pornosonic    A question to buck the trend of a widely-held belief: just why is 80s’ porn film music better than that of the 70s? what have we got on our hands?

We can still remember the days when X-rated films could only be seen in adult movie theatres. We were snotty-nosed young kids and when we asked what type of films were shown there, we were told that they were worse than “the ones on the telly with the two rhomboids”. That, of course, instantly fired our imaginations and made those seeing those films our number one objective.

Later on, and principally down to the invention of the video cassette, pornography became a domestic and intimate affair – many of us know how difficult it is to stash a porn VHS video tape in your bedroom-. The VHS tape was a huge step forwards for those who liked to indulge in selfpleasuring. Now you could enjoy porn in a risk-free environment that was in no way noticeable publicly. The business became massive. There was a cost, however. The porn element in the films shot up and the cinema element faded further into the background.

99% of pornographic cinema is directed at heterosexual and homosexual men. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t women who enjoy porn, but x-rated cinema, is made, in the percentage quoted, for the onanistic pleasure of men. Before we look at the topic of music in porn there is one thing we would like to make clear: the objective of pornographic cinema is masturbation. I personally believe it is an honourable and high-ranking one. The imagination, while overrated, needs to be stimulated.

music in porn films

Many experts believe that porn as a genre peaked in the 70s. The market for this type of cinema was a minority one, so productions, while made quite cheaply, were considered to be cinema in the true meaning of the word. In this sense, as in all other films, porn films had their soundtracks, too. The disco music of the time was the perfect choice for the loose liberated playful porn that was being made at the time. It was the golden period of the Bow-chicka wow-wow. There has never been better music made for porn films musically, but this doesn’t mean it was the most appropriate. It might be great music but we should not forget what the principle objective of pornographic cinema is. Another thing to add is that because of lack of money and the poor technology used, the sound and image weren’t properly synchronised most of the time. The poor quality footage shot on 8 and 16 mm cameras didn’t quite go with the clear expertly-executed music. Because they couldn’t record live “dialogue”, this was added later. And the music was always too loud. It made the experience less believable. Basically put, it meant that the films were like bad videos for good music and not the other way round.

In the 80s, porn film production increased hugely as a result of the spread of video tape players. They were able to find a solution of how to come up with music for all the output being produced. The answer lay in the instrument that also became massively popular in the 80s: the synthesiser. Thanks to the synthesiser, a single person could create repetitive, fast, frivolous and cloned music. And aren’t all those words a clear definition of masturbation? This very instrument, capable of reproducing the sound of any other, became the king of porn movie soundtracks. Unlike the 70s, the film now triumphed over the music. The music didn’t drown out the groans and “dialogue” of the actors. And the repetitive rhythms of the synthesiser were more helpful when it came to masturbating. If you play 70s’ porn movie music at a party, you’ll soon have everybody on their feet. If you play the music created in the 80s, however, you’ll very soon be left on your own. And you know what you get up to when you are left on your own...

The internet has killed porn music

The 80s analogical revolution was merely a lead-in to the digital age. The digital age, with its small and practical cameras, has changed the character of porn. Films soon became very direct and very cheap to make. Music had no place in these “gonzo” movies. The original raw sound is used. ¨Dogma¨ in a word. In addition, porn has made the internet its home, and is viewed on the shiny screens of computers, tablets and smart phones. It’s consumed in short clips. From one clip to another, from one porn site to another. Music doesn’t really make any sense in these flesh fests. Music created on synthesisers in the 80s was the last that was specifically composed for adult movies. Porn has gone from a playful relaxing pastime to a multi-screen stressful experience.

Anyone with a phone can access porn. That guilty pleasure has gone. We’d even go so far as to say that technology has made porn an everyday action completely lacking in mystery, and music has no place in this type of porn consumption.