Author(s): Patchen Barss
From cave painting to photography to the internet, pornography has always been at the cutting edge in adopting and exploiting new developments in mass communication. And in so doing, it has helped to promote and propel those developments in ways that are rarely acknowledged. Without pornography, the internet would not have grown so quickly. The e-commerce payment systems that are now commonplace would be at a far more primitive stage in security and usability. Without video streaming software developed for pornography sites, CNN would be struggling to deliver news clips. Without advertising from sex sites, Google could not have afforded YouTube. With a sharp intelligence, dry wit and virtuosic grasp of the interweaving stories of science, art, commerce and the taboo, Patchen Barss breaks the embarrassed silence to tell the history of what's really been driving communications technology - and where it will drive it next.