During much of that time, any sexual depiction had to remain underground because of obscenity laws. In particular, gay material might constitute evidence of an illegal act under sodomy laws in many jurisdictions. This is no longer the case in the United States, since such laws were ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in in Lawrence v. However, hardcore pornographic motion pictures stag films, as they were called prior to their legalization in were produced relatively early in the history of film.
This is a really good post, but I don't know if I agree that it backfired. I think there are men that get it, and men that don't. The men that complain that I can't even compliment a woman any more without the fear of being accused of sexual harassment are the kind that just don't get it, and it's probably best that they either fear it, or think about it. It takes time for culture to change.