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

Make Love Not Porn Founder Cindy Gallop’s Mission to Disrupt the Porn Industry / Glammonitor

Written by Karin Wasteson for Glammonitor. Originally published on May 16th, 2015.


Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 3.52.37 PM


Cindy Gallop is an Oxford University graduate with a long, successful career in Manhattan’s fast-moving advertising world. The 55-year-old is also the founder of the sex video sharing platform Make Love Not Porn (MLNP). Meet the female tech entrepreneur who, along with co-founders Oonie Chase and Corey Innis and her visionary sidekick Sarah Beall, is attempting to disrupt the multibillion dollar porn industry.

Gallop came up with the idea for her new venture after giving a TED talk in 2008 called the Toyboy Manifesto, where she spoke about dating men in their 20’s.

“MLNP was an accident; it wasn’t intentional but came out of direct personal experience,” says Gallop. She had noticed how the young men she dated, who by default received most of their sex-ed through porn, had wound up with some pretty skewed ideas of what women wanted in bed.

Two things have contributed to this pornification of sex, according to Gallop: the total freedom to access hardcore pornography online coupled with a reluctance to talk about sex in an open and honest way among many in today’s society.

This is something Gallop has set out on a personal mission to change. With MLNP, she intends to show the myths of pornography versus real world sex. In an explicit, four-minute-long TED talk in 2009, she unveiled the original Make Love Not Porn platform. She was the first speaker to say, “Come on my face” in a TED talk. Needless to say, it went viral.

Her talk immediately drew a huge amount of traffic to the site. “I’ve received thousands of emails from everyone—young and old, male and female, straight and gay people, from all around the world, who are experiencing the same issues. People feel they are able to tell me everything about their sex lives,” she explains. “I feel a personal responsibility towards them.” This led to her and the team launching an additional video platform in 2013 with a single mission: to make it easier to talk about sex.

MLNP—much like the more mainstream Uber and AirBnB—is a user-generated media platform, which means that contributors submit their own sex videos and receive 50 percent of the profits.

“They are not performing for the camera like in porn videos. We compete with YouTube, and the intention is for our MLNP stars to be like YouTube stars,” says Gallop. Her aim, she adds, is to target this untapped social need for viewing real sex with a business solution—to make a difference and make money at the same time.

Today, MLNP has 350,000 members and nearly 300 live videos. But building up the site has been a struggle every step of the way, as no service providers want to be associated with adult content. Investors and venture capitalists don’t want to touch it either. “Our biggest challenge finding funding is [due to] the social dynamic I call ‘fear of what other people will think.’ It rules out VCs. I met a young VC who loves the idea and gets it. But he knew there was no way he’d get his firm to invest,” explains Gallop.

Interestingly, countries like Pakistan, China and Afghanistan—some of the world’s most sexually repressive countries—count for a large proportion of the site’s traffic, which averages 148,000 unique visitors per month.

MLNP’s mottos is: Pro-sex. Pro-porn. Pro knowing the difference. Gallop, who says she views herself as an ardent feminist, wrote in 2013 that  “It’s not that porn degrades women, it’s that business degrades porn.” I ask her to elaborate.”


Click here to read the rest of the interview with Cindy and Sarah!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS