Innovation / Derivative

Big ideas are needed to change the world and sex tech has the answers with Cindy Gallop

Innovation / Derivative
"Those of us who are most at risk every single day - women, black people of color, LGBTQ, the disabled - we design safe spaces and safe experiences, but we don't get funded." - Cindy Gallop

From The Noodler

When we think of creating a world that is more equitable and safe for everyone - sex isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Typically when the word “sex” enters any conversation, people start to pay attention, for all kinds of other reasons. It’s a topic with many meanings and interpretations - depending on where and how you were raised and your lived experience. It’s still considered too taboo, by most, to talk about at the dinner table, yet sex, sexual health, orientation, education, etcetera, are deeply intertwined in our politics, policies, and cultural zeitgeist. Furthermore, sextech covers everything from health and wellness applications like period and ovulation trackers, feminine hygiene products, to sex education, and porn (yes - porn). It’s a vast category to say the least - and one that is greatly underestimated and often misunderstood.

To help us better understand the nuances of sex tech, the sex “economy,” and the many reasons why we should all be talking about our sexual values for a safer world, we sat down with the very woman who coined the term “sextech” in 2009 - Cindy Gallop. 

This special interview delves into the duplexities of being innovative in a derivative world. Cindy is an award-winning leader in Marketing and Advertising, turned sextech entrepreneur. Shefounded Make Love Not Porn, the world’s first user-generated, human-curated social sex platform that is pro-sex, pro-porn and pro-knowing the difference. In our hour plus long conversation, Cindy talks about  the successes and challenges of her business, and why we should all be paying attention to this sector - because your pension might already be invested in it. 

The Interview

Read Along...

[00:00:02] Cindy Gallop: I designed Make Love Not Porn through the female lens to be the safest place on the internet. And that's because I designed it around what everybody else should have, nobody else did - human curation.

[00:00:15] Brady Hahn: Welcome to The Noodler, where we unpack timely cultural insights and quarterly digests featuring thinkers, researchers, strategists and creatives with an eye for contextualizing the present and forecasting the future. We are thrilled to be joined by the indomitable Cindy Gallop, the Michael Bay of Business, and founder of IfWeRanTheWorld and Make Love Not Porn, to explore the duplexities of the sex economy. 

So, Cindy, you created Make Love Not Porn to show depictions of healthy, real-world sex and lift the veil on the toxic fantasies that porn creates. So, as a bit of background, can you start by sharing how you transitioned from marketing and advertising into launching Make Love Not Porn? 

[00:01:02] Cindy Gallop: Sure! And the answer Brady is by complete and total accident. By the way, everything in my life and career has happened by accident. I've never consciously intentionally planned anything. Make Love Not Porn came about because I date younger men. They tend to be in their twenties. And about 15-16 years ago, I began realizing through dating younger men that I was encountering very intimately and personally what happens when two things converge. 

And I stress the dual convergence because most people think it's only one thing. 

I realized that I was experiencing what happens when today's total freedom of access to hardcore porn online meets our society's equally total reluctance to talk openly and honestly about sex - it's when those two factors converge that porn becomes sex education by default in not a good way. 

So, I found myself encountering a number of sexual behavioral memes in bed with, going “whoa, I know where that sexual behavior is coming from!” I thought, gosh, if I'm experiencing this, other people must be as well. I didn't know that because 15-16 years ago, nobody was talking about this. Nobody was writing about it. This was me in isolation as a naturally action oriented woman going, I want to do something about it. So, 14 years ago, purely as a little side venture, I put up with no money, a tiny clunky website at that in its original iteration was just words. The construct was porn world versus real world. Here's what happens in the porn world. Here's what really happens in the real world.

I launched at TED in 2009, and it drove this extraordinary global response to my tiny website that I had never anticipated. Thousands of people wrote to me from every single country in the world, young and old, male and female, straight and gay, pouring their hearts out, telling me things about their sex lives and their porn watching habits they'd never told anybody before. And I realized I'd uncovered a huge global social issue. And so that was when I went, oh my God, I now have a personal responsibility. 

[00:03:21] I have to take Make Love Not Porn forwards in a way that will make it much more far reaching, helpful, and effective. And so I turned it into a business designed to do good and make money simultaneously. So today, Make Love Not Porn is pro sex, pro porn, pro knowing the difference. 

We are the world's first and only user generated, 100% human curated, social sex video sharing platform. So with kind of what Facebook would be if it allowed you to socially sexually self express, which it clearly doesn't. 

The way to think about us is if porn is the Hollywood blockbuster movie, Make Love Not Porn is the badly needed documentary.

We are a unique window onto the funny, messy, loving, wonderful sex we all have in the real world. We are socializing, normalizing and destigmatizing sex, bringing it out of the shadows into the sunlight to promote consent, communication, good sexual values and behavior.
We are literally sex education through real world demonstration.
And importantly, I designed Make Love Not Porn through the female lens to be the safest place on the Internet. And that's because I designed it around what everybody else should have, nobody else did - human curation

Our curators watch every video submitted from beginning to end before we approve or reject and we publish it. Nobody else does that. But it's not just that. We review every post on every member profile. And by the way, on Make Love Not Porn, your profile posts can be as safe for work or not safe for work as you like. We review every comment on every video before we approve or reject and publish it. Nobody does that. We can vouch for every single piece of content on our platform in a way that nobody else can. 

And by the way, we're tiny bootstrapping, we have no money and we've human created everything for ten years. Imagine what Facebook, YouTube, OnlyFans could do with their billions if they chose to. Safety on the Internet is not a matter of viability, it's a matter of choice. 

And then the final thing I'll say is I foresaw the creator economy 14 years ago when I designed Make Love Not Porn around a revenue sharing business model to democratize access to income so our members pay to subscribe rent and stream social sex videos. Half the income then goes to the contributor, or as we like to call them, our Make Love Not Porn stars. 

[00:05:54] Brady: For those of us, maybe, who haven't explored a lot of porn could you encapsulate what it is? Is there something that it always comes down to for you where you're like, that's porn - that's not real sex. 

[00:06:06] Cindy: Right. So I'm sorry, Brady. I can't answer that in one sentence. 

[00:05:54] Brady: Ha, okay!

[00:06:14] Cindy: …and by the way, my response to this really speaks to what you guys are doing with The Noodler. 

I've spent 14 years trying to get people to see the nuance in everything that we're discussing. First of all, I get enormously frustrated when people use the word “porn” like it's all one big homogeneous mass. That's like using the word “literature” to say it's all the same thing. 

The landscape of porn is as rich and infinitely varied as the landscape of literature. There are as many genres and subgenres. And what is important for people to know, because not many people know this, is that the porn industry is currently dominated by one massive monopoly which would never be allowed to exist in any other sector. But nobody wants to bring antitrust legislation to porn. 

A company called MindGeek owns everything that is visible when people think about porn. MindGeek [now Aylo] owns PornHub, YouPorn, RedTube,,, Brazzers, et cetera. And by the way, that is why so many of the tube sites look so similar. And when - as with any industry, you have a huge monopoly, that monopoly has a stranglehold on individual creative vision. 

I have a ton of friends who are independent, brilliant female queer pornographers making really innovative creative porn that is nothing like what's on the homepage of PornHub but they don't get the traffic revenue numbers they deserve because nobody can find them. 

I bring a business perspective and it's not rare because I'm anything special. I'm not. It's only rare because the people whose brilliant business brains populate the stages of TED and the pages of the Harvard Business Review have no interest in turning any of that business brilliance on the adult industry. But they should because everything that we're talking about is driven by business issues and requires business solutions. 

[00:07:56] And what I mean by that is, the porn industry is like any other industry that I study as a business consultant, which is how I support myself alongside Make Love Not Porn. It's gotten so big, it's gotten conventional. So porn now has norms and rules of convention in mainstream porn. Which is why so much is repetitive and boring. It's fallen prey to the business syndrome that I call “collaborative competition.” 

“Collaborative competition” is when everybody in a sector competes with everybody else in the sector by doing exactly the same thing every other sector is doing and it's tanking. Its old world order business model has been destroyed by the flood of free content online and it hasn't invented a new one. 

Now, every business dynamic that I've just cited is also true of music history, of movies, of television, of advertising. It's just the way those dynamics manifest in porn is more controversial and distressing. 

So the explosive growth in extreme violent porn is not driven by “evil twist of malignant vicious forces women within the porn industry.” And it's not driven by “oh my god, we'll become more depraved and corrupt as human beings.” It's driven by very boringly, very prosaically, a bunch of guys scared shitless because they're not making any money doing what guys scared shit is not making money do in any industry, which is play it safe; “Oh look, they're all doing that. Let's do that too.” “Oh that must be what the consumer wants. Let's do that too.” As in washing powder, so in porn.

So important and the analogy I draw is with reality television because reality TV was pioneered 20 odd years ago by amazing shows like MTV's The Osbournes, The Real World - then everybody else jumped on the bandwagon and it descended to the morass we have today. The Real Housewives of everywhere, Jersey Shore…

And so what I've been saying for years is the answer to all of this is not to shut down censor, clamp down, block, repress. It is instead to open up.
Open up the dialogue around all of this in a way - I'm very happy that you are doing today - open up to welcoming, supporting and funding entrepreneurs like me who want to disrupt all of this for the better and open up to allowing us to do business the same way everybody else does.
Because when you do that, you completely transform the landscape what is deemed “adult.”

I like to repurpose in this context Wayne LaPierre of the NRA's infamous gun control quote, “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a business is a good guy with a better business.”

That's what I’m doing. 

[00:10:56] Brady: On that note, what are the pillars of the sex economy? 

[00:11:00]  Cindy: So here's the frustrating thing - first of all, there is no sex economy. 

What I mean by that is there is no officially recognized, industry wide monitored sex economy. And that's because historically the assumption was that anything to do with sex was porn. Not true, by the way! 

Today you have a ton of founders like me who are founding platforms, ventures, businesses in the academy that I defined nine years ago, sextech - but that is still lumped together with porn all too often, or it is not acknowledged because we are operating in what is the absolute final frontier for business, for investment. And so there is no officially recognized sex economy, but I am very keen to build one! 

[00:11:59] Brady: Why do you think there aren't more people like you, investors, who are trying to support positive platforms like Make Love Not Porn? 

[00:12:09] Cindy: Well, okay, so let me answer that by answering a question that I get asked all the time in media interviews, which is the journalists will go, “Cindy, why do you think we're all so repressed about sex?” And I've been asked this question so often, I now have my answer down pat. Three reasons: 

  • So, reason number one - reason number one is centuries of repression, religion, sociocultural dynamics in every single country in the world. Everything we're talking about is global in its applicability.
  • Reason number two, the patriarchy. Because historically, every institution has been male dominated, including religion and government. We as women have never been allowed to bring our lens to bear on human sexuality, and the world is a poorer place for it. 
  • And reason number three, very straightforwardly, is to your question, there are not enough people like me. And what I mean by that is the world makes it so bloody difficult to innovate and disrupt social narratives around sex. Many people have tried and given up, and I don't blame them because my life is shitty on a daily basis because of what I do. We need many more people like me who will not give up, no matter what. 

We have not even begun to see the economy and the sector and the trillions of dollars that have not been made are yet to be made. We have yet to see what all of this can be when we break down the barriers I've spent the past 14 years fighting. 

The one thing I didn't realize when I embarked on building Make Love, Not Porn was that I and my tiny team would, as I said, fight an enormous battle every single day to build our business - and then to keep it alive. 

And that is because every single piece of business infrastructure any other tech startup takes for granted, we can't. The small print always says, no adult content. No adult content is all pervasive across every single area of my business in the way that people outside this sphere simply do not realize. 

I can't get funded. I can't get banked. It took me four years to find one bank here in America that would allow me to open a business bank account for Make Love Not Porn. Try running a business for four years without a business bank account. 

[00:14:40] I’m not going to tell you how I did it in ways I shouldn't have, but it makes life extraordinarily difficult. My single biggest business growth inhibitor actually, I have two business growth inhibitors, but this really is very fundamental is payments. PayPal won't work with adult content. Stripe won't work with adult content, mainstream credit card processors won't. I have to work with adult friendly payment processors, who, because anybody who is an adult has nowhere else to go, charge extortionate fees. 

I pay out 12% of my revenue every month in payment processing fees alone. And by the way, the mainstream rate is 3% or less. That's a massive business growth inhibitor. 

Every single tech service I need to use to operate a video sharing platform - hosting, encoding, and encrypting - the terms of service always say no adult content. In every single case I've had to go to people at the top of the company, explain what I'm doing, beg to be allowed to use their service. Sometimes they let me, sometimes they don't. It's a very labor intensive process, and I never get to work with best of class in anything with business partners. 

We had to build our entire video sharing platform from scratch ourselves as proprietary technology, because existing streaming services and off the shelf components will not stream adult content. Even something as simple as sending out membership emails - MailChimp won't work with adult content. Clavio won't. We were rejected by a whole host of email providers before we found SendGrid who would. But not ideal. 

To give you an idea of how ridiculous this is, a few years ago I needed a contract user experience designer. I put a perfectly standard UX designer job description up on Upwork. 20 minutes later, Upwork took it down and told us we are not allowed to post jobs on this site because we are Make Love Not Porn. 

And my other huge business growth inhibitor, and again, bear in mind this is true for anybody doing anything sex related is that we are banned from advertising anywhere. 

[00:16:45] We are banned from advertising on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Google, YouTube, Twitter, basically any online platform, and we are also banned from advertising in traditional media. Try growing a business without being able to advertise. And what especially frustrates me about that is we are currently banned from doing paid search ads on Google. But every day, all around the world, people search for Make Love Not Porn without knowing that we exist. 

And what I mean by that is the top organic search terms that send people to us are: “make love,” “not porn,” “real sex not porn,” “video sex not porno,” or “make love not porn” where they don't know there's a company called that. 

One young man told me that he found us when he Googled “porn that is not porn.” He was so fed up with everything out there, wanted something different, no idea what, searched for when you search, “porn that is not porn,” you find Make Love Not Porn. 

But that gives you some idea of the scale of the opportunity we're being held back from, because that is how much the entire world wants what we do, needs what we do, and knows that it needs what we do. 

[00:17:58] Brady: And I think it also what I'm hearing too, is that when everything is lumped into porn or adjacent to porn, it becomes something completely different. Because what you're doing is technically not the toxic porn that we're talking about and is actually about people using consent, having positive discussions. 

[00:18:22] Cindy: Let me contextualize this in the broader tech landscape as a whole, because we do not get enough credit to Make Love Not Porn for how uniquely we operate and how much the rest of the Internet should be emanating us. 

The young white male founders of the giant tech platforms that dominate our lives today. They are not the primary targets online or offline of harassment, abuse, racism, sexual assault, violence, rape, revenge, porn. Therefore, they did not and they do not proactively design for the prevention of any of those things on their platforms. And we see the results around us every single day. 
Those of us who are most at risk every single day - women, black people of color, LGBTQ, the disabled - we design safe spaces and safe experiences, but we don't get funded. 
Last year, only 1.7% of all venture capital went to female founded ventures.

Okay. I've shared with you how uniquely Make Love Not Porn operates.

We are the safest place on the Internet, but we are the future of the internet, designed and built through the female lens - but we are not getting funded. And that is why nobody is seeing at scale how different the future of the Internet could be, how different the future of business could be, and how different the future of sextech could be when it's designed and built through the female lens.
And that is a huge problem. 

[00:19:53] Brady: It's a huge problem. And it's interesting because I was talking to a friend about this a couple of weeks ago and how she was really trying to explore her own sexual experiences. And I referred her to Make Love Not Porn. And a few weeks later, she came back to me and was like, this is incredible. She's like, I literally cannot go back to watching any other kind of porn - or…

[00:20:12] Cindy: I love that. 

[00:20:12] Brady: movies or TV. She said it's really changed that she looks at media in general because of the kind of caring relationships that she's seen on the platform and how it really emulates the kind of relationship she wants to have in real life. She said that the exploration of the platform is so different from other things that she's found online and that's just like one of the many. 

[00:20:38] Cindy: Oh, my God. But by the way, Brady, can I ask, would your friend to write an anonymous blog post for us about this? 

Brady: I can ask for sure. I'll ask her! And the way she told me though, too, was like she was like, no, but this moved me. Do you know you know what I mean? 

[00:20:57] Cindy: Oh, my God. I have to tell you guys, because you don't get the power of what we're doing at Make Love Not Porn until you actually watch our videos because they are unlike anything else anybody has ever encountered. And I'll tell you something especially interesting. So I designed Make Love Not Porn to be fully diverse and inclusive. And we are. Our members, and our Make Love Not Porn Stars are ages 18 to 80 - literally. They are straight. LGBTQ, they are all races. Ethnicities, they are male, female, trans, nonbinary. But in the ten years we've operated the business, we have observed that Make Love Not Porn is especially a revelation to men. 

More men send us appreciative emails, leave grateful comments than anybody else, because we are something utterly unique that men will find nowhere else on the Internet, which is a safe space where men can be - and watch other men being - open, emotional and vulnerable around sex. You would not believe the number of men who write to us and say, “I just watched my first video Make Love Not Porn, and afterwards I cried.” 

I've said, for years, I wish society understood the opposite of what it thinks is true. Women enjoy sex just as much as men, and men are just as romantic as women. Yet neither gender is allowed to openly celebrate either fact, and we'd all be a whole lot better off if they were. 

I picked up a wonderful exchange on Twitter last year between two men. The first male tweeted - this is obviously a joke - he tweeted, “Hey guys, got this really weird fetish. I've got this kink where I want to watch porn where people are honest, loving, loyal, decent and really like each other. Give me all these things, please.” 

And a man replied and he said, “There's this website called Make Love Not Porn where you can watch real couples fucking and making love.” He said, “I watched a video where the woman said to her man, “I love you” while making love.” He said, “Sincerely, I cried when I heard that.” 

[00:22:57] We are one of the solutions to toxic masculinity. And by the way, the reason investors should be falling over themselves to fund us is because ultimately - our mission at Make Love Not Porn is to help end rape culture. And we do that. We have ten years of proof of concept and we have the power to change people's sexual attitudes and behavior for the better in a way that nothing else can. We help end rape culture by doing something incredibly simple that nevertheless, nobody else anywhere on the internet is doing. 

We end rape culture by showing you how wonderful, great, consensual, communicative sex is in the real world. Our social sex videos rolemodel good sexual values and good sexual behavior. And here's the important part: we make all of that aspirational versus what you see in popular culture. 

One man left a comment in a video saying, “this makes me want to be a better man in the bedroom and in life.” 

So this is a comment somebody left one of our videos - a I Make Love not Porn Star couple;

“This is just so special. Watching it turns me on, yes, but also it's a great comfort to know that what I sought all my life - and sadly, never found - can exist between a couple. A deep, loving trust that frees you to really connect and give and receive pleasure as naturally as breathing. I was right not to settle for less than you two have. How lovely you are!” 

Honestly, I choke up when I read that. I mean, that is just one example of just really moving comments. 

And then I want to just read you an email that let me just find it, that was written to us by a young man. And as I mentioned, you know - this gives you an idea of how moved men are by what they see on Make Love Not Porn. So, and I will just say also, what I love about this particular email is I created Make Love Not Porn to be a mass market business - mainstream business. And I say that because in the sextech world, there are many ventures targeting kind of high-end, affluent customers with beautiful designs, sex toys, whatever - and I always go at the end of the day, ultimately, my target is the horny old boy in Minneapolis, because if we don't get to him, he's going straight to PornHub and staying there. 

[00:25:42] Brady: I love that you picked my hometown, by the way. 

[00:25:42] Cindy: There you go! So this email, as you will hear, is from a blue collar worker. And I just love the fact that we really got to him in this way. So the headline of his email was, “This Has Helped.” And he says, 

“So usually when people give feedback, they say, I don't normally do this. This is actually true for me to write an actual email. I apologize that I may be long. I found out about your website via a story on I'm 35 years old and a very single straight male. I'm now working at a factory in a very small town in…” and we take out that information, but it's the Midwest. “...As I've gotten older, the one thing I felt that I've been missing is some type of connection when viewing porn. My habits have always been, go to pornhub, search a video, boom. Done! That changed when I was watching one of the videos on here. I don't think I've ever seen something that I was so taken aback by. It was intimate. It was two people you saw an actual connection with. It made me question my own viewing habits right now, which is a good thing, I feel, in terms of growth. I also feel the need to speak about the need for males like myself to talk about how they feel. I feel like for the first time, I want to confront my own issues with sex and my own sexual health, which, in all honesty, is not good at all. Dating has been nonexistent for years, many due to me being so busy most of my life with working three jobs to survive that I never really got a chance by how to now to try to understand why all of this came about with your website, I'm very grateful to kind of start a new journey here to try to understand myself more. I want to thank you guys for this. I felt this has kind of been a nice wake up call. Thanks again.” 

Wow. Right? 

[00:27:34] Brady: That's amazing. And I do think what that just shows you is that because so many of my friends who are dating right now and single or struggling within their marriages, to be honest, this is what they're missing, is that ability to hear this, especially who are in heterosexual relationships, to hear this from their male partners. And just how, - even for me, hearing both of these testimonials, it's so valuable for me to hear that there are human beings out there that want to have a real connection and human experience. 

[00:28:08] Cindy: Oh, my God. Absolutely. And by the way, again, over the ten years we have been going, we've heard time again, “You've saved our marriage,” “You've saved our relationship.” 

[00:28:18] Brady: Can you imagine if dating apps had testimonials like this? About what a person wants. 

[00:28:22] Cindy: Well, here's also what's frustrating. I'm dying to partner with a dating app because we are how you partner with your members to demonstrate good sexual values and good sexual behavior. We are what stops women being greeted with dick pics on the first know, I need a warm intro to Whitney Wolf heard or whoever! 

[00:28:44] Brady: Okay! Yeah. We will find one for you. We will totally find one here. Because, again, I think it's like - you know that's what we're all looking for is connection. And it makes us healthier in our friendships as well when we can speak intimately, because intimacy is like this big standing space, not just about sex. 

When it comes to individual creators, what is the reality versus  glamorization of say, creating content for platforms like OnlyFans? What does true earning potential look like and what are the literal and metaphorical costs of taking this approach versus a human curated platform like Make Love Not Porn?

[00:29:28] Cindy: At Make Love Not Porn, we are spearheading what I call the social sex revolution. The revolutionary part is not the sex, it's the fact we're finally making it social. 

And the reason why I said to you that we have not even begun to see what the trillion dollar sex economy can be is because when I talk to investors I go oh my god, the money there is to be made but in two areas. The second one, which nobody ever thinks about because nobody thinks it's possible. So the first area is, “oh my god, the money to be made out of sex!” We all have it, we all enjoy it and importantly, in the current climate it's recession proof and the market never ever goes away. 

But the second part is, “oh, my God, the money's been made out of socially acceptable sex!” Because when you do what we're doing at Make Love Not Porn socialize and normalize all of this you then normalize people feeling really okay about publicly buying your goods, products and services, publicly doing what they do with everything else. Reviewing, recommending, sharing, advocating and publicly badging themselves as brand ambassadors. That's the trillion dollar financial future that I'm going after. 

So, I've always said that when Make Love Not Porn scales to be the Facebook of social sex globally, which is how big I want to be, one of the side benefits will be that in that future sex work will be as normal a career choice as lawyer, teacher, accountant. Sex workers will not have to do their work under assumed names. They won't have to worry about being outed. It will be a perfectly natural career choice.  

And so on, on one hand I absolutely applaud OnlyFans for demonstrating as they have that there is a huge market for adult content work. I do not applaud them for the fact that it was never their agenda to mainstream this for all of us and that is a huge missed opportunity. 

Make Love Not Porn's design, as you've heard, to keep our Make Love Not Porn Stars and our community safe, OnlyFans wasn't. 

OnlyFans has been able to make all the money it has because it presents itself as a general fan platform. PayPal and Stripe buy into that fiction, by the way. They both work with OnlyFans because it benefits them to go. We're just working with a general fan platform, not one that's powered by sex work. 

So, OnlyFans did not design to keep its adult content creators safe. And as we all know, they are the engine driving all that revenue for the people behind OnlyFans. To make money OnlyFans, it's a 24/7 job. You've got to be reflecting all the time. You've got to be on there constantly coming up with new stuff. 

On Make Love Not Porn, you're sharing the sex you have in the real world. You might choose to share a video one month, might not feel like the next couple of months. That's fine. Your video is making passive income for you anyway. This is the thing that I consider especially egregious of OnlyFans because with their numbers they could do an extraordinary job of this. OnlyFans does not promote you or your content in any way at all and it does not enable you to promote your content through the platform in any way at all. 

So the people making money OnlyFans are the people who can import large audiences and large followers from somewhere else. If you are a TikTok star or an Instagram star or a porn star and you have a massive following, starting an OnlyFans instantly gives you a healthy revenue base. If you are ‘Mr. or Ms. Ordinary’ and you've lost your job in the pandemic and you need to make money and you've decided you want to do this, you will really struggle to promote your content. Especially because, as I mentioned earlier, you are banned from advertising anything adult anywhere on social. 

On Make Love Not Porn, we do your promoting for you. We send out several weekly emails to our members. We theme videos around, here's a collection of make outdoor love, not porn. Make anal love, not porn - we call it “backdoor” - make backdoor love, not porn - et cetera. We promote our Make Love Not Porn Stars and their videos across all our social channels and the media interviews. We know a number of them also promote themselves on Twitter, though, which is the only social channel that will allow x-rated content. But basically we promote your content for you. 

[00:34:22] On OnlyFans, you are performing. Again, this is the difference from Make Love Not Porn - you are performing. You are taking fan requests, you are fulfilling fan requests. If you want to make money, you have to, no matter how debased and degraded some of those requests may make you feel, you have to do things you would not normally necessarily want to do if you want to make money.On Make Love Not Poor, nobody's performing for anybody. This is just sex you have in the real world, and you share it, and people are very grateful. 

OnlyFans makes it very difficult to remove your content. Okay? So going onlyFans desperate to make money, deciding this wasn't a good idea, and wanting no one to know subsequently that you once did this is very difficult. On Make Love Not Porn and again, we are utterly unique in this - our commitment to you as a Make Love Not Porn Star is the moment anything changes your relationship, your life, your circumstances, even just your mind, you tell us, we take your videos down immediately. And when I say that, what I mean is there is no process. There is no application form, there is no waiting period. You message us and a summary did the other day, literally within ten minutes getting her email, her videos are gone. 

OnlyFans is making a lot of money for some people, but for the vast majority, it's not. And I have to tell you that I have a friend who is working on starting something badly needed in the adult industry, which is the first ever company that will basically produce and deliver industry wide data on a whole range of trends. And I will just say that they have conducted a very interesting study that indicates that 69% of OnlyFans adult content creators want to leave OnlyFans, and only 4% are happy on the platform. 

So that gives you some idea of how much no, it is not the fountain of gold. That superficially, you might think it is. But here's the really depressing thing, because - and again, I can absolutely say this based on our own experience and Make Love Not Porn, people really want to create real world adult content, okay? And I have to tell you, so, in the tech world, there's this philosophy that when you launch a tech business, you often have to do things that are unscalable to get the business to the point where it's scalable. 

So the off quoted example is Airbnb, when they launched, realized very quickly that homeowners take shitty photographs. So they paid to send professional photographers to the first homeowners on the platform, because A. that meant they had great photographs, made the platform look good, but B. that then set the gold standard for other homeowners tour of the platform to go, “OOH, I've got to take photos as good as that.” 

So here's my version of my “unscalable” effort to create something that ultimately scale. Obviously, before we launched Make Love Not Porn, we had to feed the platform with content, right? So I and my then curator, Sarah spent a whole year asking everybody we knew and complete strangers, will you film yourselves having real world sex for us? And so what I did was every time I had a conversation about Make Love Not Porn, for what I was building, I would always end the conversation by saying, would you be interested in contributing content? 

And I would always ask this question, regardless of whether I personally thought the person I was talking to would or wouldn't. This is how I found out that 99.9% of the time, the answer is “yes.” To the extent that I literally was in conversations, I had to force my face to stay mobile because I want to go, what? The desire to do this lies a lot closer to the surface of many more people than you would ever have thought. And given a reason, given our social mission, our social values, people jumped at the chance. So you know, what I've been saying ever since OnlyFans rose to power is, oh, my God, the opportunity, again, to do what I'm working to make happen with Make Love Not Porn, to provide a platform destigmatized socialized normalized, to enable the creator economy and sex to take flight - and that is what OnlyFans still hasn't done. And so that's why, despite the enormous amount of money it's already making, I go, you have not even begun to see the money they could make. 

[00:39:06] Now, the other area which has money to be made, which, again, nobody is seeing at the moment, is so I talk interviews about how everybody should adopt our Make Love Not Porn human curation model. And so what I hear is, “oh, my God, Cindy, but that's not feasible, it's not viable.” et cetera. Because if the rest of the Internet adopted our model, those giant tech platforms make so much more money. 

Our approach to human curation starts far further back than the platform itself, because we make it crystal clear what Make Love Not Porn stands for, what kind of content were created to showcase, and what kind of content we want. 

We make that clear not just our FAQs on the platform, but again, across our social channels and every media interview. Here's the thing: when you make it crystal clear what kind of content you want, that is the only kind of content you get. So I find it very funny when people say to me, oh, my God, Cindy, you're poor curators, what mental health practices do you have in place to help them? They must have look at horrific things. And I go, no. 

Our curators watch nothing but love all day long. Because when you make it really clear what you're for, that is all you get. So that's principle number one for the big tech platforms. Make it clear what you stand for what your values are. Put that out there. That is the content you attract. 

Secondly, the moment you announce you have implemented human curation and by the way, again, when people question scalability, human curation is designed into our business plan to be scalable.

It's simply our version of any enterprise software, unicorn's, human salesforce. So the moment you announce that all of your content is now going to be human curated you can instantly turn off the firehose of Nazis and child abusers and racists. Because when they know that content is going to be human curated and it will not get through human curation, they stop submitting it. Okay? That's the second reason. 

And the third reason is that you will make far more money than you ever did before is because two crucial words - brand safety. 

You think your ad revenues are big now? Find out how big they get when you can guarantee to advertisers that their ads will never ever run next to something unacceptable. 

[00:41:34] Brady: Yeah. And speaking of human curation and all these components, I know in the documentary that you were in or the show Planet Sex on Hulu, the subject of AI came up. And how do you think that's going to impact not only the work that you're doing, but also kind of how that impact is going to look in the world at large, kind of around all of this subject matter. 

[00:42:00] Cindy: I have a vision of the future of sextech that is completely unlike anybody else's because I can see the future and everyone else is looking at what is. So, I have had an AI strategy to Make Love Not Porn for five years - since before AI became the buzzword it is today. And it's completely different to what people think of when they think of AI and sex. 

And I have to give full credit here to a friend whose name I won't mention because I haven't cleared it with her but her background is AI and machine learning. And so she gave me this idea because we're talking about the fact that… 

I designed Make Love Not Porn to be the Kinsey of today; real world, real time, real life human sexual behavior. Capture it and aggregate in a way that nobody else is doing in an era that is notoriously research and data free because for all reasons I battle on a daily basis, nobody is funding the score of sex and porn.
And also, in the era of research and data where there's the widest gap between what people say and what people actually do - and we are all about what people actually do. My friend said to me, you have a unique pool of real world sex video data that could use AI and machine learning to build an algorithm for consent. 

And she's absolutely right because and by the way, this would be first of mean it's unattributable and secondly because again, this is what we do at Make Love Not Porn as and when we can do this, because I need funding to do it. We would only use videos for Make Love Not Porn Stars that gave their permission. We're absolutely about asking permission to do this, even though unidentifiable, unattributable. 

But basically, we have video content that exists nowhere else, that is all about great consensual sex. And so you can use that to create an algorithm for consent that has so much applicability, because you know, you could use that algorithm for - and this is the point your friend made, Brady, and funny enough, I've just written a blog post on this topic, which I'll send to you once it's published; Hollywood could use this. Netflix could use this. Because, as we all know, in movies, in TV, in popular culture, because, as I said, every industry is dominated by men. We are seeing sex scenes through the male lens, and we are seeing a ton of non-consensual cues and behavior. Even in rom-coms. Even in what is 

[00:44:34]  Brady: Mostly in rom-coms you see non-consensual sex! 

[00:44:40] Cindy: Yeah, exactly. Exactly! 

So, we would have an algorithm you could run scenes through to be sure that they were consensual. Okay? 

A criminal court, all of those appalling rape cases where it's victim blaming, and so, that's what I want to do with AI, which is something very different to what people think about when they talk about AI and sex and porn. 

Actually, I go back to my earlier point, which is the really worrying thing about AI is that at the moment, as you have seen, VCs are falling over themselves to fund anything with the word “AI” in it, but only when it's founded by white men. 

Fund the female lens on AI. Fund me. Fund the many female tech founders I know who have a completely different vision for how you deploy AI. 

And that is how, again, that's the future of the Internet, designed and built through the female lens. We're just not getting - the one thing holding us back, which is access to capital. 

[00:45:46] Brady: Yeah. And do you think as more women are starting to come into their own financial power, there's a whole opportunity for women like me and Rebecca to start like putting money towards projects like yours? Or what would be your dream around something like that? 

[00:46:05] Cindy: There absolutely is. And by the way, I will just tease the fact that I am currently looking at partnering with someone very interesting to run an equity crowdfunding platform, Make Love Not Porn, which I hope you'll both contribute to massively. And I think that could be huge. 

But here's the problem. Women don't have the assets. And so we're talking about incremental gains. 

It's wonderful that many more women now want to invest. And by the way, I'll tell you what, I've run up against less so than female founders with more conventional businesses - because I would love Make Love Not Porn to be funded entirely by women. There are three barriers to that. 

Number one, women don't have the money. We don't have the assets in the same way that men do. 

Number two, women who have the assets don't necessarily have the investor mindset because, again…

we are not brought up with money in the same way that men are brought up to think about money. And this is why, by the way, you will see so many women who do have a shit ton of money spending it all on philanthropy donations. 

This is what infuriates me about Melinda Gates and Mackenzie Bezos, etcetera - you know they don't understand - 

If you really want to change the world, fund female founders. That will scale world changing impact a great deal more quickly than donating to nonprofits and charities. 

[00:47:35] Brady: So much funding to women entrepreneurs is microfunding, which is under $5,000 USD

[00:47:41] Cindy: Exactly. And by the way, here's a third barrier with women who, A. have the assets, B. have the investor mindset: those women have partners and spouses, and they go home to their partner and they go, “oh, darling, I'm thinking of funding this.” And the partner goes, “no, you don't want to do that.” And they don't. I've absolutely encountered that personally. 

Now, at the same time, obviously, a number of female founded funds have sprung up to address this. They have exactly the same problem, LP’s don't want to fund them either. And so you see female founded funds raising paltry amounts of capital compared to the massive funds that white guys run, who are just - and the infuriating thing about that - and again…

I and a number of other women have been campaigning to raise awareness funds for years - but those gigantic white male partnered Silicon Valley VC funds, they are having money poured into them by institutional LP’s that are pension funds. Those pension funds are deploying the pensions of women, black people of color, LGBTQ, the disabled, and they are pouring that money into white male partner VC firms to fund white brands. And that's out-fucking-ragious. 

[00:49:08] Brady: Outrageous! Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, and thank you for bringing that up and being so specific as well, because I think oftentimes in conference settings or conversations like this, it's kind of glossed over as to what the layers of funding truly are and where those funds are coming from. And the fact that you're willing to say exactly what needs to be said, I think, is just so important and so educational for us and for our audience as well, to really understand the nuances of it. Because it's not just money.

[00:49:34] Cindy: Now, having said that, I want to give you cause for optimism - based on my personal experience. When I had the idea to post the extraordinary response to my TED Talk, 

I pitched it for two years, from 2009 to 2011 because that is how long it took me to find one investor who got it and put up the seed funding. And he's been very supportive ever since. He's been my only investor. I've kept Make Love Not Porn operational for ten years on just $3 million of funding. 

That's an extraordinary feat. 

[00:50:13] Brady: Unbelievable. 

[00:50:14] Cindy:  And the fact we're still here gives some idea of how much traction we have, even without the funding we deserve. So I am now working to raise a round of serious funding. 

I'm working to raise $17 million to scale Make Love Not Porn to build out a number of brand expansions that people have been asking me for since day one. And I've had laid out a product roadmap from day one. 

And what is encouraging is I've spent 14 years parallel pathing two things working to build Make Love Not Porn, working to change the business and cultural context around it. Because when you have a truly world changing startup, you have to change the world to fit it, not the other way around

And the good news is that 14 years of hard work is finally paying off. The barriers are falling, and they're especially falling as I operate a very unique investor finding strategy, which I'm forced to by circumstance, but is proven very productive. 

So here's my challenge as I work to raise this funding; I know that my investors are out there. There are a ton of them and there are a ton of them in every country in the world, by the way. They are impossible to find by the usual means because they all have one thing in common; your willingness to fund Make Love Not Porn is entirely a function of your personal sexual journey. It is a function of your personal lens on sex and sexuality that's being shaped by your own experience of it. And I obviously have no way to research and target for that - especially because...

sex is the one area where you cannot tell from the outside what anybody thinks on the inside. 

The people who look like they would totally get it, don't. The people who look like complete prudes do. So my strategy, deliberately, is I put what I'm doing out there all the time across my social channels - I do every media intermaster, I go on every single podcast. I have to make synaptic connections happen that will attract those investors to me. 

Now, theoretically, this is a long, slow pavement, highly inefficient process. In practice, it actually works. 

I am, frankly, gobsmacked by the amount of incoming investor interests I get on LinkedIn. And by the way, if you had told me ten years ago that one day I would say to you, I'm all about LinkedIn, I would have laughed in your face. Today, I'm all about LinkedIn! 

LinkedIn is my number one investor. Lead generator investors reach out all the time. I see you're raising funding. I'd like to talk. I'm intrigued. Tell me more. And so, enormously encouraging me, I am talking to a bunch of interested investors. I still have to find that one lead investor -  you know, the person will make the big commitment, stand shoulder to shoulder - then I can wrangle all the lendings in behind them. But I am just very encouraged by the conversations I'm having. And what that says to me is that the world really is opening up. And by the way, also, I'm doing this for all of us who are battling in this area. 

In the past 14 years, I've inadvertently become a champion and advocate for the porn industry. When you force the entire industry into the shadows and underground, you make it very hard for good things to happen, make it damn easy for bad things to happen - got to change that - and I'm finding this on behalf of all my fellow Sex Tech founders. And honestly, I believe we're at a zeitgeist moment. We are absolutely seeing things change. 

But importantly, another question interviewers, journalists ask me regularly is, “so, Cindy, when do you think all of this will change? When do you think we're less fucked up about sex?” And my response is always, you asked that question in the wrong way because you asked it in the passive tense. 

All of this changes when you and I and everyone else make it change. And I don't wait for things to change. I make them change. And there are other people like me, and I'm absolutely seeing this change happening. 

[00:54:15] Brady: One of the things you highlight often in your work is the desperate need to improve sex education - for all ages. What does that look like through the lens of Make Love Not Porn?

[00:54:26] Cindy: Parents and teachers began writing to me from day one of Make Love Not Porn. And I've had this in the pipeline for years, but it's only now I'm finding investors to get it. So I want to build the zero to 18 and beyond expansion of MakeLove Not Porn. “”. I bought the URL many years ago. There's a very old holding page there. This is what I characterize as The Khan Academy of Sex Education, because Khan Academy tutors on every other topic under the sun except this one. 

EdTech as a sector is exploding - not in this area.

So I want to build Make Love Not Porn Academy on the same principles as - user generated, crowdsourced, curated, revenue share. Because I'm not about reinventing the wheel. This is an aggregation play. I want to build the go to global hub for the best of the world's sex education content. 

So how it works is when I've raised the funding and by the way, it's criminal that for the past four years, I haven't raised the funding to build this. When I raise the funding, we build The Academy. And by the way, it's a very efficient build - we're simply repurposing our existing content publishing human curation infrastructure, and we then invite sex educators all around the world to share with us their own content coursework materials, books, videos, comic strips… And I use “educator” very broadly - sexual health and wellness experts, therapists - anybody working to inform and educate in this whole area. 

Now, we will curate, because at the heart of everything we do lies human curation. Publish what is Make Love Not Porn endorsed. Humanize and vet every piece of content, because, for example, if you're an American sex educator and you submit what is depressingly popular over here - abstinence only sex education - we're not publishing that shit! We don't so called ‘education’ that goes, “don't do it.” It doesn't work. 

We will then publish all of this content segmented by age appropriateness. So if you're a parent freaking out going, “oh, my God, my six year old just asked this, what do I say?” Here's where you would find entirely age appropriate tools and content to be able to have that conversation with a six year old. If you're a teacher that has a class for 14 year olds, here are your age appropriate teaching materials. If you're an adult, access all areas. Adults are desperate for this as well. 

But importantly, The Academy will be where children and young people can access sex education without parental teacher gatekeeping. And here's why that's important; I have a friend who is a mother, and as you have to these days, monitors her kid’s browsing history. And this happened a few years ago, her son was eight years old, and she saw that on the family computer he'd googled “sex for children.” 

So she went “Ahh!,” but did the right thing; stayed calm, sat him down, and went, “Darling, I see you've done this. Talk me through why.” And this anecdote is adorable and horrifying in equal measure because her son wanted to know about sex. He was a child. He knew he was a child. He wanted to know about sex in a child appropriate way. And so he sweetly and innocently Googled “sex for children.” 

You can imagine what came back. Utterly traumatizing. 

[00:57:46] Brady: That's like - oh god! 

[00:57:46] Cindy: Exactly. So, The Academy will be where an eight year old boy can enter his age, and we will only serve him age appropriate sex education content. 

Now, a lot of this will be free to access, per that example, but we're also charged to download materials, subscribe bulk buy through a school. There are different revenue streams, different use cases. By the way, we're talking a huge - huge revenue generator sex economy of the future. And we will then split the income 50 with its creators, the educators, the same way we do with our Make Love Not Porn Stars. Because I have to tell you that right now, nobody goes into sex education to make money. 

I have friends who are brilliant educators all around the world. They face all the same problems I do. Their content gets blocked on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok. They can't advertise either. They can't even make a living doing this. I'll change that because this is enormously valuable work. 

But I have three other agendas with the academy. So the first is when I can build out an educational component, I reframe Make Love Not Porn. I give a social legitimacy. Secondly, again, given the challenges I face, I design The Academy to be a fantastic recruitment engine for the core business, because when you're 18 and over, you graduate to sex education for real world demonstration - and in the meantime, you can send the parents, teachers, adults through to Make Love Not Porn, to see you know real world sex in action. 

But here's the third very important agenda item. So, for years, people have said to me, oh, Cindy, you should go into schools. Make Love Not Porn should be on the curriculum. And I've said, no, I shouldn't, because anybody trying to bring sex ed into schools, as you know, comes up against the PTA, moral panic. 

But here's the thing, the people blocking sex education from schools don't know what it'd be like if they allowed it in. They just say “really bad.” In their heads they have this abstinence concept - “Sodom and Gomorrah will ensue,” when I can show you in one place the best of the world sex education content aggregated like you've never seen it before. And you can see at a glance how brilliant, informative, educational, healthy, and non threatening it is, that is when I get sex ed into schools. 

And in fact, one investor said to me, “Cindy, the moment you have 100 schools signed on to The Academy, you're looking at a completely different value proposition.” 

[01:00:13] Brady: Totally. And the other thing that I think is so brilliant about this, Cindy, is because Rebecca and I talk about this a lot of how the human feedback that these educators are going to get from a team like yours would be things like, “hey, you have a great curriculum here, but there are no children of color depicted throughout this book. 

We want to encourage resubmit with diversity in mind.” It also allows for these bigger conversations to have. 

[01:00:41] Cindy: Absolutely. And actually budgeted into our funding is also - I mean, 90% of this will be user generated, but we also plan to produce our own content as well. 

[01:00:51] Brady: Cool! Well, and I think what people forget, too, and what's coming up, certainly like in the general conversation in the U.S. right now, is that sex education is also health education, body education. It covers so many more things than just two people or one person interacting with themselves in a certain way. 

[01:01:13] Cindy: Exactly. And also, as I mentioned earlier, I have a network of sex educated friends all around the world. One of them is a wonderful woman based India called Paromita Vohra. She's a filmmaker by background. 

And she started a company called Agents of Ishq. “Ishq” is the Hindi term for “love and desire” to create culturally appropriate, sensitive sex education for India. And they do amazing work. They produce videos that spoof Bollywood musical numbers to communicate messages without consent. It's fantastic, and I always share it. But I asked Parrow a few years back, I said, why do your videos - I mean, there was a really good one that only got 11,000 views on YouTube? And she said, because I cannot distribute these anywhere within India publicly. 

So imagine the appeal of The Academy being able to offer not just people India, but the Indian diaspora all around the world, culturally appropriate, sensitive sex education by your community, for your community. Imagine Jewish sex education, Muslim sex education. Christian sex education… So you'll be able to search by age and by sensibility. You can absolutely pick and choose what is appropriate for your comfort level, whatever kind of parent you are, whatever kind of school you are. And by the way, nothing like this exists in the world at the moment. And believe - I've been trying to raise funding for this for nine years! 

[1:02:36] Brady: Wow. Which shocks me, because that seems like a no brainer to fund. 

[1:02:38] Cindy: You would think. But honestly, anything to do with sex - my obstacle there is a social dynamic I call “fear of what other people think,” which operates around sex unlike any other area. 

And so, I will share with you, for the benefit of our audience, the two pieces of advice that I have to give to parents all the time. And by the way, I can't wait to build the academy so I can put them on there and I can stop saying this. So the two things I say to parents, and I like to keep things radically simple, these are two very simple things you can do:

The first is, today you cannot begin talking to a child about sex too early. 

And when I say that, I don't mean literally “talk about sex!” But what I mean is the very first time your child asks where babies come from, plays with their genitals, the most important thing isn't even what you say as much as how you say it. Never ever get visibly embarrassed. Never get flustered, never shut the conversation down, change the topic, leave the room. Instead, answer them calmly, straightforwardly, truthfully. And the moment you've done that, you have opened up a channel of communication between them and you that will be there for the rest of their lives. 

Because parents want their children to be happy. This is the area that will impact your child's happiness more than almost any other. And it's so important that you open up the communication as early as possible. 

Then the second thing I say to parents is, today when you talk to your child about sex, you must also at the same time, talk to your child about porn. And that is because...

the average age at which a child is first exposed to porn online by accident, by the way, not intentionally, is six years old. That comes from a Bit Defenders study of 19,000 parents globally, and that study was done ten years ago. However bad you think it is, it's worse. 

So, the good thing is it's a lot easier to talk to your child about porn at any age than parents think, because all you do is you say a version, what I'm about to share with you, and you dial it up or down, depending on the age of the child. 

So you say to the child, “So, darling, we've just talked about sex. And you know how together we watch movies and videos and cartoons where things happen that aren't real? Well, there are also movies and videos about sex - and they're not real either. And because of that, they can be quite confusing. And so we'd rather watch them till you're older. But if anybody ever shows you anything like that, or you come across it, come and talk to us. Would you explain it?” 

That's all you have to say. Because just by saying that, you've done two very important things. The first is that you're set up in their heads when they stumble across porn, as they will, it's not real. 

And the second thing you've said is, come and talk to us. Come and talk to me about it. And again, you will want them to do that because what they stumble across is likely to be utterly traumatizing. 

[01:05:38] Brady: If there is one action listeners can take away from this conversation, what would it be and why?

[01:05:45] Cindy: Okay, I'm going to be very straightforward because, as I've said at various points through this conversation, the only thing holding us back from a world in which everything I want to make happens, everything we want to see happens. 

The only thing holding me and many other female founders and women back from building and implementing that world is cold, hard cash. And so, very simply, I want to say to everybody listening, please support us in any way you can by funding us.

And that ranges from if you like what I'm doing, please go to, sign up, subscribe. It's $10 a month. That's our starting subscription. You can afford that. Find other female found adventures and subscribe. 

But beyond that, if you have people in your network who are open minded investors, hook a sister up! But tell them that this is the next trillion dollar category in tech. Basically, encourage people to fund what we are doing through the female lens in sexual health and wellness in sextech. In porn, by the way, again, like I said, I know brilliant female independent pornographers who struggle, who are making amazing porn - there's nothing like what you see on the homepage of a PornHub. 

All we need is access to money. So do whatever you can in whatever capacity, whether it's just a small monthly subscription or whether you are an investor watching this. Boy oh boy! I have a platform that operates in the area of online content that we are all most fascinated by, most engaged with and most fucked up about. Dollar signs all over that shit! 

And also, you know, at Make Love Not Porn we answer the question that everybody has been asking since the dawn of time, which is, “what is everybody else really doing in bed?” Because we all want to know! 

[01:07:58] Brady: The question “as old as time.” 

[01:08:01] Cindy: Yeah, it is. It really is! 

[01:08:16] Brady: And it's one of those things that the curiosity comes at a really young age as we were talking about. It's not something that's just reserved for just a certain age, time, or part in your life. It's like it starts young, the curiosity. 

[01:08:20] Cindy: And also, again, what's unique about us at Make Love Not and we've talked about this, but we celebrate real world emotion, love, intimacy, feelings. And the reason that's so critical apart from all the obvious ones is all around us. In popular culture, you know, TV, movies, Netflix, we see many creative expressions and narratives of relationships but we never see the actual sex. 

On Make Love Not Porn, you see the actual sex, but you also see the relationships. Because in our videos those two things are indivisible. 

And when I say that by the way, I don't just mean that in our coupled, partnered, threesome videos you see healthy relationship dynamics within sex. In our many solo videos - because we have a ton of masturbation videos - and again it's male, female, trans, non binary. In those videos you see what it's like to have a healthy relationship with yourself. With your own body, your own sexuality, your own genitals. And that is also inspirational. 

[01:09:19] Brady: Oh yeah. And it's one of those things that I think we don't often talk about within sex. Even when we talk about sex with our friends, most of the conversation is about sexual experiences we have with other people. 

[01:09:33] Cindy: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. What's wonderful to is that our videos are as transformative for our Make Love Not Porn Stars as they are for our members. So a woman posted a video some time back. It was her first video. It was what we call “me time” - a masturbation video. And our contributors write their own intro narratives and film free to access intro videos. And so she wrote, she said, “all my life I've been told my vault was ugly. I've been told it's too big, too flappy, too loose.” She said, I don't agree. And so I thought, what the hell? I'm going to share a video here and see what you all think. 

And our community is amazing because in less than an hour the Stewart comments going, oh my God, you're beautiful. What are they talking about? You're amazing. We want to see more of you! 

And so it's massively self affirming for the contributors involved. One thing also - that I'm blown away by is how well Make Love Make Porn does what I designed it to do, but also how well that it does things that I never consciously designed to do. 

So we hear regularly from survivors of rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse, and again, we hear from female male, trans, nonbinary survivors, who tell us that Make Love Not Porn helped them reclaim their body. They tell us that we help them feel able to be sexual again in a scenario where porn is obviously too triggering. And we hear that not just from the people who watch our videos, but we have some Make Love Not Porn Stars who tell us that being able to sexually share themselves in a completely safe and trustworthy space has helped them process and heal from sexual trauma. 

And I never thought about that as a use case, but I'm so grateful that it is. 

[01:11:17] Brady: And I think the other part of it is a lot of people don't realize how prevalent, like rape, sexual assault, or even things that are adjacent to it, which includes like, sexual harassment and all of those things - how underreported it is. For instance, I ran the first study in the country that asked women about their experiences of sexual assault at conferences, the only one to date that has ever been done. And we found that over 45% of women who responded to that question had experienced some form of sexual assault at conference, at a professional event. 

But people don't ask the question and they don't talk about it, and there's so much shame around it. But the recovery process of going through an experience like that is so under supported on the other side of that too. 

[01:12:03] Cindy: So this is why we have the answer for the corporate workplace. So I designed Make Love Not Porn around my own beliefs and philosophies, one of which is that everything in life starts with you and your values. 

So I readily ask people this question, “what are your sexual values?”
And nobody can ever answer me because we're not taught to think like that. Our parents bring us up to have good manners, a work ethic, sense of responsibility, accountability. Nobody ever brings us up to behave well in bed. But they should. Because in bed, values like empathy, sensitivity, generosity, kindness, honesty, trust, respect are as important as those values are in every other area of our lives where we're actively taught to exercise them. 

So I talked to corporate leadership about the fact that one of the ways you can eradicate sexual harassment from your workplace is by bringing sex into the office.

And what I mean by that is in the same way that every company talks about its corporate values and its corporate culture at employee town halls, in the onboarding handbook, at the annual meeting - talk about good sexual values and good sexual behavior as part of your corporate values, expectations and your corporate culture. Talk about it openly. Set the gold standard openly. 

And then people know exactly what they need not to do if they want to carry on working your company. 

[01:13:43] Brady: Yes, because it's already there! 

[01:13:45] Cindy: Yeah, exactly. And all of companies measures to deal with it are retrospective - Stop it before it begins by making it crystal clear, openly, straightforwardly, “at this company, we are about good sexual values and good sexual behavior.” 

[01:14:06] Brady: Yeah, absolutely. I think that it's so transformative to even say that to businesses because they're like, well, we don't want to be in the bedroom. And you're like, you already know. Where do people meet their significant others? At work! Or through someone at work!

[01:14:23] Cindy: That's my point about the answer is never to shut down. The answer is to open up. 

[01:14:26] Brady: We feel so lucky to get to sit down and have a conversation because every time I talk with you, I take away so much and have so many “AHA moments” throughout because you're so thoughtful in the way you bring people through subject matter that oftentimes we just don't sit down and really think about. And then you do it in a way that's also so inviting and generous, knowing that not everybody might have these conversations on a daily basis, but by the end you're like, oh, wait, why aren't I having this conversation on a daily basis? You make it really easy to want to - like jump in and be a part of this and what you're doing, which makes it so exciting and really fun every time we sit down. 

[01:15:10] Cindy: It's been an absolute pleasure.

[01:15:14] Brady Thank you again (soft music plays). And listeners, you can find the full transcript of this conversation and more from The Noodler online at thenoodlecollective co. Thank you for listening!