Several years ago, advertising exec and media mogul Cindy Gallop launched MakeLoveNotPorn in response to experiences she was having during sex with younger men — experiences in which her partners were replicating porn tropes in the bedroom and mistaking it for authentic love making. Not one to sit back and watch the orgasm gap widen, Cindy, as she is wont to do, took action.
And so was born MakeLoveNotPorn, which is a platform for real-world, homemade sex videos meant to counter two prevailing cultural ideas: that sex is shameful to talk about, and that because of our country's silence surrounding sex, mainstream pornography is becoming the default sex education for a generation of young people (mostly men). MakeLoveNotPorn sex videos are all about removing the taboo and inauthenticity from our culture's views about sex and recognizing the act as something honest, beautiful, fun, and worth celebrating. It's not dirty. It shouldn't induce guilt or shame. It's should never make anyone feel humiliated or degraded. It's not something that should be swept under the proverbial rug with embarrassment. And its not something about which the primary form of education should be produced by scripted actors in studios, in videos in which the male orgasm is viewed as the defining act of a sexual encounter. In our newest video we explore the startup company, which is currently in beta testing and rapidly gaining popularity, and we talk to a couple of MakeLoveNotPorn stars about what it's like to make sex videos for the Internet.
MakeLoveNotPorn (or MLNP) is something of an anomaly: Though the website is quickly establishing itself in the porn community, MLNP is completely antithetical to the type of porn most people think of when they think of porn: Raunchy, male-centric sexfests that often leave the viewer feeling kind of queasy after watching.
MLNP aims to be the exact opposite of that. The videos posted on the site for $5 a pop are real-world sex, says founder and CEO Cindy Gallop. "Real-world sex videos on MakeLoveNotPorn.tv are not porn, they're not amateur, they're simply about doing what you do on every other social media platform, which is capturing what goes on in the real world," says Gallop.
In our video below, Gallop, along with "Rickat," an anonymous couple who makes homemade sex videos for MakeLoveNotPorn, talks to us about what it's really like to put your sex life on the Internet.
If your interest is piqued, you can check out the completed video Rickat was making here, and see more of their homemade movies here. Plus, here are eight other things you should know about MLNP right now.
1. MLNP Sees Itself As Social Media
The idea here is not to create an illicit, hush-hush velvet rope around sex, but rather to embrace it as something totally normal and natural that happens across the world every day. It's "what you do in every other social media platform," says Gallop, "which is capture what goes on in the real world."
2. Strict Parameters Define MLNP
Videos on the site must be of consensual, real-world sex, says Sarah Beall, the madam curator of MLNP. "The people in the video aren’t performing for the camera," she says, and the video itself must be "porn-cliché–free to the extent that people in the video aren’t replicating porn tropes subconsciously or consciously."
3. MLNP Was Inspired By Personal Experience
"I only date utterly lovely younger men," says Gallop. "I see them unconsciously modeling the body language in bed that says, 'My dick is the center of the universe, and it's all about me.'" She seeks to dispel the phenomenon in our society of accepting and embracing typical porn ideals as being "the norm" in bed, hoping to replace such constructs with more equal-opportunity, GGG, women-empowered models.
"The industry of porn is predominantly male-generated," she says. "So the person who coined the term 'finger blasting' didn't have a vagina. The person who coined the term 'getting her ass railed' never got his ass railed." Instead of using such crude terms, MLNP is creating new language for real world sex, starting with the way they tag their videos and the very language used across the site in reference to sex.
4. MLNP Stars Are Discovering New Things Alongside Viewers
"Our MakeLoveNotPorn stars find the process of sharing their real-world sex transformative for them and their relationships," says Gallop, "because when you decide to film yourselves having sex, you have to talk about it." When you rent a MLNP video, you're watching two real people, often in a committed, loving relationship, having sex with each other the way they would without cameras, or at least as close to that as humanly possible. (When a camera is on, it's hard to forget it's there.) "When you talk about [sex]," Gallop says, "it doesn't matter how long you’ve been together — the conversation could go places it's never gone before in your relationship." Talking about sex: Always a good idea, and good for your partnership too.
5. MLNP Stars Explore Their Own Sexuality By Participating
"I was raised to think that everything sex-related was a sin," says one MLNP star. She and her husband are all about depicting true-to-life sex. She wants to show a "more feminine version" of porn, she says. "It doesn't have to be all rainbows and unicorns, because it's not like that. Women enjoy rough sex too. Women enjoy a lot of things that men enjoy, but
it doesn’t have to be so gross." She and her husband try new things for MLNP, and their excitement and enthusiasm is palpable in the video.
6. MLNP Has Had To Fight For Funding
"I did not realize when my team and I embarked on this
venture that we would fight a battle every single day to build it," Gallop says. No matter what the situation is, when it comes to business infrastructure, "the small print always says no adult content," Gallop says. "I can't get funded. . . . I can't find a bank
anywhere in the world that will allow me to open a business bank account for a
business that does what we do." Regardless of the message — vulgar or sex-positive — most mainstream companies want nothing to do with MLNP. For example, Google banned all adult content from its ads in March 2014.
7. The Porn Industry Is Changing, Which Affects MLNP
Porn's global revenue fell by 50 percent from 2007 to 2011. But free porn consumption is at an all-time high. MLNP hopes to nestle comfortably somewhere within that paradigm. At $5 apiece, each video splits its profits 50/50 between the stars of the film and MLNP. The site's most popular video thus far was rented 3,000 times and yielded $7,500 for the couple in it. But the fledgling company has high hopes for its material: "We would love our MakeLoveNotPorn stars one day to be as famous and
celebrated as YouTube stars, and we would love them to make just as much money," says Gallop. The top 20 YouTube personalities make $1.38 million to $8.47 million annually.
8. MLNP Stars Are Just Like Us
When you rent a MLNP flick, you're not necessarily tuning into the same hackneyed image of a man and a woman having sex in a bed. The content can wildly vary — some videos have been about couples buying new camera equipment to tape themselves having sex, going on a date night, taking a vacation, paying off credit card debt — even buying a new washing machine, says Beall. In other words, the site wants to detach the stigma from sex and instead celebrate it as something that is an everyday activity, bathed in the fabric of our daily lives.
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