A Brief History of Porn

Over at the Oprano messageboard for adult entertainment webmasters, there's an interesting thread today — users are constructing a timeline of the adult industry. It's pretty comprehensive. Here's one of the more densely annotated timelines, submitted by user "Gonzo." After the jump, and into the late 20th century, we get into tech-centric milestones like Betamax and Section 2257 that made the present-day biz what it iz. I love how the timeline does one humongous warp-speed leap from the 1400s to Dr. Ruth. Guess there wasn't much shagging going on for 500 years! Snip:

1st century BC – Kama Sutra was created
1440 – Gutenberg Press Invented
1928 – Dr. Ruth was born.
1953 – Hugh Hefner starts Playboy
1965 – Bob Guccione starts Penthouse
1968 – Al Goldstein starts Screw
1969 – First mainstream movie to represent the swinger lifestyle – Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Directed by Paul Mazursky
1970 – Penthouse shows pubic hair for the first time.

1970 – Notable Porn Movies – Cycle Studs – Le Salon (Gay)
1971 – Notable Porn Movies – The Boys in the Sand – Wakefield Poole (Gay)
1971 – First condom to appear in a movie – Carnal Knowledge, Directed by Mike Nichols
1972 – Notable Porn Movies – Deep Throat – Gerard Damiano (Straight)
1972 – Notable Porn Movies – Behind the Green Door – The Mitchell Brothers (Straight)
1972 – Notable Porn Movies – Fritz the Cat – Ralph Bakshi (Anime)
1974 – Larry Flynt starts Hustler.
1975 – Betamax introduced
1975 – First condom commercial air on television
1976 – VHS introduced
1978 – Larry Flynt is shot in an assassination attempt that left him paralyzed from the waist down.
1983 – Name server developed at University of Wisconsin
1984 – Penthouse publishes pictures of Vanessa Williams naked. She resigns her Miss America crown.
1984 – Domain Name Systems (DNS) introduced
1985 – Symbolics.com is the first registered domain in history
1985 – Earliest domains to be registered – cmu.edu, purdue.edu, rice.edu, berkeley.edu, ucla.edu, rutgers.edu, bbn.com, mit.edu, think.com, css.gov, mitre.org
1986 – Traci Lords is discovered to be underage
1986 – US Attorney General Edwin Meese published 1,960 page report investigating porn at the order of President Ronald Reagan.
1988 -Title 18 United States Code Section 2257 was enacted
1990 – First commercial provider of Internet dial-up access – world.std.com
1992 – Term "Surfing the Internet" is first heard
1993 – Don't Ask Don't Tell introduced by President Bill Clinton.
1993 – World Wide Web goes live.
1994 – Sex.com was registered by Gary Kremen
1995 – First confirmed blowjob in the White House.
1995 – Sex.com was stolen by Stephen Cohen
1996 – Domain name tv.com sold for $15,000
1997 – DVD introduced
1997 – Domain name business.com sold for $150,000
1998 – Viagra introduced
1998 – Al Goldstein installs Fuck You Finger in his backyard in Florida.
1999 – Domain name business.com sold for $7,500,000
2000 – Sex.com was given back to Gary Kremen after a legal fight.
2000 – AEBN launched first VOD site
2000 – American Express stops accepting porn transactions
2001 – Yahoo removes porn banners from search engine
2003 – Paypal stops processing adult transactions
2003 – Penthouse files bankruptcy
2005 – Sex.com theif Stephen Cohen arrested
2005 – Video iPod introduced
2006 – Sex.com sold for a reported $12,000,000
2006 – Google resist court order for porn search results

Link (Thanks, Honey Juggs Ninja Pony!)

Reader comment: Jeremy says,

I wouldn't call that timeline comprehensive at all. It certainly covers most of that Valley porn production history in the 20th century, but that jump it has…

There are Attic Red Figure, Black Figure and White Figure vases in the Metropolitan Museum and elsewhere featuring very detailed orgies, pederasty, threesomes, mastrubation and more from centuries before the Kama Sutra.

If they're going to include the Kama Sutra, what about 19th Century Japanese pornography (posted to bOING bOING before) or those Victorian-era hidden nudie pictures you guys posted before. Hell, if we're going to call the Kama Sutra pornography (it's always seemed a bit dry to me) what about Boccaccio's Decameron (all about nun fucking) or heaven forbid every American's 9th grade foray into Canterbury Tales.

If that's the extent of their curiousity about pornography and the history of human eroticism, I'd hate to go to bed with them.

Reader comment: brainwreck says,

To fill in that 500 year blank in the porn timeline you blogged about at BoingBoing you should read "An Unhurrried View of Erotica," by Ralph Ginzburg (1958, The Helmsman Press)