Mar 222012
 

There are people who think that porn is something that is a modern invention, dating at most back to the 18th century. However, the reality is that pornography in one form or the other has been a part of the human culture ever since we started expressing ourselves artistically. Some people might argue our terminology and say that in the past, it was mostly erotica, but we are not being nitpicky. As far as we go, any scene that depicts a sex act is pornography. Everything else is semantics.

Even in the first recorder cultures during the Paleolithic and Mesolithic eras, pornography was very much present. For instance, Venus of Willendorf, one of the oldest surviving sculptures is a figure of a woman with exaggerated breasts, stomach and other sexual characteristics. It seems that Paleolithic people liked their women curvaceous and juicy. In any case, to say that porn is something new would be complete nonsense. Egyptians had their Playboy, so to say. It is an artifact called Turin Erotic Papyrus which had plenty of sex in it and was thus named the men’s magazine of the time.

In Roman and Greek times, things really got spicy as depictions of sex acts became very prominent in art. Greek porn art (if you don’t mind the expression) often involved gay sex, while Romans were more interested in orgies and more kinky sex. It should be noted that we are talking about explicit depictions of all kinds of sex, including anal sex, group sex and everything else that you see in porn movies today. Nothing in porn is a modern invention, as far as the mechanics of the action goes.

Asian cultures have never been shy about sex either, nor were some Middle and South American cultures. There are plenty of examples of pornography from those parts of the world where things somehow always seemed more relaxed, especially during the time when Christianity ruled supreme in Europe. Therefore, pornography is not an exclusively western invention either, in case you thought that this might be the case. Porn is universal and there is no keeping it down.

The shift away from porn as something completely accepted occurred mainly as the result of the church and religious norms seeping into all the different aspects of society. This was later to some extent replaced with morale becoming a matter that was to be introduced and maintained by the state and the government.

However, as it so often goes, people got what they wanted and porn became much more available with the invention of photography and film. This is what shaped the porn as we know it today. It allowed people to produce pornography relatively cheaply and to give it to the masses that always wanted it in the first place. This is perhaps the most important thing in the whole story, the fact that people want porn. People enjoy porn and they will get their hands on it one way or another.

During the 20th century, there have been a few periods that were especially important for the history of porn, like the 1920s and the 1970s where the real liberalization of porn began. It was the time of big porn productions which couldn’t stand their ground against VHS format that allowed everyone to make porn for the cost of a tape. In fact, it needs to be said that porn decided whether VHS or Betamax was going to win, much like with Blu-Ray and HD DVD.

Of course, another huge moment in the history of porn was invention of internet and its speeding up that made porn available to everyone with a few clicks of the mouse. It has truly made porn mainstream and we are probably living in an era when porn is considered something that does not need to be hidden and despised. It is only natural. People love porn and people will have porn.

 
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