Pro-sex. Pro-porn. Pro-knowing the difference.

The difference between porn and #realworldsex: an ongoing discussion

Difference between porn and #realworldsex: in #realworldsex cats love wandering into the frame

Difference between porn and #realworldsex: in #realworldsex cats love wandering into the frame

The fact we describe MakeLoveNotPorn as not porn, not ‘amateur’, but #realworldsex has some people puzzled.  Surely, if MLNP.tv shows naked people having sex, we must be porn?

One of the issues here is the way our society uses the word ‘porn’ – often to describe anything involving naked people and/or sex. I get equally frustrated by the tendency for the term ‘porn’ to be used as if porn was all one big homogeneous mass. That’s like using the term ‘literature’ as if all literature were the same.  The landscape of porn is as varied and full of genres, sub-genres and numerous different forms as the landscape of literature.  Just as a lot of things classified as ‘porn’, strictly speaking, aren’t.  (What Tumblr considers ‘porn’, for example, is often any nudity whatsoever, and any form of individual sexual self-expression in an everyday context.)

Language matters – which is why one of the things we’re doing is creating a new vocabulary for #realworldsex. And why we draw a distinction between porn in the generally-used sense (professionally-produced – this applies to a lot of so-called ‘amateur’ as well – performative, specifically-created entertainment) and #realworldsex.

We explain what we mean by #realworldsex here and what we curate for here.

We also acknowledge that while we want to showcase non-performative, #realworldsex, the presence of a camera or camera phone inevitably begs the question of how real and natural anything can be – which is why we ask you the question, ‘How does your behavior change when a camera is observing you?’ We don’t know the answer, but we are very interested in our members’ responses.

One of our members, a man who’s watched a lot of porn and is a big fan of MLNP.tv, told us,

‘When I watch your videos, I feel I’ve never seen people have sex before.’

Another man told us,

‘Watching porn makes me want to jerk off. Watching your videos makes me want to have sex.’

Which we loved because we’re about connecting people. We’re building MakeLoveNotPorn to act as sexual social currency: to help make it easier to talk about sex in the real world, to help get to better sex, to help get to better relationships, to help get to better lives.

Members occasionally email asking us to cancel their account (because we’re tiny and bootstrapping, we haven’t yet been able to build a ‘self-delete’ capability). We always take the opportunity to ask why. This is what one person told us:

‘I think your site is great and it is a great idea too… I don’t really know if I find the right words to tell you why MLNP.tv isn’t for me, but it has to do with feeling weird watching real people having sex. It feels much more voyeuristic than watching porn with actors. Here, I saw real emotions, real people and I knew that and for me it felt wrong to watch them in such an intimate manner (even if they share their videos willingly) I felt like an intruder in their privacy. As the name of your site implies, they made love, not porn and well… I couldn’t find my own satisfaction like this.’

Another person who also asked to cancel their account said:

“I guess I felt like a voyeur on your site, watching real people’s private affairs. It wasn’t a faked performance.”

Cato cat

(By the way, members’ reasons for cancelling have generally been uniformly positive.  Just today, the reason given for a cancellation request was, ‘It was (is) fun, but I just found it was taking too much of my time.’ But we like that! )

Here are two other members (a male/female couple):

‘We’ve been interested in your site since its inception. The videos are so beautiful, simply because they are so natural and allow others to witness one the most beautiful things in the universe in which two people can share. We know most people do it. But, when you think about it, it’s actually an honor when others (non-pro) allow you to witness them and, in a way, become part of their experience. The “rental” fees are not really just charges to watch as much as they are tokens of appreciation for allowing others share in their most private and intimate times together. So, your site is very unique and we hope it continues and flourishes.’

And this is a man:

‘I know this is probably one message among a thousand, but I felt the need to express myself—even if it isn’t received.  I am a paying member of several pornography sites, and I joined your site with the intent of using it just like all the others.  I watched one video, and I get it.  I wanted to say thank you.  I don’t know if it makes sense, but I sincerely feel like I owe a debt of gratitude to you guys.  What I saw today was absolutely beautiful.  I didn’t intend to be “converted”—if you will—but I have been.’


We’re an experiment – one that is just 11 months old in public beta (but with, at the time of writing, over 205,000 members, which we are thrilled about). We are learning ourselves, all the time, about what is #realworldsex versus porn.  Which is why this is an ongoing discussion, and why we’d love to hear what you think.

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