History of Pornography:
Porn, Pornography, dirty mags, lads mags, adult films, whatever you want to call it, and like porn, or detest it, there is one thing that has to be accepted, it has been around for a long time, and it won’t be going anywhere any time soon. From “lads mags” to lingerie adverts, porn and erotica feature widely in day to day life, but where did it come from, and how did it all start?
History of Porn:
There is much debate among historians as to where pornography actually started, it is widely accepted that it has been among us in one form or another since the dawn of man, but the first actual documentation is debatable. Historians found rock paintings depicting images of a sexual nature, alongside other cave drawings of hunters etc. But this has been widely disregarded as being “erotic” as this was in a primitive or dirty manner. So it was around, but not in the context that we know it today.
One of the early, and still lasting documentations of sexual images, and something highly regarded as a Sex Manual is the ancient oriental manual known as the Kama Sutra, there was belief in Britain that this originated in the late 1800s with one of the most famous – infact infamous copies being translated by Sir Richard Francis Burton in 1883. Contrary to this belief it has been traced by historian John Keay to the 2nd Century CE.
So we know that images of sex have been around for centuries, but where did the term Pornography come from, we in fact owe the original meaning to the Ancient Greeks this is a combination of the word ‘Porne’ (meaning Prostitute) and ‘Graphien’ (meaning to ‘write’ or ‘document’); from the start, this wasn’t a pleasant word - something that has stuck with the concept, during this time they painted frescos on the side of Brothel’s as a symbol of their trade.
The modern day meaning was coined in Britain around about 1850 that described explicit acts; or showing images purely for the purposes of sexual stimulation, which doesn’t fit in with the description of the more acceptable term ‘erotica’.
Porn as an Art form:
Literature and Art have seen a development in the area, works of Chaucer, Boccaccio and Baudelaire all have written texts with elements of pornography (or erotica incorporated to them). The person that is widely regarded as the founding father of modern pornography the Italian writer Pietro Aretino, his works such as “School of Whoredom” is a bawdy 16th Century masterpiece as the area is concerned, with one character of Nanna seeks to “educate” the naive Pippa with the secrets of her time as a courtesan (prostitute).
In the 18th Century modern pornography exploded in a big way, one of the most famous works is John Cleland’s Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure from 1749. This was an infamous novel at the time, and was not legally available in the USA until the 1960s. By the late 1700s artistic prints from Thomas Rowlandson were becoming increasingly lewd conveying images of nudity and of a sexual nature.
Porn as we know it:
The first ‘film’ produced of a ‘pornographic’ nature was called The Kiss in 1896 and featured a three minute kiss, this was widely regarded as a demonstration of brutish lust and prompted animalistic passions – what would they think of modern day pornography?
In 1972 we saw the breakthrough for the pornography industry with the film Deep Throat, in the 70s a federal study in the USA placed the retail value of Hardcore pornography (pornography explicitly depicting penetration) at $10 million; this has now since grown to $4-6 billion per year, and an average of 500 adult films are produced in the USA alone each year.
Pornography as a business is becoming much more of a reputable enterprise with the Adult Film industry which take place between the Golden Globe, and Oscar periods.
Pornography in other formats:
Porn in modern day is not just available in digital format, magazines such as Playboy have been in circulation since 1953 and others have followed since. Magazines such as FHM, Loaded, Nuts and Zoo are tailored towards a male market, picturing semi-naked pictures, which are acceptable in modern day society, how things have changed!
Pornography in this format has been modified over the years to ensure that it adapts to the technological changes, and is available through the new technological devices, an example of such is Playboy’s new ‘i-site’ aimed at the Apple iPad.
Pornography, the law, and Pulse and Cocktails:
Not all sex shops are allowed to sell Pornography. It is a common misconception that all sex shops sell porn, for shops to sell pornography in store, they need to apply for a licence, this from the local council, and have to comply with the licensing guidelines. These are called R-18 films, these cater for all types of preferences and fetishes, and here at Pulse and Cocktails, we have a vast selection of DVDs all discretely located in all 23 of our stores.
Not all sex shops have to have a licence either, the stores such as Ann Summers which are female orientated, and those which are traditional sex shops licensed to sell Adult DVD as being male orientated, but Pulse and Cocktails is a store, and a brand that want to change this, in our stores, we aim to create a unique, universally friendly sex shop for everyone, and ultimately a couple friendly environment, also providing for those who want it, “Couple Friendly” pornography.
Like I said, it has been around for a long time, changed a great deal, and will continue to change for much longer in the future.