Porn movie

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Actor shooting a porn film

A porn film (or pornographic film ) is the audio-visual realization of pornography (from the Greek porne , whore , graphein , write) in the medium of film. Pornography is often defined as the immediate and clear representation of human sexuality and primary gender characteristics with the aim of sexual stimulation of the consumer.

This attempt at definition is controversial in the art and film studies debate, even though law , for example, seems to be absolutely dependent on this definition. The demarcation to genre terms such as erotic film, which is also referred to as soft porn or the sex film, is also based on the criterion of immediacy and clarity. In spite of everything, the genre transitions are fluid and cannot be drawn clearly.

Pornographic films have not been criminally prohibited in Germany since 1975 . However, they are subject to certain youth protection regulations that regulate, for example, advertising and sales. According to the current legal situation, § 15 (2) JuSchG stipulates that pornographic films are to be treated in the same way as indexed films. On the other hand, so-called hard pornography, which contains sexual violence , zoophile acts or the sexual abuse of children , is prohibited under criminal law .


First erotic silent films

Newspaper advertisement from a traveling cinema with a reference to “Gentlemen's performance with a spicy program”, 1903
Images from a silent film from 1906

As with many “new” technologies (printing technology, photography , telephone and video as media or screen text and the Internet as a means of transport), film was also discovered very quickly for the production of erotic and pornographic recordings. Previously, erotic representations could already be found in the stereo and kinetoscopes . The scenes shown there most frequently were to be found in the erotic film productions of the early silent film era . The four most common, recurring subjects of the early silent film erotica were dance scenes, voyeurism , undressing scenes and the theme “The artist and his model”.

The oldest extant erotic film - the content is an undressing scene - comes from Eugène Pirou and Albert Kirchner , who directed Pirou under the stage name "Léar". The film Le Coucher de la Mariée from 1896 showed Mlle. Louise Willy the striptease . Pirous Film inspired a genre of raunchy French films that featured women undressing when other film producers saw the potential for profits.

The first voyeuristic scene is likely to be seen in the animated film autour d'une cabine (1893/1894) by Émile Reynaud . Georges Méliès film Après le bal shows the entire film content of the undressing of a young woman returning from the ball. Admittedly, at this early stage in film, film recordings were never longer than five to a maximum of ten minutes. One of the first films with erotic dance scenes was the 1893 film Dolorita in the passion dance , which was first seen at the Chicago World's Fair . The subject “The artist and his model”, popular in many erotic films, was first documented in 1899: his masterpiece ; An artist can be seen drawing a naked woman until he finally falls at the feet of the real woman.

In the erotic films in German-speaking countries, eroticism was often combined with humor. An early example of this is the film Endlich alone , which ran successfully across Austria-Hungary in 1896 and 1897. Here a man can be seen secretly observing his wife in the toilet and making every effort not to be discovered. According to the Bozner Zeitung, the film was so funny that it had to "make the worst hypochondriac laugh". Depending on the attitude towards erotic films, newspaper reviews either highlighted the comedy of a film or criticized the revealing representations. By the end of the first decade of the 20th century, increasing protests from citizens in many countries had already led to strict censorship measures or performance bans. In 1910, an international conference on combating pornography was called in Paris, as the amount of erotic images in circulation had already reached such great proportions.

The heyday of erotic film recordings was that of traveling cinemas , which were the most important projectionists until the mid-1900s, when there were hardly any permanent cinemas. In order to avoid possible censorship measures, traveling cinema owners often only played their erotic films on the last evening of their stay, which in German-speaking countries were often referred to as "piquant films", "piquant films for gentlemen's evenings" or something like that.

The largest producer of erotic short films was France, where the major film companies such as Pathé made erotic recordings. The more well-known a film company became, the more eroticism was only hinted at in the films and, in the case of Pathé, it was ultimately discontinued, since the production of unproblematic and globally successful feature films should not be endangered. In the German-speaking area, the German Venus Film and the Austrian Saturn Film were internationally exporting producers of erotic short films.

First pornographic silent films

A L'Ecu d'Or ou la bonne auberge ( To the golden ecu or The good hostel ) from 1908 is, according to Patrick Robertson's film Facts, the earliest pornographic film that can definitely be dated (“the earliest pornographic motion picture which can definitely be dated is A L'Ecu d'Or ou la bonne auberge. ”). It is a French film that shows a tired soldier rendezvous with a waitress in a pub. El Sartorio from Argentina could be even older; the film is dated between 1907 and 1912. Robertson points out that "the oldest surviving films in the American Kinsey Collection includes" ( "the oldest surviving pornographic films are contained in America's Kinsey Collection"). A film shows how early pornographic conventions were established. The German film Am Abend (1910) is “a ten-minute film that begins with a woman who masturbates alone in her bedroom, and then shows scenes of her with a man during pure sex, fellatio and anal intercourse ” (“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 ”). However, the aesthetics and technology of the recording suggest a later date.

The largest collection of historical pornographic films is found in the Kinsey Institute for Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University in Bloomington. Films that actually showed pornographic acts were often produced and distributed in aristocratic circles.

Hardly any “spicy” or pornographic film from that time has survived. In general, around 80 percent of silent film production is considered lost.

Sound film era

Cover of the 1974 porn film Farmers daughters

When they were banned in the 1940s, the stag films (English stag 'deer') or blue films were shot underground by amateurs for many years . Producing a film took a lot of time and resources, with people using their bathtubs to wash the film when production facilities (often tied to organized crime ) were inaccessible. The films then circulated privately or through traveling dealers, although prison sentences were to be expected if one was caught watching or being the owner.

In the post-war period there were other developments that promoted the emergence of a mass market. The introduction of the 8mm film and the Super 8 format ensured widespread use of the amateur film. Entrepreneurs discovered this market for themselves. In the UK, Harrison Marks productions were soft porn but were classified as raunchy in the 1950s. Such films were more explicit on the continent. Lasse Braun was a pioneer in high-quality color productions, which he sold in the early days with the help of his father's diplomatic privileges. In 1969, pornography was legalized in the Netherlands, which led to an explosion in commercially produced pornography. With the porn producer now in legitimate employment, there were no restrictions on business people investing in decent equipment capable of making quality products cheaply and in bulk. Large quantities of this new pornography, both magazines and films, have been smuggled into other parts of Europe for sale "under the counter" or shown in member-only cinemas.

The first explicitly pornographic film to be officially shown in US cinemas is Mona (also known as Mona the Virgin Nymph ), a 59-minute production from 1970 by Bill Osco and Howard Ziehm , which subsequently went on to a relatively high budget made the cult film Flesh Gordon . The 1971 film Boys in the Sand was the first generally available homosexual porn film; he was the first pornographic film to introduce credits for the cast and the baton (albeit mostly under pseudonyms ), parodied the mainstream film The Boys in the Band, and received a review in The New York Times . In 1972, porn movies in the US peaked with Deep Throat and Behind the Green Door , both recognized by the public and become a social phenomenon. In 1973, The Devil in Miss Jones followed , and many predicted that candid depictions of sex on screen would soon become commonplace, but culture took a different direction that prevented such fantasies. William Rotsler said on this subject in 1973: “Erotic films will continue to exist. Ultimately, they will just blend in with the mainstream cinematic and disappear as a sub-genre of their own. Nothing can prevent that. "(" Erotic films are here to stay. Eventually they will simply merge into the mainstream of motion pictures and disappear as a labeled sub-division. Nothing can stop this. ")

In Great Britain, however , Deep Throat was not recognized in the uncut version until 2000 and was not shown publicly until June 2005. These early films were often called stag films (English stag 'stag', in the metaphorical sense “bachelor”), as these films were mostly shown in men's clubs, brothels and student fraternity houses, in other words in exclusive places where women rarely go Had access. The stage of stag films - mostly in the form of five to 20 minute long short films - lasted until the end of the 1960s. Until then, the pornographic film remained silent and black and white, despite technical developments and with a few exceptions. At the beginning of the 1970s, attempts were made to lengthen the pornographic film by recording with several cameras and stringing together individual “numbers” of sexual representations. The first and still popular "feature films" (porn long feature films) were made.

After the showing of pornographic films was legalized in Germany in 1975, sex cinemas emerged. PAM cinemas have opened in all major cities. PAM stood for Pub and Movies and was popularly translated as Papa for Mama . The PAM cinemas were officially run as catering establishments. The majority of the entrance fee was supposedly for drinks and so the operator was subject to the requirements of the authorities. At the beginning of the 1980s there were 350 sex cinemas in Germany.

After the introduction of videos , sex cinemas began to decline, which continues to this day.

Home video

In the 1980s, the advent of the video system enabled the simplified private consumption of porn films. The porn industry also decided on the advancement of the VHS video format . The format developed by JVC prevailed against competing systems after the porn production companies decided to distribute the majority of their products on VHS. Something similar happened in 2007 in the competition between Blu-ray and HD DVD , which the former won thanks to the porn industry.

Nowadays people speak of the "porn (film) industry". The following figures may illustrate their extent: In 1987, around 500,000 porn videos were loaned out in the Federal Republic of Germany; by 1999 this number rose to around 80 million. In 2006 more than 1000 new porn films appeared per month in Germany alone, and the industry's turnover is estimated at around 800 million euros annually. This makes Germany the second largest porn market in the world after the USA.

Internet consumption and new technologies

The popularization and democratization of the internet in the 1990s made it possible to access pornography quickly and easily. Many technical innovations were developed by companies that offered pornographic content on the Internet . The conference and book series Arse Elektronika has been dealing with this media-historical interaction since 2007, especially with regard to the stimulation of technological development through pornography. Another focus is the analysis of emerging technologies for porn films, e.g. B. Virtual Reality and Interactive Fiction . Johannes Grenzfurthner analyzes: “From the thousand-year-old cave drawings of a vulva to the latest porn live stream - technology and sexuality have always been closely linked. No one can predict what the future will bring, but the course of history so far suggests that sex will continue to play an essential role in technological development and that technologies and their application shape human sexuality. We must remember that we are a sexually motivated and tool-using species. So the question is not whether, but how this interaction will continue to change humanity. "


As with other films, there are a number of different types of production in porn films:

  • Feature films: Usually a simple story in which every opportunity for sexual representation is used. Often referred to as features .
  • Reality films: Scenes seemingly taken from real life, in which individuals or couples are addressed on the street or in another place and seduced into sexual acts in front of the camera (sometimes supposedly hidden).
  • Number films: The porn version of the episode film : One scene after the other in which only sexual acts are shown. In these films there is no frame plot at all. Often the scenes have been cut together from various other films. Number films are often compilations of certain sexual practices , often also referred to as vignettes .
  • Adaptations great popular successes of the cultural mainstream: If some of Alice in Wonderland an Alice in Spermaland from Clockwork Orange , the Clockwork Orgy and from Terminator Sperminator is.
  • Cartoons: Japan in particular has developed its own industry for pornographic cartoons. Outside of Japan, manga or anime- style comics and animations that depict sexual acts are referred to as hentai (Japanese for "transformation" or "deviation"). Hentai ranges from soft sex depictions to very brutal, hard pornography.
  • Gonzo: Mostly porn films without a plot that only consist of sex scenes. The peculiarity of Gonzos is that the cameraman or director does not act as a neutral observer, but intervenes in what is happening so that the viewer can see - by B. gives instructions, conducts dialogues with the actors or participates in sexual acts and thus also becomes the actor. This genre was invented by John Stagliano . A subspecies of this are the so-called POV films ( Point of View ), in which the camera work takes place from the position of a (mostly) male actor and suggests active participation to the viewer. A gonzo actress is the opposite of the glamor starlets in the porn industry. Representatives of this genre usually do not have the perfect model appearance, but instead rely on naturalness and charisma.
  • Artcore: Films that can actually be attributed to the vignettes or the features . However, they are characterized by special attention to camera work, special editing techniques, the use of slow motion and color alienation. The most prominent representatives of this genre are Andrew Blake , Michael Ninn , Christophe Mourthe and Philip Mond .


The list below is not comprehensive as there are many different types of pornography. Pornography for different sexual orientations and tastes without a specific pornography reference is not listed:

  • Amateur: The producer tries to give the impression that the recordings are amateur .
  • BBC: Big Black Cock , describes the long genitals of black (usually of African descent) men
  • BBW: Big Beautiful Woman , chubby to (extremely) fat women.
  • BDSM in numerous variants.
  • Bukkake : The performers are sprayed with sperm by as many men as possible, one behind the other, on their faces and upper bodies. In this genre, sexual intercourse only happens “casually” to stimulate the audience and actors.
  • Creampie : Scenes in which the ejaculate runs out of the performer's body.
  • Gangbang : Group sex with an extreme majority of male participants who penetrate a woman / man alternately or at the same time.
  • Golden Shower : The urination of performers (see also urophilia ).
  • Voyeur or Hidden Camera : Pornography recorded with a hidden camera. Mostly, however, it is only stated that the actors do not know anything about the camera.
  • Exhibitionist / Exhi or Nude in Public : Naked display and sexual acts in public, sometimes with (initiated) viewers.
  • Slash Fiction : Pornographic stories about well-known fictional characters, usually series or movie characters. Homosexual acts are often described.
  • Interactive Pornography : Films mostly published on DVD in which the viewer can intervene in the action by remote control.
  • Vintage Erotica : (English vintage "vintage, old, excellent") Mostly older and relatively elaborately produced hardcore films, e. B. in the style of Katharina-die-Große- and Josefine-Mutzenbacher -Pornos.
  • Twin Porn: The Only Detectable Form of Incest Pornography. In the case of so-called twin porn, however, there is rarely really sexual contact between twins .
  • Deep Throat : The title of the first semi-professionally made hardcore film in the 1970s. Deepthroat is the process of inserting a penis into the mouth and throat until the lips touch the base of the penis. Deep throat is also now a common term for pornography that shows this technique.
  • Teen Sex : describes hardcore sex in which the actors are shown as young and innocent as possible. In contrast to the prohibited child pornography , the actors are of legal age, even if the illusion is deliberately played that they are a little younger. At the moment, however, there are efforts by politicians who are calling for an amendment to Section 184b of the Criminal Code, through which films in which the actors involved do not immediately give the impression of being of legal age can also be classified as child pornography (so-called "bogus children") even if they really are. Due to this " pseudo minor " problem, all well-known German porn film production companies decided at the beginning of February 2007 to mark their titles with a hologram in the future , which should serve as a guarantee that only adults will act in front of the camera in the respective film . In addition, this marking should make originals and forgeries more clearly recognizable.
  • Rape Fantasy : Here a rape of a woman or a man is played out by (mostly) a man.
  • Fetish : Pornographic films and scenes, which are mostly about special preferences such as foot fetish , leather festival or pet play . Sexual intercourse plays a subordinate role in this genre.
  • Solo / masturbation : There is only one performer here. There is no sexual intercourse as this genre only shows videos with masturbation.

Feminist porn films

In the past few years, a broad discussion about feminist pornography has developed. Festivals such as PorYes , Porn Film Festival Vienna and the Pornfilmfestival Berlin regularly show films of the genre and serve as discursive platforms for the feminist porn scene. The Canadian Feminist Porn Award recognizes outstanding productions.

In the hardcore scene, some films were made in the 2000s that are intended to address straight women as a consumer group. Here, partly under female direction , more emphasis is placed on a slowly building up and relatively demanding action, whereby the usual detailed close-ups of the genital organs are mostly dispensed with and the so-called facial scenes in particular are almost completely missing. The guideline for the films is the Puzzy Power Manifesto of the Danish porn film company Zentropa . The term Heartcore or HeartCore has meanwhile established itself for the films . Special mention should be made, for example, of the films Pink Prison (German Magma title: Behind Gittern gevögelt ), Constance (in Tabu Love sales; the main actor in both productions is the Danish Katja ), which were produced under the patronage of Lars von Trier and his Danish company Puzzy Power Kean ) and All About Anna - A HeartCore Feature .

Commercial Aspects

Worldwide, pornography generates sales of nearly $ 100 billion and includes the production of various media and related products and services. The industry employs thousands of actors, as well as support and production staff. Industry publications and trade associations as well as the mainstream press, private organizations (watchdog groups), government agencies and political organizations follow. Pornographic films can be sold or rented on DVD, shown on the Internet and dedicated channels, and pay-per-view via cable and satellite, and in adult cinemas. From the turn of the millennium, the widespread availability of illegally copied content as well as amateur pornography on the Internet has reduced the profitability of the pornographic film industry.

The global pornographic film industry is dominated by the United States, with the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles being the center of the industry. Since this is the case, most of the industry size figures relate solely to the United States. Numerous other pornographic film studios are also located in Houston , Las Vegas , New York City , Phoenix, and Miami . These primarily produce amateur or "independent" porn films.

Health Aspects in the Porn Industry

In porn, heterosexual practices are mostly performed without a condom . In gay porn, however, the use of condoms for anal intercourse is now the rule; In this context, unprotected traffic is called barebacking (English for “ bareback ”). Overall, according to a study by the Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation, only about 17 percent of porn actors use condoms.

While regular HIV testing is common in the porn industry , it can take twelve weeks or more for an infection to be detected. This creates a dangerous gap in which the infected person could infect a large number of his changing sexual partners. The tests are mandatory, but are not necessarily checked before each new production. Thus, the actors have an increased risk of contracting HIV or other diseases such as hepatitis B , gonorrhea , syphilis or chlamydia .

After the infection of two porn actors in the USA became known in 2004, the California Department of Health considered introducing compulsory condoms for porn productions. The film producers responded by switching to PCR testing. These lower the detection threshold to around one week after infection, but are considerably more expensive than antibody-based tests such as Western Blot .


In June 2013, the Munich Regional Court ruled that porn films are not protected by copyright in Germany if they “only show sexual processes in a primitive way” and therefore “lack of personal intellectual creation”. An American porn production company wanted the provider to provide the IP addresses of two users who are said to have downloaded two films. In previous judgments, other courts had affirmed the required level of creativity , even for pornographic films without any other action.


  • Werner Faulstich: The culture of pornography. Small introduction to history, media, aesthetics, market and meaning. Scientists-Verlag, Bardowick 1994, ISBN 3-89153-028-5 (= IfAM work reports of the Institute for Applied Media Research Lüneburg , Volume 13).
  • Johannes Gernert: Generation Porn. Youth, sex, internet. Torch bearer, Cologne 2010, ISBN 978-3-7716-4439-0 .
  • Kurt Haemmerling: The moral history of the cinema. Aretz, Dresden 1926
  • Christian Keßler : The flowing canvas. The American hardcore film from 1970 to 1985. Martin Schmitz Verlag, 2011, ISBN 978-3-927795-56-3 .
  • Arthur Knight, Hollis Alpert : The history of sex in cinema. Part 17, The stag film . In: Playboy . November 1967.
  • Al di Lauro, Gerald Rabkin: Dirty movies. An illustrated history of the stag film. Chelsea House, New York 1976, ISBN 0-87754-046-2 .
  • Jakob M. Pastötter : Erotic Home Entertainment and Civilization Process. Analysis of the post-industrial phenomenon "Hardcore.Pornography". Deutscher Universitätsverlag , Wiesbaden 2003, ISBN 3-8244-4534-4 (Dissertation Humboldt University Berlin 2003, 191 pages, under the title: The @postindustrial phenomenon "Erotic Home Entertainment" and the process of civilization ).
  • Arthur Maria Rabenalt: The perforated fornication. History of the porn film. Bastei Lübbe, Bergisch Gladbach 1982, ISBN 3-404-60065-7 .
  • Stefan Rechmeier: The somewhat humorous lexicon of German erotic films. Where the torrent rushes through your panties. MPW, Hille 2005, ISBN 3-931608-66-2 .
  • Georg Seeßlen : The pornographic film. Ullstein, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-548-35291-X .
  • Linda Williams: Hard Core. Power, lust and the traditions of pornographic film. Stroemfeld, Frankfurt am Main 1995, ISBN 3-86109-103-8 .
  • Linda Williams (Ed.): Porn studies. Duke University Press, Durham 2005, ISBN 0-8223-3312-0 .
  • Enrico Wolf: Moving bodies - moving images: the pornographic film: genre discussion, history, narratives. With a detailed filmography in the appendix (= Diskurs Film Bibliothek , Volume 17 ISSN  1860-4536 ). Diskurs-Film-Verlag Schaudig & Ledig, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-926372-67-3 (Dissertation Uni Leipzig 2006, 342 pages).

Web links

Commons : Porn film  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Porn film  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Paolo Caneppele: The erotic beginnings of cinematography. In: Michael Achenbach, Paolo Caneppele, Ernst Kieninger: Projections of Sehnsucht - Saturn. The erotic beginnings of Austrian cinematography. Filmarchiv Austria publishing house , Vienna 1999, p. 16.
  2. Stephen Bottomore, Stephen Herbert, Luke McKernan (Eds.): Léar (Albert Kirchner). Who's Who of Victorian Cinema (British Film Institute) , 1996.
  3. Stephen Bottomore, Stephen Herbert, Luke McKernan (Eds.): Eugène Pirou. Who's Who of Victorian Cinema (British Film Institute) , 1996.
  4. Caneppele, p. 12.
  5. John Hagan: L'érotisme au cinéma des premiers temps. In: Les cahiers de la cinémathèque. No. 29, Winter 1979, p. 73.
    Paolo Caneppele: The erotic beginnings of cinematography. In: Caneppele, p. 16.
  6. Bozner Zeitung, No. 297, December 30, 1898. In: Caneppele, p. 20
  7. Brixener Chronik, No. 57, May 14, 1910, p. 10: International action against pornography. In: Caneppele, p. 30
  8. Caneppele, p. 28
  9. ^ Patrick Robertson: Film Facts. Billboard Books, December 2001, ISBN 0-8230-7943-0 , p. 256.
  10. Caneppele, p. 31
  11. a b c Richard Corliss: That Old Feeling: When Porno Was Chic. Time magazine ( Memento from September 30, 2007 in the Internet Archive ). March 29, 2005
  12. Rachel Mehendale: Is porn a problem? The Daily Texan . February 9, 2006. pp. 17, 22.
  13. Roger Edmonson, Cal Culver, Casey Donovan: Boy in the Sand: Casey Donovan, All-American Sex Star. Alyson Books, October 1998, ISBN 1-55583-457-4 , p. 264.
  14. Eric Schaefer: Dirty Little Secrets: Scholars, Archivists, and Dirty Movies. In: The Moving Image, Volume 5, Fall 2005. pp. 79-105
  15. Simon Hattenstone: After 33 years, Deep Throat, the film that shocked the US, gets its first British showing. In: The Guardian . June 11, 2005.
  16. Porn film on 'landmark 100' list . BBC News . October 5, 2006
  17. Nora Blossong: Red light. Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich 2017. p. 99
  18. Fucking Machines - How Sex Affects the Tech Scene. December 13, 2016, accessed on February 26, 2019 (German).
  19. ^ Johannes Grenzfurthner, Günther Friesinger, Daniel Fabry: pr0nnovation? Pornography and Technological Innovation . RE / Search, edition mono / monochrom,, ISBN 978-1-889307-20-6 (accessed February 24, 2019).
  20. The end of porn film rental., February 13, 2007
  21. »Sex & Pornography have always promoted technical innovations«. April 30, 2014, accessed February 26, 2019 .
  22. ^ Johannes Grenzfurthner, Günther Friesinger, Daniel Fabry: pr0nnovation? Pornography and Technological Innovation . RE / Search, edition mono / monochrom,, ISBN 978-1-889307-20-6 (accessed February 24, 2019).
  23. ^ Johannes Grenzfurthner, Günther Friesinger, Daniel Fabry: Screw The System - Explorations of Spaces, Games and Politics through Sexuality and Technology . RE / Search, edition mono / monochrom,, ISBN 978-3-902796-16-5 (accessed February 24, 2019).
  24. Bayerischer Rundfunk: Sessions: Network Congress 2013 - The Program . November 27, 2013 ( [accessed February 26, 2019]).
  25. Stephen Lemons: Sex with latex. July 21, 2000
  26. Safety urged on the sex set. LA Daily News, Aug. 17, 2004.
  27. ↑ The porn industry trembles with AIDS - AIDS in porn films. September 5, 2012, accessed March 17, 2020 .
  28. ^ Judgment: No copyright protection for porn , June 29, 2013; accessed on February 26, 2020.
  29. Despite the title, the hardcore genre is also comprehensively covered.