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Porn-Producing Countries: 1

Alex Henderson
Although greatly restricted or banned outright in some parts of the world, adult entertainment is a far-reaching industry that prospers on several different continents. The adult entertainment industry is thriving in North and South America and is equally successful in parts of Asia and all over Europe. The places producing the least amount of adult entertainment include the few remaining communist countries, much of Africa (with the major exception of the small island nation of São Tomé) and countries that are under fundamentalist Islamic rule. But the number of countries that are, to some degree, producing erotic entertainment exceeds the number of countries that aren't. The following list takes a look at 10 countries that are major-league players in adult entertainment.

1.) United States
Despite being the home of the Christian Right and a country that many Europeans view as hopelessly prudish, the United States remains the top adult entertainment producer in the world and boasts powerhouse companies like Vivid Entertainment, Larry Flynt's Hustler/LFP, Hugh Hefner's Playboy empire, Wicked Pictures and Red Light District. While Los Angeles — especially the San Fernando Valley — dominates adult entertainment in the United States, not all American adult companies are totally L.A.-based. Playboy's corporate headquarters, for example, are in Chicago, and successful adult webmasters can be found in cities ranging from Miami to Boston to Seattle. Nonetheless, California's San Fernando Valley is without question the world's No. 1 destination for adult filmmaking, and the 818 area code is the home of a long list of other adult film and Internet heavyweights, as well as smaller adult operations.

2.) Brazil
Brazil not only exports telenovelas and samba recordings, it also boasts the largest adult entertainment industry in Latin America. São Paolo has so many adult film companies that it is considered the San Fernando Valley of South America, and Brazil has been attracting its share of American adult filmmakers who know that the Portuguese-speaking country has an abundance of adult actors who work for generally lower wages than their U.S. counterparts. The Brazilian adult industry has its own trade organization; headed by Evaldo Shiroma, the Brazilian Erotic Industry Association (Associação Brasileira das Empresas do Mercado Erótico e Sensual in Portuguese) is Brazil's equivalent to U.S.-based Free Speech Coalition.

3.) The Netherlands
It has been estimated that the Netherlands' adult entertainment industry generates an average of 150 million euros per year. There are numerous adult oriented companies in Holland; major ones include Erostream.nl and Midhold Media, whose CEO, Philippe van Ooteghem, is one of Europe's top adult industry executives. The Dutch government is quite tolerant of adult-oriented businesses as long as they pay their taxes, and the fact that the Dutch are generally fluent in English makes it very easy for adult entrepreneurs from the United States, Canada and the British Isles to do business there.

4.) Spain
Like Brazil, Spain is a heavily Catholic country that also has a large adult entertainment industry. Barcelona is the home of Private Media Group, which is one of the top adult-oriented companies in the world and the largest in Europe. Private CEO Berth Milton is considered the most important adult industry executive on the European continent. Much of the world's Spanish-language porn comes from Spain, a country where, according to a 2001 survey by the Internet monitoring company NetValue, 40 percent of Spanish home Internet users view adult websites on a regular basis.

5.) Japan
South Korea and Thailand are noteworthy players in adult entertainment, but the largest adult entertainment provider in what used to be called the Orient is, by far, Japan. Although Japan has fairly restrictive obscenity laws compared to Holland or Spain, adult entertainment is booming in that country. One thing that separates Japan from other major-league porn providers is the fact that in Japan, a lot of erotica is animated. Hentai, which is an adult-oriented form of animé (Japanese animation), is a major part of Japan's adult entertainment industry. Another unique aspect of Japanese porn is that it is officially illegal to show genitalia. Instead, genitals must be pixilated or otherwise obscured. Obscenity laws and all, Japan remains the No. 1 country for erotic animation.

In part two, we'll round out our list of the top ten porn-producing countries. Stay tuned!

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