Make Love Not Porn CEO Cindy Gallop Offers 5 Inspiring Life Hacks About Business And Beyond

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 19: Cindy Gallop attends the 2014 WIE Symposium at The Puck Building on September 19, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
Source: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

This past weekend, porn writers, directors, performers, and viewers gathered together at Pornhub's NYC Porn Film Festival to discuss the art and politics of producing pleasure — and to watch strangers have sex onscreen. I was on hand to catch a stirring talk by Cindy Gallop, the CEO and founder of Make Love Not Porn, a site that features diverse representations of real world sex as an alternative to the performative, unrealistic portrayals of intimacy we often see in mainstream pornography. 

Gallop is the only person to ever utter the phrase "come on my face" in a TED Talk, so I was ready for her to say just about anything regarding porn and sexuality. However, I wasn't as ready for her to give powerful advice that can be applied to your work life and personal life. From start to finish, her talk felt like a mini-masterclass on how to get stuff done and enjoying doing it. And while I listened to her speak eloquently on so many hot button topics, she sounded no different than any other spirited entrepreneur, sharing secrets that she had learned over years of dealing with people and the public. Here are five of Cindy Gallop's most relatable life hacks to inspire you:

1. Take yourself out of the shadows

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"It is important that you are loud and proud about what you are doing," said Gallop to the festival's sold out crowd. This advice can apply to working in an industry that many believe to be immoral or exploitative, but can also apply to the way you live in the world. Existing in the shadows will never bring you recognition and it certainly won't increase your self-worth (or net worth). 

2. Refuse to bow to prejudice

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We all face varying degrees of prejudice and oppression, be it censorship, sexism, racism, classism, or homophobia. Gallop explained that she refuses to change the name of her site or tone down her message to appease prudish critics. While fighting prejudice is sometimes easier said than done, the woman definitely has a point.   

3. Change the world to fit you, not the other way around

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All the pioneering scientists, artists, and entrepreneurs know this one. Working within the system only gives you more of the same, be it the same kind of porn, or the same kind of ideas or values.

4. What sells is what has always sold: individual creative vision

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This tip of Gallop's is more driven towards profit-building, but anyone who works in a creative field can relate. Gallop discussed this idea in relation to Make Love Not Porn's business model, and how it was designed to democratize and monetize porn at the same time. Even though there are millions of free porn videos online, Gallop's unique vision allowed her to turn a profit by doing something radically new. 

5. Porn isn't the problem: our lack of open, healthy dialogue about sex is

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Amen, Cindy. While conservatives and liberal feminists alike have crusaded against porn for decades, the real problem is our lack of open, honest discussion about sex in society at large. Gallop's efforts to reframe porn as a medium for honest representations of human intimacy and sexuality is one step in the ongoing battle for sexual freedom.

Images: Giphy

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