CNBC: Vintage Porn Becoming Legit Collectible

Bob Johnson

LOS ANGELES — You may not find them on TV's "Antiques Roadshow," but vintage porn items are becoming valuable collectibles.

According to a special CNBC report, as porn becomes more mainstream — due largely to online proliferation — people are more comfortable collecting classic adult memorabilia making it a legitimate investment.

"A lot of the films people are rediscovering is happening because so much of the stuff they're making now is fast and furious," Ted McIlvenna, Ph.D., president of The Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco and curator of the Erotic Heritage Museum in Las Vegas, told CNBC.

McIlvenna claims to own more than 3 million items, filling 34 warehouses.

He said collectors are most interested in one-sheet movie posters and press books (promotional kits with photos and press releases) from porn films from the ‘70s and early ‘80s, most selling in the $200 to $500 range.

But rare items like the original poster from the ’72 production of  "Deep Throat" can sell for up to $5,000.

Erotic prints from well-known artists like Thomas Rowlandson are also gaining in value, as well as some sex toys.

The report said last March, a pair of 200-year-old sex toys brought in more than $5,300 at a U.K. auction and some current sex toy manufactures think there’s potential for their products as well like the gold-plated and platinum-plated vibrators from Lelo and JimmyJane.

But like all valuables collecting, the gems are not so easy to find.

XBIZ President and publisher Alec Helmy told CNBC, "There are collectibles that some die hard fans collect. Some collect VHS tapes and apparel items from their favorite stars, but if you're looking at something that would be considered truly collectible, it's a little murkier."

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