Technology and porn: San Francisco's 1969 rise as 'Smut Capital of America'

NSFW: clip contains nude-idity. Mikl-Em at Laughing Squid has an excellent post today about how San Francisco became the epicenter of the professionalization of America's pornography industry. Sex and early adoption of technology are always closely intertwined, and many new technologies become widely adopted because they improve the means of production and/or distribution of pornography. San Francisco's mix of hippies, recently discharged Vietnam veterans, burlesque halls, and shuttered film houses created a perfect storm of opportunity in 1969 for amateur stag films to evolve into a nascent film industry. I can't wait to see the full-up version of this documentary.

Documentary On When San Francisco Was Smut Capital of the USA (via laughing squid)

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  1. wait. the beginning of what? people have no sense of history.

    what about all those silent era porn films that showed everything that is in a standard porn film of today and then some?

    example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Good_Old_Naughty_Days

    and man the french had a thing for nuns, and nuns with dogs in one case. hadn’t seen that before.

    i have also seen hollywood/american produced films from that era as well the highlight of which was the title card of ‘oh boy!’.

    1. Ugh… Thanks for reminding me of a “smut & eggs” brunch I could have done completely without. The nuns where mildly entertaining; the dogs, once introduced, not so much.

      “Check, please!!!”

    2. @TombKing: The silent film porn was, at best, a cottage industry using very expensive professional equipment to create work that was not viewed in theatrical release. The San Francisco scene was driven by consumer-grade 8mm film cameras and stock. The glut of theaters led to mass closings as television became popular entertainment, and some of those empty theatres in places like The Tenderloin and Times Square became repurposed for showing adult films. These were both new means of production and distribution, both to be supplanted in about a decade by videotape and mail-order, then by digital recording and online distribution. Most historians consider the late 1960s to be the birth era of the professionalized American porn film industry, arising from the overlap between subcultures of geeky hobbyists and sex workers.

      1. I will concede on those point of actual studio production and distribution and making of an actual business model. What was coming across in the small bit to me was this was the first time that kind of explicit porn was being made when very obviously it was not the first time.

  2. “Everyone remembers that Arthur C. Clarke predicted the geosynchronous satellite. Nobody remembers that he predicted its first application would be porn.”

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