Exceptional performance of pornographic actors and actresses is recognized in the AVN Awards, XRCO Awards and XBIZ Awards.The AVN Awards are film awards sponsored and presented by the American adult video industry trade magazine AVN (Adult Video News). The AVN Awards are divided into nearly 100 categories, some of which are analogous to industry awards offered in other film and video genres, and others that are specific to pornographic/erotic film and video.Irrespective of the genre, most actors are required to appear nude in pornographic films.In pornographic films directed at a heterosexual male viewer, the primary focus is on the women in them, who are mostly selected on their on-screen appearance or physical appeal and for their willingness and ability to perform the required sexual acts.The first erotic film was the 7-minute 1896 film Le Coucher de la Mariée directed by Frenchman Albert Kirchner (under the name "Léar") which had Louise Willy performing a bathroom striptease.In Austria, Johann Schwarzer produced 52 erotic productions between 19, each of which contained young local women fully nude, to provide an alternative local source to the French productions.
The 1970s have been called The Golden Age of Porn, a time when pornographic films were shown in public theaters and accepted (or at least tolerated) for public consumption.
The pornography industry in the United States was the first to develop its own movie star system, especially for commercial reasons.
In other countries, the "star" system is not common, with most actors being amateurs.
Performers in these early productions were usually uncredited or used pseudonyms to avoid legal sanction and social disapprobation.
The use of pseudonyms is the norm in the industry; pornographic film actors maintained a low profile, using pseudonyms to maintain a level of anonymity, while others performed uncredited.