Written by MLNP CEO & founder, Cindy Gallop.
It’s that time again, when we look back at the past year, and forward to the coming one. And it’s January 2017 and we’re four years old this month! So I wanted to share with you the things we learned in 2016:
1. What we’re all about – social sex – is needed now more than ever.
Our mission at MLNP is very simple: to help make it easier for the world to talk about sex. When we can be open and honest about sex and owning our sexuality, we can teach and promote good sexual values and good sexual behavior and create a universal understanding of what those are in society, to ensure better sexual communication, interaction and relationships, and ultimately happier lives.
2. We have the most amazing MakeLoveNotPornstar community.
Without you our fabulous MakeLoveNotPornstars, we are nothing. Throughout 2016 you continued to wow us with your generosity in sharing your sexual selves, and with how many more of you keep joining us from all around the world to celebrate the wonderful #realworldsex we all have in our #realworldlives. We welcomed 30 new MLNPstars this year, making our community 200-strong since launch. We’re thrilled to say that we published 131 new videos in 2016.
3. We have the most amazing MakeLoveNotPorn community, period.
We love you all. We love that you email us and tell us how MLNP has helped you and how much you support what we are doing, like Matt Storm’s moving post. We love that you are forgiving of the glitches and hiccups that come with a bootstrapping startup, we are so grateful for all your patience, belief and support.
4. We can make amazing things happen together, even with a tiny team.
MLNP is just me, MadamCurator Sarah Beall, Assistant Curator Ariel Martinez and part-time contract developer Lar van der Jagt – and I want to take this opportunity to thank Sarah, Ariel and Lar on behalf of all of us for their incredibly hard work, dedication and commitment throughout the whole of 2016.
5. It’s really, really hard to raise funding for a sextech startup.
I worked through 2016 to try and raise the funding we need to build out the full amazing user experience we really want all of you to have. I’m afraid I haven’t managed it yet. This Fast Company piece is a good summary of the challenges we face – with an entertaining headline.
Here are the things we plan to do in 2017:
1. Give you all a better experience.
Yes, our resources continue to be limited, but we are working hard on doing some things that will give you a more friction-free user experience – particularly those of you who we know have experienced issues registering credit cards/making payments, as per our explanation of why we make it so hard for you to give us your money. Watch this space!
2. Help the category to help ourselves.
When you have a world-changing startup like ours, you have to change the world to fit it, not the other way round. For the past few years I’ve been defining and championing the category MLNP operates in – sextech – in order to create more receptivity for what we’re doing.
The challenges we’ve faced trying to raise funding for MLNP made me realize that in order to get our own startup funded, we have to get the entire category funded. So as I announced at TheNextWeb conference in New York in November, I’m now working to raise the world’s first and only sextech fund: AllTheSky Holdings with a focus (not exclusively) on female founders, who are creating some of the most innovative and disruptive ventures in sextech.
3. Scale the Social Sex Revolution – with your help.
We call ourselves the Social Sex Revolution with the emphasis on ‘social’, because at MLNP we’re pioneering a whole new category on the internet – social sex – to revolutionize sexual attitudes and behavior all around the world. We love that you’ve all joined us as Social Sex Revolutionaries, and we want to grow our movement as much as we can. So we were thrilled when Chandelier Creative invited us to spend a week at their Mermaid Ranch last summer. The Front filmed our team and MakeLoveNotPornstar gathering for a ‘Social Sex Revolution’ mini-documentary. Below are a few photos from a very special IRL experience that you can click on to view as a slideshow. The documentary will be launching in a few weeks and we’ll share it with you all when it does!
We’ve also just launched our first ever crowdfunding campaign – first ever because historically crowdfunding platforms have not embraced us, but happily iFundWomen, with its focus on female founders, had no such issues. We are so grateful to those of you who have already supported us here and welcome all further support you can give.
So our plan in 2017 is to break down some more of those pesky barriers that face sextech pioneers, in order to build out and deliver the really great MLNP social sex experience we want to give all of you – because we are so inspired and motivated by the incredible support we get from you our amazing community, every single day. The fact we’re still here, four years on, in the face of considerable obstacles, is because of you.
We can’t thank you enough.
Cindy, Sarah, Ariel, Lar