A look at porn’s golden age (NSFW)

Barbara Nitke’s new photo book, “American Ecstasy,” captures the porn industry back in the day, when men were men and women were hirsute.

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  • Photograph: © Barbara Nitke

    Barbara Nitke, Nina, Henri and Damian, 1986, from the series, "American Ecstasy"

  • Photograph: © Barbara Nitke

    Barbara Nitke, Nast Girls I, 1982, from the series, "American Ecstasy"

  • Photograph: © Barbara Nitke

    Barbara Nitke, Athena Starr in Piggies, 1983, from the series, "American Ecstasy"

  • Photograph: © Barbara Nitke

    Barbara Nitke, Tasha Voux, 1985, from the series, "American Ecstasy"

  • Photograph: © Barbara Nitke

    Barbara Nitke, Sharon Kane in Sexcapades, 1983, from the series, "American Ecstasy"

  • Photograph: © Barbara Nitke

    Barbara Nitke, Danielle Helping Out, 1984, from the series, "American Ecstasy"

  • Photograph: © Barbara Nitke

    Barbara Nitke, Joey and Danielle,1985, from the series, "American Ecstasy"

  • Photograph: © Barbara Nitke

    Barbara Nitke, Pleasure Channel, 1984, from the series, "American Ecstasy"

  • Photograph: © Barbara Nitke

    Barbara Nitke, Mitch and Tiffany Clark, 1982, from the series, "American Ecstasy"

  • Photograph: © Barbara Nitke

    Barbara Nitke, Supergirls Do General Hospital I, 1984, from the series, "American Ecstasy"

  • Photograph: © Barbara Nitke

    Barbara Nitke, Supergirls Do General Hospital II, 1984, from the series, "American Ecstasy"

  • Photograph: © Barbara Nitke

    Barbara Nitke, Jeanna Fine in Firebox, 1986, from the series, "American Ecstasy"

  • Photograph: © Barbara Nitke

    Barbara Nitke, Naked Scents I, 1984, from the series, "American Ecstasy"

Photograph: © Barbara Nitke

Barbara Nitke, Nina, Henri and Damian, 1986, from the series, "American Ecstasy"

Photographer Barbara Nitke spent several years during the 1980s on the sets of various adult movies being shot in New York City, capturing the goings-on both in front of and behind the camera. The result is her book, “American Ecstasy,” a revealing visual document of porn’s “Golden Age.” While Nitke’s sometimes explicit images features such stars of the era as Ron Jeremy and Nina Hartley, the focus of her work is on the process of filmmaking itself, providing views of actors in repose between takes, as well as shots of directors and other crew members interacting with the talent. It’s a nostalgic, if demystifying, look at adult entertainment in the years before the internet transformed the industry into an all-pervasive, global behemoth.


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