November 29, 2012

Everyone remembers their first porn-viewing experience. I was 11 years old, hanging out at my friend’s house, when she pulled out a VHS from under her bed. We were both manically excited to get a glimpse of what the big “sex” looked like. We put the movie in and then proceeded to watch a woman insert grapes and then a live snake into her vagina in an empty bathtub. I turned to my friend in utter disbelief and said, “I can’t believe adults are doing this.”

Since that first smutty experience, I’ve revisited porn a dozen or so times and I still don’t really get it. It’s always the same scenario; a meaty guy with a small-town hair don’t is ramming a girl with a tanning problem, and no matter what he does, she’s screaming like her hair’s on fire. He, on the other hand, is weirdly silent. How is this hot? I went to the “Romance” section of Youporn once just to mix it up, and the only difference was that this time the meaty guy had a nose-ring. So romantic!

Suffice to say, when I found out about a new female-driven web startup called Make Love Not Porn.tv (MLNP.tv), I was immediately intrigued. Then when I learned that the CEO is an eccentric cougar with a penchant for head-to-toe black leather, I was obsessed. I knew I had to to speak with this creature. Unfortunately, trying to snag an interview with Cindy Gallop, founder of MLNP, is like trying to score tickets to a sold-out Louis CK show. Good luck, asshole!

One less kidney later, I found myself in the most stylish apartment I’ve ever seen (pictured above), sitting across from the one and only Cindy Gallop herself. She did not disappoint. Charming, intelligent, and inspiring, she’s basically a human TED talk. I wanted to stand up and clap after everything she said. As for why she wanted to start this company, she explained, “The vast majority of mainstream, mass-market straight porn is made by men for men. The entire raison d’être of every porn scene is to get the man off and as a result, we have an entire generation of young men and women growing up believing the be all and end all of sex is to get the man off.”

Gallop-Clinton 2016, am I right?

Gallop’s path to creating MLNP was basically a happy accident. In the early aughts, she was a high-powered advertising executive, and one of her clients was a cougar dating website. In her 40s at the time, Gallop decided to create a profile and try the site out. Why not? As it turned out, sleeping with men half her age suited her quite well. She has been a dedicated cougar ever since. The only downside to screwing millenials, she learned, was that porn had totally distorted their understanding of female pleasure.

She explains, “I’m old enough to remember back in the day when the guys I slept with considered it enormously important that I came. It was very important that I came first, that I came at least once, if not several times, and if I did not cum, the entire session was a failure. These days if I don’t cum, it’s not even remarked upon.”

But Gallop is careful not to lay blame on these young bucks; she views it as an institutional problem. She says, “If the only cues you have are from porn because you’ve never been given anything else, then those are the ones you’ll take. These guys break out the porn moves because they think that’s showing me a good time.”

Her motivation for starting this business was to present a real world view of sex for the betterment of both men and women. In the About section of the MLNP.tv website it says, “MakeLoveNotPorn.tv is of the people, by the people, and for the people who believe that the sex we have in our everyday life is the hottest sex there is.” It’s basically porn for people that don’t like porn.

Although the MLNP.tv website is currently in Beta, they are hoping to go live in December, I was given access to explore the content. I browsed the selection and watched a handful of videos. My favorite by far was a 34 minute video made by the real-life porn star couple Lily LaBeau and Danny Wylde. Lily LaBeau explains that they wanted to make a movie about “how we have sex at home because in porn…we are asked to do crazy positions and really stupid things and it looks great on-camera but it doesn’t always feel as great as it looks.”

From the first shot of them cuddling in bed it’s clear that this couple is super in love. They are kissing and laughing through the entire experience and they can’t stop smiling at each other. At one point I literally said out loud to no one, “Awwww, so cute!” which is an insane thing to say when you’re watching porn. Other thoughts I had while watching this couple fuck include:

● OMG, they are so in love! Get married already, you crazy kids!
● I really think this couple is gonna make it.
● He’s really hot.

If this is the future of porn, I’m in.

Photography by Dana DeCoursey

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