How the Adult Industry has Shaped Technology: A Short History

For an industry that many people will refuse to admit that they’ve supported, we really do owe quite a lot to the adult and porn industry. Not just for its incredible display of limber and dexterous performers or its academy award winning dialog and storylines, but for pornography’s influence and pioneering in the advancement of technology.

Films and Camcorders

Let’s start at the very beginning, in 1896 the first ever erotic film was made titled Le Coucher de la Mariee or Bedtime for the Bride. This silent film was shot and directed by Alber Kirchner making him the first pornographer in known history. The intended seven-minute film was unfortunately found In poor condition in a vault of the French Film Archives and only two minutes of the film was salvageable. What happened between the flirty bride and groom is lost and now must be left to the imagination.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0duA3b4g_Q (Le coucher de la mariee)

Starting in 1958, photographer and later pornographer, Harrison Mark began shooting short 8mm films of women undressing which came to later be known as “Glamour home movies”. Sales on The Super 8 cameras and other 8mm film equipment skyrocketed. Because of Mark’s influence, The Super 8 became a staple in the pornographic movie industry due to its ease of use and relatively inexpensive price.

https://vimeo.com/154569656 (an example of Harrison Mark’s 8mm work)

VCR and Cable TV

Shortly after the 8mm craze came home pornography, amateur porn was on the rise thanks to the availability of camcorders in the late 70’s, 80’s and on into the 90’s. This, in turn, created the war between the VHS and Betamax tape companies. Up until this point, porn was only available on cassette tape. Thanks to pornographers the “format war” was settled, choosing VHS over the Beta and the mainstream followed. Pornography aficionados were some of the first to get their hands on a VCR, valuing a private in-home viewing versus going to a shady theater. Adult films made up over 50 percent of videotape sales in the US (not to mention 80 percent in Germany and Great Britain) in the late 70’s and early 80’s. The best-selling videotape of 1975 was an adult film titled: Debbie Does Dallas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-KVO1xBTPw (Debbie Does Dallas clips)

In the late 70’s Cable TV was a hot commodity, during this time a provider by the name of “Manhattan Public Access Cable” increased its subscriptions from 100,000 to 300,000 after airing only two seasons of an adult film program called “The Ugly George Hour of Truth, Sex, and Violence”. Other big-name networks soon followed suit, Showtime and Cinemax were launched as a premium movie service. Which included, you guessed it, pornography. By the 90’s the adult cable industry was booming! At this time DirecTV stated that their 8 million adult movie subscribers spent well over 150 million dollars in 1999 alone.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfuuvghXOEM (1981 subscription channel opening)

The Internet and VR

Ah, the internet! Everything you’ve ever wanted to know or see is easily attainable by just the click of your mouse, yes this includes porn. The internet IS for porn after all! Porn sites attract more visitors monthly than Amazon, Netflix, and Twitter COMBINED. In fact, an estimated 30% of content within the web is pornography. We can also thank pornography for applications like Skype. Webcams and online streaming were first introduced by the adult industry in 1994 by Dutch Porn company, “Red Light District”. The website Adult friend finder also released a video and messenger feature on their site just before AOL’s instant messenger, coincidence? I think not. Dani Ashe is also credited with launching the first soft-core porn website, “Danni’s Hard Drive”. The site launched in 1995 and by 2001 its estimated worth was over 30 million dollars. Thanks to Dani, amateur porn sites took off in the 2000’s, anyone could shoot a scene and it certainly wouldn’t hurt their bank account.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcN5CxO86qI (Avenue Q — The internet is for porn)

We can also thank the adult industry for online payment systems. (think PayPal, eBay, etc.) Electronic Card Systems introduced online payment services to top porn sites in the mid-90’s, $1.3 billion was spent on internet porn alone in 1999, by 2006 it was up to $2.8 billion. Digital piracy was and still is a huge problem on the internet, adult industries took precautions and readily invested in digital rights management software as well as investing in programs that brought up payment screens or un-skippable advertisements to access videos. Adult sites also embraced geolocation services and technologies, accessing their user’s location to direct them to the best promotions and offerings in their area. Perhaps the biggest influence the adult industry has had on the web is the introduction and continued use of peer to peer sharing and social networking. Pornography is credited with 60% of all peer to peer downloads. Hot damn.

The newest craze to hit the adult industry is Virtual Reality (or VR). The Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Samsung’s Gear VR are some of the most popular VR sets on the market. Some come at a hefty price ranging anywhere from $900 to a more reasonable $69 (no pun intended). Ever since the VR porn category hit PornHub’s website in the Spring of 2016 there was a steady incline from a view views each month to a rapid spike in views around January 2017. Everyone got a VR headset for Christmas! VR is still fresh and new in the industry, but don’t expect it to disappear anytime soon, new advancements in VR technology are being worked on right this moment. Wearable VR headsets orders and shipments will hit in the 3–4 millions this year, multiply that by 10 by the year 2020.

The Future

The future of porn is an exciting unknown, some believe the next hot trend to be sex robots, which is already making waves in France. France recently opened one of the world’s first known sex doll brothels. The “Xdolls” as the girls are known, will cost you about $110 for an hour session. While playing with dolls sounds fun, the most asked for technology for the future of porn is the promise of privacy. This is where cryptocurrency comes into play, particularly Strokentokens. Stroken aims at keeping your identity 100% anonymous, so you can feel free to request whatever content you want, whenever you want. Join the Stroken movement today and be a part of the adult industry’s bright future.

https://www.siliconwives.com/blogs/news/2017-sex-doll-buyers-guide (Sex Doll Buyers Guide)