Subgenres can also be classified into the characteristics of the performers or the type of sexual activity on which it concentrates, and not necessarily on the market to which each subgenre appeals.

The subgenres usually conform to certain conventions, and each may appeal to a particular audience.

At the time, there were numerous risque films that featured exotic dancers.

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There were a number of American films in the 1910s which contained female nudity in film.

Because Pirou is nearly unknown as a pornographic filmmaker, credit is often given to other films for being the first.

Production of erotic films commenced almost immediately after the invention of the motion picture.

Two of the earliest pioneers were Frenchmen Eugène Pirou and Albert Kirchner.

Because the viewing of such films carried a social stigma, they were viewed at brothels, adult movie theaters, stag parties, at home, in private clubs and also at night cinemas.

Only in the 1970s, during the Golden Age of Porn, were pornographic films semi-legitimized; and by the 1980s, pornography on home video achieved wider distribution.Before Schwarzer's productions, erotic films were provided by the Pathé brothers from French produced sources.In 1911, Saturn was dissolved by the censorship authorities which destroyed all the films they could find, though some have since resurfaced from private collections.Kirchner (under the name "Léar") directed the earliest surviving erotic film for Pirou.The 7-minute 1896 film Le Coucher de la Mariée had Louise Willy performing a bathroom striptease.A pornographic work is characterized as hardcore if it has any hardcore content.