"In 1880, half-tone printing was used to reproduce photographs inexpensively for the first time. The invention of half-tone printing took pornography and erotica in new directions at the beginning of the 20th century. The new printing processes allowed photographic images to be reproduced easily in black and white, whereas printers were previously limited to engravings, woodcuts and line cuts for illustrations. This was the first format that allowed pornography to become a mass market phenomena, it now being more affordable and more easily acquired than any previous form.
Another early form of pornography were comic books known as Tijuana bibles that
began appearing in the U.S. in the 1920s and lasted until the publishing of
glossy colour men's magazines commenced. These were crude hand drawn scenes
often using popular characters from cartoons and culture.
In the 1940s, the word "pin-up" was coined to describe pictures torn from men's
magazines and calendars and "pinned up" on the wall by U.S. soldiers in World
War II. While the '40s images focused mostly on legs, by the '50s, the emphasis
shifted to breasts. Betty Grable and Marilyn Monroe were two of the most popular
pin-up models. In the second half of the 20th century, pornography evolved into
the men's magazines such as Playboy and Modern Man of the 1950s. In fact, the
beginning of the modern men's glossy magazine (or girlie magazine) can be traced
to the 1953 purchase by Hugh Hefner of a photograph of Marilyn Monroe to use as
the centrefold of his new magazine Playboy. Soon, this type of magazine was the
primary medium in which pornography was consumed.
In postwar Britain digest magazines such as Beautiful Britons, Spick and Span,
with their interest in nylons and underwear and the racier Kamera published by
Harrison Marks were incredibly popular. The creative force behind Kamera was
Harrison Marks' partner Pamela Green. These magazines featured nude or semi-nude
women in extremely coy or flirtatious poses with no hint of pubic hair.
Penthouse, started by Bob Guccione in England in 1965, took a different
approach. Women looked indirectly at the camera, as if they were going about
their private idylls. This change of emphasis was influential in erotic
depictions of women. Penthouse was also the first magazine to publish pictures
that included pubic hair and full frontal nudity, both of which were considered
beyond the bounds of the erotic and in the realm of pornography at the time. In
the late 1960s, magazines began to move into more explicit displays often
focusing on the buttocks as standards of what could be legally depicted and what
readers wanted to see changed. By the 1970s, they were focusing on the pubic
area and eventually, by the 1990s, featured sexual penetration, lesbianism and
homosexuality, group sex, masturbation, and fetishes in the more hard-core
magazines such as Hustler.
Magazines for every taste and fetish were soon created due to the low cost of
producing them. Magazines for the gay community flourished, the most notable and
one of the first being Physique Pictorial, started in 1951 by Bob Mizer when his
attempt to sell the services of male models; however, Athletic Model Guild
photographs of them failed. It was published in black and white, in a very clear
yet photographic manner celebrating the male form and was published for nearly
50 years. The magazine was innovative in its use of props and costumes to depict
the now standard gay icons like cowboys, gladiators and sailors." :Wikipedia.