Cindy Gallop Launches MakeLoveNotPorn.tv As an Answer to the Porn Industry’s “unhealthy grip on our youth’s sex ed”

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from www.policymic.com – “Rampant feminist” Cindy Gallop is on a mission: to change the way people view sex in America. (Actually she’s also trying to change the way people have sex in America, too, but I’ll get to that later).

In an attempt to combat the porn industry’s unhealthy grip on our youth’s sex ed, sex activist Gallop has created MakeLoveNotPorn.tv, a site that hosts user-generated videos of “real sex”.

In 2009, the former successful advertising executive and current successful social entrepreneur and consultant launched Make Love Not Porn, a website intended to “help inspire and stimulate open, healthy conversations about sex and pornography,” so as to further “inspire and stimulate more open, healthy and thoroughly enjoyable sexual relationships” — a noble goal.

Her site was launched at the 2009 TED conference, where, in her entertaining yet important TEDTalk, she elaborated on the … shall we say, personal experiences that led to the site’s inception:

“I date younger men, predominantly men in their 20s. And when I date younger men, I have sex with younger men. And when I have sex with younger men, I encounter very directly and personally the real ramifications of the creeping ubiquity of hardcore pornography in our culture.”

What a cougar.

Anyway, she emphasizes what’s proven to be an extraordinarily difficult to admit but nevertheless accurate and troubling observation of how sex is being defined, especially amongst us Millennials. To be specific, hardcore pornography is not only commodifying sex, but it is monopolizing it as well. Now, debating whether or not that’s a crime is futile — monopolies happen. However, in the case of porn and sex, when you strip ‘em down (no pun intended), you’d see that this monopolization in its current state homogenizes sex — i.e., reduces it to down to the not-so-long list of various acts that also happen to be staples in hardcore porn scenes.

The problem is that most pornographers are solely in the business of selling hot ass; they don’t exactly make it a priority to remind you that their debutantes are being paid for their performances. And it’s hardly their job to point out what these girls probably wouldn’t willingly do if they weren’t being paid.

In both her TEDTalk and her appearance at the L2: Generation Next Forum a year later, Gallop illustrates the consequence of this problem with one of those porn staples: the “money shot,” in porn industry parlance — the “facial.” For the prudes among you, this is the sex act whereby a man ejaculates on a woman’s face.

… No, there’s nothing really practical about that.

You can indulge in Gallop’s own blunt, whimsical, in-your-face explanation for why this particular act may pose a serious issue in the real world (see video; I’ve never heard a woman her age say “cum” so many times in so few seconds), but if I may, she basically points out that, because of porn’s influence, some men (indeed perhaps many more than “some”) assume that their partners expect to be facialized; maybe they even expect it of themselves. And unfortunately, any submissive or, worse yet, naïve woman literally in that awkward and, deep down, humiliating position may very well feel inclined to just give in to it to get it over with, whether it be due to pressure to please or fear of saying no.

For the grunt who’s groaning mid-coitus, sex is about to culminate in the fulfillment of a fantasy he’s had since boyhood; and for the girl on her knees, it’s about to amount to … well … his junk in her face and a matter of dealing with it until he’s squeezed out the last drop — in other words, anything but what she’s seen in romcoms or vampire romance novels.

Because of porn, we run the risk of turning sex into yet another form of one-way gratification (not to mention misogyny and submission).

To make matters worse, Gallop argues this treatment of such “freely and widely available” hardcore porn as “de facto sex education” is exacerbated by the fact that we live in a “puritanical, double-standard culture where people believe that a teen abstinence campaign will actually work, where parents are too embarrassed to have conversations with their children about sex, and where educational institutions are terrified of being politically incorrect if they pick up those conversations.”

Gallop is fighting sexual ignorance, and I think we should love and appreciate her for it.

But with her latest internet venture, as well-intentioned as it is, I simply don’t think she’s going about it the right way.

I’m referring to MakeLoveNotPorn.tv, the website she’s started (currently in beta and accessed by invitation only) with the purpose of advancing “an honest, open dialogue around sex and porn,” and she hopes the site will help accomplish that by — get this — hosting, not trite amateur porn, but rather “user-generated ‘real sex’ videos,” a distinction she was quite adamant about during her recent sit-down with Betabeat.

In addition to her broader mission to improve sexual relations and understanding, with MakeLoveNotPorn.tv, Gallop also hopes to enhance and infuse more meaning into our bedrooms (or wherever the hell we freaks get busy) — to bring “the individuality, the creativity, and the self-expression back to sex.”

But in regards to the actual effects of Gallop’s site, reservations certainly abound:

1) MLNP.tv may inadvertently enable the reinforcement of negative stereotypes, misconceptions, and biases.

Either that or it’ll do little in the way of correcting those misconceptions. For instance, users may only end up renting (or pirating) videos of the “hottest” women and “biggest” men, thereby reinforcing unreasonable and, once again, homogenous standards.

2) MLNP.tv may encourage vanity and narcissism.

This piggybacks off of the first point. Think about it. One can argue that the only people who make sex tapes are those who feel like they have assets worthy enough to be recorded. And since these assets to a great extent are already quite firmly rooted in our culture (e.g., C- and D-cups, no muffin-top, no cellulite, no pubes, no strong taste or odor “down there,” 10-pack abs, penises thicker than wrists, etc.), it’s not a stretch to imagine that many of the submitted videos won’t exactly be representative of “real” (“average”) people, let alone “real” (“average”) sex.

3) Not everyone who might want to participate in MLNP.tv and help advance Gallop’s mission in this way would be able to.

The field of people able to submit isn’t quite limited to the incised, juiced, and chiseled narcissists. It’s also limited to people who don’t care at all about privacy and, say, landing jobs…

Yeah, it’s a narrow field, no doubt one that skews the curve.

And seriously, Google “Facedeals” and you’ll realize that in a several years, cameras will be almost in every store recognizing our faces and tailoring ads according to our track records of internet activity. It’s going to get harder and harder for people to hide from each other on the World Wide Web; I seriously doubt that we’ll somehow grow more comfortable with uploading and publishing our sex videos as we go forward in time and technology.

4) MLNP.tv is just reality TV — i.e. not real at all.

There’s this ridiculous notion that what people see on reality television is actually real. It’s not. If someone is aware that he or she is being filmed, any action thereafter, no matter how naturalistic it may seem or feel, becomes a reaction — little more than a performance. In other words, it’ll never be fully reflective of how the person would have behaved had the camera not been there in the first place.

It’s the same thing with sex. I mean, if we’re talking about “real sex”, some people can’t even do it with the lights on, let alone with a camera on them! Again, this goes to what I address in the first two points. I’m no psychologist, but you don’t need to be one to know that a certain kind or amount of ego fuels the exhibitionist — and not everyone has that ego.

Maybe I’m just being an over-thinking, 25-year old, old-fashioned fogey. Maybe I’m not. One thing I know is I do want to be wrong about this, because our underlying culture must change if we want future intersexual relations to get healthier (I just don’t think MakeLoveNotPorn.tv has the power to change culture in the sure and efficient way). Time will tell.

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