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Make Love Not Porn?

MakeLoveNotPorn.tv will pay people to post videos of themselves having real sex.
 
 
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“Porn is homogenizing sex,” Cindy Gallop proclaimed on a recent rainy Wednesday, her blond bob swinging with emphasis. The result, according to Ms. Gallop: A generation of young men, all too many of whom think the most natural landing place for their ejaculate is a woman’s face, and a generation of young women, all too many of whom think they’re required not just to participate, but wholly enjoy such an act.

This isn’t an academic notion for Ms. Gallop, a veteran advertising executive-turned-social theorist-turned-entrepreneur, or a societal ill stumbled across while perusing  The Atlantic.“This is me going, ‘I fuck 22-year-olds,’” she said. “I know how this plays out in the real world. And that’s why I’m very motivated to do something about it.”

To that end, Ms. Gallop is launching—in barest beta form, strictly invite-only— MakeLoveNotPorn.tv, a startup she hopes will reverse the porn problem that she has dubbed the “single biggest impact that technology is having on human behavior today” in a manner befitting the internet: paying people to post videos of themselves having real sex.

Ms. Gallop lives in Chelsea, in a unit she ominously calls “ the black apartment,” though the overall effect is more cabinet of curiosities than Amsterdam sex dungeon. A large painting of our hostess vamping in a tremendously low-cut black dress dominates the foyer. Inside, we encounterd low shelves littered with knickknacks including an impressive collection of erotic Japanese carvings and a pair of framed, crystal-encrusted handguns. We conducted our interview over a coffee table adornment of a taxidermied mongoose locked in eternal struggle with a cobra.

Before Ms. Gallop became a crusading sex educator hell-bent on changing the way Gen Y interacts with porn, she spent 27 years in the ad business, working with brands like Axe, Levi’s and Johnnie Walker. (Lately, she’s been consulting for L’Oréal, conceiving new fragrances.)

In 1998, she decamped from London to launch the American office of  Bartle Bogle Hegarty. In 2005 she turned 45 and had, she said, “a bit of a midlife crisis.” After 16 years at BBH, she was ready to do something different but wasn’t quite sure what. So she left the agency with one organizing principle: “Let’s open myself up to everything that I possibly can.”

In 2008, she began kicking around the idea for  MakeLoveNotPorn.com, a website designed to expose the various myths perpetrated by hard-core pornography. (For example, not all women are interested in facials of the bedroom variety.) The project was launched in 2009 with  a brief talk at TED, an opening volley guaranteed to shake up the rarified proceedings at Long Beach’s gathering of ultra-hip eggheads. Ms. Gallop took the stage in black leather pants and pronounced: “I date younger men. And when I date younger men, I have sex with younger men.” (A pause for awkward giggles.) “And when I have sex with younger men, I encounter, very directly and personally, the real ramifications of the creeping ubiquity of hard-core pornography in our culture.” (One loud laugh; much awkward shifting in seats.)

However, the website didn’t quite live up to its grab-the-world-by-the-shoulders introduction. It was bare-bones and, in terms of color palette, font and layout, evoked the sticky-floored sketchiness of an adult DVD store. Ms. Gallop freely admitted that she has put no money and little effort into the project since its initial launch, which is why it looks “so basic, so clunky, so minimal.”

Fixing the world’s impoverished sex education and making a dent in porn’s stranglehold on sexual norms would require something sexier. “If I want to counter the impact of porn as default sex education, I have to create something that has the potential to be, ultimately, as mass, as mainstream and as all-pervasive in our society today as porn currently is,” she said.

 
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