Written by Joshua Rivera for The Daily Beast. Originally published on May 29th, 2014.
Today’s tech scene is startup-fueled and app-driven, actively encouraging disruption in every sector imaginable.
Enter Cindy Gallop, an entrepreneur determined to shatter that ceiling. Gallop made waves in 2009 with a frank, four-minute TED talk that she used to launch Make Love Not Porn, a site designed to host open and frank discussions about sex and sexuality. The ultimate goal, according to Gallop, is to “celebrate real world sex,” and fill a social void that has been co-opted by pornography.
“Our entire aim is to help make it easier to talk about sex,” says Gallop. “Because we don’t talk about sex currently, in the real world, we have no socially acceptable vocabulary with which to do it. The language of porn has rushed in to fill that gap.”
In growing and expanding Make Love Not Porn to include a streaming service that embodies the startup’s sex-positive ideals of inspiring social change through sex, Gallop encountered a level of resistance that most startups would never encounter on their worst days. Because, no matter how groundbreaking the tech world aspires to be, it still clings to one Old World value: no adult content. Even if said content is purely geared toward a positive social mission.
“What people are failing to see is that, because we don’t talk about sex, we don’t talk about porn, all of that exists in this parallel universe, in this shadowy underworld,” says Gallop. “When you force something, anything, into the shadows and underground, you make it a lot harder for good things to happen and you make it a lot easier for bad things to happen.”
Compounding the problem is that marginalization of sex tech companies is so ingrained in our culture that reasons for shutting them out are never examined.