Written by Lynsey G for LynseyG.com. Originally published November 25th, 2014.
“Here are some more of the sweetest, juiciest cuts from my interviews for Bitch Magazine‘s Love/Lust issue! Today, my talk with the MakeLoveNotPorn.tv team as a whole. Cindy Gallop (Founder & CEO), Sarah Beall (Madam Curator), Oonie Chase (Experience Goddess). We strayed a bit from the topic of financing, but I mean… come on. This is crazy-interesting stuff! We talked about validation through real-world sex, the new vocabulary of sex they’re giving the world, and decison-making while aroused.
Sarah Beall: What we’re doing isn’t “niche” and it isn’t meant to be “niche.” Because sexuality is such a huge part of the human experience. We’re open to anybody who wants to see real-world sex online, and real-world sex that has been vetted to make sure that it’s consensual and free of subconscious porn cliches as possible.
[We see] a really positive evolution [in MakeLoveNotPorn performers]. Evolutions that are unique to each of our MakeLoveNotPornStars. It’s great because you can see the site building people’s confidence…There’s [one couple] who—the woman is absolutely gorgeous, but she doesn’t have a conventionally attractive body type. She and her fiancé are madly in love and have great sex. And they already have a presence on Tumblr and Twitter, talking about sex. And the first few videos that they sent us were shot on a laptop camera, they didn’t show their faces. But after they got their first payout, to my delight, they went out and bought an HD camera. And they now show everything. And they also wrote this great blog post about how they spent their money. They bought the camera, they donated some to charity, they put some back into the site.
It’s interesting to see the community that we’re fostering and the conversations that we have… It’s really exciting to people to actually make money on their real world sex. And I think it’s incredibly validating. So yeah, there are a lot of different evolutions like that, like people who used to light their videos really dark, because they weren’t interested in having their identities revealed, but who have sort of developed so that they can now show more. It’s really exciting.
For eight months, I worked as a scriptwriter for a very mainstream porn company. I actually thought it might be kind of hilarious to work in mainstream porn…Porn is so niche these days. It seems to take something that was once hot, that people once thought was really “Ooooh,” and boil it down to this one thing and just repeat it over and over and over again. I would write the sex…It was always sort of the same things, like, if it’s a teen site, all of the teens love big cocks. So the first thing she has to do is pull down his pants and marvel at how big his cock, and then proceed to try to give him a blowjob. It was very much based around body parts, stereotypes. And it wasn’t like they were hiding it. The idea that people are actually looking at something like that, and thinking that it’s real sex… I think that porn performers are probably the first people to know that most of what happens in mainstream porn is totally constructed.
Oonie Chase: All the stuff that I’m doing [on the MakeLoveNotPorn site] is the same as anything else. When you go online to apply for a credit card, how do you make that experience as frictionless and pleasurable as possible? It’s the same basic idea, and I think in this space, what maybe makes use unique is that we’re trying to be courteous. We’re trying to not assault you, because you should be in a good place.
I remember when we brainstormed about payment mechanisms, [our collaborator] had just finished up a study or something looking at people’s decision-making process when they were aroused, and the quality of those decisions. And not surprisingly, the quality of your decisions just goes through the floor the more aroused you are. And I kind of wonder whether or not, for most mostly men who are looking at stuff like that, whether that kind of stuff does arouse their brain to some extent. So maybe that stuff does work. But I’ve talked to lots of guys—it’s not a sample set by any means—who have the blues after watching porn. They have that sort of hangover.
Well we’re trying to get out of the way of the content. That’s heading the show. And have everything else be normalized, have everything else be something you can imagine experiencing in the App Store, with just a little bit more sass and voice.
And also I think the tone of voice that we use, which is a little bit saucy and geeky and cheeky, is something to make people feel comfortable. Not using the language of porn, not talking about banging, any of that stuff. I think of the words that we use, the marquee tags, kind of like lifesavers. Like they’re really sweet and yummy, and like little candies. Not like, “BANGING! SUCKING ASSHOLES!”
Cindy Gallop: Because we don’t talk about sex, we have no socially acceptable language of sex. And the language of porn has rushed in to fill that gap. And the language of porn is predominantly generated by men, because the industry is dominated by men, and so the person who invented the term “fingerblasting” didn’t have a vagina. Because when I hear the word “fingerblasting,” I cross my legs. Whoever coined the term, “Getting your ass railed,” never had his ass railed. I mean, I wince when I hear the term “anal pounding.”
And so we’re creating, as Oonie says, a new vocabulary that you can take beyond the site and able to use themselves, because people are lost… Part of what people find difficult when you’re in bed with someone and what you’re actually doing with them at that moment. You don’t really know what words to use because they don’t come naturally… If you seize the language of porn because there’s nothing else, it’s really hard to combat with your own vocabulary because you have none. And so we would love to see people take “wowzers, succulent, juicy, downtown,” out into their real world sex lives and the real world sex conversation.
Sarah Beall: We made a word for a guy who isn’t quite fully erect yet, but who is still awesome in the extreme, which was “Soft serve.”
Cindy Gallop: OH MY GOD YES!
To read Lynsey G’s thoughts on feminism, interviews with burlesque stars, or simply her everyday musings, check out her awesome blog here.