Written by Gestalten. Originally published in December, 2019.
“I like to blow shit up. I am the Michael Bay of business,” you’ll find written on Cindy Gallop‘s social media bio, a fitting caption for her rebellious quest against the hardcore porn industry.
With a career that encapsulates excellence and a reputation for expressing views and opinions that don’t get discussed by mainstream media, Gallop is prone to creating shockwaves. A decade ago, that’s exactly what she did while announcing MakeLoveNotPorn(MLNP) to the world.
Her career in advertising began in 1985. Over the course of three decades, she’s worked in London, moved to Singapore to head up Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) Asia Pacific, and later New York to manage their operations. A Manhattan citizen since 1998, Gallop gained global recognition in 2003 when she was awarded Advertising Woman of the Year.
“Everybody’s writing about consent. There are lots of thoughtful, nuanced, insightful think pieces about consent. Here’s the problem: nobody knows what consent actually looks like in bed”
MakeLoveNotPorn was announced to the world in 2009 during a TED Talks where Gallop became the first speaker to say the words “cum on my face” on stage. During her presentation, she discussed how the world, and the internet especially, needed to change from a one-world male view of sex dominated by hardcore pornography that enforces negative stereotypes and roles on couples. Her aim was to create a sex revolution by portraying a more humane way of viewing sex, educating couples about consent and creating a meaningful connection.
To mark the ten-year milestone, we talk to Gallop about the current state of the industry, the rise of social media, and what has changed over the course of a decade.
”The young white male founders of the tech platforms that dominate our lives today are not the primary targets of harassment, abuse, sexual assault, violence, and rape–so they don’t proactively design for it”
If we roll back time to 2009 and the launch of MakeLoveNotPorn, what have you learned during this time, how has MLNP evolved? Do you think the world has changed or woke up from your initiative?
I’m going to answer those questions in reverse order.
1. The world has shown how badly it needs MakeLoveNotPorn. Our single-minded mission is to make it easier for everyone in the world to talk openly and honestly about sex, to promote better communication, consent, good sexual values, and good sexual behavior.