The policing of pornography remains the subject of widespread and ongoing controversy. This book provides a history of this policing which is geared towards understanding the current debate. The authors demonstrate that obscenity law cannot be understood negatively as censorship and must instead be seen as part of the positive administration of a particular practice of sexuality. They also argue that pornography itself should be described negatively as a mere representation of real sex but positively as a real practice of sex using representations. This history indicates that obscenity law is not, as liberals claim, a mistaken attempt to police moral ideas, but rather forms part of the legitimate governmental regulation of a problematic social conduct. At the same time it asks whether feminists might not be mistaken in attributing this conduct to the nature of the male imagination.