American erotica  

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The Kiss (1896) by  William Heise
The Kiss (1896) by William Heise
Image:Study of a Seated Nude Woman Wearing Mask.jpg
Study of a Seated Nude Woman Wearing Mask (c. 1865-66) by Thomas Eakins
Image:Perversion for Profit.jpg
A typical image from Perversion for Profit: a photograph taken from a lesbian pornography magazine and censored with colored rectangles

Related e



Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

North American erotica is erotica from the USA and Canada. It is closely linked to its censorship of obscenity history.


19th century

Anthony Comstock and the September Morn case, Thomas Eakins, Eadweard Muybridge perhaps sought prurience next to scientific inquiry


20th century


  • Alfred Cheney Johnston (1885 – 1971), photographer known for his portraits of Ziegfeld Follies showgirls.
  • Samuel Roth, (1893–1974), American publisher and writer. He was the plaintiff in Roth v. United States (1957), which was a key Supreme Court ruling on the censorship of obscenity in the United States.
  • Irving Klaw, (1910 - 1966), American photographer and filmmaker, best-known for operating a mail-order business selling photographs and film of Bettie Page (often in bondage) from the 1940s to the 1960s
  • Marilyn Monroe, (1926 – 1962), American actress, singer, model and pop icon.
  • Earl Kemp, (born 1929), American publisher of science fiction and "sleazy" erotic paperbacks.
  • Al Goldstein (1936 – 2013)
  • Dian Hanson (born November 2, 1951)

Publishing houses

Events and publications





erotic film, North American pornographic film, porno chic

In a classic example of détournement, Earl Kemp published an illustrated edition of Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography (1970) for Greenleaf Publishing and subsequently served a one year prison sentence for doing so.

Pornographic film boom:Mona (1970) - Behind the Green Door (1972) - Deep Throat (1972) - The Devil in Miss Jones (1973) - Score (1973) The Opening of Misty Beethoven (1976)

And then there is the anti-pornography documentary film Perversion for Profit (1965) which points out the natural link between new media and erotica:

"Now, you might ask yourself, why this sudden concern? Pornography and sex deviation have always been with mankind. This is true. But now, consider another fact. Never in the history of the world have the merchants of obscenity, the teachers of unnatural sex acts, had available to them the modern facilities for disseminating this filth. High-speed presses, rapid transportation, mass distribution. All have combined to put the vilest obscenity within reach of every man, woman and child in the country." —George Putnam, narrator.

And the films of Alex de Renzy, Radley Metzger and Joe Sarno.

21st century

academic study of pornography

Erotic photography

In the 1950s , there is the fetish photography by John Willie and towards the end of the century that of Richard Kern and Eric Kroll. Mark Rotenberg collects erotic photography.


See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "American erotica" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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