Hardcore v Softcore

Posted by Derek Cormier | Posted in , , | Posted on 3/21/2010 06:32:00 PM

“The reason it’s called soft porn is because it doesn’t get you hard”—Pablo Francisco 1

So, what is the difference between softcore, semi-hardcore and hardcore?  Well, for our purposes, here are the definitions of each…

  • Softcore- Shows simulated sexual acts without showing penetration or genitalia.  The only form of nudity shown is bare breasts.  No ejaculation nor ejaculatory fluids are shown.
  • Semi-Hardcore- Sometimes called “Hotel Hardcore” this is what is normally shown on hotel adult movie channels.  Genitalia and penetration are shown, but usually no anal sex or other more hardcore forms of sex are shown.  Usually ejaculation is hinted at but not shown.
  • Hardcore- Penetration is shown along with all forms of sex.  Ejaculation or “the money shot” is usually built up as the climax of the film. 

Softcore is mainly found on premium cable channels late at night. (especially Cinemax a.k.a. “Skin-A-Max”) 

Back in the day you could also find edited B-flick Sexploration films with all the dirty stuff edited out on USA’s “up all night”.  I am not sure if one could even call this softcore porn as it contained no nudity whatsoever and only simulated sex. 

“Hotel Hardcore” is pretty self-explanatory, it is mainly featured in hotels chains as an “Adult Move option”.  It is a huge part of the hotel in-move income (one source2 says as much as two-thirds of all movies purchased are porn).

Hardcore is, however, the main staple of most porn consumers, especially those on the internet where a vast majority of porn is viewed and purchased.  We will discuss more about hardcore porn later, including specific niches and trends within the hardcore genre.

Until next time… 

 

1. Pablo Francisco - soft porn.  Posted Dec 13, 2006 by Proximitus on YouTube.  Accessed on March 20, 2010.

2. When Porn was Chic.  Posted March 29, 2005 on Time.Com by Richard Corliss.  Accessed on March 21, 2010. 

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