The most common form of adult content is a categorized list (more often it's a table) of small pictures (called "thumbnails") linked to galleries.

These sites are called a Thumbnail gallery post (TGP).

This was possible in the late '80s and early '90s through the use of anonymous FTP servers and through the Gopher protocol.

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Some free websites primarily serve as portals by keeping up-to-date indexes of these smaller sampler sites.

These intents to create directories about adult content and websites were followed by the creation of adult wikis where the user can contribute their knowledge and recommend quality resources and links.

Around this time frame, pornography was also distributed via pornographic Bulletin Board Systems such as Rusty n Edie's.

These BBSes could charge users for access, leading to the first commercial online pornography.

A 1995 article written in The Georgetown Law Journal titled "Marketing Pornography on the Information Superhighway: A Survey of 917,410 Images, Description, Short Stories and Animations Downloaded 8.5 Million Times by Consumers in Over 2000 Cities in Forty Countries, Provinces and Territories" by Martin Rimm, a Carnegie Mellon University graduate student, claimed that (as of 1994) 83.5% of the images on Usenet newsgroups where images were stored were pornographic in nature.

Before publication, Philip Elmer-De Witt used the research in a Time Magazine article, "On a Screen Near You: Cyberporn." Godwin recounts the episode in "Fighting a Cyberporn Panic" in his book Cyber Rights: Defending Free Speech in the Digital Age.

Children born in the 1980s onward are also the first to grow up in a world where they have access to the Internet beginning in their teenage years, and this early exposure and access to Internet pornography may be the primary driver of the increase.

The sex and tech conference series Arse Elektronika dedicated their 2007 conference to what they call pr0nnovation.

There was a rapid growth in the number of posts in the early 1990s but image quality was restricted by the size of files that could be posted.