Porn History: The 1990s Unscrambled

There was a time before the internet existed and pornography was considered almost as valuable as gold. This is when it was a physical medium to be hidden away in a stash under beds or in closets. It was a time before tube sites and the overexposure of social media. Anything your heart desired with a keystroke and a mouse click was just an idea that was on its way to take over modern technology as we knew it. You actually had to go to the store to buy your porn, or even trade with another porn fan in secrecy. These eras of physical mediums like VHS, DVD, and even CD-ROM shined during the 1990s.

There was something about the time period of the VHS and cable television that made the early 90s special. First off, the mid-90s can be considered the beginning of the end for these physical formats. The internet was creeping into our lifestyles and DVDs were to be introduced. The purity of a physical stash still existed, but there was a more understandably convenient method of digesting porn while also giving access to more of it.

It was inevitable, but little did we know that the mystique of pornography was soon to be dissipated with ease of access.

90s DVD porn store

VHS vs. Betamax:

There is always competition in these capitalist waters. The big fish eats the little fish, is the common cliché that befits even the porn industry. In the eras before the 1990 (like the late 70s and 80s, for example), porn was viewed almost exclusively in large theaters, which gave birth to the term “trench coat fan.” This was because these fans wanted to remain incognito as they slithered into the nearest XXX theaters that dotted red-light districts around the country. The term derived from the look of men hidden under large coats with hats and sunglasses. The allure of taking entire pornographic films home was soon to be realized, but not after a fight.

Betamax was a much more expensive medium, pushed by Sony as their exclusive home-video technology. While the legend has it that their refusal to license this technology to pornographic movies was the downfall of Betamax, it is actually an urban legend. The almighty dollar ultimately had the final say in the demise of Sony’s Betamax format. They even resembled their competitor—VHS tapes—albeit a little smaller. VHS was cheaper to buy for the consumer, while also having porn as an option to watch on VCRs; this was the final nail in the coffin for Betamax. So porn did help in ridding the world of Betamax, but the economic choice was the real reason people stuck with VHS. This removed the stigma of wandering into porn theaters to view what was then referred to as “stag films.” This was a result of the porno-chic era which finally put adult films on the map and eventually in everyone’s households. Suddenly, people could buy porn or even steal it if they wanted to…

Sony Betamax tape

Subscriber Services and Television Encryption:

Cable television systems were early adapters of gaining revenue from paying subscribers. Today you can equate this to pay sites that require you to pay for a video service, like porn (just like us at HotMovies). But before the internet took off, most Pay-Per-View services, as they were called, relied on various encryption methods to “scramble” video feeds from non-paying viewer’s television sets. Pirates will always find a way through, though. This is even if a signal is meant to be visually distorted and frequencies meant to be interrupted on the airwaves of satellite and cable. Piracy seemingly always won, whether it a special box that enables access, or a specific channel that requires unlocking. These futile partitions can always be crushed by pirates, and were the precursor of what peer-to-peer torrent sites mirrored eventually. So those scrambled channels from way back when, if you can remember that far, were actual attempts to thwart the ever-evolving methods of freeloaders. This was a staple in 90s porn viewing, since most people didn’t own pornographic VHS tapes or didn’t have internet access yet. Seeing that rare shot of a full boob on your screen amidst that garbled mess of colors and static was an adventure all on its own. But now that we have the internet to liberate us, why not use your HotMovies account to go back in time and see what you missed out on. Since you’re paying for it here, you deserve a clear-cut picture of an important transition in adult entertainment during the 1990s.

scrambled pay-per-view screen

The Stars of the 90s:

Knowing your favorite performer by name back then was vital. Performers didn’t have a social media pages to follow yet, so having that handful of go-to names was a method of building a porn collection if you were to eventually buy VHS tapes or DVDs. This would lead to buying the glamorous features of the day. The beacon that summoned you was a favorite girl you were a fan of on the cover of a box. Trade publications and magazines did help, but that method of research is replaced today by the information superhighway. There weren’t as many outlets compared to today that produced pornography, and as a result, there weren’t as many performers. Unlike now, where a new face enters the business every day at a rapid pace. We can go over those luminary adult performers from the 90s that evolved into what we now refer to as legends. There was a reason you saw the same faces frequently in adult features.

Anna Malle was synonymous with what the 90s look was all about. The dark-haired beauty, unfortunately, left us too soon. Similarly, another great star was a black-haired babe by the name of Jewel De’Nyle that is currently retired today. The similarities were uncanny, besides the color of their hair. They both had that hardcore demeanor that predates most of the modern-day girls that “do it all.” They were doing everything (except for the now-popularized double-anal maneuver) back in the mid-to-late 90s.

Anna Malle
Jewel D'Nyle

The bombshell blondes wearing white sneakers was a 90s motif that was adorned well by the likes of Tiffany Mynx and Lovette. Large boobs were a part of this look, and both performers were well-endowed in the breast department. The one and only Jill Kelly was a part of this class of blondes for her time in the 90s era. She would also go on to start her own production company with her namesake as the title of it: Jill Kelly Productions.

Jill Kelly
Nina Hartley

Those names have gone on to retire from performing from the adult industry, but one buxom blonde still is involved with the industry today: Nina Hartley. She has proved herself more than a 90s icon, as she has films from back in the 80s and covered many more eras in the adult world than most. Nina is a much-needed advocate for the industry, and still performs to this day.

Films with Familiar Faces from the 90s:

“This is the 90s; women want to look and feel powerful…”

This exact quote is uttered by a charged up Anna Malle as she argues with a youthful Rebecca Lord in 1996’s Latex, Leather, and Lace. She claims that latex represents power, as they both fight over Steve Hatcher‘s cock. Both of them sit atop the lucky male stud as he eases them into giving him a blowjob instead of quarreling—something they both can agree upon, he claims. From there, a hot threesome scene ensues with Anna Malle’s famous dirty talk. And yes, she was still talking shit to Rebecca Lord.

Anna Malle in Latex Leather and Lace

Before Jill Kelly started her own production company in the early to mid-2000s, she was a performer herself. She had her own showcase back in 1997 called The Seduction of Jill Kelly, a showcase that focused on the day-to-day life of what was like to be a star during that era. Her particular chapter is a scene with Eric Price, a partner that was commonly in scenes with her. Video Team was the studio that produced the film, and you can see interesting behind the scenes of a photoshoot taking place for the box cover. This happens before the actual scene takes place. The sex scene she has with Eric Price in this showcase has her playing a Femdom role as she verbally degrades and steps on her male opposite, only giving him permission to speak and making him lick her heels. The sex starts at her command with her giving him a blowjob. Alternative camera angles join this scene. You’ll see one view of the studio the scene is being filmed in from an above-ceiling view. An overhead angle of Jill’s BJ shows her beautiful brown eyes looking up at her partner as she fellates him. This is an interesting BDSM scene in Jill Kelly’s repertoire that came about during the 90s DVD phase.

The Seduction of Jill Kelly

New Wave Hookers isn’t only a 90s porn staple, but also an iconic series representing a whole era of adult entertainment. One of the most well-known series, even being represented in elements of pop culture, as it carried names in its cast like the unmistakable Chasey Lain. The spoof group Bloodhound Gang dedicated a song to her. You can find her in the fourth volume sharing the box cover with Juli Ashton; that version was released in 1995. This series had iterations dating from 1985-2000. Does the name Francesca Le sound familiar? If you’re an avid anal fan, or just watch a lot of Evil Angel, you know she directs with her husband for that famed studio. Well, you can enjoy her performance in New Wave Hookers 3!

Francesca Le in New Wave Hookers 3

Recognizable male performers like Tony Tedeschi and Jon Dough were those familiar faces you saw in scenes over and over again. The ongoing joke of seeing the same five guys in porn was very real back in those days. The stud pool wasn’t as deep as it is today, because of the lack of social media exposure that contributes to the revolving door of new talent entering the business. Also, the same rules applied that only a special breed of males could get it up and stay hard for the duration of filming a pornographic scene.

Lessons Learned from the 90s:

Back then, porno wasn’t as accessible as it is today. The fact that digital mediums opened up the floodgates has its pros and cons, one of the obvious cons is being that it is easier to download it illegally without paying for it. This took off when file-sharing applications began to show their faces. One of the pros for those honest enough to pay for their content was the endless possibilities for whatever fantasy or fetish that is desired. Watching porn in the privacy of your abode was another plus-side to the home markets being added to the current stages of adult entertainment. Nowadays there is so much porn it can be viewed as oversaturated. Finding the right type of porn can almost seem like a task if you want to watch the good stuff.

Luckily, here at HotMovies, there are categories and filters that can make this endless endeavor seem feasible. This also adds to the exploration of eras long gone, with digitization giving way to preserving some of these classics in an archival format. Nostalgia has its way of grabbing and not letting go. But thanks to the convenience of streaming technology, you can see what you missed out on without having to worry about rewinding or fast-forwarding to your favorite part on a VHS tape.

Check out HotMovies’ extensive 1990s Classics category today!

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