Porn also sped up the popularization of VHS back in the day, bringing privacy to viewing rather than going into adult theaters or the back rooms of adult bookstores (don't ask me how I know).
Interestingly enough, one side effect of the internet and porn hooking up was something that is referred to as the "feminization of porn."
The porn market garnered an anticipated increase in sales thanks to the privacy afforded by being able to own your own adult movies. But the big surprise came when adult film industry suddenly found their biggest and fastest growth sector was its female customers.
This new market segment also changed the look of the porn industry. In general, porn became a more serious and literary form of entertainment. Some of the newer films started providing storylines (!) and character development (!!) - which was more in keeping with mainstream film. Production values and budgets also increased untill it reached the point where (from a purely visual perspective) most adult movies began to strongly resemble their mainstream counterparts. And when you took into consideration the subject matter of some mainstream films, the difference between 'adult' and R-rated no longer seemed that great.
VHS may have afforded the viewers greater privacy. But it still required them to go out in public to buy or rent a film. The web, however, brought adult entertainment directly into the home with nobody any the wiser. Or so the theory went.
That extra level of privacy and anonymity seemed to be the trigger point for women to start buying in. Apparently, many women didn't mind watching a racy movie or two. They just didn't want other people to know they did. For obvious reasons.
Not that the indicators weren't there. Check out the average "romance" novel. Many of them contain an eye-opening amount of 'graphic' content. But there is a polite understanding that these are to be called "bodice rippers" rather pornographic
historical 'romance' novels.
Very interesting demographic/behavioral/market shift.
Wonder what other changes and 'recalibrations' the internet will bring us...