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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Pornographic magazines in Japan

Pornographic magazines, sometimes known as adult, sex or top-shelf magazines, are magazines that contain content of an explicitly sexual nature. Publications of this kind may contain images of attractive naked subjects, as is the case in softcore pornography, and, in the usual case of hardcore pornography, depictions of masturbation, oral or anal sex, or intercourse.

They primarily serve to stimulate sexual arousal, and are often used as an aid to masturbation. Some magazines are general in their content, while others may be more specific and focus on a particular pornographic niche, part of the anatomy, or model characteristics. Examples include Asian Babes which focuses on Asian women, or Leg Show which concentrates on women's legs. Well-known adult magazines include Playboy, Penthouse and Hustler. Magazines may also carry articles on topics including cars, humor, science, computers, culture and politics. With the continued progression of print media to digital, retailers have also had to evolve. Apple's Newsstand is a popular version of this, but as they don't allow pornographic material, specific digital newsstands for pornographic magazines exist. (Full article...)

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The Songs of Bilitis (/bɪˈltɪs/; French: Les Chansons de Bilitis) is a collection of erotic poetry by Pierre Louÿs published in Paris in 1894 (see 1894 in poetry).

The book's sensual poems are in the manner of Sappho; the introduction claims they were found on the walls of a tomb in Cyprus, written by a woman of Ancient Greece called Bilitis, a courtesan and contemporary of Sappho, to whose 'life' Louÿs dedicated a small section of his book. On publication, the volume deceived even the most expert of scholars. Though the poems were actually clever fabulations, authored by Louÿs himself, they are still considered important literature. (Full article...)

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Liefdespaar onder muskietennet-Rijksmuseum RP-P-2007-236.jpeg

Shunga illustration, Japan

image credit: public domain

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Did you know...

July/August 2014

Previous Did You Know...

  • ... that "La Popola" was banned in the Dominican Republic because of its sexual lyrics?
  • ... that The Last Arrow was praised for its "inventive re-imagining" of the Robin Hood legend, although one reviewer felt that its "sadistic sexual torture may offend some"?
  • ... that Sophie Ellis-Bextor's 2001 cover of "Take Me Home" by Cher received criticism from the latter for having "overtly sexual" new lyrics?
  • ... that in the 1960s, Robert Heinecken inserted pornographic images into mainstream magazines such as Time and Vogue and then returned the altered magazines to the newsstands?

April 2014

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