From the first inklings of film to the days of home video to the future of companies like Google, pornography has been the catalyst that has launched technology forward while non-porn compliant products get left in the dust. We took a deep-dive and examined how the porn industry shaped and redefined technology. Here are eight ways porn has influenced tech — in chronological order.

Pornographic movies have been around since the 1800s
In 1896, a film called Le Coucher de la Mariée showed a woman performing a striptease. This is generally considered the first pornographic film in existence. The high demand for this early masterpiece led the French filmmakers to realize that people would pay top dollar to see women get naked on screen. Thus, the genre of pornography was born.

Porn standardized Super 8 film
In 1958 a young British glam photographer, Harrison Marks, began making 8mm short films of women undressing and posing topless. These films would become known as “glamour home movies.” As technology advanced and the ability to record and view lewd acts in the comfort of one’s home became a standard, sales on 8mm cameras and projectors blew up. The Super 8 camera was cheap and extremely easy to use and, because of this convenience, became standard in the porn industry.

The accessibility of porn on VHS killed Betamax
During the 1970s, Betamax and VHS battled over which home viewing technology would reign supreme. While the wide format of Sony’s Betamax made for better quality recordings, each tape only held 60 minutes of footage — as compared to the three hours of footage VHS held. That meant people couldn’t tape their favorite movies on TV or experience three full hours of pornographic movies.

Betamax