People with very strong Puritan sensibilities may have a hard time with South by Southwest Interactive. Few topics appear to be taboo at this famous confab for tech start-ups and big-name speakers.
Entrepreneur Cindy Gallop, founder and CEO of MakeLoveNotPorn.com, headlined one well-attended session on the The Future of Porn, a serious and entertaining discussion on the state of the adult industry.
There's "a complete absence in society of an open, healthy, honest, truthful conversation around sex in the real world," Gallop said. "I want to make 'real-world sex' socially acceptable and ... just as socially shareable as anything else we currently share on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram." Six months ago, Gallop and her team launched MakeLoveNotPorn.TV, which she describes as a "user-generated, crowd-sourced platform where anybody from anywhere in the world can submit videos of themselves having real-world sex."
You have to join, and it costs $5 per submission, which allows participants to watch the video as often as they'd like over a three-week period, after which there are rental fees. It costs $5 to watch other videos. Through a revenue-sharing model, those who have submitted videos get to keep half the money generated from those who watch, Gallop says.
Videos are pre-screened to make certain that they don't include anyone underage and that everyone is a consenting adult. Moreover, each person appearing must submit two forms of ID each to ensure that they are who they say they are. But you can remain anonymous publicly.
"We're not going up against porn, and we're not competing against porn," Gallop says. "Everybody wants to know what everybody else is doing in bed. And we are out to show you that real-world sex is more innovative, more creative, more surprising, more hot and more arousing than porn could ever be."
For example, there might be videos on awkward moments people have around condoms, and what Gallup refers to as "lazy person sex."
"We want the sexual equivalent of America's Funniest Home Videos," she says.
Membership at the site is evenly split among the genders.
Gallop says due to the nature of the business, she has struggled to get funding. "I could not find a single bank here in America that would let me open a business bank account for a business that had the word 'porn' in the name. Our single biggest operational challenge has been putting our payments infrastructure in place. Because we are what the world deems 'adult content,' PayPal won't work with us, Amazon won't work with us, none of the mainstream payment processors will work with us."
During an interview, Gallop said she has no intention of removing the word "porn" from the company name. She also said other entrepreneurs are trying to build businesses in the space. Among them: Vibease, an Android vibrator app for couples in long-distance relationships.
Gallop says she would love to develop a mobile app, but says, "The iTunes Store will never take us."
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