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“I date younger men, predominantly men in their 20s. And when I date younger men, I have sex with younger men.”

So begins Cindy Gallop’s 2009 TED Talk.  “And when I have sex with younger men, I encounter the real ramifications of the ubiquity of hardcore pornography in our culture. There’s an entire generation growing up that believes that what you see in hardcore pornography is the way that you have sex.” Then, the petite 49-year-old with a proper British accent instructs anyone in the crowd with delicate sensibilities to cover their ears, before continuing. “I have no problem responding, ‘No, thank you, I’d much rather you did not come on my face.’ But my concern is with the young girl…who doesn’t want [her boyfriend] to come on her face, but hardcore porn has taught her that all men love coming on women’s faces…and therefore she must let him come on her face, and she must pretend to like it.” It was the “come on my face” heard ’round the world, and the TED Talk went instantly viral. But Gallop wasn’t there just to vent her frustrations with past lovers. She was there to present her latest project, MakeLoveNotPorn.com, a website where the myths of porn sex are contrasted with the facts of real sex, and visitors are invited to add their own experiences to the mix.

Watch Cindy Gallop's TED Talk:

 

In the video, Gallop cuts an imposing figure. With her spiky black heels, black leather pants, and fierce, blond bob, she’s like a mashup of Sex and the City’s Samantha Jones and Anna Wintour. But while the TED Talk may have launched Gallop and her latest venture into video-sharing ubiquity, she’s no stranger to the limelight. In her 30s, she founded the U.S. branch of a huge N.Y.C. advertising agency, and quickly rose to the top of the ad world food chain, winning the prestigious Advertising Woman of the Year award in 2003. Today, she serves on the boards of numerous tech startups. She is, as they say, an industry legend.

"We're pro-porn, pro-sex, pro know the difference."

So what’s a woman with a mission and a marketing background to do? Launch her own tech startup, of course. Six years after MakeLoveNotPorn.com’s debut, Gallop introduced MakeLoveNotPorn.tv, a platform that allows anyone in the world to upload their real sex videos, and anyone else to watch them (for a fee). The goal, she explains, is “to make real-world sex and the discussion around it socially acceptable, and therefore just as socially shareable as anything else we currently see on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, or Instagram.” Gallop’s team vets every user-submitted video for authenticity, and performers get a 50 percent revenue share when their videos are viewed. But this is definitely not an amateur porn site—videos deemed “too performative” are ditched. “It’s just about capturing what goes on in the real world in all its funny, glorious, messy, silly, wonderful, ridiculous humanness,” she explains. In fact, Gallop doesn’t think of her site as porn at all. “We’re pro-sex, pro-porn, pro-know the difference,” she says.

Below: Watch Cindy Gallop and her cofounder Sarah Beall discuss 50-something sex:

 

But for the woman with the impressive marketing pedigree and buckets of tech knowledge, finding financing for her project has been close to impossible. “I have three strikes against me,” she says with an air of defiance. “I’m female, I’m older, and my subject is sex.” Yet, with the site’s goal being nothing less than “to change the way the world has sex for the better, and to do that by enabling people to open up and talk about it,” it infuriates her that she’s struggling to obtain the money she needs to grow the site. “This is the area that needs funding more than ever,” she says. “Our fundamental value proposition is, ‘How much is it worth to you to ensure your child doesn’t grow up fucked up?’” 

By Debbie Stoller

This article originally appeared in the print edition of BUST Magazine.  Subscribe today!

 Below: A trailer video for two "Make Love Not Porn"stars 

 

 

 

 

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