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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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Operation Protect Our Children banner, United States Government

Child pornography is pornography that exploits children for sexual gratification. It may be produced with the direct involvement or sexual assault of a child (also known as child sexual abuse images) or it may be simulated child pornography. Abuse of the child occurs during the sexual acts which are recorded in the production of child pornography. Child pornography may use a variety of media, including writings, magazines, photos, sculpture, drawing, cartoon, painting, animation, sound recording, film, video, and video games.

Laws regarding child pornography generally include sexual images involving prepubescents, pubescent or post-pubescent minors and computer-generated images that appear to involve them. Most possessors of child pornography who are arrested are found to possess images of prepubescent children; possessors of pornographic images of post-pubescent minors are less likely to be prosecuted, even though those images also fall within the statutes.

Producers of child pornography try to avoid prosecution by distributing their material across national borders, though this issue is increasingly being addressed with regular arrests of suspects from a number of countries occurring over the last few years. The prepubescent pornography is viewed and collected by pedophiles for a variety of purposes, ranging from private sexual uses, trading with other pedophiles, preparing children for sexual abuse as part of the process known as "child grooming", or enticement leading to entrapment for sexual exploitation such as production of new child pornography or child prostitution. (Full article . . . )

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Illustration from early edition

Jin Ping Mei (Chinese: 金瓶梅; pinyin: Jīn Píng Méi), translated as The Plum in the Golden Vase or The Golden Lotus, is a Chinese naturalistic novel composed in vernacular Chinese during the late Ming Dynasty. The anonymous author took the pseudonym Lanling Xiaoxiao Sheng (蘭陵笑笑生), "The Scoffing Scholar of Lanling," and his identity is otherwise unknown (the only clue is that he hailed from Lanling in present-day Shandong). The earliest known versions of the novel exist only in handwritten scripts; the first block-printed book was released only in 1610. The more complete version available today comprises one hundred chapters, amounting to over a thousand pages.

Its graphically explicit depiction of sexuality has garnered the novel a level of notoriety in China akin to Fanny Hill and Lady Chatterley's Lover in English literature, but critics such as the translator David Tod Roy see a firm moral structure which exacts retribution for the sexual libertinism of the central characters. (Full article...)

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Adult Expo 2009 Marie Luv 02.jpg

Marie Luv.

image credit: Jimi Photog

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