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

Meet the Female Entrepreneur Harnessing the Power of More Ethical Porn / .Mic

Written by Julie Zeilinger for .Mic. Originally published on March 20th, 2015.


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“I date younger men,” Cindy Gallop states in the opening line of her 2009 TED talk. “Predominately men in their 20s. And when I date younger men, I have sex with younger men. And when I have sex with younger men, I encounter very directly and personally the real ramifications of the increasing ubiquity of hardcore pornography in our culture.”

This recognition — that today’s “total freedom of access to hardcore porn online” conflicts with “our society’s equally total reluctance to talk openly and honestly about sex” — inspired the entrepreneur to create Make Love Not Porn, an educational website that balances the myths about hardcore porn with reality.

The tagline of the project, “Pro sex, pro porn, pro knowing the difference,” reflects Gallop’s goal of making porn more ethical — and revolutionizing sex at the same time.

Alternative sex ed: Gallop felt such a resource was necessary in the context of a culture that eschews comprehensive sex education while allowing porn, which is often violent and misogynistic, to not only proliferate, but also, in some instances, to serve as a damaging proxy for sex education altogether.

While the website seeks to demystify porn, Gallop is clear that the issue isn’t porn itself, nor is porn inherently misogynistic. The real problem is the stigma that surrounds sex in general and porn in particular.

“Porn exists in a parallel universe, a shadowy otherworld,” Gallop told Wired in 2013. “When you force anything into the shadows and underground, you make it a lot easier for bad things to happen, and a lot harder for good things to happen.”

This results in a cultural landscape in which the attitudes promoted in hardcore porn may become ingrained in children, who access it at increasingly young ages — one survey, for example, found that the average age at which children view porn is 11 years old. Young children also often encounter this type of porn in “an environment where very few parents can bring themselves to talk to their kids about sex.”


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