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Movie theater showing a pornographic film

Pornography (often abbreviated as "porn" or "porno" in informal usage) is the portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purpose of sexual arousal. Pornography may be presented in a variety of media, including books, magazines, postcards, photographs, sculpture, drawing, painting, animation, sound recording, film, video, and video games. The term applies to the depiction of the act rather than the act itself, and so does not include live exhibitions like sex shows and striptease. The primary subjects of pornographic depictions are pornographic models, who pose for still photographs, and pornographic actors or porn stars, who perform in pornographic films. If dramatic skills are not involved, a performer in a porn film may also be called a model.

Various groups within society have considered depictions of a sexual nature immoral, labeling them pornographic, and attempting to have them suppressed under obscenity and other laws, with varying degrees of success. Such works have also often been subject to censorship and other legal restraints to publication, display or possession. Such grounds and even the definition of pornography have differed in various historical, cultural, and national contexts. More...


Fanny Hill, aka Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, erotic novel by John Cleland, first published in 1748

Erotic literature comprises fictional and factual stories and accounts of human sexual relationships which have the power to or are intended to arouse the reader sexually. Such erotica takes the form of novels, short stories, poetry, true-life memoirs, and sex manuals. A common feature of the genre is sexual fantasies on such themes as prostitution, orgies, homosexuality, sadomasochism, incest, and many other taboo subjects and fetishes, which may or may not be expressed in explicit language. Other common elements are satire and social criticism. Despite cultural taboos on such material, circulation of erotic literature was not seen as a major problem before the invention of printing, as the costs of producing individual manuscripts limited distribution to a very small group of readers. The invention of printing, in the 15th century, brought with it both a greater market and increasing restrictions, like censorship and legal restraints on publication on the grounds of obscenity. Because of this, much of the production of this type of material became clandestine. Much erotic literature features erotic art, illustrating the text. More...

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Tera Patrick 2010.jpg

Tera Patrick (born July 25, 1976) is the stage name of an American pornographic actress and model. Patrick is the Penthouse Pet of the Month for February 2000 and is an inductee for the AVN and XRCO Hall of Fame.

Patrick has appeared in Playboy and Penthouse, where she was the "Pet of the Month" for February 2000 and was selected as "Pet of the Year" runner-up. In 2003, Patrick became the masthead publisher of Genesis.

In 2006, Patrick and her then-husband, Evan Seinfeld, launched a talent agency representing models and actors. According to a quote on the agency's website, Patrick's goal "is to help girls (and guys) in the business to be treated with respect, and realize their true potential...." Additionally, she owns a production company called "Teravision," which along with Vivid Video released its first feature, "Desperate," starring Patrick and Seinfeld. In April 2006, it was announced that she would host the Exxxotica Miami convention. (Full article...)

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Final page of the Tijuana bible Chris Crusty, which borrowed the syndicated comic strip character Chris Crusty created by Bill Conselman and Charles Plumb for a topper strip which ran above their Ella Cinders.

Tijuana bibles (also known as eight-pagers, Tillie-and-Mac books, Jiggs-and-Maggie books, jo-jo books, bluesies, gray-backs, and two-by-fours) were little palm-sized pornographic comic books produced in the United States from the 1920s to the early 1960s. Their popularity peaked during the Great Depression era.

Most Tijuana bibles were obscene parodies of popular newspaper comic strips of the day, like "Blondie", "Barney Google", "Moon Mullins", "Popeye", "Tillie the Toiler", "Dick Tracy", "Little Orphan Annie", and "Bringing Up Father". Others made use of characters based on popular movie stars and sports stars of the day, like Mae West and Joe Louis, sometimes with names thinly changed. Before the war, almost all the stories were humorous and frequently were cartoon versions of well-known dirty jokes that had been making the rounds for decades.

Illegal, clandestine, and anonymous, the artists, writers, and publishers of these booklets are generally unknown. The quality of the artwork varied widely. The subjects are explicit sexual escapades usually featuring well known newspaper comic strip characters, movie stars, and (rarely) political figures, invariably used without respect for either copyright or libel law and without permission. Tijuana bibles repeated without a trace of self-consciousness the ethnic stereotypes found in popular culture at the time, although one Tijuana bible ("You Nazi Man") concluded on a serious note with a brief message from the publisher pleading for greater tolerance in Germany for the Jews. (Full article...)

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Louise Glover cropped.jpg

Louise Glover

image credit: Toby Field

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