Today’s conventional porn films get down to business really quickly, concentrating on explicit views of the sexual organs during intercourse. Their primary goal is to serve as (putatively) ideal jerkoff material. Naturally, they also reproduce the power relations that characterize society: in straight porn movies, the pleasure of women and lesbians is often depicted in a dubious and implausible manner. This social order needs to be challenged (as in the films of Ahwesh, Uman, and Child), and the same goes for the taboos and shame connected with the practice and imagination of certain forms of satisfying sex that are often ostracized and punished to this day. The fears which result from the ban of homosexuality have been transformed into a visual nightmare by Luther Price, who died recently and much too early.
But in film archives – and private collections – one can also find examples of pornography inventively dealing with playful eroticism and mutual arousal. With advanced age, these rare specimens of erotic filmmaking also reveal the beauty of the film and video material itself thanks to discoloration and decomposition as well as the artistic interventions of the filmmakers appropriating the footage. The voyeuristic expectations of the viewers are heightened as explicit content is often omitted or partially obscured, so all that remains to be seen is the passion in the faces or movements while the actual sexual acts can only be imagined. (B.B.U.)