Depending on the genre of the film, the on-screen appearance, age, and physical features of the main actors and their ability to create the sexual mood of the film is of critical importance.Most actors specialize in certain genres, such as lesbian sex, bondage, strap-on sex, anal sex, double penetration, semen swallowing, teenage women, interracial or MILFs.The use of pseudonyms is the norm in the industry; pornographic film actors maintained a low profile, using pseudonyms to maintain a level of anonymity, while others performed uncredited.
Pornographic films are characterized as either "softcore", which does not contain depictions of sexual penetration or "extreme fetishism", and "hardcore", which can contain depictions of penetration or extreme fetishism, or both.
The genres and sexual intensity of films is mainly determined by demand.
The pornography industry in the United States was the first to develop its own movie star system, especially for commercial reasons.
In other countries, the "star" system is not common, with most actors being amateurs.
Exceptional performance of pornographic actors and actresses is recognized in the AVN Awards, XRCO Awards and XBIZ Awards.