Pornography is a term that refers to the graphic display of human sexuality. Its traces are as ancient as the first signs of human culture. While past civilizations depicted sexual content in their paintings, carvings and other art forms, it is difficult to determine it as an industry.
The use of sexual graphic content can be seen in various objects found on archeological sites. Sexual drawings were found in caves, dating a thousand years before the first written documents. Venus figurines and sexual rock arts were made since the prehistoric times. Large excavations in Pompeii revealed the erotic art of the Roman Empire. And many other similar findings have been reported around the globe.
In these times, the industry of pornography can be referred to the selling of such objects. It is important to make a difference between pornography and sex industry. The latter includes pornography and other businesses and services like prostitution, strip-clubs, etc.
The first law that punished pornographic materials is the Obscene Publications Act. It was first introduced in England in 1857. Pornographic films, which are the most known form of today’s pornography, date to the first years of film making in 1895. Since the production and distribution of these materials was prohibited, these movies were made in secret. Denmark was the first country to decriminalize pornography in 1969. After that, a lot of countries followed the same example.
From that time, with the new technologies and possibilities, the industry continued to expand and grow to the one we know today.