During much of that time, any sexual depiction had to remain underground because of obscenity laws. In particular, gay material might constitute evidence of an illegal act under sodomy laws in many jurisdictions. This is no longer the case in the United States, since such laws were ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in in Lawrence v. However, hardcore pornographic motion pictures stag films, as they were called prior to their legalization in were produced relatively early in the history of film.
The first known pornographic film appears to have been made in Europe in Pornography in the s and s focused on athletic men or bodybuilders in statuesque poses. They were generally young, muscular, and with little or no visible body hair. These pictures were sold in physique magazines, also known as beefcake magazines , allowing the reader to pass as a fitness enthusiast.
The Athletic Model Guild AMG , founded by photographer Bob Mizer in in Los Angeles, was arguably the first studio to commercially produce material specifically for gay men and published the first magazine known as Physique Pictorial in Tom of Finland drawings are featured in many issues. During the late s and early s, the advent of 16 mm film cameras enabled these photographers to produce underground movies of gay sex, male masturbation , or both. Sales of these products were either by mail-order or through more discreet channels.
Some of the early gay pornographers would travel around the country selling their photographs and films out of their hotel rooms, with advertising only through word of mouth and magazine ads. The s were also a period where many underground art-film makers integrated suggestive or overtly gay content in their work. Kenneth Anger 's Scorpio Rising , Andy Warhol 's Blow Job and My Hustler , or Paul Morrissey 's Flesh are examples of experimental films that are known to have influenced further gay pornographic films with their formal qualities and narratives.
Tyler Gajewski is a noted actor and model of the period who appeared in Warhol's and Morrissey's films, as well as in Mizer's work at the AMG. Also of note is Joe Dallesandro , who acted in hardcore gay pornographic films in his early 20s,  posed nude for Francesco Scavullo , Bruce of L.
Dallesandro was well-known to the public. In Time magazine called him one of the most beautiful people of the s, and he appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in April Sexual revolution During the s, a series of United States Supreme Court rulings created a more liberalized legal environment that allowed the commercialization of pornography.
It was the first case in which the Court engaged in plenary review of a Post Office Department order holding obscene matter "nonmailable. Postal Service to nude male pornographic magazines , especially those catering to gay men. In fact, it was the first pornographic feature film of any sort.
Boys in the Sand opened in a theater in New York City in December and played to a packed house with record-breaking box office receipts, preceding Deep Throat , the first commercial straight pornography film in America, which opened in June This success launched gay pornographic film as a popular phenomenon.
A few studios released films for the growing number of gay adult movie theatres , where men could also have sexual encounters. Often, the films reflected the sexual liberation that gay men were experiencing at the time, depicting the numerous public spaces where men engaged in sex: Peter Berlin 's film Nights in Black Leather was the first major pornographic film designed to appeal to the gay leather subculture and drew some mainstream gays into this culture.
The s and s also saw the rise of gay publishing with After Dark and Michael's Thing. During this time many more magazines were founded, including In Touch and Blueboy. Playgirl , ostensibly produced for women, was purchased and enjoyed by gay men and feature full frontal nudity the posing straps and fig leaves were removed.
Gay pornography of the s through the production date of the movie is reviewed, with many excerpts, in Fred Halsted 's documentary Erotikus: A History of the Gay Movie The proliferation of VCRs made pornography videos easily accessible, and, as their prices fell, the market for home videos aimed at adult viewers became more and more lucrative.
By the mids, the standard was to release pornography movies directly on video, which meant the wide disappearance of pornography theaters. Furthermore, video recording being more affordable, a multitude of producers entered the market, making low-budget pornography videos.
This shift from watching pornography as a public activity to doing so in private was also influenced by the discovery of HIV and the subsequent AIDS crisis. Public spaces for sex, such as theatres, became less attended when in the early s it became a much riskier behavior. Masturbatory activities in the privacy of the home became a safe sex practice in the midst of this health crisis. Gay movies of the s had contained some exploration of novel ways to represent the sexual act.
In the s, by contrast, all movies seemed to be made under an unwritten set of rules and conventions. Most scenes would start with a few lines of dialogue, have performers engage in foreplay fellatio , followed by anal penetration , and ending with a visual climax close-up of ejaculating penises , called a money shot or cum shot.
Video technology allowed the recording of longer scenes than did the costly film stock. Scenes were often composed of extended footage of the same act filmed from different shots using multiple cameras.
The quality of the picture and sound were often very poor. The performers they cast were especially young, usually appearing to be around the ages of 22 or Their bodies were slender and hairless, of the "swimmer's build" type, which contrasted with the older, bigger, and hairier man of the s' gay pornography. Performer roles also evolved into the tight divisions of tops and bottoms.
The top in anal sex is the penetrating partner, who, in these films, typically has a more muscular body and the larger penis. The bottom, or receiver of anal sex, in the films is often smaller and sometimes more effeminate. The stars of the decade were almost always tops, while the bottoms were interchangeable with the exception of Joey Stefano , a popular star, who was more of a bottom.
This strict division between tops and bottoms may have reflected a preference by some of the popular directors of the decade to hire heterosexual men for their movies. Heterosexual men who perform gay sex for monetary reasons commonly labeled gay-for-pay were considered a rare commodity in the gay sex trade, but the biggest producers of the decade could afford them.
Many critics attributed the conventionalization of gay pornography of the s to this trend. After was a pivotal year for gay porn because by then, the market had grown enough to make it a desirable field of work for not only gay men but also straight men. This incidence of straight men in gay porn is known as gay-for-pay and the ethics behind it and implications of it are highly disputed.
Fluffers help actors get and keep an erection for their scene. As the gay pornography industry has grown, so have unique jobs related to the production and distribution. The gay pornography industry diversified steadily during the s. In , director Kristen Bjorn started a pornographic business which was considered as setting a standard for gay pornography producers.
He was a professional photographer, and the images in his videos were considered to be of high-quality. As a former porn star himself, he directed his models with care, which helped improved the actors' believability.
Other directors had to improve their technical quality to keep up with demands from their audiences. Many videos began to be produced for viewers with specific tastes i. The gay pornography industry grew substantially in popularity during the s, evolving into a complex and interactive subculture. Professional directors such as Chi Chi LaRue and John Rutherford , technicians or deck operators during the U-matic phase of video technology, and performers started to engage in pornography as a career, their work sustained by emerging pornographic media and influential critics, such as Mikey Skee.
Viktor Belmont, a gay trans man porn actor. In the 21st century, gay pornography has become a highly profitable enterprise, ranging from the "straight-guy" pornography of Active Duty and Sean Cody , to the ' twinks ' of BelAmi. Many niche genres and online delivery sites cater to various and changing interests. For instance much of Van Darkholme 's work contains bondage and particularly shibari , the Japanese art of bondage and knot-tying, a specialty within BDSM cultures.
On the other hand, Lucas Kazan Productions successfully adapted literary classics: Lucas Kazan also found inspiration in 19th and 20th century operas, combining gay porn and melodrama: Some controversy currently exists regarding studios that produce bareback videos videos of sexual penetration by the penis without a condom. The premise of industry figures, notably Chi Chi LaRue , is that gay pornography serves as a leading forum for teaching safer sex skills and modelling healthy sexual behaviors.
Vincent founded "Bonus Hole Boys", the first FTM gay porn company, in order to "show big-name gay porn stars having sex with trans men and loving it. The gay male audience for FTM porn has become a growing niche as more gay men become exposed to the genre. Viewers of gay porn in a survey by Escoffier reported a preference for authentic porn, which they define as exhibiting both erections and orgasms. I'm like 'Why are you even in this business? Some lesbian and bisexual women are also fans of gay male pornography, specifically yaoi, for its feminine-styled men.
Bareback sex Bareback gay pornography was standard in "pre-condom" films from the s and early s. As awareness of the risk of AIDS developed, pornography producers came under pressure to use condoms, both for the health of the performers and to serve as role models for their viewers. By the early s new pornographic videos usually featured the use of condoms for anal sex.
However, beginning in the s, an increasing number of studios have been devoted to the production of new films featuring men engaging in unprotected sex. Mainstream gay pornographic studios such as Kristen Bjorn Productions have featured the occasional bareback scene, such as in "El Rancho" between performers who are real-life partners.
Other studios such as Falcon Entertainment have also reissued older pre-condom films. In contrast, some mainstream directors are conscientious about using close-up shots of condom packets being opened, etc. Some scholars argue that while "barebacking" and "UAI" technically both mean the same thing, they have different undertones.
Re-made by Chi Chi LaRue in Falconhead Michael Zen, is still acclaimed by cultural critics as one of a few gay pornographic movies that tried to bring complexity to the blue movie. Inspired many contemporary pornographic directors Morris, Shot on the historically gay-friendly Fire Island , the film and others of the company document well the sexual lives of New York City's gay men of the period.
Excerpts displayed in the documentary Gay Sex in the 70s. The films, Kansas City Trucking Co. My Masters Christopher Rage, is one movie by a director who has influenced numerous gay artists. Read Dyer, for more. Read Burger, chapter for an extensive analysis.
Flashpoint John Rutherford, Falcon Studios is an award-winning film by major director Rutherford. The narrative and aesthetic qualities of this movie are representative of a new generation of pornographic directors. Descent Steven Scarborough , Hot House Entertainment is a popular gay pornographic video with infrequent artistic qualities, by a prominent director and studio.