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PORN STUDIES: Smut Capital of America: San Francisco’s Adult Film History

PORN STUDIES: Smut Capital of America San Francisco Adult Film history

San Francisco has a deep history in adult film. As the Sexual Revolution was gaining momentum, the city was at the forefront of pushing what was socially acceptable in sexuality, with live sex shows and erotic film screenings quickly earning it a nickname as the “Smut Capital” of the United States. This positioned pornography on the frontlines of the fight over free speech and obscenity.

By the 70’s, San Francisco had become the only city in the country to allow hardcore pornography, setting off a “sexual gold rush” and turning the “Smut Capital of America” into the first great battleground of the Sexual Revolution.

The documentary short, Smut Capital of America, by filmmakers Michael Stabile and Ben Leon explores this time period, and talks with theater owners, film producers and performers. Interviews include John Waters, Kathryn Reed, Don Romesburg, Habib Carouba, Jeffrey Escoffier, Marty Rosenthal, Vaughn Kincey, and John Karr.

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