Portal:Pornography

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Pornography and erotica portal

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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Fucking Machines logo.png

Fucking Machines (also known as Fuckingmachines.com and fuckingmachines) is a pornographic website founded in 2000 that features video and photographs of women engaged in autoerotic sexual stimulation with penetrative sex-machines and sex toys. The site is based in San Francisco, California, and is operated by Kink.com. Web entrepreneur Peter Acworth launched Fucking Machines on September 25, 2000, as his company's second website after Kink.com. Devices shown on the site were created with the intent to bring women authentic orgasms. Performers were instructed to allow themselves to be recorded experiencing pleasure.

After the site applied in 2005 to trademark the phrase "fuckingmachines", the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) denied the application and ruled that the mark was obscene. Free speech lawyer Marc Randazza represented the site and appealed the decision. Orlando Weekly called his legal brief, "one of the most entertaining legal documents you're likely to come across." The appeal was denied in April 2008 and the case was terminated. Randazza's argument in the case became known as The Fuck Brief. (Full article...)

Selected work of erotic literature

D. H. Lawrence

Lady Chatterley's Lover is a novel by D. H. Lawrence, first published in 1928. The first edition was printed privately in Florence, Italy, with assistance from Pino Orioli; an unexpurgated edition could not be published openly in the United Kingdom until 1960. (A private edition was issued by Inky Stephensen's Mandrake Press in 1929.) The book soon became notorious for its story of the physical (and emotional) relationship between a working-class man and an upper-class woman, its explicit descriptions of sex, and its use of then-unprintable words.

The story is said to have originated from events in Lawrence's own unhappy domestic life, and he took inspiration for the settings of the book from Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, where he grew up. According to some critics, the fling of Lady Ottoline Morrell with "Tiger", a young stonemason who came to carve plinths for her garden statues, also influenced the story. Lawrence at one time considered calling the novel Tenderness and made significant alterations to the text and story in the process of its composition. It has been published in three versions. (Full article...)

Selected image

Karen McDougal 2011.jpg

Karen McDougal - taken by Toglenn.

Selected historical image

Gloeden, Wilhelm von (1856-1931) - n. 0347 recto - Timbrata a secco Gaetano Pedo, Roma.jpg

Photograph by Wilhelm von Gloeden

image credit: public domain

Selected film

Stag film unknown date

Did you know...

  • ... that Pornhub told its users to stop uploading videos of Brazil's loss to Germany at the 2014 FIFA World Cup under sexually suggestive titles?
  • ... that the offices of the Danish magazine Vennen were raided by police in the so-called "Great Porno Affair"?
  • ... that according to the Lesbian Film Guide, She Must Be Seeing Things was a "deeply controver­sial film ... dismissed outright by some as pornography"?

July/August 2014

Previous Did You Know...

June - September 2007

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