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

Vice with virtuous intent: Cindy Gallop’s SXSW talk urges us not to be put off by what others think / The Drum

Written by Lynn Lester for The Drum. Originally published on March 17th, 2015.


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“The thought of sitting through a SXSW talk discussing venture capitalists and investment would ordinarily fill most of us with dread. But when Cindy Gallop – once of ad agencies, now a consultant – is among the speakers, you know it won’t be dull.

The focus of the talk was all about vice and virtue – how some businesses can be perceived as vice but have virtuous intentions and vice versa.

As a case study Cindy used her own venture Make Love Not Porn, a ‘pro-sex, pro-porn, pro-knowing the difference’ website which contains crowd-generated adult material. The purpose of the site is to normalise sex and share stories of sex in the real world.

She shared her frustration at investors and banks, amongst other organisations, for not supporting businesses that dabble in adult material even though these commercial businesses are setting out to do good.

Described as a “hard-headed, pragmatic businesswoman” by her co-presenter, Cindy took no prisoners and said those institutions who refuse to support such projects are “directly responsible for the bad things that happen in the adult industry”.

Crowd funding didn’t seem a plausible alternative either due to the fact that too many people worry about what others will think.

This was an interesting topic for debate, primarily because in this ‘real world’ people still shy away from publicly discussing sexual subjects. It was interesting also to hear that many of the adult links on Cindy’s tweets had lots of views but very few favourites and a negligible number of retweets. Whether we pretend to be liberal or not, sex still remains a very uncomfortable subject in today’s world.

As an extension to Make Love Not Porn, there is an eagerness to develop a Make Love Not Porn Academy, which would equip parents with the information to be able to have frank and open discussions with their kids about the often swept under the carpet topic.

It was suggested, according to some quoted research, that it won’t be long until children as young as six stumble across porn online and therefore it is inevitable they could grow up having a warped idea about what sex should be like. Parents will find that a horrific forecast but it is a reality we can’t shy away from it.

The big argument here is that Cindy believes, in creating such an academy, you are doing good – educating children so they grow up understanding the difference between ‘normal sex’ and ‘porn sex’.

“Would you like your daughter’s first sexual experience to be a positive one?” was the question she posed to the audience. No one said much but we all knew the answer.

A key takeaway of the session was that if you want to change the perception of something you need to change the language around it. And that was demonstrated so poignantly by describing sexual terms using different language – it certainly woke a few audience members up.”


Go check out the original article here!

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