Erotic novels had been in print since at least the mid-1600s in France (though being identified as the author of one meant a sure trip to jail), but the first full-length English-language pornographic novel, "Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure," also known as "Fanny Hill" (Oxford University Press) wasn't published until 1748.
Despite the reserved public attitudes toward sex at the time, pornographic novels held little back.
Then, in the 1970s, changing social mores opened the door for public showing of explicit films.
The Internet and the invention of the digital camera lowered the barriers to porn-making so low that entire websites are now devoted solely to non-professional videos.
The Moche people of ancient Peru painted sexual scenes on ceramic pottery, while the aristocracy in 16th century Japan was fond of erotic woodblock prints.
More likely, the figurines were religious icons or fertility symbols.By that standard, the first known erotic representations of humans might not be porn, in the traditional sense, at all.As early as 30,000 years ago, Paleolithic people were carving large-breasted, thick-thighed figurines of pregnant women out of stone and wood.Whichever way you slice it, the diversity of pornographic materials throughout history suggests that human beings have always been interested in images of sex. "Sex has always played a super-important role for human beings and their relationships," said Seth Prosterman, a clinical sexologist and licensed therapist in San Francisco."What people do sexually has always been a curiosity, and of interest." [RELATED: New Technologies Let Pornography Producers Stay On Top] Ancient erotica The definition of "pornography" is famously subjective.
After all, one man's Venus de Milo is another man's masturbation aid.