Cinemax is a premium cable network that specializes in airing movies. Unlike its rivals HBO, Showtime and Starz, Cinemax has not really focused on original programming throughout its history in Prime Time outside of documentary programming, though in 2011 it began to air the British import Strike Back and is currently preparing a television series adaptation of The Transporter. What it airs late at night, however, has turned it into the stuff of legend for a whole generation.
You see, Cinemax has a block called Max After Dark that starts after its last prime time movie has ended (usually between 11 and midnight). Max After Dark is one of the only places on American television that airs softcore pornographic films and original series, usually with such names as Erotic Confessions, Co-Ed Confidential, The Best Sex Ever and Zane's Sex Chronicles. In The Nineties, this gave Cinemax a reputation as one of the edgiest and most risque networks on cable, earning it the nickname "Skinemax" — a reputation that still holds, to some extent, even now that The Internet Is for Porn provides much more explicit content and its premium cable rivals have started pushing the envelope of what's permissible in prime time. Back in the day, adolescent boys would frequently stay up late at night in order to catch the skin flicks that would air then — telling your friends in school that you caught late-night Cinemax was an easy way to establish yourself as one of the "cool" kids. It was far from hardcore pornography, and much of it was Bowdlerised compared to your average Jenna Jameson skin flick, but for most kids back then, just seeing naked ladies on TV was enough.
Cinemax has been more than happy to cultivate its reputation. A quick glance at their website will show heavy promotion for their late-night series, complete with cast interviews, behind-the-scenes stuff, and more, just as one would expect from any other TV series... except it's porn. The shows also usually make an attempt at actually looking like TV shows complete with intricate plots for what they can do with No Budget and lesser-known actors, instead of cheapo skin flicks, so you have to give them credit for that.