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Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin KBE was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who

rose to fame in the era of silent film. He became a worldwide icon through his screen persona,
"The Tramp", and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film

Pornography (often abbreviated porn) is the portrayal of sexual subject matter for the exclusive
purpose of sexual arousal.[1] Pornography may be presented in a variety of media,
including books, magazines, postcards, photographs, sculpture, drawing, painting, animation, sound
recording, writing, 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 present-day 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 pornographic media may also be called a model.
Various groups within society have considered depictions of a sexual nature immoral, addictive, and
noxious, 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, leading in many cases
to their loss. Such grounds, and even the definition of pornography, have differed in various
historical, cultural, and national contexts.[2]
Social attitudes towards the discussion and presentation of sexuality have become more tolerant in
Western countries, and legal definitions of obscenity have become more limited, notably beginning in
1969 with Blue Movie by Andy Warhol, the first adult erotic film depicting explicit sex to receive wide
theatrical release in the United States, and the subsequent Golden Age of Porn (1969-1984),[3][4]
leading to an industry for the production and consumption of pornography in the latter half of the
20th century. The introduction of home video and the Internet saw a boom in the worldwide porn
industry that generates billions of dollars annually. Commercialized pornography accounts for over
US$2.5 billion in the United States alone,[6] including the production of various media and
associated products and services. The general porn industry is between $10-$12 billion in the U.S.
In 2006, the world pornography revenue was 97 billion dollars.[8] This industry employs thousands
of performers along with support and production staff. It is also followed by dedicated industry
publications and trade groups as well as the mainstream press, private organizations (watchdog
groups), government agencies, and political organizations.[9] More recently, sites such
as Pornhub, RedTube, and YouPorn, in addition to much pirated porn posted by individuals, have
served as repositories for home-made or semi-professional pornography, made available free by its
creators (who could be called exhibitionists). They present a significant challenge to the commercial
pornographic film industry.
Irrespective of the legal or social view of pornography, it has been used in a number of contexts. It is
used, for example, at fertility clinics to stimulate sperm donors. Some couples use pornography at
times for variety and to create a sexual interest or as part of foreplay. There is also some evidence
that pornography can be used to treat voyeurism.[10][11]

Depictions of a sexual nature have existed since prehistoric times, as seen in the Venus
figurines and rock art.[19] A vast number of artifacts have been discovered from
ancient Mesopotamia depicting explicit heterosexual sex.[20][21]Glyptic art from the Sumerian Early
Dynastic Period frequently shows scenes of frontal sex in the missionary position.[20] In
Mesopotamian votive plagues from the early second millennium BC, the man is usually shown
entering the woman from behind while she bends over, drinking beer through a straw.[20] Middle
Assyrian lead votive figurines often represent the man standing and penetrating the woman as she
rests on top of an altar.[20] Scholars have traditionally interpreted all these depictions as scenes
of ritual sex,[20] but they are more likely to be associated with the cult of Inanna, the goddess of sex
and prostitution.[20] Many sexually explicit images were found in the temple of Inanna at Assur,
which also contained models of male and female sexual organs.[20]
Depictions of sexual intercourse were not part of the general repertory of ancient Egyptian formal art,
but rudimentary sketches of heterosexual intercourse have been found on pottery fragments and
in graffiti.[22] The final two thirds of the Turin Erotic Papyrus (Papyrus 55001), an Egyptian papyrus
scroll discovered at Deir el-Medina,[23][22] consist of a series of twelve vignettes showing men and
women in various sexual positions.[23] The scroll was probably painted in the Ramesside period
(1292-1075 BC)[23] and its high artistic quality indicates that was produced for a wealthy audience.
No other similar scrolls have yet been discovered.[22]

Oil lamp artifact depicting coitus more ferarum

Fanny Hill (1748) is considered "the first original English prose pornography, and the first
pornography to use the form of the novel."[24] It is an erotic novel by John Cleland first published
in England as Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure.[25][26] It is one of the most prosecuted and banned
books in history.[27] The authors were charged with "corrupting the King's subjects."
When large-scale excavations of Pompeii were undertaken in the 1860s, much of the erotic art of
the Romans came to light, shocking the Victorians who saw themselves as the intellectual heirs of
the Roman Empire. They did not know what to do with the frank depictions of sexuality and
endeavored to hide them away from everyone but upper-class scholars. The moveable objects were
locked away in the Secret Museum in Naples and what could not be removed was covered and
cordoned off as to not corrupt the sensibilities of women, children, and the working classes. [28]
After the modern invention of photography, the photographic pornography was also born. The
parisian demimonde included Napoleon III's minister, Charles de Morny, who was an early patron
that displayed photos at large gatherings.[29]
The world's first law criminalizing pornography was the English Obscene Publications Act
1857 enacted at the urging of the Society for the Suppression of Vice.[30] The Act, which applied to
the United Kingdom and Ireland, made the sale of obscene material a statutory offence, giving the
courts power to seize and destroy offending material. The American equivalent was the Comstock
Act of 1873[31][32] which made it illegal to send any "obscene, lewd, and/or lascivious" materials
through the mail. The English Act did not apply to Scotland, where the common lawcontinued to
apply. However, neither the English nor the United States Act defined what constituted "obscene",
leaving this for the courts to determine. Before the English Act, the publication of obscene material
was treated as a common law misdemeanour[33] and effectively prosecuting authors and publishers
was difficult even in cases where the material was clearly intended as pornography. Although
nineteenth-century legislation eventually outlawed the publication, retail, and trafficking of certain
writings and images regarded as pornographic and would order the destruction of shop and
warehouse stock meant for sale, the private possession of and viewing of (some forms of)
pornography was not made an offence until the twentieth century.[34]
Historians have explored the role of pornography in social history and the history of morality. [35]
The Victorian attitude that pornography was for a select few can be seen in the wording of the Hicklin
test stemming from a court case in 1868 where it asks, "whether the tendency of the matter charged
as obscenity is to deprave and corrupt those whose minds are open to such immoral influences."
Although they were suppressed, depictions of erotic imagery were common throughout history. [36]
Pornographic film production commenced almost immediately after the invention of the motion
picture in 1895. Two of the earliest pioneers were Eugène Pirou and Albert Kirchner. Kirchner
directed the earliest surviving pornographic film for Pirou under the trade name "Léar". The 1896
film Le Coucher de la Mariée showed Louise Willy performing a striptease. Pirou's film inspired a
genre of risqué French films showing women disrobing and other filmmakers realised profits could
be made from such films.[37][38]
Sexually explicit films opened producers and distributors to prosecution. Those that were made were
produced illicitly by amateurs starting in the 1920s, primarily in France and the United States.
Processing the film was risky as was their distribution. Distribution was strictly private. [39][40] In
1969, Denmark became the first country to abolish censorship, thereby decriminalizing pornography,
which led to an explosion in investment and of commercially produced pornography. However, it
continued to be banned in other countries, and had to be smuggled in, where it was sold "under the
counter" or (sometimes) shown in "members only" cinema clubs. [39] Nonetheless, and also in
1969, Blue Movie by Andy Warhol, was the first adult erotic film depicting explicit sex to receive wide
theatrical release in the United States.[3][4][5] The film was a seminal film in the Golden Age of
Porn and, according to Warhol, a major influence in the making of Last Tango in Paris, an
internationally controversial erotic drama film, starring Marlon Brando, and released a few years
after Blue Movie was made.[4]
Data suggests an increase in pornography viewing over the past few decades, and this has been
attributed to the growth of Internet pornography since widespread public access to the World Wide
Web in the late 1990s.[41] Through the 2010s, many pornographic production companies and top
pornographic websites[42] – such as PornHub, RedTube and YouPorn – were acquired by MindGeek,
which has been described as "a monopoly".[43]
The scholarly study of pornography, notably in cultural studies, is limited, perhaps due to the
controversy about the topic in feminism. The first peer-reviewed academic journal about the study of
pornography, Porn Studies, was published in 2014.[44]