Porn Then and Now

I never wanted Sex in Review to be political, but we are approaching a crises. I believe there is a very real possibility that many of the products we write about and review on this site will become illegal in the United States in the next few years.

Republicans are now in complete power, and they have made it clear that they plan to reclassify all pornography as obscenity and declare it a national health crises. This is the agenda of Jeff Sessions, the man that will most likely wind up as Attorney General.

That would immediately make all pornography illegal. All of it, automatically. And what will be considered pornography is anyone’s guess. This could easily be expanded to make sex toys illegal, as they have been in some States under obscenity statutes. It would subvert all constitutional protections on free speech and freedom of expression.

The Senate has already shown that it cares not a whit about the Constitution by refusing to seat a Supreme Court Justice nominee under a Democratic President so that they could seat an extremist right wing and almost certainly anti-pornography Justice under a Republican President. They are fully motivated to do this as it sparks up their base, despite the fact that most Americans oppose a ban on pornography.

In his confirmation hearings, Sessions also said that he would restore the Obscenity Task Force to go after adult pornography. He is arguably the most racist Senator in the Congress, which indicates he will probably target interracial porn, and one of the most homophobic, which means he will probably target gay porn, and one of the most anti-women, which means he will almost certainly target porn with women in it. So, he’ll target pretty much everything, and he is a religiously fanatical true believer. If they do change the definition of pornography, jurors who almost never agree with the prosecution on pornography will have no choice but to find anything a prosecutor says is pornography illegal.

Another tactic is to revive what has partially succeeded in California. A law was passed by voters in Los Angeles that requires condoms, but also had so many requirements and extra costs that it made porn uneconomical to make in what had been the porn capital of the world. Proposition 60, which was much worse and created a porn czar head by an anti-porn fanatic, was rejected by voters, very much to my surprise. I think it is a near certainty that the same person behind that failed initiative will work with Congress to try and pass a national version. If this happens, porn will no longer be made in the United States.

The truth is, while they may be able to ban pornography, or at least make it impossible to make and distribute in the U.S., no matter how much they clamp down, it will still be readily available. What it will do is eliminate all new production in the United States, and that is a bad thing.

It will take billions of dollars out of the economy, and it will drastically reduce free speech rights. How they will define pornography is very different from the way you and I define it. They see educational material of the type found through the Center for Sexual Expression and Education as forms of pornography. Our right to educate people about sex, if they are successful, will be drastically curtailed.

Sure, right now there is all the porn you could ever want to watch. You could stash a bunch away on an encrypted section of your hard drive, since they want to make porn illegal to own as well as to make or distribute. But times change. Believe it or not, many things about porn have gotten better with the relaxation of prosecution that occurred in the previous century.

In the 2000s, the spectacularly incompetent Bush administration wanted to ban porn, and had they been successful, we’d still be stuck with end of the century American porn. That would be unfortunate, as we have come a long ways since then. We’ll make some comparisons between then and now just to show how much has changed.

CenterSEE has a library consisting of hundreds of books on sex, and it continues to grow all the time. One of our latest acquisitions is an obscure work from 1995 titled Let’s Really Make Love- Sex, The Family and Education in the 21st Century. It was written by Robert Rimmer, who first came to fame with his book The Harrad Experiment, which was made into a 1974 film starring Don Johnson and Bruno Kirby. It focused on controversial and somewhat Utopian ideas about college sexual cohabitation.

In 1984 he wrote The X-Rated Videotape Guide which consisted of 1300 reviews. He then wrote the next three editions, making him the author of thousands of reviews of X-Rated movies in the last part of the twentieth century. If anyone was an expert on adult video from this era, he was.

In Let’s Really Make Love, which focuses on a fairly unrealistic concept for K-12 sex education, he lists 25 conventions of X-Rated movies of the time. These were all things that he personally deplored, which shows that he was not personally very progressive or all that sexually enlightened, despite his certain conviction otherwise. I think it worth a look at some of them and compare them to today’s adult videos.

The male actor rarely ejaculates inside the female.

While this is still a convention, there are tons of movies now easy to find that do feature this. An expanded and open market means more options for the things you want to see, and there is an audience for internal cumshots, despite the fact that technically, you don’t see anything.

Females never feel embarrassed and rarely indicate that they don’t know how or don’t enjoy sucking a male cock.

This is not only a convention, but thanks to the ready availability of porn, a general truism. Oral sex, both cunnilingus and fellatio, are now normal parts of sex and not embarrassing. Even if you don’t enjoy doing either (and most certainly do), you do it because it brings your partner pleasure. Not engaging in oral sex is what has become abnormal, and porn has a lot to do with that change.

Practically all sexvids have one scene with two women who work over one man, but rarely are two men ever seen sexmaking with one woman.

That has certainly changed. Two men with one woman is quite common these days, along with many men and one woman.

Men past forty rarely appear naked… Sexvids rarely show a woman past forty naked, let alone sexmaking.

This changed faster for men than for women, but now videos featuring older women in their 30s and 40s are very popular, and even older performers have had success.

Female stars, such as Vanessa del Rio, rarely have breasts that hang normally on their chests. You can tell a woman’s silicone breasts by their impossible perkiness when the actresses are standing, lying or being touched.

One of the things I disliked most about 90s porn was the unrealistic breasts typically way over-sized for a woman’s frame. They often look ridiculous. We have much better implants these days, and natural breasts are very popular in a wide variety of sizes.

Anal sex occurs in many sexvids, with the female being penetrated but never the male.

That has certainly changed. Pegging is very popular now.

Practically all lead roles are between unmarried or formerly marrieds. If extramarital sex is treated, it is usually from the standpoint of swingers (uncommited spouse exchange).

I am not clear on his point here, but reading the book it was clear he had nothing but disdain for swingers. I have personally known many committed married couples who did porn together and also had sex on camera with other people. There are also tons of videos about married couples who seduce others together. I have done that in real life and certainly enjoyed it. I also want to see it in videos. I love seeing committed loving couples having sex with other people, and that is the lifestyle I live. Swinging expanded rapidly with its depiction in adult videos and with information on the Internet that allowed people to more easily connect with like minded couples. Porn helped with that, making swinging more acceptable, and that, to me, is a good thing. That Rimmer finds this objectionable baffles me, but then he had a lot of strange ideas about what should and should not be allowed sexually in his envisioned Utopia. He was born in 1917, and he just could not fully shake off the 1950s mindset, as progressive as he thought he was.


Hair-styles change, attitudes about sex change, fashion changes. Do we want to be watching illegal 2010s HD porn in a future of 8K video because porn production ended in the United States? That is the future that Republicans envision for us. They are serious about it, and it is not strictly a partisan issue. Many Democrats are socially conservative.

We must gird for battle over the next few years if we want to preserve our freedoms. We do not want to live in the world they envision where monogamous sex between married men and women is the only thing acceptable, as long as we never talk about it, write about it, or discuss it in detail.

In the future here at Sex in Review, we will be writing more about what you can do to join the fight. A storm is coming and all of us who believe in the freedom of sexual expression need to get ready.