The History of Pornography: from Ancient Times to the Age of the Internet

To recollect and describe the history of pornographic cinema is not the easiest task. This topic is so intimate and scrupulous that literally one extra word can cross the line and once again turn an interesting question into a mauve ton.

My friends and I left all the trivial jokes and highlighted the most important stages in the development of pornography: the expansion of the audience of porn  connoisseurs from the wealthy estates of Asia to the immense audience of the Internet.

A little bit about India and Asia

In ancient China (and not only in it), the common people were considered undeveloped, unenlightened. Erotic pictures and books were given only to the higher educated society. Why? It’s very simple: any book or image was created from rare materials, so it cost a lot. In addition, society believed that an uneducated philistine could come in shock of what he saw in the picture.

By the way, erotica fell under censorship only after it hit the masses.

The era of the Khan dynasty (206 BC – 24 CE) is considered to be the peak of the development of erotic content in China. In addition to images and different books at that time, there were written eight manuals on sex.

Kama Sutra is mistakenly considered to be a book purely about sex. But, unlike the Chinese sexual guides, Kama Sutra (the book of sage Vatsyayana Mallanagi authorship) is a treatise in 7 parts on the subject of everyday life.

A juicy section with depraved pictures and tips on sexual topics is only a small part of the great scripture. (It is interesting that this part contains no single hint that it is necessary to lead sexual life in marriage by all means).

Strange as it may seem, the next part is devoted to the search for a life partner. And after all there is a section about the seduction of other people’s wives.

The first translation of the book into English was planned in 1875, but publishers were so afraid of being imprisoned that they postponed the publication for ten years. And in the USSR the KGB hunted for self-published versions of the Kama Sutra.

Victorian Morality and Pompeii

In general, pornography came to us from the Victorian science. Yes, there is no mistake! We all inherited masturbation from the British Empire)



The term “pornography” was originally introduced in ancient Greece. In 1857 the word appeared in the English medical dictionary and was only a summary of articles on the problem of prostitution. And only five years later the word was fixed in the Webster’s dictionary in a negative light. That’s how the cultural framework appeared.
An important role in the formation of porn culture was the discovery of Pompeii. For the ancient Romans, images of obscene scenes at home appeared to be, as they say, “boring Tuesday.” Straight sex scenes adorned the walls in every room. Well, if you did not have hot pictures in the dining room, then you had a bad taste! And indeed the phallus in ancient Rome was considered to be a symbol of luck)

This discovery shocked scientists. All that they knew about the ancient world turned out not to be true. So they decided to get rid of an incredible find. Such things can not be thrown into the trash, that’s why the Secret Cabinet was created in the Museum of Archeology in Naples where all the “perverted” images were placed.

Actually, that’s how the first forbidden porn appeared.

Finally, cinematography was invented!

The beginning of the 20th century is considered to be the beginning of pornography. There is a rumor abroad that this business has already flourished  in 1904. The invention of cinema revealed porn to the other level: one could see every movement of the body, different types of contact, different perspectives. People studied each other’s bodies!



The most top-level producers of porn were Germany, France and Latin America. But in the US the pornography was treated very seriously! The guys from Hollywood had access to quality equipment, which made their films the best of the best.

The 40s were the era of homemade pornography. You just need to go out, buy a cheap movie camera and have fun with your partner. This is the way to receive your own masterpiece)

The worldwide recognition of pornography was the release of the feature film “Deep Throat” directed by Gerald Damiano. The film broke all records on box office and led porn to a new stage, which we know now. The tape shows oral sex for the first time on the screen. The film impressed many filmmakers, and the era of the hippies gave them freedom to express themselves.

The 1970s became a popular period for porn magazines. Back in the 50’s, Hugh Hefner stirred and inspired everyone by publishing the first issue of the Playboy magazine. So people began to print “literature” for every taste and color.

In the early 70’s in America there were 900 cinemas for adults. But by 1977 there were only 200 of them left.

Pornography began to move purely in the direction of video production.

At last the Internet appeared

There is nothing to add. Everyone knows everything. By the end of the twentieth century, pornography was here and there, reached enormous volumes, knocked on every house in the form of a digital signal. Various genres of porn began to appear.

Well, the most innovative discovery of the porn industry is 3D-cinema. If interested, then pay attention to the “Kama Sutra” Mark Dorcel, «Octopussy 3D: A XXX Parody» and «Whorrie Potter and the Sorcerer’s Balls».

In general, now you can find everything on the Internet, absolutely any distortion is permissible and even welcomed. And, of course, you can combine your favorite videos with the toys from your favorite sex shop 🙂