Make Love Not Porn

Pro-sex. Pro-porn. Pro-knowing the difference. (NSFW)

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Chris MessinaHunter@chrismessina · Product designer & entrepreneur
I checked with @rrhoover before submitting this, since it's on the racier side, but with all the negative images about sex and bro culture in Silicon Valley, I thought it was worth offering something that's more affirmative and sex positive. After all, sex itself isn't bad—sexual discrimination, harassment, and shaming are. The background of the site is perhaps the most interesting thing: In 2009, Cindy Gallop spoke at TED about her direct, personal experience of technology's hardcore impact on our sex lives, and launched makelovenotporn.tv.
Her goal is to correct the myths being propagated (mostly to young men) about sex and sexuality in typical internet pornography.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
@rrhoover @chrismessina love this. can't wait to interview her at LAUNCH conference. @cindygallop can you tell us a bit about what caused you to launch this, what reception has been like, and what you want to achieve with MLNP going forward?
Cindy Gallop
Cindy GallopMaker@cindygallop · Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn
@rrhoover @chrismessina @eriktorenberg Thanks Erik! I date younger men, usually in their 20s, and realized some years back that I was encountering, very personally and intimately ;) what happens when total freedom of access to hardcore porn online meets our society's equally total reluctance to talk openly and honestly about sex, and results in porn becoming sex education by default. I decided to do something about that. In 2009 I launched a clunky little no-money 'Porn World vs Real World' website makelovenotporn.com with a mildly notorious TED talk. The response was extraordinary. The world welcomed this initiative with open arms (people from all around the world email us every day thanking us for what we're doing) and I saw the opportunity for a business solution to a huge untapped global social need, because I believe the future of business is doing good and making money simultaneously. MakeLoveNotPorn.tv is the result: the dot com site brought to life in videosharing form (I'm a believer in 'Communication through demonstration') with a revenue-sharing business model. We're not porn, not 'amateur', but creating a new category of socially acceptable/shareable #realworldsex as a real-world counterpoint to porn - what YouTube/Facebook would be if they allowed sexual self-identification and self-expression. At two years old in public beta, we have over 300,000 members; we're global (our second highest source of traffic after the US is China - where interestingly we're not blocked); taking in revenue every month (received wisdom is 'Nobody pays for porn', but they're paying for #realworldsex); some of our MakeLoveNotPornstars are making four figures at each payout with our revenue-sharing model (we're part of the sharing economy, just like Uber and Airbnb); and we're working. A 23-year-old man wrote to us recently: "great site. It’s what I was looking for for a long time. I find the website awesome, It shows real women and it celebrates sex and intimacy. your site makes me want to have sex in a grown up honest and respectful way." Going forwards, we're ready to scale, and so we're just now embarking on raising a round of funding to enable us to do that. We're the startup the world asked for, and funding will enable us to build out our platform in ways our community is asking for, actively market (our growth to date has been organic) and activate a number of planned additional revenue streams, including one I characterize as 'the Khan Academy of sex education' (more details on request :)) (Data is also a very interesting opportunity for us.) Our aim is to scale MLNP to a billion dollar business. There is a huge amount of money to be made, not just in sex, but in socially acceptable, shareable sex. In #sextech, when you normalize people feeling great about publicly buying into your brand; publicly doing what they do with all other products/services - advocate, share, recommend; and publicly badging themselves as brand ambassadors - you potentially double, triple, quadruple returns. The demonstration of that potential is out there right now. EL James is currently the highest income-grossing author in the world, FiftyShadesOfGrey broke publishing records, and the movie just had a record-breaking opening box office weekend. That's the financial power of socially acceptable, socially shareable sex. And that's the huge financial + socially beneficial opportunity we're going after. Who's with us? :)
Cindy Gallop
Cindy GallopMaker@cindygallop · Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn
Thanks so much Chris! MakeLoveNotPorn changes the way the world has sex for the better, via a web/mobile platform that socializes #realworldsex, showcasing it as entertainment/education in a way that is different from porn - socially acceptable and shareable - making it easier for all of us to talk about sex: http://talkabout.makelovenotporn... My tiny, bootstrapping team and I fight a battle every day to build our business; those three little words 'No adult content' pervade every piece of business infrastructure other startups take for granted - more details in the #sextechbiz section of our blog: http://talkabout.makelovenotporn... We welcome support from the tech community and would love to see many more #sextech supporters, investors and entrepreneurs - because the future is, as I said in an open letter to David Cameron and Silicon Valley in Wired - 'Don't Block Porn, Disrupt It': http://www.wired.co.uk/news/arch... I'm looking forward to talking more about this on the ProductHunt AMA Stage at Launch in SF Monday March 2, and on my SXSW panel 'Sex, Drugs, Bitcoin: Vice Vs Virtue Investing' Sunday March 15: http://schedule.sxsw.com/2015/ev... and hope to be able to discuss all of this with any of you there, then :)
Darren J Smith
Darren J SmithHiring@darrenux · Founder, Pillow.io
@rrhoover @chrismessina @eriktorenberg - Love that we’re starting to see more worthy tech/sex products on Product Hunt. Sex itself is an important part of our lives, yet society is mostly incapable of openly talking about it in a frank, honest and adult manner. @cindygallop - we’ve been struggling with the same problems around “No Adult Content” at Blindfold Club (http://blindfold.club). Just last month Betalist refused to promote our site as it was deemed, “explicit”. Do you have any advice for a younger startup? Anything that you’ve learned the hard way and would like to pass on? Also, I’d love to hear more about the Kahn Academy of sex education! I believe we are both building products that can make ALOT of peoples lives healthier, happier and more fulfilling, yet it feels like I’m banging my head against a brick wall half the time just trying to talk to people about it!
Cindy Gallop
Cindy GallopMaker@cindygallop · Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn
@rrhoover @chrismessina @eriktorenberg @darrenux Darren, so pleased to hear from you, and I totally know your frustration. This is Fast Company last year on The Difficulties Of Running A Sex-Inspired Startup (they approached me to do a piece on our battles at MLNP and I asked them to interview a bunch of my #sextech entrepreneur friends as well to demonstrate that there's an entire movement of us out to disrupt sex): http://www.fastcompany.com/30296... and this is the Daily Beast on How Silicon Valley Is Failing Sex: http://www.thedailybeast.com/art... Check out this thread on HackerNews asking 'Are there any innovative startups in the porn/adult industry?' for a number of us talking about the issues we face: https://news.ycombinator.com/ite... and this is me interviewed by HotTopics last week on why it's a big mistake for this to be investors' blind spot: http://www.hottopics.ht/stories/... Check out the #sextechbiz section of our blog for posts that may help: http://talkabout.makelovenotporn... and once we can get MakeLoveNotPorn to do what we want - do a shit-ton of good and make a shit-ton of money - I plan to help us all by starting the YCombinator of #sextech :) http://venturebeat.com/2013/03/1... You're absolutely right about the deeper purpose of what we're doing. MakeLoveNotPorn operates in the single biggest market of them all. Not porn. Not sex. The market of human happiness. Come find me at Launch and I'll tell you all about our plans for 'the Khan Academy of sex education' :)
Darren J Smith
Darren J SmithHiring@darrenux · Founder, Pillow.io
@cindygallop this is a fantastic reply. Thank you. Will be reading through these articles tomorrow. I won't be at launch but no doubt we will chat at some point!
Cindy Gallop
Cindy GallopMaker@cindygallop · Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn
@darrenux You bet :)
Sloane Davidson
Sloane Davidson@sloane · Founder, Farsight Media
Yes @cindygallop! I support #MLNP and you 1000% percent!
Cindy Gallop
Cindy GallopMaker@cindygallop · Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn
@sloane Thank you so much!
Tyler Hayes
Tyler Hayes@thetylerhayes · Bebo
Been a fan of this site since they started. Glad to hear they're fundraising. I'd totally invest if I weren't artist-broke.
Cindy Gallop
Cindy GallopMaker@cindygallop · Co-founder & CEO, MakeLoveNotPorn
@thetylerhayes Awwww, Tyler, thank you so much - that's so nice to hear!