Porn Tech Timeline

A marriage made in heaven...

The world of porn has been shaping the technology industry even before the launch of the World Wide Web. Playboy had their infamous TV channel; then came internet porn. Read on to find out just how much sex sells

Lawyer Peter Johnson wrote in the Federal Communications Law Journal in 1996 that, “Throughout the history of new media, from vernacular speech to movable type, to photography, to paperback books, to videotape, to cable and pay-TV, to ‘900’ phone lines, to the French Minitel, to the Internet, to CD-Roms and laser discs, pornography has shown technology the way.”

He wasn’t wrong, as even a cursory glance at the histories of both porn and tech shows. Not only does the adult entertainment industry’s financial clout mean it can help a technology become firmly rooted, but the opposite also holds: if porn doesn’t like your format, it doesn’t stand a chance. Look below to see just how long porn has been shaping the world of technology.

1908
First porn film, a l’ecu d’or ou la Bonne auberge

1965
Kodak begins manufacturing super 8mm cameras

1968
The cordless vibrator is patented

1977
Deep Throat is released on VHS

1984
The JVc GR-c1, the first camcorder to record directly to VHS, is launched

1988
VHS defeats Betamax. cheap and easy to distribute, it’s the porn industry’s choice

1991
World Wide Web launched

1994
sex.com domain name registered

1997
Bobby sox, the first adult DVD, released by Vivid

2001
Bram cohen designs BitTorrent

2006
sex.com domain name sold for $12M

2007
Debbie Does Dallas... again becomes the first adult film on Blu-ray

2008
The porn industry stamps its approval on Blu-ray, sealing the demise of HD-DVD

2011
Penthouse launches first 3D porn channel