Wednesday, April 18, 2007
With the arrival of the home video cassette recorder in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the pornographic movie industry experienced massive growth and spawned adult stars like Ginger Lynn, Christy Canyon, and Traci Lords. One could now not only watch pornography in the comfort and privacy of one's own home, but also find more choices available to satisfy specific fantasies and fetishes. Similarly, the camcorder spurred changes in pornography in the 1980s, when people could make their own amateur sex movies, whether for private use, or for wider distribution.
It has been suggested that, among other things, Sony Betamax lost the format war to VHS (in becoming the general home video recording/viewing system) because the adult video industry chose VHS instead of the technically superior Sony system. Other attempts at innovation came in the form of "interactive" videos that let the user choose such variables as multiple camera angles, multiple endings (e.g., "Devil in the Flesh", 1999, Private Films), and computer-only DVD content.
1987 saw an important legal case in the U.S. when the de facto result of California v. Freeman was the legalization of hardcore pornography. Ironically, the prosecution of Harold Freeman was initially planned as the first in a series of legal cases that would have effectively outlawed the production of such movies.
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Two technologies became prominent in the 1990s that changed pornographic movies: the DVD offered better quality picture and sound, and was embraced by pornographers just as enthusiastically as it was embraced by major Hollywood studios and by private consumers. Erotic film producers are expected to play a major role in deciding the next DVD standard: large outfits tend to support the high-capacity Blu-ray Disc, while small outfits generally favor the less-expensive HD-DVD.
However, the internet arguably changed the distribution of pornography more than any earlier technology: rather than ordering movies from an adult bookstore, or through mail-order, people could watch pornographic movies on their computers. Rather than waiting weeks for an order to arrive from another U.S. state, one could download a pornographic movie within minutes (or, later, within a few seconds).
The internet also complicated legal prosecution of obscentity cases: if someone downloads a video clip that no one else in their town sees, are community standards violated? If a pornographic movie is produced in one U.S. state and downloaded in another state (after having been routed through half-a-dozen states via an internet service provider), in which jurisdiction should the legal case be introduced? These and related questions are still being sorted out in U.S. courts.
In the UK attitudes to censorship are becoming more relaxed. It is not illegal to make or to perform in pornographic films in the UK. Films with sexually explicit content have been shown on national TV.
Attitudes to the portrayal of sexual activities on film and on television have become more open on this decade. For example, the film The Idiots, a Danish film made in 1998, was shown on UK TV in the early part of this decade. It includes nudity, an orgy scene, and a full sexual intercourse scene complete with close-up footage of the act. The camera viewpoint was from the ankles of the participants, and the close ups left no-doubt as to what was taking place. These scenes were included when the film was shown on the national TV channel, BBC2. The film has won many international awards for best film and various other film industry awards. Pornography movie is also known in eastern Asia as "Panu'.
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Main article: List of pornography laws by region
Main article: List of pornographic sub-genres
Current pornographic movies can be divided into a number of sub-genres by the sex of the performers, the types of sex act portrayed, and the intended audience.
Main article: Anti-pornography movement
 AIDS and the porn industry
With the outbreak of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, the pornography industry instituted a system of testing for HIV, the virus responsible for AIDS. The industry's voluntary system involves testing actors once a month for HIV. If the actor does not pass the test, he or she is barred from performing in any more pornographic scenes.
The system seemed to be effective, with very few AIDS cases among porn actors. Marc Wallice, a known IV drug user, tested HIV positive in 1998, sending shockwaves throughout the industry.
In April 2004, an AIDS scare rocked the heterosexual US porn industry when two pornographic actors tested HIV positive in California, the hotbed of U.S. porn production. The straight segment of the porn industry voluntarily shut down for 30 days (a 60 day moratorium was originally announced but it was lifted early) while it tried to deal with the situation dogs fucking girls.
As of August 2004, estimates put condom use in the straight porn industry at around seventeen percent of adult performers, virtually the same usage rate as before the industry scare. The gay porn industry is more adamant about condom usage in their productions.
Two actors, Darren James and Lara Roxx, initially tested positive, and were barred from further sexually explicit content production. About sixty actors who had contact with James or Roxx were barred from working until their next round of HIV testing was completed and they were declared HIV negative. A total of five actors were diagnosed with the virus by the end of the moratorium: one male and four females, including one transsexual.
James most likely contracted HIV while filming a pornographic movie in Brazil and then passed it to the other women, excluding the transsexual, who was considered an unrelated case. Roxx was shocked by the news of her HIV status, believing porn actors to be cleaner than the general public. This belief is now in doubt.
Due to this limited outbreak, the California State government is considering regulating the industry. Some propose to mandate the wearing of condoms during sexually explicit scenes. Industry insiders say this would ruin sales of their wares since the unprotected content is one of the selling points of some of their films. They say the wearing of condoms ruins the sexual fantasy of many viewers. Insiders say that such regulation would force the industry underground, where it would be more prone to health risks for performers. The non-profit Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation is working with the government, trying to develop policies that both the industry and the government would find acceptable.
The English word whore, referring to (female) prostitutes, is taken from the Old English word h?ra (from the Indo-European root k? meaning "desire") but usage of that word is widely considered pejorative and prostitute is considered a less value-laden term. The French euphemism grande horizontale is sometimes used. In Germany most prostitutes' organizations deliberately use the word Hure (whore) since they feel that prostitute is a bureaucratic term and an unnecessary euphemism for something not in need of euphemisms. See also: call girl, courtesan, escort, female companion.
"The Procuress" by Dirck van Baburen
"The Procuress" by Dirck van Baburen dogs fucking girls
Male prostitutes offering their services to male customers are called "escorts", "hustlers", "rent boys", "trade," or "boy toys". Male prostitutes offering services to female customers are comparatively rare and are known as "escorts" or "gigolos."
Prostitutes are not the only people who have sex for money. Porn actors and actresses get paid for having sex, but they are both paid by a third party, the porn producer. A prostitute is paid by the person who he/she has sex with.
Organisers of prostitution are typically known as pimps (if male), madams (if female), and mama-sans if female and Asian. More formally, they practice procuring, and are procurers, or procuresses.
Another generalisation is using the term or an equivalent to mean any form of earning well in an unscrupulous degrading manner, e.g., 'quote whore', 'media whore'. The term pimp is also sometimes similarly used figuratively, as in poverty pimp, or as a word that means improve or fix.
Prostitutes are stigmatised in most societies and religions; their customers are typically stigmatised to a lesser degree. The sexual counterparts of prostitutes are known as clients in Quebec, Canada, johns in the United States and either clients or punters in the UK, whilst in Sweden they are known as "Torskar", which means cod or loser. In some places, men who drive around red-light districts for the purpose of soliciting prostitutes are also known as kerb crawlers dogs fucking girls.
In street prostitution the prostitute solicits customers while waiting at street corners or "walking the street".
Brothels are establishments specifically dedicated to prostitution, often confined to special red-light districts in big cities. Other names for brothels include Bordello, Whorehouse, Cathouse, and General houses. Prostitution also occurs in some massage parlours, and in Asian countries in some barber shops where sexual services may be offered for an additional tip dogs fucking girls.