Decentralizing Sex: Cindy Gallop Makes Love Not Porn

Cindy Gallop is the founder of MakeLoveNotPorn, a site dedicated to establishing the difference between porn and “real world” sex, while further enabling people to share and profit from their own lovemaking videos.

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Decentralizing Sex: Cindy Gallop Makes Love Not Porn

Cindy Gallop is the founder of MakeLoveNotPorn, a site dedicated to establishing the difference between porn and “real world” sex, while further enabling people to share and profit from their own lovemaking videos.

It’s been the “profit” part that has her considering Bitcoin. Gallop finds that necessities like VC funding, bank accounts and video streaming platforms usually read “no adult content” in the small print.

As many business owners do, Gallop is cautiously and slowly approaching the Bitcoin space. We thought we’d reach out to her and give her a warm crypto welcome.

Cindy Gallop

CoinTelegraph: What did you see or experience that compelled you to bring a new paradigm to the sex industry?

Cindy Gallop: MakeLoveNotPorn is a complete and total accident. I never set out to do anything that I’m doing now.

Years before the media picked up on this, I was encountering an issue which would have never crossed my mind. When the freedom of access to hardcore porn met society’s reluctance to talk openly about sex, those two factors resulted in negative sex education. I thought, if I’m experiencing this, most people will as well.

I’m an action-oriented person, so six years ago I put up my money for a very basic website to contrast hardcore porn with the real world. I launched at TED, and made a deliberate decision to be explicit in my talk because I knew my audience would not get it. I’m the only person to say “come on my face” at TED.

The talk drove an extraordinary response. I began getting huge traffic from all over the world. Every day for the past six years, I have received thousands of emails from young and old, male and female, straight and gay, from everywhere in the world.

I would like to emphasize the issue is not porn, it is the complete absence of an open, healthy, honest conversation about sex in the real world.

CT: When you first launched the site, there was no video. But now you have MakeLoveNotPorn.tv. How’s that been?

CG: A little over 20 months ago, we launched our user-generated, crowdsourced [video platform] to encourage people to submit their real world sex videos. It’s not about performing for the camera, it’s about capturing the real world. We curate to make sure it’s real and have a sharing revenue model.

CT: Do you feel that hardcore, “unrealistic” porn shapes real world interactions between sexes?

CG: The short answer is, yes, of course.

Long answer: there are a number of dimensions to this. First of all, I get very frustrated when people use the word “porn” like it is all one, big homogeneous mass. That’s like using the world “literature” as if it were all just the same.

One of the problems currently is that virtually all of us watch porn, but we never talk about it. Porn exists in the shadowy underworld—a parallel universe. When you force something into the underground, you force bad things to happen and stifle the conversation. 

Porn lacks curation and navigation. There is no Yelp of porn. That’s a problem, because this navigation is needed for young people. Everything on our site is socially acceptable and sharable. Our criteria is literally that you can have your computer open and there could be kids running next to you and as long as you’re not streaming, the content is fine.

We had a woman write to us saying that when she was in college watching porn, she found the ghastly porn ads unbearable. She put Post-Its around the porn site so she could circumvent the ads and watch the porn she wanted.

We have no socially acceptable vocabulary for porn—“getting her ass railed/pounded/banged.” We are creating a new language for real world sex. We want people to take this language and use it to talk about sex in the real world—language you can use to talk about what you want to do in bed in a celebratory manner.

“The top-down model is broken. There is a new bottom-up model of connected people and connected action.”

- Cindy Gallop

CT: How do you feel this will impact people's perceptions of the sex industry?

CG: In my consulting work and public speaking, which I do predominantly about business, I am living my own business motto: The top-down model is broken. There is a new bottom-up model of connected people and connected action.

While people see how it works in the Arab Spring, they forsake it in business.

The shame people feel about sex is the same cause of many areas of massive human unhappiness. MakeLoveNotPorn operates in the market of human happiness.

Sex and death are the two universal human conditions. In that sense, when you are allowed to be sensual, and normalize that, the results are extraordinary.

This is the financial opportunity that close-minded investors do not see. The money to be made in this area—oh my god. No one thinks it’s possible. Money to be made out of sex? But the market never goes away.

The second area is the market for socially-acceptable sex. You potentially double, triple, and quadruple returns when people feel publicly okay to buy into these services. That’s the future.

“The three huge areas of disruption today are sex, cannabis, and Bitcoin.”

- Cindy Gallop

CT: You have faced many systemic challenges that Bitcoin has faced on the journey to acceptance - PayPal, Chase, Amazon, Android and Apple banned you. How have you handled this and where have you found solutions?

CG: I haven’t. As part of my battle to open up people’s minds, I use analogies all of the time. The three huge areas of disruption today are sex, cannabis, and Bitcoin. Investors are rushing into Bitcoin and cannabis long before they are doing so for sex.

We still don’t have a bank account and are still looking for funding. In terms of taking payments, the key thing about any business partner you work with is they have to want to make it happen. I found a partner like that in Europe, I had to register in Europe to get an account at Wire Card. We were put into the “high risk merchant” division.

We’re getting decent rates and can process Mastercard and Visa. We come up as a “high risk” code, which causes people to receive alerts on their credit card for fraud. Our community will call their banks to explain what the transaction is. There’s strong support from community members.

CT: Biggest challenge you will face in the future?

CG: I believe in playing the long game. Fuck hyper growth. It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.

I know the potential for this venture, which is why I keep going. People came out of the woodworks after my TED talk, so glad that someone was finally broaching this subject. Which is why I don’t understand when people don’t see its value. What is it worth to you to ensure that your kid doesn’t grow up fucked up?

CT: Are you going to be accepting Bitcoin on your platform in the future?

CG: Our members would love to take Bitcoin, but we cannot build our own wallet. We need a Bitcoin merchant who loves what were doing, totally supports us, and is willing to sink their teeth into what we’re working on.

Are you a crypto payment processor, investor, programmer or adviser who’s interested in assisting MLNP bring cryptocurrency to their business? See the MLNP team page for contact information.

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