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Pornographic ink drawing - In the barn, 19th century

Pornography , also known as pornography , is the direct representation of human sexuality or the sexual act , usually with the aim of sexually arousing the viewer. The sexual organs are often consciously emphasized in their activity. The consumption of pornography can be seen as a form of voyeurism (the "curiosity").

Forms of representation of pornography are mainly pictures , films ( porno film ), texts and sound carriers .

Origin of the term

Wall painting in a cubiculum (bedroom) in Pompeii, 1st century AD

“Pornography” is a made-up word derived from ancient Greek , composed of πόρνη ( pórnē , German “whore”) and γράφειν ( gráphein , German “write, paint, draw”). The only evidence for the use of a corresponding term in ancient tradition is a passage in the scholarly banquet of Athenaeus , where πορνογράφος ( pornográphos ) is mentioned, which means, for example, an author of a biography of a famous hetaera or a painter of a corresponding subject .

The term pornography in its current meaning was coined in 1830 by Karl Otfried Müller . At that time, Müller was looking for a name for various works of art that had been discovered during the excavations in Pompeii and found to be extremely obscene. Müller's work in question appeared in English in 1850 and from then on the term found its way into the English vocabulary.

"Pornography: licentious painting employed to decorate the walls of rooms sacred to Bacchanalian orgies, examples of which exist in Pompeii."

“Pornography: Permissive painting to decorate the walls in rooms dedicated to Bacchanal orgies. Examples are available in Pompeii. "

Before Müller, the term had already been used in a social science context when it came to projects of public morality and the regulation of prostitution. In 1769, for example, a treatise by Nicolas Edme Restif de la Bretonne appeared with the title The Pornographer: A Gentleman's Ideas for a Project to Regulate Prostitutes, Suitable for Preventing the Unhappiness of Women in Public Exchanges . Accordingly, as late as 1905 , the Oxford English Dictionary defined “pornography” as “a description of prostitutes or prostitution as a matter of public hygiene”.


"Pornographic" representations, also explicitly of the sexual organs, go back to antiquity. Such motifs can be found on murals in ancient Rome and on ancient Greek vases. Similar representations have a long tradition in other parts of the world, one example is the ceramics of the Mochica in ancient Peru . Since the Renaissance period and especially in the 18th century , "pornographic" representations in the form of copperplate engravings were widespread. The subjective view of what is considered pornography has changed considerably since the Renaissance in the transition between style epochs, as has the convention of what appears to be morally and aesthetically justifiable. The modern concept of pornography did not exist until the Victorian era .

The advent of new media soon led to its being used for pornographic content. After the invention of photography in the 19th century, there were photos with pornographic motifs; their legalization did not take place in Germany until 1975. With the development of the film, the possibilities of pornography were expanded by making it possible to depict sexual acts directly in moving images. The first pornographic films were made in the first decade of the 20th century and they were shown in special porn cinemas . A rapid increase in the spread came with the development of the video cassette in the 1970s (see Porno Chic ). Thanks to this technology, on the one hand, it became possible to produce the films more cheaply directly on video. On the other hand, the spread of the video recorder and the resulting video libraries enabled private consumption at home.

The entire pornography industry has become a not insignificant economic factor during the second half of the 20th century. According to The Economist, an estimated turnover of around 20 billion dollars per year is currently being achieved worldwide.

Current developments

Pornography on the Internet

Internet pornography is pornography that is offered over the Internet . This has become the main form of distribution of pornography through anonymity , availability and in part also (supposedly) free offers. “Internet pornography” is in a legal gray area, since the protection of minors cannot be guaranteed and prohibited content is sometimes distributed. Their prosecution runs into practical problems. Internet pornography is primarily distributed via file sharing networks and the World Wide Web , where so-called "porn sites" make up a large proportion of the total number of websites .

Overall, pornography in the form of pornographic writings, pictures, sound carriers, films and videos is most widely distributed via pornographic websites. This is inadmissible in Germany due to the youth protection regulations § 184 Abs. 1 Nr. 1 und 2 StGB and § 4 JMStV . As an exception, public access is permitted within the framework of closed user groups, in which it is ensured that the participants are not under 18 years of age. For this purpose, some operators of these websites require you to enter a credit card or ID card number in order to verify the age . However, such an access restriction is not classified as effective by the case law, but effective measures such as the Postident procedure are required.

Many websites also cover special sexual preferences (" fetish sites").

Both providers and users of child pornography must be prosecuted . Since this type of pornography also makes up a certain part of Internet pornography - albeit a much smaller part than would be assumed according to some media reports - politicians and activists try to restrict the spread of pornography on the Internet through censorship . In practice, it is difficult to get to grips with the operators of these websites if the web servers that make these pages available on the Internet are located abroad and communication with the foreign authorities is difficult due to other legal situations abroad. Child pornography, however, is now subject to severe penalties almost worldwide, so that it is hardly ever offered commercially on the Internet; instead, it is usually exchanged for free and “on the fly”, for example in IRC channels and other closed chat rooms .

Amateur pornography

With the emergence of Web 2.0 and user-generated content in the 2000s, amateur pornography (also ironically referred to as Porn 2.0 ) rose. The result was a “democratization of pornography”: while pornography had previously been produced by professional producers and performers and sold commercially, content was now increasingly being placed on the Internet by amateurs. In particular with the founding of the YouPorn platform in 2006 and numerous imitators , there was massive spread. The principle is based on the fact that amateurs, i.e. average people without any connection to commercial pornography, film or photograph themselves during sexual acts and then upload the content to appropriate sites. Selfies with nude pictures are increasingly popular in social networks .

Sexting is a special form of taking pictures with the camera of a mobile phone and sending them to friends. This is more common among young people. The thrill of self-expression can be a kind of test of courage. Sometimes the lines to commercial pornography are blurred by the forms of micropayment : the uploading person receives a usually small amount of money for each viewing of the photo or video. While the vast majority of amateur pornography consists of self-made recordings of individuals or couples who upload them to the Internet, there is now a scene in larger cities that meets for joint recordings. Although “having fun in sex” is in the foreground here, too, the production is quasi-professional and the intention is to make a profit, so that the boundaries between amateur and professional genre are blurred.

The media, government agencies and youth protection organizations, such as the non-profit foundation Pro Juventute in Switzerland, warn against misuse, pressure and coercion by third parties, especially by young women, in relation to the production and sending of photos .

It is also warned that young people under the age of 18 who produce amateur pornography of themselves or other minors can make themselves liable for the production and distribution of youth or child pornography . Furthermore, awareness is raised about the transfer of image and usage rights to providers of social networks, especially since the photos are almost impossible to delete and certain professional paths can thus remain closed.

Alternative and feminist pornography

Typical Alt porn model: tattoos and piercings are common in the genre

Alt porn as an abbreviation for "alternative pornography" describes a form of pornography that deliberately seeks to differentiate itself from the usual "mainstream" pornography. In terms of style and appearance, the actors usually do not correspond to the usual clichés of the porn industry. Alt porn is more culturally rooted in urban countercultures such as punk , emo , gothic , skate and hip-hop . Piercings, tattoos, and other forms of body modification are common. Altporn was created in the 1990s, building on the Cinema of Transgression of the 1980s. The most popular representatives of today's altporn are the SuicideGirls .

Feminist pornography originated in the context of sex-positive feminism . It describes a current within feminism that is in principle open to pornography (in contrast to the anti-pornography attitude of classical feminism). There are numerous pornographic media that explicitly classify themselves as feminist.

Future of pornography

The conference and book series Arse Elektronika has been researching the technological development of pornography since 2007, also with a view to sociological, societal and political debates. One focus is the analysis of emerging technologies such as B. Virtual Reality and Interactive Fiction related to pornography. 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. "


Soft porn, erotic and sex films

The term "soft porn", which is often and often used, is not precisely defined. As a rule, this word refers to what is largely considered to be among the erotic films with an existing, also non-sexual plot (films by the Italian director Tinto Brass , the Josefine Mutzenbacher porn films cut into soft versions or the soft Mutzenbacher films with Christine Schuberth who understand the consequences of the Emanuela and Emmanuelle series). The synonym itself mostly only means the difference to hardcore films or porn, which usually show all legally permitted forms of sexual intercourse. However, very specific strict guidelines apply to erotic films that do not count as porn. The erect penis and the opened vagina are almost never shown directly (with very few exceptions, as in the film Romance XXX ). "Soft porn" or erotic films are therefore not classified as pornography in the sense of the law.

The sex film (which is also often referred to as "soft porn ") is a type of film that mainly depicts sexual acts; In contrast to hardcore films and "porn", however, the sex act is only simulated and the genitals are not shown in a excited or open state. Porn films (some of which are also preferably referred to as "sex farce"), which are generally regarded as less demanding type of erotic film (Examples: Bottom Dirndl is yodelling , when yodelling lederhosen itches , the rotated only in the 1980s episodes of the film series Eis am Stiel ), may therefore be broadcast on freely accessible television in Germany , but only at a time set by the state media authorities (usually from 11:00 pm to 3:00 am). Nevertheless, they are relatively often classified with the age rating FSK “from 16 years”.

Hardcore or pornography

Porn film director Pierre Woodman , collaborator and actor on filming in Australia

Under Hardcore or pornography explicit depiction of sexual activity is understood, the sexual organs are shown during sex openly. However, hardcore and pornography are not to be confused with hard pornography .

Thematically, many of the hardcore productions created for a heterosexual audience follow a standard plot developed over the course of porn film history with oral sex, vaginal sex in various positions and almost always a final ejaculation on the body, face or mouth of a female actor; this is usually repeated several times per film with different actors. In addition, there are often anal intercourse and lesbian-sexual acts as variants. Most of the scenes have a short storyline - almost always, however, this only has an alibi function and it quickly moves on to the actual pornography. With a corresponding plot, the term feature films is also common.

Full-story movies are no exception, but neither are they the rule. Sometimes it is given the impression that this is visual material created during castings . Other ways of showing what appears to be documentary are also frequently used, such as people approached on the street and allegedly persuaded into a porn scene, scenes from parties in a student environment, allegedly incestuous family relationships and constructed orgies from the backstage area of ​​rock concerts. Short episodes with exclusively pornographic representations without any framework plot are called gonzo .

Differentiation from nude photography and erotography

An example of nude photography

The determination of the aesthetic value of nude photography and the delimitation of nude photography from erotic photography is difficult to achieve intersubjectively; there is also overlap with pornography - in contrast to pornography, however, nude photography does not pursue the goal of sexually arousing the viewer. Of course, this does not rule out that nudes are also viewed for this reason.

Nude photography and erotic photography are always caught between artistic freedom, aesthetics , kitsch , provocation and the violation of "good morals" or sexual morality .

The distinction tries to take into account the changed sexual morality in the western world , which arose as a consequence of the so-called sexual revolution . In the latest literature on the subject of pornography, material is defined as "that sexually stimulates or can stimulate, but contains clearly aggressive elements, whereby aggressiveness is already present when people are devalued or degraded without the context stimulating reflection on it" [Definition according to Herbert Selg]. Erotographic, on the other hand, is material that depicts sexuality without degradation and on the basis of the equality of those involved and that can fundamentally support prosocial actions. Artistic erotography is frivolous, but not obscene or vulgar, it can also depict sexual fantasies and not just everyday sexual life. If the world of erotography is a utopian one , then it shows the possibilities that lie beyond our daily sexual experience. Erotography is usually - but not always - aimed at sexual stimulation and shows physical intimacy ; but it aims at more than just the sexual stimulation of the viewer.

Erotography therefore includes artistic representations (e.g. nudes , eroticism in films, fiction, plays, poetry, etc.), erotic realism (e.g. erotic scenes in non-fiction and educational films , writings in which sexuality is an integral part of the human Life is depicted, depictions with nude look fashion elements, etc.) as well as erotica for sexual stimulation (e.g. erotic photography , so-called men's magazines , deliberate self-determined “soft-pornographic” violation of conventions and taboos à la Fanny Hill - in the case of sexual fantasies play dominance and inferiority a significant role).

But what is degrading is of course always dependent on the norms and values ​​of a society and cannot be fundamentally determined. Personality-related and situational factors decide whether pornography and erotography promote violent behavior and require an increase in dose or whether the individual's state of arousal leads to the sublimation of the drive potential.

In the legal literature it is stated that the boundaries from the artistic act to the revealing and erotic act to pornography are fluid. First of all, this should be related to the most varied of subjective opinions. Means: What some still see the provocative, revealing act in, has already crossed the line to pornography for some and the artistic value of the picture is more than questionable.

In other words: the boundaries between nudes, eroticism and pornography cannot be clearly drawn: what one person accepts without reservation may already be below the moral belt for the other and thus be pornographic. The jurisprudence, in turn, defines pornography “... as a rough representation of the sexual in drastic directness, which degrades people to a mere (interchangeable) object of sexual desire or activity of any kind in a way that incites the sexual instinct or pulls sexuality in the dirt or ridicules it “( Apart from that, the design limits are set wide and artistic freedom is even protected by the Basic Law.

Scientific studies

Social distribution of pornography consumption

Gender distribution

A 2006 survey assumes that there are 40 million Internet pornography users worldwide every year. 72% of consumers are men, 28% women.

Various studies have shown similar responses to pornographic stimuli in both sexes. Men and women are aroused in the same way by visual sexual stimuli, that is, the arousal pattern is comparable. In both sexes, the presentation of pornographic stimuli leads to specific changes in heartbeat, breathing and blood flow to the genitals. The brain activity is also similar in both sexes: in studies with functional magnetic resonance imaging , the same areas of the brain were activated in both sexes (in men only the hypothalamus is more activated).

However, women are addressed by different types of representation in pornography than men. It was shown that women tend to prefer forms of representation that allow projection. Both men and straight women pay more attention to the female performers: women want to identify with the people portrayed and to be able to put themselves in the portrayed scene. Men tend to objectify the people portrayed. Women pay more attention than men to contextual stimuli such as the plot of the film.

age structure

With the increased frequency of masturbation during puberty, the consumption of pornography in this age group is also above average, here the consumption of pornography is significantly more widespread among boys than among girls: a study in 2005 found that 60% of 15-year-old boys and 9% of girls regularly consume pornographic films; a 2009 survey found that 85% of 15-year-old boys and 71% of 15-year-old girls had at least one contact with pornography. In a survey of 18–30-year-old heterosexual Danes, 97.8% of the male and 79.5% of the female respondents stated that they had seen pornographic images before, although an increased number of unreported cases can be assumed. On average, first contact with pornography begins at the age of 14, with a downward trend: 14- and 15-year-old boys stated that they were on average 12.7 years old when they first came into contact, while the age for 16-17-year-olds was for 14.1 years, for 18-20 year olds at 14.9 years. In 2008, a survey found that 20.6 percent of all male adolescents consume pornography every day, compared with 1.4 percent of girls of the same age. According to one study, 48% of all 15 to 16 year old boys in Europe consume pornography at least 5 times a week. A survey carried out in the Netherlands among people aged 13–18 showed that 71% of male and 40% of female respondents had intentionally consumed “clearly sexual material” within the previous six months.

Youth risk

The sexologist Kurt Starke denies the view that simple pornography is harmful or harmful to young people . In a study of a large number of studies on this topic, commissioned by the adult and media entrepreneur Tobias Huch , he came to the conclusion that “a harmful effect of pornography per se on young people cannot be proven”. Starke even considers the prohibition of simple pornography to be harmful to minors, as it would demonize sexual acts and lead to a false self-perception in adolescents. Starke countered the accusation that he was “financed by the porn industry” for one of his expertises by pointing out that “as a freelancer ”, “you also have to live off something”. Starke rejected the assumption that the client was influencing the content as an “outrageous insinuation”.

In his book, published in 2018, the child and adolescent psychotherapist / psychiatrist and sex medicine specialist Alexander Korte examined “the everyday cultural phenomenon of pornography both from a psychoanalytical and cultural-scientific perspective and from the perspective of empirical sexology and developmental psychology ” and described “the different psychological integration tasks of boys and girls in the course of puberty-related physical and psychosexual maturation, which are important for understanding the pronounced gender effect when using pornographic offers ”. He differentiated between children and adolescents as well as between different contents of online pornography and critically questioned the negative influence of these offers on minors. Korte suggests “ critically reflecting on the neglect and victimization debate about (online) pornography and examining the obvious 'moral panic' for unconscious motives, without overlooking the possible risks, which should by no means be underestimated from a developmental point of view”. There have been some reviews , including a. wrote Verena Lepschi and Sandra Dehning in the Ärzteblatt that the book Kortes is suitable for those who work clinically-therapeutically with adolescents and think about how the influence of pornography consumption on the psychosexual development of minors should be assessed. According to Korte, pornography is fundamentally "always to be problematized when it appears physically or psychologically injurious, discriminatory or exclusive".

Depiction of violence and sexual practices in mainstream pornography

In a study from 2006, a working group led by the American media scientists Robert Wosnitzer, Erica Scharrer and Ana Bridges examined the depiction of violence, humiliation and sexual behavior in the most popular mainstream pornographic videos. Compared to previous studies, they found a clear increase in depictions of sexual violence. 88.2% of all examined scenes represented physical aggression, with the most common acts of violence spanking ( spanking on the buttocks: 35.7%), gagging (choking: 27.7%) and open-hand slapping (blows with open hand: 14.9% ) were. Verbal aggression, especially verbal abuse, was present in 48% of all scenes examined. 94% of all acts of violence - both physical and verbal - were directed against women. In four percent of the cases, men were victims of aggressive acts by women and 0.6% of acts of violence by men. 95.2% of victims responded neutrally or with expressions of pleasure, with men four times more likely than women to react with displeasure when violent acts were directed against them. Theories of learned behavior assume that this positive reaction to aggression and violence can increase the audience's acceptance of these actions.

The most common sexual acts were oral sex by women on men (90.1%) and vaginal sex (86.2%). Other sexual acts examined were anal sex (55.9%), oral sex by men to women (53.9%), simultaneous vaginal and anal penetration (18.1%), and double anal penetration (2%). Ass-to-mouth was subsequently shown in 41.1% of the anal sex scenes , a practice that has only recently found its way into pornographic films. In this practice in particular, it is not evident that it can contribute to any increase in the sensation of pleasure, that it serves only to demean women and is often accompanied by verbal aggression. Pornographic scenes almost always ended in male ejaculation. In 96.7% of all scenes examined, ejaculation took place outside the vagina and most often in the mouth (58.6%) of the woman. Although there is a lack of empirical studies on the question of how women actually perceive the practices presented, it has become clear that porn films contain a considerable amount of depictions of violence and numerous humiliating depictions of women. The results showed that mainstream pornographic films prioritized the sexual preferences and pleasure of men and demeaned women in particular through the physical and verbal violence directed against them as well as the forms of copulation and ejaculation depicted.

Pornography and Sexual Offenses

In a study published in 2000 in various countries examined (Denmark, Sweden, West Germany, USA, Japan, China, Croatia, Finland), a decrease in reported and prosecuted sexual offenses was shown after the lifting or relaxation of the prohibitions on pornography . There was no increase in the Czech Republic. Japan , a country traditionally known for its extensive rape, BDSM, and bondage pornography, is often cited as an example of the lack of or even contradicting relationship between pornography and sexual offenses, arguing that in the 1970s Japan was the then had the lowest known crime rate in the area of ​​sexual violence of all industrialized nations. This fact is increasingly explained by the outdated Japanese sexual criminal law of 1907 as well as different cultural ideas about the role of women, their sexual self-determination and how to deal with rape victims who are ready to give evidence in Japan. For example, female victims of sexual assault or acts of violence are sometimes not believed or they are made jointly responsible for the crimes committed against them and are required to defend themselves physically. Thus, a positive correlation between pornography and sexual offenses via the conviction numbers of a society can hardly be proven due to many relevant influencing factors, but neither is the opposite. It is unclear how and to what extent pornography consumption plays a role in the sexually delinquent development of an individual. It is stated that sexual crimes are usually preceded by excessive porn consumption and that “frequent porn consumption [...] demonstrably promotes the tendency to take reckless attitudes”.

Legal position

Legal situation in the world:
  • Pornography legal
  • Pornography legal with restrictions
  • Pornography illegal
  • Data absent or unreliable
  • The international legal situation on pornography knows largely only two extremes - a complete ban or an almost complete release with an explicit ban on child pornography . In a few countries, animal porn or depictions of sexual violence are also prohibited. In many countries there are also regulations on the minimum age of consumers.



    The criminal definition of the term pornography is based on the Fanny Hill ruling of the Federal Court of Justice from 1969; Until 1975 the offering and dissemination of pornography was forbidden, which is why the court had to investigate the question of whether descriptions of sexual events are basically indecent writings . It came to the conclusion that such a font is not lewd "if it is not obtrusively coarse or incisive and thus disturbs or seriously endangers the interests of the community" ( BGHSt 23, 40).

    In the course of the criminal law reform in 1973, the term lewd writings was replaced by pornographic writings . In the opinion of the Bundestag's special committee for criminal law reform , writings, sound and image carriers are to be classified as pornographic if they “express that they are aimed exclusively or predominantly at the arousal of a sexual stimulus in the viewer and thereby in harmony with to clearly exceed the boundaries of sexual propriety drawn by general societal values ”( BT-Drs. VI / 3521 p. 60 ). The legislature assumes that pornography is obscenity .

    In German jurisprudence , a definition by the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court from 1974 is regularly given, literally or analogously . According to this, pornography is “rough representations of the sexual that degrade the human being to a mere, interchangeable object of sexual desire in a way that incites the sexual drive. These representations have no meaningful connection with other expressions of life and only use traces of thought as a pretext for provocative sexuality. "

    Scientific writings cannot be pornographic. On the other hand, a strict separation between art and pornography is not possible, as the Federal Constitutional Court found in its Mutzenbacher decision .

    A constitutional lawsuit filed by a German porn operator in 2005 to repeal Section 184c StGB (today: Section 184d StGB), insofar as it relates to the distribution of soft pornography in tele and media services, was rejected at the end of 2009.


    The distribution of pornography (in the form of pornographic writings, pictures, sound carriers, films and videos ) was subject to state censorship until 1975 .

    Because of the in Art. 5 para. 1 GG enshrined prohibition of prior censorship is the proliferation of pornography in Germany since 1975 basically no longer forbidden, but only for reasons of youth protection very limited.

    The distribution of pornography to persons under the age of 18 is prohibited in accordance with Section 184 of the Criminal Code. Only those “authorized to take care of the person”, usually the parents, are allowed to give minors pornographic writings ( educator privilege ), provided that they do not grossly violate their duty to bring up children.

    Pornography is automatically indexed in Germany and may therefore only be offered and advertised in places that are in no way accessible to children and young people (such as sex shops , adult video stores : sale of relevant material only “under the counter” to adults).

    Mail order is prohibited according to Section 184 (1) No. 3. According to a legal definition in Section 1 (4) JuSchG, however, it is not a mail order business if an age verification system is used. Whether this definition of the term mail order also applies to Section 184 of the Criminal Code is controversial.

    watch TV

    Pornography is not allowed to be shown on free-to-air television in Germany. Pay TV channels such as Sky offer a modified exception . Since according to § 4 para. 2 no. 1 of the State Treaty on the Protection of Human Dignity and the Protection of Young People in Broadcasting and Telemedia (Jugendmedienschutz-Staatsvertrag JMStV), pornographic programs are qualified as inadmissible offers, pay-TV broadcasters have so far only regularly broadcast productions that were recorded in connection with pornographic film recordings by a second camera are. This means that the actors can be seen (and heard) on the porn set, but the close-ups of sexual acts are either omitted or only hinted at. The use of such pay TV programs requires a corresponding proof of age (from 18 years) of the customer. In the meantime, the broadcasting of such programs is no longer restricted to pay-TV, and private, but free-to-air channels have recently started broadcasting such films.

    In the meantime, pornography in the narrower sense of the so-called pay-per-view system is also available in Germany via pay TV . This is possible because the broadcaster is then no longer viewed as a television station, but as a media service .

    There was trouble in 2003 when Eurosport cooperated with an adult entertainment provider to offer a subscription service for porn films under the name Sexxxcast.TV via the blanking interval . Since Eurosport was still represented in the ZDF digital package at the time , there was a lot of commotion (ZDF even threatened to remove Eurosports from the digital package, which happened anyway on January 1, 2006 after changes to the interstate broadcasting agreement) and the cooperation was established after a short time finished again. Resuscitation attempts by the service provider failed. As early as mid-April 2001, a company tried to start the sex channel Video.mp4 at night on the r@dio.mp3 slot . The technique should be exactly the same as with Sexxxcast.TV. After the project became known, NBC Europe defended itself and thus it did not start broadcasting. The transmission technology for this is called TV Radio Cast .

    Free-to-air channels from countries in which pornography is not prohibited on television are a problem for German youth protection, especially from Spain and Italy , whose transmission area inevitably and almost unavoidably also includes Germany due to satellite television for technical reasons.

    For many years, porn films in particular were a good sideline for hotels, as their customers had the opportunity to order those films on pay TV. In times of the Internet and in some cases many free publications of these films, more and more hotel chains are deciding not to offer these films in the future.

    Hard porn

    Certain types of pornography are subject to a general distribution ban in Germany . So-called hard pornography may not be distributed or made available to anyone in any other way. No distinction is made here as to whether the representations show a true or a fictitious event. Hard pornography includes pornographic representations that


    In Germany, the tracking of such publications is increasingly being coordinated across national borders by trained executive staff .

    Since the procurement of child pornography that shows pictures of real children creates a market and indirectly contributes to the abuse of children , the possession of child pornography that shows actual abuse has also been punishable in Germany since 1993 ( prohibition of possession ). It was also the intention of the legislature to get at professional dealers who always successfully defended themselves by stating that their video or magazine collection was not intended for distribution but was only for private consumption . Another problem with evidence was the difficulty in distinguishing between actual abuse cases and photo montages made on the computer . Therefore, in 1997 the IuKDG also made the possession of child pornography, which reproduces a realistic occurrence, a criminal offense .

    Since 2008, the possession of youth pornography that shows pictures of real youth is also a criminal offense. However, there is an exception for pictures produced for the personal use of the manufacturer if the young person has consented to the production (until 2015 this exception only applied to young manufacturers themselves).


    In Austria, pornography has been regulated in the Pornography Act since 1950; before that, it was largely forbidden by the criminal law and various edicts from the beginning of the 18th century at the latest. A separate, stricter law was introduced by the National Council on submission of the government , after the MPs had noticed a "flood of dirt and rubbish" in the kiosks . For example, “ambiguous” publications are said to have received paper from Austrian factories, while large daily newspapers could not be printed due to a lack of paper.

    The pornography law is still in force today, but its interpretation has been greatly modified by a large number of court decisions, which de facto turned a pornography ban into a permit with exceptions.

    Section 1 of the Act makes the production, distribution, presentation, transport and storage of lewd pornography a criminal offense, if this is done with intentional gain. The term lewdness originally encompassed any kind of “emphasis on the gender sphere” (i.e. any pornography), but was quickly subject to a definition change from the 1960s onwards. The Supreme Court made a decision of principle in June 1977 when it defined absolute fornication as "reduced to itself and detached from other life contexts, irritatingly distorted [...] representations of acts of sexual immorality, which as such are forbidden and punishable by their nature" ("hard Pornography"). According to this legal principle, which the judicature largely follows, this includes child pornography , animal pornography , incest pornography and violent pornography that represents rape or similar sexual offenses. According to several court rulings, same-sex pornography also fell under "hard pornography" at least until 1997 and was not allowed to be sold commercially - with the exception of Tyrol and Vorarlberg, where the competent higher regional court ruled the opposite in 1989.

    The private possession, surrender and consumption of hard pornography is not punishable - with the exception of child pornography, which, like youth pornography, is punishable under Section 207a StGB . Relative pornography is that pornographic material that is not lewd and therefore does not fall under the definition of hard pornography. Commercial and private distribution, production and possession of this material are therefore permitted.

    Pornographic publications that are "suitable to endanger the moral or health development of young people (...)" may not be made accessible to persons under the age of 16 according to Section 2 of the Pornography Act. Here, too, a much stricter interpretation of the law was observed in the 1950s than a few decades later. The assessment of whether a pornographic publication endangers the development of a young person is subject to a decision on a case-by-case basis . It is therefore not a ban on all pornography, nor do young people under the age of 16 make themselves liable to prosecution. However, there are stricter provisions in the youth protection laws of individual federal states , in Styria and Upper Austria, for example, making pornography accessible to minors is generally punishable by a fine.


    In Switzerland , a person is punished with imprisonment or a fine (individual offenses also with lighter penalties) who:

    • Offers pornography to young people under the age of 16, makes it accessible, etc.,
    • Performs pornography, disseminates it, etc., if the audience has not been informed of the pornographic nature of the performance beforehand,
    • Pornography that deals with sexual acts with children or animals, acts of violence, produces, introduces, brings into circulation etc. or - since 2001 - simply owns it. Since the tightening of the Swiss Criminal Code Art. 135 and Art. 197 on April 1, 2002, the possession of "objects or demonstrations [...] that contain sexual acts with violence" has been punishable in Switzerland. Since July 1, 2014, the consumption of hard pornography without the act of possession is also prohibited. In addition, pornographic representations with human excretions no longer count as hard pornography and are accordingly legal.

    According to the prevailing doctrine, possession is not fulfilled by simply viewing such content on the Internet , but only by deliberately saving it. This does not apply to pornography that has a “cultural or scientific value worthy of protection”.

    Social controversy

    Caricature critical of pornography - “La grande epidémie de Pornographie”, France, 19th century

    Color printing, video technology, and the Internet have greatly simplified the availability and access to pornography during the second half of the 20th century. Since then, there has been an increasing number of scientific studies into the effects of pornography on the psyche, especially that of adolescents. In addition to media education, sex psychology and forensics, there is controversial discussion on ideological , social and sometimes religious levels as to whether the simplified access is beneficial, neutral, burdensome or even harmful to the respective consumers.


    Moderate critics make differentiated arguments in terms of media psychology and sex education; Much of the harsh criticism is also expressed from a feminist and (value) conservative position. Feminists fear that the depicted sexual exploitation could result in misogyny, i.e. hatred of women, because they would be reduced to willless toys and sexual objects. Contempt, sexual abuse, violence and rape (see violence and pornography) could possibly develop. a. from the depicted unrealistic nymphomania myth. An unrealistic body image as well as grotesque ideas of sexual size and potency, the appearance of primary and secondary sexual characteristics and the sexual preferences of both sexes are problematic in their possible effect. In addition, the habituation and (dose) increase effect, especially of Internet pornography consumption, should be considered as a real danger for the development of pathological consumer behavior (addiction).

    Conservative critics are more likely to fear a decline in family values ​​because of the unrestrained promiscuity shown . Parenthood would stand in the way of such a life principle because of the responsibility it entails.


    Logo of the PorNO campaign

    From the feminist side ( Catharine MacKinnon , Andrea Dworkin , Alice Schwarzer et al.) Pornography is criticized, in which women are portrayed as passive objects of male sexual desires rather than as active subjects . This type of pornography, especially with reference to BDSM, is to be combated with the PorNO campaign initiated by Schwarzer . The portrayal of women as always sexually willing people who want to enter into sexual relationships with everyone and immediately is also viewed with concern . Schwarzer takes the view that pornography represents sexuality unrealistic and "thus destroys sexuality".


    Christian churches condemn the production and distribution as well as the consumption of pornography to different degrees depending on denomination and orientation. Pornography contradicts Christian sexual ethics and should be viewed critically as a questionable form of sexuality. For a long time, the basis of the negative attitude was the biblically founded sexual morality, which regarded unchastity as fornication and sin and saw sexuality only anchored in marriage according to religious standards.

    In the Protestant Church, the rejection of pornography today (since 2013) is dominated by a Christian, value-oriented image of man on a psychological-educational basis, which no longer sees itself as hostile to the body and lust, but is critical of the commercialization of sexuality and its reduction to the physical, functional facing.

    The teaching of the Catholic Church on sexual morality condemns pornography, for example Pope John Paul II declared : “Pornography is immoral and essentially anti-social […]. It is in the nature of pornography that it denies the true meaning of human sexuality as a God-given gift [...]. "According to the Catechism (German, 2007, No. 2354), it disfigures the act and" violates the dignity of all those involved ( Actors, traders, audiences) difficult ”, since they become“ the object of primitive amusement and a source of illicit profits ”. "The state authority has to prevent the production and distribution of pornographic material."

    Media psychology

    In the textbook of media psychology, Dolf Zillmann regards erotic depiction and pornography as interchangeable synonyms that only show differences in the associated evaluation. However, this judgmental attitude of a society could change constantly. Therefore, he also considers the distinction between pornography as reprehensible "explicit representations of sexual acts" and eroticism as unobjectionable "veiled representations" to be unusable. He emphasizes that the representations are generally non-violent. The partners have a free decision and thus equal rights. The change of partner is also casual when depicting group sex. He therefore considers the feminist theory of dominance to be untenable.

    Nevertheless, he takes a critical point of view: “There is no discernible effect of pornography use on general life satisfaction. On the contrary, the utopian pleasure that the world of pornography simulates leads to sexual, emotional and general dissatisfaction ”. It plays a major role that women appear unrealistic as willing and over-motivated sex partners. A common sexual fantasy among men is namely the myth of nymphomania . Pornography works on three levels:

    1. in the perception of sexuality, especially feminine
    2. in the imitation of sexual practices
    3. in attitudes towards sexual practices

    The depiction of bodies with only very minor deviations from an ideal of beauty and from unrealistic physical performance would give rise to resentment and resignation. As early as 2004, a study showed that the average penis size in porn was 20.32 cm compared to 14.73 cm, which exceeded the length of the average member by almost a third, and that porn actresses were almost without exception provided with breast implants and cinematic, computer-aided post-production Showed sexual characteristics in an even more extreme form. As a result, there would be completely exaggerated expectations. Combined with the recognition of the supposedly own deficiencies, disappointments and shame about the physical equipment perceived as deficient are predetermined. This frustration would reduce the desire to adjust to others in reality, to be sexually aroused by them, so that intimate relationships dry up as a result.

    Pornography and relationship problems

    The increase in erectile dysfunction among young men prompted neurologists and urologists to investigate the relationship to pornography consumption. A development of frustration, relationship problems, impoverished sexuality, inconsiderate attempts at gratification, selfish demands on partners, decreasing excitability with and through a real partner and, in extreme cases, impotence was observed among porn users with an addictive character.

    Brain research

    A study commissioned by the Max Planck Institute showed that men with high porn consumption (well over 4 hours per week) had a significantly reduced caudate nucleus (tail nucleus ) - an area in the brain that perceives reward. In addition, they tended to suffer from Internet sex addiction more frequently , had increased alcohol consumption and were more depressed . Simultaneously, a Abstumpfungsprozess has been found that in a decreasing activation of the left putamen was visible, namely more evident the more porn consumed the male volunteers. In addition, the deficits in the reward system in this extensive group of users were evident in the “unexpectedly weak connection between the tail nucleus and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex”. The causal relationship has not yet been clarified, i.e. whether people with a dysfunctional reward system (in addition to other addictions) increasingly consumed porn or whether the increased consumption has a damaging effect on brain functions.

    PorYes and other proponents

    In the field of pornography supporters, at least two lines of argument can be distinguished. On the one hand, anti-pornographic tendencies are criticized. For example, Nadine Strossen explains in her book In Defense of Pornography that anti- pornographic laws in the sense of MacKinnon and Dworkin “undermine important issues of women's and human rights instead of promoting them. It [the book] is intended to show what a dead, unfree society we would have to expect if this kind of law were to be applied. ”Such a position does not necessarily have to be viewed as a positive cultural asset.

    A positive reference to - albeit a different, diverse and less male-dominated, clichéd form of - pornography can be found in parts of sex-positive feminism as PorYes and the gay and queer movement. Alternative pornography is often understood here as a medium in which gender stereotypes and unconventional forms of sexuality can be played with. Pornography is intended to help express taboo forms of sexuality and enable a more aggressive approach to these issues. Accordingly, porn in this area is produced in non-commercial porn collectives and presented at queer film festivals and events.

    Reception in literature and history

    Susan Sontag postulated in 1969 in the band in their Trip to Hanoi (dt. Trip to Hanoi ) contained essay The Pornographic Imagination the legitimacy of demanding pornography as an independent literary genre. As examples of sophisticated versus trivial pornography , she cites Pauline Réage's story of O , Georges Batailles The story of the eye and Catherine Robbe-Grillet's L'Image .

    History is also concerned with erotic and pornographic literature , especially the French literature from the time before the revolution of 1789 . Research into writings such as Thérèse philosophe or Histoire de Dom B ... takes place primarily in the context of the New Cultural History . The historian Robert Darnton points in particular to the enlightenment-emancipatory potential of the texts, in which the moral transgressions are often embedded in social and religious criticism.


    German-language literature

    • Pietro Aretino , Thomas Hettche : Positions. From the beginning and the end of pornography. Cologne 2003, ISBN 978-3-8321-7836-9 .
    • Bettina Bremme: Sexuality in a distorting mirror. The pornography debate. Munster 1990.
    • Andrea Dworkin: Pornography. Men rule women. Foreword Alice Schwarzer , Emma , Cologne 1987 (original title: Pornography , translated by Erica Fischer) . ISBN 3-922670-15-6 .
    • Paul English: Maze of Eroticism. A moral story about the entire field of world pornography . Leipzig 1931 ( digitized )
    • Werner Faulstich: The culture of pornography: Brief introduction to history, media, aesthetics, market and meaning. Scientists-Verlag, Bardowick 1994, ISBN 3-89153-028-5 .
    • Johannes Gernert: Generation Porn. Youth, sex, internet. Torch lights, Cologne 2010, ISBN 978-3-7716-4439-0 .
    • Anton-Andreas Guha: Sexuality and Pornography: The organized incapacitation , Fischer-Taschenbuch, Frankfurt am Main 1971, ISBN 3-436-01467-2 .
    • Lynn Hunt (Ed.): The Invention of Pornography. Obscenity and the Origins of Modernism , Fischer Taschenbuchverlag, Frankfurt am Main 1994.
    • Annette Miersch: Schoolgirl Report: the German sex film of the 70s. Bertz Verlag, 2003, ISBN 3-929470-12-8 .
    • Martin Mulsow, Dirk Sangmeister (Ed.): German Pornography in the Enlightenment. Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2018, ISBN 978-3-8353-3271-3 .
    • 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-Universität zu Berlin 2003, 191 pages, under the title: The @postindustrial phenomenon "Erotic Home Entertainment" and the process of civilization ).
    • Dörte Richter: Pornography or Pornocracy? Images of women in the films of Catherine Breillat. Avinus, Berlin 2004, ISBN 978-3-930064-55-7 .
    • Corinna Rückert : The new lust of women. From the relaxed way of dealing with pornography. Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 2004, ISBN 3-499-61686-6 .
    • Corinna Rückert: Woman pornography - pornography by women for women. A cultural studies study. Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main 2002, ISBN 3-631-36630-2 (dissertation University of Lüneburg 2000, 327 pages).
    • Gayle Rubin : Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality. In: Henry Abelove u. a. (Ed.): The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader . Routledge, New York 1993 (first published in 1984), dt. Sex Think. Notes on a Radical Theory of Sexual Politics . In: Andreas Kraß (Ed.): Thinking Queer. Against the order of sexuality (Queer Studies). Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 2003, ISBN 3-518-12248-7 , pp. 31-79.
    • Lea-Sophie Schiel: Sex as a performance. Theater studies perspectives on the staging of the obscene. Transcript, Bielefeld 2020, ISBN 978-3-8376-5148-5 .
    • Marcus Schreibauer: The prohibition of pornography in Section 184 of the Criminal Code: Basics - Issues of the facts - Proposals for reform. Roderer, Regensburg 1999, ISBN 3-89783-035-3 .
    • Linda Williams : Hard Core. Power, lust and the traditions of pornographic film. Stroemfeld / Nexus, Basel / Frankfurt am Main 1995.
    • Dolf Zillmann: Pornography. In: R. Mangold, P. Forder, G. Bente (eds.): Textbook of media psychology. Hogrefe-Verlag for Psychology, Göttingen / Bern / Toronto / Seattle 2004.
    • Philip Siegel: Porn in Germany. Belleville, Munich 2010, ISBN 3-923646-09-7 .

    Non-German-language literature

    • Beáta Bőthe, István Tóth-Király, Marc N. Potenza, Gábor Orosz, Zsolt Demetrovics: High-Frequency Pornography Use May Not Always Be Problematic . In: The Journal of Sexual Medicine Volume 17, Number 4, 2020, pp. 793–811 DOI: 10.1016 / j.jsxm.2020.01.007 ( Open Access )
    • Ann Ferguson et al .: Forum: The Feminist Sexuality Debates . In: Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 10 (1), 1984. (A representation of the corresponding US discussion.) Part 1 (PDF; 202 kB), Part 2 (PDF).
    • H. Hyde: A history of pornography. London 1964.
    • Walter Kendrick: Secret Museum: Pornography in Modern Culture , University of California Press, 1997, ISBN 0-520-20729-7 .
    • Wendy McElroy: A Woman's Right to Pornography. St. Martin's Press, New York 1995, ISBN 0-312-13626-9 .
    • Legs McNeil, Jennifer Osborne and Peter Pavia: The Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film Industry. Regan Books, 2005, ISBN 0-06-009659-4 .
    • Mari Mikkola (Ed.): Beyond Speech. Pornography and Analytic Feminist Philosophy . Oxford University Press , Oxford 2017, ISBN 978-0-19-025790-3 (English).
    • Gayle Rubin: Misguided, Dangerous and Wrong: an Analysis of Anti-Pornography Politics. In: Assiter Alison, Carol Avedon (Eds.): Bad Girls and Dirty Pictures: The Challenge to Reclaim Feminism . Pluto, Boulder CO 1993, ISBN 0-7453-0523-7 , pp. 18-40.
    • Robert Stoller : Porn: Myths for the Twentieth Century. Yale UP, 1993 reissue, ISBN 0-300-05092-5 .
    • Nadine Strossen : Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex, and the Fight for Women's Rights. 2nd Edition. University Press, New York 2000, ISBN 0-8147-8149-7 (1997 German translation of the 1st edition).
    • Linda Williams (Ed.): Porn Studies. B&T, 2004, ISBN 0-8223-3312-0 .
    • Ellen Willis: Feminism, Moralism, and Pornography. In: Ann Snitow, Christine Stansell, Sharon Thompson (Eds.): Powers of Desire: The Politics of Sexuality . Monthly Review Press, New York 1983, ISBN 0-85345-609-7 , pp. 460-467.

    Web links

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

    Individual evidence

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    38. sexually explicit material ; material which depicts sexual activity in obvious, unconcealed ways
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    44. a b c R. J. Wosnitzer, E. Scharrer, AJ Bridges: Aggression and sexual behavior in best-selling pornography: A content analysis update ( Memento of February 21, 2011 in the Internet Archive ). Paper presented at the 57th Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association, San Francisco 2007. Published in: Violence Against Women . Sage Publications, Oct 16, 2010, pp. 1065-1085. doi: 10.1177 / 1077801210382866 .

      “This current study analyzes the content of the most popular pornographic videos, with the objectives of updating its depictions of aggression, degradation and sexual practices and comparing its results to both previous content analysis studies and the survey reported in The Social Organization of Sexuality (1994 ). The authors argue for a sampling method that can collect videos that are representative of mainstream, popular pornography on a national level, and for a definition that can best capture the sexualized aggression portrayed in such pornography. The current study indicates an unequivocal rise of aggression in pornography in both verbal and physical forms, compared to previous studies. The majority of the perpetrators are males; females are almost always the victims and they most often show pleasure after being aggressed against. "

    45. M. Diamond, E. Jozifkova, P. Weiss (2010): Pornography and Sex Crimes in the Czech Republic. Archives of Sexual Behavior.
    46. Milton Diamond , Ayako Uchiyama: "Pornography, Rape and Sex Crimes in Japan" ( Memento of June 2, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) In: International Journal of Law and Psychiatry , 22 (1), 1999, pp. 1–22.

      "Our findings regarding sex crimes, murder and assault are in keeping with what is also known about general crime rates in Japan regarding burglary, theft and such. Japan has the lowest number of reported rape cases and the highest percentage of arrests and convictions in reported cases of any developed nation. Indeed, Japan is known as one of the safest developed countries for women in the world (Clifford, 1980). (...) ...: Despite the absence of evidence, the myth persists that an abundance of sexually explicit material invariably leads to an abundance of sexual activity and eventually rape (eg, Liebert, Neale, & Davison, 1973). Indeed, the data we report and review suggest the opposite. Christensen (1990) argues that to prove that available pornography leads to sex crimes one must at least find a positive temporal correlation between the two. The absence of any positive correlation in our findings, and from results elsewhere, between an increase in available pornography and the incidence of rape or other sex crime, is prima facie evidence that no link exists. But objectivity requires that an additional question be asked: 'Does pornography use and availability prevent or reduce sex crime?' Both questions lead to hypotheses that have, over prolonged periods, been tested in Denmark, Sweden, West Germany and now in Japan. Indeed, it appears from our data from Japan, as it was evident to Kutchinsky (1994), from research in Europe, that a large increase in available sexually explicit materials, over many years, has not been correlated with an increase in rape or other sexual crimes. Instead, in Japan a marked decrease in sexual crimes has occurred. ”

    48. ( Memento from September 3, 2014 in the Internet Archive )

      “In 2006, Japan's Gender Equality Bureau released a study titled 'Violence Between Men and Women'. Of the 1,578 female respondents, 7.2% said they had been raped 'at least once'. Sixty-seven percent of these rapes were perpetrated by someone the victim 'knew well', and 19% by someone they had 'seen before'. Only 5.3% of the victims reported the crime to the police - around 6 people out of 114 cases. Of those who remained silent, nearly 40% said they didn't step forward because they were 'embarrassed'. A Reuters report from May 2007 sheds further light on the situation. 'Activists and lawyers say that sentiment toward rape victims remains chilly in a society where many feel the woman may have led the man on, she is lying, or that she could have fought back', the article says, and goes on to explain that common 'rape myths', which have long been discounted by experts in other countries, still exist in Japan. 'Contrary to the law, there is still a widespread belief that only assaults by strangers can be defined as rape.' 'There is no Rape Shield Law like in the United States and Canada, which protects victims from insensitive questions', explains Hisako Motoyama, Executive Director of the Asia Japan Women's Resource Center (AJWRC), a gender equality advocacy group founded in 1977.' Victims may even be asked, ›Why didn't you fight harder?‹ '. ”

    49. Archived copy ( Memento from June 24, 2018 in the Internet Archive )
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    57. Regulated since 2008 in § 184d StGB , 2008 to 2004 in §184c , 1975 to 2004 in § 184 paragraph (2) , prior to that any distribution was prohibited.
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