Cindy Gallop: “How sharing your real life sex stories could change your life”

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Cindy Gallop, the founder of MakeLoveNotPorn – which has, since its founding in 2009, set out to offer a feminist counterpoint to the world of mainstream pornography – will be joining us on our Stylist Live LUXE stage this year to talk about the social sex revolution. Here, she explains why we should all consider sharing our #realworldsex videos.

When I launched MakeLoveNotPorn as a direct result of my experiences dating younger men, I knew I was embarking on a social experiment. But I didn’t realise how fascinating, revelatory and rewarding that experiment would be.

What is MakeLoveNotPorn?

MakeLoveNotPorn is the world’s first and only human-curated, crowd-sourced #realworldsex video-sharing platform. We’re pioneering a whole new category on the internet that’s never previously existed – social sex. We’re what Facebook would be if it allowed you to sexually self-express, as naturally and normally as you express yourself in every other way on social media.

Anyone, from anywhere in the world, can socially share videos of their #realworldsex, in the same way we socially share videos of every other area of our lives – capturing what goes on in the real world, as it happens, spontaneously, in all its funny messy wonderful awkward beautiful ridiculous humanness. Our motto? ‘Pro-sex. Pro-porn. Pro-knowing the difference’.

The MakeLoveNotPorn community

We’re building a community based on shared sexual values. In fact, I regularly ask people, “What are your sexual values?” No one can ever answer, because we’re not taught to think like that. 

Our parents bring us up to have good manners, a work ethic, a sense of responsibility, accountability; nobody ever brings us up to behave well in bed. But they should have. Because, in bed, values like empathy, sensitivity, generosity, kindness, honesty are every bit as important as they are in every other area of our lives where we’re actively taught to exercise them.

Porn in a post-MeToo world

MakeLoveNotPorn’s aim is to socialise sex – making it easier for everyone in the world to talk openly and honestly about sex. And we hope that this, in turn, promotes better communication, consent, good sexual values and good sexual behaviour.

This could not be more topical in the era of #MeToo – because right now, everybody’s talking about consent. Everybody’s writing about consent. But here’s the problem: nobody knows what consent actually looks like in bed. Nothing educates people about great, consensual, communicative sex, and hardly any websites allow you to watch people actually having that kind of sex.

MakeLoveNotPorn is the only place on the internet where you can do that. We are education through demonstration.

Cindy Gallop: “We have many solo videos of women and men who’ve filmed themselves masturbating, usually for the first time ever, and shared the videos of those extremely intimate moments on MakeLoveNotPorn.”
Cindy Gallop: “We have many solo videos of women and men who’ve filmed themselves masturbating, usually for the first time ever, and shared the videos of those extremely intimate moments on MakeLoveNotPorn.”

The benefits of MakeLoveNotPorn

Our members tell us we’ve saved marriages, rejuvenated relationships, transformed communication, helped healing from erectile dysfunction and post-cancer, helped reclaim their sexuality post-sexual abuse, sparked a long-wanted pregnancy, and expanded sexual repertoires. And our contributors (or, as we like to call them, our MakeLoveNotPornstars) tell us that socially sharing their #realworldsex has been as transformative for them and their relationships as socially sharing everything else has been for the world at large.

We have many solo videos of women and men who’ve filmed themselves masturbating, usually for the first time ever, and shared the videos of those extremely intimate moments on MakeLoveNotPorn. Our solo MakeLoveNotPornstars tell us that doing that made them love themselves more. It enhanced their sense of self, their sexual self-esteem. And our MakeLoveNotPornStar couples tell us it transformed their relationship – because when you decide to film yourselves having sex, you have to talk about it. And when you talk about it, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been together; the conversation goes places it’s never gone before. 

It’s worth noting that the vast majority of our MakeLoveNotPornstars had never filmed themselves doing anything sexual before. They’re doing it for us, because they believe in our social mission, and they share our sexual values. And it is just as important to note that we revenue-share: our members pay to subscribe and stream social sex videos, and half that income goes to our contributors.

Not everybody whom we’ve inspired to film their #realworldsex becomes a MakeLoveNotPornstar. Take Kim and Pete, MakeLoveNotPorn members for the past three years, who told us how they benefitted when they started filming but not (yet!) sharing:

“It quite literally gave us a different perspective on what we did with each other,” the couple explains. “As with the videos from MakeLoveNotPorn it got us talking about things and suggesting other approaches. We could see each other’s facial expressions at those times when our own faces were concentrating on other parts of their body…

“Given our experience with just the first of our videos I would suggest that even if, like us, you’re not sure about becoming a MakeLoveNotPornStar you should certainly give it a try with your partner. Consensually, of course.”

But, is it secure?

My team and I spent years designing MakeLoveNotPorn before we ever built it, because we knew that if we were going to invite people to do something they’d never done before – socially share their #realworldsex – we needed to think through every possible ramification of that, to create a completely safe and trustworthy space. Our submission process can’t be completed unless your video is fully consensual and legal (we require two forms of visual ID for every participant), and importantly, we’re human-curated. 

Our curators watch every video submitted from beginning to end – we don’t publish it unless it’s real. And, for those who are considering uploading a video of their own, remember that you can do so anonymously by wearing masks or keeping your faces in shadow/out of frame. (This link will tell you everything you need to know about how to shoot a banging #realworldsex video without ever showing your face.)

Remember, your videos are only viewable by our members, by those who’ve paid to rent and stream them (you get half the income). And the moment anything changes – your relationship; your circumstances; even just your mind – we take your videos down immediately (you could publish one day, change your mind overnight and we’ll take your video down the next).

So, what do you think?

Are you ready to join the Social Sex Revolution? Because the revolutionary part isn’t the sex – it’s the social. 

Intrigued? Join Cindy Gallop (plus other incredible speakers) at Stylist Live Luxe, our festival of inspiration on 8, 9 and 10 November. Book your tickets at live.stylist.co.uk. For £10 off your ticket, please use code LUXECINDY at checkout. 

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