Written by Joseph Viney for Future of Sex. Originally published on December 23rd, 2015.
When Cindy Gallop speaks you should shut up and listen. The award-winning advertising maven, responsible for the management of Barton Bogle Hegarty’s biggest accounts, turned sex tech pioneer is one of the loudest and proudest voices and minds of the sex tech industry.
The creator and founder of MakeLoveNotPorn (MLNP)—the ground-breaking forum and user-generated “real world sex” video site—wages war on the lack of free and open conversation about sex in society. She also seeks to disrupt the distorted narratives offered up by mainstream pornography, which is regarded as violent, unequal, and misogynistic.
You may know Gallop from her enlightening and eye-opening TEDTalk [NSFW language] that marked the global launch of MLNP. There was no more fitting way to gatecrash the world the way Gallop and MLNP have; talking about sex and pornography before an audience suited to more palatable and comfortable fare.
Gallop wants to smash the sex tech field wide open; bringing forth disruption and innovation to all areas of the industry. It’s a Pandora’s Box of great sex and high-stakes business deals.
What can be done to enact such sweeping, bold changes? What are the problems that beset sex tech and how can they be overcome? As Gallop tells Future of Sex in part one of our interview, there are plenty of answers on both sides, but change must first come from within.
“You’ll never own the future if you care what other people think.”
This philosophy—one of Gallop’s many truisms—should be the standard by which sex tech has to judge itself upon and work toward. How can sex tech realize its full potential in a world that has sought to suppress such conversation and modes of thought and action about sex?
It’s about disruption, refusing to hide in the shadows and to not let others bring you down with them.
“The only thing wrong with sex tech is that it is dramatically impacted by the fear of what other people think and it is dramatically impacted by that both internally and externally,” says Gallop.
It’s a fundamental problem that even affects those fully involved in sex tech. A startup or individual looking to make headway in the business is going to kowtow to the established conventions and keep it zipped. That means compromise that prove to be damaging, the “no sex please” rules slapped in place by investors and the overall stigma that surrounds sex and conversations about it in the public sphere. Ultimately it prohibits sex tech from progressing and innovating as well as it can do.
However—as we put to Gallop—in our two-part interview with Soumyadip Rakshit of MysteryVibe, we witnessed first-hand how the company has worked and compromised with large mainstream organizations such as Samsung and Seymourpowell. Without wanting to discount all the hard work they have done, Rakshit and MysteryVibe can make what they do and achieve look easy to the casual and brief observer.
Attending conferences, making the first moves on interested or curious parties and generally holding “the common touch”, are Rakshit and MysteryVibe making headway by actually caring about what other people think? Is there another way to get ahead in sex tech without following Cindy’s model?
“Ultimately things will be easier because they are hardware,” says Gallop. “They’re making sex toys. Whatever you think of sex toys, it’s a sector that exists and it’s one that’s a lot easier to deal with because it’s tech.”
Head over to Future of Sex to check out the original article here!