivalry with Isabel Sarli -who was, and probably still is, the greatest sex symbol in Argentine cinema- was very conspicuous in the 1960s. They were the two greatest figures of erotic cinema in their home country, competing for the headlines as well as the box office success, and at the same time the contrast between the two, in appearance and in personality (on screen and off as well) couldn't be bigger: Isabel Sarli was a flashy brunette, with generous shapes and natural attributes. Libertad Leblanc was instead rather slim, reportedly had breast implants, dyed her hair platinum blonde, and maintained her distinctive white skin by constantly avoiding exposure to the sun. Sarli had a shy and somewhat innocent personality, and she always exuded a "homely and easy-going" public image; her movies were usually melodramas and comedies with a lot of nudity. In contrast, Leblanc was uninhibited and cunning, and gave a public image of a vamp or a seductress; she was dubbed as "The White Goddess" (La diosa blanca) by the media,  and her filmography includes police movies and thrillers.
"La Sarli", as they used to call her, was, as an actress, a product entirely created by Armando Bó, since the Argentine director was not only her longtime lover —Sarli and Bó were never legally married, but lived together as a couple until his death— but also her manager, her film producer and director, and even an authority figure, simultaneously. On the other hand, "La Leblanc", as they also used to call her, had a different background and was already used -from a young age, actually- to make her way on her own, and she was a true self-made woman of her time: she had disputes and argued as equals with producers, directors and distributors; she was her own manager and she co-produced almost all of her films -at a time when no woman did so-, as well as being almost always in charge of the distribution and promotion of her films. In this regard, a Mexican producer, with whom Leblanc made eight films, once told the media that "Libertad Leblanc, when talking about business, has a mustache".
In fact, it was Libertad Leblanc herself who installed the rivalry between her and Sarli in the media, as well as the popular conscience. In order to promote her first film, La Flor de Irupé (1962), Leblanc suggested a promotional poster with a black and white nude and a caption that read: "Libertad Leblanc, rival of Isabel Sarli". Although Isabel Sarli did not say anything at the time, Armando Bó, in a wrathful rapture, accused Leblanc of deviously using Sarli's international fame. Some time later, in a 2004 interview, Leblanc was sincere about the whole affair: “And [Bó] was right; but hey: we didn't spend a dime [on publicity] and everything came out perfectly"; in that same interview, when asked if she really believed there was a true rivalry between Sarli and her, Leblanc replied: "Not in any way. With Armando [Bó] we did have our run-ins because that fame [the publicity controversy] also circulated around the world. But she is divine; very naïve, yes, but she is a gorgeous woman...". 
An exploitation film is a film that tries to succeed financially by exploiting current trends, niche genres, or lurid content. Exploitation films are generally low-quality "B movies", though some set trends, attract critical attention, become historically important, and even gain a cult following.
The Immoral Mr. Teas (1959) is the first commercially successful film of director Russ Meyer. The film was described as a nudist comedy, and was noted for exhibiting extensive female nudity. The film cost $24,000 to produce, and eventually grossed more than $1.5 million on the independent/exploitation circuit.
Doris Wishman was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. She is credited with having directed and produced at least 30 feature films during a career spanning over four decades, most notably in the sexploitation film genre.
In film, nudity may be either graphic or suggestive, such as when a person appears to be naked but is covered by a sheet. Since the birth of film, depictions of any form of sexuality have been controversial, and in the case of most nude scenes, had to be justified as part of the story.
David Frank Friedman was an American filmmaker and film producer best known for his B movies, exploitation films, nudie cuties, and sexploitation films.
Armando Bó was an Argentine film actor, director, producer, screenwriter and score composer of the classic era. He made drama and sexploitation films of the 1960s and 1970s starring his favorite actress and romantic partner, sex symbol Isabel Sarli. His works include Thunder Among the Leaves, which features the first nude scene in an Argentine film.
Víctor Bó is a Argentine actor and film producer. He is the son of classic actor and director Armando Bó, and father and uncle of Academy Award Winners for Best Original Screenplay Armando Bo and Nicolás Giacobone, respectively. Bo is retired from acting.
La Mujer de mi padre is a 1968 Argentine sexploitation drama film directed by Armando Bó and starring Isabel Sarli, Victor Bó and Armando Bó.
Desnuda en la arena is a 1969 Argentine comedy film written and directed by Armando Bó. It stars sexploitation icon Isabel Sarli and comedian Jorge Porcel.
Embrujada is a 1969 Argentine sexploitation horror film directed by Armando Bó.
Fiebre, also known as Fever, is a 1971 Argentine sexploitation film directed, produced and written by Armando Bó and starring Isabel Sarli. It was released on 22 June 1972 in Argentina. Fiebre is the name of the horse in the film.
Intimacies of a Prostitute is a 1974 Argentine sexploitation drama film directed by Armando Bó and starring Isabel Sarli, Jorge Barreiro, and Sabina Olmos. Various dates of the release have been given, some as early as 1971 or 1972.
Libertad María de los Ángeles Vichich Blanco was an Argentine film actress, famous for starring in several erotic films during the 1960s.
Insaciable is a 1976 Argentine erotic drama film written and directed by Armando Bó. It stars Isabel Sarli as a "worried nymphomaniac in search of satisfaction or cure". The film was highly controversial in Argentina due to its nudity and sexual content and lesbianism. This was played upon with a film poster documenting extracts from the Argentine press condemning the film and documenting those calling for it to be banned or censored.
Hilda Isabel Gorrindo Sarli, nicknamed Coca, was an Argentine actress and glamour model who was known for starring in several sexploitation films by Armando Bó, especially in the 1960s and 1970s. She began her career as a model and beauty queen, becoming Miss Argentina and reaching the semi-finals of Miss Universe 1955. She was discovered by Bó in 1956 and made her acting debut the following year with Thunder Among the Leaves, in which a controversial nude scene featuring Sarli made it the first film to feature full frontal nudity in Argentine cinema.
Fuego is a 1969 Argentine sexploitation film written, produced and directed by Armando Bó and starring Isabel Sarli. It is one of the many erotic films that the couple made between 1959 and 1980.
A Butterfly in the Night is a 1977 Argentine comedy-drama film directed by and starring Armando Bo alongside Isabel Sarli.
Thunder Among the Leaves is a 1958 Argentine drama film directed by Armando Bó, starring himself, Isabel Sarli, Ernesto Báez and Andrés Laszlo. The screenplay by Paraguayan writer Augusto Roa Bastos was based on his short story La hija del ministro. Set in Paraguay, the story is about a strike at a sawmill.
La señora del intendente is a 1967 Argentine comedy film directed by Armando Bó and starring Isabel Sarli and Pepe Arias. The film had a sequel "Una Viuda descocada" (1980), which was Bó's last film.
Carne is a 1968 Argentine sexploitation film written and directed by Armando Bó. It stars Isabel Sarli as Delicia, a worker in a meat-packing factory where she becomes the victim of rapists.